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November 02, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-02

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I

4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 2, 1995

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JUDITH KAIXKA

THEFINE PmRWI

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

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

As f/ic house-Izurn'hg trauma
begins, be wary ofyour krndlords'

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.
SA efollit
Order, fiscal responsibiltyfaing apart

While the Michigan Student Assembly
has improved its ability to communi-
cate with the student body, communication
within MSA itself has, ironically, sunk to
new lows. Efforts to link students with the
assembly through the Internet and the cre-
ation of three new task forces are overshad-
owed by MSA's constant, petty bickering
and party leaders' loss of control. MSA can-
not fully earn respect from students until its
members learn to respect the rules of their
own institution.
From startto finish, Tuesday's MSA meet-
ing was a stellar repeat performance of the
unfunny comedy that has been running at
MSA for the past two weeks. Last week,
President Flint Wainess called off the meet-
ing at exactly 7:30 because not enough people
showed up - even though tradition usually
allows a few extra minutes for members to
chat with constituents in the hall before they
enter chambers. Had Wainess waited five
more minutes, MSA may have been able to
attend to its business. Was Wainess trying to
teach a harsh lesson in punctuality?
If so, he should take his own lesson to
heat. This week when the curtain went up at
7:30, there were enough MSA members in
their places and ready to begin - with the
exception of the president and vice president.
Thechair ofthe Budget Priorities Committee
officially began the meeting by completing a
roll call. When the obviously perturbed presi-
dent and vice president arrived, they attempted
to begin roll call again, as if the meeting
could not start without them. If Wainess truly
wants to begin meetings at 7:30, he should set
the example by arriving at this time or ac-

knowledge that if he is late the meeting will
begin without him. More likely, however,
this new emphasis on punctuality is at best a
passing whim.
External Relations Committee Chair Fiona
Rose brought the meeting to a dramatic end
by apologizing profusely for bypassing MSA
rules and spending unapproved money. Rose
closed a meeting two weeks ago with the
same monologue. After the first embarrass-
ing mistake, one would think that Rose would
have familiarized herself with MSA's rules
on budgets and finance. Rose, however, com-
mitted the same infraction by spending $235
to sponsor a city council debate on MSA's
behalf. While Rose incurred a legitimate
MSA expense, it was nevertheless foolhardy
of her to break the same rule twice. She
would have been cleared of any wrongdoing
had she only called for an emergency meet-
ing of the BPC to ask legally for the funds
before she spent the money. Instead, by ig-
noring the rules, Rose tainted her own record
with a carelessness that is unacceptable.
If MSA cannot take proper responsibility
for what occurs in its own chambers, how can
it expect to represent itself as a serious orga-
nization to the student body and to the admin-
istration? Bickering over the actual starting
time of meetings and a chronic inability to
clarify its rules and to reprimand members
who disobey those rules weakens the cred-
ibility of student leadership at the Univer-
sity.
MSA members should awaken to the real-
ity that they must communicate to solve their
own problems before they can hope to solve
anybody else's.

As I sit down to write this column, a
group of women is touring my house.
Apparently it's already that time of year
again: The hunts for housing have begun.
The reason I find this so interesting is not
because I, too, must search for a house. For
I am a senior, and although I don't have a
clue what I will be doing next year, I'm fairly
sure it will involve neither Ann Arbor nor
living in a large house with eight
undergrads.
The reason I remark upon the annual
house-hunting ritual, then, is not to commis-
erate with the masses, but rather to relate the
story of my living situation this year, in the
hopes of helping others in the future.
Allow me to further preface this tale by
saying that I was fortunate to have friends
looking out for me while I was abroad; I am
grateful that other people took on the burden
of finding a house and signing the lease. All
I had to do was show up with a check in
September.
Thus I can not really complain about the
house they chose. It has, after all, a great
location, and the description they sent me
via airmail was, in a sense, accurate. Be-
sides, perhaps all the problems we've en-
countered with our Grande Maison were
unforeseeable; it's hard to say.
What I can say is that our landlords are a
bunch of goons. I can also say that the Ann
Arbor Tenants Union actually comes in

handy every once in a while.
The day we moved into our house, the
living room area had a dead-yet-sweaty dog-
like odor about it, which permeated the first
two floors and made breathing through one's
nose and remaining conscious a nearly im-
possible task. The kitchen was equally dis-
gusting, and the basement: beyond descrip-
tion.
Furthermore, some of us lacked beds,
dressers and desks, not to mention all the
"little" things like screens, shades and a
working lock on our front door.
At first we were patient: calling every
day, leaving multiple copies of our request
list, dropping by the office to see what was
holding them up. Each of us had our own go
at believing that our personal skills in diplo-
macy superseded those of our housemates,
and that we would succeed where the others
had failed.
It was easy to fall into that trap, since our
phone calls usually ended with our land-
lords' promise to "take care of it today." But
"today" never seemed to have the same
meaning for them as it did for the rest of the
modem world, and the confusion on this
point ultimately led to rudeness on our part
and belligerence on theirs.
Meanwhile, a set of maintenance men
was stopping by on a regular basis. They
measured stuff, pounded on walls, some-
times fixed a step or played with a door.

Some furniture began to trickle in, although
the desks needed to be assembled and the
bunk bed, replete with side rails, was clearly
meant for people who had not yet begun the
second grade.
Perhaps our landlords thought we'd just
give up - classes were well under way, we
had exams to take, papers to write. But some
of us were attached to the idea of being able
to use our living room, refrigerating our
food, having desks.
So we went to the Tenants Union, who
told us to write a letter explicitly detailing
our complaints and threatening to withhold
rent. We received no response, and so in
October, they received no rent.
Initially our landlords seemed not to have
noticed; I guess they just thought we were as
irresponsible in keeping our end of the con-
tract as they were in keeping theirs.
Then they threatened to evict us, but we
pointed out that we had the law on our side.
In the end, it all worked out. We got new
carpet, steam-cleaned couches, the last desk
finally arrived; they got their rent. In a way'
it was all kind of fun -my first act of protest
to reap such immediate and tangible results.
Don't get me wrong, though. The whole'
process was a pain ... and now it appears that
we have some problems with our heat.
- Judith Kajka can be reached over e-
mail at jkafka@umich.edu

MATT WIMSATT

MooKI's Du.,EmfA

96

NOTABLE QU
'It self-
extinguished. It
was not very
effective.'
- Ann Arbor Fire
Marshall Scott Rayburn
describing a "minor"
fire-bombing in Ann
Arbor on Halloween

Reining in costs
Proposed Medicare reforms are incomplete

VIEWPOINT
As financial aid falls, so falls education

Written under a myopic lens, the current
dismantling of Medicare - though
sorely needed-has resulted in plans that are
incomplete at best. To effectively treat se-
fiors in a cost-effective, comprehensive man-
ner they must also be treated while they are
juniors. Focusing and acting only on the
needs of the aging is akin to treating a symp-
tom of a disease without examining the more
serious underlying cause. Without realisti-
cally confronting and addressing all the is-
sues of health care that have surfaced in the
wake of Medicare reform, any new proposal
will falter.

By expanding the geriatric specialty and
concentrating treatment for the elderly in
centralized outpatientclinics, hospitals would
be able to avoid admitting the elderly into
high-cost, high-tech specialty hospitals for
rehabilitative treatment. Geriatric clinics cut
costs by reducing the duplication of services,
by keeping seniors in their own homes and by
maintaining a staff that is aware of and able
to cater to the unique needs of elderly pa-
tients. Regular visits would allow for con-
tinuous monitoring and cost-effective early
treatment.

In crafting policy, the
entire lifespan of the pa-
tient must be considered.
A healthy child with con-
sistent screenings and care
will progress to a healthy
adolescent and with con-
tinued prevention will be-

MEDICARE REFORM
Third in a series..

Astronomical price
tags accompany medical
miracles - therefore the
debate must include- na-
tional priorities. More
money is spent in the last
days of life than is spent
combinedthroughout a life
span. Medical viability
must be assessed before

By Fiona Rose
With the U.S. Senate and
House each nearing completion
of reconciliation and appropria-
tions bills for Fiscal Year 1996,
college students across the coun-
try cannot help but hold a collec-
tive breath: The scope of pro-
posed cuts in student loans is mag-
nificent, and the wait for news of
a final decision is tenuous. As of
this moment, measures in con-
gressional bills would strip some
$20 billion over the next seven
years from federal student loan
programs. In their zeal to "bal-
ance" the budget by the year 2002,
Washington's players have come
to tip the scales irreversibly
against university students.
That loans and grants are the
center of much debate in Con-
gress is no surprise. The amount
of federally guaranteed loans has
jumped in recent years as more
students chose to attend college
while tuition costs rose.
A recent New York Times
study found, not surprisingly,
more middle-class students tak-
ing out loans. And while the in-
crease in loan volume translates
into more administrative work for
the government, Congress is nev-
ertheless wrong to ask students to
bear the brunt of responsibility
for the national debt: 77 percent
of the projected cuts come from
student programs, while the re-
maining 23 percent come from
the private banks and guaranty
Rose is MSA 's External
Relations Committee chair.

agencies that administer loans
under the Guaranteed Student
Loans system.
While each of the cuts is det-
rimental to students' efforts to be
educated, the Senate Committee
on Labor and Human Resources
offers some of the more egre-
gious provisions: a 50-percent re-
duction in the Federal Direct Stu-
dent Loan program (FDSL), the
elimination of competition and
choice in student loan programs,
and difficulties in distributing
money through federal student
loan programs.
Of special concern is the un-
precedented .85-percent tax on
schools based on the amount of
federal borrowing by their stu-
dents - a perverse penalty on
schools that accept students who
require help to pay for their col-
lege education.
Further draining student mon-
ies, the House Economic and
Educational Opportunities Com-
mittee has approved a reconcilia-
tion package to kill the direct
student loan program, increase
interest on Parental Loans for Un-
dergraduate Students and elimi-
nate the interest subsidy students
now get during the six-month
period after college before they
begin paying back their loans.
This elimination of the six-
month grace period is a difficult
blow particularly now, when only
1 in 5 students has a job at gradu-
ation. In all, students are poised
to lose $10.7 billion in Educa-
tional "Opportunities" measures.
Rounding out the attack on

education, both chambers offer
versions of the Labor-Health and
Human Resources-Education ap-
propriations bill that aim to re-
duce funding for specific grants
and campus-based student aid
programs. The House supports
cutting the Pell Grant program
from $6.2 billion to $5.6 billion,
eliminating some 280,000 needy
students from the program. Simi-
larly, the Senate looks to cut Pell
Grant funding by $100 million,
and opposes raising the amount
of the minimum allowable award
of$400. Both appropriations bills
feature cuts to the Federal Direct
Student Loan program.
Finally, completing the push
to reduce education funding, the
House Appropriations bill would
eliminate a series of scholarships
and fellowships - including the
National Science Scholars, Dou-
glas Teacher Scholarships, Javits
Fellowships and Byrd scholar-
ships. The total amount cut from
such programs is $642 million
over seven years.
The message, then, that stu-
dents must make clear to Con-
gress is this: Federal financial aid
makes sense because education
makes sense. In particular, the
FDSL program deserves to be
saved because it is a healthy, com-
petitive student loan program.
First proposed by President Bush,
and implemented under President
Clinton, the FDSL has cut red
tape, sped up the funds disburse-
ment process and freed up finan-
cial aid staff from burdensome
paperwork. Direct lending saves

the government money, because
no expensive"middlemen" must
be hired as conduits between
schools and private guaranty:
agencies.
Without question, a better-,
educated and better-trained popu-
lace brings a better work force:
and pool of ideas along with it.
Learning fosters creativity and~
ingenuity; recessing into the,
depths of an "Age of Ignorance"
will only cripple efforts to solve:
society-wide problems. Learning
fosters creativity and ingenuity-
- a paucity of fresh ideas means:
stunted progress, and future gen-
erations will undoubtedly find,
themselves lacking sufficient
skills for mastering the challenges,
of the next millennium.
For now, then, students must:
wade through ideological argu-:
ments rife with rhetoric so as to.
make their needs heard: Educa-,
tion is a right, and government:
money to pursue one's educa-
tional development is a neces-
sary companion.
As talks are finalized and ne-
gotiations continue, students"
should flood Washington with
calls in support of direct loans.
Call 1-800-574-4243 and ask to
be transferred to your home sena-
tor or representative. To get in-;
volved with on-campus grassroots
efforts, contact the External Re-
lations Committee of the Michi-
gan Student Assembly at 936-
2446. Only after Congress moves
to firm up support for higher edu-
cation funding will students be
able to give a sigh of relief.

come a healthy adult who
later, with regular care, will become a healthy
senior. Early diagnosis is key in lowering the
costs of curative measures and providing
longer, healthier lives.
Medical-care costs can also be sliced by
granting nurse practitioners increased au-
tonomy, including the power to prescribe
medications. Specialized diagnosis and treat-
ment skills are learned by NPs whose degrees
each cost one-fifth the price of a medical
license. Working under the guidance of a
doctor, NPs can make initial assessments,
manage cases and refer patients to specialists
with all the accuracy - and a fraction of the
price - of an MD.

_....

extreme and costly interventions are imple-
mented. Palliative hospice care is a humane,
realistic method of easing pain and suffering
while allowing the patient to remain in his or
her home to die with dignity. There are
monetary savings - but the savings in self-
respect are incalculable.
Holistic, preventative care through each
stage of life will cut costs and maintain
health. To reach the entire community and
treat people proactively, a universal system
of care must be implemented. Until the pro-
posals consider health care as a lifelong in-
vestment, all plans are no different from
attempting to resuscitate a day-old corpse.

LETTERS

How TO CONTACT THEM
Michigan Student Assembly
Flint Wainess, President

Evaluations
based on title

lecturers who are among the
University's prime instructors.
For example, Brain Coppola,
Golden Apple Winner and es-
teemed teacher ofOrganic Chem-

Under this revised system,
reaching the honors of top titles
and salaries would require not
only research skills, but also
teaching and communication

differentiates private from pub-
lic, but I guess the thousands of
dollars in tuition I pay are not it.
I like allowing my computer to
redial for half an hour each day

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