8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 12, 2206
UMPATRIOTS PRANK ACADEMIA
BY CARISSA MILLER MANAGING NEWS EDITOR
For students preparing for final exams last fall,
the Angell Hall computer lab and Shapiro Under-
graduate Library offered more than just fluorescent-
dominated late-night study spots.
For at least a few minutes,these familiar sites pro-
vided comic relief.
Courtesy of the UMPatriots, a group of Universi-
ty students dedicated to amusing their peers through
video-recorded pranks, students witnessed a real-
life presentation of a game of Pac-Man.
Members of the Patriots have also performed
sketches in University classrooms dressed as Super-
man and a clan of ninjas.
Viral videos, or short video clips spread through
Internet sharing, typically showcase humorous
sketches like those by the UMPatriots, as well as
sports highlights, live performances and clips from
The UMPatriots do not consider themselves
an organized club, but members said they are
constantly looking for people to contribute ideas
for new projects.
"We don't have much to say. We have no alterior
motives and don't necessarily have any philosophy
for doing what we do" members said in an e-mail.
In the last six months, the Patriots - who are
intent on remaining as anonymous as possible and
avoid interviews with the media - have attracted
attention on the Internet and from local media.
This past April,the Patriots appeared on America
Online Comedy's list of Top 11 Viral Videos, peak-
ing at No. 2 with "Superman Leaves the Lecture."
AOL Comedy obtains the video clips from blogs
The Patriots are just one example of the mil-
lions of Americans latching on to the fast-grow-
ing craze of creating and sharing video pranks
and homemade movies online.
In December 2005, two former employees of
Internet payment company PayPal launched You-
Tube,an interactive website allowing usersto watch,
upload and share fast-streaming videos.
YouTube quickly became one of the most-visited
online video sites, sparking efforts to break into
the user-directed video market from companies
including Yahoo! and Google.
To view the full-length videos, go to www.umpatriots.com.
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Continued from Page 2
audience members' business cards from a basket and
then threw a football to the lucky guests.
The individuals selected then gathered at the front of
the room and sang the University fight song, "Hail to
the Victors," in order to receive their gift.
The favorite gift was a football autographed by Head
Coach Lloyd Carr, Grafton said. He said that the Lucky
Draw gave "a great sense of Michigan."
Today, the future of the relationship between the
University and Chinese universities is looking espe-
cially bright, but a long history of perseverance has
contributed to this.
The work toward creating a University presence
in China began with the third University President,
James Angell, who was Minister to China from 1880
Then University Regent Levi Barbour created a
scholarship program in 1914 for Asian women who
planned to study medicine, public health or education.
Five to eight scholarships are awarded each year.
"There are Barbour scholars everywhere in China,"
said Vice President of University Relations Jo Rumsey,
who has traveled to China four times on behalf of the
The University had made several trips during the
1900s, but a long-term commitment in China had yet
to be established.
In 1998, Lieberthal was appointed Special Assistant
and Senior Director for Asia on the National Security
Council under former President Bill Clinton.
The University has faced difficulties finding ways to
connect with alumni in China.
Grafton said much of the difficulty is generated by a
lack of collaboration among various schools within the
University that intend to create programs and foster
relationships in China.
Before the advent and widespread use of the Inter-
net, Grafton said, it was very difficult for alumni to
Transportation to and from China is also very expen-
sive, he said.
Rumsey said sustaining alumni clubs overseas has
been very difficult because of the costly and time-con-
suming nature of long-distance communication.
One of the most recent developments is the opening
of a University office in Beijing in 2003.
Rumsey is currently composing a contact list of the
participants in the recent receptions in China.
the michigan daily
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History of University-China Collaboration
O 1880-1881: University President James Angell serves as Minister to China.
1911: University students organize the first Chinese Students Club.
1920s-1930s: The University enrolls more Chinese students than any other university.
1961: The University Center for Chinese Studies is created.
1972: China's ping-pong delegation plays against the University's team in Detroit.
1979: Prof. Michel Oksenberg serves as senior staff for East Asia and China on President
Jimmy Carter's National Security Council.
1981: University President Harold Shapiro leads a group of University leaders to China.
1982: The first U.S. ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Leonard Woodcock,
joins the University's Political Science Department.
1998: President Bill Clinton appoints Prof. Kenneth Lieberthal Special Assistant and Senior
Director for Asia on the National Security Council.
2001: The University becomes the first authorized non-Chinese university to grant graduate
engineering degrees in China.
2003: The University's Office in China is opened in Beijing.
2005: University President Mary Sue Coleman and a delegation of University leaders travel
to China and solidify various collaborative initiatives.
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