8F - New Student Edition - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 8, 1999
Advisers urge students
to contact them often
By Adam Zuwerink
Daily Staff Reporter
Academic advisers play a large
role during an incoming student's ori-
entation session, from answering stu-
dent's concerns about college life to
helping them decide which classes to
take. But their role doesn't end there.
The LSA Student Academic
Affairs center, located in 1255 Angell
Hall, welcomes students to see an
adviser at any time during their acad-
emic career, because "you can only
do so much bonding during the 20
minute meeting" during orientation,
said adviser Jean Leverich.
Although a typical meeting is only
20 minutes long, advisers can leave a
lasting impression on students.
Business Junior Jie Lin said that after
two years she can still remember
what her adviser told her during ori-
Leverich became an adviser three
years ago, after receiving her Ph.D. in
English literature from the
University. Beginning her career as
an English lecturer, she joins many
new advisers who come from an aca-
demic background, rather than a
Advising 13 or 14 students per day
during the year, Leverich sees
upwards of 20 during orientation.
"And it feels like it. It gets pretty
busy," she said. "I seldom get stuck
twiddling my thumbs."
Advisers are also present in the
residence halls for student advising
sessions. As the Residence Hall
Adviser for Stockwell, Leverich said
she often has hours in the early
evenings "to make it a little more
accessible to students."
After the orientation group and
individual meetings with a staff
adviser and student academic peer
adviser, where Leverich said the
questions and concerns typically
include how not to get lost in the sys-
tem and how to handle work and
social pressures, students are placed
in their adviser's e-mail group list,
where the adviser can provide easy
access to academic information, such
as deadlines and class offerings, dur-
ing the year.
The SAA program is highly inten-
sive and follows students through
their first year, said Louis Rice,
Deputy Assistant Dean for LSA
Student Academic Affairs. The goal
is "to help students make the most
informed decisions possible"
Technology plays a large role in
keeping students informed of their
choices through a tremendous
amount of e-mail contact, Rice said.
Each adviser also works at a comput-
er with the student to help plan and
"E-mail has really revolutionized
advising," said Liina Wallin,
Associate Director of the Honors
Program, echoing Rice's feelings.
But the amount of e-mail sent to stu-
dents during the year depends on the
Lin said some advisers only send a
few every semester, while hers sent
one every week.
In addition to her role as assistant
director, Wallin also serves as an aca-
demic adviser for the Honors pro-
gram, which provides its own set of
advisers for Honors students at orien-
tation and during the year.
An adviser at the University since
1975, Wallin moved to the Honors
program from general LSA advising
in 1992 and said students feel more
comfortable given the smaller size
Advisers only see four students
each day during orientation and "it's
a warmer atmosphere because it is
smaller," she said.
As part of this smaller atmosphere,
Wallin said first-year students often
feel more comfortable stopping by
the Honors office, located in 1228
Angell Hall, because the Honors staff
will many times recognize individual
While some students feel that
Honors may try to push one class or
program over another, Wallin said
this is not necessarily the case.
"We try to talk to students about
what their interests are ... because we
want students to challenge them-
selves," Wallin said. Our recommen-
dations are "not based on what we
feel about a specific department, but
the total program."
In addition to the Honors program,
other schools and departments within
the University offer their own advis-
ers, including the College of
Engineering, the School of Natural
Resources and the Environment, as
weil as the Athletic Department.
While Lin said she has been very
pleased with her academic advising
experience, she did raise a couple of
concerns. Advisers "don't really
reply personally to your e-mail. You
have to go see them," Lin said.
Although she added that making an
appointment is easy and can be done
over the phone.
She also pointed out that "some-
times they all give different answers.
I went to two advisers and had them
tell me different things" for the same
More information about LSA's
Student Academic Advising pro-
gram can be found at
Jean Leverich, the residence hail adviser for Stockwell residence hall wants students to come see her long after orientation
over. "You can only do so much bonding during the 20-miunte meeting," she says.
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University Musical Society 199
DPS -not just another security force
By Michael Kern
Daily Staff Reporter
The University's Department of
Public Safety has the difficult task of
providing law enforcement and secu-
rity for the University's campus and
its 220 buildings every day.
In 1995, the department received
72,000 calls for assistnce, which
averages to almost 200 calls per day. .
By comparison, the Ann Arbor Police
Department receives just 55,000 per
year - about 150 calls per day.
The department was originally
founded in 1965 as a campus securi-
ty department and had just two full-
Now, 34 years later, the campus
police and security division has been
a full-service police agency since
1991. It has 33 sworn police officers,
17 non-sworn public safety officers,
five dispatchers, supervisors, admin-
istrators, investigators, support staff,
and one new director, William Bess.
"We are a police department,"
Police Officer Jennifer Symanns
said. "We are here to make sure that
no one gets hurt and people use com-
Part of the problem for the sworn
officers is that people see non-sworn
security officers who do have the full
power of a real police officer (and
don't carry a gun) and mistake them
for each other.
"People confuse us all the time,"
Symanns said. "Our uniforms are
similar-looking, but if there is confu-
sion, people can just look for the
police badge on our sleeve."
Another misconception about DPS
officers is that they are not well edu-
cated. But the average police officer
has over three years of college educa-
The whole process of training an
officer also takes about one year. All
sworn officers must graduate from
the Washtenaw Police Academy. That
is followed with a six-week, in-house
training program and a 14-week field
training officer program.
Many students also don't realize
that a number of the officers are uni-
versity alums who joined the DPS
Symanns is a University alum who
started working with the DPS as a
student. After graduation, she
became a full-time employee in 1994,
and has been a certified police offi-
cer for three years.
"Being a former student is a neat
perspective," Symanns said. 'I feel
like I can relate better to the stu-
A number of the department's
sworn police officers are also retired
members of the Detroit police force.
Officer Steve Munerantz worked for
the Detroit police force for 25 years
before joining the DPS last August.
"I enjoy working here because the
people you are dealing with, stu-
dents, faculty, visitors, are much bet-
ter educated," Munerantz said. "You
get a chance to interact with people
and talk to them."
Besides working to keep campus
safe for students, faculty, and visi-
tors, the DPS provides a number of
other services to the community,
including security escorts for visiting
dignitaries, motorist assists, and
helping on community safety pro-
grams and other community related
projects such as food drives and
One bonus for working as a police
officer for the department is provid-
ing security for visiting dignitaries
and receiving the opportunity to meet
and speak with them. United Nation
secretary general Kofi Annan, first
lady Hilary Clinton, and Rev. Jesse
Jackson all visited the Michigan
campus this year.
"I had the opportunity to work
security and meet Jesse Jackson
when he came to speak," Munerantz
said. "A number of us had our pic4
tures taken with him, and I spok
with him briefly."
Sometimes the job gets more i
ous, though. Two years ago when th
Ku Klux Klan marched on Ann Arbor
city hall, Symanns had to act as par
of human barrier to protect the Klar
members from violent protesters.
"It was the scariest moment of 'n
life," Symanns said. "They wert
throwing rocks and bottles. The bot-
tles would smash over our heads, ant
the glass would rain down our backs.'
But most of the time, the *1
lenges that face DPS officers are no
quite as dangerous. According t
Symanns, teaching new student
about the DPS and the services it pro
vides is probably one of the toughes
aspects of the job.
"Every year we have a new batl
of students to re-educate," Symann
said. "We try to be proactive by meet
ing with students at orientation
We've also opened five substation
around campus to be more acces m
The DPS officers want students t
understand that they are not out t
ruin anyone's good time. They jus
want students to understand that the
aren't the only ones living in th
community and need to be consider
ate of other people.
The officers also want students t
remember that they are living i
city and need to be careful with 6i
"If I could give one piece o
advice, it would be to lock up you
property," Symanns said. "There i
Just so much personal theft becaus<
people aren't careful."
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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