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To the Editor: It is to The Daily Pennsylvanian's credit that the proposed changes to dining options were revealed before the time preferred by the University. Last year, the announcement of the new clinical fee that added about $150 to student bills was delayed until the last regular issue of the DP had run. But by then, students were too preoccupied with finals to concern themselves with a mass e-mail notice that disguised the additional fee by describing it as a better itemized bursar bill. Penn's PR machine is understandably concerned that the new information was released as news and not propaganda. Surely, the "more recent and reasonable presentation" the administration had in the works went to great lengths to show incoming freshmen how easy it is to eat 17 meals in a week. And by merely neglecting to mention anything in the surely shiny and eye-catching brochures about not being allowed to drop meal plans, the issue would have been put off until September, when it would have been a moot point. Last year, Penn disguised a small fee increase as a biling reorganization behind everyone's back. Thanks to the DP, the wool has been pulled from the eyes of the student body this time. It should not be too difficult to persuade the abandonment of meal plans as a protest of what amounts to a 15 percent tuition increase.

Jonathan May Engineering '01 To the Editor: People are upset about Gregory Seaton's allegations of racism, however there is one fact that many seem to ignore: Seaton was dealt with physically by four employees of the Campus Copy Center. I believe this fact alone has gotten many people upset. I don't care what Seaton said or did -- one against four is just not right. Let's say what happened wasn't a racist occurrence. This could be true; as a person of Jamaican and Puerto Rican heritage, I have gone to that exact same Campus Copy Center and been treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. So if racism allegations are what have people skeptical about what happened, I understand that. People should not, though, dismiss the reactions of students as "overreactions." Instead, focus on the fact: one man against four in a physical altercation. That's the first thing that shocked me and what made others put their feelings to actions and protest. Maybe what really bothers people is that many of the "minority" organizations are supporting these protests. Maybe that's because minority organizations are the first to speak out when something just plain wrong happens, (regardless of racism). If that's what people are being disturbed by, maybe we should be asking ourselves if we truly are racist.

Janelle Villiers Engineering '03

To the Editor: It is sadly amiss that the Undergraduate Assembly condemned Campus Copy without having all the facts at hand. Racism is indeed a serious charge, one that should not be taken lightly. It ought never be confused with -- for example -- bad service or the momentary perception of racism. And it ought never be used as a "get out of jail free card" for boorish behavior. Spurious charges of racism do irremediable injustice to all those who have fought -- and died --for justice and human rights. Finally, it is outrageous that the UA suggests anyone should stand by passively while being assaulted by an out-of-control customer. Clearly, many of UA's members have never been on the other side of the counter.

Clarence Hammond Third-year Ph.D. student History and Sociology of Science

To the Editor: Spring Fling is here again, and if the weather cooperates, it will be a great weekend to celebrate the season and blow off steam before exams begin. Before Fling is fully underway, though, I'd like to reinforce some words of caution that have been expressed by many over the past week,of caution that have been expressed by many over the past week, including The Daily Pennsylvanian in Thursday's editorial. First, Fling does not suspend the rules. Alcohol abuse and other illegal behavior are no more "approved" this weekend than at any other time during the year. Second, as participants said so eloquently in "Take Back the Night" last week, "no" and "yes" are two different words that mean two very different things. They must never be confused. Sexual violence has no place anywhere, least of all at the University of Pennsylvania. Because alcohol abuse dramatically increases the prospect of sexual violence and the risk to women, I again urge students, from my heart, to behave responsibly this weekend. Please make sure that your behavior during Fling doesn't turn into remorse on Monday. Use good judgment, take care of yourself, and take care of each other.

Judith Rodin University President

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