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May 29, 2007 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-05-29

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4

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

C e Midiigan Bailj
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu
IMRAN SYED GARY GRACA
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles and illustra-
tions represent solely the views of their authors.
Passing the buck
Irresponsible legislature passes problem on to universities
After letting Michigan's deficit balloon to $802 million, you would think that
the state's lawmakers had finally done their worst. Well, think again. In
one'of its most irresponsible and incompetent acts yet, the state legislature
slashed $179 million of that deficit on Friday by either postponing or cutting fund-
ing to state universities and community colleges. Quite literally, it borrowed from
Michigan's future.

MIKE EBER jVFEWP 1N
War of words

After Don Imus forced us to
eliminate the phrase "nappy-
headed ho" from public discourse,
I think we can continue with this
progression and retire the term
"Islamic fundamentalist."
Like many Americans, I
understand the word through
an association with individuals
like Osama bin Laden and Aya-
tollah Khomeini. Because I build
my understanding of Islamic
fundamentalism from the nar-
row imagery associated with bin
Laden and Al Qaeda, all Islamic
fundamentalists are, therefore,
like bin Laden.
Bin Ladenand AlQaedagivethe
meaning to the phrase. We then
understand the intention of the
speaker using the phrase: to asso-
ciate the subject and significance
with contemporary terrorism. We
construct the word to have a new
meaning, one that brings to mind
bin Laden and other terrorists.
Without him, we cannot be sure
people agree upon the meaning of
"Islamic fundamentalism."
Removing bin Laden from the
realm of "Islamic fundamental-
ists" results in a different inter-
pretation of the term. The term,
when broken down, is "Islamic",
pertaining to the religion Islam,

and "fundamentalist", which
is someone who adheres to
unabridged followings of certain
principles. Putting the adjective
and noun together in a phrase
now can be interpreted as "a
Muslim who follows unabridged
tenets of Islam."
The two definitions clash to
create starkpolitical implications.
However, the strict interpretation
ofthe Qurandoesnotadvocatethe
destruction of America any more
than our Christian fundamental-
ist president's scripture requires
an occupation of the Middle East.
When we fight a war to elimi-
nate an Islamic fundamentalist
insurgency, while we claim to not
be waging a war on Islam, natu-
rally some people are confused.
We ascribed political meaning
to the term, and that has conse-
quences.
We must learn to refer to a ter-
rorist as a terrorist and nothing
more. As President Bush repeat-
edly preaches, Islam is a religion
of peace. We must cease equat-
ing terrorists with members of a
peaceful religion, unless we truly
want to cause a tenth crusade.
Mike Eber is an LSA senior and a
member of the Daily's editorial board.

I
I

For the past three months,
Michigan's Democrats and
Republicans have squabbled like
children over how to balance
the state's budget. But instead of
reaching a long-term agreement
that combines tax increases with
spending cuts, the state legisla-
ture continued to argue while
the deficit grew to the embar-
rassingly large number of $802
million. Friday's deal was an act
of desperation to fix the problem
they created.
Of the total $316 million cut
from the deficit, the legislature
took some from the supposedly
restricted 21st Century Jobs
Fund and borrowed against the
state's future tobacco settle-
ments, among other cuts. How-
ever, the majority came at the
expense of Michigan's higher
education system. By "postpon-
ing" $140 million in payments to
the state's universities until the
next fiscal year, cutting outright
$26 million from state universi-
ties and "postponing" another
$13 million in payments to com-
munity colleges, the legislature
gave the illusion of solving the
budget problem. In actuality, it
just dumped its burden onto the

universities.
At best, the deal temporar-
ily pushes Michigan's budget-
ary troubles back a few months
until the next fiscal year while
causing a fiscal nightmare for
the state's universities. At worst,
the deal slashes more than 10
percent from the universities'
2007 funding, raising tuition
by double digits and crippling
the only institutions that have
kept Michigan attractive as its
manufacturing-based economy
crumbles.
Because the state legislature
has repeatedly proven incom-
petent on handling the budget,
we're inclined to believe the lat-
ter. The reality of the situation is
that Michigan's universities will
never see that money again.
While it may be good that the
legislature passed something by
June 1, which was the deadline
before per-pupilfunding for pub-
lic schools would have been cut
by $122 a student and Medicaid
costs would have increased by 6
percent, this situation is just as
devastating. If Michigan hopes
to ever break out of its slump
and compete in the 21st century,
it will need an intelligent work-

force that attracts competitive
jobs. We can't achieve that goal
by slashing funding to the point
that students are hit with dou-
ble-digit tuition hikes.
As much as Gov. Jennifer
Granholm's vow to double the
number of college graduates in
the next 10 years was a laudable
goal, the actions of the state law-
makers are encouraging exactly
the opposite. Lansing has prob-
ably done more to double the
number of college students that
will leave the state after they
graduate than anything else -
provided they stay here to study
in the first place.
Friday was a sad day for
Michigan and for the University.
Rather than providing Michi-
gan residents with the long-term
solutions that they need, Lansing
opted for a quick fix that does
anything but inspire confidence.
Let's hope that in the next few
months Michigan's leaders can
correct their mistakes and final-
ly pass the tax increases neces-
sary to balance the budget. Until
then, Michigan's residents need
to speak up and tell their law-
makers that their irresponsible
behavior is unacceptable.

E

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU

Daily unfair to
blame IFC

were placed.
Therefore, w
nity's national 1
IFC defers to
authority that,

TO THE DAILY, That is not bei
I served as vice president of the the other way
University's Interfraternity Coun- brewing. It is
cil in 2001, which made me the ligent thing to
chief judicial officer of the IFC. at-risk student
After reading the Daily's editorial defering to a
(A Greek tragedy, 05/21/07) blam- with more pmv
ing the IFC for being lax in regu- has. We only w
lating Beta Theta Pi, I find the governing boar
Daily's opinion to be off the mark. when we turn t
While I am no longer on the Make no mis
inside, I have no doubt that IFC happy to see B
and Greek Life Advisors did any other fra
everything they could to regulate students at ri
Beta Theta Pi. However, there is the University,
only so much authority an elect- campus. But I
ed body of students can have and let the DaiI
over a fraternity house. When I That organizat
was on IFC, we struggled to get ensuring that t
fraternities to understand they nitystays alivec
were putting themselves at risk. of its greater m
We often felt that our regulations
and sanctions were only as good Justin Bright
as the people upon whom they Alum

whenever a frater-
board steps in, the
it because it has
the IFC does not.
ing lax or turning
when trouble is
doing the intel-
insure that these
s remain safe by
governing body
wer than thebIFC
'ish more national
rds would help us
to them.
take about it, Iam
eta Theta Pi, and
ternity that puts
sk and disgraces
be expelled from
cannot stand by
ly defame the IFC.
ion is the only one
he Greek commu-
despitethe actions
embership.

U

A

Editorial Board Members: Mike Eber, Jennifer Sussex, Kate Truesdell,
Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Wagner

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