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Not catering to students

To the Editor: I am extremely disappointed with the situation of retail venues on Penn's campus. After reading the article "Pod emerges as newest campus restaurant" (The Daily Pennsylvanian 10/4/00), I feel like there is a huge gap between what Penn undergraduate students want and what the University and Trustees do. Executive Vice President John Fry said in regard to University City retail and restaurants, "We're accessible to everyone." At $30 a plate, I doubt that I will ever step foot into Pod. In a letter addressed to parents, colleagues and friends of Penn on August 17, 2000, President Rodin proclaimed that "Penn could never be an ivory tower set apart: Anchored in the midst of one of America's great cities, the University must always be engaged in public affairs." An ivory tower might not be constructed for a while, but it seems like Penn is in favor of rising above the surrounding neighborhood. I feel that it is more important to cater to Penn students and the community than to sell out to Rittenhouse Square yuppies and groups of fiftysomething Center City professionals. I do not think that creating a retail buffer around Penn will help us realize the "beloved community" that President Rodin spoke of on January 20, 2000, in a speech as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Program. In the future, I ask that the University look more to its students for advice when it comes to decisions that directly affect us.

Ray Valerio College '01

The writer is president of the senior class.

Vouchers not the answer

To the Editor: Alex Wong wrote in his column ("Escaping the blackboard jungle," DP, 10/2/00) that inner-city kids do not get the education that they need and that school vouchers are the issue. The public schools need all the money that they can get. The voucher program is merely an attempt to pump money into the parochial schools, which in my mind is a violation of the separation of church and state. If the government wants to give money to the church, go ahead, but not at the expense of the public schools. Another voucher problem occurs due to the fact that both Catholic and private schools cost more than $5,000 in the City of Philadelphia. Where does a poor family come up with the extra $3,000 to $10,000 to send its children to school? It doesn't! They are forced to send their child to an even more financially depleted public school thanks to your mathematically magical vouchers.

Patrick Madden College '04

Remembering a friend

To the Editor: In reading the article about the murdered Spectaguard ("23-year-old Spectaguard murdered," DP, 10/3/00), I think that we should note in the wake of this tragedy that the Spectaguard officers are not just people who swipe cards. They have names, faces and, contrary to popular belief, lives outside of the University. They touch our lives and, in a small way, make our day a little better with a quick joke or question about how our days are going. Linzie Scott's humor, kindness and charm will be missed. Not only by the desk workers but also by his fellow Spectaguards, a few of the residents here at the Quad and one squirrel.

Danielle Young Services Attendant Housing and Conference Services

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