Originally created 08/31/97

Web users offer Chelsea Clinton college advice



SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Web users have some advice for soon-to-be college freshman Chelsea Clinton about getting along on campus: Don't be a name dropper. And don't start every sentence "My Dad says ..."

Excite Inc., which runs one of the popular "search engine" directories that let people find things on the World Wide Web, is asking its 2.5 million daily users how they think Chelsea should handle the challenges of attending Stanford University.

The six Stanford grads who started the company four years ago want to help her - and make her laugh, said Joe Kraus, one of the founders.

"But you know what I would really love? If she would answer one of the polls - see what advice she gives herself," said Kraus, Excite's vice president.

He didn't know if Chelsea, a computer user, had seen the survey. The Clinton's are vacationing on Martha's Vineyard and there was no immediate response to calls to Hillary Rodham Clinton's press office, which handles questions about Chelsea.

The company plans a series of surveys about the first daughter.

Several thousand people responded last week to the initial poll, which asked how Chelsea can survive a political science class after life in the White House.

They were asked to choose one of three suggested pieces of advice:

- Sixty percent went with: "Don't start sentences with `My Dad says ...."'

- Twenty-seven percent voted for "Take the Republican Platform at every debate."

- And 13 percent advised her not to drop the names of heads of state.

Chelsea moves to Stanford in time for the Sept. 24 first day of classes.

Newsweek reports in this week's issue that her father told the Secret Service to let her have a "normal college life." The magazine said her Secret Service guards will be casually dressed, some will be equipped with mountain bikes, and they will have a room in her dormitory .

Five more Excite surveys about Chelsea will run each Monday starting this week, Kraus said.

Some of the topics may come from suggestions submitted by Excite users.

One Stanford student had some tips for Chelsea if she gets homesick: "Attend a student sit-in, invite Dad Clinton to a dorm food fight, and try it and don't inhale," Kraus said.

And if Chelsea doesn't like the topics?

"If she suggests a poll she wants to do, we would do it," he said. "If she writes in ... we're there."