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April 11, 1988 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-11

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News Features APRIL 1988

Video revolution hits college admissions


By Carol Vinzant
The Daily Pennsylvanian
U. of Pennsylvania
"I wish to go to Penn. I covet Penn ...
I have to go to Penn," wrote one student
applying for next year's freshman class.
Heightened anxiety over tougher
admission standards, coupled with a
new question on the University's ap-
plication, has caused a dramatic in-
crease in supplemental material sent to
the University, according to admissions
"I have so much stuff I'm keeping it
outside my office now," said Associate
Admissions Dean Daniel Lundquist.
Admissions Officer Christoph Gut-
tentag, who is keeping submissions in
his office, said it is filled with mounds of
photos, videos and collages.
"I keep this stuff around because I
think it's wise not to forget how much
this means to these people and that

they're individuals," Guttentag said.
Audio and visual tapes comprise most
of the submissions; and Guttentag esti-
mated that the entire office received 130
video tapes.
The videos feature students acting in
plays and monologues, and performing
in athletics. A tour of a student's house,
a how-to-juggle guide, and an Indian
dance were also among this year's pre-
The tapes, like other types of submis-
sions, are scrutinized by the regional
officer, who notes the additional mate-
rial in his report to the admissions com-
mittee. The admissions office occa-
sionally sends the projects to experts in
the music, art or design departments for
evaluation, Guttentag said, and he has
also brought a few "exceptional" tapes
to the admissions committee itself.
At the end of the process, the admis-
sions office will review highlights and
clips from all the videos at a party,

because some students are not finan-
cially able to produce visually competi-
tive material. But, since other non-
financially taxing projects are also
accepted, he said the committee will
continue to encourage the movies.
About 10-15 percent of the applicants
from Guttentag's northeast region sent 4
in extra material this year, which is a
slightly higher percentage than for
other regions.
The supplemental materials will not
be used against the student unless they
are offensive, Guttentag said.
Lundquist said that he expects to be
swamped by the neurotic excesses of
U. of Pennsylvania Admissions Officer some applicants, adding that the flow of
Christoph Guttentag and his submissions. materials to his office will increase as a
function of the anxiety that mounts as
touted as the First Annual Admissions the decision date comes up.
Office Film Festival. Brown U.'s admis- "They might be better off writing an
sions committee has a similar ritual. essay if they're going to send in a dopey
Lundquist said that accepting the collage or a stupid video," Lundquist
videotapes creates an ethical dilemma said.
Ex-ID forger knows tricks of trade,
busts fake ID holders as bouncer

Who will you support in
the presidential election?
Who do you think will win?
To give you an opportunity to express your opinions on important
campus issues that affect your life, the AT&T STUDENT OPINION
POLL will appear in each issue of
U. The National College Newspaper.
CALL 1-800-662-5511
Watch for the results of this month's poll in u
YES 97% NO3%

By Phil Davis
The Alligator
U. of Florida
Stephan Rogers, U. of Florida (UF)
engineering junior, asks more people
for their driver's licenses every night
than most police officers do in a week.
He isn't a cop, but if you want to get into
the Purple Porpoise Oyster Pub for a
cold beer, he's the law.
Out of the thousands of licenses he's
seen in six months as a bouncer, Rogers
has seen more than 100 fake IDs. At
least, that's how many he's caught.
Rogers knows all the tricks of the
trade because he used to make them.
First Rogers holds anID over a flash-
light. "They (the numbers) are put in
crooked sometimes," Rogers said, "and
the light shines through the cuts in the
Cutting up the birthdate with a razor
is one of the most common ways to alter
an ID, but it's also one of the crudest.
"The good ones are the out-of-state
ones," Rogers said, since most doormen
don't know what other licenses look
Bob (not his real name), a UF fresh-
man, said he has been making fake IDs
that way for four years. The first one he
made was a black-and-white version of
an Alabama ID card. "It was really bad,"
Bob said, but it did work for a short
Another popular method is to borrow
a real driver's license from a friend or
relative. But that's not foolproof either.
Rogers compares the photo on each
license to the person giving it to him. If
the match isn't quite right, he compares
the height.
He has trouble, however, spotting
licenses borrowed from brothers and
sisters, so sometimes he gives a quick
"Hey, man, what's your sign?" Or he
asks that person's buddy, "What's your
friend's name?"
"If I'm not really sure I have them
sign," Rogers said. Reproducing a signa-
ture is hardto do without constant prac-
tice, Rogers said.
Rogers has the most trouble spotting

fake IDs when the information is false
but the picture is legitimate. Bob's
second fake ID was a color copy of an
older friend's license with his own pic-
ture pasted over it.
Although this fake was more convinc-
ing, one problem was the backing,
which on a valid license has fine blue
print. Fake IDs usually have their fake
fronts glued to an original license, but
bouncers can spot these too. "One guy
showed me a Maryland ID," Rogers
said. "It had a Florida back on it."
Not all fake IDs are shoddily made or
easily caught. Sometimes the photo will
be legitimate, the physical description
will fit and the signature will be in the
holder's handwriting. Everything on
the license will be correct-except the
birthdate. 4
Daniel Krasno, a former UF student,
made and sold near-perfect fake IDs un-
til he was caught last year. Alachua
County sheriff's detective Paul Bryan
showed a giant license "board" made up
to look like a Florida driver's license.
Krasno would cut out letters and paste
up whatever name, address and birth-
date his customer wanted, Bryan said.
The customer would sign the license
with a large magic marker.
After carefully positioning the cus-
tomer, Krasno photographed the
"license" with a Polaroid camera and
then glued the photo to the back of the
customer's real license and laminated
Fake IDs like these are detectable
only through a computer check or a real-
ly close look. Rogers said the "boards"
have flaws, particularly in the photo.
"One big flaw is the upper chest and
head-there is too much showing."
The biggest giveaway is the fine
print. The fakes' fine print is illegible
and the state seal is not as detailed as
the seal on a valid license.
There's only one foolproof way to de-
tect a fake, and bouncers like Rogers
don't have access to it. It's a computer
that state officials and police officers
use to identify residents by their driv-4
er's license number. Fake IDs have fake
numbers, so the computer could detect

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