1996-08-26; Central Michigan Life
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Central Michigan LIFE Volume 79, Number 2 Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 ©1996 CM LIFE . 77 years of serving the community MONDAY August 26,1996 16 pages AFSCME organizes rally against privatization By Jeremy Russ LIFE Staff Writer While university officials spoke of CMU's virtues to freshmen Sunday during a convocation at the Student Activities Center, approximately 100 AFSCME union supporters protested privatization outside. Members and supporters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1568 organized a rally for those opposed to privatization on campus and Plachta's $19,000 raise. The group began by marching in picket-line form in front of the Towers and then moved to the Student Activity Center. Their signs read, "Corporate greed! Plachta gets $19,000 wage increase" and "ARAMARK, higher prices, inferior product." Plachta declined comment on the rally, the AFSCME union and privatization Sunday evening, but he did speak in defense of his pay raise. "My salary is set by the board, not me," Plachta said. "It's a market rate of pay. According to the board, it's saying I did a good job." The protesters hoped the rally would "enlighten taxpayers and students as to the effects of privatization," said Linda Philo, president of AFSCME Local 1568. Kim Ellertson, vice president of Business and Finance, could not be reached for comment Sunday evening. Rae Goldsmith, associate vice president for Public Relations and Marketing, was not aware of Sunday's rally, but said the university is looking at "limited subcontracting" primarily on the basis of cost efficiency. "We're looking at ways to save money and at the same time be more efficient," she said. Philo said many union members are upset because they were basically forced to vote to take a $1.50 an hour pay cut in order to save their jobs. She said while they were "forced" to take a pay cut, Plachta takes a $19,000 a year raise. Protesters feel this is an unfair act, she said, since he promised to help lower students' costs, then accepted a raise and increased tuition for students. "It's a slap in the face to taxpayers and students," she said. The effects of privatization, Philo said, are seen in lower quality food and service, and the cutting of many skilled trade and maintenance jobs on campus. "Before ARAMARK took over, the university had excellent service and LIFE Photo/Chris Jarvis (above)People gather for a rally in support of the AFSCME in front of the lowers Sunday in protest against privatization, (below) Many were dressed in uniform, whether it was shirts, hats or banners, they were prepared. excellent food," she said. "Cooks are being reprimanded for changing recipes because they could not stand sending out junk to students," Philo said. "At one time, CMU was employer of the year," she satd. "They have turned into monster of tne year." According to Philo, the union was happy to win the bid for the labor portion of Dinning Services last week, but said the process proved ARAMARK was wrong in stating it could provide the service for less money than the union. "ARAMARK raised their bid $400,000 from the first time they bid. That shows that their first bid was a sham. They knew they could not do it," Philo said. Diane Rigotti, staff director for AFSCME Council 25, said she hopes the rally will "bring recognition that the university is imposing injustice on members (of AFSCME)." Rigotti said the "university claims it has to save money, so it offered to extend the union's contract for a year with no improvements." Yet, she said during the unions process of fighting for the contract, the university "hired an attorney who cost $180 an hour. Why would the university hire him if they're interested in saving money? Not to mention Plachta's raise - it doesn't make any sense to us." Both Philo and Rigotti agreed the university had not discouraged them from having the rally. However, Philo added, "Five to 10 people were forced to work (Sunday) in Carey Dinning Commons, even though it was their day off." Several of the protesters were voicing their concerns and raising questions about Plachta's recent pay raise. "I would like to see him try and live off of what we are forced to live on," said one woman from the crowd. Dave Pratt, Grand Rapids sophomore, who had joined the group while they were protesting, said of the event, "I had no idea what was going on until I came over and asked questions. I am glad I came over here to find out." Freshmen get first taste of CMU ■ New freshmen students take advantage of wide range of workshops provided by CMU By Dave Borough LIFE Staff Writer mmmm Hot, hectic and pretty crazy was how many freshman students described their first few days at Central. As part of the new Campus and Community Life Orientation program, new students began arriving on Thursday. According to Michelle Howard, director of Academic Advising Services, the response to the orientation has been tremendous. Howard said as part of the orientation students were encouraged to attend workshops on diversity, sexual aggression and other educational topics. "The workshops have been very well attended," Howard said. Jeff Cote, Com stock Park freshman said, moving in was pretty hectic and really hot. "The elevator was full and it was really hot and sweaty;" Cote said. So far during the orientation Cote said he has attended the diversity workshop. "There »cre a lot of people there," Cote said. "I think the workshop went pretty well*" Jamie Tanton, Harbor Beach freshman, also said moving in was hot and a little confusing. She said she attended the sexual assault workshop and thought it was cool. "(The speaker) told the girls to be safe and to walk in gangs," Tanton said. "He was really to the point and made it interesting." Tanton also attended the meeting discussing the book See REACTION Page 5 University leaders welcome Central's freshmen Class of 2000 LIFE Photo/Bryan Bosch Freshmen learn the Alma mater , choreography and all, during the student convocation Sunday in Rose Arena. By Samuel Richards LIFE Staff Wnter An estimated 1,000 freshmen gathered at Rose Arena on Sunday for the new student convocation to take part in opening week festivities. Students at the convocation were challenged by Mike Immings, Welcome Week Steering Committee co-chairperson "to make your opportunities happen." Students accepted this challenge with open arms and enthusiasm. Erin McDonough, Beaver Island freshman, replied to Immings comment by saying, "I am and always will be up for some type of demanding obstacle to overcome. This is why I chose Central Michigan University over the other schools around the country." Mount Pleasant Mayor Susan Smith, an alumna of CMU, was at the convocation, and said Mount Pleasant is always happy to see August roll around and the students roll in. "(The students) bring a sense of energy and enthusiasm to Mount Pleasant," she said. Smith also encouraged new students to take an active part in the community. Taking a part in the community, Smith said, has become one of the reasons there is a sense of closeness between the town and students - almost as though they are all a close-knit family. Lisa Diaz, Student Government Association president, said her experience at CMU has already brought her job offers. "I am a senior and graduate this May," she said. "I don't have a resume, but I do already have job offers." After CMU's Brand Brass Quintet played the Alma Mater and students watched a short movie on student activities, the ceremonies were over. Students were then invited to attend a Student Activities Fair, where such groups as Clinton/Gore '96, Student Alumni, the Forensics Club and campus fraternities and sororities were on hand to give students information about campus organizations. Jannell Gill, Saginaw freshman, and her roommate Janet Geisler, Grosse Pointe freshman, said there were so many organizations to choose from they could not decide which ones to choose. John Dinse, associate professor of political science, left the students by saying, "On behalf of the faculty and staff of CMU, we welcome (the Class of 2000).* SAC membership fees increase; students not affected By Jeremy Russ LIFE Staff Writer The Student Activity Center will soon raise fees on many memberships to help offset the effects of the minimum wage increase. Students need not worry about their mandatory $50 student activity fee being raised, said Tom Jones, director of Campus Recreational Services, but the President's Council approved an increase for all other memberships. Jones said he wants to stress that throughout the month of September current members and anyone else who would like to become a member of the Student Activity Center "will be permitted to do so at last year's rates." However, after September, the rates for faculty and staff memberships will be raised from $150 to $200 a year and faculty and staff retirees membership will be raised from $50 to $100 a year, he said. Others whose rates have been raised are alumni donors' memberships and community limited memberships from $200 to $250 a year. The need to raise the fees surfaced when the minimum wage bill was signed, approving an increase in the wage. The university will raise wages to the appropriate rate, but individual departments will not receive additional money for their budgets. Since the SAC has the ability to make money and help support itself, Jones said he hopes by raising the SAC's total income i will be able to maintain all of it* student positions. If not, the SAC will have to make some reductions. "(The increases) generate more money to help pay for increases in students' pay - due to the rise in minimum wage and buy new equipment for the SAC," Jones said. The cost of bowling at the SAC has been raised to $1.65 for non students and $1.35 for students. Jones said, "All of these prices for bowling have gone up a dime." See INCREASE Page 11 LIFE Graphic/Jeff ] A ?
|Title||1996-08-26; Central Michigan Life|
|Publisher||Students of Central Michigan University|
|Description||Monday, August 26, 1996 issue of the student newspaper of Central Michigan University. Also known as CM-Life. Originally published biweekly. Later published three times a week during the academic year and once a week during the summer. Began publication in 1941. Previously known as Central State Life. Issues from 1999 to the present are available online at the CMLife website.|
|Subject/Keywords||Central Michigan University - Newspapers; Mount Pleasant (Mich.) - Newspapers; Isabella County (Mich.) - Newspapers; College student newspapers and periodicals;|
|Copyright Permission||Copyright 1996 by Central Michigan University. This material is copyrighted and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited.|