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May 24, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-05-24

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, May 24, 1995

RONNE GLASSBERG ADRIENNE JANNEY
Editor in Chief JOEL F. KNUTSON
Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of 4
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of the Daily's editorial board.

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

.

'jIis summer a group of students will work
to create a policy on non-academic con-
duct for the University: one that would be
administered fairly and equally across the
student body. Their mission comes after the
University Board of Regents ordered Vice
President for StudentAffairs Maureen A.
Hartford to create a new policy that is less
legalistic. While the regents were right in
scrapping the faulty Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities in favor of a new
policy, that action alone will not clear up the
problems. No one will be able to foresee all
the possible problems in administering a new
policy. The students who worked on the origi-
nal statement did not anticipate all of the
problems with the current code, and with a
less legalistic policy, the person who over-
sees it will have more leeway to interpret the
meaning. For this reason, it is imperative that
this person has the background to work on
mediation and conciliation, which the regents
stressed when they ordered a new policy. Be-
cause ofherbackgroundandlackofoversightof
the statement, this person must not be Mary Lou
Antieau, the judicial adviser for the statement.
One of the first problems in having Antieau
oversee a new policy is her education. She
holds a law degree, which is the appropriate

Antaieau must go
Code implementation cannot be unilateral

background for a legalistic document like the
current policy. Antieau also served as director
of South Quad, a position that focuses on
disciplinary and administrativeresponsibilities.
In a new policy that emphasizes mediation and
conciliation, her background is inappropriate.
Aside fromher education, Antieau has done
a poor job of overseeing the policy. As judicial
adviser, Antieauhas used the Family Education
Rights and Privacy Act, which allows the fed-
eral government to withdraw funds from uni-
versities that do not protect students' educa-
tional records, to turn the implementation of
the code into a kangaroo court. In a specific
case last year, Antieau investigated LSA junior
Darcy Niven after Niven spoke to The Michi-
gan Daily about a code case she filed against
her ex-boyfriend. Antieau said at the time that
if Niven was determined to have provided the
name of her ex-boyfriend to the Daily, it

would be construed to be a breach of confi-
dentiality. For Antieau, it was more important
to protect the process over Niven's First
Amendment rights. Yet the code is supposed to
be unwavering on its protection of free speech.
Another example of the problems of
Antieau's interpretation was the case involving
American culture doctoral student Melanie
Welch, who was charged with harassment and
assault of a neighbor, and requested an open
hearing. Antieau claimed that the restriction on
open hearings in cases of "sexual assault or
harassment" refers to harassment alone. How-
ever, David Schwartz, who helped draft the
code as a law student, said the word "sexual"
was meant to modify both "assault" and
"harassment," allowing a closed hearing in
cases of sexual assault or sexualharassment.
"It is not surprising that Mary Lou is trying to
change the meaning of the language of the

code," Schwartz said.
The University should not have a 'judicia
advisor," but a person who can emphasize th
areasthattheregentsrequestedforanewpolicy
If the University insists upon a code of non
academic conduct, that policy should focus
education and not punishment. While Antie
claims this is the role of the current policy, tha
does not seem to be the practice. It is not
University's job to assess guilt or innocence
that should be left to the courts. Moreover
oversight of such a policy should not rest in th
hands of one person. Instead, a group of indi-
viduals should serve as mediators for the policy
and they could also serve as faculty members o
in another capacity at the University. This wil
ensure that those who shape the policy will
become merely a prosecutor of students.
Antieau has been able to work effectively
with many student leaders, and it would be
appropriate for Hartford to transfer her to an-
other area of the University, such as the Hous-
ing Division. But in a new code - which will
likely be extremely ambiguous - it is impor-
tant to have fair and qualified people handling
its intricacies. And one person should not hold
that sole accountability. No matter what sha
any new policy takes, it is imperative that Matt
Lou Antieau has no role in its administration.

M-on
The Universil

AJjcard,themuchanticipated "improved"ver
ion of Entree Plus, is proving to be a
disappointment. By extending a banking service
similartoEntrePlustooff-campusmerchants,the
University andlocalbusinessescashinonthehigh-
tech miracle-card. The University has already
launchedamassivecampaigntoutingthebenefits
of its sleek new banking card after a pilot period.
The accolades are premature, as the Mcard may
soon become a financial nightmare for students.
What the University will not disclose in its glossy
pamphlets are the shortcomings of Mcard.
Starting next fall, the sophisticated card will
replace the current student IDs and serve as a
passport to University resources. It will offer two
financialfeatures-aBankStripeandaCashStripe
-for those who want to use either or both of the,
functions. The BankStripe, similar to an ATM
card, will allow students to purchase goods using
a personal identification number for protection.
TheCashStripe willbe moresimilartoEntreplus.
Students can use it for smaller purchases such as
vending machines andrestaurants anditwillnot be
attached to a checking account. As an added
incentive, the card will act as a phone card to
provide reduced rates for long distance calling.
Amajordrawbackinthecardisthatitsbanking
capability can be confusing and potentially mis-
leading.Unlike the old EntrePlus system, Mcard
users willnothavethe optionof delaying payment.
Instead, debit cards deduct the amount from the
account at the time of purchase. Studentsusing the
Meardtopay fortextbooks,forexample,willhave
to be able to immediately cover the costs. Addi-
tionally,themost popular aspectofEntriePlus,the
ability to cover its costs via one's student account
at the University, is history.

opoly
ty's debit game
Student and local business' complaints about
Entree Plus centeredaround the preference it gave
to merchants in the Michigan Union and North
CampusCommons,limitingstudentchoices.Mcard
does nothing to alleviate this problem, because the
advantage of having a virtual cash advance are
gone. In addition, one bank will monopolize all
Mcard business for the next three years. First of
Americareceivedthe contractfromthe University
by making thehighest bid-areasonable process.
Unfortunately itnowhaslicense to charge students
exorbitant checking account fees. At last week's
regents meeting Regent Andrea Fischer Newman
(R-Ann Arbor) expressed concerns about this: "I
fear we're taking away some of the freedom a
student could choose on where they want to bank."
Regent Shirley McFee (R-BattleCreek)answered,
"They have a choice. They don't have to use it."
Those who want to sidestep the checking ac-
countmightopttousethe CashStripe,thinking that
it will be safer since it does not require a bank. The
CashStripe, however, poses another problem for
students. It stores up to $50 on the card for use at
restaurants and vending machines. If the card be-
comes lost, or demagnetized, the money is lost
forever. CashStripe is rendered useless as an
alternative to carrying cash.
In the future the card will include a microchip
that will possess enormous information capabili-
ties, centralizing most personal information onto a
little plastic card. The technology is attractive, but
the implications are cause for concern. Students
will always be losingcards, or getting themstolen.
The potential for abuse will be greater than ever.
McFee's comment points to the crux of the
issue:IsMcardsomethingthatstudentswillwantto
use? For many the answer should be no.

Shopping around
'U' capable of responsible purchasing power
7P e University, legendary for its indiscre blessing. The University taxes the city's in-
tions in dealing with units of government, frastructure, undermines its revenue base a
finally got it right. Before concluding a pur- contributes to social ills.
chase of a building complex last week, the The problem is worsened when the Univer-
administration mailed about 250 letters to sity makes significant moves that affect the
community leaders seeking their support for community without warning city officials.
the transaction. It was an astute public-rela- That's what happened last summer with the
tions move and a welcome departure from the Eisenhower complex, andearlier withWolver-
stealth tactics the University usually deploys ine Tower. City officials complained bitterly
in shopping for property. that the University apparently showed little
Meeting Friday, the University Board of concern for the community. And their position
Regents approved the purchase of a $9.9 was justified.
million building complexnear Briarwood Mall. This week, however, city officials are reli
Included in the purchase is a $2.8 million lot tively mumon the University's latest purchase.
at the corner of Eisenhower Boulevard and University administrators gave them little to
South Main Street. University officials said complain about. Vice President for University
the buildings will house the Briarwood Fam- Relations Walter Harrison mailed about 250
ily Practice medical clinics. The sale takes the form letters to community leaders urging them
property off the tax rolls, as all University to support the purchase. In the letters, Harrison
land is exempt from property taxes. asked recipients to "join me in supporting this
The $50,000 the city will lose annually prudent investment in our community's health
from the purchase willchip away at revenues at care delivery system."
a time when the city faces potentially huge Mayor Ingrid Sheldon and other city lea
payouts under a settlement to honor its loan ers were restrained in their criticism of th
agreement with the YMCA. The Ann Arbor purchase, blaming the uncomfortable rela-
Public Schools and Washtenaw County will tionship between the two units of government
lose about $120,000 a year. rather than the University itself. Sheldon sug-
Last July, the University angered city offi- gested that the University provide free health
cials by buying the Eisenhower Corporate West care to low-income residents in exchange for
office without warning -a move that deprived the lost tax revenues. Her idea looks good on
the city of $37,700 in annual tax revenue. paper, and the University should consider it
Eighteen months earlier, the University bought seriously. Furthermore, the University should
Wolverine Tower, costing the city $316,000 a be receptive to city requests for an "econom'
year. University property accounts for nearly a impact statement" whenever it buys maj
third of the value of all property in Ann Arbor. pieces of property. Only then will the Univer-
While the city is immeasurably enriched by sity have gone beyond simple p.r. gestures to
the presence of the University, it is a mixed genuine cooperation.

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