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March 10, 2005 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-10

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w I

14B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 10, 2005
Black Volunteer Network
Dedicated students serve A communi

The Michigan D
Random thinks Martha ruled jail

By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Editor

By Dan Marchese
Daily Arts Writer

Jahmal Williams knows what it
takes to run a successful student
group. As an LSA senior and president
of the Black Volunteer Network, Wil-
liams describes himself as a behind-
the-scenes kind of guy.
"When I plan an event, I want to see
everyone else in the group out there
doing their thing. I like sitting back
and watching others enjoy what they
are doing," Williams said.
As a strong, young leader, Williams
has the right attitude in guiding his
fellow peers to service opportunities.
Founded in 1994, the Black Vol-
unteer Network was formed to assist
black students, faculty, staff and orga-
nizations in identifying appropriate
avenues for service.
According to Williams, BVN start-
ed as a subset of the Black Student
Union because they felt they needed a
volunteer organization. Williams said
that a lot of students come to campus
wanting to get involved, but because it
is a new area, they don't know where
to go and what to do.
"We provide an outlet for that to
happen," Williams said.
Membership to BVN is open to any-
one who is willing to be dedicated to
volunteer, with most of the volunteer
efforts focusing on servicing underrep-
resented students and communities.
Williams said that BVN is always
looking for committed individu-
als. One such individual is executive
board member Candace Jackson, an
LSA junior and a community service
co-coordinator. She described her
time spent with BVN as a positive

"I got involved my freshman year
through a co-worker and former exec-
utive board member. She invited me
to come to one of the meetings, and
I brought a few friends. I was really
impressed by the members," Jackson
"They were all so dedicated, and
there were so many different activities,
one-time projects and weekly sites to
choose from. They made it really easy
to get involved," she added.
The community service chairs go
out and coordinate service opportuni-
ties with community centers, homeless
shelters and nursing homes, providing
numerous service opportunities to
those who are willing to devote their
time to help.
BVN sets up weekly volunteer sites
around the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti
community. They also have their own
service programs so that students can
get involved in other, more central-
ized, campus opportunities.
Some of the places they volunteer
at are the Hikone Community Center
on Packard Street, the Sunrise Assist-
ed living home off of Plymouth Road
and the Community Leaning Post in
downtown Ann Arbor in the commu-
nity center.
In addition to off-campus service,
BVN hosts a freshman block party
at the Michigan Union in the begin-
ning of the year, and Soul on Ice - a
fundraiser for Adopt a Family during
Christmastime through the Ginsberg
Center - at Yost Ice Arena.
In January, BVN hosted their annual
Martin Luther King weekend program.
This program works with Detroit and
Ypsilanti high school students to raise

Random: Hello?
The Michigan Daily: Hi, is Alexander
R: Yes, this is Alex, hey.
TMD: This is Josh from the Michigan
R: What's up, Josh?
TMD: I'm calling for the Random
Student Interview in the Weekend Maga-
zine. Do you have a couple minutes?
R: Oh, fuck yeah! I mean, freak yeah,
I do.
TMD: Alright, fantastic. We're gonna
get off to a wild start then. The question
on everyone's mind then, is: What did you
do for Spring Break?
R: I went to London, actually.
TMD: What was in London?
R: My girlfriend, who is studying
abroad. Well, she's not studying a broad
because she's a heterosexual woman.
Hahaha ... oldest joke in the book, sorry.
TMD: What was the craziest thing
you did over Spring Break?
R: Umm, I missed a bus. I don't know
if that's really exciting. I ran like two
miles to find out that I was like 20 min-
utes late and everyone made it anyway.
TMD: Was it one of those crazy, dou-
ble decker red buses in London?
R: Yeah it was, although it wasn't red.
It had this big guy on it. It's called Mega
Bus, the company, and the guy looked
like a pig. It was really funny because he's
yellow, pink and round and looks like a
pig, but it's a dude.
TMD: I think that's pretty crazy. That

any boots. I think the puddles are better
than the slush river that is State Street
sometimes in February. So I'm looking
forward to more puddles, less slush river.
TMD: I think it might not be bad to
invest in those big, yellow galoshes that
you see on Sesame Street when you're
R: Yeah, and the huge rubber ducky
umbrella. That would be hot, too.
TMD: I'm a little disturbed. Well if
you were going to color your hair a color
of the rainbow, which color would you
R: Fuchsia.
TMD: I don't think that's a color in the
R: Name colors in the rainbow then.
TMD: Red, blue, violet. It's that whole
Roy G. Biv spectrum.
R: OK, Roy G. Biv? I'll go with vio-
let then. Because that's almost fuchsia.
Fuchsia is in the indigo/violet/red range.
TMD: Whatever works for you. I'm
sure you'd look fabulous in fuchsia.
R: Thank you.
TMD: So Martha Stewart just got out
of jail.
R: Yeah she did.
TMD: Do you think that she was the
bitch in jail, or did she make somebody
else her bitch?
R: (Silence)
TMD: It's a tough question, I know.
R: It is a tough call because I feel like
she would have made her own soap so
if she dropped the soap on the floor, she
would make the other people in the jail
pick it up. She's always hit me as very
masculine. Even despite that "Saturday
Night Live" thing where she just had the
collars and her boobs. So I'm pretty sure
she made others her bitch.

R: And now that she's under house
arrest, I don't even know what's going to
TMD: She is back on the market
though, so would you trust her to deco-
rate your wedding if you just gave her a
blank check?
R: Well, you know, even if she's doing
it legally, she sure knows how to make a
lot of money. If she was making money
off of me, it would be a bad thing. But if
she was cutting corners to make my wed-
ding awesome at a cheap price, I would
really go for that. But I'm gonna let my
wife plan the wedding.
TMD: You don't want to become
Martha's financial bitch, no doubt about
R: No, I really don't.
TMD: Alright, we've made it to the
quiz portion of the Random Student
Interview. I'm going to give you a name
and you have to tell me if this person is a
part of President Bush's cabinet or if he is
on the roster of the Detroit Tigers.
R: (laughter)
TMD: Alright, first name. Alphonso
R: Alphonso sounds like it could
be Caribbean. I'm going to go Detroit
TMD: No, sorry, he's the Secretary of
Housing and Urban Development.
R: Ah, HUD. My uncle works for
HUD. I should know that. Alright, strike
one, let's go.
TMD: Alright, next name, Byron Get-
R: ...Byron sounds like Lord Byron
and educated, which doesn't always
associate itself with professional base-
ball players, but I'm going to go with the

Tigers anyway.
TMD: That's right, he's actually ai
outfield for the Tigers.
R: Booyah!
TMD: Alright, last one. Alberto Gon
R: Alberto Gonzales, you gotta go
TMD: He's actually the new attorney
R: My roommate says Blue Jays. Even
though they're a Canadian team, maybe
he can still be in the cabinet.
TMD: It's possible, but no matter how
you spin it, you still went 0-for-3, and he's
still the attorney general.
R: 0-for-3? I thought I had 1-for-3.
TMD: No, I think you went 0-for-3
We'll have to go back and check the tape
on that one. OK. We're going to conclude
the interview with a couple deep philo-
sophical questions that I actually just
pulled off the Internet.
R: Alright, that's fine. Now it could be
deep, ya know?
TMD: The first one, actually, is why is
there something, rather than nothing?
R: (Long contemplative silence)
Because if there wasn't something, how
would we know?
TMD: Wow, deep.
R: Yeah, I know.
TMD: The second one - do we have
free will?
R: (More silence) Well I saw the movie
"Free Willy," so I'm going to say yes.
TMD: But he got away at the end
though, didn't he?
R: (laughter) Yeah, I know.
TMD: Yeah, paradoxical. OK, the
final question. What is the meaning of
this interview?
R: To read it. And it was good.

Courtesy of Black Volunteer Network
The Black Volunteer Network works around the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area at places such as the Community
Learning Post and the Sunrise Association, while also offering programs on campus for students.

greater awareness about Dr. King.
They try to get 50 to 60 high school
students and bring them to campus to
get students excited about college and
answer their questions, hoping to get
them more involved on Martin Luther

King's birthday.
"We try to have a diverse array of
programs so that we can reach more
people. Our social activities are meant
to unify the black community, plus
raise money for more volunteer activi-
ties, as well as publicize for BVN. The
MLK program is our biggest volunteer
program on campus," Williams said.
BVN also offers students the
opportunity to spend a week together
through Alternative Spring Break at
work sites in Chicago and New York.
Upcoming events for BVN include
the Kids Fair on March 11. BVN will
work with K-Grams at Crisler arena,
with a booth set up where the kids can
come to play games and win prizes.
On March 17, BVN will also host
their annual basketball tournament,
Hoops Hoopla, to raise money for the
group. The event is a 5-on-5 tourna-
ment, scheduled to take place in the
sports Coliseum on Hill Street. The
cost to enter is $30 per team and the
admission price for the general pub-

lic is $6.50. Tickets will be sold at
the Michigan Union Ticket Office. In
addition to the tournament, there is a
3-point contest, with a DJ and select-
ed dance groups providing entertain-
Williams said he hopes that all of
these events will bring more people to
the service community, drawing fel-
low students closer together in their
quest to help others in need.
"Our goal is to see us grow in num-
bers. Right now we have eight weekly
volunteer sites we work with, with
about 25-30 active members. I would
also like to see us effect a greater pop-
ulation in the Ann Arbor and Ypsi-
lanti area."

"We try to have a diverse array of
programs so that we can reach more
people. Our social activities are meant
to unify the black community, plus raise
money for more volunteer activities."

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