4 - The Michigan Daily -- Wednesday, October 25, 1995
U (TheC ffirtfwu&zU
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
)niversity of Michigan
Editor in chief
JAMES M. NASH
Editorial Page Editors
The nht and wrong methods of
writing a profound term paper
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.
Open meetings central to student input
F ive of the seven years James J. Duder- regents need to consider the voices of stu-
stadt has served as University president dents, staff, faculty and alumni for each level
were shadowed by litigation over the legality of the search. They have committed them-
of the process used to select him. Now, with selves in print to that. With an honest expres-
Diderstadt stepping down, the University sion of public opinion, the board will not
Board of Regents again faces a dilemma: have to second-guess the expectations and
Should it ignore the court ruling deeming the the desires of the University community.
1988 presidential search illegal, or should it However, merely gathering opinions does
adhere to the law, which some regents fear not promise an open search. The regents
may undermine the search? Fortunately, early need to take a stand on opening the meetings
signs in the current search are encouraging. in which finalists are interviewed. They have
The court ruling on the last presidential been mum on whether they will allow the
search, while reprimanding the regents for search meetings to be open to the public as
conducting the search in private until Duder- dictated by the court's decision-or whether
stedt was named as the sole finalist, gives no they will continue to conduct this most im-
specifics on how they can ensure some con- portant business behind closed doors.
fidentiality at the beginning of the search. After Duderstadt was named president
Most of the regents want to hide the list of without any public acknowledgment of who
original applicants from the public, concerned his rivals were, the Detroit Free Press and
that potential contenders would be discour- The Ann Arbor News sued the University for
aged from applying if word of their candi- violating the OMA. The University unsuc-
dacy reached their current employers. There- cessfully contested the suit by arguing that
fore, the board is asking for input on the the presidential search was outside the scope
search for the new president from the entire of the act. If the board decides to defy the
University community. This marks a posi- court's ruling and again hold secret search
tive change from the 1988 search, when the meetings, it will be setting a dangerous pre-
public was all but disregarded. But the re- cedent - breaking the law over a dubious
gents' gesture is only symbolic at this point. "principle." Incredibly, one state senator -
Regents arranged a series of open forums Republican John Schwarz of Battle Creek -
to see what type of president the University suggested the regents do just that.
community wants and how it thinks they The regents' intention to seek the input of
should conduct the search. They released an the campus through public forums is honor-
open letter seeking the public's "input and able. However, public forums will not be
guidance." The regents vowed to consult enough. The board needs to seek the input of
with each of the University's constituent the University community throughout the
groups before and during the search. search. And it must resist the temptation to
These measures are commendable. The close the doors once again.
Beneath the dust
Flint campus has much to offer its students
There's a right way to write a paper and a
wrong way. Basically, if the process
doesn't involve Ashley's and cigarettes,
you're doing it the wrong way. If you have
a term paper due at, say, 5 p.m. on Friday,
you go to Angell Hall at about 7:30 on
Thursday night. First, you spend about an
hour checking e-mail. While doing this, make
sure to e-mail everyone you've ever met
anywhere in the country, so that you can
check e-mail several more times to see if
they e-mailed you back. Then talk to every-
one you know. Then go outside and smoke a
cigarette. After these preliminaries, you're
ready to begin.
Begin by checking e-mail to see if any-
one has e-mailed you back. Then open a file
on Word. Write your name, the date and the
name of your course at the top. Then check
e-mail again. If anyone e-mailed you back,
e-mail them back so that maybe they'll e-
mail you back again. If it's someone at this
school, you should always remember to
mention that you're at Angell Hall # what-
ever, because they're probably there too, but
to find them, you need to e-mail them. Then
go outside and smoke a cigarette.
When you get back inside, get a drink
from the drinking fountain and walk around
reading the flyers on the walls. By the end of
the night you should know when and where
every group on this campus meets, espe-
cially the Campus Crusade for Christ, be-
cause you may need their prayers when
asking for an extension from your professor
the next day.
When you finally get back to your "sta-
tion," write something that sounds vaguely
intelligent, realize that whatever you wrote
was very vague and not very intelligent, and
think about alternative career plans that do
not require a term paper or a bachelor's
Once you conclude that you do not need
to do this particular paper to lead a Rich,
Fulfilling Life, you're ready to go across the
street to Ashley's. Tell yourself that there's
been a lot written about T.S. Eliot/the role of
women in the French Revolution/cultural
change in late Mayan civilization/The Emp-
tiness of Emptiness and that there's no need
for you to put in your two cents' worth -
certainly not by 5:00 the next afternoon.
At the bar, you'll think, "Whoa! I'm at
the bar. I have a paper due tomorrow and I
don't even care at all!" This is an extremely
liberating feeling which, ironically, makes it
possible for you to write your paper. Since,
as everyone knows, people think more freely
when they're drunk, you will by this time
have come up with a Profound Idea. This
Idea will get you started and probably carry
you through at least 80 percent of the paper.
Since you're drunk, you now believe that
your paper is actually going to increase the
reach of human knowledge. While stagger-
ing back to Angell Hall, you realize that you
want to become a professor.
Back at your station, check e-mail. After
responding to all your new messages, go
outside and smoke a cigarette.
Now you actually have to write the pa-
per. The fact that it's 2 in the morning gives
you a little extra incentive. The main thing is
to remember the big idea you found in the
bottom of your fourth pint. All you have to
do is build the paper around that idea. This
always works not only because you're using
a Profound Idea, but also because, with only
one idea to work with, you run little risk of
Actually, no matter how profound your
idea, you're probably going to start ram-
bling at about 5 a.m., which is a sad time at
Angell Hall because it's when everyone
there realizes that his/her paper is due in a
mere 12 hours and they still have 13 pages to
go. Normally this would be fine, but your
stronger-than-expected buzz and the fact
that you're only writing two sentences per
hour can mean only one thing: It's time for
Bed in this context refers to those benches
outside the glass where you can use your
coat as a pillow and drool receptacle while
you saw logs. This sleep might be the least
refreshing in the entire world, but it's over at
8 a.m. when people start coming to class. No
one ever shows any consideration for those
who are sleeping on the benches. Probably
this is because they sign up for and attend 8
a.m. classes, which clearly means they just
don't understand the right way to do papers.
Since at this time you feel as though
several bowling balls have been dropped on
your head, you realize that there is abso-
lutely no chance that you'll finish the paper.
So you happily complete the last steps in the
process. You go to the Jug for an omelette,
coffee and cigarettes, go to your professor's
office, beg for an extension and, regardless
of the outcome of your entreaties, go home
and sleep all day.
This always works. Don't worry about
the fact that you're paper still isn't done.
After all, you've probably got all week-
- While he procrastinates on his
papers, Jordan Stancil can be reached
over e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
SHARP AS TOAST
To WORK .0.
ALRIGHT IT'STI METO G6ET
"~ .,, Wis. .e
'As we look
ahead, do we see
a radically new
Monday to the faculty's
Couched in the comfortable environment
of Ann Arbor, most in the University
community take little notice ofthe Flint cam-
pus. UM-Flint is separated from Autoworld,
tlJe industrial automotive museum, by a lazy
river. The campus is quiet, even ghostly, like
niost of downtown Flint. But the educational
programs taking place - and the attitude of
the faculty and staff- are hidden jewels of
At last Thursday's Board of Regents meet-
iig, held in Flint, Chancellor Charlie Nelms
enthused about "A Vision for the Future,"
UM-Flint's new enrollment campaign and
i1iprovement initiative. The campus needs to
&astically boost its first-year student popu-
l4tion, which accounts for only 17 percent of
this year's student body. The low number is
cue to a large number of transfer students and
graduate students. Nelms also feels recruit-
rbent must reflect UM-Flint's unique makeup.
'omen compose 62 percent of the student
body, and 40 percent of enrolled students are
older than 25. In the last seven years, the
number of students from outside Genessee
County has increased by 28 percent. A di-
verse enrollment is important to UM-Flint.
When the University created a Flint cam-
gus, much of the intent was to revitalize the
depressed city. Part of UM-Flint's mission
statement reads: "Collaborating with local
and regional educational institutions and other
... organizations to provide access to aca-
demic programs; advance economic, cul-
taral and artistic interests; enhance health
and education in our region." Local well-
OW TO CONTACT THEM
being is vital to the function of the campus.
While the city of Flint's economic out-
look is darkened by declines in heavy indus-
try, the University's presence brings with it
prospects for scientific enterprises and light
industry. An outstanding example is the Com-
munity Stabilization and Revitalization
project. Consisting of University profession-
als and experts, CSR offers area business
constructive management advice at no cost
- saving money, preserving and creating
jobs and interacting with the Flint commu-
nity. CSR demonstrates that education is not
merely a tool of the elite, but can and should
be applied wherever it is useful.
UM-Flint continuously gives back to the
region in other ways. Out of 17,000 gradu-
ates, 11,000 have remained in the area. Re-
turning graduates sustain the area.
Inside the school, Nelms believes that
courses should reflect the specific needs of
Flint students. The school forms alliances
with area businesses that increase students'
contacts and experience. Support for minori-
ties and women helps retention, and UM-
Flint keeps in-state tuition at a competitively
low rate, with the understanding that educa-
tion must remain affordable for everyone.
Focused on grass-roots improvement and
a realistic educational goal, UM-Flint does
not have time to boast a winning football
team or uphold the lofty pretensions of
academia. But the campus should not be
overlooked in the Ann Arbor hoopla - UM-
Flint's commitment to education and serving
Michigan is exemplary.
a c ""
Student reactions to health car
To the Dally:
While Flint Wainess' (and Jor-
dan Stancil's) desire to have
health coverage for all Univer-
sity students is a good one, mak-
ing it mandatory is not.
Here's how I think about it.
One example ofgovernmental law
which mandates that we take care
of ourselves is the seatbelt law. It
is one thing to have a mandatory
seatbelt law because seatbelts
come free with the car and wear-
ing a seatbelt is a good idea. How-
ever, ifI had to pay $2,000 every
four years to wear a seatbelt I
might have something to say about
it. Like forget it. I don't get in an
accident every day of my life. I'd
rather be able to eat on a daily
basis. It is a certainty of human
physiology that eating every day
has a much higher probability of
ensuring my continued good
health than wearing a seatbelt
every day while starving to death.
Same thing with the Wainess
mandatory health-care plan. It is
a good idea and may save lives,
but I want to have a choice if it is
going to cost me $2,000. 1 don't
have $2,000 and 1, unlike the U.S.
government, can't spend nonex-
istent money. Please keep this in
mind: Not all University students
can pay for this plan and to make
it mandatory will exclude some
economically disadvantaged stu-
dents from having the opportu-
nity ofan excellent education here
at the University.
To the Daily:
"MSA questions health care plan
Stephen L. Beckley, the consult-
ant hired by the University last
year to draft the plan, told the
assembly that 13 percent of the
University's graduate students are
uninsured. Not only is this per-
centage relatively low, but it is
also unrepresentative of facts.
Some of this 13 percent might be
insured under their own health
care plans and not the
Furthermore, such students,
although given the option to waive
the plan, but would still be re-
sponsible for an annual fee of
I think it's time to rethink this
plan and to think about the
student's right to a choice.
To the Daily:
Two weeks ago, Stephen L.
Beckley addressed to MSA his
proposal for a health care plan for
students. Going into the meeting,
I was leaning against this pro-
posal. But, after hearing the facts,
I agree with Flint Wainess and
others who drafted the proposal.
This is a very complicated
proposal. No one should form a
firm opinion on this plan without
hearing the major parameters.
Therefore, students should have
an open mind. Here are the ad-
vantages of this proposal:
I) All students need adequate
health care coverage. I disagree
with my colleague on MSA, Olga
portant, but inadequate by itself.
For instance, what if someone
gets sick from alcohol poisoning
on a Saturday night? UHS is
closed, so the student would have
to be brought to the emergency
room. Someone who is uninsured
would probably be billed for sev-
eral hundred dollars.
3) This is world-class health
care at factory-outlet prices. For
$500 ayear, this plan would cover
pre-existing conditions, 10 visits
to the counseling center (now it is
only three) plus outside psychiat-
ric care, $1 million in catastrophic
care, and would provide cover-
age outside of the state of Michi-
gan. If one wanted a comparable
plan, he or she would first have to
prove that he or she would never
get sick and it would cost in the
$2,000 to $3,000-per-year range.
4) Opting out is OK if you
have another plan. Students like
myself who already have health
insurance can opt out and will
receive a reduction in our tuition
of some $66.67 per term!
Don't forget that this is just a
proposal. If students have objec-
tions, changes can be made. E-
mail me at email@example.com or
come by the MSA office and see
Finally, I think it would be a
good idea for students to vote on
this proposal as Probir Mehta has
suggested. But, students must not
vote for or against this plan with-
out knowing the facts.
Jordan, you are so, so naive.
Where did you get your informa-
tion? Flint? You seem to be for-
getting several aspects of this
(here comes my latent populism,.
to which you so knowingly re-
ferred) social health care plan.
You claim that this would lead
to "a tuition rebate for some (stu-
dents)." Very interesting. Let's,
do the math. We pay $96.50 per
semester now for health care
(UHS). We would pay $250 per
term under this mandatory insul?-'
ance. But wait, I have health in-
surance! That means that I get
$70 per term back (assuming that
the University lets me due to the
large number of students that are,
trying to achieve this discount),,
That leaves an extra $83.50 per.
term. Wow! What a rebate! What'
a "money-saving idea" as you so:
eloquently put it.
Of course, this could be cov-
ered by financial aid. You made.
an excellent point there. No, re,-
ally, I mean that. Sure, some ofus
are already going to owe the gov-
ernment more than $10,000 when
we graduate, but what's another
$2,000. Oh, wait! What about
those of us who aren't getting
enough aid now. Ah heck, they'll
be OK, right? They can just forgo
meals on Sunday night.
But, as you said, there are top.
many unknowns. You haven't fig-
ured out how the University plans
to scam the students on this plan.
A few people saw it coming with
the Mcard, but we didn't listen.
Now look at what's happened.
The University is earning interest
that should be on our accounts.
University Regent Deane Baker
4944 Scio Church Rd.
Ann Arbor. MI 48103
University Regent Laurence Deitch
2000 Town Center, Suite 1500
Southfield, MI 48075