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September 18, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-18

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 18, 1995
4be di !r AILig

JAmiEs I H


420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

I 'I

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

MSA audit uncovers some
swprses in student money

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Athletic woes
Regents should take eater control
L ive on Michigan Sportstalk: Gary athletic administrators tojustifymakingtheir
'Moeller discusses his recent conviction own decisions, such as the Moeller and Nike
on charges of assault and battery in a gems. Significant decisions in other branches
Southfield restaurant. Butfirst, this message at the University run through the regents, but
from our corporate sponsor, Nike. the Athletic Department enjoys a near-au-
What's a sports fan to think? With the tonomous status. Department officials have
University's reputation wedded to its Ath- abused this status.
letic Department, the department's mistakes Much of the country views the University
become the University's problems. In re- only through its athletic program, and thus
sponse to recent taints on the department's bases its judgment solely on the image the
reputation, University administrators are teams project. The Athletic Department seems
moving to bring it more in line with the not to recognize this, making deals without
University's mission. regard to how they reflect on the University
Moeller, who embarrassed himself in a as a whole.
dmken brawl at the Excalibur restaurant in The Board of Regents deserves a greater
May, was fired from his position as head say over athletics. A committee recently fin-
football coach. The Athletic Department then ished a draft of University bylaws that would
gave Moeller a $386,000 parting gift without place Athletic Department business contracts
notifying University officials, bringing cries under the control of University financial of-
of protest from the Board of Regents. ficers. While details are scarce, the proposal
Last fall, the Athletic Department signed appears to be a step in the right direction,
a-contract with Nike under which the shoe making the Athletic Department more ac-
manufacturer agreed to supply the countable to the University at large. The
University's sports unifprms in exchange for department has had its chance to show it
$7 million. The deal itself troubled many at could govern itself effectively -and blew it.
the University, as it seemed to compromise The University's reputation has suffered as a
the University's name and reputation. Just as result.
troubling was the Athletic Department's lack Even if many in the Athletic Department
of accountability in the matter -the depart- are unwilling to admit it, when the football
ment alone made the sale, without even con- team takes the field on Saturday, when the
sulting the regents. As in the Moeller case, hockey team steps out onto the ice, or when
the regents were angry that the Athletic De- the wrestlers hit the mat, it is the University's
partment and Nike had consummated their name that goes out with them. And with
relationship without any oversight by the thousands of would-be University students
University's governing body. Their protests tuned in to Michigan athletics, that good
were entirely justified. name must be preserved. The Athletic De-
The Athletic Department often acts as if it partment has proven incapable of shoulder-
were a corporation unto itself. The depart- ing this responsibility - the regents must
inent generates all its own revenue, leading step in and take over.
Engineering a change
Grant will benefit women in science

This column is dedicated to those impov-
erished students who wonder why we pay
those inane "mandatoryfees "to the student
assembly and other organizations.
Every year students support the Michi-
gan Student Assembly and Student Le-
gal Services as part of their regularly sched-
uled tuition payment. Sure, the $2.94 per
term we will pay to the assembly and $4.16
per term to Student Legal Services this year
seems like petty cash compared to the
$10,933 per term fee for out-of-state law
students or the $12,570 for out-of-state medi-
cal students (it's not even enough to buy
your favorite used REM CD.) But we all pay
it lest we get a hold credit. So where does all
that money go, you ask?
First things first: What is MSA? The
assembly is the University's central student
government body that supposedly lobbies
administrators and regents on behalf of stu-
dents; representatives work tirelessly to keep
tuition low and academic standards high. It
also allocates funds and provides support
services to recognized student groups. (For
the most up-to-date MSA proceedings, check
MSA Online, now showing on the World
Wide Web.) Student Legal Services pro-
vides free legal counseling and representa-
tion to students - a nice service when it
comes to fighting that $20 parking violation
or that DUI charge.
In April, Plante & Moran completed its
$6,000 audit of MSA and Student Legal
Services for the years ending Dec. 31, 1994
and Dec. 31, 1993. In discussing the audit,
Andrew Wright, an MSA representative,
warned that audits can "distort" the facts..
"Maybe distort is the wrong word," he
quickly corrected himself. "It doesn't give
you all the information. If you don't know
what the numbers represent it can be mis-
leading. It doesn't show the full picture of
what MSA is all about," Wright said.
For example, the audit doesn't tell you
that roughly one-third of the money goes to
student groups, one-third goes to operations

and one-third goes to internal committees
and commissions that lobby for students,
Wright said.
Nevertheless, this is what the auditors
found: In its sober examination of MSA's
coffers, Plante & Morgan was happy to
report that our student government is still
solvent. In 1994, $494,274 was collected in
student fees - MSA received $200,848 and
Student Legal Services received $293,426.
During 1994, the assessed fee per stu-
dent for each academic term was $6.62:
$2.69 for the assembly and $3.93 for Student
Legal Services. The assembly approves and
makes allocations of such fees to the tenants
union and various other student groups.
MSA allocated $20,566 to the Ann Arbor
Tenants Union --agroup that provides educa-
tional material and guidance to tenants about
their rights and obligations under state and
federal law. (For example: "If you rent an
apartment, you're required by law to pay rent.")
MSA's former hired guns in Lansing, the
Michigan Collegiate Coalition, received
$11,540. MSA has since liberated itself from
MCC, and in January hired Cawthorne,
McCollough & Cavanagh, a private lobby-
ing organization. The firm will receive up-
wards of $26,000 this year, said Wright, who
served on the hiring committee.
Let's take a look at what happened in
Lansing this past year. In the spring, state
legislators threatened to withhold any in-
crease in state funding to the University
while offering record increases in appro-
priations to our Spartan friends to the north
and other smaller state colleges scattered
across Michigan (also known as U-M-
wannabees.) This was one of the low points
in state-University relations. In July, Gov.
John Engler said he would no longer support
tuition waivers for Native American stu-
dents - a tough deal for the dozens of
Native American students at the University.
Maybe our lobbyists in Lansing need more
When money is available, you can al-

ways count on our spendthrift student poli-
ticians to concoct another trip to a special
conference or to ask for a reimbursement for
another worthy expense. Assembly mem-
bers spent $6,735 on telephone bills and
$5,850 on travel expenses in 1994. Mem-
bers attend the conference of the Associa-
tion of Big Ten Students three times per
Students probably know the assembly
best as a repository of easy money. Last year
the assembly doled out $56,978 to 121 stu-
dent organizations -an average of $470.89
per student group.
To those who think that the University's
student body is just another breeding ground
for tomorrow's liberals, think again. The
$300 contribution to the College Democrats
was overshadowed by a $850 donation to the
College Republicans. While Englergotnoth-
ing, the students representing failed Demo-
cratic gubernatorial challenger Howard
Wolpe got a whopping $20. While it doesn't
sound like much, my friend still believes
that was an endorsement.
The Women of Color Symposium was
the big winner in 1994, topping all groups
with $1,500. On the other hand, the Coali-
tion of Asian Social Work Students received
a measly $16 - that's probably all they
asked for. There was $72 for the Estonian
Club, $200 for the Palestine Solidarity Com-
mittee, $650 for the Good Friday Planning
Committee and $700 for the Michigan Inde-
pendent. Along with those gifts were $300 to
Justice for Malice Green, $500 to the Stu-
dents Honoring Outstanding Undergraduate
Teaching, $348 to Public Health Students of
African Descent and $1000 to Hear Us
Emerging Sisters or HUES.
For the 100 students in the "Impover-
ished Students Society" ofwhich I'm a found-
ing member, we're asking MSA for $294.00
this year because we don't believe in manda-
tory fees.
- James Cho can be reached over e-
mail at jcho@umich.edu.



'We're 4-0, and
we have all the
confidence in the
-Michigan quarterback
Scott Dreisbach

c S

This year's entering class of the College
of Engineering includes a higher per-
centage of women than ever before. Earlier
this week, the University took a $1 million
step to ensure that such numbers continue to
rise. The University matched a $473,500
grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,
with all monies intended to recruit and retain
female engineering graduate students.
The academic fields of engineering and
physical sciences have a long, notorious his-
tory of being unfriendly turf for female stu-
dents. However, many units of the Univer-
sity are working to change this environment.
For example: The Center for the Education
of Women (CEW), in cooperation with the
National Institutes of Health, has sponsored
a residential science internship program for
high school girls since 1989. Also operating
in this vein is the Women in Science and
Engineering program, which functions suc-
cessfully as a residential, social and aca-
demic program for undergraduate women in
scientific fields. These programs are likely
key factors in the historic increase of female
undergrads in engineering and the physical
However, these efforts seem to fade away
at the graduate level - a disappointment,
considering that the University is ranked as a
national leader in science graduate programs.
It has, therefore, not only an academic but a
sodial responsibility to serve as an innovator
in graduate education programs. Statistics
fron the University's engineering and physi-
cat sciences schools show that only about 5
percent of the faculty are women, which

amounts to a significant deficit of role mod-
els for female graduate students. Such a de-
gree of imbalance is unacceptable, and must
be one of the top priorities when a committee
sits down to decide how to spend the $1
The grant money has been appropriated
specifically for the improvement ofthe gradu-
ate school environment - it was given for
the sole purpose of bettering the experiencej
of female grad students. Tentative plans in-
clude hiring a staff to conduct research, build
databases and plan improvement programs.
Publication ofa brochure is also in the works.
While it is completely appropriate that the
University has taken the initiative on this
program, the current plans are a matter of
concern. An easy way to rapidly drain a
budget is to hire a few committees - who
work for an extended period of time and have
only a three-ring binder and a nice brochure
to show for their efforts. The grant is a valu-
able resource, and must be used for real
improvement. Either the budget should be
scaled down to fit the-current plans, keeping
excess funds for a more concrete plan later-
or the plan should be worthy of the sizeable
Combined with the efforts inundergradu-
ate women's recruitment and retention, the
new program should help to induce continu-
ing change. The University has an important
role in supporting women in science and
engineering - a role it can only fulfill by
creating a supportive academic environment.
The new plans are an encouraging step to-
ward that goal.


,5 NEJ11




Pitts displays
sexism in
To the Daily:
I am writing to respond to
Antoine Pitts' lame attack on the
women of this campus in his col-
umn, "Baywatch actress not wel-
comed by everyone in last week's
r trip to Michigan." (9/14/95) I, as
a student-athlete representative on
the Board in Control of Intercol-
legiate Athletics at Michigan, sat
no further than two feet in front of
dear Pitts, a guest at our meeting
while I asked Athletic Director
Joe Roberson to explain the cir-
cumstances surrounding the pres-
ence ofa blond woman, now con-
firmed as Nolin of Baywatch, on
the football sidelines. Yes, of
course, Pitts has attested to know-
ing that, in his article. But, what
your writer somehow lost amidst
that two feet betwixt us was that
I was asking who she was be-
cause I didn't know why she was
there. And he left out my explain-
ing that the video crew who was
taping her was clothed in Nike
garb. Therefore, besides our dis-
may that Nolins' presence on our
field solicited the shameless
cheers and sexual jeers from many
fans, we were concerned that this

Last, because Pitts knew full
well that I had no idea the reason
for Nolins' presence on the field,
I find his remarks about women's
intolerance for attractive media
persons to be completely absurd.
I think Pitts' intolerance for intel-
ligent women was more clearly
conveyed by this tasteless piece.
I would also like to point out
that these opinions appeared on
the sports page, not the editorial
page, and nowhere was it stated
that Pitts is an editorial columnist
or whatever. I won't get into his
sexist innuendos toward women
gaining varsity status as athletes,
or his snide comment about the
women's varsity soccer program
having earned their own field. I
have faith that the intelligent
people of this campus will have
picked up on your acridity.
Before you all reverberate the
notions of your mindless col-
league, I suggest that you find
something better to stand behind.
Alicia Smith
LSA senior
Pitts' remarks
offend women
To the Daily:
Apparently the press passes
need to say "No BIGOTS AL-
LOW ED." While Mr. Pitts' com-

since he apparently believes our
greatest concern is not having
other women show us up in the
beauty pageant portion of life.
We do much more than that, Mr.
Pitts, and I dare you to show your
article to your mother. I'm sure
she would not appreciate being
reduced to a shallow Barbie doll.
That is all that Alicia Smith was
requesting; that women be al-
lowed the equal opportunity to be
three-dimensional people who
can excel at sports, academics
and interpersonal skills, without
being represented by a woman
who is forced to make her living
by catering to the stereotypes of
men such as Mr. Pitts.
Michele A. O'Toole
U-M alum
Daily editorial
correct on
To the DAily:
Your editorial "Textbooks"
(9112/95) was right on target. I
would just like to elaborate on
some of the points you made.
When the bookstores are noti-
fied early that a textbook is being
used again, not only does the stu-
dent selling the book receive a

able to purchase that book at a
lower price. Otherwise, new
books would have to be ordered
from the publisher at a higher
I know there is some surprise
on the part ofthe faculty when the
bookstores ask for course orders
for fall by mid-April. As you point
out, if the stores have the orders,
they will pay more for the books.
Additionally, the money paid for
books from students stays on cam-
pus in the student's pocket, not
some publisher's bank account.
Regarding coursepacks, at
least two bookstores, Ulrich's and
Michigan Book and Supply, al-
low returns on course packs with
a receipt during the first two weeks
of class each semester. The only
restriction is that they be in new
Finally, regarding open access
to information, all the bookstores
that participate in the TRS (Text-
book Reporting Service), share
this information with each other
and with anyone who calls and
asks. Everyone, students, faculty
and bookstores benefit when this
information is open and acces-
sible to everyone. I join you in
supporting the University's ef-
forts to bring about such a sys-
David Richard
f- nnr -..,infi',v


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