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June 07, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-06-07

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, June 7, 1995
420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

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

Governor John Engler's latest financial
concoction is a ruse reminiscent of the
old game show "Let's Make a Deal" where
contestants were tempted to exchange large
sums of money for whatever was behind the
curtain of choice. Except taxpayers who
step up to buy Engler's new Michigan
College Savings Bonds will risk more
than game show cash. Lured by Engler's
deceptive packaging of his college fi-
nancing plan they will be throwing away
hard earned dollars to take a peek at a
white elephant.
Engler's program is a clumsy attempt
to bandage the gaping wound that he
created when he axed the Michigan Educa-
tion Trust - the state's highly popular pre-
paid college tuition program. To silence
critics and disgruntled parents, Engler
hawked his tax-free state bonds for a two
week period that ended June 5. The bonds
are a poor substitute for MET, and a
mediocre investment.
Like MET, Engler's plan assists those
who can on short notice call up a large
sum of money. After all, only those who
could raise a large initial lump sum within
the two weeks Engler opened the program,
could invest in it. Thus, the bonds do not

Recycled investments
Engler cashes in on higher education bonds

address the major shortcoming of MET,
which mainly benefited the upper classes.
MET allowed parents to pay for
tomorrow's tuition at today's costs. Con-
tract holders pre-paid many years in ad-
vance for up to four years of college educa-
tion for their youngsters. In return, the state
promised to pay tuition costs for the child at
any Michigan public university. Essentially,
parents were given a reassuring guarantee
that tuition costs would be taken care of by
the state. Steep tuition hikes at colleges
made MET a dubious investment for the
government, and Engler froze enrollment
in the program in 1991.
Unlike MET, which actually proved to
be such a good bargain that the state feared
it would not be able to make good on its
contracts, -Michigan will not undertake a
risk with the bond program. The state merely

guarantees to pay a fixed interest rate of 5.5
percent -an almost record low -to inves-
tors. Those who buy the zero coupon bonds
long-term - parents who want to start a
college fund for their young children -
would be wise to take their business else-
where. Since buyers do not get any money
back until the bond matures, they will be
stuck with the current uncommonly low
interest rate for all the years that they hold
the bond - what a deal.
In fact, there is nothing magical or inno-
vative about Engler's bond program. Bonds
are a common investment that need not be
offered by the state - private financial
firms could easily match and beat the deal.
Furthermore, since the college bonds pay at
such low interest rates, there is no guaran-
tee that they will be able to offset rising
tuition costs. This is the hidden risk in

Engler's bag of tricks that may jeopardi
the future of many families who think th
they have secured the cost of a colle
Clearly, mounting college costs is a cr
sis that needs to be addressed by the gov
nor and the Michigan Legislature. If it ca
not make MET economically viable an
Accessible to lower- income families, Mich
gan can use other means to address colleg
funding. The state has untapped power th
it could wield to decrease the cost of
college education.
Since runaway tuition increases wer
the guillotine that killed MET, the govern
ment should question the need behind th
increased costs. The government could t
the money set aside to implement the bon.
program, and use it instead to investigata
ways to trim the budgets of state universi
ties. Surely there are excess administrativE
costs that could be eliminated.
It is time for Engler to return to thi
drawing board and design a plan that uset
the powers of the state to solve the colleg
finance problem-without forgetting thos
students with the most need for assistan4
A little creative financing is in order here
along with an even distribution of resources

'Back to their place'
Wilson prevents Penetration of glass ceiling
C alifomia Gov. Pete Wilson, the Republi- nario, California will return to the days when
can who won re-election in November higher education was reserved for wealthy
through his criticism of illegl immigrants, white males. The Board of Regents of the UC
struck a blow to equality and fairness by systeni conduc-ted a study that found if affirma-
moving last week to limin th iate's tive action were eliminated at B rkeley, the
affirmative action policie. Wilon. a hope- number of Hispanics would drop to hetween 3
ful forthe Republican presid otial nomination, percent and 6 percent from a current 15.3
showed that he plans to make affirmati e action percent, and the number of Black students
a major issue in his campaign - pushing his would drop to less than 2 percent from the
party further to the right. Under this move, current 6.4 percent. By impacting the top schools
Wilson said that except where federal and state of University of California at Los Angeles and
laws and judicial decisions have mandated UC-Berkeley, Wilson's action will send shock
affirmative action, the basis for state employ- waves to allof higher education. Fortunately, at the
ment, promotion, contracting and school ad- University, President James J. Duderstadt has re-
mission policies would be solely merit, not cently reaffirmed his commitment to affirmative
race or sex. In this action Wilson has at- action, and he continues to focus on the Michigan
tempted to use the anger of white men - Agenda for Women and the Michigan Mandate,
many of whom are fearful of unemployment programs that work toincrease women and minor-
- to blame minorities and women for the ity representation at the University. And members
lack of jobs. Instead of working to ensure that of the Board of Regents must continue to support
more jobs are available for those who need these programs, even if their personal political
them, Wilson has used affirmative action as a philosophies do not.
scape goat in his presidential bid. "With one While affirmative action programs are criti-
swoop of the pen, Gov. Pete Wilson will be- cal at universities, they are still important for
come infamous for taking Californians back to the American workforce. Women and mi-
an era where women and minorities 'knew their norities have not yet broken the glass ceiling,
place" said a statement from the Mexican and until they do, affirmative action will be
AmericanLegalDefenseandEducationalFund. crucial in ensuring diversity. If such pro-
Thirty years is not a sufficient :mount of time 'rams are withdrawn sy s Wilcon is do-
to make sp fortetunie otp it di crimination. ing in California, di criiin0 a tinst
r the tesn tim, Wis' mo will women and minorities could inCrase as they
toM ea to iff the plilie t Caifotni' will not be in top decisitn mkin" positons.
public collEc and onveities, whcre- dc- Affirmative action tmst ntty be Ctided aftrI
pendenist ards oversee opeations. How- woneon and- rnonoriiies are repCsent pro-
ever. Wilvon can use his appointments to pttrtioitaiely in tvtp executive ptsitionts, and at
these hoards to cod affirmatiae action at his the prevett time, t arc non. The end is
state's ttnivcrsiis. In the wvorst ease see- towitere in sight.

'Moving forward'?
Leaving students in the dust of the code
is April the Board of Regents placed the area of gathering student input. Three other
code in the hands of Vice President for students learned of the meeting, showed up
Student Affairs Maureen Hartford, with spe- the conference room in Hartford's office and
cific guidelin :and a mandate to gather student were refused entry by Bernard and Judicial
input. If H-anord and her staff do not accom- Advisor Mary Lou Antieau. The students -
plish the task by the December deadline, the VinceKeenanwhoisactivein StudentsAgainst
regents will St p in and complete the new non- the Code, Pam Short of Student Civil Liberties
acad mi- conduct -ode. Hartford has been dili- Watch and MSA President Flint Wainess-left
gently gathering a committee, and is doing after Bernard threatened to call security. So
everything possibleto set them in motion. How- much for student input. Antieau says that the
ever, from a student perspective, there are some meeting was closedbecause it was a time for the
problems with the way steps are being taken. committee to "develop some norms for a w
The student committee working on the code group," like where and how to work. She be-
thus far consists of four students. Each student lieves that it would be inappropriate to open any
is being paid for the estimated 15-20 hours per such meeting. Antieau added, "They were not
week spent on the code. Jack Bernard and Sean talking about the code or making any decisions
McCabe are University graduate students who about the code.".No, they were making impor-
already worked in Hartford's office. Anne tant decisions about how to include students in
Marie Ellison, chair of the Michigan Student the code-writing process.
Assembly Student RightsCommission, is vehe- Attempting toremedy this, members ofMSA
mently opposed to the code. Maggie Kinnear plan a resolution stating that no member or
from Emery College, who is incidentally the appointee of MSA may participate in a closed
daughter ofInterimVice President for Develop- code meeting. Unfortunately, of the four tl
ment Thomas Kinnear, was chosen for her would only affect Ellison, who left the closed
background in constitutional law andcivil liber- meeting in protest.
ties. Hartford said. Ellison seems to be the token Antieau is also a part of the problem. As the
choice to appease students. Coming from personwhointerprets andenforcesthecode, she
Hartford's office. Bernard and McCabe will should not be involved in the writing. Though
have to ptri e ihemselves not to be mere admin- she is not directly involved, there is much influ-
itttin lake ,-.The :eleetintt iof Kinnear is ninilradvisorycapacity. She s-id, "Maureen
bolsiered stmtwhat by lcer baekgrsnd -- but he - :k d m ttk' leadership ttmaking sure
she is nt aUniversity stuidetn, and ite new ceide that i-mot it. ferw aed itt a met ai tg feil wi ay
ts nsa scpp ised tit be legalisic aetcoring tot the Like til code, that statemenst is rtet nitisa
-eens --so -why ttre heraeretasof expertise itrprcaimis What is tuly itppmreiae is
iteeessairy? ttty rttic fte Atiettu ita the writing process
Still in tte plaitning sages, they tct tt May Despite "oving forward the stadettts are
22 to decide how to prtced,. paticilal in the beint let behintd, forgotten.

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