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To the Editor: Even though I am working overtime to do my public service job in Washington, D.C., I continue to be deeply interested in my students and colleagues at Penn. So please allow me a brief word on two recent reports. First, regarding President Judith Rodin's acceptance of a Fox chair, I could not be more delighted. Chairs are held by the presidents of many top-tier universities. Dr. Rodin would be a superb pick for any chair, but the Fox chair is especially appropriate because she is such an incredibly accomplished academic, administrative and civic leader. Second, regarding the Speaking Across the University program, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Rick Beeman deserves nothing but praise for getting things rolling. He is very committed to realizing SATU's full potential. That's why, as Fox director, I partnered with SATU and Director Sara Coelho to plan for speaking-intensive, 10-student SATU-Fox recitations taught by standing SAS faculty members. With Dean Beeman and other SATU leaders, I h1ave every confidence that the recitations and the overall program can be made to flourish.

John DiIulio Political Science Professor

The writer is director of the Fox Leadership Program and director of the White House Office on Faith-based and Community Initiatives.

To the Editor: Thank you for covering the fireside chat with Provost Robert Barchi ("Provost's fireside chat stirs intellects," 3/6/01). Yet I was disappointed in your article. The event was portrayed negatively, when in truth, a group of students devoting their time to discussing Penn's intellectual life with Barchi is extremely positive. The vacuous opening "Penn isn't always considered the most intellectual of the Ivies" depreciates that intellectualism without validity. While you reported the concern over too little faculty-student interaction, you failed to mention one solution students have developed: the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education Lunchroom, a program through which students can invite faculty members to lunch at the Faculty Club at no cost to either party. I am also extremely disappointed that you neglected to include the discussion we had regarding DP's role in shaping the atmosphere at Penn. The DP's coverage of campus events plays a crucial role in influencing Penn's community, and it can have quite an effect on intellectual life at Penn -- when it focuses its coverage on Freshgrocer delays and other real estate concerns, rather than on academic issues like the two recent senior faculty appointments to the Psychology Department. I urge the DP to think more seriously about its effects on the intellectual culture at the University. Penn is an exceptional school with more intellectual resources than any student can possibly exhaust. Please don't buy into and perpetuate the impression that we're little more than a real estate conglomerate with a great business school.

Brennan Quinn College '04

The writer is a member of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education.

To the Editor: I was appalled at the tone of Ariel Horn's criticism of Cornell University ("In appreciation of our city," The Daily Pennsylvanian, 3/7/01). As a recent graduate of that fine institution, I feel obligted to portray a side of Cornell that Horn failed to take the time to see. First, she writes, "It's beautiful, yes, but no one and nothing is there." I take this to mean that because Cornell is located in central New York, it is also devoid of cultural and recreational opportunities. For me, at least, Cornell's physical location is one of its most charming and desireable traits. Yes, it is more than two hours away from New York City, but Horn conveniently forgets the close proximity of smaller, regional cities such as Rochester and Syracuse, and the wealth of culture and entertainment to be found within Ithaca proper. Horn is not in a position to judge what Cornell does or doesn't have to offer. Her insights are limited to the stereotypes associated with the university. Does she mention speaking with members of Cornell's a capella groups? No. Does she mention going online and looking up schedules for various foreign film festivals and theater lisitings? No. Instead, she was too busy lamenting the fact that her cell phone was out of range. If she were to see the true beauty of Ithaca and the university that stands guard over it, I am certain that her experience would have been more rewarding. I would also like to remind Horn that people have the option not to accept their invitation of admission. All of my friends who attended Cornell wanted to be there in the first place. They, much like Horn herself, appreciated the beauty and safety of Ithaca, but also wanted to get away from the headachess, noise, crime and other "features" of city life.

Max Dionisio Cornell '00 Ph.D. Student, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

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