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Neighbors of value

To the Editor: I read Brian Cope's column ("Malls, and walls, dividing Penn from the community," The Daily Pennsylvanian, 10/2/00) regarding the closing of the Uni-Mart with an open mind. I remember the crime that held West Philly in its grip in 1996, and I understand how easy it is for privileged college students to use fear as an excuse to venture past 40th Street. I have lived in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia for the past three years while attending Saint Joseph's University. My school is the process of following Penn's lead -- buying up the neighborhood to protect privileged college students. Mr. Cope fails to recognize the value of the "indigenous" residents of West Philly whom he calls "disadvantaged." Does Mr. Cope know that West Philadelphia has a thriving cultural community? Did Mr. Cope take the time to talk the men who sit along 40th and Market to see if they benefit from the yuppie syndrome of 36th and Sansom? Yes, I agree with Mr. Cope on his statement "down with mini-malls." I wish Mr. Cope would then assert "know and love thy neighbor." I think he would be surprised at how much value and worth he would find in his neighbors, beyond "three Ethiopian resturants."

Melissa Byrne St. Joseph's University '01

Ask your parents

To the Editor: When I read Ariel Horn's piece "Time to learn a real-life lesson" (DP, 9/27/00), I had to write in to state that I have a bottle of cooking wine but it is just about empty. I have put off finishing it because I do not have time to buy a new bottle. As a College of General Studies student, I think I have too much real-life at times. I know how to stretch a pay check to cover taxes, loans, bills, food, day care and insurance. I juggle working with making baby food, keeping house and finding the time to complete school assignments intelligently while half asleep. While I appreciate the need for "real-life" education she so eloquently expresses, I do not believe it is the University's role to provide it. College is not a supermarket. Having Penn offer real-life classes would be just like stocking the Marsala wine -- even if you had it you would not really know how to use it. Without really sounding any older, I would like to offer one piece of advice. Instead of asking Penn to explain insurance, payment plans and cooking to you, why don't you ask your parents? If they are anything like mine, they wanted you to get a college education because they could not teach you about calculus or Hellenistic Greece. Given the chance, they might be honored to impart some of the wisdom they gathered doing the very things that perplex you now. Consider their knowledge to be like your Marsala wine -- just sitting there waiting for you.

Joanne Murray CGS '01

A voting caution

To the Editor: As the election approaches, many on Penn's campus find themselves wondering who to vote for. Many others have decided which candidate they support, and try to encourage others to do the same. I fully support public elections, but I feel that I need to warn the Penn community about a very real hazard that exists: Do not register to vote in Philadelphia unless you actually are from Philadelphia! Last fall, I voted in the mayoral election with the understanding that it would not affect my permanent residency. This year, I received an unwelcome letter in my mailbox -- a summons to jury duty in Philadelphia. Fortunately I was excused, but nevertheless, it was a big hassle, and I was afraid that they were going to keep me there all day. Also, this has the potential to make you ineligible for you parent's health insurance and their tax deduction. If you really want to vote, get an absentee ballot from home, but don't register here. It is a bad idea -- at least not until the city finds a fairer way to select jurors.

Rob Eggleston Wharton '01

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