Manning of ‘The Real World’ heads to UI

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 25, 2010 7:30 AM

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Synonymous with scandal and debauchery, MTV’s television series “The Real World” is a title instantly recognized by most college students.

Tonight, fans will get a chance to come face-to-face with the show’s latest star.

Campus Activities Board will present a showing of clips from “Real World: Washington D.C.” and a question-and-answer session with cast member Mike Manning at 9 p.m. today in W10 Pappajohn Business Building. Admission is free.

“[Manning] will discuss what goes on behind the scenes … and his experiences on the show before taking questions from the audience,” said Jim Arns, the activities board entertainment director.

Manning, along with seven other housemates, lived in a 10,800-square-foot brownstone mansion, valued at more than $5 million while working in the capital city. The cast also sampled the D.C. nightlife during filming, frequenting local restaurants and clubs.

But it wasn’t all party for the reality-television star. While on the show, Manning, a Thornton, Colo., native, worked on projects with the Energy Action Coalition and the Human Rights Campaign.

He lobbied Congress members on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues, participated in youth-engagement projects, and went on a speaker’s tour to help repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Manning, a former prom king, is also known for coming out as a bisexual during the series. Issues surrounding his sexuality are explored in some episodes.

He is not the first “Real World” celebrity to speak at the UI.

“We bought in JD from ‘The Real World: Brooklyn’ once,” Arns said. “Students seemed to really connect with him.”

The success of the last reality television event prompted CAB to bring in a speaker from the latest season.

“Campus Activities Board tries to set up a variety of entertainment,” Arns said. “Manning was a good fit [for us] because he seemed like a very diverse and interesting person.”

— by Alyssa Marchetti

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