The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 29, 1993 - Page 5
When students try to guess the identity of 'U' officials
Because this is the last day
for many senior editors at the
Daily, this space is usually
reserved for an outgoing editor
to recount his or her triumphs,
traumas and tragedies during
the past four years at the
newspaper. Although I fit this
bill, I'd like to write about
like just an
other brick in
the wall at this University -
another nameless face nobody 4.
would recognize even if they
tripped over you?
Well, if nothing else, you're in good
The so-called "big shots" that run the Univer-
sity may be household names, but they're cer-
tainly not familiar faces.
You might think being president of one of the
nation's top public universities would give you
some recognition. Think again. Some people
can't distinguish University President James
Duderstadt from former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter. We heard rumors the Dude has a summer
home in Georgia.
Or how about Walter Harrison? As the ex-
ecutive director of University relations, Harrison
is often in the public eye. Still, many students
confused Harrison with Geraldo Rivera. Maybe
Harrison should do a TV special on the opening
of President Duderstadt's vault.
But if you want to be a real celebrity on this
campus, all you have to do is whistle.
Indeed, blowing a whistle as coach of-one of
the University's athletic teams seems to be a
one-way ticket to campus fame. In fact, it could
become a ticket to a promotion. One student
thought football coach Gary Moeller was Presi-
PoorDuderstadt. He goes from being a former
U.S. President to being supplanted by a football
coach. But he shouldn't be too surprised.
According to an informal Daily survey, Uni-
versity students are more than three times as
likely to recognize a University coach as they are
to recognize a University administrator. They
are also more than 33 times as likely to recognize
a University coach as a University regent.
Although the poll was random, Regent Paul
Brown (D-Petoskey) said, "I hazard a guess the
results are pretty scientific."
Regents as celebrities - NOT!
W ith a total of two votes, lawyer Paul Brown
eeked out a tie in the contest for most
well-known regent - neck-to-neck with the
newly-elected Rebecca McGowan.
However, Brown was buoyed to his 2 percent
recognition rate by two of his neighbors from
Petoskey who attend the University.
"The interest of students in the football coach,
the basketball coach and even the president of
the University far surpasses their interest in the
regents," Brown said. "I'm not saying that's
right, but that's the way it is."
I was recently sitting in a
the Health 6m
with * *
we were Henry
There are 233,500
diagnosed cases in the United
Gay men account for 57
percent of this statistic.
One in 500 college
students have it.
between the ages of 18-24 are
the fastest growing group
killed by it.
Of course, I am writing
As I looked across the
room, I realized that these
seven people - plus countless
others who have attended the
mandatory UHS AIDS
program one must endure in
order to be tested - had the
same thought as me:
"I shouldn't have to be
afraid of dying."
This fear was etched in the
twentysomething faces of the
well-dressed woman, ner-
vously leafing through the
AIDS prevention literature and
the man in a baseball cap
asking questions about
Media images of people
with AIDS - ranging from
bed-ridden men and women
stuck with IV tubes to babies
born with the disease - can
rip one's heart apart.
However, on a local level,
we are often oblivious to the
disease. The person sitting next
to you in economics lecture
could be HIV-positive within
10 years. Chances are someone,
in your 500-person lecture
about the disease and the
stigma attached to AIDS
prevent people from getting
tested. Statements such as
"You deserved it" because you
are gay, use drugs or have
"unsafe" sex, are intimidating
This anxiety is similar to
what a lesbian, bisexual or gay
man may feel coming out, a
rape survivor may feel telling
her or his story, or even you
may feel disclosing your most
personal secret to a friend.
Three days after my group
session, I had a private
appointment with a nurse at
which I sheepishly disclosed
my sexual history to her.
Talking about one's sexuality
to a friend is often extremely
difficult, but this conversation
prompted stuttering embarrass-
ment and a very quick redden-
ing of my face.
I made an appointment for
two weeks later to get my
results, assuming that the worst
part was over and I could
continue on with my daily
But two weeks can be a
During this time, I was
plagued with "what if"
questions. "What if I am HIV-
positive?", "How would I tell
my parents and friends?",
"Would I ever find a lover who
would be understanding and
prepared to handle a relation-
ship with someone HIV-
positive?", "How would being
HIV-positive affect my
"Re- to become
gents are not celeb- more recognizable.
rities, nor should they be," he "I think there's a big mis-
said. "They should be ordinary, sensible people conception on the part of students about who
who worry about the University." regents are and what they are like," McFee said.
Ninety-nine students supported Power's sen- "That's one of the things I'm personally hopeful
timents, admitting they had no clue he was. we can work on in the next few years."
Power, unlike Brown and Regent Shirley McFee, Brown said board members are hoping to
who was pegged as a Nancy Reagan look-alike, increase knowledge about who they are and
could not even seek solace in being mistaken for what they do by including a presentation about
a celebrity. regents during orientation.
And being confused with Deane Baker is
enough to keep anyone awake at night. Administrators: Don't know, don't care
However, some students thought the regents M ost students could not identify University
have similar travel itineraries as the rich and administrators. More importantly, they did
famous. not care.
"My impression of regents is of these power- "They are supposed to affect me, but they
ful people in the state who come to the Ann really don't," said LSA senior Danilo Gutierrez.
Arbor campus once a month and then go back President James Duderstadt was identified
home and take care of things from there," said by half of the students polled. He said he was
LSA sophomore Prateek Sarkar. pleased with this figure but added that recogniz-
Despite Sarkar's theory, it's unlikely that ability is not that important to him.
Brown takes Air Force One back to Washington "Whether I'm recognized or not is not so
to assume his normal duties as vice president. much the issue," Duderstadt said. "I don't think
"It's not too much of a concern to me," said presidents either need or should seek that kind of
Rackham student Seth Allen. "I guess I don't visible, hands-on role. Idon't measure my effec-
really care about the regents very much. I don't tiveness by popularity but by achievables - the
feel like recognizing them would help me get quality of our programs and faculty."
what I want to get done on campus." Duderstadt admitted he did not have much
Butmany students admitted they didnoteven personal interaction with students, but offered
know what regents do. no response as to what Walter Mondale was like
"Those things are so random," Tipper, er, as a vice president.
McGowan said. "I'm not worried about this. It's "I do talk to students and get outbutnot in the
what do they think I've contributed that's more organized fashion I used to," Duderstadt said.
important than sheer physical recognizability." Most administrators said they were not both-
Students surveyed also said they did not care ered by their lack of recognizability either.
that they could not identify any regents. "I think to some extent if you are doing your
"I don't care that I couldn't recognize them job well your are invisible in my position be-
because I don'tdeal with them," said LSA sopho- cause a lot of what I do is behind the scenes,"
more Hannah d' Arcy. "If (the pictures) had been Harrison said.
of the secretary at the Honors or RC office, I "I hope the people in the Michigan Collegiate
would have known them." Coalition and the alumni leaders know who I am
No word yet on the RC secretary's version of because in some way my job is to be visible to
"The Statement of Students' Right and Respon- them and not students," Harrison added.
sibilities." Charles Moody, vice provost for minority
Brown said students are not in fact directly affairs, agreed. "It's more important for them to
affected by the regents. know what I stand for and what I fight for,"
"It's the running of the university that affects Moody said. "So whether they ... recognize me
Coaches: No autographs please
Students surveyed were far more likely to
recognize University male athletic coaches
than any administrator or regent.
"My position allows me to be seen by the
public more than the others," explained Gary
"Hollywood" Moeller. "I don't think that re-
flects poorly on any university official. People
who are on TV just get more exposure. How
often are the regents in the newspaper or on
LSA sophomore d'Arcy agreed. "You see
them on TV so these two guys (Moeller and
Fisher) look familiar. I don't usually meet up
with (the others), I just deal with their offices.
It's not them who directly affect me. It's their
A football player, who asked to remain anony-
mous, explained why he recognized his coach
(we sure hope so), Fisher and Duderstadt.
"Because I play football, I see Fisher and
Duderstadt went to the Rose Bowl with us," he
said. "The positions (the others) are in don't
allow them as much media exposure. I'm sure if
they did something significant we'd get to know
Carol Hutchins, the women's softball coach,
said she was probably more recognized than an
administrator or regent because she has more
interaction with students.
"Our job is to be involved with students and
student athletes," Hutchins said. "Ourjob is tobe
directly involved and the administrator's job is
to be indirectly involved."
Steve Fisher, the men's basketball coach,
agreed that interaction with students makes him
"It's a situation where we are there," Fisher
said. "I'm hands-on in the field. But I think