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To the Editor: First a tuition increase, and now a required meal plan that is nearly $3,500. Is Penn trying to discourage new students from coming to this University? I have a lot of trouble finishing my 10 meals a week, and I am sure that 17 would be impossible. David Brownlee's statement about students needing to "focus on their studies" and not their eating habits especially disturbed me. I think that it would be more difficult to "focus" if I knew I was wasting nearly $100 a week on meals that were for the sake of "financial stability" within Dining Services. The University should definitely rethink its decision.

Catherine Porter College '04

To the Editor: On behalf of the Preceptorial Committee, we would like to respond to Ben Geldon's column ("The eight year tenure of one failed scientist," The Daily Pennsylvanian, 4/9/01)criticizing the selection of James M. Wilson as a preceptorial instructor for Fall 2001. Geldon states that by inviting him to teach, the student committee which runs the program is "insult[ing] the memory of a brave young man... who died in a Wilson-led study." We humbly disagree. The loss of Jesse Gelsinger was both tragic and unfortunate, and the invitation to Wilson as an instructor should in no way be perceived as an attempt to disrespect Gelsinger's memory. On the contrary, we believe that the discussions that will take place and the lessons learned over the course of the preceptorial will likely serve to remind us of the potential tragedies of science and to educate us as to why they happen. In our opinion, there is no one better to shed light on this controversial topic than someone who has been at its forefront and, as he pointed out, "is facing the equivalent of the death penalty for scientists" as a result. While this tragedy cannot be forgotten, we must remain focused on the University's mandate for superior education. We are confident that Wilson's involvement will only serve to promote a better understanding of this controversial topic.

Meredith Chiaccio College '02

Dyer Halpern College '02

The writers are co-chairpersons of the Preceptorial Committee.

To the Editor: The death of Jesse Gelsinger and the suspension of human gene therapy trials at Penn have received a tremendous amount of press in the past year and a half. Ben Geldon's assessment of the situation, however, has been the most biased and inflammatory that I have read in the DP so far. I would like to know how Geldon is qualified to decide who should be on the faculty of the Medical School. I am sure the administration has full knowledge of the private details of the investigation and they have not yet asked James Wilson to resign. Does Geldon also have full access to the details of the investigation, the law suits, etc., that allows him to reach a different conclusion? I believe that only those intimately involved in the investigation have the knowledge to generate a fair opinion on what actions should be taken against those involved in the trials. The decision of the student committee which runs the Preceptorial Program to invite Wilson to teach is entirely appropriate in my opinion. Not only can the students who take his preceptorial benefit from his expertise in the field of gene therapy, they can benefit from the wisdom that he has gained through his experience with the investigation and repercussions of the disputed trial. I barely think that it is an insult to Gelsinger's memory to allow the students who take the preceptorial to learn from the mistakes made and, armed with that knowledge, become better future scientists.

Julie Fitzgerald Third-year Ph.D. candidate School of Medicine

To the Editor: On behalf of the University Honor Council, we'd like to comment on recent letters to the editor concerning the allocation of student seats on the University Council. While we appreciate Melissa Byrne's favorable view of our application for a UC seat, we'd like to reiterate that she is neither a member of the UHC nor associated with our membership in any way. The Council believes our application was reviewed fairly and wishes the best of luck to the organizations granted representation. In response to Mark Zimring's suggestion that the membership of the UHC takes a "more moral and ethical than Greeks" approach, we're genuinely disappointed. The Council prides itself on its diversity (one-third is Greek) and puts special emphasis on educating the University community, rather than preaching or moralizing.

Alan Bell Wharton and College '02

Lauren Davidson College '02

The writers are co-chairpersons of the University Honor Council.

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