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February 16, 1990 - Image 20

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-16
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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now than I was about what the
best plan of economics is."
Perhaps most important, he
says, is that he's learned "how
other radicals feel... It's made me
appreciate the passion these
people feel for these subjects."
Supervising four departments
of the University, with budgets
totalling $2.5 to $3 million,
Harrison's responsibilities include
promoting University research
and programs in the national
media, and supervising the
dispensation of information
locally.
Central to that image - for the
last year-and-a-half - has been
President Jim Duderstadt's
"vision" for the University, the
Michigan Mandate. Harrison, who
says he re-wrote the Mandate
while working as a consultant for
the University, has been central
in the broad effort to promote it.
That's mostly because the
document has no concrete plans,
no hard numbers, no program for
achieving the multi-cultural,
pluralistic university it calls for.
"There's nothing in the
Michigan Mandate that has any
function," says Audrey Golmon,
Director of Academic Support
Services for the School of Public
Health. "Nothing related to
University structure or mecha-
nisms."
Given the Mandate's status as a
"vision," not a blueprint (a
distinction Harrison is quick to
make), the document s imple-
mentation has been left in the
realm of image; it's an idea, and
ideas are important at univer-
sities.
"People give to a university,"
says Harrison, "because they feel
in some way that it embodies
values that they share. And so to
the extent that you can promote
the good things that are going on
at the University, and people hear
about them, they may be more
likely to give."
But he insists the Mandate -
though admittedly more an
expression of values than any-
thing else - is not just about
image.
"The Mandate is not something
we promote because it has any
public relations value," he says.
"The Mandate is something that
has to be done for society and for
the University." But, he adds, "I
guess I would say that to the
extent that the Mandate indicates
that the University takes seriously
its commitment to society it is
probably a positive force in that
way. That is, people will think
more positively about the
University."
But without any program for
action, Golmon and others have

tower. Last fall he tried the lock
and his key still fit 25 years
later," said Engineering junior
Kelly Hanink.
The bond-funded renovation
is still being paid off and the
Union is now supported through
university monies and generated,
revenue. Cianciola was quick to
point out that the approximately
$280,000 that came from student
tuition fees are returned via
temporary employment and
internships.
"One of our major thrusts has
been to create jobs on campus...
I'm not going to deny the fact
that students do cost less money
[to hire] than others but our
philosophy is founded on the
principle that their Union
experience can be helpful and
meaningful to them," said
Cianciola.
Ranked as the sixth top
student center in the nation by
the New York Times in 1986, the
Union has revived or instituted
many services, programs and
facilities, among them a student-
monitored study lounge, the
Michigan Union Grill Eateries
and Commons, and the
University Club.
It has expanded to include the
North Campus Commons, a
satellite facility containing food
operations, an art gallery,
meeting rooms, and several retail
shops. An extensive addition to
that building was completed in
1989.
The arts have long been an
important component of the
Union's programming and
services. Helen Welford,
assistant director for Arts and
Programming, said that "Arts
and Programming existed in bits
and pieces." A wood shop exists
in the Student Activities
Building, and the Student
Theater Arts Complex (located
near Crisler Arena) was built so
groups could rehearse and
continue the tradition of the arts
and theater.
"From the beginning [of the
renovation], there was a strong
need to bring the visual arts back
into the building," said Welford,
who now oversees Art Lounge, a
study room that exhibits
primarily student artwork, with
an emphasis on minorities.

"The lounge has been fairly
well received... Students can give
a message to their peers and social
issues can be aired through art,"
Welford added. Free concerts are
also held in the Union on a
regular basis.
Student support services, such
as the Student Organization
Account Service, Michigan
Advertising Works, and the
Student Organization
Development Center have been
developed in the past decade.
"I see the university experience
as one of a continuum. We are
only phasing a portion of the
student's life. We can't touch all
35,000, students so what we've
elected to do was to try and focus
in and impact on student leaders
and student organizations because
those are the individuals that will
most likely continue to be
leaders, not only for the
University, but for the larger
community," Cianciola said.
Sorc Organizational Consultant
Rosa Lopez said, "We focus on
individual leadership and
organizational development."
SODC assists students with finding
organizations compatible with
their interests and helps student
leaders develop personal skills. It
also aids organizations in areas
such as member recruitment and
publicity.
Project Community and Project
SERVE are two new Union
programs making it possible for
students to perform community
service, often for academic credit.
"We want to influence people's
civic literacy," said Project
Community Director Jeff
Howard. "We want to provide a
structural explanation as for why
there are needy people in the
community, and we want to show
how exciting learning can be."
LSA junior Jennifer Anderson
was a student coordinator of
Project Community's program at
Lawton Elementary School. "We
worked with children from low
income housing and
disadvantaged homes. It was great
working in a school system," said
Anderson, who intends to teach
high school Spanish. "I gained a
lot - maturity, independence,
and confidence. And I know I
can't teach elementary school for
eight hours a day."

.

Jennifer DuneuMeekend
What s In A Name.s

"4 PUBLIC RELATIONS
has a really bad
name, says Walter
Harrison, casting a grim smile
across the little table in Frank's
restaurant. "It's like being a
dentist."
Over the last three years, the
43 year-old Executive Director
of University Relations has
been catapulted to the fore of
one of the University's most
crucialfronts: it's image.
From playing a major role in the
creation of the now-legendary
Michigan Mandate and attracting
the CBS Morning
News to campus
'I remember sitting outside the last year, to
Fleming Building and having a kind directing the
of semi-serious discussion about publication of the*
Unversity Record
how to blow it up.'andRMc rda
___ __ __ ___ __ __ ___ __ __ ___ __ __ and Mihgan
Today, Harrison
has done his best to earn the

$106,050-per-year salary he's
received since taking his present
position last April.
In a national climate which has
seen the growth of corporate-style
university management, and
increased competition for private
donations in the wake of federal
cuts, public relations has assumed
a new level of importance. With
that has come a new source of
power; universities are devoting
vast resources to fashioning an
image of themselves, and
Michigan is no exception.
By the time Walter Harrison
arrived at Michigan to begin a
Masters program in English, in
1968, his days as a student radical
were waning.
"Most of my real activism was
at Trinity [College]," he recalled.
There he had worked with a
group pressuring the University to
expand its curriculum to include
such radical fields as sociology
and American studies. Through
the group, and his participation in

anti-war rallies, he joined
Students for a Democratic Society
(sDs).
When pressed, he describes
watching the 1%8 Democratic
convention on Tv in the lounge of
his graduate dorm here.
"For everyone else that was the
height," he says. "But by then I
was already in graduate school
and I had all sorts of other things
to worry about."
A year later he joined the Air
Force.
Though clinging to some of his
'60s heritage ("I think I'm still
passionately committed to equal
rights for all people. I think I'm
passionately committed to the
women's movement."), 20 years
and six figures later, Harrison has
changed.
"I think some of my views in
the '60s on foreign affairs were
naive. I think I was dead wrong
about drugs. Economically I think
I've changed considerably. That
is to say, I'm more to the right

Renovation is still needed in
some areas of the building,
particularly on the fourth floor,
where hotel rooms that once
hosted the likes of John F.
Kennedy, now house student
organizations.
Bacolor, an LSA senior and
member of AIESEG, describes the
organization's office.
"It can't productively hold
more than four people at a time,"
said Bacolor. "The lack of space
forces us to stack files and
manuals on top of a toilet in our
president's office." The non-
functioning toilet, enclosed in a
wooden stall, is slated to be
removed shortly.
But the Billiards & Games
Room, with its dark paneling, will
most likely remain untouched.
"If you go up there, you'll see a
number of original
photographs," said
Cianciola. "That is
pretty much as it was
since the opening of
the building and that
was done
intentionally."
"A few years ago, an
alumnus from 1921
came in," said
Paradise. "He'd been
around the Union and
said that everything
had changed but the
pool room. It has
stayed the same for
about 70 years."

"We should really have a statue
of Paul Newman," Paradise said.
"We got an unbelievable response
after [The Hustler and The Color of
Money] came out. You'd think we
were giving away $20 bills."
Cianciola, who has been in the
Union business for 26 years
(previously at Kent State
University and Akron University),
said he wouldn't trade the history
of the Michigan Union for the
newness offered by the Kent
facility he created.
"It's kind of like working in old
castle - around every corner, a
piece of history opens up."
And students seem to find
pieces of hidden history as well.
Paradise recounted the story of
a student who came into the
billiards room at the end of his
junior year. "With eyes as big as
saucers," he inquired how long

Since
alumi
'Botti
billiai
alum
prote
tradil
at leg
the ro
he lov
room
Stu
female
heads
may f
eight-
byq

between -these pictures?
And this is the Michigan Union Pool, which
inhabited the same space until 1967.

8

WEEKEND

February 16, 1990

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