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THE SECOND DEGREE: A Different World

(04/16/91 9:00am)

Second-year Medical student Marshall Balk spends at least eight hours each day in the classroom. But unlike other students, Marshall and his Medical School colleagues spend these hours behind the Quadrangle, on Hamilton Walk, far from the center of campus and other University schools. The combination of a rigorous schedule and the physical separation from the rest of campus leads to a sense of isolation on the part of Med students and a lack of interaction with the rest of the University. In fact, many Medical students said that the only time they see the rest of the University is when they venture off Hamilton Walk to the food trucks on Spruce Street. And second-year Med student John Alexander said that most students have very little reason to spend time outside of the Medical School complex. "There should be more formal interaction between the Medical School and the rest of the University community," Alexander said. "Unless something is pushing you to interact with the other schools, you can spend all your time and never leave the med school." · Because Med students spend most of their time with their classmates, they seem to have created a community of their own outside the rest of the University. Alexander said that their isolation from the rest of the campus fosters a stronger sense of community between the Med students. "I think that, on the one hand, we're very busy," he said. "But after spending eight hours a day with the same people, our lives tend to revolve around our time together, which is one of the reasons we're such a tight community." Barbara Wagner, the Med School's associate director of student affairs, said that numerous extra-curricular activities have sprung up within the Med School that are drawing students. "The Medical School in itself is an all-encompassing experience," Wagner said. ""It's a very cohesive student body." Wagner pointed to Penn Med Horizons, a performing arts group comprised of medical students, as one of the main attractions for Med students. The group performs two shows each year. In the spring the group performs a "spoof" -- a legendary series of skits lampooning the faculty, administration, and the Medical School experience in general. "If the administration makes a decision about something, it usually comes back to haunt them," Wagner said of the humorous skits. "But it's all in fun and taken in good humor." Alexander said many students play intramural football, soccer, and lacrosse and work out. In addition, most Med students spend a lot of time interacting with the West Philadelphia community. According to Med students, there about 70 work with the Community Health Group. Participants, under the supervision of residents, travel to shelters in West Philadelphia to give physical exams, provide medical histories, and educate shelter residents about health maintenance. · Many Medical School students and administrators said that the atmosphere in the school is much different than most would expect. Paul Mehne, associate dean for student and house staff affairs, said that students have created an atmosphere quite different from that experienced by pre-med students. "One of the reasons I was so enthused about coming here is that the students are so supportive of each other," said Mehne, who came to the University in January 1990. Stuzin said that courses are graded on a pass, fail or honors basis and that students are motivated to learn as much as they can without being directly competitive with one another. "In the very beginning people may come to Med school with the pre-med mentality, but the reality is there is no reason to be that way any more," Stuzin said. "Med school isn't the hellish process everyone makes it out to be," she said. "You're just trying to get a base foundation of knowledge for when you go into the hospital. What was stressful to me in college was not learning the material but worrying what my final grade was going to be." · Med students said that they really want to increase interaction with undergraduates and other graduate schools despite their tight schedules. Stuzin said that, academically, interaction between the Medical School and other schools in the University could be stronger. "Med students feel like they're in their own separate community," said Stuzin. "When I was an undergrad, I thought the whole world consisted of undergrads, now I sometimes forget that they are there." She added that many Med student may be missing out on what the University has to offer by limiting themselves to the campus south of Hamilton Walk. "I don't think Med students realize what's out there," she said. "We get this blind statement about a One University concept, but you have to go out and find what's available." But Balk, who received a bachelors degree from the University in 1988, said that the fact that the Med students spend so much time together leads to a lively social atmosphere. He added, however that there is a need for more parties and increased communication between Med students and students from other schools in the University. "The undergrad lifestyle revolves more around off-campus and fraternity parties, and Med students just aren't a part of that," said Balk. "I wish there was one place for all students to hang out. It would be nice to have a central location for everybody." "Med School is similar to undergrad in that students certainly don't just study," he added. "We have a life, there's no doubt." Third-year student and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly representative Mark Weiner, who received a B.S. from the University in 1988, said that Medical students are even interested in being a part of the diversification of Locust Walk. "We've had less time to participate in University activities so we've tried to organize them ourselves," said Weiner, the president-elect of the Medical Student Government.

SECOND DEGREE: Helping and Healing

(02/26/91 10:00am)

At a time when firms in many industries are tightening their belts and some students are wondering whether jobs will be available for them when they finish school, students enrolled in graduate programs at the Nursing School seem to be branching out in all directions of the health care field. Calling nursing a "recession-proof" profession, Nursing School administrators and students said that there is always a large demand for nurses in general and an even greater demand for nurses with advanced degrees. "For the most part, people think we're educated in hospitals to be handmaids to surgeons," said doctoral candidate Peter Preziosi, who is president of the Nursing School's Doctoral Student Organization. "The good news is that people who have opted for nursing will always have a job." And Nursing School Associate Dean Florence Downs said that the trend away from the nursing profession that reached its peak during the early 1980s has been significantly reversed in recent years. "People got out of the profession about eight years ago when women were more interested in going into business," said Downs, who also serves as director of Graduate Nursing. "Now nurses are becoming more autonomous with advanced education, and, contrary to what many people think, it has not taken them away from the bedside but instead kept them there in those roles with more responsibility than they've ever had," she added. In fact, enrollment in the school's doctoral program is up 13 percent from last year and enrollment in its master's program is up about eight percent, according to Senior Admissions Officer Sue Rosner. Rosner said that the Nursing School has the largest number of alumni from its graduate programs than any other school accredited by the National League for Nursing Schools. There are currently over 500 students enrolled in the school's various graduate degree programs. Dean Downs added that there are many people with other degrees who have worked in various professions and now are returning to school to get a nursing degree. · One way in which the University's Nursing School has tried to cater to this growing number of students has been to implement an accelerated program that will enable students to receive their bachelor's and their master's degrees in about three and a half years, instead of the usual five or six years. "This is primarily a streamline program for people with other degrees that want to pursue nursing," Downs said. There are currently 20 students enrolled in the two-year old BSN-MSN program. The first group of students to complete the program will receive their master's degrees in August 1992. As the fastest growing program in the Nursing School, the BSN--MSN attracts a large number of students with degrees in non-health fields and nurses without bachelor's degrees. Associate Director for Admissions Sue Schwartz said that since the program's inception two years ago, enrollment has almost tripled. "The whole image of nursing has been enhanced over several years making it more reasonable to people who before felt they had to go to medical school," Schwartz said. Those interested in the program are required to apply to both the undergraduate division, as a transfer student, and to the graduate division. An applicant must be accepted by both divisions to enroll in the BSN-MSN program. Students then meet with an advisor in the Nursing School to formulate a program that best accomodates their previous training and interest. According to Frances Thurber, director of the BSN-MSN program, almost every applicant accepted by the undergraduate division is accepted by the graduate division. Thurber said that students who enter the program are usually certain of their specialty area in nursing, but students have the option of taking a leave of absence before beginning their work on their master's degree. In the first year of the program students begin working towards the bachelor's degree but take some graduate level courses that will also count toward the master's. If a student has a liberal arts background, then many of the distributional requirements may be waived. The requirements include courses on research methods, statistics, inorganic and organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, and a course on conceptual models in nursing practice. In addition, students must submit a senior inquiry paper on a clinical problem in collaboration with a faculty member who specializes in that area. In the past, students have written about pain management in patients with oncological diseases and developmental delays in children with chronic illnesses. Also, while at the undergraduate level, students are required to do clinical work in several different areas from pre-natal care to gerantology. All clinicals consist of hands-on experience in hospitals. For example, all nurses must take the six-week labor and delivery clinical which requires all nurses to complete two-week rotations through the ante-partum care, delivery and post-partum care units. Students enrolled in the program praised the "flexibility and individualized character" BSN-MSN provides. Laura Chalk, a BSN-MSN student still in the undergraduate phase, said that the program at the University is one of only four in the country. Chalk has a bachelor's degree in French literature from Tufts University and said she wants to be a midwife. "Other programs I looked at seemed really hurried," Chalk said. "I was most impressed by the midwifery faculty. They give their undergrads a lot of experience." Nancy Havill, a BSN-MSN student who has a degree in environmental research management from Pennsylvania State University, also wants to specialize in midwifery. According to Havill, nurses working as midwives have been able to work on a higher level of authority, caring for the woman throughout her pregnancy and childbearing years. Havill spent two years as a Peace Corps worker in the Philippines. She said that after she graduates she hopes to work in public health service with women who have had limited access to prenatal care. Stacey Levitt, who is in her second year in the BSN-MSN program, graduated from the University with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts in 1981. But after working her way up to become president of a local construction company, she decided that she wanted to study nursing. Still working on the bachelor's part of the program, Levitt has been doing her clinical work in nuclear medicine with researchers of aging and dementia at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers use small amounts of radioactive material to observe the development of the subjects' brains. At the hospital, Levitt counsels volunteers of all ages who will undergo these tests, which allow researchers to monitor changes in the normal aging process of the brain and then compare these results with patients who have Alzheimer's Disease and other neurological disorders. Levitt has also done her clinical work in labor and delivery. "I want to help people with neurological diseases, but if something else comes along I want the chance to check it out," Levitt said last week. "That's what's so great. Nursing at Penn gives you a chance to branch out and grow." · The Nursing School is divided into six major areas of study: adult health and illness, nursing children, health care for women, psychiatric nursing, family and community nursing, and science and role development. In addition to the BSN-MSN program, the Nursing School offers 20 different master's programs for students who want to further their education and a Ph.D. program, which can either be added on to the master's degree credits or pursued immediately after the bachelor's degree. Admissions Officer Sue Rosner said that the Nursing School has more master's programs than any other school, with most programs taking only one year to complete. "Every nurse can find their interest at Penn and can do it in a reasonable amount of time," Rosner said. The Nursing School also offers a graduate program which combines a master's or Ph.D. in nursing with a master's of Business Administration from the Wharton School. Dean Downs said she has no immediate plans to change any of the graduate programs in the school, adding that the Nursing School at the University is the only Ivy League school which offers all three graduate programs. "I don't believe in fixing what works," Downs said. "Right now things are going pretty well."

SAS to allow Ph.D. students to take free foreign lang. classes

(02/19/91 10:00am)

Graduate students in the School of Arts and Sciences who are working toward their Ph.D. will not have to pay to audit foreign language courses in the College of General Studies anymore. Last week, in response to demands made by the Graduate Student Associations Council, SAS announced two major changes in foreign language instruction for Ph.D. candidates. According to a memo issued by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Donald Fitts, the first change concerns reading courses in French and German that students had formerly audited in CGS. Now, these courses -- which will be offered during the first summer session this year -- will be administered by the Graduate Division and will only be open to registered Ph.D. students. The Graduate Division will pay for the courses and no tuition will be charged to the students. The second change applies to students who have fellowships or teaching assistantships and are required to study more than one foreign language for their degree. In the past, these students audited foreign language courses and had to pay the tuition for the courses themselves. Under the new policy, students are still expected to have studied one foreign language as an undergraduate. But tuition for additional foreign language courses will be covered by fellowships and teaching assistantships for the length of the award. Fitts estimated that over half of the Ph.D. candidates in SAS are supported by some type of fellowship or are teaching assistants. Students will register for these courses as usual and will receive grades on their transcripts. However, credit for the courses will not count toward the twenty course-unit requirement for the Ph.D. According to Stephen Nichols, associate dean for humanities, GSAC had requested that students not be burdened with the extra cost of language courses for at least five years. Some graduate students voiced concern that this sudden concession is a sign that stipends for teaching assistants will not be increased this year. But Nichols said the move has absolutely no connection with stipends. "We have yet to address that issue," Nichols said. GSAC President Michael Polgar said he is glad SAS made the ruling. "This is certainly evidence that the graduate division is trying to provide a service for graduate students," Polgar said. "It would be helpful, though, to expand the reading courses to Spanish and other languages that students would need." Anthropology doctoral candidate Julie Pearce said she is pleased students will receive grades for the courses but is surprised the courses won't count toward the degree. "We're paying so much for courses anyway," said Pearce. "Because they don't count, coursework could take five years rather than three years." But Nichols said allowing foreign language courses to count toward the Ph.D. would be impractical. "I can't see that that would make any sense," said Nichols. "People traditionally are supposed to learn them before coming to graduate school. Students need to take courses in their disciplines."

Law School hosts moot court

(02/11/91 10:00am)

Debating a dispute over international trade restrictions, a team of five Law School students placed tenth in a international law competition held this weekend at the University for the first time. The team's poor showing was due mainly to a 60-point penalty the it incurred when it turned a written case brief in a day late. "I think it's too bad," said Law student Anne Lofaso, who coordinated the regional event. "If they hadn't been penalized, they would have come in third place." For the first time in its 23 years of participation, the Law School hosted the Jessup Moot Court Competition -- the largest international moot court competition dealing with problems of international law. This year's competition centered on a fictitious dispute between the corporations of two countries embroiled in a trade war. Each team was required to plead the cases of both countries before a panel of judges -- largely composed of members from the law community in and around Philadelphia. Law student and team member Larry Rosenberg won a second-place prize for his oral presentation. Rosenberg said that the mock case was very timely. "It was clearly analogous to U.S. and either Japan or Korea," said Rosenberg. "In the trading world, this is a major issue." Rosenberg added that the team had turned their case brief in late in part because of concern over the war in the Persian Gulf. "It was difficult to justify working on a computer instead of watching what was going on in the real world," Rosenberg said. Fordham University's team won first place, and the team from Villanova University won runner-up. "I hope we'll host it again in the next two or three years," said Lofaso. "It's a good sign that the University is committed to international law and that it is an international university."

U. gives $750,000 to school kids

(01/31/91 10:00am)

President Sheldon Hackney announced yesterday that a $750,000 gift made to the University will be used to award "last dollar" scholarships to seniors in West Philadelphia high schools. According to Superintendent of Schools Constance Clayton, the scholarships will "close the gap" between available aid from loans and grants and the student's real ability to pay for a college education. "The uniqueness of this program is that it provides the last dollars the students need to go to college," Clayton said at the half-hour ceremony at the Urban Education Foundation. The scholarships will be awarded primarily based on need and will range from $100 to $1000. Students may use the scholarship at any college or university. "We're deeply appreciative of the University for its commitment and interest in the success of our children," Clayton said. University Trustee John Neff provided the seed money for "last dollar" scholarships two years ago, and the first scholarships were awarded to sixty students last year. Clayton said that program coordinators are hoping to raise $15 million in the next few years so that the program may be extended to schools outside of the West Philadelphia district. At last year's Founder's Day celebration on January 17, Hackney pledged a large gift from the University to endow the program. Yesterday the University, in conjunction with CoreStates Financial Corporation, fulfilled the promise with the $750,000 gift. The $750,000 is part of CoreStates' donation to the University's five-year $1 billion capital campaign. Hackney called the program an incentive for students remaining in high school. "It's a statement that our society cares, and that there is a way for every young person to go to college if they have the drive," he added. The idea to develop a "last dollar" program in West Philadelphia was conceived four years ago by Adjunct Associate Education Professor Norman Newberg who is director of the Collaborative for West Philadelphia Schools. "I was ecstatic today," Newberg said. "To see it all come together was really thrilling. I hope someday the scholarships will be available to students all over the city." Newberg said that he had studied successful programs around the country and had drawn up a proposal that suggested creating the $1 million scholarship fund and a College Access Center, which would award the scholarships and advise students about college admissions and financial aid. Helen Cunningham, director of the College Access Center, praised the University for its interest in improving opportunities for West Philadelphia students. "The University's ability to look beyond its own recruiting needs and help its neighbors attend the college of their choice is heartening," she said. "The city of Philadelphia needs more collaborations like this one."

Health schools bid for Castle

(01/30/91 10:00am)

Every undergraduate group, from sororities to minorities, has expressed interest in occupying the vacated Castle. Now, graduate students want a piece of the action. Claiming isolation from campus life and the lack of a centrally-located residence, graduate students in the health sciences recently submitted a proposal to take up residence in the Castle next fall. The student governments of the Medical, Dental, Nursing and Veterinary schools put together the proposal and presented it to the Committee to Diversify Locust Walk early this month. Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said that the Committee has not focused on any specific proposals regarding the Castle, but added that it has received a number of good proposals. Morrisson, who co-chairs the committee, said she will make a recommendation to President Sheldon Hackney on who should occupy the building by the end of February so that students may move in by next fall. Denise McAloose, a Graduate and Professional Student Assembly representative from the Veterinary School, announced the proposal at a GAPSA meeting two weeks ago, saying that the schools hope to use the space as a center for health school students to live in, to study in and to conduct seminars with undergraduates on health issues on campus. McAloose added that if the proposal is accepted, it will allow graduate students a much-needed presence on Locust Walk. Although graduate students make up more than half of the University's student population, they have frequently complained that there are few places on campus for them to interact and socialize. "Graduate students living in the Castle would be a means of promoting collaboration between the four schools," said Nursing School GAPSA representative Lisa D'Angelo. "We as professional schools are very isolated." GAPSA representative Andrew Miller said last night that GAPSA was pleased with that graduate students were becoming active in diversifying the Walk and that GAPSA passed a resolution endorsing the health schools' proposal. Committee Co-Chairperson David Pope said last week the building's location on campus has prompted interest from several groups, but the committee is discussing how to decide which group should be able to use it. "We are concerned not only with diversity along the Walk but also with diversity within a particular group," said Pope. He added that the health schools have a diverse student population. The Castle building has been vacant since May, when its former occupant, Psi Upsilon fraternity, was expelled for the January 1990 kidnapping of a Delta Psi brother. The committee met yesterday for the first time this semester. Committee member Erica Strohl said several members did not attend and the meeting never focused on specific issues. "We tried to decide on what our report is going to say, but we didn't get very far," Strohl said last night.

SECOND DEGREE: Back to the classroom

(01/29/91 10:00am)

After Audrey Hochhauser graduated from the University in 1989, she, as many of her peers did, entered the business world. But after just one year in advertising she found her job dissatisfying, and decided to return to the University to study to become a teacher. "I found working at the ad agency completely unfulfilling," Hochhauser said last week. "The people who made it there sacrificed everything I hope to get out of life. Regardless of the money and whatever else comes with being a teacher, I decided it was what I wanted to do." Hochhauser, who is now working for a masters degree at the Graduate School of Education, is one of many GSE students who have traded in their old occupations to become a teacher. · Over the past two years, enrollment in the Graduate School of Education's Teacher Education Program has increased almost 60 percent, and will continue to increase in the years to come, according to Director of Admissions Margaret Harkins. TEP is an intensive, one-year Masters of Education program which mixes coursework at the University with student teaching in inner-city public schools. Most education schools award a master only after two years of course work. GSE is also one of only a few graduate schools in the country which concentrates its student teaching programs in urban public schools, said James Larkin, director of education programs. While GSE offers three degrees -- masters, Ph.D and Ed.D -- the enrollment increase has occurred mainly in the masters program, and particularly in the TEP program, officials said. Dean Marvin Lazerson said last week that renewed interest and optimism for teaching reflects a nationwide phenomenon. "There is a tremendous growth in interest occurring across the nation," Lazerson said. "I think what came out of the 1980s was a strong sense that society had lost its ethical purpose. Now I see a clear willingness to take seriously that education is important." Provost Michael Aiken attributed the enrollment growth not only to the nationwide increases, but also to the school's increased prestige, which he credited to the efforts of Lazerson. "This school has really prospered under the leadership of Dean Lazerson," Aiken said. · Many GSE students said that they were reluctant to pursue a career in education immediately after graduating from college because of the low pay and the lack of respect for the teaching profession. Robert Miller, a masters student in secondary education, held several jobs, including banking and owning a contracting business, before he decided to go into teaching. "I've always wanted to go into teaching, but when I graduated [from Cornell University] in 1983, it didn't seem like a good alternative," Miller said last week. "People sort of looked down on teachers. As I tried a lot of different careers, I just started thinking more and more about teaching." Hochhauser said that the pre-professional atmosphere at the University while she was an undergraduate had initially discouraged her from going into teaching. Masters candidate Matthew Baird worked as a management consultant for three years in public transportation before he made the move from the business world to the classroom. He said that his former job was good, but he is very excited about being a teacher. "It wasn't appropriate for me," Baird said. "I just reached a point a year and a half ago when I realized I'd rather be doing something else than being a management consultant. I wanted to impact peoples' lives more." Baird added that going back to school to get certified in teaching is no longer unusual. "People are open to teaching who weren't open to it before," he said. "They're starting to ask what they want, and money is not as important as it used to be. You begin to hear of a lot more people like myself who made career changes." Masters student Leslie Harvey, who had planned to go to law school after graduating from Wheaton College in 1988, said that she has noticed an increased respect for teaching. "After I graduated, I spent a year working in a law office doing paralegal stuff, and I realized that law wasn't for me," Harvey said. Many students said that they find their work at GSE much more "rewarding" than their previous occupation, pointing to the student-teaching experience as most enjoyable. Baird, who teaches high school social studies, praised TEP for the student teaching experience at an inner-city public school. "Originally I got into teaching with the idea of going to a small private school, but now I certainly would be open to teaching in a public school," Baird said. Miller, who teaches World History and Current Events to 9th and 10th graders at a magnet public high school in the city, said that he never appreciated the challenge of teaching until he had to teach in front of a class. "Getting into the classroom for the first time was really an eye opener," said Miller. "I realized the difficulty of teaching a class." · Dean Lazerson said that the expected increase in teachers' salaries in the next decade and the openings created by the many teachers approaching retirement age will create a further incentive for prospective teachers in years to come. But Lazerson added that to get teaching positions in desirable school districts is very competitive and that the nation's current economic crisis poses additional risks to the health of the education system. "The current recession and the possibility that it may be deeper and longer is a note of caution," Lazerson said. "There are a lot of retirements, but the school districts have no money." Admissions Director Harkins said that the recent influx of students into the program has prompted the school to expand its network of urban public schools and teaching supervisors and is preparing to deal with further enrollment increases. Harkins also said that in addition to people who are leaving other careers to study education, she has observed increased interest in undergraduates at the University to submatriculate into GSE in their senior year. "I see a desire to do something about our society," Harkins said. "People are not just interested in being doctors and lawyers anymore."

SEPTA to discontinue 'night owl' service

(01/24/91 10:00am)

The SEPTA board voted unanimously yesterday to end late-night service on its Market-Frankford and Broad Street rapid transit lines. The buses would run every 15 minutes during the nightly shutdown. Currently the trains run every 30 minutes between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The new schedules will take effect in late spring or early summer. Louis Gambaccini, SEPTA's general manager, told the 60 people at the public meeting that the main reason for nightly shutdown is to improve service. He added that the move will save the authority an average of $1 million each year over the next 10 years. "Even if we didn't have financial stress, it would still be a prudent decision," Gambaccini said. "If ever in my lifetime I heard of a win-win situation, this is it." Gambaccini said SEPTA will improve security by closing train stations late at night and reassigning police officers that now monitor the affected lines to cover other areas of the system. However, speakers opposing the decision criticized SEPTA, saying that the authority made no attempt to poll its riders before voting on the change. Lance Haver, executive director of the Consumer Education and Protection Association, also noted that there is no guarantee that SEPTA will carry out its promises to improve service. Haver said to the board that SEPTA has yet to follow through on a promise to install token machines in every subway station. "Since the fare increase, this has not been the case," said Haver. "There is no guarantee now that SEPTA will live up to its words." SEPTA's treasurer said that the shutdown of the lines would allow workers to maintain the system and to clean the stations. In addition, SEPTA officials could monitor ridership on the new buses to prevent overcrowding. Students said yesterday that they were skeptical that the new system would improve safety. "I wouldn't want to be waiting on a street corner at that time of the morning waiting for a bus," said Ruthlyn Greenfield, a Nursing junior. "It's not realistic to think that they could man all the bus stops." Engineering junior Sherwin Gluck also said that crime would be worse at the bus stops. "[Riders] are going to have to wait outside and that's a lot less safe than waiting in a subway," he said. College junior Stepahanie Murray said that she would consider using the buses but added that she is doubtful of SEPTA's ability to fulfill its promises. "Their points sound valid, but I really don't have any confidence in the system," Murray said.

More than 300 rally on Green backing Israel

(01/21/91 10:00am)

More than 300 students gathered on College Green Friday in a show of solidarity and support for Israel in the wake of of Thursday's Iraqi missile attack on Israeli cities. Although many Jewish students had expressed helplessness and shock as news reports of the attacks came in Thursday night, the mood at the noontime rally was one of determination. Students pinned on blue and white ribbons, representing the colors of the Israeli flag, and yellow ribbons in honor of American troops in Saudi Arabia. Many converged around a table set up by the Hillel Foundation and signed letters to their senators and congressmen calling for continued support for Israel. "Now is the time for action, to display solidarity with Israel and to let them know that we are close to them in spirit," said College senior Elisa Mermelstein, one of the speakers at the hour-long rally. President Sheldon Hackney also spoke at the rally, showing support for the embattled nation and saying Israel had survived war before and would again. Hackney said the University would aid students during the war by providing an open forum for the expression of ideas, sharing knowledge about the situation in the Gulf, and offering personal support to the community. "It is natural that we all feel great anxiety for loved ones in the Gulf," he said. "No one has perfect control over the situation. We can only come together and support each other." Administrators and representatives from several student groups expressed a wish that students demonstrate tolerance and understanding for one another during the Gulf War. "Hussein has challenged us directly to live together despite our ideological differences," said College senior Dan Singer, a representative in the Undergraduate Assembly. "If we don't learn to live together, we will very shortly die together." Speakers also praised Israel for not launching a retaliation against Iraq for Thursday night's bombing, which many believe would destroy the international coalition that is fighting with the U.S. "We see our lives and community not as momentary events, but as a chain of tradition overcoming obstacles," said Hillel director Jeremy Brochin. Students said that they felt relieved and optimistic by the turnout at Friday's rally. "It's good to see that we can support Israel out in the open," said College junior Ari Jacobson, who is organizing an inter-faith discussion group on the Gulf war. Students and staff closed the rally with a prayer and the singing of "Hatikva," Israel's national anthem. After the rally, Sue Moss, chairperson of the Student Activities Council, asked students to continue wearing their ribbons throughout the day. "I think preventing anger on campus is the most important thing we can do," said the College senior. "We are one university and must live together in peace."

Students at Hillel shocked over Iraqi attack on Israel

(01/18/91 10:00am)

Students and staff at Hillel stared speechlessly at the television set, immovable and unable to articulate their fear as they watched reports that Iraq had begun to bomb Israel. Over 100 students, mostly Jewish, first learned of the attacks as the evening's scheduled discussion about U.S.-Israeli relations was about to begin. It was Hillel Director of Student Activities Susan Day who told the students in the auditorium of the reports of the bombing in Tel Aviv. Hillel directors moved the television into the auditorium where students sat and waited, many sobbing as more news was reported and pictures of Israelis wearing gas masks appeared on the screen. Students rushed in and out as they called family members, desperate for more information. Late in the evening, about 50 students gathered in the chapel to pray, having spent two hours listening to the sketchy reports coming out of Israel. At the end of the night, several students worked with Day and Hillel Director Jeremy Brochin to organize a rally today at noon on College Green. Many of the students said that they have family and friends that either are living in Israel or are currently studying there. College freshman Tamara Totah said that her father's family lives in Tel Aviv. "I don't understand how we can be here in school when people are dying," Totah said. "They're so young." "All these innocent people are going to be killed for no reason," she said. "It's just so Hussein can turn it into a holy war. It's sick." Students said that they had been optimistic two nights ago when the U.S. began its attack on Iraq. They hoped that since Israel had not been bombed that first night, it would be able to avoid being engaged in war altogether. Upon hearing of last night's attack, many of the students at Hillel expressed shock. "I feel like I was lulled into a false sense of security," said Marilyn Laves, a College senior. "Now I'm petrified." "It's not that I'm not concerned about American troops, but I'm really afraid for Israel," said Laves. "I view Israel more as a homeland than the U.S. She's part of my identity, and I don't know what I'd do if she wasn't there." Shawn Ruby said that concern for friends and family in Israel will magnify the horror of the Gulf War for Jews. "Now that Israel is in the war, more young people we know are going to be involved," Ruby said. "Both our countries are at war." Although students at Hillel were saddened by the outbreak of war in the Gulf, some were angered by yesterday's immediate demonstrations for peace. "No one wants war, but I don't think this one could have been avoided," said Jill Posner, a College sophomore. "Most important is that soldiers over there are supporting their President, and we should be supporting them. As soon as it happened, students went out into the streets, like they were waiting for a cause. It's not the sixties. It's not flower power. I just pray to God they weren't chemical missiles." Students at Hillel were eager to express support of the U.S. bombing of Iraq, adding that they believe that relations between the U.S. and Israel will become stronger in the ensuing weeks. "What happened tonight underlined what Israel has to deal with every day," said Stan Schuldiner, a College sophomore. "Now the United Nations and the U.S. will have a better grasp of the predicament Israel is in." Later in the evening, students began to talk to one another about their fears. Last night's scheduled speaker, Rachel Weinberg of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, remained to answer questions and reassure the students that the Israelis are well prepared for attacks like the one last night.

Play depicts conflict in Ireland

(01/16/91 10:00am)

Rat In The Skull, which opened before a small audience in the Studio Theater of the Annenberg Center last night, delivers an intense and intriguing portrayal of the violent and seemingly unresolvable conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. The play dramatizes the interrogation of a suspected member of the Irish Republican Army by an Irish police officer, also dealing with the tragic inner torment experienced by fellow countrymen plagued by Northern Ireland's ongoing violence. Performed by four students from Edinburgh University participating in an exchange program, the production is highlighted by captivating performances from all of the actors. Toby Gough gave a rich and emotional performance of the IRA suspect, often including subtle changes in his facial expressions to indicate his character's desperation. David Campton played the frustrated Irish police officer who tries to break his opponent down into confessing. Campton offered an extremely successful performance and explores the full range of possibilities for his character. Chris Hoben and Paul Gruber both provided strong supporting performances of London police officers. Unfortunately, at times the Irish accents and slang made the production difficult to follow, and it required a lot of concentration to understand the dialogue. After the show, the actors invited the audience to discuss the performance and the situation in Northern Ireland. The show will run tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available and are on sale for $5 at the Annenberg Center box office.

UA condemns Smith Hall plans

(12/03/90 10:00am)

In a meeting marked by hostile debate and confusion over proper voting procedures, the Undergraduate Assembly passed a resolution condemning the administration's plan to tear down Smith Hall to make room for a new science center. The resolution, proposed by College senior Greg Cohn, also criticizes the administration's plan to relocate several humanities departments, including History and Sociology of Science and Fine Arts, to 34th and Market streets. "We need to protect our history," said Cohn, adding that the University should consider alternate locations for the science center. UA members voted three times on the resolution after the a mix-up on voting procedures. In deciding whether the resolution had passed or failed, UA Chairperson Duchess Harris counted abstention votes as "no" votes. After the third vote, the resolution passed. College sophomore You-Lee Kim vocally opposed the resolution saying that it failed to express Smith Hall's importance as a historical piece of architecture. She also said that the proposal could not pass University Council in its current form. "I personally agree with the resolution, but there just aren't enough facts," said Kim. In other business, Dan Singer gave a brief overview of the revisions in the UA's 1995 report, which details student government goals for the next five years. A resolution suporting the Greek system at the University was not voted on at the meeting last night.

Greek group working for better minority relations

(11/19/90 10:00am)

Fraternity and sorority members are trying to improve Greek relations with campus minority groups and teach members about diversity issues with the newly formed Greek Social Action Committee. One of the committee's projects is a forthcoming booklet about diversity issues, which College senior Dave Benowitz, a member of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity, said will serve primarily as "a resource guide for Greeks." The booklet will include a section devoted specifically to fliers and theme parties, prompted by protest over recent a Sigma Phi Epsilon party advertisement which depicted a "lazy Mexican." "If a frat isn't sure what might be offensive, they can call someone listed [in the booklet]," said College senior Dave Benowitz. The committee has also held a forum on diveristy issues with Eracism, and has met with leaders of several student groups, including the Women's Center, the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Alliance and the African-American Rescource Center. The committee arose partly out of what some members said is the University's failure to provide adequate diversity education. "The Greek system, like the rest of campus, is in need of diversity education," said College and Wharton senior Jeff Furman, a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. "The University talks a lot about diversity education but not a whole lot of global action is done." Members came from the three Greek umbrella organizations -- the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council and the Black InterGreek Council. Most of the individual houses have sent a representative. In addition, there is a representative from each umbrella organization. "The Greek system has a lot of resources," said Wharton senior Allison Abell, the Panhel representative and a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. "It's easy to find people within the system interested in diversity." Furman, the IFC representative for the 30-member committee, said that members will plan events with other student groups to encourage more positive interaction between Greeks and the rest of the University community. Pi Kappa Alpha member John Gamba said that the committee hopes to abolish negative stereotypes surrounding the Greek community. "We realize that we're accountable for our past actions," said Gamba, a College junior. "Now we want fraternities to stand for something better than what we've been labeled as."

Author Vonnegut pleases Irvine crowd

(11/13/90 10:00am)

So it went. Leaning his hulking frame over an Irvine Auditorium podium, author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. issued a flood of blunt observations and advice to the hundreds of excited students who jammed into the hall last night. In a quiet, straightforward speech, Vonnegut, whose most famous works include Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle, drew laughter and applause as he systematically criticized American society, lauded its accomplishments and gave his "best" advice to aspiring authors. He repeatedly pointed out that Americans have a need to feel like members of a family. He blamed the the Japanese influence on U.S. industry for obstructing that feeling, saying that while it may be good business, it is "terribly demoralizing" to Americans. "Benedict Arnold is notorious as a scumbag," he said. "How is he any worse than those who are selling this country to foreigners?" Vonnegut also attacked the nation's education system, suggesting that Americans stop "treating teachers like dirt" since teaching is "the most important profession in a democracy." English Professor Robert Lucid, who introduced Vonnegut, clapped his hands softly as he sat on stage behind the author. "We are now the dumbest country in the world," Vonnegut said. "People are starting to panic, as dumb as we are." He blasted television for a general lack of content, but reserved praise for L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues, which he called "wonderful." The author of Breakfast of Champions, Deadeye Dick and Player Piano said he would rather have written for the show Cheers than write anything he has published. In an unusually optimistic moment, Vonnegut said that Americans today are more tolerant of other races than any other people in the world. The last part of Vonnegut's speech was directed at aspiring writers in the audience. He told students that if they are having trouble writing a story, they should throw away their first three pages and add Iago, the villianous character in Shakespere's Othello. Jonathan Swartz and Neil Kreuzer praised Vonnegut for his dry humor and his "fantastic" speaking ability. "He writes just like he speaks," said Kreuzer, a College and Wharton junior. "It's nice to see someone who's not afraid to tell it like it is," said Swartz, a College junior.

Author Vonnegut to speak today

(11/12/90 10:00am)

Author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., whose sarcastic and unconventional works include Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle, will speak in Irvine Auditorium tonight at 8 p.m. Vonnegut's talk is titled "How To Get a Job Like Mine." Emily Nichols, chairperson of Connaissance, the group sponsoring the event, said that Vonnegut is expected to mix personal anecdotes with political commentary. "There are not many other authors today that write books that are considered to be literature," said Nichols. "I can't think of any other writer that might be more timely." Nichols said Vonnegut's works tend to be pessimistic and science fiction-like visions of the future. Connaissance treasurer Russell Klein said the group is especially excited about bringing a well-known speaker who is not a politician or journalist. "It should be kind of a wild speech," Klein said. English Professor Robert Lucid said that unlike most other writers who come to the University, Vonnegut will speak directly to the audience rather than deliver a fictional reading from a manuscript. "He's very famous as a speaker," said Lucid. "People are going out of eager anticipation to see him in action." Vonnegut is speaking tonight as part of a lecture tour he is giving this fall to promote his latest book, Hocus Pocus. The speech is free of charge and open to the public.

Make the bed, here come the folks

(11/09/90 10:00am)

As students rush to make their beds and vacuum up the remnants of last night's pizza binge, hundreds of their family members will converge on campus this weekend to enjoy a slice of college life themselves. Each school will sponsor the traditional parent receptions and lectures for this weekend's annual pilgrimage, but students also have plenty of their own ideas for entertaining their parents -- and themselves. College freshman Erika Stansbury said she plans to take her mother shopping. "We'll catch a few lectures and go to the brunch at Hill House, but I really want to get out to the Gallery and Franklin Mills," said Stansbury, who is from Pittsburgh. Sherry Novick, a College freshman from San Antonio, Texas who hasn't seen her parents since move-in, said she is looking forward to getting a "real" dinner and showing her parents around the city. "They're excited to see how I really live," said Novick. For the third year in a row, students from Kings Court/English House have been preparing for Saturday's football game against Harvard University by toasting slices of Wonder Bread to sell on Locust Walk before the game. Proceeds will be donated to the University City Hospitality Coalition. "The grills get so hot that the students have been trying to keep the toast from charring," said Engineering senior Jose Carvalho, the special events manager for Kings Court/English House. He said students have toasted a total of 22,000 slices of bread every day this week, working from 4 p.m. to midnight. Fran Walker, director of Student Activities and Student Life Facilities said she expects about 3000 visitors this weekend, including siblings and other family members. "Parents are easier to please than any population I know," Walker said.

Student hit by car on 40th and Spruce St.

(10/24/90 9:00am)

The College junior had fallen at about 8:20 p.m., and was struck from behind as she began to pick up the bicycle a few seconds later. The car, a Volvo, was driven by a male College junior. The student was thrown, but remained conscious. University Police officers attributed the accident to poor weather and low visibility. "If it hadn't been wet and slippery, she probably would not have fallen," said University Police Officer David McDonald. He said that he has no reason to believe that alcohol was involved and that there is no evidence of reckless driving. Philadelphia Police are investigating the accident. Officer Josh Lachs said that the front grill of the Volvo was torn off. "She must have been lucky," said Lachs. "She was in pretty good spirits when they took her away."

Newspaper delivery ends in W. Campus

(10/24/90 9:00am)

According to Penn News General Manager Mark Stanley, West campus subscribers will be forced to used drop boxes in the dormitory lobbies, adding that subscribers have been sent letters informing them of the lock combination to access them. A similar system will be instituted in all North campus dormitories by the end of this month. Residents in the Quadrangle will continue to receive doorstep delivery, for now, Stanley said. Stanley said yesterday that the inability to pay deliverers a satisfactory wage, theft, and difficulties getting newspapers distributed by the vans early enough for student deliverers were the main reasons for stopping the popular delivery service. "For every newspaper that's going out door-to-door, we're losing money," he added. "In order to continue the service, we would have to charge more than cover price. I'm sure there are a lot of people willing to pay, but we wouldn't be providing what is an important factor for the majority of students, the discount price." Since Penn News' separation from Penn Student Agencies over the summer, the delivery organization has run into several financial and operational difficulties. Stanley said that in the past, subsidies from the University and from the newspaper companies have allowed for the doorstep service. He added that these subsidies were cut this year and since then, the agency has been unable to draw early morning deliverers with an attractive wage. Currently, Penn News -- which delivers newspapers to approximately 1000 students -- still hires van service from PSA to distribute the newspapers to the dorms. Stanley called PSA's service "marginal," but said that he hopes to work with PSA managers to resolve the problem. Tom Hauber, the associate director of Student Life Facilities, said that he was surprised that doorstep delivery was stopped. He also said that PSA has no plans to resume the newspaper delivery service. Students voiced anger that doorstep delivery was discontinued, and many said they were considering cancelling their subscription. "The good thing about it is getting it right at your door, said Bill Loller, a Wharton sophomore. "Otherwise, there's no point. I might as well go to a street corner and buy it." Richard Lau, the assistant director of the Penn Consumer Board, said that they have received numerous phone calls from students wondering what Penn News' contractual obligations to students are. (***CLARIFICATION: The Consumer Board's advice is based on the Pennsylvania Bar Association) He added that since Penn News has breached a verbal contract of doorstep delivery, students are entitled to a full refund of the undelivered newspapers. Stanley said yesterday that students who want to cancel their subscription will be entitled to a refund on newspapers for the rest of the semester but added that as of yesterday only 10 students had canceled their subscriptions. Dennis Lin, a College junior, said that the drop boxes are only the latest in a saga of bad service and inefficient delivery. "I feel cheated. I expected it to be delivered," he said. "There's not too much difference between going to Wawa and going downstairs."

Mitchell criticizes news coverage of campaigns

(10/23/90 9:00am)

Intertwining humorous anecdotes and caustic cynicism, 1967 College graduate Andrea Mitchell -- the chief Congressional correspondent for NBC News -- spoke to hundreds of students last night about the role of network news in the past three presidential campaigns. Although the event was publicized as a speech on "how the U.S. system of divided government is not working," Mitchell focused on network news coverage of political campaigns, saying it allows the candidates to oversimplify the issues. "The networks tend to gloss over very important, fundamental and sometimes profound facts," Mitchell said. She added that time constraints and the visual aids in television newscasting curtail detailed coverage of issues. Pointing to incidents in both the Reagan and Bush campaigns, Mitchell said the candidates and consultants have geared the campaigns toward television by staging "picture shows" that appeal to viewers and avoid meaningful discussion of issues. Mitchell said in one instance, Reagan's "media management" deliberately kept reporters behind the "shout line" so as to prevent the president from hearing any questions. Mitchell said consultants had "turned to television with a highly polished presidential performance, the Norman Rockwell image of a happy America." "Campaigns have become travelling road shows, and what gets lost in this process is the issue of who would do a better job of governing," she said. Mitchell concluded the Zellerbach Theatre address with an appeal to students to become more involved in the political process and to look to sources beyond the networks for information. Students asked questions about possible improvements in television news reporting, coverage of the Middle East, and the effect of the budget crisis on student loans. College freshman Caleb McArthur said Mitchell raised some valid points about problems with the networks' coverage, but criticized her for not addressing the money-making aspect of television reporting.

Alcohol Awareness Week begins

(10/22/90 9:00am)

Students, faculty and staff members will engage in lunchtime discussions and peer education programs focusing on alcohol abuse as organizers launch this fall's Alcohol Awareness Week. The five-day long program, which starts today, will try to address all effects and types of substance abuse, according to organizers. "We're trying to target faculty, staff and students and get as many programs out there as possible that will concern them," said College senior Liz Weiner, a co-organizer of the program. "Alcohol is the number one drug on college campuses," she added. "We're all affected by alcohol in some way." Some discussions will address ways of coping with stress, living with alcoholics, problem drinking and recovery from alcoholism. Other forms of addiction will also be covered, including eating disorders, gambling and illegal drug use. "We really tried to branch out with connections with other offices on campus," said Robert Tintner, assistant to the director of the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education. "This year is our most inclusive and best effort." The peer education programs -- in which students talk to other students about alcohol abuse on campus -- are the primary emphasis this week and will take place at night in residences, fraternities and sororities. Officials organized the programs, which are open to all students, because of requests by students. Some fraternities will hold "mocktail" parties and will talk with other students about alternative social events. There will also be programs in two sororities that concern women and alcohol. "We think that the peer education program really works," Tintner said. "Students listen to other students." The noon-time discussions will be brown bag lunches and will be held in Houston Hall. Administrators or keynote speakers will facilitate most of these programs. "The purpose of the week is not to preach at all, but to convey information and raise the overall consciousness of the University community," coordinator Weiner said.