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Michigan students raid president's house after win

Nov. 12, 1997

Heather Kamins

Michigan Daily

(U-WIRE) ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University President Lee Bollinger sat on his bed watching the Michigan-Penn State game with his wife Saturday night when more than 1,000 university students hurdled his bushes, climbed the trees, crammed onto his lawn and began screaming his name.

As the crowd mounted the steps of the white house, shouting, 'We want Lee,' Bollinger emerged and invited the students in -- making the president's house the home of the largest post-game party on campus.

'You can stay here as long as you want and come inside,' Bollinger said, hugging and embracing students in celebration of the Michigan victory.

The swarm of students pushed through the small door of 815 South University Ave. Hundreds of students packed into every room of the house, including Bollinger's bedroom, living room and study.

Kinesiology sophomore Bob Lehrer made himself at home in Bollinger's bedroom.

'I sat on Lee Bollinger's bed and was watching football on TV,' Lehrer said. 'I called from his phone to my answering machine and left a message. He gave me a hug and on the way out he said he loved us all.'

Bollinger, who had watched the frenzied students sprint down South University toward the house, said he was concerned that the celebration would mirror the recent riots at Michigan State University after the Spartans defeated Western Michigan.

'I didn't know what the crowd was like,' Bollinger said. 'I was worried about that, but it all turned out all right. It was wonderful.'

Students said they did not want to cause violence or destruction -- they simply wanted to party with the president and celebrate the victory peacefully.

'He's a great guy,' said sophomore Jason Ragnick. 'He let us party in his house. We're not making violence. We're partying with the president.'

The students then ran to the quietest place on campus, the Law Library, shouting and chanting 'The Victors' while tuba players followed closely behind.

The Ann Arbor Police Department and the Department of Public Safety said there were no arrests made that night.

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