Celebrities Go To School

by Keisean Marshall

How would you feel if you walked in to your classroom and saw a famous celebrity; like Madonna, Snoop Dog, Cameron Diaz or even Bill Gates? This is the case for some colleges around the nation. 

Courtesy of MTVu; a network dedicated to all aspects of college life both on and off campus. 

“Stand Up” [the program] brings the class to life in a way that few would ever imagine,” said Stephen Friedman, MTVu’s general manager. 

The network had envisioned a series where colleges would compete to hear a celebrity speak. But that proved too time-consuming to organize and when its second speaker, Marilyn Manson, nailed his appearance at Temple University, MTVu knew it had a better format. 

The goal of this program is to make the classroom fun, entertaining and make the class more interacting. 

Colleges and the network try to keep the program under-wraps- they manage to keep this serious secret by telling fibs to students who may wonder about the cameras when they show up to class. 

Hunter College in New York City participated in the program last week, a film class was told it was screening Madonna’s new documentary, “I’m Going to Tell You a Secret,” and discussing it with the film’s director. With an endless stream of adults- including big colossal bodyguards walking in and out of the room during the movie, smart students figured out what was happening. 

Student, Pinar Noorata, a junior film major said, “Since there were security guards all lined up I figured she was coming,” “That was kind of a dead giveaway. But I think everybody was still surprised. It was kind of surreal.” 

MTV and Viacom is considering giving “Stand In” some exposure on the main network, Friedman said, and is also mulling making extended versions of the appearances available on the Internet.

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