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Not every group protected

To the Editor: In his column ("Something's rotten in the state of Dranoff," The Daily Pennsylvanian, 9/19/00) about the Dranoff corporation's exclusion of undergraduates as tenants, now apparently reversed, Enrique Landa cites Law Professor Alan Lerner to the effect that "discrimination is legal in this country... as long as one does not discriminate against certain protected classes, i.e., on the basis of sex, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality or age." I assume that Mr. Landa misunderstood part of Professor Lerner's statement, because in most of this country it is perfectly legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Fortunately, this is not the case in Philadelphia -- or Harrisburg, Pittsburgh or York County -- but it is legal in the rest of Pennsylvania, and in 40 of these United States (outside of those cities that, like Philadelphia, have enacted local protections).

Larry Gross Communications Professor

It's easy to register to vote

To the Editor: Kudos to The Daily Pennsylvanian for your editorial "Getting out the vote" (DP, 9/19/00). According to Federal Election Commission statistics, only about 32 percent of 18-to24-year-olds voted in the 1996 election. This was the lowest turnout for any age range. A recent study by the Panetta Institute found that college students are engaged in the policy debate and have a distinct set of issue priorities. The survey shows that college students are more optimistic than others in the population; are extremely concerned about education, the environment, gun violence and poverty; and are not susceptible to the whims of "political celebrity." Take your thoughtfulness and concern to the next level by voting. There are more than 14.3 million students enrolled in the nation's 3,700 higher education institutions -- that is quite a voting block. This fall's election is shaping up to be the closest in recent history, and college students have the power and the numbers to make a significant impact on the outcome. Your vote can and will make a difference. Make your voice heard. It's easy to register to vote in all 50 states online. Go to and click on the Register to Vote icon. There is also voter education information prepared especially for college students. This site is also accessible through Penn's Web site at If you prefer the paper method, voter registration forms are available at locations throughout campus including the Greenfield Intercultural Center, Houston Hall and Civic House. The forms are quick and easy to fill out, but most states' deadlines are approaching. Register today.

Melissa Peerless Associate Director Office of Federal Relations

'Social groups' add little

To the Editor: Fighting alcohol? A vast amount of energy is expended on our campus over this issue. Is it worth it? Student groups fight tooth and nail against alcohol policies for a perceived right to drink on the weekends. The past year has seen alcohol monitors, BYOB, mandatory registration of parties, wristbands and more fake IDs than you can shake a stick at. And all that our new policies have achieved is to create more hoops for student social groups to jump through. But what are we, as undergrads, really asking for? The ability to throw a raging, unfettered, free-for-all bash to be remembered for centuries? The right to get puke-drunk three nights a weekend? Is that fun, come Monday morning? My first week at Penn this year was, night to night, a wildly contrasting experience. One night, I attended a fraternity party where only women were allowed to enter freely. The brothers' motives were clear. Later in the week, I found myself at an unaffiliated party where the hosts were actually friendly to new faces and which had DJs and a dance floor. Why do we put up with the herd parties, the hotel parties and the same fraternities weekend after weekend? Stephanie Ives ("Progress fighting alcohol," DP, 9/16/00) mentions "the vibrant social life" social groups bring. I don't call bouncing from fraternity to fraternity vibrant. For a truly "vibrant" night, find an independent off-campus party, or throw your own.

Barrett Lawson Engineering '02

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