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About two dozen students, staff and faculty gathered at the Houston Hall Bowl Room last week to hold a memorial for three students who were killed in separate incidents during the 1980s and to remind the University that violence and racism are still a threat in the community. The event, sponsored by the Penn Women's Center and organized by Andrea Casarow, a social work intern at the center, was an hour-long memorial dedicated to Meera Ananthakrishnan, Cyril Leung and Tyrone Robertson each of whom were victims of violence. Three speakers commemorated the lives of the three University students. Elena DiLapi, director of the Penn Women's Center, called Ananthakrishnan "a very bright woman" who "took great risks to come to America." "She was the most vulnerable, she was an international scholar, she was an international woman," DiLapi said, adding that "she was a woman of color" who was "particularly susceptible to violence." Ananthakrishnan was stabbed to death in her Graduate Towers apartment over Thanksgiving break in 1985. Ananthakrishnan, a physics graduate student, was "in a male dominated field," DiLapi added. College sophomore Su Suh, of the Penn Asian Circle, spoke about Cyril Leung, an economics graduate student from Hong Kong. "Throughout American history, there has always been racism," Suh said, adding that Leung was the victim of a racial crime. He was beaten with a tree limb after playing touch football with friends, she said. Leung was beaten to death in October 1980 by Clark Park. And Cora Ingrum, director of Engineering minority programs, said Tyrone Robertson, a freshman Engineering student who was shot in Chester, Pennsylvania, was "cut down in the prime of life." "He really was one who was interested in making something of himself," Ingrum said and then asked Robertson's family to stand. Assistant to the Vice Provost for University Life Barbara Cassel called the occasion "a reminder for all of us to reach out." And Joyce Randolph, director of international programs, said that international students are "marginalized" and are held out as show pieces, but are ignored by a large part of the University population. "The presence of international students is marginalized on campus, as are persons of color," she said, adding that international students comprise 14 percent of the University population. Former Victim Support Services Director Ruth Wells said "we express our thanks for the lives of Cyril, Meera and Tyrone." Calling them the "cream of the crop," she said "we all feel a lot of pain" for their deaths. "How do we deal with pain?" she asked. "We re-commit ourselves to make a change." She stressed that the University must maintain a separate budget for Victim Support Services. "Victim Support [Services] must always belong to the women's community, to the students of this University," Wells said. During the last section of the memorial, Robertson's brother stood up to speak to the group. "I extend my thanks to the University [for the memorial service]," he said. "There is no answer to violence." He stressed that students must remember to take precautions when they walk through campus. Casarow said she was pleased with the memorial, but said she wished more people had turned out for the event.

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