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Last fall, Morrisson created the Committee to Restructure Penn Extension to investigate the needs of the University's community service programs. In March, the committee issued a report recommending that an office be established to coordinate different programs and that training, transportation and evaluation of the programs be improved. Morrisson endorsed the report. But since the report was issued, student leaders said, the transportation problem has become so acute that some programs have had to shut down. PVN sent a letter to Morrisson last week telling her that members were concerned that "little action has been taken." They said the only tangible result of the report so far has been the hiring of a professional administrator for the office of Penn Extension, now called the Program for Student-Community Involvement. Student volunteer leaders said they need transportation to help with the delivery of food to needy people and to ensure the safety of their volunteers, many of who travel into dangerous neighborhoods for tutoring and other activities. The Prison Tutoring Program is one outreach service that stopped this semester because it lacked reliable transportation. According to coordinator Amy Dmochowski, a College junior, the program depended on students who owned cars, a method which was not only unreliable, but limiting. Dmochowski said last year she had to turn away volunteers who could not fit into the single car available. Gordon Rucksdeschel, director of PENNpals, said students in the program walk home with the elementary students whom they tutor, often after dark, and that a van would eliminate the long, dangerous walk for both University students and the children. Former PVN Facilitator Colleen McCauley, whose term ended last week, said she assumed that since Morrisson endorsed the committee's report, the Office of University Life was working on the problem. "The issue is just feeling very discouraged at the lack of attention to the problem of transportation," said the Nursing senior. "We had hoped, or assumed, that we wouldn't have to light fires to get things going. I think we were a little naive." McCauley said transportation problems could be solved by providing a van, which would be accessible to the 30 groups that belong to the Penn Volunteer Network and to students involved in other programs in the city. But Barbara Cassel, an assistant to Morrisson, said problems of liability need to be resolved before the University can provide a van. Both Cassel and McCauley said that execution of Morrisson's proposal depends on the creation of a new position in President Sheldon Hackney's office. The new administrator, a director of community partnerships, would be in charge of projects designed to link the University to the surrounding community. But Assistant to the President William Epstein said last week that that position is part of a long-term plan for community outreach, and will not necessarily be filled immediately. Epstein said the PVN can not rely on that future administrator to solve its problems. "There are certainly enough people around to work on that kind of problem," he said.

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