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Penn President Amy Gutmann said Wednesday that even those who are not “moral philosophers” should be able to understand why her email about mental health did not directly address recent suicides.

Gutmann was confronted about her response to the mental health crisis at Wednesday’s University Council meeting, the first of the semester, by UMOJA Political Chair and Wharton senior Nikki Hardison. Hardison, an at-large member of the Council, asked Gutmann why her recent school-wide email lacked “sympathy” and neglected to name the students who died this semester, according to an at-large undergraduate member of the Council.

Gutmann responded that parents often do not want their children’s names released, the member said.

Hardison declined to comment for this article.

Gutmann had opened the meeting with an unscheduled speech about the current state of mental health at Penn, telling the attendees to share her email and encourage peers to seek out Penn’s resources.

The Council, which is a “broadly representative forum which exists to consider the activities of the University in all of its phases” with a specific emphasis on education, according to its bylaws, also discussed its committees’ objectives for the 2014-15 academic year.

Committee charges include reviewing Penn’s visual and performing arts programming, looking at trends in the University’s responses to sexual assault allegations and examining support systems for international students. A continuing analysis of diversity among faculty and students and the implementation of the Penn Connects plan are also among the committees’s directives.

Fifteen undergraduates are elected to the University Council by the Undergraduate Assembly each academic year. The Council’s next meeting will take place on Oct. 22.

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