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Sept. 25, 2003

"Campus Diversity, Student Voices"—New documentary features U-M studentsí points of view
Still from documentary
Watch the trailer for "Campus Diversity, Student Voices" (.mov)

ANN ARBOR,Mich.—"Campus Diversity, Student Voices,Ē a new documentary featuring University of Michigan students, explores the role of diversity in studentsí lives at the University. In their own voices, students impart a close-up view of the scope and meaning of their experiences, and the significance of opportunities available in campus life to learn from difference. The documentary focuses on studentsí perceptions to provoke thoughtful and informed discussion of complex issues. It does not represent or promote University policies.

"Campus Diversity, Student Voices" will premiere at 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty, in Ann Arbor. The screening will be introduced by Paul N. Courant, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Earl Lewis, dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Total run-time for the documentary is 53 minutes. This premiere event is free and open to the public.

Produced by the accomplished documentary team at Rackhamís Dialogues on Diversity (DoD) office, the film draws on more than 40 hours of interviews with students, conducted individually, in groups, in courses and in extra-curricular activities. It features 11 students, with selections from other interviews woven in to provide counterpoint and dimension to their stories. The students are enrolled in U-Mís College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the College of Engineering, and the schools of Law, Business, Nursing, Art and Education.

The students featured in "Campus Diversity, Student Voices" are broadly representative of the University student community.

"I asked members of U-M faculty and staff to help me recruit articulate students for the interviews. We did not seek out students with particular viewpoints or opinions," said DoD director Pat McCune, who wrote, directed and produced the documentary. The students interviewed, both on and off camera, characterized their personal feelings about diversity, ranging from conservative to liberal and from disinterested to engaged, McCune said. The interviews were completed in fall 2002 and winter 2003, prior to the June 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the U-M admissions lawsuits.

"Campus Diversity, Student Voices" was underwritten by the Rackham Graduate School and is a production of U-M in every way. Videography and production assistance were provided by U-Mís BMC Media. McCune received her doctorate in history at U-M. The editor, Marc Drake, is a graduate of the film and video program, as is Scott Mahler, one of the narrators. The other narrator, Tara Gillespie, is a recent graduate of the theatre arts program, and the soundtrack is composed and performed by a recent graduate of the School of Music, Garrett Shatzer.

"Campus Diversity, Student Voices" is third in a series of documentaries about issues in higher education. Previous titles include "And You Can Quote Me On That" (2000), an in-depth look at the university experience of students with emotional and physical disabilities, and "The View from Here: Depression on College Campuses" (2002). All can be ordered at www.dialogues.umich.edu. The DoD production team currently is at work on a documentary about the upcoming 50th anniversary of Brown v Board of Education, including 2004ís Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads project.

The U-M Center for Research on Learning and Teaching is developing a discussion guide that will accompany "Campus Diversity, Student Voices" in distribution. The documentary is available in VHS, CD-ROM and DVD formats. For more information, contact Ernesto Mejia at (734) 615.1291 or divasst@umich.edu.

Contact: Deborah Greene
Phone: (734) 763-4008
E-mail: greenedm@umich.edu
or
Contact: Ernesto Mejia
Phone: (734) 615-1291
E-mail: divasst@umich.edu