Brian Bora, UA Safety and Security Committee chairperson, said assembly members will try to recruit people through a "two-point plan" of speaking at floor meetings in the residences and at the meetings of other student groups. Bora, a Penn Watch coordinator, said the new plan should be in place by next semester. This fall, the two-year-old Penn Watch program, which was started by campus Greek organizations and joined by the UA, has had trouble finding volunteers, who patrol the immediate off-campus area in groups from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every night. Only about 200 students are participating in the program this year, compared to about 400 last fall. And UA members, who are responsible for a patrol every Wednesday, have not produced enough Penn Watch volunteers this semester to fill their slot. Instead, Alpha Phi Omega, a campus service fraternity, has volunteered to do the routes. Through their new plan, assembly members said they should be able to gain support for the program. "[The presentations] will act as a way of teaching people about the process and get them more involved," UA Treasurer Jeff Lichtman said last night. "We anticipate or hope that we'll get a few volunteers every time we do this." Lichtman said he thinks one reason people have not joined the program is that "they don't know what Penn Watch does" and added that after UA members explain it to students, he "hopes it will sell itself." While UA efforts may bring some new participants to Penn Watch, Alpha Phi Omega volunteers said last night the assembly should reassess the way it runs the program itself. Riz Shavelle, the fraternity's president, said her service group volunteered to fill in for the UA on Wednesday nights because the student government was unable to fill the routes. But Shavelle said the UA and Penn Watch coordinators have not done their part, saying "there's been no communication between the groups and the Penn Watch coordinators." "They just assume people will show up," Shavelle said. "The UA has volunteers they're not utilizing well . . . All the initiative's put on the volunteers, rather than on the UA or the coordinators." Shavelle said that on some occasions, Penn Watch coordinators have failed to show up at the University Police station to hand out equipment and to deal with the police officers on duty. She said that without the coordinator, volunteers can not go out on their routes, adding that one week, her fraternity members had to turn around and come straight home. Shavelle said she thinks the UA should devise a better system for communicating with volunteers and with the police. UA Vice Chairperson Ethan Youderian said he thinks the program's communication problem is that Penn Watch is not organized well and said the UA is currently devising a plan to restructure it. "We're trying to figure out now who should be in charge of this thing," Youderian said. "There should be a definite set form of leadership so Penn Watch runs smoothly all year."Comments powered by Disqus
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