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To the Editor: In his column, "Building a university beyond the Ivy walls," (The Daily Pennsylvanian, 12/5/00) Enrique Landa made it sound as if educational programs offered on the Internet would soon be the death of the university as we know it. I think he ignored a very important aspect of a university: the education derived from our peers and the learning experience of living with them. Yes, I can read Shakespeare in the cozy corner of my room, but my understanding of his work will be very narrow without the input of teachers and the other students in my class. Many students at Penn share their ideas on life, academia and culture during late night conversations, group homework sessions, forums like the DP and by asking questions during class. These are all integral parts of an education. When most undergrads come out into the workforce, what is expected of them is not necessarily a thorough knowledge of ABC 101, but the skills developed through four years of interaction within an academic community. I felt that Landa's column completely ignored this. While the Internet is certainly a useful tool in providing educational access to those who cannot travel, it will never replace today's institutions of higher learning because what they exemplify is a community of scholars who learn not only from their texts, but also from their fellow scholars.

Naureen Chowdhury College '02

To the Editor: Despite the recent controversy that has erupted over race relations within the Penn Police Department, it is important to note that the UPPD is fulfilling its main mission of the providing a safe and secure environment for those of us who are employed here at the University, as well as faculty and students. Having been on campus for 18 years, I've noticed how the UPPD has grown from a small, under-equipped force to a well-trained, department with modern technology backing up officers in the field. It is bad enough to have distractions that could become a hindrance to those officers who are patrolling the University. But those issues that have been mentioned in the DP should be dealt with internally, without risking a negative impression of the entire department. I know very well that without the UPPD, dialing 911 on campus would be like dialing a prayer for help.

Charles King Facilities Services

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