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July 24, 1996 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-24

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4 - The Michigan Daily - July 24, 1996
Edited and managed by LAURIE MAYK ERIN MARSH
students at the "i Editor in Chief PAUL SERILLA
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unyssaht otrise noted, unsignei editorials reflect the opinion of the
420 tMaytnard Sttreetniajr-ti toftle lailst's t'ioIa tr~Altherli artiacies. etters and
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 t""h"' 0P510tt1/ae claagal Dal

L ately, the University Board of Regents
has faced issues very important to stu-
dents: MSA funding, proposed budgeting
for the 1996-97 academic year, tuition
increases and the fate of MSA's childcare
program proposal. With any significant
decision by the regents comes discussion
and debate. However, on more than one of
these issues, one regent in particular has
demonstrated student-unfriendly views -
and parlayed those views into votes.
Regent Andrea Fischer Newman (R-
Ann Arbor) voted against the modest
tuition hikes included in Provost J. Bernard
Machen's proposed budget for the 1996-97
academic year. She swat the only regent to
voteag't as thebute. Wite he to~
she s. trying.to d .a at.sage by.vot

Newman casts student-unfriendly votes

expressed a desire for financial aid to be
allocated by the state, not come from
University's general fund, which includes
revenue generated by tuition fees.
Newman's objection to the muah-watrant-
ed finaneial aid increase demtontstrat's
in en itis ay to tla plght of stan ns sat-
plevd t fr i
P i. sc -I -

subsidizing the other 40 percent of stu-
dents." Newman opposed the 3-percent
tuition increase for lower-division in-state
students. She stated her preference for
equal tuitiOn itacrease percentages for in-
and cosf-sate saud.nas.
Rege at Piatlp Pots r (D-Aaua Arbor)

and important student services. Looking
over the list of groups and services tradi.
tionally supported by MSA dollars
Newman stated she "didn't agree" witl
several of those groups. Because she wa:
denied the line-item veto to elimint
funding for those groups, she vote(
against MSA funding as a whole.
It is not MSA's responsibility to font
only those groups which the regents deen
acceptable. It has a responsibility to stu
dents, to provide them with the fundin
they need for their organizations and tht
sern ices designed to help them. Newmat
and other regetts say not piek atd choos
th e sers ices ot groatps MSA futads wi lb stat
datadolars\s'lctes te reent h7
e' nta en actt

a t raty Ilopefuly, at wvii taow be e .ait t. cses wha rey Ihappe.
Allegations of wroaagdoing - ok bth the side ttf at Atat Arbor pulace ad 'ae ati-
K.KK protesters - have sparked anger and dissent among thte citizens of Atn Ah r. At
this juncture, the next immediate step should be an independent investigation into the
events that led to violence.
Many involved in the rally demanded - and continue to demand - punitive action
against the Ann Arbor police. The police claim the officers' actions were merely a
response to the protesters' actions. Both parties are looking for a bottom-line answer and
are anxious to direct blame. However, the sides are so polarized that a definitive answer
must be established from outside.
At the regular Ann Arbor City Council meeting following the rally, emotions again
boiled over. Councilmembers Tobi Hanna-Davies and Pat Vareen-Dixon proposed an
independent investigation. However, a handful of demonstrators shut down the council
meeting for the night and no action was taken on their proposal. Now that the council is
back on a regular schedule, all the councilmembers must vigorously pursue this issue
and open an inquiry.
The focus of this investigation should not be about affixing blame. Finding a scape-
goat and pointing fingers will not help Ann Arbor move past this event. It will prevent
an honest dialogue and stymie what can be learned for future political gatherings.
Obviously, if examination of the facts unveils evidence of misconduct, those individu-
als responsible should be dealt with appropriately. However, no single person or side
appeared solely responsible for the outbreak of violence. It appeared to be more a cul-
mination of unfortunate circumstances that led to injury, ugliness and arrest.
An independent investigation should look into what could have been done to prevent
violence that Saturday afternoon. One thing is certain: if the KKK returns to Ann Arbor
as they have promised, Ann Arbor cannot tolerate a repeat of this mayhem.
But more importantly, these situations transcend the KKK and Ann Arbor. Any rally
of a contentious nature in any city has the potential to turn ugly. Authorities in every city
must be in a position to do all they can to protect everyone's rights. Immediately fol-
lowing Ann Arbor's KKK rally, several Michigan police departments said they would
follow any investigation very closely to see what they can do to prepare for possible
clashes in their own municipalities.
The events that evolved at Ann Arbor's KKK rally created a black eye for the city's
image. An independent inquiry should be launched to look into the facts. Armed with
that knowledge, city authorities must come up with a way to prevent this from happen-
ing again. With that in mind, our community will be able to move past this shameful
event.

a n vrsat aMedica Ceter. The re.getts fared alaone Gaa eoffrtey Shieads, ah
woaked oat tatreal tat 200 hospital arestrueturinag projectis, to itnvestig:ate Ste Medical
CenOter aid p leset apaions to increase the vtiability ot the center it the iacreasitagly conm-
petitiv e medical care market.
While mergers, downsizing and drastic restructuring of services have become
almost commonplace in today's medical community, the University Medical Center's
role as an institution must remain prominent. The Medical Center must remain firm-
ly under University control, so that the interests of education may remain in the fore-
front.
Though all the current restructuring possibilities appear to still be in their formate
stages, at least two of the options are troublesome because they would terminate i
at the very least, dilute - the University's control of the Medical Center. In pursuit ol
making the Medical Center the area's dominant health care provider, Shields suggested
the possibilities of merging with a not-for-profit corporation or turning the Medical
Center over to a proprietary corporation - while maintaining the institution's educa-
tional and research focuses. Relinquishing control of the Medical Center to a corpora-
tion would allow an outside organization to operate part of the University. The regents
must assert the University's position as primary controller of the Medical Center to
insure the future of one of the University's most treasured and respected schools.
The other primary option is downsizing - involving a thorough evaluation of the
services currently available, with the hopes of making cuts without affecting the quali-
ty of care. This plan - though increasingly common in the current health care cline
- is disturbing for several reasons. Quality of care is often one of the first things to suf-
fer when staff and service cuts are made. Though the Medical Center is certainly best
equipped to decide where staff excesses might be cut and where services might already
be covered by other providers, too often the pursuit of a dollar outweighs the center's pri-
mary goals.
Another concern is the timetable set by the regents for the implementation of reform.
The regents said that a restructuring program must be in place by fall. That means thou-
sands of jobs, the quality of health care in the community and the future of one of the
most respected research facilities in the world rests on little more than two months'
work. The task is not impossible, but the regents' timetable for restructuring a mase
institution like the University Medical Center is very ambitious -- if not hasty.
The regents must insure that the Medical Center will do more than simply carry the
University's name - it must remain a integral part of the educational community. The
regents must also make sure that the plan that surfaces in the coming months reflects the
best research on all the options for the University health care community.

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