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The University promised to avoid knee-jerk reactions in response to the shooting outside the Palestra following the Philadelphia Public School league basketball championship in March. Unfortunately, we apparently have been given a typical over-reaching response to what was thankfully an isolated incident. The formation of a committee to review every proposal for a major campus event or visit is a sad attempt by the University to micro-manage the public perception of community events. Universities are supposed to be a forum for challenging contemporary ways of thinking. To have a committee overseeing the acceptability involved in hosting challenging events only highlights this administration's interest in stifling events with its desire for a positive public image. As well for who? The only issue should be that of security. In case anyone has forgotten, we employ a tremendous number of people who can properly handle security issues on this campus. Ultimately, the only role this committee can serve is as censors, a dangerous arena for a leading intellectual institution to be dabbling in. With regard to the basketball game itself, there is no rush to announce a decision as long as it does not unfairly hinder the Public League from finding a potential alternative site. What that decision must ultimately be, however, should not be in doubt. For next year, at least, the Public League needs to find a new home for its championship game. Hopefully the League itself will elect not to return to the Palestra next year. The attention on the event, which every year is considerable no matter what the circumstances, will likely focus next year far too much on this past year's tragedy, and far too little on the achievements of the teams and their coaches. Anxiety both on the court and in the Palestra will be too high to allow the event to remain an unadultered celebration of sport. If the game goes off without incident next year, then we can discuss the merits of having the game return to Penn. Students have a right to feel safe and a right to be protected by the University, but they do not have a right to close their eyes to the world and disallow the opportunity for any organization, basketball or otherwise, to prove with evidence that it can create a positive experience for the University. The DP also reported that the official memo discussing the new committee says events must be brought up before the committee if they have "significant public safety or security dimensions, significant open expression implications, significant public relations challenges or opportunities, the potential to attract a particularly large University audience [or] the potential to attract a particularly large external audience." This is a dramatic instance of over-managing a reality -- the potential for violence -- which the University ultimately has limited control of. Events with "significant safety and security measures" are the responsibility of the police and security forces on campus and in Philadelphia. Each year these two forces show the ability to smoothly handle an influx of 90,000 people during Penn Relays weekend. The new committee will have little data or insight of which the security detail on this campus is not already aware. If an event is deemed too dangerous to hold on campus, let Penn Police make that decision and notify the event planners. Furthermore, the committee is setting itself up for unimaginable attacks on its choices of which events to review. In her memo, University President Judith Rodin stated that the committee will not "reject any event based on the anticipated content of speech at the event." Rodin is treading a thin line here, having already faced a lawsuit from a University worker who claimed to be fired after being seen in pictures taken at a Louis Farrakhan rally. Race plays an integral, if unstated, role in how this committee will be viewed. It is not worth the potential uproar from constituencies which feel slighted for whatever reason. This University knows that there are always groups waiting in the wings to pounce on any perceived inequity. This committee will be a goldmine for these destructive and annoying tendencies. The University promised to consider the situation carefully after the tragic shootings outside the Palestra. It rightfully did so in private. Any new review policies such as the proposed one should have remained private. Cut the basketball game loose for a year to allow the game to escape the memory of last year's incident. Cut the committee loose before it publicly and unnecessarily intervenes in events and damages the Penn's credibility as a home for free expression.

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