Fact Du Jour – August 23, 2019 – When Playboy Visited Central Michigan University

In 1992, Playboy magazine shook the Central Michigan University campus to its core when it announced it was visiting the campus to “scout” models for a photo shoot. Those who managed to make the “cut” would possibly be in an April, 1993 edition of Playboy:

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A student working  ar CMU’s Student Activity Center made the pictorial…I hear she  was about  5 foot 8 with long  dark hair. If you visited  the SAC, she would be checking  your  student  ID at the door.

Some CMU students and administrators were thrown into an uproar – with sororities and women’s groups announcing they would protest Playboy’s visit – and of course, angry letters were written to the editor of the campus newspaper, Central Michigan LIFE. Administration (including then CMU President Leonard Plachta) pointed blame at CMU’s ranking on a “top party schools” list in 1987 for attracting attention from the magazine founded by Hugh Hefner. To read about some of the protests, click here.

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The University of Michigan has rivalries with Michigan State and Ohio State – and CMU’s main rival was Western Michigan in Kalamazoo.

Plachta also pointed blame at the chaos ensuing from a 1991 football game which pitted the CMU’s team Chippewas (which is what they were called at the time) versus their rivals the Western Michigan Broncos. In celebration, students at CMU overturned cars, set fires and forced local law enforcement to call for “backup” from 10 different police agencies across the state. It was such a “scene” that the story was picked up by national news outlets.

Plachta also mentioned that CMU gained notoriety in the 1980s-1990s for its “End of the World Parties.”

While the Playboy visit was going on, I had a chance to meet one of the “hopefuls” at a party.  She was dating a guy whom was friends with a guy I was dating – and she looked every bit like she would make the Playboy “cut.” Long blonde hair, hot body, bubbly personality (though I hear she didn’t make the cut).

Later, I would enroll at CMU (and graduate  from) for a couple of semesters and wrote for the campus newspaper. When the next CMU/WMU home game rolled around, police agencies left NOTHING to chance! Troops from the city’s police department, local county sheriff’s department, campus police, state police and even the tribal police – were mobilized to ensure there was not a repeat of the 1991 campus “riots.”

I honestly don’t remember anything riotous happening while I was a student there. Other than attending some small parties thrown by friends and going to bars from time time (and smoking weed a couple of times), I wasn’t really much of a “party animal” – and wasn’t involved in any Greek organizations. Sure, some of the students in my apartment complex may have partied a bit – and left red Solo cups littered in my parking lot  – but if they got too noisy when I was trying to sleep, I’d just kick up my fan a notch rather than try telling them to STFU!

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