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Heavy drinking increases

(06/11/92 9:00am)

College students are turning & more often to alcohol as a social lubricant, drinking more heavily & and aiming to get drunk more often, according to a survey released last week. Two Harvard University re - searchers have concluded that & fewer students engage in social & drinking than they did a decade ago and raise questions about the con - sequences of so-called "binge & drinking" on students' safety. The researchers drew their con - clusions after analyzing informa - tion from 1669 incoming freshman at 14 Massachusetts colleges in & 1989. They defined binge drinkers as people who had drunk five or more drinks on one occasion in the two weeks before completing the survey. Forty percent of the male respon - dents said they drank to get drunk, twice the number of males who & gave that response in a similar & survey in 1977. Nearly 34 percent of female re - spondents said they drank to get drunk in the 1989 survey, a figure more than three times higher than the 1977 results. While the number of non- drinkers has also increased -- from 3 percent to 9.4 percent of the men and from 4 pecent to 14.9 percent of women -- the number of "frequent/ light" drinkers has fallen to less than two percent of surveyed men and women. The survey also concluded that binge drinkers were more likely to have alcohol-related social prob - lems than non-drinkers and that & both male and female drinkers & were far more likely to drink and drive or ride in a car with a drunk driver. Robert Wenger, assistant direc - tor of Student Health Psychiatry, said the survey proves the findings of the initial survey in 1977 that "there's a fairly stable set of people on campus who unfortunately are misusing and abusing alcohol." The survey did not discuss why students drank heavily and in - tended to get drunk. Wengler said the causes of alcohol misuse and abuse are complex, but he said al - cohol abuse is often an individual response to social, academic and personal pressures. Wengler also said he wondered if drinking heavily was an institu - tional part of undergraduate social life at the University. "I've run into a number of stu - dents who seem to feel that drink - ing is part of the milieu at Penn and so they do feel some social pressure to define having a good time as & drinking -- often to their capacity," Wengler said. Wengler said University officials were as concerned about the high- risk behaviors associated with alco - hol misues as they were about the drinking itself. He added that the University's Drug and Alcohol Task Force has been "revitalized" to con - tinue looking at ways to reach stu - dents with alcohol problems.

Senate passes bill requiring crime reports

(06/11/92 9:00am)

A bill requiring campus police departments to maintain a public daily crime log passed the state Senate unanimously last week, although the University has already changed how it releases crime reports to match the bill's demands. The bill would amend Pennsylvania's College and University Security and Information Act to mandate a daily listing of all responses to "valid complaints" of crime. The log would include the date, time and place of the reported incident and the type of activity reported. It would also include any charges filed and the name and address of any person charged in connection to the complaint. The bill is now headed for the House Education Committee. It is expected to pass easily, but it is unclear how long the bill will remain in committee before it is voted on by the entire House. While the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities has endorsed the bill, if passed, many member schools would be forced to release information they have kept confidential in the past. Recently, University Police have published a daily "Incident Journal." The journal includes the information required by the Senate bill, in addition to the date and time University Police received the report. Before introducing the incident journal in April, University Police officers would answer questions regarding reports of crime and release written incident summaries on a weekly basis. "The purpose of [the log] is basically . . to establish policy and procedure for public disclosure," University Police Lieutenant Susan Holmes said. "[The log] is one more way to make sure the community is aware of what's going on." Holmes said no specific issue prompted University Police to change its policies on how it released its reports. State Senator Richard Tilghman (R-Bryn Mawr) introduced the campus crime bill last October after speaking with 1992 College graduate Peter Spiegel, a former managing editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian, and campus safety advocates Howard and Constance Cleary. The Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities dropped its initial opposition to the bill after the Senate removed clauses which PACU said required listing names and addresses of witnesses and uncharged suspects, University lobbyist Paul Cribbens said. Pennsylvania is the second state to consider requiring college police to allow access to daily logs. Last summer, Massachusetts approved a law similar to Tilghman's proposals after heavy lobbying by the Clearys' advocacy group Security on Campus, a Harvard Crimson editor and the Washington, D.C.-based Student Press Law Center. The College and University Security and Information Act currently requires colleges and universities to release statistics each year on all felonies -- including underage drinking and narcotics charges -- that occurred over the past three years. In addition, the state law mandates that colleges and universities send this information, as well as the school's policies and procedures, to all prospective students.

ON THE RECORD (sidebar): U. women disagree with Paglia's ideas

(03/03/92 10:00am)

While University of the Arts professor Camille Paglia's fame has grown during the past year, her controversial views have not met with increased support in traditional feminist circles. Characterized most favorably as a neo-conservative and least favorably as a sell-out to traditional power structures, Paglia's work, views and actions have continuously stirred up controversy over the years. Many members of the University community offer varying explanations for Paglia's views. But they -- as well as most involved in the women's movement -- vehemently disagree with the unorthodox stances she has taken. They contest Paglia's assertions that women's own behavior is to blame if they have been raped by acquaintances, and that it is unrealistic to expect men to change their attitudes. And many women disagree with Paglia's assertion that campus judicial systems are unable to handle allegations of acquaintance rape. Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape executive board member Beth Kaplan said yesterday women are never at fault in an acquaintance rape situation. "Women have the right to do, to say, to dress, however they want, but . . . our actions can be misinterpreted," Kaplan said. "If someone is raped, it is never, ever her fault. It's the one who rapes who is responsible for the rape." And several women said a woman should not be questioned about her drinking habits after a rape, since the law says an incident is rape if a woman is unable to consent to sex. Defending the University's judicial process, students and administrators said last night women need options outside the legal system in pursuing their cases. "I feel that University administrators have a responsibility to deal wth misconduct committed in the University community," former Judicial Inquiry Officer Constance Goodman said last night. "Acquaintance rape is now being recognized particularly in the college setting for just what it is. The violative act needs to be considered in the context of the community's behavioral standards." "At our University, acquaintance rape is unacceptable and is deserving of the most severe sactioning," Goodman added. "One thing [I would ask] is 'what has her contact been with survivors?' " DiLapi said. DiLapi also disputed Paglia's characterization that feminists stifle women's abilities to deal with gender issues. "I don't think that feminists are the problem . . . they don't have an integral hold on society," DiLapi added. And DiLapi said Paglia's stance may have arisen out of fear: "It's just too painful to understand that women's vulnerablity comes from status as females -- no more, no less." Goodman also criticized Paglia's assertions that "fraternity parties are all about scoring." She said this attitude is true of some houses, but that fraternity members' views are changing. "I believe that some fraternities still worship the scoring goal. However, I don't think that such a behavioral pattern is only applicable in the party setting," Goodman said. "There seems to be some hopeful movement on our campus as evidenced by recent statements by fraternity members, as well as non-fraternity men, that their sensitivity is increasing as well as their fundamental understanding of male-female relationships." University members have not been the only ones to condemn Paglia's opinions. When her book -- Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson -- was first released by Yale University Press, two women reportedly returned the book to a New Haven bookstore, saying it was "morally incorrect."

AIDS education the 'unique' way

(12/03/91 10:00am)

Steven Foecking prepared for yesterday afternoon's drizzle by wearing his rubbers. Dressed as a five-foot prophylactic, the Wharton junior passed out condoms with a dozen other students as part of a peer-education group's theatrical efforts to heighten awareness about AIDS. "I wanted to make my mom proud of me," Foecking said of his costume, adding that his father had remained silent about it. Members of Facilitating Learning About Sexual Health, FLASH, passed out nearly 2000 condoms in four hours as part of Student Health's delayed recognition of World AIDS Day. The distribution kicks off a series of campus AIDS awareness events. While Student Health is planning an AIDS/HIV awareness week, Student Health coordinator Kate Webster said she wants to have awareness events during the entire year. Students who accepted condoms were asked to sign a Safer Sex pledge and received an "It takes more than Magic" pin. The members also distributed a "Safer Sex Menu" which they reprinted from the Boston Phoenix. The menu highlighted ways for sexual partners to engage in a wide assortment of sexual activities while reducing the risk of contracting the HIV virus. "People need a visible reminder that this could happen," Webster said. "[Students] do not need to stop having sex; they just need to practice safer sex." The menu included "lighter fare" such as putting non-petroleum based body oil on a sexual partner, "entrees" such as penetrative sex with condoms and mutual masturbation, and "desserts" such as shooting videos and Polaroids of a sexual partner. Webster added that students needed to realize that the heterosexual population is at risk of contracting the virus. College sophomore Nicole Jacoby passed out condoms wearing a dress, fake jewels and a "Condom Queen" pageant-style sash. In one hand, she held a scepter with a blown-up condom tied to its tip. She and other FLASH members said they heard no complaints about passing out the prophylactics. "Most [people] are embarassed," Jacoby said. "But more took them than I expected." College sophomore Jerry Dames said he thought passing out condoms "makes a lot of sense." "I was a little surprised, but I think its a good idea," Dames said. Condom-donning Foecking said his costume, sent to him by a "friend of a friend," was "pretty unique."

New U., Center City district gets no gov't support

(11/25/91 10:00am)

City Council is expected to approve a redistricting plan within the next few days without either a "Central Philadelphia" district that includes the University, or a much-touted Latino district. Instead, the plan would make only minimal changes to current Council boundaries and is little different from the one Mayor Wilson Goode rejected last month. "We won't know until Tuesday [when a vote is expected], but I'm not particularly optimistic," said Center City lawyer Malcolm Lazin, who is leading the design of the Central Philadelphia Council district. Center City business owners suggested the new Central Philadelphia district after Mayor Goode rejected Council's first plan last month because it did not include a Latino district. The proposed Central Philadelphia district would include the University's ward -- the 27th -- as well as Center City and South Philadelphia wards and parts of the city's Fairmount section. Although the Central Philadelphia plan's proponents have pitched the idea to Council members, the plan has received little public attention and was relatively unknown in City Hall as late as last week. In fact, legislative assistants to several Council members said last week that they were not aware of the proposal. Also, the proposed Central Philadelphia district is not currently included in either redistricting plan before Council. Lazin said last night that Council did not support the plan because of a "combination" of policy and political concerns. "While I think our plan is very meritorious . . . and has support throughout the [proposed] Central Philadelphia district, that doesn't carry the day in City Council," Lazin said. Proponents of the Central Philadelphia ward say these areas, which are a mix a residential and business districts, have common interests which the current makeup of Council does not address. Currently, four City Council members represent the area enclosed in the proposed district. The City Charter requires the government to redraw Council districts every 10 years after each federal census. After Council missed its Charter-mandated deadline, Goode suspended the Council members' paychecks until they approved a plan.

Soviet college heads get a look at U.

(11/14/91 10:00am)

Of all the sights Jamaldin Buranov took in at the University yesterday afternoon, the Astroturf at Franklin Field may have intrigued him the most. Buranov, president of the Institute of Foreign Languages in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, stared at the football field, then took a short walk on it to examine it more closely. "It's so green," said colleague Gennady Ryabov, president of the Nizhniy Novgorod State Institute of Foreign Languages, before he and two other Soviet presidents joined Buranov in touring the field. While one president joked that he would build a Franklin Field-style stadium of his own, fascination with American-style football did not bring the presidents to campus. The four-hour visit by four presidents of Soviet foreign-language institutes yesterday was part of a seven-day visit to American colleges to learn more about U.S. education and to create ties with U.S. universities. The group, which Ryabov describes as an American-style consortium, wants to set up student and faculty exchanges with American institutions and to maintain ties with each other. The presidents had visited Bryn Mawr College earlier yesterday, and will visit Columbia University today. They will also meet with representatives of the American Council on Education. During their visit, the presidents asked about the academic, financial and social aspects of the University, and learned about the University's language facilities. They also visited Provost Michael Aiken and Vice President for Finance Selimo Rael at their offices. Buranov said he admired American colleges and universities because of the "excellent" students attending the schools and because of the high quality of the library and laboratory facilities. But he also said he was impressed with administrators' cooperation. "American [administrators] are as frank as we are," Buranov said. "They don't hide things." Aiken said the presidents asked him questions about how the University worked and "how the system thinks." He added the questions were not surprising -- they just "wanted to know what the provost did." The presidents, whose command of the English language ranged from shaky proficiency to fluency, toured the campus with Kite and Key Vice President Jonathan Bing. During the tour, which Bing said was shorter than standard Kite and Key tours, the presidents and their interpreter saw Locust Walk, Houston Hall, Williams Hall, the Engineering School and the outside of the Quadrangle. Buranov and Ryabov peppered students with questions as varied as how much influence students held at the University to whether the University required physical education. Bing also said they were more attentive to the University's sculpture and architecture than most, even pointing out that the Furness Building looked similar to the Lenin Museum in Moscow. The presidents also lunched with Director for the Center for Soviet Studies Elliott Mossman and Peter Steiner, chair of the Slavic Languages Department, and visited the English Language program, which helps students who speak English as a second language.

Plan links U., Center City in City Council

(11/12/91 10:00am)

The University's City Council district would be radically restyled if a plan placing it in a district with Center City and parts of South Philadelphia passes City Council and the mayor's office. A coalition of over 30 business and community groups supports a plan to put the University's ward, the 27th, in the new Council district, which would also include the city's Fairmount section. But it is not clear if such a proposal will meet approval in City Hall, and it has not been proposed by any current Council member. The proponents maintain this region of the city, dubbed "Central Philadelphia," is not represented effectively by the current composition of City Council. "We've really never gotten proper representation," said Center City developer Malcolm Lazin, the proposed district's primary backer. "There's never really been anyone who has looked at this district as a whole representing its interest." "[Central Philadelphia] is the primary economic engine of Philadelphia," he added. The area for the proposed district is now divided into four Council districts. The University is currently part of a district including most of West Philadelphia south of Market Street. Many City Council members were not available for comment yesterday because of the Veteran's Day holiday, but at least one incoming Council member -- Third district City Council member-elect Janie Blackwell -- said she has not heard anything about the plan. Individual members of the Spruce Hill Community Association, a group of University City residents, say the plan is "intriguing." "It's a slice of the city that shares many characteristics," Spruce Hill President David Hochman said. Both he and Lazin said very few people have rejected the plan outright, but Hochman said the plan has drawbacks. "Many of the outlying communities might, in effect, feel isolated," Hochman said. "That's an obvious negative and one reason [the plan] might be controversial." The Spruce Hill organization has decided not to take a stance on the proposed district because the issue might be too divisive, Hochman said yesterday. 27th ward Republican leader Matthew Wolfe said yesterday the proposal might capitalize on a current plan to draw a largely Latino Council district, since that district would require changes in the other districts across the city. Wolfe added he supported the proposal because it would unite several parts of the city that currently pay more in taxes than they receive in services. Paul Cribbins, the University's city relations director, said yesterday he had not heard of the proposal but that the University would not take a position on it. "We really don't get involved in reapportionment issues," Cribbins said. Lazin said the areas should also be united because of the similarities of the types of people living in the area. "A central Philadelphia Councilmanic district [would be part of] better educated, more concerned and more independent voters," Lazin said. "It will attract people to run for Council that are a higher quality." The City Charter mandates that Council reapportion itself every ten years after the federal census. Although this new proposal has been presented late in the process of redrawing Council districts, which has been discussed and debated since this summer, discussion on the proposal might not begin until January. Mayor Wilson Goode last month vetoed a plan sponsored by Council member John Street that did not create a Latino district. Goode recently suspended Council members' paychecks until they pass a reapportionment plan he supports. Many people say Council will not discuss the new plan until the beginning of next year, when newly-elected Council members take office. However, Blackwell said Council might begin discuss redrawing districts as early as next week. It is not clear if this proposal will be supported by Council, particularly by the Council members who represent Center City and University City areas. Blackwell said she did not have an opinion on the proposal because she had not heard about it. However, Wolfe said that he "doesn't think present Council members are going to give a big fight."

U. gains two big allies in Rendell, Wofford

(11/07/91 10:00am)

The University may have gained allies in yesterday's election, with the two major Democratic victors saying they will bring a tempered enthusiasm for the University and for all of higher education to their offices. Support from Senator Harris Wofford and Mayor-elect Edward Rendell could translate into favorable treatment of the University and their counterparts. Wofford, a former president of Bryn Mawr College, said he favors increasing financial aid for middle-class students and restructuring the formula for distributing financial aid to college students. Many of these proposals would favor the University's financial aid program, which is struggling to meet the financial burden of all of its undergraduates and has discussed dropping need-blind admissions in the future. Wofford will sit in the Senate during the debate and vote on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which distributes financial aid to students and universities. The Senate Education Committee's version of the proposals include raising the limits on how much money students may borrow for their undergraduate education by $325 for a students' freshman and sophomore year and $1000 every subsequent year. The House Education Committee's version would nearly double the current loan limits of $2625 for a student's first two years and $4000 afterwards. Wofford said he favors increasing the amount of money students can borrow, and he also favors proposals which would drop the value of a parent's home and savings from determining financial aid. "This administration continues to propose cutting aid that goes to middle-class families," Wofford said in an interview last month. The senator also supports a proposal to change the federal work-study program which would require students to work in the community for their work-study money. However, Wofford said colleges and universities should scrutinize more carefully how they spend federal research money, adding that university boards of trustees and student newspapers should look into an institutions' finances. Mayor-elect Rendell said in August he has not ruled out charging the University "user fees" -- payments for fire and police protection, sanitation and other city services. But he added he has reservations because the fees could translate into higher tuition for college students. Charging the University user fees has been part of Mayor Wilson Goode's last two drafts of a five-year financial plan, although city officials said they had not determined how much they would charge the University. University officials have balked at the proposal, saying the University pays more than its share to provide its own police and sanitation services.

For heads of ward, a very busy day

(11/06/91 10:00am)

A ward committee's work is never done. There's campaign literature to be printed and distributed, newsletters to write up, poll workers to recruit and phone banks to staff. And that's all before Election Day. Although yesterday's city election may mark the high point in a ward organization's year, preparations for it began months in advance. While people involved in this basic unit of party organization say they enjoy their tasks immensely, they also say their work is more difficult than many voters imagine. "We're taken for granted [and often] get yelled at," said Kevin Vaughan, Democratic leader of the 27th ward. · Rightly or wrongly, the image of ward politics in Philadelphia is that of a history of patronage and corruption. But leaders of both ward organizations in University City say their tasks are far less suspect than in previous years, but are still time-consuming. "I never even thought it took so much," Barbara Dichter, a newcomer to ward politics, said yesterday. "I just pulled the lever . . . When you're on the outside, you have no idea what it takes." The University is located in the 27th Ward, which includes most of West Philadelphia, south of Market Street. The two ward political organizations consist of elected committee members from each division of the ward, who then choose a ward leader. Besides supporting political candidates and mobilizing voters by calling them and offering them rides to the polls, the ward organizations usually provide the staff for polling locations. Polling places are usually staffed by at least five people, including a majority-party poll watcher, a minority-party poll watcher, a judge of elections and a person who watches the polling machines. The issue of providing workers for the polling locations has caused tension between the 27th ward Republicans and the 27th ward Democrats. 27th ward Republican leader Matthew Wolfe said it is his organization's "first responsibility" to win elections and places his volunteers outside the polls distributing literature. But 27th ward Democrat leader Vaughan maintains both parties should provide staff members for the polls, which oftentimes the Republican organization fails to do. Preparing for elections may take tremendous amounts of time for the ward leaders, but more important, it requires skilled organization, workers say. Before Election Day, the group prints up literature, canvasses the ward and brings candidates to the ward for speeches and receptions. And yesterday, each organization put between 50 to 70 people on the streets passing out literature and calling up voters on Election Day. On Election Day, Vaughan and Wolfe each have elaborate systems to oversee the staff at the various polling places while they drive -- and bike -- in circles around the 27th Ward. Yesterday afternoon, Wolfe pulled out a chart showing which volunteers were at what place at what time. And 27th Democratic leader Vaughan documents every call he receives on Election Day. But when a leader organizes a ward well, elections run fairly smoothly, according to Judge of Elections Carolyn West. "I knew it took organization, but I didn't realize how easy [it would be]," West said yesterday afternoon. "Our captain [Vaughan] runs a tight ship." While Wolfe said yesterday it is often difficult to keep volunteers, his group's organizational ability is most evident in its tracking of registered voters -- not only in the 27th ward, but in nearby ward 45 and Center City wards five and eight as well. The committee has bought a hard disk to file and sort voters, Republican ward Vice-President Tex Roper said yesterday, making it easy to track voters who are registered in improbable ways or have moved -- therefore pinpointing who should be struck from the rolls. "One person had registered [giving as an address] the pediatric ward of Children's Hospital," Roper said. "So you go ask and find out . . . there's only patients there." While the Republicans pride themselves on the accurate voter rolls, the Democrats are unusual in holding open meetings and endorsing candidates in the primary independent of the opinions of the Democratic City Committee. "We are the most progressive ward in the city," Vaughan said. "We're very democratic." "We discuss stances when [candidates] come in," he added. "When we ask tough questions we expect forthright answers [and] expect them to hold to their word."

U. alum rolls to victory over Egan

(11/06/91 10:00am)

Last night's romp to victory by Edward Rendell may have appeared effortless, but the scratches on Frannie Wachstein's hands tell a different story. "My heart was there," Wachstein, a volunteer for the Rendell campaign, said last night. "I worked body and soul." The intensity of Rendell's year-long campaign paid off as he garnered 68 percent of the vote, the largest victory in a mayoral election in recent history. But the sweeping victory was distant in time and nature from the early days of the primary campaign when he battled four strong opponents. Even this spring after his primary victory, Rendell girded for a tough battle with Republican nominee Frank Rizzo. Not until Rizzo's death this summer was the path clear for the 1965 College alumnus. While political figures have jumped on the Rendell bandwagon in the past few weeks as victory appeared imminent, last night's Warwick Hotel celebration in Center City was overrun by longtime supporters, many of whom, like Wachstein, have intensely personal reasons for supporting Rendell. Wachstein, a white-haired great-grandmother from the city's West Oak Lane section, sported a "Rendell for Mayor" t-shirt, a white ski cap, navy sweatpants and velcro-closed sneakers. She said she has worked tirelessly before both the primary and general election for Rendell. During the past year, Wachstein has stuffed envelopes, worked phone banks and followed him around from campaign stop to campaign stop "doing whatever needed to be done." Her last task for the campaign was preparing the Warwick Hotel ballroom for last night's 400-person victory party. She and nearly a dozen other volunteers spent yesterday afternoon blowing up balloons and setting up furniture and decorations, cutting up her hands and wearing her out. But she said it was Rendell's energy that inspired her -- "I felt I had to keep going and help him." Wachstein and the packed house of supporters reveled in announcements about Rendell's landslide victory. Several other campaign workers and supporters danced in the ballroom during the night, pausing only for election returns and the concession speech of Republican candidate Joseph Egan. Egan's remarks drew polite applause from the group, but the crowd booed vehemently when Senator Arlen Specter appeared on television to comment on the race. Egan said last night that his late entry into the race was an insurmountable obstacle. "I think the inability to raise money and get the message out hurt me," Egan said. "There were a series of issues that hurt us. I don't want to make excuses." The crowd was composed of a cross-section of Rendell's supporters, as businessmen sporting Armani suits sat near Budweiser-toting union leaders. After Egan's concession, the crowd continued to watch television election updates until it was clear Harris Wofford would win the Senate election. Afterward, supporters danced around the room waiting for Rendell to arrive. A group of staff members at Rendell's law firm -- Mesirov, Gelman, Jaffee, Kramer and Jamieson -- gathered near the podium dancing wildly to "Tequila" and 1960s songs while shaking "Rendell for Mayor" placards. They also showed Polaroid snapshots of Rendell from earlier in the day, when he stopped by the law offices. "It's very exciting," co-worker Ceil Mangini said. "He's a great guy." But one person attending the rally was not a diehard Rendell fan. "I'm here looking for a job," Edwin Williams said last night, bringing out copies of his resume to show to anyone who spoke to him. Rendell arrived at the Warwick just before 11 p.m. and was lead to the podium between a human fence of police officers and hotel security staffers. The mayor-elect said Egan did "a lot better than people give him credit for." "It takes a strong person to jump into the breach [and run for mayor]," Rendell said. "The city owes a deep debt of gratitude to Joe Egan." The mayor-elect promised announcements in the next few days concerning the course his administration would take. "I want to change . . . virtually everything we do in this city," Rendell said after his speech. "[There are] good ideas out there. We must implement some." Rendell also said he was "pleased" with the turnout, adding it was "much higher than the cynics predicted." And Rendell thanked his volunteers, whose personal commitment he called "great, great . . . absolutely great." Roxborough resident Freda Sherman, one of the Rendell volunteers who had been with the campaign since its inception, said last night she volunteered for the campaign to keep a long-standing promise to herself. Three years ago, Sherman said, Rendell helped her daughter retain a city job. After the job was originally promised to Sherman's daughter, the department's supervisor offered the job instead to someone else -- someone who scored lower than she did on the civil service exam. After writing to several people, including Mayor Wilson Goode, Sherman said only Rendell -- who was not then an elected official -- responded to her complaint. Within a few days after being reoffered the job as a result of Rendell's help, Sherman said, her daughter died of influenza. "I never told them why I worked for him," she said. Staff writers Jordana Horn and Margaret Kane contributed to this story.

Experts: Rendell to win, U.S. Senate seat up for grabs

(11/05/91 10:00am)

Edward Rendell won't lose any sleep tomorrow night. "Happy Days Are Here Again" will play early in the evening at his headquarters after he garners an overwhelming majority of the vote, political observers predicted yesterday. But these same experts say Senate candidates Harris Wofford and Richard Thornburgh will have to stay up late to hear their songs, and few have been willing to say which candidate will win. The overwhelming majority of registered Democrats in the city and the relative anonymity of his challengers have paved Rendell's way to near-certain victory, they said. Recent polls show Rendell running as much as 40 percentage points ahead of Republican challenger Joseph Egan. "The tremendous visibility and recognition of Rendell just adds up to a landslide," Temple University political science professor Michael Hooper said last night. Hooper said that Sam Katz, who finished third in the Republican primary behind the late Frank Rizzo and former District Attorney Ron Castille, would have been the best candidate against Rendell after Rizzo's death. While Hooper said Egan's obstacles were insurmountable, Glasboro State University political analyst Bruce Caswell said Egan could have done a better job in the race. "Egan could have run a better campaign," Caswell said. "He could have been better prepared." Caswell pointed to Egan's inability to discuss issues credibly and said Egan had been "openly unprepared" on the campaign trail. Both observers said race was not a factor in the election for the first time in several years because there was not a viable black candidate for mayor. But the observers did not agree over whether or not voter turnout would remain constant or decrease. Experts say a higher voter turnout -- particularly a high straight-ticket Democratic turnout -- will help other Democratic candidates, particularly Democratic Senator Wofford. Wofford needs a high turnout in Philadelphia, as well as across the state, in order to beat former governor and attorney general Richard Thornburgh, they say. Thornburgh, on the other hand, will have an advantage if turnout statewide is low, the observers added. Observers said last week they have been impressed with Wofford's campaign, saying he has made the election much closer in the past month. "No one expected him to do anything," University of Pittsburgh Professor Raymond Owen said. "With [Thornburgh's] name recognition and the Bush administration's PR machine . . . everyone expected him to roll." "[The close election] is a surprise, not only to Thornburgh, but to everyone I know who thought he would win easily," Owen added. "When you have a big lead, [your goal is] not to make a mistake . . . and wait until the coronation takes place," O'Connor said. "Elections aren't coronations and that's the problem. Wofford's running a good campaign . . . and Thornburgh's running a poor one." Wofford set the agenda for the campaign, forcing Thornburgh to take a defensive position, Owen said. His "sophisticated" use of ideas has tapped a widespread discontent with Congress, he added. Wofford's emphasis on national health care has helped him considerably, Owen said. And O'Connor said that Wofford's use of television has been much more effective, even though he did not have nearly as much money to spend as Thornburgh. Thornburgh's recent attempts to attack Wofford have been unsuccessful because he has not been able to make them believable, Pennsylvania State University Political Science Professor Robert O'Connor said, because "a lot of them are bad ads." "It's not credible to argue that this man is an irresponsible leftist," O'Connor said. In the special election to replace U.S. representative William Gray, Lucien Blackwell appears ready to capitalize on the straight-ticket Democratic vote. Blackwell's "Pull the First Big Lever" campaign will capitalize on already-present heavy Democratic loyalty, and challengers John White and Chaka Fattah will have difficulties being found on the ballot, observers say. While Hooper and Caswell praised the hard work of White and Fattah, both say Blackwell will easily win the 3rd District seat in Congress.

Rendell solicits funds from U. alums

(11/05/91 10:00am)

Edward Rendell's campaign has discovered the guiding principle to the University's $1 billion capital campaign -- University graduates have money to give away. Rendell, who appears set for a landslide victory tomorrow, has been receiving a steady trickle of campaign money from University alumni throughout the campaign, campaign manager David Cohen said yesterday. And a few weeks ago, the campaign committee sent out a letter to "people who graduated with Ed and Midge" asking for money. Both Rendell and his wife are University graduates. Cohen said it was impossible to determine how much money University alumni have given to Rendell's campaign. But he said a few alumni had given "substantial amounts" and that alumni had been instrumental in helping raise money. Cohen said a University alumnus helped organize a Rendell fundraiser in Chicago this summer which raised between $15,000 and $20,000. Director of Alumni Relations Doris Cochran-Fikes said last week she had not heard about Rendell's attempts to raise money from alumni. Cochran-Fikes added that the Rendell campaign had not requested a list of the Rendells' contemporaries. The alumni office does not give out the names and addresses of alumni to people who are not affiliated with the University and only to University affiliates who need the information for alumni events. "We do not disclose information," she said. "It is our job to protect the privacy of alumni." But she added that the Rendells could have obtained a list of alumni another way.

Rendell campaigns for Wofford in city

(11/05/91 10:00am)

Edward Rendell's commanding lead going into today's election has allowed him a small luxury -- time to campaign for someone else. Yesterday, he spent nearly two hours plugging Senator Harris Wofford during a noontime rally at John F. Kennedy Plaza in Center City. The rally, which included speeches by Rendell as well as by Democratic National Committee Chairperson Ron Brown and Mayor Wilson Goode, drew a combination of 450 supporters and lunchtime observers. And Rendell campaign manager David Cohen said that although a year on the trail has tired Rendell, he still is very good at pumping up a crowd. "It [the rally] is nice to do," Cohen said. "It's [Rendell's] job to get people pumped up for Harris Wofford and he's good at it." Rendell led the political all-stars on the podium in cheers of "Harris, Harris," and his energetic remarks drew the largest cheers of the rally. "Today, this town is Harris Wofford's town," Rendell said. In a twist of his usual campaign practices, he arrived on time for the rally, although Wofford arrived a half-hour late. And Rendell stayed after Wofford left, taking his time speaking to reporters and shaking hands with well-wishers. "[A Wofford victory] would send shock waves all across the country, up to Kennebunkport and down to Washington, D.C.," Rendell said. "Wofford supports things which are important to families . . . and he's a Democratic Senator who cares about Philadelphia." Speakers at the rally encouraged straight-ticket Democratic voting -- a key for Wofford to win today's election, experts said last week. But Congressional candidate Chaka Fattah, who was not endorsed by the Democratic Party, appeared at the rally with several of his supporters touting "Fattah for Congress" signs. Wofford spoke for over 20 minutes, continuing to focus on establishing a national health care system and extending unemployment benefits. And he accused Washington of turning its back on the middle class. "If we can move heaven and earth to help an emir who's lost his country, why in God's name can't we lift a finger for an unemployed worker who needs unemployment benefits?" he asked. He joined Rendell, Goode and Brown in urging people to vote today and urging people to get their friends and neighbors to vote. "Tomorrow, for one day, your vote will be more powerful than all those special interests," Wofford said. During the rally, Wofford and Rendell workers circulated blue-and-white placards reading "Senator Wofford, Mayor Rendell" as well as hand-made signs with slogans such as "Women for Wofford" and "Hurrah for Harris." Thornburgh supporters also appeared in the crowd, carrying signs saying "No show Wofford for Civil Rights" and "Why no on Thomas -- Wofford?" Wofford campaign worker Amy Chapman said she was pleased with the turnout at the rally, saying, "Wofford has momentum on his side."

Purge of city voter rolls could affect some students at U.

(11/04/91 10:00am)

Partisan politics has had little control over a large decrease in registered voters in Philadelphia. Across the city, nearly one-fifth of the registered voters, representing all parts of the political spectrum, were purged this summer for not voting in the last four elections. And in the ward covering the University area, few Democratic and independent voters faced Republican attempts to strike them from the rolls, a challenge which had become habitual in the past few years. City-wide, the current number of registered voters in Philadelphia, 795,487, is the lowest number of registered voters in the city since the 1940s. 27th Ward Republican leader Matthew Wolfe said the massive purge mostly removed people who no longer lived in the University area. However, Democratic ward leader Kevin Vaughan helped challenge the purge in court. A federal court judge rejected the challenge. "The thing about the whole purge process is that [it strikes] people who voted for president, senator, but who did not vote in municipal or congressional elections," Vaughan said. "The law itself seems to be in question. "]It doesn't allow] an affirmative decision not to vote. Those people should have a right to do that," Vaughan said. Unlike previous years, voters from both political parties were struck from the rolls. The Board of Elections struck nearly 200 voters living in off-campus divisions because it determined the voters no longer lived at their listed addresses. Last spring, 27th Ward Republicans challenged approximately 700 registered Democrats and independents. The party has challenged opposing voters in every election for the past several years, hoping to eliminate students and others who change their addresses frequently. The voters last spring were subsequently reinstated by court order. According to 27th Ward Democratic Leader Kevin Vaughan, those wishing to strike voters must now inform the voters more thoroughly that they can be taken off the rolls. Since a judge determined the previous challenges had been improperly served, attempts to strike voters have been more difficult. In the 27th Ward, where student registration is usually low, Democrats outnumber Republicans over three to one. The ward has over 8000 registered voters. Unlike many other wards, the rolls are split nearly evenly between blacks and whites and women and men. In the city, Democrats still hold more than a two to one advantage in registration. Over 550,000 voters identify themselves as Democrats while over 220,000 register as Republicans. Blacks constitute nearly a third less of the registered voters than whites, although women outnumber men in registration by nearly 100,000. (CUT LINE) Please see PURGES, page A5 PURGES, from page A1

City loan hinged on guarantee

(11/04/91 10:00am)

While the University negotiated with the city over several points in the $43.4 million loan deal settled last week, the key factor for the University to participate was how the loan would be secured, Treasurer Scott Lederman said Friday. The University agreed to loan the city $10 million to help ease pressure on the city's coffers only after final details were hammered out -- including a plan to ensure repayment of the loan, Lederman said. The security which the city offered to prospective lenders, the University and other local enterprises, is almost identical to a deal last year in which a group of local institutions advanced the city their taxes. Thirteen other institutions along with the University agreed last week to loan the city $43.4 million -- less than half what City Finance Director David Brenner anticipated at the beginning of negotiations. If the city does not pay back part or all of the loan, the University does not have to pay the equivalent amount in wage taxes. Last year, University agreed to prepay the city the same amount it is loaning this year, $10 million, in wage taxes. "When it was presented to us . . . we looked at the security," he said, adding that once the loan looked "very secure" administrators were "satisfied this was acceptable." But unlike last year's agreement, the University stands to earn betweeen $425,000 and $450,000 in interest, Lederman said. The University is charging 8.5 percent interest on the loan. While the interest is higher than interest earned from other investments, Lederman said the University is charging the high rate because the city is a high-risk investment. He added that the University, the largest participant in the loan, did not go into the deal soley to make money. He said the administration wants the city to be able to pay its debts. "It's a way to help the city . . . meet its payroll," Lederman said. Lederman emphasized that the money from the loan comes from the working capital of the University and would have been placed in other short-term investments had it not been loaned to the city. He added the city would either give the city a check for the amount or wire-transfer the money into an account specified by the city. Lederman said it was not unusual that some institutions decided not to participate in the loan, causing the original deal to shrink by half. "When people go through the [negotiations], some fell out," Lederman said. "It's not completely surprising." While administrators have discussed the possibility of loaning the city money every fall with the Board of Trustees, Lederman said he hopes the city will be able to borrow money through Wall Street investment firms in the future. The state established a financial oversight authority to borrow money in traditional markets on the city's behalf. But the board has refused to borrow money for the city until it approves a five-year financial plan and grants the state oversight of negotiations with municipal unions. The oversight board took no official stance on the loan proposal, but City Controller Jonathan Saidel said he opposed the loan because it allowed the city to avoid making decisions on its financial future. But Lederman said the city's attempts to borrow money are not unusual -- only the lenders are. "This is sort of a routine transaction, although it's gotten a lot of publicity," Lederman said.

No U. stance yet on on bill to open police files

(11/01/91 10:00am)

The University has not decided whether it will support a state Senate bill requiring campus police departments to open their crime records to the public, Assistant Vice President for Commonwealth Relations James Shada said Wednesday. In addition, the executive director of the Senate Education Committee said she is not sure how quickly the bill will progress through the committee. "It's a little early for us to take a position," said Shada, who lobbies in Harrisburg on the University's behalf. State Sen. Richard Tilghman (R-Bryn Mawr) and several other senators introduced a bill last Monday requiring colleges and universities to prepare a daily log of campus crime and to open the log and related records to the public. Shada said he is awaiting the opinions from the General Counsel and University Police about the bill. He added that his office is following the same procedure as it did when a bill was introduced requiring colleges and universities to provide annual statistics on campus crime. The bill was passed in 1987. Helen Cafrey, executive director of the Senate Education Committee, said Wednesday she did not know when the bill would leave the committee. She said that the committee would research how colleges and universities across the state inform the public about campus crime and that they would speak to Tilghman about what likely effects the legislation would have. Cafrey said she is not sure whether the committee will hold a public hearing on the bill, saying "this seems like a straightforward bill." Rather, she said, a staff member would write a "good piece of analysis" on the bill which would be circulated to members of the Education Committee.

$43.4 million city loan deal is agreed to

(10/31/91 10:00am)

The University will contribute $10 million of a $43.4 million loan to the city to help ease Philadelphia's cash crisis, City Treasurer Doug Smith said yesterday. The loan, which is being made by thirteen local commercial and non-profit institutions, is far lower than the $90 million City Finance Director David Brenner first anticipated. The loan will officially take place next Thursday, Smith said. It is due to be repaid on May 12 at 8.5 percent interest. "Our objective in doing this was to raise cash enough so that the new administration would have cash balances sufficient to make operating payments of all kinds," Smith said. The University will join several non-profit institutions -- including Drexel University, Childrens' Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and the Philadelphia College of Textiles -- in loaning $33.4 million at the 8.5 percent interest rates. The commercial enterprises, such as Independence Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Wholesale Realty, Inc., will loan the city a total of $10 million at a 7.5 percent interest rate. While the University did not initiate negotiations to loan the city money, its contribution is in all likelihood the largest contributor to the loan. The University and the non-profits will charge a higher percentage rate than the commercial lenders because they must pay a higher tax rate on their investment, Smith said. Should the city not be able to pay back the loan in part or in full, the University would be forgiven its wage taxes to the extent of the default. University Treasurer Scott Lederman said yesterday the University had made a decision on how much it was loaning the city, but he would not specify the amount or confirm the deal. The sum administrators considered loaning the city has remained constant, Lederman said earlier this month. A year ago, the University prepaid $10 million in wage taxes -- an amount equaling the University's tax obligation over nine months. At the time, it was joining another group of local institutions which paid a total of $30 million in wage and property taxes. Some of the same institutions are participating in the current loan deal. Smith said the negotiations between the lenders and the city had gone smoothly, particularly considering the difficulties the city normally faces working with investment firms. "This proceeded pretty much on schedule," Smith said. "[With private investors] we didn't have to price it and sell it in one day." "[Colleges and universities] need to go back to [their boards]," Smith added. "We're not dealing with individual funds or individuals who can make that decision."

CITY LIMITS: Ed Rendell profile

(10/30/91 10:00am)

This fall, "Fast Eddie" has not been a candidate for mayor of Philadelphia. Few have discussed alleged hijinks such as throwing snowballs at Eagles' games and delinquent payment of parking tickets, and the threatened file of juicy personal details has not been released to the public. Instead, a thoughtful Edward Rendell is the focus of attention. His public speeches have centered on his platform for running Philadelphia and he has avoided personal attacks on his opponents. Rendell's thoughtfulness, observers say, is the product of a different Republican candidate. Republican primary winner, the late Frank Rizzo, would have headed off Rendell's issue-oriented discussion by attacking Rendell's private life, observers say, causing Rendell to abandon his positions and defend himself. However, the current Republican opponent, Joseph Egan, simply criticizes Rendell's stances on a variety of issues. His only attack -- one spoken less loudly by other Republicans -- is to say Rendell delivers canned responses without thought. Egan trails both in popular support and in financial backing, and the "Fast Eddie" image has faded from many voters' minds. Many indications show Rendell's year-long march toward City Hall ending in a landslide. · Rendell has brought a lot of experience to the mayoral campaign -- experience in losing elections. Although Rendell was elected the city's District Attorney in 1982, he lost a gubernatorial campaign in 1986 and a mayoral campaign in 1987. This time, observers say, his grasp of the issues has helped him carve a unique place for himself. City Controller Jonathan Saidel said he thinks Rendell's wide-ranging strategies for cutting the city's debt are feasible. "I think that everything has to be looked at," Saidel said. "I don't think one thing is a panacea." But Republicans Egan and City Council member Thacher Longstreth both say Rendell's plans are unrealistic, saying he is suggesting plans he cannot possibly implement. "If you haven't been mayor, you don't know about positions to be specific with much validity," Longstreth said. Rendell maintains it is possible to trim down the city budget without cutting city services or increasing taxes. Instead, Rendell plans to cut waste in the city's budget, using a political posture as an "outsider" who can slash unnecessary expenses. Rendell's plan to bid out city services has drawn the most controversy during the campaign. He maintains the city will save money through more efficient delivery of city services rather than by cutting wages or workers, adding that Philadelphia is currently the only major city which does not bid out any city services. In his plan to privatize certain services, though, Rendell has tried to avoid completely alienating city employees. After the city received all its bids for a given service, unions would then be informed of the lowest bid. If the union could perform the work for within 10 percent of that bid, it would retain the contract. Additionally, Rendell would require all successful contractors to hire their additional workers from the pool of displaced city workers. The companies would also have a unionized work force. But Egan said that allowing the city unions a chance to revise its bid is against the City Charter. Also, Frederick Voigt, chairperson of the Committee of 70, a government watchdog group, said that bidding out city services requires the approval of City Council, which he said is highly unlikely. Professor Theodore Hershberg, who spent a year working for Mayor Wilson Goode, says city unions have an advantage in the bidding process because the city does not have to operate its services at a profit. City union representatives say the plan is subtly racist, saying that bidding out trash collection -- the most likely service to be provided privately -- would jeopardize the jobs of more black workers than white workers. And Republican candidate Egan says that Rendell's plan is not only divisive, but goes against current business practices of cooperation. "It's cruel," Egan said. "It sends the wrong message." Rendell's plans aim to motivate city workers -- a necessity, Hershberg said, because city workers have become complacent and are not as productive as municipal workers in other cities. The Democratic candidate also plans to save money by capping the amount of employee overtime, saying such a measure can save up to $35 million. He supports efforts to change the way in which the city purchases supplies to decrease the cost and effort it takes to buy anything "more expensive than a Macintosh," Hershberg said. Such a change would require the approval of a proposed change in the City Charter which is on the election ballot. However, Rendell also has drafted a few plans to expand city services. The former District Attorney wants to increase the number of police officers in the city force by 1000, apparently responding to surveys which say crime is a top concern to city residents. Rendell also wants to place health-care clinics in city high schools and to implement programs for latch-key children. · Some political observers say Rendell's commanding popularity could give the 1965 College alumnus a strong bargaining position should he take office in January -- both within the city and in state government. And fellow Democrats say they hope Rendell's election will be a popular mandate for change in the city. Rendell has already said he would stand up to city workers in labor contract negotiations. He has also offered a casual "sure" when asked if he would control the city by executive mandate if Council would not pass his proposals. But Rendell said he thinks the dire financial situation the city faces will force City Council and the mayor to cooperate more extensively than in the past. City Council At-Large candidate Happy Fernandez said a Rendell landslide would be a strong signal that the voters want a different style of government. "[Rendell] has run a strong, vibrant, energetic campaign," Fernandez, a Democrat, said. "Hopefully it will be a very long honeymoon." And while City Controller Saidel said Rendell's heavy-handed posture may not "sit well" with Council, Rendell will have the necessary "guts to make tough decisions." "To be an effective leader . . . the mayor has to be respected and feared," Saidel said. "People have to believe in you." It is unclear, however, how Rendell would deal with powerful City Council member John Street. Street is openly campaigning for the Council presidency and has obstructed several initiatives by current Mayor Goode. "John Street has been part of the crew," Fernandez said. "[The new Council president] should be someone who also wants to work with the mayor and not overstep the bounds." Although Rendell does not plan to raise taxes -- saying city residents are already taxed enough -- he does plan to request additional aid from the state as well as a 10-cent surcharge on lottery tickets to pay for the extra police officers. Rendell says the city would be in a better position to negotiate with the state legislature after cutting back its own budget. The state legislature, which traditionally has not supported many city administrations, has been reluctant to increase the city's appropriation. While Senate Majority Leader Joseph Loeper (R-Delaware Co.) says the state legislature is prepared to work with both major-party candidates, House Minority Leader Matthew Ryan (R-Delaware Co.) said Rendell might have less sway than Republican candidate Egan.

Bill introduced to open campus crime records

(10/24/91 9:00am)

A group of state senators introduced a bill Monday requiring open access to campus police records -- a proposal which would require the University to change the way it handles inquiries about campus crime. And State Senator Richard Tilghman, the bill's main sponsor, said earlier this month that he thought the bill would meet little opposition. "I can't imagine a great groundswell of opinion against it," Tilghman (R-Bryn Mawr) said earlier this month. "Its time has come. Hopefully, it will pass." The bill would require campus police departments to maintain a daily crime log of all "responses to valid complaints received, crimes reported, the names and addresses of persons arrested and the charges against such persons arrested." It would also mandate that police departments make these records available to the public during regular business hours. Currently, University Police does not allow public access to its files. Instead, police officers answer all inquiries about campus crime at the officers' discretion. Also, the department does not release complete descriptions of suspects and has in the past not told the University community about reported rapes, attempted rapes or sexual assaults until asked directly about the specific incidents. The University's policy is similar to other colleges and universities statewide. It is unclear whether the administration supports the bill. Assistant Vice President for Commonwealth Relations James Shada and Director of Commonwealth Relations Paul Cribbins were unavailable for comment yesterday. The bill was immediately referred to the Senate Education Committee, but it is not certain when the committee will discuss the bill. Neither Education Committee Chairperson James Rhoades nor the committee's executive director were available for comment yesterday. Mark Goodman, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Student Press Law Cener, said students at other colleges and universities in Pennsylvania are also unable to see police files. While Goodman said he is not sure how the bill will fare, he said college and university efforts to lobby against the bill might backfire against them. "[They're] going to have a very difficult time making that argument without looking very bad," said Goodman, whose organization monitors open-record legislation across the country. "What it suggests is that they are trying to cover up campus crime." Goodman said his organization is in the process of inform college newspapers across the state about the bill and how it might affect them. Also, Tilghman's legislative assistant Greg Jordan said Security on Campus will lobby the state Senate for the bill. Jordan added he knows of no lobbying effort against the bill although colleges and universities have been seeking copies of it.

U. and city near closure of loan plan

(10/23/91 9:00am)

The University and several local organizations are close to reaching an agreement with the city to loan it approximately $90 million to help pay short-term financial obligations. City Finance Director David Brenner said yesterday afternoon the details of the loan would be completed by this morning, with formal closure of the loan finished by the end of next week. And University Treasurer Scott Lederman, who has been negotiating with the city on the University's behalf, said yesterday that he expects a final agreement will be reached "very soon." Between 10 and 15 institutions are currently negotiating with the city to loan it money on a short-term basis. Lederman said yesterday a few local businesses had also joined the discussions. But the local institutions and the city still have yet to reach an agreement on two issues -- how much interest the loaning group would charge and how much money each party will loan the city. Lederman declined to reveal the size of the University's share of the loan, saying only that administrators have "kept in mind a certain number that's remained pretty much the same." Lederman said that the group would likely charge the city between 8.25 and 8.75 percent interest, although Brenner has said earlier those rates were too high. Since the city is unable to get a loan from normal markets, the city would pay higher interest rates borrowing money from the group than other cities pay for their short-term loans. The state established a financial oversight board for the city this summer that could borrow money on the city's behalf at lower interest rates. But the board is unwilling to borrow money for the city until it submits a "realistic" five-year financial plan and allows the board oversight as the city negotiates contracts. Under terms which the city and participating organizations have already approved, the city would pay back the loan on May 12. If the city is not able to repay some or all of the loan at that time, lenders would not have to pay that amount in wage taxes. Lederman said yesterday he has not been negotiating directly with city officials recently, but has been dealing with the loan underwriters who mediate the loan negotiations. He added that both sides have the same interests in mind.