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June 14, 1995 - Image 31

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-06-14

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Summer Orientation 1995 - The Michigan Daily - 19

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of the Daily's editorial board.

}ublic funding for education in the United
States has historically been characterized
hart-sighted and narrow-minded legisla-
Institutions of higher learning such as the
rsity consistently demonstrate the value
cation and research on society. However,
rivalries, budgetcuts and a public attitude
education is elitist in nature and can be put
he back burners of society erode the
ersity's ability to keep tuition costs down
tudents without sacrificing quality.
unding is not something that should be an
ract concept for students. To put it sim-
in-state students will begin to pay signifi-
ly more for an education at the Univer-
raduate students will lose fellowship
s. Student loans will hinder less-privi-
d students' right to an education. And
rable resources like the Institute of Social
sarch, which has produced the most com-
ensive studies of elections and electoral
Avior in its relatively brief history, are being
by Congress that their research is no longer
I. The war between the sciences for dollars
only escalate.
Oe most immediate cause for tuition in-
es comes from the state Legislature. The
versity was alone among state universi-
and colleges to be threatened with no

Jefferson turns in
his grave
Specter ofhigher education funding looms at 'U'

increases. It was proposed that a whopping
$8.4 million would be held in escrow, after the
state House voted to withhold that amount over
concerns of the 32 percent out-of-state enroll-
ment at the University. Of course, when the
House raised concerns about the level, the
incoming classes had already been determined
and no changes could be made to meet the
request for a 70-30 ratio.
Gov. John Engler has stated his support
for appropriations increases in line with infla-
tion, and the state Senate voted to restore the
funds. The battle that will ensue actually has
little to do about money, but politicians' ten-
dencies to punish students for the Legislature's
ideological with the administration. Ironically,
the situation is that in an effort to make an
education at the University more accessible for
Michigan students, they may put it out of reach

financially for the students that they are trying
to help.
The state shortfalls pale in comparison to
the looming specter of severe federal cuts in
education. The changes to education underway
in the "Contract with America"hurt the chances
for every American's equal right for an educa-
tion. The results of spending cuts and realloca-
tions of funds will not only be felt in the
pocketbook, but in the lost opportunities for
hundreds of thousands of students across the
country caught in the cross-fire in the fight over
public education.
Student loan interest payments have for
decades delayed interest payments to students
untilafter college,helping put thousands through
college an into a productive society. House
Republicans now view student loans as luxu-
ries and reason that their loans should beheld to

the same standard as everyone else. Evidently,
a college loan to one who is less than wealthy
is equal to a loan for a car or boat. Education is
a frivolous expense, according to faulty Repub-
lican reasoning. Studentloan cuts spell disaster
for the thousands of students already struggling
to work through school.
The Republican-controlled Congress is mak-
ing every effort to dismantle any role of the
U.S. government in education, cutting the De-
partment of Education, Head Startand anything
else in the name of ludicrous "block grants," as
if inequities and disproportionate educational
funding within states were not bad enough.
Students involvedin the study of economic,
behavioral or social science suddenly are being
told by individual House Republicans that they
are not worthy of receiving National Science
Foundation grants. Those students involved in
the medical research that had produced amaz-
ing improvements in medicine over the past 30
years will suffer to provide for tax cuts, which
fund defense spending and entitlements on the
national level, and the ballooning prison indus-
try here in Michigan.
It is hard to imagine that all this can occur
in the short span of one year. Until education
is put on the forefront of American politics,
the situation can only worsen.

History repeats itself
University has not learned conduct code lesson

parently some universities never learn
eir lessons. This year the University returns
he same place it was three years ago with its
leofnon-academicconduct.These codes, which
e become the fashion for American universi-
, govern various aspects of students' behavior
and off campus - reaching further into a
son's life than does the law. The original ver-
1 entitled the Statement of Student Rights and
ponsibilitics, was implemented, despite stu-
rotests, under the guise of an interim policy.
inspired by the federal and state mandates for
ual harassment and alcohol policies.
Several student leaders were vocally opposed
he code, but offered suggestions for fear a
nous document. That input has since been used
:laim that students supported and wrote the
le. Concerns have beenraisedover the potential
il rights violations inherent in the a statement.
ist offensive is the latent in loco parentis doc-
e -as if University students were incapable
Siking for themselves, and need a special
of rules to help them into adulthood.
As the code was applied to the student body
ny other flaws became apparent. A non-
dent's harassment claim against a student
s dismissed in a court of law, the student was
I found "responsible" under the code. The
ring for that case was a nightmare come
e, withjurors complaining of boredomasthe
nesses spoke, andthepresidingprofessor-
ned in judicial matters or manners -inter-
ting with his own biases as he went along.
veralcomplaints have been made about the fact
s at hearings, creating scenarios such as a rape
tim cross-examining an accused rapist. One

complainant was accused of violating the Family
Education Rights and Privacy Act by allegedly
leaking her story to the Daily - there was talk of
tiated accusation, although it would be her First
Amendment right to talk to the press. All of these
examples and more point to the false legality and
over-complexity of the policy.
Case after case of poor judgment and proce-
dural confusion showed the University's inability
to handle a policy of this magnitude. No one could
prevent a complainant from running into a defen-
dant in Angell Halldespite a University restraining
order after he was found responsible. Judicial
Advisor Mary Lou Antieau, the sole person en-
trusted with the code's interpretation and imple-
mentation, decided that the aforementioned disas-
trous hearing should be closed by misinterpreting
"sexual assault and harassment" to mean non-
sexual harassment as well as sexual, though the
context indicates otherwise. In yet another case,
Antieau denied the rights of a defendant by
refusing to open his hearing because the other
defendants wanted closed hearings. Part of the
problemof fair enforcementof the policy lies in
the fact that one individual has all of the decid-
ing power.
. Such a policy is far too legalistic for the non-
legalarena, anditis mishandledby the administra-
tion, which operates under the assumption those
over l8cannotmanagetheirlives.Thissummerthe
administration is drafting a new - permanent -
code, after a protest rally in April. More students
will try to affect the outcome but the administration
will do as it pleases in the name of students' best
interests. The University fails its spring/summer
term code class.

Seen and heard
Students need representation among administration
t a university so large, it is quite possible to a student regent, and the student regent does not
get lost. Endless numbers, lines, people have to ask permission to bring up an issue of
and attractions create a hubbub both comfort- vital importance to the student body. The vice
ing and intimidating. In lightofthe nature of the presidents of the University are allowed these
University, itis imperative that students have courtesies - and the student regent would be
some form of representation within the govern- representing the numerically largest portion
ing body -that is, the administration. Students yet of individuals at the University.
must be the primary concern of the University. Throughout the student regent debate the
This is the one mission that the University idea has circulated to give the student regent to
cannot lose sight of, or else it will mutate into the president of the Michigan Student Assem-
some bureaucratic machine that hardly re- bly. As the elected head of the student body,
sembles an educational institution. MSA president seems to be the ideal choice for
For several years students have been lobby- the position. It would also establish a working
ing the administration for a student regent to relationship of equals between the studentgov-
serve the interests of the students. As Board of erning bodyand the Board of Regents.
Regents meetings function currently, students This type of relationship is necessary if the
are only allowed to speak at public comments. administration is to give more credence to
This means that they have to get on the list in MSA - and it should. In the March 1995
advance. The list is limited to 12 speakers, not election voter turnout overall increased to over
all necessarily students - so the number of 20 percent from a mere 9 percent the previous
students able to speak at public comments is year. Clearly students are taking an interest in
generally less than 12. Public comments are University affairs. Furthermore, the more seri-
held in the Anderson Room in the Michigan ously the administration treats MSA -and the
Union, rather than the regents' chambers in the more real freedom it gives MSA - the more
Fleming Administration Building, symbolically evident it will become that every vote counts.
severing comments from the legitimate part of Election turnouts will increase with MSA's
the proceedings. power.
With a student regent the symbolism would Along the same lines, the University must
be turned in the students' favor. Simply being continue to ask for students input, which is
allowed to sit at the regents' table and contrib- done with some regularity. However, this also
ute as an acknowledged equal would be a means actinguponstudentdemandsforchange.
tremendous improvement. Of course, students Often the information is gathered, then tossed
are not asking for a vote like the other eight aside in favor of original assumptions or objec-
regents - it could be a potential conflict of tives. Students are the reason that the Univer-
interest to be enrolled and to have a vote, But sity functions. They should be the prime con-
with a cushioned leather chair and a page in the sideration when making major decisions. And
agenda, the regents cannot turn their backs on their voice must be heard.

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