The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition --Thursday, September 6, 1990- Pa
A confused student receives help at the Campus Information Center.
Said one CIC employee, "I would work here for free, it's so fun."
CIC passes trivia tests
with flying colors
by Ian Hoffman
Daily NSE Editor
The only place on campus you can learn the location of Belize,
the fifth president of the University, and the final's week hours of the
What is the Campus Information Center?
While none of the staff at the Campus Information Center (CIC)
have ever appeared on the television program Jeopardy!, they say their
job is often one big game show.
"We're the place people call when they don't know where to call,"
said LSA senior and CIC employee Trinna Frever.
Last year's CIC t-shirts, emblazoned with strange questions, are a
sampling of the brain-teasers the students who work at CIC were pit-
ted against. "How do I wash a cat? Do chickens have sex? What is the
price of a new Rolls Royce, and when will I get my income tax re-
Though the CIC fields a plethora of questions, it has but one ba-
sic goal, said CIC Coordinator Sheryl Mette.
"Our intent is to make the University of Michigan a more man-
ageable place for students, staff, faculty and visitors - especially
students. The University is such a large, decentralized place, we're the
one-stop-place people come to," Mette explained.
Located on the first floor of the Michigan Union, the CIC offers
answers and provides references for both phone callers and in-person
"We have reference books, Michigan trivia books, constantly up-
dated University and community events listings, self-guided walking-
tour brochures, and bulletins from the University's different schools,"
Mette said, pausing to take a breath.
"We also have posters with important phone numbers, visitor
brochures, Info-to-Go (a computer program that allows users to
quickly select the University information they desire), and two taped
phone lines: 763-FILM and 76-EVENT."
Though it may seem elementary that a school of 35,000 students
would provide such services - indeed, in Mette's words, "it's hard to
imagine the University without CIC," - this hasn't always been the
The Campus Information Center was not established until the late
1970s. "CIC grew out people's frustrations and runarounds at stand-
ing in 80 lines when they could have done it all in one stop," the
CIC handbook reads.
Last year, in its continuing effort to better serve the University
community, CIC opened an information center on North Campus
which is expected to be operating next year, Mette said.
Students with a capacity for helping their peers and a penchant for
trivia are encouraged to apply for a job on the CIC staff. The hiring
process usually begins in January. About 18 undergrads and grads are
employed in both the fall and winter semesters, working 10 to 12
hours per week.
While the hourly wage won't land any staffers on the cover of
Fortune magazine, that isn't always the ambition of the dedicated
students who often work as late as 2 a.m at CIC.
"Someone said it before me, but it's true, I would work here even
if I didn't get paid," Frever said, "It's just so much fun."
The rewards go well beyond having a good time.
"We get a jump on information. I know when Art Fair, Home-
coming, and Parent's Weekend are. I can make my plans ahead of
time," Frever said. "I've also learned how to give good directions; if
there's one thing University of Michigan students are bad at, it's fol-
lowing directions," she said.
And what of the tricky questions?
"Sometimes I think students try to play 'Stump CIC,' but that's
all right," said Mette.
"If we're in a good mood, then it's fun stuff," agreed Frever. But
she was quick to cite an instance when "we got 30 calls from a pledge
class quizzing us on University history. That was okay until we had
real customers to take care of."
Continued from page 4
like new bands, interesting films shown at the theaters and in Univer-
sity auditorium, and residence hall activities.
If you're worried about gaining the infamous "Freshman 15", the
extra weight that comes from starchy dorm food and late-night piz-
zas, be sure to watch what you eat.
Don't go near the dessert tray, and frequent the salad bar in every
dining hall. Come to college with some knowledge of the basic food