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February 12, 2004 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-12

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8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Maazine - Thursday, February 12, 2004
ANDY KULA - BANGKOK RULES

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine
FEEL THE PULSE: PILOT PROGRAM
MENTORS STUDENTS WITH HEALTH ISSUES

PRINCE RUINED MY LIFE:

THE ANDY KULA STORY

By Katie Marie Gates
Daily Arts Writer

Last week I was interrupted
from my studies when I got
telephone call from my par-
ents. After a while, I had to explain
to them that my grades may not be
as high as desired this semester. I
assured them that college is just
more demanding than high school,
but they saw right through that.
When they asked what I spend all
my time doing, I told them that I've
been going on a lot of first dates
lately. They began laughing and
,.ridiculing me for never holding the
interest of any girl for more than
one night, so I hung up on them.
But it got me thinking, and I won-
dered why I never get far beyond the
first date.
Then, I remembered that last year,
I went out with a girl - for the sake
of anonymity, let's call her "Jessica"
(even though her real name is
A Maria).
Through my persistence, I got her
to tell me what she didn't like about
me. She gave me a copy of one of
her diary entries about me on the

condition that I NEVER CALL
HER AGAIN.
So I found this document, and
read it carefully, trying to decipher
the hidden meanings and the deli-
cate subtleties therein. Considering
that this Saturday will be dedicated
to the memory of St. Valentine, the
love-doctor of the Catholic Church,
I thought I'd share the story with
others and maybe raise awareness of
sub-par dating behaviors in hopes of
one day eradicating it. The diary
read:
Dear Diary,
Tonight I went out with this guy
named Andy, and it was pretty much
awful from the start. Through my
window, I saw his car coming down
the street. It was white and had a
stuffed Teletubby chained on the
front bumper. He swerved a little,
and hit my mailbox, knocking it out
of the ground. He looked around,
grabbed it and tossed it into my
neighbor's bushes like nobody
would notice.

He carried a cane even though he
didn't need it, which I think offend-
ed my grandmother who answered
the door. When we left he said, "See
you later," then he noticed her oxy-
gen tank and said, "well ... maybe."
On the way to the restaurant, I
tried to break the ice by saying that
I liked his hair. Then he lectured me
for at least fifteen minutes about
how it wasn't orange, it was the
color of a "blazing citrus fury." That
really freaked me out. He was also
playing some really strange music.
It may have been Prince, but I real-
ly don 't know. He started singing
along, and he tried to hit some high
notes that no right-minded man
should ever approach.
Dinner was really awkward. He
tried to order the grilled chicken but
the waiter said he couldn't because
they had run out. Andy then started
tearing his clothes and weeping bit-
terly. After a few minutes of moan-
ing and wailing, I got so embar-
rassed I just left. When I came back,
I'm pretty sure I saw him putting

something in my drink. I got a new
one just to be sure.
Then we went to the movies. That
was even worse. He actually tried
doing that yawning and stretching
move. Except, he didn't put his arm
around me - he put his arm around
the girl sitting on his other side! I
couldn 't believe it. The girl started
screaming, and her parents chased
us out of the theater. I wish they
would take him to court, as they
threatened in their broken English.
Then, we were walking down the
road and came to a puddle on the
ground. Surprisingly, he took off his
jacket and covered it for me. I actu-
ally thought that was sweet, and
maybe I was wrong about him ...
until later when he tried to do it
again with his pants. Then I was
just scared.
When he was driving me home, he
got distracted and skidded into a
parked car on the side of the road.
He stopped and looked around.
Then he started the car again,
winked at me and said, "This never

happened."
Finally, when we got to my drive-
way, I jumped out of the car without
even saying goodbye. He got out
with a hose, siphoned some gas from
my dad's Buick, and then he decided
to call it a night and went home.
This was the worst night of my life.
That's the last time I call somebody
whose number I got off a restroom
wall.
-Jessica
Looking back now, I can see how
my behavior may have been a little
inappropriate. Prince has some pret-
ty suggestive music, and I shouldn't
have played that at least until the
second or third date.
- Andy has learned from his past
mistakes and has switched his
groove music to that crazy R.Kelly
dude. Fortunately for all the ladies
out there, he's still in the market
for that special someone this
Valentine's Day. Contact him at
ajkula@umich.edu.

Need a condom? Have a question
about drug abuse? Especially during
the winter months, the trip to
University Health Service is often less
than appealing. So when you have a
question about your health or the
health of a friend, where should you
turn? A pilot program in the residence
halls called PULSE is striving to be
the answer. Now active in South
Quad, West Quad and Couzens resi-
dence halls, Peers Utilizing
Leadership Skills for Education has
40 students trained to guide dorm res-
idents with health issues.
Since one-shot health education
programs in the residence halls were
unsuccessful, a group of UHS faculty
members decided informal leaders
within the community might better
serve residents. "We need input from
students to be able to create program-
ming and initiatives that make sense
to them and are relevant to them," said
PULSE director Traci Jarrett, the sex-
ual health educator at UHS. "We
thought housing would be a great
place to start." Resident advisors
sought out strong leadership charac-
teristics in their residents, selecting
several to become mentors.
The program was looking for mem-
bers "who weren't necessarily your
traditional peer health person, but
people others went to naturally for
ideas," explained Jarrett. "We were
overwhelmed by the response."
PULSE members have a training
session each week to learn about
important health issues on campus
and organizations that specialize in
helping students. Jarrett said some of
the organizations scheduled to visit
the PULSE mentors in the future
weeks include Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center, the
Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Affairs and Counseling

and Psychological Services.
"It's not so much that we're taking
over the role of ResStaff or what UHS
does, that's the controversy of it," said
LSA sophomore and PULSE member
Jessica Petrus. "We're just providing
another source or a liaison to the
ResStaff or UHS. If students have
questions and they don't know where
to go, they can come to us."
West Quad hall director Gina
Arendsen decided to have PULSE in
her building because it is a great
resource for students. "It in no way
takes away from the RA, as they still
have information around health issues
and concerns," she said. Arendsen
also values PULSE as a leadership
opportunity for residents.
PULSE members are not trained to
diagnose students, Petrus explained,
but they are there to help refer stu-
dents who may be lost and confused
about health issues or simply need to
talk. Much of their training is in sex
education, and PULSE members also
have condoms to provide for students.
"Since we are not ResStaff, we
don't have the obligation to report
people if they have been drinking
underage or doing drugs, we don't
have that authority," Petrus added. "In
terms of confidentiality, we don't
need to let ResStaff know." Only in
severe cases do PULSE members ever
reveal the information they receive.
While some students have seen the
PULSE bulletin board outside the
Couzens cafeteria, few are familiar
with the program. This pilot attempt
has had a difficult start-up since few
residents understand the way peer
health mentoring works
Those who do know about it, like
the idea. "I think just having some-
one else besides the RA there,
someone who is your age, gives you
one extra resource which is always
nice," said LSA freshman Nisha
Patel, who lives across the hall from
a PULSE member.

«'
::: '

TREVOR CAMPBELL/Dail
PULSE members offer advice on topics such as health issues and sex education.

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"It's a good resource for students,"
commented LSA freshman Angela
Atchinson, who considered joining
the program herself. "I'm unsure how
often it is really going to be used," she
said, pointing out that there is a need
because many students on campus are
having sex, but they would have to
feel comfortable approaching a
PULSE representative.
"More people come interested in
what it is actually about," LSA fresh-
man and PULSE member Carrie
Genualdi said. "They like to look at
our book and see what's going on
(with the program)," she added, even
though Genualdi, who lives in
Couzens, has not had many visitors.
"It's difficult to get the word out, so
no one really knows what PULSE is,"

Petrus noted. She also hasn't had an
visitors in West Quad. "All the inter
actions I've had have been with my
friends or people I know on campu
already. Even if it's someone you
know very well, we can use all of thi
training to guide them."
PULSE members would eventually
like to organize programs for thei
halls. Right now, they are working
with ResStaff to put on activities lik
the Safe Sex Parties in Couzens and
South Quad. Having events like thi
in a fun atmosphere is helpful in pro
moting PULSE and safe sex habits
Petrus explained. It is important fo
residents, "to get good information o
the safest things they can for contra
ceptives and to get to know PULSI
and what we're all about."

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