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What many of us forget is that Penn is not only 9,500 undergraduates and 10,200 graduate-degree students. It is also an institution of over 20,000 employees. The administration is not only our provost and deans. It is also a body of coordinators for Finance, Human Resources, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Facilities Management, Technology Support and more. And beyond the imaginary line that many of us draw at 40th and Walnut or 42nd and Pine, there are also neighborhoods and communities with which Penn is inextricably connected. When we as students make demands of our administrators, it is likely that we are not the only nor the largest nor probably the most important voices they hear with concerns to which they must respond. It is probable, though, that many of our concerns as students overlap with those of the surrounding neighborhoods or Penn employees -- those issues of safety, retail development and community relations in particular. Keeping this in mind, how do students make effective changes and progress for the long-run? Two avenues present themselves as options. We can function as an isolated student body, or we can deal with the issues that face us by better utilizing the potential resources with which we come in contact. Administrators, employees and local residents in many cases are less transient and more experienced in problem-solving at Penn than we are as students. By partnering with them we are capable of joining our concerns to make positive, educated, broad and long-term changes for the future. When we attempt to attack large issues as an independent student body, we become independent of those resources. We can make resolutions and demands regarding the appointment of the new provost, improvements in recreational or dorm facilities and our safety on campus. But these issues affect and have relevance to other parts of Penn besides students. Certainly the appointment of the new provost is of great concern to the faculty, recreation facilities are particularly important to the staff and director of the Department of Recreation and improvements in dorm life are of interest for the coordinators of the college house programs. Likewise, there are over 200 SpectaGuards and Penn Police officers whose livelihoods depend on making Penn a safe place for all of us. These are individuals and departments well-equipped to deal with our concerns. The idea of partnerships is pertinent to community relations in particular. From the Center for Community Partnerships and Civic House to the Office of Community Relations, there are vast numbers of student volunteers, employees and campus leaders dedicated to fostering our connection to University City. When we take aggressive actions that affect the community, we are stepping on these efforts. And beyond the University there are local residents whose concerns mirror our own on topics such as retail development and safety. After all, students are the ones with nine-month leases, while permanent residents' stake in Penn's retail development in the area is even greater than our own. And what is the use of making campus safer if the surrounding community is crime-ridden? Our concerns about preventing muggings, robberies and assaults are mirrored by the many resident surrounding Penn's campus. When thinking about any large issue from crime to campus resources, we can and should ask for help from our faculty, administrators and neighbors -- not only because they may serve as centers of knowledge and support, but also because their concerns are likely in sync with our own. One way in which these partnerships are being created is with next Tuesday's Community Relations Symposium, which links the resources of the Undergraduate Assembly, Civic House and the Office of Community Relations. By working in partnerships, problems which face us as students that may seem impossible become solvable.

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