The Black Student League is hosting a rally today in support of a public interest center's upcoming lawsuit alleging that the University administration does not provide enough "Mayor's Scholarships" to needy Philadelphia high schoolers. The BSL and the African American Association of Faculty, Staff and Administrators announced earlier this month that they will join the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia as litigants in the suit which as of yesterday had not yet been filed in court. The rally, which begins at noon on College Green, is intended to inform the University community of the lawsuit, BSL President Jessica Dixon said last night. "The University has said the case is with out merit," Dixon said. "We want to make them commit to their past agreements." A series of city ordinances and agreements dating back to the 19th century require the University to give out the equivalent of 125 full scholarships each year to Philadelphia students in exchange for land. But, the University and PILCOP disagree over whether the University should provide a total of 125 scholarships in any one year, or should establish 125 new four-year scholarships each year. President Sheldon Hackney said at a University Council meeting earlier this month that he had met with Mayor Wilson Goode in June "to review our implementation of these scholarships, and both the University and the city agree that we are meeting our commitments." On August 1, 1977, the University consolidated a 1882 and 1910 agreement "to establish and forever maintain at least 125 four-year full tuition scholarships, or their equivalent in any of the departments of the University, to be awarded annually by the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia to deserving students from all of the schools of the City." Dixon last week that one of the reasons the BSL joined the lawsuit was that many Philadelphia high schoolers are not aware of the scholarship and that could influence their decision to come to the University. Last year there were 162 Mayor's Scholars enrolled at the University and, according to General Counsel Shelley Green, the scholarships were valued at over $1.8 million.Comments powered by Disqus
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