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Continued from Page 1
means following a path they did not expect to trav-
el. "I wager that 10 years from now, many of you
will find yourselves following a very different
course," Cheney said. "Sometimes life has different
plans for us."
He advised graduates not to let their doubts get
the best of them. "America is still the country of
the second chance," Cheney said, adding that
most people are able to succeed because others
help along the way. Aside from a joke at the
expense of his predecessor, former Vice President
Al Gore, Cheney's remarks appeared void of
political commentary. "It wasn't the time or the
place," Diane Christ, a resident of Troy, said after
the convocation. Like many others, she said she
was not aware of the protestors set up outside of
the building as a result of Cheney's presence.
In addition to protestors from the Lansing area,
Phillis Engelbert, a member of the American Friend
Service Committee, organized Ann Arbor residents
to demonstrate outside the convocation as well.
Engelbert stated that as a Wyoming congressman,
Cheney voted against the Equal Rights Amendment
and against funding for Head Start, a program for
the development of low-income children and their
families. She also mentioned Cheney's extensive
ties to Enron and called him a "warmonger and war-
profiteer" in a written statement.
When Cheney's motorcade drove by, protestors
voiced their messages. "I wanted Cheney to know
that not everyone appreciates his global policy,"
For the most part, however, the activists' mes-
sages were intended forgraduates and their families.4
"We're not going to change (Cheney), but we're
going to have an effect on the people around here,"
Michigan State junior Daniel Brooks said.
In response to the protesters' statements, White
House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said "it's a
great country where everyone is able to express
Continued from Page 1
and there, in high school when you want
to look good and things like that, but
that was really the extent of it," he said.
"As far as $200,000, that's crazy num-
Webber remembered Martin as "just a
nice guy," who would "let you come
over to his house and cut his grass and
give you $20." Martin was thoroughly
involved in the Detroit basketball com-
munity. Webber saw him at most of his
games and felt Martin was someone he
could count on in times of need.
"He would call himself our godfather,
you know, the players, and if it was a
problem or something - you know, my
father didn't have the money - I'd go
get $50 from him," Webber said. "He
was kind of what I said, a godfather,
someone you thought you could trust,
somebody who was older than you and
could keep you ina safe environment."
Webber also elaborated on his living
conditions during his two years at
Michigan in an effort to show that he
was living everything but the high life
while in Ann Arbor.
"Man, come on. I'd have bought a
Porsche," he said. "I was driving my
dad's (Chevrolet) Corsica, and the pas-
senger door didn't open, and the driver's
seat was broke.... If anybody looks at
the (game) program at Michigan, we
were wearing the same suits. I'm wear-
ing one suit on this page, and Juwan
(Howard) is wearing another. On the
next page, I'm wearing Juwan's suit, and
he's wearing my suit"
Webber was recruited heavily by cur-
rent Michigan State coach Tom Izzo,
who was an assistant when Webber
decided to come to Michigan. Webber
feels that even Izzo would admit that the
allegations are false. "Tom Izzo knows
how I got to Michigan," Webber said.
"He knows if he (had been) the coach at
Michigan State (at the time), I would
have gone to Michigan State. If anyone
were to ask him, he would tell you. He
cried when he didn't get me in, and I
cried when I didn't go there."
With all of this drama unfolding dur-
ing the season, Webber has made a con-
certed effort to concentrate on winning
an NBA Championship and has not "let
this one get me mad."
"Yeah, I'm the poster boy," Webber
said. "But it's cool. It's cool. Somebody's
been wanting to attach something nega-
tive to me"
Continued from Page 1
interest rate or because they wish to
because they wish to spread paying
their loans out over a long period of
time. Rodriguez said that overall
consolidation aids them in saving
money and paying off balances.
"It's helping them be responsible
about the debt that's incurred on them
of getting a college education,"
Rodriguez said. "What (the govern-
ment is) saying is 'we're going to take
away an option from students that has
allowed them to save money."'
Forty-six Senate Democrats sent a
letter to President Bush Tuesday asking
him to drop the proposal, citing the
already rising costs of college.
"Middle class students are turning
more and more to student loans as their
only means of affording rising college
costs," the letter said.
"Elimination of this program will
deny students the ability to consolidate
their loans at low, fixed interest rates
imposing tens of thousands of addi-
tional dollars in additional loan costs to
students and their families," it stated.
White House spokesman Ari Fleis-
cher said Wednesday that President
Bush would continue to work with
Congress to find another way to
address the budget shortfall. But he
blamed Congress for generating the
deficit in the Pell Grant program.
"Congress created a serious fiscal
problem in 2002 when they underfund-
ed the program by some $1.3 billion,"
Fleischer said. "We're just going to
continue with the Congress to find a
solution. That idea was a voluntary$
one, never a mandatory one."
Democrats said the real reason for
the budget shortfall is President Bush's
$1.35 trillion tax cut passed last year.
They claim it is geared toward the
wealthy and that many programs
necessary for lower and middle
classes are now being cut.
"Now we're beginning to see the
trade-off that American families will
have to pay," Stabenow said. "All
those decisions are being made
because the choice was made to put
the tax cut in front."
Congressional Democrats also
said President Bush's budget cuts
more money from education than he
promised in the "No Child Left
Behind Act," signed in January
They said states are already being
forced to make drastic reductions in
According to a report from the
office of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-
Mass), states cut a total of $1.5 bil-
lion from their higher education
budgets this year.
"These are simply the wrong prior-
ities for this nation," Wellstone said.
"The Bush Administration has previ-
ously promised to 'Leave No Child
Behind.' We must call on the president
to live up to this commitment," he
added. "We in the Senate are ready to
stand up and fight for the students and4
their families of this country."
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