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The Committee on Open Expression plans to perform sound tests on College Green Monday morning in an effort to determine a "reasonable" noise level for rallies and other outdoors activities at the University. Molecular Biology Professor Robert Davies, chairperson of the Open Expression Committee, said earlier this week that in conjunction with University departments, he will check the noise levels at the core of campus and then set rules regarding what is "acceptable." "We're going to make very loud noises," Davies said, adding that people will be stationed in various buildings surrounding College Green -- including College and Logan halls and Van Pelt Library -- to listen to the noises and report them. Davies said the entire University community is invited because not only is a crowd needed to determine maximum levels, "a large crowd [is needed] to decide what is the minimum level of noise that can be heard by a crowd of people." Office of Environmental Health and Safety Director Matthew Finucane said yesterday his office will assist the committee in performing the study and will provide some sound level meter equipment. Finucane added that the sound level will have to comply with the City of Philadelphia's regulations, but the "appropriate" noise level may be quieter than that. Davies said he has purchased a couple of Radio Shack sound meters himself to be used in the experiment and has been testing them around campus. "I went around [Locust Walk] noting what the sound levels were," Davies said. The Committee's decision to study noise levels comes in the wake of the Committee's investigation of an incident involving a misunderstanding with the organizers of a Bisexual Gay/Lesbian Awareness Days rally last month. After determining that the incident involved miscommunication rather than malice, the Committee voted to clarify its rules regarding public meetings. Davies said he chose to do the tests on Monday, the first of the semester's reading days, so as not to disturb classes or exams in progress.

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