10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 26, 1995
Festival of Lights'
oc /S fi
By Lenny Feller
Wily Staff Reporter
More than 100 University students
gathered at the Blue Lounge in
',tockwell residence hall yesterday to
cplebrate the holiest and most auspi-
cious Hinduholiday oftheyear: Diwali,
the "Festival of Lights."
Sudhakar Kulkarni, a Pujari from the
BhartiyaTemple in Lansing, conducted
the Puja ceremony commemorating the
"victory of light over darkness. The
victory of knowledge over ignorance."
A Pujari is a Hindu spiritual leader.
"It's our Thanksgiving,.our July 4th,
our Christmas," said Vidya Kumar, an
Inteflex sophomore. Diwali also cel-
ebrates the relationship between brother
School of Education junior Rajeshri
Gandhi called the event "one of the
happiest times of the year."
The purpose of the Diwali holiday is
to pay tribute to Lakshmi, the goddess
of prosperity, and it is commemorated
as the Hindu new year.
The celebration is marked with the
July 4th, our
- Vidya Kumar
exchange of gifts, and is a time for
family unity, said second-year Medical
student Anand Parekh, a member of the
Hindu Students Council.
HSC was founded five years ago here
at the University and has since spread to
30 national chapters throughout the
country. This is the third year HSC
members have conducted a Diwali ser-
vice at the University.
Formany who attendedthe Stockwell
gathering, Diwali represented a chance
to maintain the religious and cultural
bonds that were ingrained in them since
Dancers perform at Stockwell's Blue Lounge at last night's PuJa, a celebration for Diwall.
"We celebrate this at home every
year," said LSA first-year student Vinay
Jindal. "It's something I can do at school
and not feel away from home."
"It's a nice event to come to if you
can't go home," echoed LSA junior
Nina Jain, a co-coordinator of the cel-
For others, it was a chance to re-
establish ties with their homeland. "I
was glad to see celebrations like this
happening in countries other than In-
dia," said UHC Midwest Coordinator
Jwalant Lakhi, who immigrated to the
United States five years ago. "This
way, people don't miss their home
country so much."
The event began at about 8:15 p.m.
with Kulkarni leading the hourlong
Puja. He recited numerous prayers to
Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh and other
Hindu gods. At appropriate moments,
the assembled congregation chanted
Following the service, numerous na-
tive Indian foods were unveiled includ-
ing Raiti, Poories and Pakora.
According to the Hindu epic
Ramayana, Diwali also commemorates
the day that Ram, a Hindu hero, re-
turned to the city of Ayodaha after
defeating the demon-king, Ravana, fol-
lowing a 14-year exile.
State will reo
LANSING (AP) - Michigan residents will
heve their first chance in five years to prepay a
youngster's college tuition later this fall, but even
its sponsors admit it will not be as good a deal as
The board of the Michigan Education Trust
agreed yesterday to offer MET contracts at a price
of $19,808 for four years of tuition at either the
University of Michigan or Michigan State Uni-
}That's more than double the $8,380 cost for a
newborn offered in 1990.
"This is what it costs to go to college today,"
state Treasurer Doug Roberts said in defense of
the price tag.
But House Minority Floor Leader Pat Gagliardi
said that was a phony offer.
"The situation is that Doug Roberts has been
trying to kill this program for five years along with
the governor and today they tried to do a political
shell game by opening up the program and then
pricing it in such a fashion that a working class
family has no way ofpaying for it," said Gagliardi
pen tuition prepayment program
At most, he said, a contract should cost no more After the state won a lawsuit with the federal
than $12,000. government over the tax-exempt status of the The Price of ME
Roberts saidchanging economics make the MET MET fund, Roberts decided it could be reopened. Prices for the three option
contract less of a bargain than when Gov. James The pricing is based on the assumption that Education Trust contracts
Blanchard kicked it off in 1988. Interest rates are 5,000 contracts will be sold. Roberts said if too applications will be taken
lower now and tuition is expected to keep increas- few are sold, the program may be cancelled.
ing, he said. The price assumes the state will earn 7.5 percent H Full benefits plan cover
On top of that, Roberts said, promotion of the onthemoney it invests and that college tuition will tuition at any Michigan pu
MET contracts will make clear that the state is not increase 8.13 percent for 1996-2001 and 7.3 per- $4,952 a year or $19,808
promising thatthe contract will be enoughto cover cent after2001. Tuition increased3.96percent this 8 Limited benefits plan cc
tuition in the future. year. years' tuition at any scho(
"We're not selling aguarantee. We're selling an The program approved by the board calls for a Michigan State, or partial
investment," he said. three-week application period to run Nov. 27 to schools: $3,765 a year or
MET lets purchasers prepay tuition at one of Dec. 15. Contracts will be sent out in January and N Community college plar
Michigan's 15 public universities or 29 commu- purchasers will have until Feb. 29 to return them years at any of 29 commu
nity colleges. Money paid to the state is invested with their payments. a year or $3,062 for twoy
and used to pay tuition bills for the beneficiary Purchasers can choose from three plans:
when they enroll in college. ® One or two years' tuition at, a community would pay only 105 per
More than 55,000 people bought MET contracts college. average tuition cost, mear
during three enrollment periods between 1988 and Up to four years' tuition at any Michigan not cover full tuition at ti
1990, creating a $620 million fund. But Gov. John public university. schools.
Engler claimed the contracts were underfunded Up to four years' tuition at any school except Unlikeprevious MET of
and refused to take more applications when he Michigan or Michigan State. A student could still declined with the age of th
took office in 1991. attend those two schools, but the MET contract same regardless of age.
is under the Michigan
Nov. 27-Dec. 15:'
ing up to four years'
8 for four years.
overing up to four
ol except Michigan or
tuition at those two
n, covering up to two
unity colleges: $1,531
rcent of the statewide
ning it would probably
hose two higher-priced
fferings, in which prices
he child, the price is the
urge d by
FARMINGTON HILLS (AP) =-
Mercy Health Services, a health-care
services company, said yesterday that it
will offer medical students financial
incentives to become primary-care doc-
tors instead of specialists.
More general practitioners are going
to be needed as more people and com-
panies sign on with managed-care health
plans, which usually ask participants to
choose a primary-care doctor to over-
see their health care.
The Council on Graduate Medical
Education predicts a national shortage
of 35,000 general practitioners and a
surplus of 115,000 specialists within
Mercy's $1 million program will re-
cruit promising students before they
pick a specialty. Students will get half
their tuition paid and a $15,000-a-year
stipend to partly offset the generally
lower pay general practitioners earn.
The idea is to make being a family
doctor more competitive with the higher
paying specialties. A general practitio-
ner just out of school typically earns
less than $100,000, while a specialist
earns more than $200,000.
"We're going to need more of the best
and brightest medical students for pi-
mary care, so we need to offer more of a
level playing field when they're choosing
a focus in medicine," said Dr. Bruce Van
Cleave, Mercy's vice presidentofprofes-
sional and physician services.
Each student also will be assigned to
a primary-care doctor who will serve as
amentor in developing theskills needed
to work with patients and develop a
"You have to manage the health of a
person" Mercy spokeswoman Ginny
Seyferth saidyesterday. "It's muchmore
than just learning surgical procedures."
Those chosen for the program must
commit to a year of practice with the
Mercy system for each year of support.
Seyferth said most health-care plans
sign on students after they graduate and
help them pay off their tuition loans,
but, "that really doesn't help us encour-
age students to go into primary care."
Students usually decide to choose a
specialty in their second or third year of
medical school, she said. "We're trying
to go in at it before they make their
By Jodi Cohen
Daily Staff Reporter
A judge yesterday postponed the pre-
liminary examination of a man accused
of arson in University housing. It was
the third postponement.
Dale Lipke of Oakland County was
arraigned Sept. 25 for the Sept. 22 fire
in Baits housing. He faces one count of
arson in a dwelling house and one count
of conspiracy to commit arson in a
At the arraignment, Lipke, 23,
pleaded not guilty to both felony
charges, each punishable by up to 20
years in prison.
Yesterday's hearing, which was held
at Washtenaw County's 14th District
Court, was postponed three weeks until
Nov. 15 after both sides requested a
Lipke, who is not affiliated with the
University, is being held at the
Washtenaw County Jail in lieu of
The fire, which swept through a
ground-floor room of Baits II Ziwet
House on North Campus, caused an
estimated $200,000 in damages. No-
body was injured.
The Nov. 15 pre-trial exam will de-
termine if there is enough evidence for
Lipke to stand trial.
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Hundreds of disabled activists move protest to Capitol steps
LANSING (AP) - Hundreds of
members ofa group dedicated to better
rights and services for the disabled dis-
rupted business atthe Capitol yesterday
by blocking all building entrances for
about 45 minutes.
Michigan State Police reopened one
'ntrance at 1:30 p.m. and the 300
rotesters began to disperse at 3:30
r.m. after meeting inside the Capitol
with a representative of Gov. John
It was the third day of protesting by
the group, American Disabled for At-
iondant Programs Today.
Five were arrested for trespassing or
disorderly conduct, state police Inspector
GaryPost said. Three ofthosewerebooked
.et the Lansing city jail and released on
personal recognizance bonds.
"There were no physical confronta-
tiOns. It was a passive resistance sort of
4emonstration so a number were car-
rtid away," Post said.
Police closed two blocks of Michi-
gan Avenue in front of the Capitol at 11
a.m. for about 25 minutes while the
protesters traveled from a hotel to the
Capitol grounds in single file.
They gathered at the Capitol steps,
chanting, "Nursing homes have got to
The protesters have targeted Lansing
and Engler because the Republican gov-
ernor has become a leader in the na-
tional effort to change welfare laws.
Verna Spayth, a state coordinator
from Ann Arbor, said they wanted to
ask Engler three things.
"We want him to support the Commu-
nity Attendant Service Act, we want him
to call on the National Governors Asso-
ciation to meet with ADAPT and we want
him to call on Newt Gingrich to introduce
a proposal to earmark 25 percent of the
Medicaid nursing home budget for home
and community services," she said.
At noon they broke into smaller
groups and blocked primary entrances
to the Capitol. One other entrance re-
mained open for 45 minutes before be-
ing blocked by protesters.
The protesters dispersed after State
Police Lt. Tom Ambs negotiated an
agreement that three ADAPT represen-
tatives could meet with Jeff McAlvey,
Engler's legislative liaison.
The group wanted to meet with
Engler, who has an office in the Capitol
but spends most of the time in his main
office across the street.
Engler spokesman John Truscott said
the governor was unavailable to meet
with the group. He declined to say ex-
actly where the governor was except
that he was in Lansing.
At least four protesters were arrested
and ticketed Tuesday when than 200
people gathered at Engler's residence
for about four hours.
On Monday, ADAPT took over the
Michigan Republican Party headquar-
ters in Lansing. They controlled that
building for two hours before retreating
to prepare for Tuesday's action.
Members of a group of disabled people blocked the steps of the state Capitol
yesterday, chanting, "Nursing homes have got to go." The group, ADAPT,
blockaded the entrances for 45 minutes in its third day of protesting.
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