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September 17, 2008 - Image 13

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6B The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The desperate acts of
"Helicopter parents" don't cede control when their babies go to college
Sara Lynne Thelen (Daily Staff Writer

" Chuck, stand up, let the
people see you."~
- JOE BIDEN, Delaware senator and Demo-
cratic vice-presidential candidate, asking
Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham, a
paraplegic who uses a wheelchair, to stand up
for recognition at a rally in Columbia, Missouri.
Biden quickly acknowledged his gaffe and
apologized to the crowd and Graham

"I treat President Bush
better than some
Americans would."
- VLADIMIR PUTIN, prime minister of Russia,
asserting that Bush is an honest and respectable
man. At his resort in Sochi, Putin maintained that
members of the Bush administration, not the
president himself, are the ones responsible for
the increasingly dismal relationship between the
United States and Russia

With their course guides in
hand, freshmen fill the Fishbowl on
the last day of summer orientation
to register for classes.
Peering through the window
to the computer lab, some of the
students' parents stick around to
"It's a funnythingto see happen-
ing, these hovering parents, wait-
ing above them like something bad
is going to happen to them if they're
not there," said Erica Sanders,
director of Office of New Student
After orientation, most of the
parent attendees go home to deal
with their empty nest syndrome
passively. Others, though, don'tgive
up on monitoring everything that
happens to their babies. Every year,
Sanders said, a handful of parents
begin to show early signs of obses-
sion duringsummer registration.
Susan Gass, an associate director
at the LSA academic advising cen-
ter, recalls one father who was so
desperate to oversee his daughter's
registration he set up his laptop at
the Fishbowl window and called
her cell phone to walk her through
every step.
These "helicopter parents" have
trouble accepting that their kids
are on their own. And whether
they're fussing over their kids' fail-
ing grades or a too-cramped dorm
room, University faculty hear all
about it.
A student manning West Quad's
front desk, who wouldn't giver her
name because of University poli-
cies, laughed at the term "helicop-
ter parents" or parents that 'hover'
overtheir student's affairs. She said
she knew it well.
"I feel like we joke about this
stuff all the time," she said.

Since the 1980s, the University,
has run orientation programs aim-
ing to ease parents into letting their
18-year-olds grow up. Some are just
sad to see their kids go, while oth-
ers can't figure out how to surren-
der control.
"They're going through a hard
time sending their kids off to col-
lege," Sanders said. "But ayearlater,
when they're demanding another
grade... I can see where people
would be less sympathetic."
Astudentwhoworks atthe Office
of Undergraduate Admissions said
that the office gets about five calls a
day from concerned parents.
"(The) parents are just mad
cause their child didn't get in," he
said. "They just argue it over and
over again."
Over at East Quad's front desk,
an employee said he has received
equally ridiculous, albeit more
menial demands.
"Oh, I've had people ask me if
someone's here to do their kid's
laundry," he said. "Or they'll call
down to the desk and ask us to have
their kids call them."
Director of University Housing
Peter Logan was hesitant to paint
parents as the 'helicopter' variety..
"(That's) kind of a pejorative
phrase which we do not use widely
in University housing or student
affairs," he said. "We have 11,000
students in residence here. We have
a very, very small fraction of a per-
centage of situations where a par-
ent's engagement is intrusive."
But Logan admitted that par-
ents have gone too far in making
demands to University Housing.
Strange requests include custom-
ized meal plans with no health rea-
son, room swaps when their kids
don't like a roommate or layout

and personal wake-up calls in the accommodated." engaged in every step of the way,"
morning. To be fair, some parents are Logan said.
And that's the beginning. encouraged to crusade. Logan said Logan said that many students
"We have the occasional parent that a considerable number of stu- give parents their e-mail passwords.
who comes in to check if the room- dents insist on keeping their mom Sanders remembers a time when a
mates were keeping the room clean and dad informed of every incon- student interrupted an academic
enough for their son or daughter," venience. advisor, pulled out her cell phone,
he said. "Then there was the parent Helicoptering, though rare, is on and handed it to the advisor.
who wanted their student moved a the rise because technology allows "She said, 'Here, talk to my mom
couple of buildings away because especially dependent parent-child about that,' "Sanders said.
she was taking a cab to visit her relationships to flourish. But in the case of some parents,
friends a couple of times a "It's all sort of a style of modern technology needs to catch
week." parenting thatgoes back up with their helicopter tendencies.
He added, "That towhenthe child was Sanders told of one parent who,
request was not _-' ┬░very, very small, after hearing an orientation pre-
and the parents sentation about Entree Plus, asked a
have been in question of a Department of Public
Safety officer who was discussing
alcohol-related citations on_ cam-

Three things you can talk about this week:
1. Lehman Brothers
2. Sam Zell'slegal troubles
3. Montana's grizzly bears
And three things you can't:
1. The new Facebook
2. McCain's contribution
to the BlackBerry
3. Bill Gates and
Jerry Seinfeld !
Number of people as of this year who have tried salvia,
the hallucinogenic herbal drug

Nader and a parrot
lament the media
Things are tough for third party
presidential candidates in America.
So they often resort to desperate mea-
During his 1992 bid for the White
House, billionaire Ross Perot spent
millions on 30-minute infomercials on
network television, lecturing Ameri-
cans on the dangers of the growing
national debt with the aid of charts.
Without Perot's fortune, Ralph
Nader has to turn to the poor man's
network television: YouTube.
He sattdown with a parrot named
Cardoza to bemoan the lark of cover-
age his campaign is getting from the
mainstream media - and all the time
the press spends covering animals.
"In Washington D.C. they just go
crazy when the pandas start getting
close to one another at the zoo, he
says. "Sometimes I think I have to
dress up as a panda and go over to the
zoo and cast some amorous glances as
a female panda."
But the depressed-sounding Nader
talking to atalking bird is unlikely to
inspire much media coverage beyond
blurbs like this one.
Perhaps Nader will find solace in
the words of his parrot friend's likely
namesake, the late Supreme Court
Chief Justice Benjamin Cardoza:
"In truth, I am nothing but a plod-
ding mediocrity - please observe,
a plodding mediocrity - for a mere
mediocrity does not go very far, but
a plodding one gets quite a distance.
There is joy in that success, and a dis-
tinction can come from courage, fidel-
ity and industry."
See this and other
YouTube videos of the week at

"I can't stand her. She can suck it! Quote me."
- PAMELA ANDERSON, the 41-year-old model and animal rights activist, responding to a question
from E! News Weekend Canada about her thoughts on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain's
running mate. The reporter provoked Anderson by asking her if she had seen the picture published
in Newsweek of a bear hide that hangs in Palin's home

Wall Street panic party - Get a group of friends
together to pour over the last week of devastat-
ing financial news. How did this all happen? How
will it affect you? How soon should you convert
your checking account to gold? Maybe if you work
together you can make some sense of it. Probably
not, but you'll feel good that at least you tried when
you're standing in a bread line.
Throwing this party? Let us know. TheStotement@umich.edu


Percentage of males aged 18 to 25 who ha
in the past year, which makes it twice as r

ve used salvia
popular as LSD
ve tried salvia
Source: The New York Times

Gay men and blacks at higher risk for HIV
White gay men in their 30s and 40s, black women and young black
gay men aged 13 to 29 are considerably more atrisk of becoming infected
with HIV than other groups in the United States, according to a study
published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
ThestudyisbasedonCDC datareleasedinAugustthatshowedthatnew
who contracted them.
In2006,53percentofthe projected56,000HIVcases afflictedgayand
bisexual men, and blacks comprised 46 percentof those who were newly
infected, researchers found. They also concluded that among the gay and
bisexual groups, black men aged 13 to 29 were about twice as likely to get
HIV as young white and Hispanic men.
more likely to contract HIV than white women.

Percentage of college students who ha
in the past year


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