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While administrators say the two schools will work together on security issues, they have little academic interaction. Penn and Drexel University -- the two largest businesses in West Philadelphia -- have long experienced a shaky relationship. While several administrators called the interaction between the two University City schools strong and mutually beneficial, others expressed some concern about the relationship -- especially in the wake of last month's rappelling incident, when a Drexel student fell 13 stories outside of Graduate Tower B. Drexel and Penn mostly work together through informal and individual-based interaction, according to University President Judith Rodin. "There is a great collaboration between professors," said Rodin, referring to several joint research initiatives. "There are always those kinds of projects -- but they don't come from the top down." A current joint effort between Drexel and Penn physics professors seeks to improve computer technology in the city, said Philip Terranova, Drexel's vice president for university relations. Terranova explained that Penn Physics Professor Robert Hollebeek and Drexel Physics Professor Da Hsuan Pheng have worked with the state government and the corporate community "to bring an immense supercomputing center here to Philadelphia." "It's a great example of Penn and Drexel collaborating in the name of the greater community," said Terranova, who added that the relationship between the two schools is "very good." Penn administrators said the relationship between Penn and Drexel will develop further as they deal with several non-academic issues facing University City. According to Provost Stanley Chodorow, the two universities are considering cooperating on security issues. And Rodin said future projects will require working with Drexel. "As we talk about a special services district, there will be continuing projects that really relate to our shared communities that we will work together on," she said. Despite future plans to interact on community-wide projects, the University has no intent to develop more concrete academic ties with Drexel, said Kent Peterman, the College's assistant dean for Academic Affairs. "We would be open to thinking about more interaction if it were proposed, but the College has no current plans to pursue a formal relationship at this time," Peterman said. He added that the College's substantial resources may not warrant more formal joint programs between the College and Drexel since Penn students already have many research and academic opportunities. "Are there things that they could get at Drexel that they can't get here?" Peterman said. "And are they of the same quality? These are the kinds of questions that would have to be addressed." In the past, interaction between Penn and Drexel has been both beneficial and damaging. The two universities often share facilities -- not only for academic reasons but also for students. A pilot program this fall permitted 20 Drexel students to live in Grad Tower B. When one of those students fell 13 stories while rappelling down the outside of the building in mid-November, Penn officials began to reconsider the program. At that time, VPUL Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said the administration was being neighborly by allowing Drexel students to stay in the building. She expressed outrage over the students' actions. Since the incident, administrators have decided not to expel any Drexel students from the building, causing tension between some students. College sophomore Christina Varughese called the relationship "not good" and added that the administration should do more to encourage interaction. "I personally feel a lot of hostility towards Drexel students -- and I don't know why," Varughese said. "I'm surprised we don't do a lot together considering we're only a block apart." And College sophomore Amanda Reyes said she never sees her old high school friends who attend Drexel. She added that Penn's proximity to Drexel should increase cooperation between the two schools. Yet Reyes said many Penn students have no desire to interact with Drexel students. "I know a lot of people here tend to look down on Drexel," she said. "I don't know if that's just an Ivy League thing." Varughese noted that her hostility toward Drexel students stems from what she perceives as a lack of appreciation on Drexel's behalf. She said she believes Drexel students and officials should have been more appreciative toward Penn for its efforts in arranging President Clinton's on-campus rally in early November. But Rodin said the Clinton event was a good example of how well the schools can work together. "We worked very hard to include Drexel and make them feel that it was their event too," she said. Drexel's Terranova also said the voter registration drive -- as well as the Clinton rally -- was an excellent example of the cooperation that can occur between the two schools. "There again you had a show of solidarity with the two schools' presidents together on the stage and students from both Penn and Drexel speaking," Terranova said. "There was a large number of Drexel students there and it was a great opportunity to share resources." Another political function involving the two universities was MTV's "Choose or Lose" campaign in University City in September. As preparations for the event were underway, many Penn administrators said arrangements were difficult to coordinate because of scheduling and communication problems between the two schools. And funding the event also caused tension. Rodin decided the university should not fund the event and that funding should be left up to Penn's Social Planning and Events Committee. "I think we pick and choose the events that require involvement," Rodin said. "We were asked at a rather late hour for financial assistance. I hope that we provided moral support." Rodin added that although she decided not to support the event financially, she did get involved by getting students to register on Locust Walk. SPEC Treasurer Gil Beverly, a Wharton senior, said he has had positive experiences working with Drexel students -- especially in organizing the Choose or Lose event. "Contrary to popular belief -- apparently -- we have a pretty good relationship with Drexel," Beverly said. "SPEC really enjoyed working with Drexel's Campus Activities Board and we left that event promising to work together again." Beverly added that SPEC and Drexel's Campus Activities Board will probably co-sponsor an event tied in to the Drexel vs. Penn basketball game next semester. They have also talked about jointly coordinating a concert, Beverly said.

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