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July 03, 1996 - Image 3

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-03

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NEWS

Wednesday, July 3, 1996 - The Michigan Daily - 3

ill allocates $302M to
with restrictions

I 1 9

y Jennifer Harvey
aily Managig News Editor
On June 20, Governor John Engler
igned a $1.5 billion budget for higher
ducation and financial aid for the
e's fifteen public colleges and uni-
ities, allocating $302 million to the
niversity for next year, an increase of
.6 percent next year.
The budget marks a 5.5-percent
ncrease from the current year's higher
ducation budget. It-is the largest bud-
et increase for the University in ten
ears, according to Walter Harrison,
ice president for University Relations.
"We're really pleased by the alloca-
lon," Harrison said. "It will be very,
j good for students. It probably
ns the lowest tuition increase in ten
ears."
"This budget reaffirms my commit-
ment to Michigan's world class system
f higher education," Engler said in a
ritten statement.
Even though the budget increases the
igher education allocation, the lan-
euage at the end of the bill, in the "boil-
r plate," places restrictions on higher
ation funding. It penalizes univer-
ities for making medical benefits
vailable to same-sex partners of its
mployees and for funding abortions.
The budget deducts an amount from the
University's allocation equal to the
amount the University spends on cover-
age for unmarried partners of its
employees and the amount it spends on
funding abortions.
Harrison said the University offers
cjerage only to umarried gay and les-
ti partners of University employees,
and not to hetrosexual umarried part-
ners. He also said the University keeps
no record of abortion funding that may
be provided through the University's
several health care plans.
"We're studying the boiler plate very

carefully," Harrison said. "It's not really
clear what the full impact of that might
be"
Associate Vice President for
University Relations Lisa Baker said
the University spends about $160,000
of its $300 million benefit budget each
year on benfits for umarried partners of
its employees and retirees.
Harrison said the bill does not make
any provisions for the reporting of the
abortion information. He said imple-
mentation of such monitoring would be
fairly complicated.
Harrison said the constitutionality of
the boiler plate is in question.
State Senators Alma Wheeler-Smith
(D-Salem Township) and Joseph Young
(D-Detroit) have written a letter to the
state attorney general, asking him to
address the constitutionality of the bill.
"It is unconstitutional" Smith said.
"It seeks to direct the University on
how it might spend the dollars it is
appropriated"
Smith said she has been in contact
with both the University and Wayne
State University, the first state universi-
ty to request action by the attorney gen-
eral in the case. A decision by the attor-
ney general would circumvent costly
legal processes for the individual uni-
versities. Smith said.
"If we can save the universities from
having to spend hundreds of thousands
of dollars protecting their constitutional
autonomy, we would certainly like to do
this,' Smith said.
Smith said she expects a favorable
response from the attorney general's
office by the end of the year.
The budget also includes a capital
outlay project valued at $63 million for
the University. This measure has not yet
been approved by the state legislature.
- Dair Editor in Chief Laurie Maik,
contributed to this repo rt. i

Court will
not review
Hopwood
decision
By Katie Wang
Daily Nrtws Editor
In what could set a gloomy precedent
for future court cases involving affir-
mative action programs, the United
States Supreme Court decided Monday
that it would not review an appeal made
by the University of Texas in the case
Hopttood ts. Ttacs.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote
in a one-paragraph opinion that the
court would not review the case
because it did not present a "live con-
troversy," since the school no longer
uses an admissions system with sepa-
rate requirements for white and non-
white applicants.
The Supreme Court's decision not
to review the case upholds the
March ruling made by the 5th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, declaring
that the University of Texas could
not use race as a factor in its admis-
sions decisions.
Cheryl Hopwood, a white working
mother, along with three other white
males, filed a suit against the UT-
Austin law school when they were
denied admission. They claimed they
were victims of an affirmative action
program which gave preferences to
blacks and Latinos.
Jeffrey Tsai, student body president
at UT-Austin, said he was surprised the
Court rejected the case.
"I think in many ways this would've
been a test case for affirmative action,"
Tsai said. " Isas taken aback, to say the
least."
Tsai said many of the undergradu-
ate student body, 27 percent of
which are minorities, strongly
opposed the decision made by the
5th Circuit('otrt.
William C'tningham, chancellor
of the University of Texas system,
said in a written statement that the
Texas schools would remain "firmly
dedicated to the principle of equal
educational opportunity for all citi-
zens of Texas."
Although the 5th Circuit Court's
decision will only affect public univer-
sities in the fifth district - Texas,
Louisiana and Mississippi - many in
the academic community view the rul-
ing as a threat to affirmative action pro-
grams at all universities.
"In my view, this is the most seri-
ous threat to affirmative action,"
said Sue Rasrsussen, director of the
University s tafirmative action pro-
grams. "I think the U.S. Supreme
Court is influenced by the political
reality, which is conservative toward
affirmative action"
University Provost J. Bernard
Machen said the University would con-
tinue to consider race in its admissions
policies.
"We believe our current policies are
consistent and legal with the law of the
land until something else happens,"
Machen said.

BOH DN AMIAN CAP/Da
Flying on wheels
Ron Dell catches some air off the short ramp Sunday morning at the inline skating
competition on Main Street. Hundreds of area residents participated in the event.

y

Regents vote to fund MSA, send child care issue to task force
s a

I

6y Lauri may
Raily Editor in Chief'
Efforts by the Michigan Student
Assembly to pass student fees at the
University Board of Regents' June
meeting were challenged, but not
entirely defeated. MSA President Fiona
Rose brought proposals to the table for
the MSA student fee, an increase in
funding for Student Legal Services, and
additional fee to fund student child-
c, e services.
The Student Legal Services funding
increase of $.98 per student per term
passed without hesitation. In last fall's
student elecilon, students passed a bal-
lot intialttis e to levy a fee of $1.84. The
fill lee amtount xx ill be phased in ss er
two ears, Rose saitt.
the SIS proposal was the ni MSA\
pioposal that did not mleet oppoition
* eday. wes cr. Instead of passing te
suiggetl $1 per-stiudet-perterm
chilldeir< fee. Reget Rebecca
Mc(io,an's friendly amendment
prompted the board to create a task
force to study possible solutions to

childcare problems on campus.
McGowan (D-Ann Arbor) expressed
concern that the University handle the
childcare concerns of students, faculty
and staff in the same manner
"I have a concern that we not handle
the childcare issue
in one stroke for 4
only a handful of
members of this
community;' she
said.
The task forc,
to be organized by
University Provost
J. Bernard
Machen, is sched
tiled to report back Rose
to the regents no
later than Nsvetmler. Assy Ices st
isted 1w tiencit l bsiis e impt~lemetetd
f'ir lie 'awitter sseet, R5 se saidI.
'f'os studentss ish eed eltcar' thits
semeter, it's t ittg t te atnothet
semster of strutle until We can help
them out;" Rose said.
Ilowvesr, the studet faculty'expert

task force will gise the University a
chance to deselop an official policy on
childcare and childcare funding. Rose
said. The policy would encompass all
student, faculty and staff childcare
needs, but the task force is designed to
emphasize student need in its research.
"Certainly it pushes it back, but ifthe
long run is that it comes up with more
ability (to help), then it's worth the
wait," said Vice President for Student
Affairs Maureen Hartford.
Rose said she believed the proposal
would have been defeated and dis-
nissed, had McGowan voted agaiist
the proposal rather than suggestittg the
alternative plan.
Rose encosustered regenti pst iti i
.ite a.1i1 whes te n mt stis tii srove
iistaiins hIs MS f'Ie camse it hie
Isitu. IThe reilsets esietilly passed tse
isi tictit s spp e the fee. xiit Reget
Atlta IFiscer Newtai (HA iiArbor)
andl Regenit Deatte HBsket (RAn Arts si)t
Casting "nay" vtes.
Baker, an Ann Arbor business swstner,
voiced concerns about the assenmbly's

financial support of the Ann Arbor
Tenants Union.
"1 find (the AATU) supporting ideas
and projects and lawsuits that are well
beyond the interests of the studints
themselves," Baker said. "It appears to
fise that it's not a legitimate undertaking
for a student organization"
With the MSA annual auditor's report
in front ofiher, Newman also made clear
her objections to the assembly's support
of the AATU, as well as various student
groups. "I have difficulty sith some of
the items here she said.
Thet-President James Duderstadt,
presiding over the meeting, reminded
tle hs itthat the regents traditionally
atIprc MSAs annual fee recommen-
dtitts, ad isarned that the board
shisotd i t licte, nor take responsibil-
it ts lic t tasseibl's expenditures. "If
s e i get it dlctatintghow they
spend thit mneyc se sIde idOwn a tery
slippery slpe" hi sid
TIhe a2.19 MoS ecn the S.98 S S
fee will appear Oin text semester's tuition
bills.

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