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September 06, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-06

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4A --The Michigan Daily -'Wednesday, September 6, 1995
Itie #Migrn &zig

JAMEs M. NAS HMMORE OF THE SAME
Rock 'n' Roll is here

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

1 .1

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES M. NASH
Editorial Page Editors

to stay no longer

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.
Taming tuiton
'U must work harder to contain costs

fter years of runaway tuition, the Uni-
versity Board of Regents showed un-
common sense in its latest round ofincreases.
Meeting in July, the regents approved the
lowest tuition increases in a decade: 4.9
percent for in-state lower-division students
6.8 percent for their out-of-state peers. While
holding tuition rates to the rate of inflation is
the only way to preserve an affordable edu-
cation, the newest increases should be seen
as a positive sign. That the tuition increases
were accompanied by corresponding boosts
in financial aid is also encouraging.
The argument against high tuition rates
hasn't changed. Attending a modern univer-
sity has become increasingly expensive, and
there is waning commitment in Lansing and
in Washington to fund higher education -
forcing an ever-larger share ofthe burden for
college costs onto students' shoulders. How-
ever, in order for the ideal of an exceptional
university to be within reach to all citizens
regardless of income, tuition must be afford-
able to all qualified students.
The University will undoubtedly suffer if
tuition is allowed to spiral out of control.
Computer equipment, new facilities, reno-
vations, and top faculty are welcome addi-
tions - but a diverse student body is more
important. When tuition rates become exces-
sive, the pool of students from which a uni-
versity may draw becomes smaller and more
elite. Prohibitively high tuition will discour-

age low-income applicants regardless oftheir
academic ability. Outstanding scholars come
from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The
University must ensure that the door is open
to all, not just those who can foot a hefty bill.
The ultimate goal for tuition would be an
increase only at the rate of inflation. In order
for this to take place, the administration must
examine its expendeitures and take out those
that reflect an emphasis on style rather than
substance. If a college education is to remain
accessible to all, the University mus reevalu-
ate its priorities, devoting its precious re-
sources to its most important mission: under-
graduate education.
More wisely, the University has chan-
neled a share of its new revenues into student
aid. About $6.7 million of the University's
$755.1 million budget is earmarked for fi-
nancial aid - an increasingly crucial life-
boat for lower-income students. This action
must be repeated in future years. The
University's commitment to financial aid
cannot depend on minor fluctuations in state
and federal aid - like materials and renova-
tions, financial aid is an integral part of any
University budget.
Modest tuition increases are going to be
tolerated as a fact of life and students can take
some consolation in the single-digit increase.
The trend is undeniably positive, but hardly
enough to guarantee an uncommon educa-
tion for common students.

(D ock 'n' roll is dead," sings Lenny
_MKravitz over a buzzing guitar riff
that suggests otherwise. The new single is
destined for MTV's Buzz Bin and continu-
ous play on "alternative" radio, but-is it just
a catchy tune or a eulogy?
In August, rock buried its benevolent
grandfather, Jerry Garcia. The Grateful Dead
guitarist and songwriter virtually trade-
marked his bluesy folk music sound that
made the Dead one of the biggest rock bands
of all time. A perpetual touring sensation,
the Grateful Dead may never hit the road
again.
Last summer, we had the Eagles, the
Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd filling stadi-
ums worldwide. It was the last, great show of
pageantry and excess from some of the best
bands in rock history-a fitting last gasp for
these rock dinosaurs. The summer of 1994
also brought Woodstock '94, proof that rock
- when driven by profits alone - will
indeed eat itself.
This summer needed tours by R.E.M., a
few minor bands and an aborted hitch by
Pearl Jam to prove that rock was staggering
to an uncertain fate.
Sure, a few flash-in-the-pan bands have
struck it big on alternative radio. But most of

these outfits peddle alienation and despair
the way old-time bands marketed sex and
drugs.
Alienation, despair & rock 'n' roll doesn't
quite have the ring of rebellious youth's
best-known rallying cry.
Rock in the '60s was a declaration of
independence with a backbeat. In the '70s, it
became a muddled collection of contradic-
tions with synthesizers. And in the '80s,
rock was a series of uninspired anthems with
long guitar solos.
Now rock is ridden by flannel-attired
angry young men (and women) who scream
the same cliches at ever-louder volumes, as
if raw volume proves anything. Some critics
have heralded the "grunge revolution" as an
era of redemption for a type of music that
was creatively exhausted. Maybe so. But
rock will never relive the sheer exhilaration
of Jimi Hendrix rendering the national an-
them on an electric guitar at Woodstock (the
real one) or the sonic thunder of Led Zeppe-
lin (the real one, not the two old fogies
capitalizing on the band's legacy).
There once was a day when rock music,
like sports, was a force that brought people
together and pulled them apart. It was a
common language among youth, distinguish-

ing them from their rock-hating elders. Now
that language is as antiquated as one of its
choice slang terms,"groovy."
Knocking rock from its pedestal is that
most unlikely of musical genres, country-
western. Country was once seen as the back-
water ofpopular music, a genre that appealed
to farmers and truck drivers. But no more.
Borrowing some elements from pop and rock
music, country has reinvigorated itselfas one
of America's most vital musical forms. Even
during its near-disappearance in the mid-
1980s, country was still the music of choice
at county fairs and tractor pulls. Now it's
getting some play in dance halls as well.
It could be that Americans are yearning
for a more heartfelt, stripped-down sound
that even MTV Unplugged can't deliver. Or
it could be that country is putting out some
great tunes, while rock spews a stream of
discordant noise.
Industrial, techno, new wave, hardcore:
rock has diverged in so many directions that
it has almost lost its identity. And rock's
death would be a great loss. This once-vi-
brant musical form - the one that birthed
FM radio and MTV -would rather burn out
than fade away, leaving long-haired teens
with one last request: "I want my CMTV."

Jm LASSER

SHARP AS TOAST
C = - 95
jhavZfIr

DOWN

TH E: DRA N.
.' t 1.11

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'... They have an
image they want
to portray. For six
months, I thought
I fit that image.
But I guess I
didn't.'
- Dawn Marsh
LSA junior and former
State Street Espresso
Royale employee

A question of image
Funding fiasco averted -this time

VnEWPOINT

Ann Arbor and Lansing once again de-
fused tension this summer as the state
Senate rejected a House resolution that would
have denied the University $8.3 million in
funding it was expecting. The Michigan
House of Representatives had proposed to
withhold the money to castigate the Univer-
sity -long considered a prima donna among
higher learning institutions in Michigan -
for violating the tacit 70-30 line that stood as
the ratio of in-state to out-of-state students.
Although a showdown was avoided, the
University must view the summer's events as
a -grave warning.
Although the 70-30 ratio was never law, it
was a clear guideline - one by which the
state expected the University to abide. When
the University's newest acceptances pushed
total out-of-state enrollment to 33 percent
last spring, many state legislators seized the
opportunity to take aim at the University's
cash stream. The administration justified its
decision to breach the 70-30 line by pro-
claiming that the in-state applicant pool lacked
a sufficient number of candidates to fill the
needed 70 percent for the 1995-96 entering
class. This argument is convincing. As long
as the University does not stray wildly from
the ratio, the state need not dictate University
admission policies. This view was reflected
in the ultimate removal ofthe state guideline.
While state representatives have the duty
of pleasing their taxpaying constituents, they
must not let myopia damage the welfare of
the state. While elected officials clearly do
not want to bite the hand that feeds them -
voters - they must also recognize that at-
tracting out-of-state students is vital to keep-
ing the University among the top in the
world. The University's status as a global
institution serves the state in countless ways:
Not only does it keep Michigan's top stu-
dents within the state, but it attracts financial
and intellectual resources to Michigan.

However, while the state must recognize
these benefits, the University must also work
to avoid future funding wars. It must work to
establish better relations with the state by
defining itself in a strong yet conciliatory
manner. In the past, the University has done
a poor job of recognizing its status as a state
institution - except during budget-making
time, when it marches to the Legislature,
hands open. While emphasizing the need to
maintain the University's status as a premier
international institution, administrators must
also make clear their understanding of
Michigan's place as a state institution. The
University can do this in a variety of ways -
from greater cooperation with other state
schools to improving its reputation with indi-
vidual state legislators. If it is to avoid a
repeat of the spring's near-fiasco, defining
itself is a project the administration must
undertake in the next year.
In addition to making a conscious effort to
better relations with the state Legislature, the
University must renew its commitment to
diversity by keeping education affordable for
both in-state and out-of-state students. By
increasing the out-of-state tuition at a signifi-
cantly higher rate than the in-state tuition -
6.8 percent vs. 4.9 percent for lower-division
students - the University is creating a stu-
dent body composed of a wide range of in-
state students, but only the wealthiest out-of-
state students.
In an age when fewer government dollars
are being used for education, state universi-
ties are having an increasingly difficult time
staying afloat. As both a state school and a
highly ranked international institution, the
University has a particularly difficult task.
The University must understand its tradi-
tional role ofproviding an affordable, quality
education for in-state students and the need
to maintain its status among the world's
leading universities, both public and private.

Pete Wilson panders down the presidential path

by Ephraim R. Gerstein
Last weekI think it was Tues-
day but maybe it wasn't, Pete
Wilson, the governor of Califor-
nia, declared his run for the presi-
dency. When you get right down
to it, the things he said, and espe-
cially the place in which he said
them, were a patent example of
everything that's wrong with
American politicians.
A sick sort of irony colored
his speech. Pete threw his hat into
the ring on a beautiful summer
day in front of the Statue of Lib-
erty in New York harbor. There
was a warm breeze blowing off
the Atlantic and a sizable crowd
stood by watching. He was intro-
duced by some general or other,
which is fitting because Califor-
nia is home to a sizable military
aerospace industry. The irony was
that the governor who essentially
put up a wall to keep Mexican
immigrants out of his state stood
at the base of that statue and
praised America as a land of lib-
erty and opportunity. The same
man who supported measures like
Gerstein is an LSA
sophomore and a member of
the Daily editorial page staff

Proposition 187 and Operation
Gatekeeper quoted from the poem
on the base of the statue, and
reminisced about his grandmother
coming over on the boat from
Ireland and working day and night
to bring bier family up in this land
of unprecedented promise.
Now, I take the message of
that statue very seriously. As the
grandchild of immigrants, it is
the American symbol dearest to
my heart. My family crossed the
Atlantic under nearly unlivable
conditions to escape the oppres-
sion they were feeling in the Rus-
sian pale ofsettlement. When they
sailed into New York harbor they
saw that statue and were greeted
by the poem at its base. It gave
them hope for a better life. In-
deed, it bothers me that someone
like Gov. Wilson, who doesn't
seem to understand the contra-
diction between his actions and
his words, should campaign in
such a way. But the policy on
immigration isn't even the im-
portant issue here. What the
governor's speech really calls into
question is the honesty and forth-
rightness of a man who wants to
lead our country.
The truth is that Pete Wilson

has never seen this country as a
nation of immigrants, or a land of
opportunity. If he had, he would
never have supported and pro-
posed so many extreme measures
to keep people from living here.
Admittedly, California has had a
tough time of it financially, and
its economy really can't handle
such a large influx of people, but
there are many ways to address
this problem. A person who was
truly sensitive to the ideal of
America as an immigrant nation
would have looked for solutions
that don't hurt innocent children.
So why the show? Why not just
come out and say, "I believe
America belongs to a very spe-
cific, privileged group of people.
I don't think America ought to be
considered a nation of immigrants
or a land of opportunity. It's all
well and good for me to deny
young children medical care and
schooling because I don't believe
that their parents belong here.
They take away resources from
the real Americans"?
At least if he said this, which
he honestly seems to believe, we
would know that this candidate
was an honest man. We might
disagree with him, we might even

be afraid of him, but at least we
would know that he had an
agenda. We could sleep at night
with the assurance that Gov. Wil-
son had a straightforward view of
what this country ought to be and
would carry it out to the best of
his ability if elected. We would
have a real alternative, if not an
attractive one.
What we have now is a politi-
cian who panders. His California
constituents are straining under
the state's economic woes, so he
blames the Mexican immigrants
who are partly, but not wholly
and certainly not intentionally at
fault. Then, to appear more at-
tractive to the rest of the country,
he entirely contradicts himself in
a campaign speech. We voters
can't tell what he stands for, or if
he stands for anything at all.
The sad thing is that this is a
problem plaguing not only Pete
Wilson, but most politicians, and
nearly all of those running for the
presidency. It would be much
better for the country if the poli-
ticians would view themselves as
public servants and take a stand.
At least then, voters would have
real alternatives and could select
a destiny.

The Daily welcomes
your thoughts on a variety of
issues. Letter should be no
more than 400 words;
viewpoints should be 800-
1000 words. Send letters to:
1 An++!~Vt-% +f%

Wrlitekfor tLhr aifwj.
Come to a mass
meeting at 7 p.m.
in the Student Publications
Building
(420 Maynard,
next to the SAB):

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