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Some students are calling on the University to investigate whether its policy on blood donations is discriminatory.

This issue and others were on the agenda at last night's University Council meeting.

The UC, composed of faculty, undergraduates, graduate students and University administrators, convenes each month to discuss University-wide issues.

In an open forum on the policy regarding Red Cross blood donation on campus, College junior and chairman of the Lambda Alliance Kevin Rurak said not allowing men who have had sex with other men to donate may violate the University's non-discrimination policy.

The Red Cross considers men who have sex with men at a higher risk for HIV; the University's policy stipulates that people cannot be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.

"It is sometimes difficult to determine whether a policy protects public health or is just discriminatory," Rurak said.

Rurak called on the University to look further into the matter.

School of Medicine professor Stephen Gluckman, who advised the University on the issue, said the policy was in the interest of safety.

"It's the only acceptable policy. Everybody wants perfect blood. In response to that, the Red Cross is doing the best they can," he said.

Also at the meeting:

n Vice President for Budget and Management Analysis Bonnie Gibson gave a report on the University's budget and financial situation.

n University President Amy Gutmann said she is looking forward to the launch of the University's capital campaign, which will begin on Oct. 20.

n Penn Vice President for Information Systems and Computing Robin Beck discussed plans to update University technology, including systems like Penn InTouch and Penn Portal.

Beck added that plans are in the works for more efficient online grade reporting.

The University also plans to merge Air PennNet and Wireless PennNet in the next 12 to 18 months, Beck said.

- Ashwin Shandilya contributed reporting to this article.

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