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'Big Mouth' leads beatties

(01/22/93 10:00am)

When Stephanie Desmon was six, she danced Swan Lake at the Met. At seven, she won the U.S. Open and got the World Championship gold in women's downhill skiing. That same year she also performed oboe and piano solos for the mayor of Buffalo. Well, she tried anyway. As a child prodigy (not), Desmon tried her hand at all sorts of talent-requiring activities in fact. "She liked to try everything," Desmon's mom Janet said this week. "But she was good at absolutely nothing." Ah, but that was then. Now, the incoming assistant managing editor has made her way up the ranks of The Daily Pennsylvanian to oversee 20 beat reporters and sit on the paper's mightily stress-causing executive board. Oh and how it suits her. High school and college friends alike say they are not surprised with Desmon's rise to power at the newspaper. They describe the fluffy-headed History major as a natural organizer who always seems very together -- except in the bedroom. "Stephanie is definitely a slob," explains housemate Karen Krigsman, adding that the floor to Desmon's bedroom is an almost scary thing of the past. More than anything else, the thin, small-footed Chi Omega sister is known for her "big mouth." She can out-talk and out-socialize everyone who knows her, and, when needed, she can shout her way out of anything. While her mom claims Desmon has outgrown the slobbery habit of sticking her tongue out at everyone, the new editor does have another oral fixation: rumor has it, she can fit her entire fist in her mouth. (who says Desmon's good at nothing?) "I have witnessed that," says incoming Managing Editor and boyfriend of 10 months Scott Calvert. Calvert also sheepishly notes that Desmon has "sound effects for everything." "I like to hear her shriek," he says. "That's true," Desmon wistfully acknowledges, adding that she can do it "even in the most public places." To Desmon's claims that she "is very innocent," friends simply giggle. They hedge and say she spends most of her time with Calvert, but that there is definitely something crazy lurking beneath her small frame. And since they never see her anyway, she could be doing anything. Desmon (known to those in the know as Stephee, Steph-a-roo-roo, and Desdemona) brings a perpetually perkiness to her new position at the DP. She says she feels like a "Mom" to her young reporters. The "wonderfully unique" new editor hails from Buffalo, NY, where friends fondly think of her for her hair, her hazardous driving and her raging sports mania, which extends to every professional Buffalo sports team and now -- just for Calvert's sake -- the Baltimore Orioles. (how cute.) For the future, Desmon has few but mighty aspirations. Next week, she wants to go to the Superbowl with Dad. Once upon a time, she wanted to be President of the United States, but now she doesn't like helicopters. And once she wanted to be a princess. Now, she simply wants to be "happy somewhere."

Man shot, three men arrested on 38th St.

(10/30/92 10:00am)

Philadelphia Police arrested three men suspected of robbery early yesterday morning after a high speed chase that ended with a car crash at 38th and Walnut streets and with an officer shooting one suspect in the foot, police said. The injured man was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and was later released, police said. The three men have been charged by Philadelphia Police in connection with the robbery of two students earlier in the morning. The incident, which occurred at about 3 a.m., began when the three men allegedly robbed two students at 44th and Locust streets. One of the students, who did not want to be identified, said the suspects jumped him and took his wallet, which contained $10. The men drove off in an off-white Mercury. When police tried to stop them at 51st Street and Baltimore Avenue, they sped away and a chase ensued, police said. The suspects then went west to 38th Street, where they drove on the wrong side of the road until, while turning onto Walnut Street, they crashed into a pole in front of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity house. One of the suspects jumped out of the car and tried to run north on 38th Street. An officer followed and, when he saw the suspect reach into his waistband -- possibly for a weapon -- shot him in the foot, police said. The suspect fell to the ground in front of TEP's backyard fence, about 30 feet from Walnut Street. Police officers pulled the other two suspects, both 19-years-old, out of the car and arrested them after the two students who were mugged positively identified them as their assailants. Police said the three men have also been charged in an unrelated robbery at 34th and Race streets. No one else was injured, police said. TEP brother and College sophomore Matthew Schneider said yesterday that he saw the incident from a window in the house. He said he heard a tire blow out, and then saw the car crash into a pole. He said he saw the officer shoot the man and then heard the suspect shouting "I've been shot! I've been shot!" Nearly an hour after the incident, several TEP brothers and witnesses stood around and watched police officers investigate the scene. The injured suspect had been taken to the hospital and the two students who were mugged waited to make a statement to police. And in the aftermath of a mugging, a shooting and an arrest, they marvelled at the events which had taken place right where they stood. "It happened so quickly, I didn't know what had happened," Schneider said. "Yeah, I was scared."

WELCOME BACK: Student hurt in hit-and-run accident

(09/04/92 9:00am)

A University senior was injured in a hit-and-run incident at 40th and Sansom streets last Friday, University Police said this week. The student, who was riding her bike down 40th Street at 7:47 a.m., was hit by a black Pontiac Fiero, which slowed for a minute, and then sped away down the street, police said. The student was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was treated in the Emergency Room and released, police said. Police would not release the name of the student, and have not made any arrests in the incident. In an unrelated incident, four males stole a wallet from a male University student at 41st and Walnut streets at 5 a.m. on August 5. The student was robbed while walking down 41st Street towards Chancellor Street by two of the men who were walking towards him. The other two men were parked in a car on 41st Street. After the robbery, the men jumped into the car and drove away north on 41st Street. The men also took the student's keys, but threw them back before they escaped. There were no injuries in the incident. In another unrelated incident, a male stole $95 from a University student outside 4216 Pine Street on August 8 at 11:10 p.m. The male student was robbed while trying to get into his car. The assailant took the student's wallet -- which also contained a check for $95 -- and attempted to take his car keys. The assailant ran west on Pine Street after a brief struggle during which the student stabbed him in the head with his keys.

UA slams U. Council decision

(12/09/91 10:00am)

Undergraduate Assembly members last night demanded that University Council members protect student voices on University-wide committees. In a resolution at their last meeting of the year, members encouraged Council to reverse last month's 22 to 18 vote to dilute student voices on Council's Safety and Security Committee by increasing the number of faculty on the committee. "The Undergraduate Assembly condemns the recent changes in the balance of representation on council committees and expresses its alarm over the loss of equal and equitable representations of student concerns at the University," the resolution states. At its November meeting, faculty on Council out voted every graduate and undergraduate student, saying that security is more of a faculty concern than a student concern. Council members plan to discuss increasing the number of faculty on Council's Book Store Committee at their meeting Wednesday. UA Steering member You-Lee Kim brought the proposal to the floor last night, and encouraged assembly members to attend the meeting to show the solidarity of students on campus. The UA resolution also demands "an increase in the number of students to equal the number of faculty" on all Council committees. Kim said after the meeting that she is worried that last month's Council vote represents a trend among faculty to cut students out of the decision-making process at the University. "Intentionally or not, student opinion is being phased out," Kim said. "I think it's not only important to let them know we're upset, but to do something about it as well." In other business, UA members passed a set of specific recommendations to diversify Locust Walk, including turning Walk office space into student residences and activity centers. The suggestions, which will be passed on to President Sheldon Hackney, call on the University to enforce that "the opportunity to live on Locust Walk is a privilege" and to include an undergraduate member on any committee to study the Walk in the future. UA Vice Chairperson Ethan Youderian said last night the suggestions are a way to "see if the president really means what he says about being receptive to student input." In other business, Student Committee on Undergraduate Education Chairperson David Kaufman said the University has made a commitment to raise $1 million for five endowed chairs for teaching, the first time the University has made such a move.

Kite and Key Society elects new president, board for next year

(12/09/91 10:00am)

Kite and Key Society members last week elected College junior Stephanie Newman as their new president and filled 10 other posts for 1992. Society members also elected College junior Michael Gross to be vice president, College junior Doug Hodis as secretary and College junior Michelle Fink as treasurer. Newman and her new board will take their posts in January. The new president, who was tours coordinator this year, said last night she is excited for next year. She is impressed with her board and said "everyone expressed great ideas in their speeches." And Newman said she wants to increase the sense of community within Kite and Key next year, making every aspect of the group more accessible to all members. "I want to have each member have more of a voice," Newman said. "I want to be very open to any ideas that members have." Newman, who defeated three Society members to get her new position, said the new board will work very well together. Current Kite and Key President Barbi Lewis said yesterday the biggest issue facing next year's executives will be to get a handle on the Society's recent growth in activities. College senior Lewis said members will need to "maintain the areas of growth that Kite and Key has evolved and to find new ways to stay involved in the community and on campus." Lewis added that she was impressed with the way the candidates handled their campaigns and the election, noting it as a good sign for the way they will work together next year. The other elected members are College junior Stephanie Fish as alumni relations coordinator, Wharton sophomore Marc Tarquinio as female hosting coordinator, Nursing sophomore Elisa Katz as male hosting coordinator, College junior Deborah James as tour guide coordinator, Wharton sophomore Peter Wang as on- and off-campus recruiting coordinator, College sophomore Deborah Roberts as special projects coordinator and College freshman Lauren Stein as Step-One tutoring coordinator.

UA to restart tuition campaign

(12/06/91 10:00am)

Undergraduate Assembly members will pass around their annual tuition petition next semester, seeking to revive the University's commitment to lowering tuition increases each year. "We have witnessed that in the face of fiscal crisis, the administration turns to the undergraduates to bear the brunt of the burden," said two UA members in a statement yesterday. "We do not want the University of Pennsylvania to become an elitist institution." The statement criticizes the administration for last year's tuition recommendation to the Trustees, which reversed the University's commitment to decrease the percentage increase of tuition every year. Administrators recommended that the Trustees raise tuition by 6.9 percent, .2 percent higher than last year's increase. "We want to send a strong signal to the administration that we will not tolerate this again," the statement reads. "We will not let them ignore their commitments." According to UA Chairperson Mitch Winston, last year's petition, which 4000 students signed, helped convince Trustees to adopt a 6.7 percent tuition increase, the same rate of increase as last year. Winston said the UA also sent state legislators the signatures of Pennsylvania residents from 122 cities to lobby for state funding for the University.

SPEC members elect College junior Todd as third president

(12/03/91 10:00am)

College junior Anne Todd was elected the third president of the Social Planning and Events Committee last night, defeating Wharton junior Lincoln Singleton in the only contested race of the executive board elections. Todd, who served as SPEC secretary this year, will take over the position next month. "I am here 100 percent," Todd said after the meeting. "I'm available to every single person in the community as a whole . . . my time commitment is devoted to SPEC." Todd was excited about the coming year and said she plans to secure SPEC's future early in her term, stressing that students do not need to worry about the committee when its financial agreement with the University runs out next December. Todd said she plans to focus next year on developing SPEC's new Special Events Committee, a group devoted to bringing events to campus that do not fit under any other committee, such as hypnotists and comedians. And Todd said she plans to promote more co-sponsorships with other campus groups, publish an expanded newsletter, and work to involve new students in University activities as soon as they arrive on campus. The other executive board members elected last night are College junior Richard Greenberg as executive vice president, College sophomore Marni Sommer as vice president of membership, College sophomore Pilar Ramos as vice president of publicity and Engineering junior Maryellen Feehery as secretary. No one ran for treasurer, and SPEC members will hold another election next January. Todd defeated Singleton after both candidates gave three-minute speeches and answered 10 minutes of questions from SPEC and non-SPEC members in the room. SPEC members voted by secret ballot. Former Vice President of Publicity Singleton, who said he lost by a very slim margin, said he does not plan to continue working with SPEC in any capacity. He said he would not be effective without being on the executive board. "I do sort of feel that all the hard work I've done for SPEC over the last two years has gone down the drain," Singleton said. "But I can turn my energy to other pursuits." Singleton criticized the make-up of next year's board because it contains no non-Greek minorities. He compared Todd to current SPEC president Lisa Nass, saying that changes will be hard to bring about with "a Lisa prototype" at the helm. "During the questioning, one thing that helped Anne win was that she was very perky, while I tried to make my presentation very thorough and professional," Singleton added. "But that's a matter of personality and culture."

Many unclear on sex harassment definition

(12/03/91 10:00am)

Thanks to Anita Hill, millions of Americans have heard of it. But knowing it exists and understanding what sexual harassment is are two vastly different things. At the University, as around the nation, men and women are still unclear about what actions constitute sexual harassment and even about how prevalent incidents of harassment are. In the wake of two recent sexual harassment allegations on campus, students indicated this week that there is no common ground for determining what is "unwanted sexual attention," the University's definition of sexual harassment, or how often it occurs. But according to a 1985 survey, which administrators said represents today's numbers as well, 35 percent of undergraduate women experience sexual harassment while they are students here, mainly from other students. The survey also showed that 19 percent of female graduate students and 11 percent of women faculty experience harassment on campus. These numbers, which a faculty committee uncovered through an extensive questionnaire, refer to incidents of unwanted sexual attention, such as teasing, pressure for sex or for dates, suggestive gestures, deliberate touching and sexual assault. Some students recently said they were surprised at the figures, saying they were either too low or too high, with many adding that there is no definition of harassment that can be applied across the board to precisely measure its frequency. "I'm amazed that [the percentage is] that low," College junior Deborah Brown said. "From my own experience and that of my friends, I'd say it could easily be 60 percent." Brown said the accepted definition of sexual harassment, in which "someone's being pinned against the wall and attacked," needs to change to include several other forms of unwanted attention. "The point is there are probably innumerable episodes like the [alleged] one at Theta Xi," Brown said. "That's what really needs to change and that takes a lot of education." Wharton senior Devansh Patel agreed, defining sexual harassment as "anything that would be overly aggressive or offensive." He cited experience as an indication of harassment's prevalence on campus. "Whenever you go to a party, you can tell when someone's hitting on a girl and she feels uncomfortable," he said. But College junior Dan Nestoe said that while he also thinks sexual harassment occurs on campus, he finds it hard to distinguish what incidents are sexually offensive and which are examples of women "jumping on the sexual harassment bandwagon." Nestoe said he thinks some women may use sexual harassment "to vent their frustration at male-dominated institutions they think are outdated." He added that people may say they have been harassed but do not have a clear idea of what harassment is. And College junior Daphna Shapiro said she thinks the issue of sexual harassment on campus is overblown, noting that as one of few women Physics majors, she would be especially vulnerable to harassment. "I've never experienced any [harassment] and in my eyes it's not a problem," Shapiro said. In the last two months, two University students have publicly come forward with sexual harassment charges against other students. In one incident, Fine Arts graduate student Amy Iwata filed charges with the Judicial Inquiry Office against Richard Clark, an exchange student from Edinburgh, claiming he grabbed her and refused to let go on an escort van in October. And in the other incident, College senior Katy Henrikson charged a Theta Xi fraternity member with repeatedly trying to kiss her despite her protests at a party two years ago. Besides those two events, Interim JIO Jane Combrinck-Graham said yesterday she has received several other sexual harassment complaints so far this year, some of which have been settled and some of which are still under investigation. Combrinck-Graham said that some of the women came forward this fall due to the increased attention paid to sexual harassment following University of Oklahoma Law Professor Hill's Senate testimony. And Office of Affirmative Action Director Joann Mitchell said last week that the nationally-publicized hearings have raised awareness on campus. But she said Hill's charges have become a "good news, bad news situation" because while more people are aware of sexual harassment now, many women may be disillusioned that a woman with a "high-degree of credibility" was not believed. "This may prove to be somewhat of a barrier," she said.

SPEC members to elect their third president Monday

(11/27/91 10:00am)

Social Planning and Events Committee members will elect a new executive board this Monday, seeking a president who will ensure that SPEC remains on campus after its three-year funding agreement with the University expires at the end of next year. Current SPEC Vice President of Publicity Lincoln Singleton and current SPEC Secretary Anne Todd are running for president, the only contested position on the board. According to College junior Lisa Nass, current SPEC president, the most important issue for next year's board will be seeking money from the Office of Student Life and the Undergraduate Assembly. When SPEC was formed in January 1990, the University and the UA agreed to give the student group money for three years to fund undergraduate social events such as Homecoming and Spring Fling. The three-year agreement ends in December 1992. Both Singleton and Todd said yesterday they are confident that they will be able to keep SPEC on campus in future years. Singleton said he will continue a petition to "Save Our SPEC" and will push for the group to be included in a report from the University's Student Affairs Committee to Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson. Todd said she plans to establish an endowment board to look into different ways to fund SPEC, including soliciting corporate sponsors. She also plans to continue the "Save Our SPEC" campaign and would like to meet with President Sheldon Hackney to garner his support for the group. Singleton said he also plans to focus the committee next year more on minority concerns and to increase interaction between SPEC members and the general student body. "This is a big year for SPEC and it's going to need a leader who is dedicated to social planning, yet is still aggressive, authoritative, yet not heavy-handed, decisive and approachable," Singleton said. "And I think I have all those qualities." Singleton said if he does not win the election he will not run for a lower board position, but may decide to chair a committee or be a regular member. Todd said she plans to focus her year on establishing SPEC securely in the University community and said her "enthusiasm" and "dedication" will help her lead the social committee. "I've had a lot of time and experience with SPEC," Todd said. "I absolutley love it, and I'm there 100 percent." For other board positions, College junior Richard Greenberg is running for Executive Vice President, College sophomore Marni Sommer for Vice President of Membership, College sophomore Pilar Ramos for Vice President of Publicity and Engineering junior Maryellen Feehery for Secretary. So far, no one has applied for the position of treasurer. The election will be Monday, December 2 at 7 p.m. in Houston Hall's Bodek Lounge. Any recognized SPEC members will be able to vote for the next board.

UA moves to shore up Penn Watch

(11/21/91 10:00am)

Brian Bora, UA Safety and Security Committee chairperson, said assembly members will try to recruit people through a "two-point plan" of speaking at floor meetings in the residences and at the meetings of other student groups. Bora, a Penn Watch coordinator, said the new plan should be in place by next semester. This fall, the two-year-old Penn Watch program, which was started by campus Greek organizations and joined by the UA, has had trouble finding volunteers, who patrol the immediate off-campus area in groups from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every night. Only about 200 students are participating in the program this year, compared to about 400 last fall. And UA members, who are responsible for a patrol every Wednesday, have not produced enough Penn Watch volunteers this semester to fill their slot. Instead, Alpha Phi Omega, a campus service fraternity, has volunteered to do the routes. Through their new plan, assembly members said they should be able to gain support for the program. "[The presentations] will act as a way of teaching people about the process and get them more involved," UA Treasurer Jeff Lichtman said last night. "We anticipate or hope that we'll get a few volunteers every time we do this." Lichtman said he thinks one reason people have not joined the program is that "they don't know what Penn Watch does" and added that after UA members explain it to students, he "hopes it will sell itself." While UA efforts may bring some new participants to Penn Watch, Alpha Phi Omega volunteers said last night the assembly should reassess the way it runs the program itself. Riz Shavelle, the fraternity's president, said her service group volunteered to fill in for the UA on Wednesday nights because the student government was unable to fill the routes. But Shavelle said the UA and Penn Watch coordinators have not done their part, saying "there's been no communication between the groups and the Penn Watch coordinators." "They just assume people will show up," Shavelle said. "The UA has volunteers they're not utilizing well . . . All the initiative's put on the volunteers, rather than on the UA or the coordinators." Shavelle said that on some occasions, Penn Watch coordinators have failed to show up at the University Police station to hand out equipment and to deal with the police officers on duty. She said that without the coordinator, volunteers can not go out on their routes, adding that one week, her fraternity members had to turn around and come straight home. Shavelle said she thinks the UA should devise a better system for communicating with volunteers and with the police. UA Vice Chairperson Ethan Youderian said he thinks the program's communication problem is that Penn Watch is not organized well and said the UA is currently devising a plan to restructure it. "We're trying to figure out now who should be in charge of this thing," Youderian said. "There should be a definite set form of leadership so Penn Watch runs smoothly all year."

Penn Watch is 'falling apart'

(11/19/91 10:00am)

But now, the campus neighborhood watch is in disarray, as people seem to have lost interest in the group. As the third year of Penn Watch comes to a close this month, patrol volunteers have significantly dwindled, and program coordinators often face disinterest among their former supporters. "It's downright apathy," said Phi Sigma Sigma sorority member Meredith Grabois, a Penn Watch coordinator. "It doesn't require an intense intellectual commitment . . . and we've made it so easy for people to show up." The difficulty in finding volunteers has made program coordinators nervous about the status of Penn Watch. Undergraduate Assembly member Brian Bora told the UA earlier this month that "Penn Watch is falling apart," noting that most UA members had again failed to provide a list of interested volunteers. Campus Greek organizations began Penn Watch in 1989 in cooperation with University Police to provide surveillance for the University's immediate off-campus area. The Undergraduate Assembly joined the program soon after. Patrols, which now operate from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., consist of four people, usually fraternity and sorority members, who alternate days every week. The UA is scheduled for a route on Wednesday nights every week. Last year at this time, Penn Watch had about 400 volunteers. This fall, the program has approximately 200 members. One reason for the decline this year lies in the hands of the UA, which is supposed to provide several volunteers for their weekly rounds. But despite Bora's continual reminders to the UA, assembly members have failed to provide Penn Watch with enough warm bodies to cover their routes. In almost every UA meeting this fall, Bora -- who leads the UA's Safety and Security Committee -- has requested that members provide a list of students willing to take on a patrol. He said earlier this month that a campus service fraternity has had to fill in for the UA on Wednesday nights. The UA and the Greeks have similar problems in their recruitment efforts. Grabois said people are afraid to walk the streets of West Philadelphia at night and that they tend not to think Penn Watch makes a difference to safety. But she said that the coordinators have made several changes to the program this year to recruit more volunteers, including rotating the schedules, so members patrol with different people every week, and shortening the hours from two and a half to two hours. Grabois said she thinks the entire Greek system is to blame for the low participation of fraternity and sorority members in the program, saying that "if one group is not participating, the whole system is failing." And Bora chastised UA members for the program's lack of support. "The UA is a part of this," Bora said. "Now we have to do our part." But UA member Kirsten Bartok said last night she does not think members should have to recruit Penn Watch volunteers. She said it is the assembly's role to start programs and then to let undergraduates take the helm. Bartok said one problem with Penn Watch is that Greeks "are very unreliable when they don't have pledges." "As a campus, I think people want to move away from depending solely on the Greek organizations," Bartok said. She added that putting the program in the hands of student volunteer groups or residential advisors could increase participation. Some fraternity members said last night they think Penn Watch is a valuable program, adding that they are surprised interest this year is lower than last. "I think it really says something about our school that we even have a program like this at all," Delta Kappa Epsilon member Whitney Strotz said last night. Strotz, who is treasurer of the Interfraternity Council, conceded that the time commitment to the program may discourage some volunteers, but said he does not think the IFC should mandate participation from fraternities.

UA decides to table proposal on diversifying Locust Walk

(11/18/91 10:00am)

The Undergraduate Assembly argued for over an hour last night about ways to diversify Locust Walk, but could not come to a decision and voted to halt debate until next month's meeting. UA member David Rose, presented an 11-point plan to change the residential make-up of Locust Walk, specifically suggesting that President Sheldon Hackney move office space on the Walk to the high rises and fill the vacant buildings with student dormitories. The buildings would then be used to house students on the upper floors and for student activity space on the lower floors. The suggestions also included publicizing a specific time-line for the changes. The recommendation, which stems from a point in the Committee to Diversify Locust Walk's report, underwent several small changes throughout the discussion, but ultimately UA members decided they needed more time to think about the plan. "The University took a whole year on this issue," UA Treasurer Jeff Lichtman said after the meeting. "It's more important to go line-by-line to make the best resolution." Last night's meeting was the UA's third since members endorsed in early October the presidential committee's report and called for a specified time-line. UA Chairperson Mitch Winston, who tried to persuade members to continue discussion last night, said after the meeting that he will be happy if the UA passes a plan by the end of the semester. "I felt our job tonight was to hammer it out even if it took until midnight," Winston said. "If we don't pass it by January, we will be conceding that we will have to wait a whole year before changes occur." But Winston added that "after all this discussion, the president will respect the plan all the more." In other business, UA members unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the University to stop using PARIS to block student registration unless it is "critically important to the health of the student body, the financial well-being of the University or the academic quality of undergraduate education." The resolution referred to the recent blocks to pre-registration the College of Arts and Sciences and the Psychology Department placed on students who have not yet declared a major. It was presented by Student Committee on Undergraduate Education David Kaufman and also demands that the administration discuss any further PARIS blocks with SCUE. The assembly also passed a resolution encouraging students to register their bicycles with University Police to deter bike thefts on and around campus. UA member Brian Bora noted that according to University Police estimates, about three times more bikes have been stolen this year than in previous school years.

Woman also filed charges against entire Theta Xi frat

(11/18/91 10:00am)

The student who filed sexual harassment charges against a Theta Xi fraternity member with the JIO said last night she has also made a similar complaint against the whole fraternity. College senior Katy Henrikson said she blames the entire fraternity for the incident in which a Theta Xi pledge repeatedly tried to kiss her despite her protests at a party in February 1990. "It was not an individual thing that he did," Henrikson said. "He was not acting as an individual because he was doing it as part of a fraternity event." Henrikson said that when she filed the charges November 7 she asked the Judicial Inquiry Office to investigate her claims against both individual and the fraternity as a whole. Theta Xi President Rich McCloskey said yesterday he is still not sure what -- if anything -- happened at the Valentine's Day party two years ago. McCloskey said he was not at the party and is currently "talking to brothers who were at the party . . . to get some first-hand information about what happened." "Nobody really knows for sure what happened," McCloskey said. "There weren't a whole lot of brothers around at the time." McCloskey added that he does not think Henrikson should blame the whole house for the incident "because most of the brothers at the time have graduated." But Henrikson said she believes current Theta Xi members are still responsible for the act because "they joined it knowing Theta Xi's history." "The [pledge] was acting under the roof of, by the example of, by the rules of, and by the protection and support of Theta Xi," she said. Henrikson and McCloskey both said they do not know the name of the pledge Henrikson says harassed her. According to Henrikson, the fraternity member tried to kiss her immediately after a pledge event in which each pledge, dressed as Cupid with a towel wrapped around his body like a diaper, ran into the room, kissed a woman and then ran over to a couch to sing a song. Henrikson said the pledge came up to her after she ducked from him during the event. Interim JIO Jane Combrinck-Graham said last night collective responsibility cases are referred to the JIO through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, which ultimately determines sanctions that should be taken against a fraternity. Combrinck-Graham said she is not currently investigating a collective responsibility case, but added that someone else in her office might be handling Hendrikson's complaint. Hendrikson said she has discussed her charges with Assistant JIO Robin Read, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Charges filed vs. member of Theta Xi frat

(11/15/91 10:00am)

A female student filed University judicial charges against a Theta Xi fraternity member last week for sexually harassing her at a fraternity party two years ago. College senior Katy Henrikson said yesterday she has filed a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Officer against the Theta Xi member, whom she said repeatedly tried to kiss her despite her protests when he was a pledge at a party in February 1990. Henrikson does not know the name of the pledge, and Theta Xi President Rich McCloskey said last night he has not heard of the charges. Henrikson said the student harassed her after a pledge event in which each pledge, dressed as Cupid with a towel wrapped around his body like a diaper, ran into the room, kissed a woman and then ran to the couch to sing a song. Henrikson said she ducked away from a pledge during the event, but that he came up to her later and tried to kiss her. Henrikson said she pushed the student away with her arm while he continued to push back for "about 30 seconds to a minute." She then threw a drink in his face. She said the pledge then began to shout "Get her the fuck out of here," and then told her to "Get the fuck out." She filed the charges last Thursday. McCloskey said last night he does not know if the event occurred or not. "If it happened so long ago, I don't see why she's taken so long to do anything about it," McCloskey said. Interim JIO Jane Combrinck-Graham could not comment on the case last night and said she can not say if the charges had been filed or not. Henrikson said she did not file charges earlier for three reasons. First, she said she was scared to go through the process with the JIO. Second, she thought of the event as a normal occurrence. Henrikson also said she was concerned that the Theta Xi brother who invited her to the party would be made to feel uncomfortable by other people in the house. But Henrikson said she is now ready to come forward. She said University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill's recent accusations of sexual harassment against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as well as the quickly reported acquaintance rape on campus last month, prompted her to file charges. "I had a realization following that that it's not just me who's affected by this event," Henrikson said. Henrikson said that last spring she wrote a paper on the event for a class that she sent to Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson, Theta Xi and the JIO. She said she does not know how her case will turn out, adding that she is not really sure what she wants out of it. "I don't think what happened to me was in any way a traumatic event," Henrikson said. "But I did begin to realize how truly deeply I was affected by it." "I'm not talking on the personal traumatic level, but on the institutional level," Henrikson added, saying she believes fraternities "are a form of institutionalized harassment." Henrikson said she thinks fraternities fulfill a need for many people on campus, but that "all the good things about them could be accomplished in a much healthier way." Henrikson announced her charge at a forum on sexual harassment organized by Women United for Change yesterday. Other speakers at the forum included Carol Tracey, director of the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia and a former head of the Penn Women's Center, and Joann Mitchell, the University's director of affirmative action. Tracey said the legal definition of sexual harassment is "conduct that is sexual in nature and is unwanted." And Mitchell explained the University's policy that defines sexual harassment as behavior that "involves a stated or implicit threat" to a victim's work or school status, interferes with the victim's school or work performance or "creates an intimidating or offensive academic, living, or work environment." About 50 people turned out for the forum. Of the approximately 20 men at the event, several were Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity pledges, according to College sophomore and PiKA pledge Scott Gallin.

Was it Professor Plum with the knife in the closet?

(11/15/91 10:00am)

They found the dead woman's body in Assistant Folklore Professor Robert St. George's closet -- sort of. It was the murdered body of Holly Maddux, the girlfriend of West Philadelphia peace activist Ira Einhorn, and it was in 16 pieces. And Fox TV's "America's Most Wanted" filmed it all in the Powelton Village houses of St. George and Assistant English Professor Malcolm Woodfield. Tonight's episode of "America's Most Wanted" -- the popular crime search show -- will feature the case of 1970s activist Einhorn, who allegedly killed and dismembered Maddux in his West Philadelphia home. He then hid her body in a closet, where it was found several months later. After his release on bail, Einhorn fled the country, and was last seen in Sweden. According to St. George, the professors got involved with Fox TV when the station contacted his wife's architectural firm searching for just the right house to film the show. Powelton Village, where St. George and Woodfield live, was perfect, they decided. The network filmed most of the show in St. George's 33rd and Baring streets house, which is Einhorn's apartment in the program. "They took over the house for two days to the point where we couldn't really live there," St. George said. "But when we went back [Monday morning], we couldn't even tell they'd been there." St. George said the crews cleared out the downstairs of the house, transforming his dining room into Einhorn's bedroom and his kitchen into the closet where police found Maddux's body. They also brought a complete set with them, carrying about 25 boxes of rented books, a mattress, a computer and miscellaneous apartment items. "They tried to make him seem like a Bohemian type," he said. St. George, who said the TV crew was in his house from 8:30 Saturday morning until 4 a.m. Monday, agreed to lend his house so he could see how the TV show is filmed. "I was actually curious just to see how all these people work together to bring this off," St. George said. "And surprisingly, it does seem to work." Woodfield's house at 35th and Baring streets will be Einhorn's downstairs neighbor's apartment on the show. The assistant English professor said the TV crew also used his kitchen and dining room, but that they originally wanted to use his home just for the bathroom. "They were looking for this particularly scuzzy bathroom, the kind of bathroom you would want to dismember a corpse in," Woodfield said. "And I said, 'I have just the bathroom.' " Fox filmed for six hours in Woodfield's house -- formerly a Drexel University fraternity house -- for a scene that the professor thinks will take "10 seconds on screen." The crew filmed Woodfield's kitchen ceiling with a stain on it from where Maddux's blood dripped down from the closet above, and his dining room will be the room where Einhorn's neighbor heard a "scream and a thud" from the murder. "America's Most Wanted" also filmed at The White Dog Cafe, apparently a favorite hang-out of Einhorn's. The professors witnessed more than just a murder being filmed that week. They also watched a labor dispute unfold before their eyes. At both St. George's and Woodfield's houses, union leaders from Local 487 -- the technical crew's union -- protested Fox TV's not paying the crew Sunday union wages. Eventually, the union workers walked off the set, to be replaced by a non-union crew. At Woodfield's house, union members picketed outside all day, carrying placards with "America's Most Wanted unfair to labor" on them. "The TV station said they would turn up about 11 [a.m.], but at about 9 [a.m.] these big burly guys wearing shades came and started scoping the house out," Woodfield said. "They turned out to be Teamsters." The show will air at 8 p.m. tonight on channel 29.

CITY LIMITS: Barlett and Steele – Trends in Journalism

(11/13/91 10:00am)

Barlett and Steele's nine-part series "America: What went wrong?" comes at a time when newspapers across the country are struggling to find a way to keep readers from wandering into the simplicity of TV news. Papers with the stature and reputation of the Inquirer have begun to shorten stories, liven pages with color or graphics and whisper about a movement towards USA Today-style journalism. "Unfortunately, our span of concentration has gotten shorter," said David Womack, chairperson of the Temple University journalism department. "I'd like to see more of this kind of thing . . . but a lot of newspapers are unable to commit the resources to stories like this. Some studies indicate that there is a fall-off rate of people who read [in-depth series]." The Inquirer itself is gearing up for a change in format, slated to begin next spring after the construction of the paper's new printing plant. Executive Editor Jim Naughton said the Inquirer will make its pages more user-friendly, but said the paper will not change dramatically. He insisted that it will not revert to USA Today format, with highly condensed stories. "We think that's crazy," Naughton said. "What we want to do is make it easier for people to make judgements of what they want to read," Naughton said. Starting in the spring, the Inquirer will try to lead people into stories with summary paragraphs at the top of each article, describing basically what the story is about. Naughton said the paper will also continue to trim daily stories, "so we don't run 25-inch stories that should be 18 inches." For series writers like Barlett and Steele, the future of journalism could be grim. If it is even partly true that, as American Civilization Lecturer Frank Luntz said, "no one reads anymore," then the future of investigative newspaper reporting -- like that done by Barlett and Steele -- is certainly in jeopardy. But the reporters are not worried. To them and to their editors at the Inquirer, in-depth investigative reporting is the key to a good newspaper. "What this newspaper is attempting to do is look at systemic problems and issues in a very broad way in depth," Naughton said. "Inquirer editors and reporters see that as a key part of what we do." Naughton added that by shortening routine articles, the Inquirer will leave more space for series stories like the ones Barlett and Steele write. Barlett and Steele themselves wave aside the growing fear among newspaper people that Americans no longer read, pointing to the heaps of mail and phone calls they received following the release of the series. They both insist that the "myth" of the decline of newspaper reading is blown out of proportion. "There's a gloom and doom school out there," Barlett said. "The mistake many newspapers make is they try to compete for the people who never read, rather than going out for the people who do read." According to Don Campbell, director of the Washington Jornalism Center, both sides are right. He said there are some people who will only look at short, "welcoming" stories, and some who search for more in-depth pieces. "There are people in their mid- to late-20s and 30s who don't feel newspapers are interesting enough to take up their time," Campbell said. "And there are other readers who like more detail in newspapers." "Now there's a trend to make things easier to read, easier to get into," he added. Comfortable that their status is safe, Barlett and Steele have turned to other journalistic innovations, including unconventionally editorializing -- at times scathingly -- throughout the stories. According to the reporters, they are able to get away with bold conclusions and biting criticism simply because they have the evidence to back up what they say. "If you spend all that time gathering evidence to plead your case, you lay it out," Barlett said. "You don't water it down somehow." Jim Savage, associate editor for investigations at The Miami Herald, said Barlett and Steele's style is a stronger version of the way many investigative reporters write. He said that after collecting and studying so much material, "we like to think we've earned that right." Savage defended the editorializing, noting that as long as the reporters kept an open mind during their reporting, the conclusions are most likely valid. He added that with the scope of material Barlett and Steele covered, the conclusions probably helped readers understand the stories' implications.

CITY LIMITS: Philly's Investigative Reporters – Barlett and Steele

(11/13/91 10:00am)

Donald Barlett and Bobby Jean McLaughlin talked for several hours in Charlestown, West Virginia last year. McLaughlin told Barlett about losing her job, losing her pension and losing her faith in America. And when Don Barlett had finished listening to her, he wrote it all down and brought it home. And he and his partner James Steele did the same thing over and over again with hundreds of people just like McLaughlin from around the country. "It was really sad, really depressing," Barlett said last week. "A sense of bewilderment ran through these people. They didn't really understand what happened." Eventually, McLaughlin's story made its way into the pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer, joining reams of stories and statistics about a "lost middle class," to create one of the biggest series the Inquirer has ever printed -- "America: What went wrong?" · Sitting in their cluttered-to-the-point-of-utter-chaos office in the Inquirer building on Broad Street and Spring Garden Avenue, Barlett and Steele seem unaffected by their repeated journalistic success. They are calm, soft-spoken men who, without their prize-winning words on newspaper pages around the country, would blend into the ranks of other reporters at Philadelphia's newspaper of record. Steele is a tall, young-ish 48 year old, with a sure voice and a friendly, welcoming manner. He initiates the conversation, while Barlett, a stocky, balding 55 year old is more reserved, content to be in the background until he has something significant to say. Both men avoid talking about their personal lives, becoming silent when talk turns to their non-professional world. And they are uncomfortable when the spotlight is focused on them -- a fact the pair has to live with in these days immediately following the release of the high-profile series. "It's backwards," Barlett said. "We prefer to be on the other side of all this." Barlett and Steele are well-respected by both editors -- who come to them for input on business-related editorials -- and other reporters -- who go to them as the definitive sources on many money matters. "Ask Barlett and Steele," one business reporter jokingly suggested to a struggling comrade in the news room. "Oh no, forget it. They take two years to research a story." And Barlett and Steele maintain that they are just like other Inquirer journalists, a part of the reporters' team in the Spartan newsroom. They talk about "chatting about stories" with other reporters, sharing ideas and giving pointers to those who need it. · In their nine-part series, "America: What went wrong?", Barlett and Steele uncovered deeply buried stories and statistics about "the decline of the American middle class" throughout the last decade. They examined the intricate wheelings and dealings of the corporate world, explaining them in the context of a failing economy, a growing unemployment rate and a rash of overpaid, hot-headed executives. Barlett and Steele's unconventional use of the second person -- addressing "you" -- made readers feel as if the stories were their own life histories. For example, in the installment about tax breaks for big business, they describe a large-scale tax deduction as a "wand . . . available only to a select few" -- "You, for example, can't have one. What's more, you pay for the wands that do get passed around." · Barlett and Steele compose their prize-winning pieces from a small fourth-floor office in the Inquirer building, surrounded by bushels of paper, overflowing boxes and sagging bookshelves -- material they have collected over the past 10 years and which they will never throw away. Barlett, in fact, gasps in horror at the mere suggestion that the team discard research from 1971 to clear space for future endeavors. The walls, at least the ones not filled by bookshelves, are bare, giving away nothing about the two reporters, showing no traces of the various awards -- not even the two Pulitzer Prizes -- they have garnered over the years, leaving no sign even of their wives and children. And the two reporters share more than just an office and a byline. According to Barlett, their writing styles are almost identical, "very straight forward, no flashy writing," making it impossible to distinguish which reporter wrote which piece of the latest series. And Barlett and Steele share an insatiable curiosity that carries them along through years of intense research and often overwhelming data. "One thing that's important to remember is that as journalists, we're inherently curious," Barlett said. "We get paid to be curious, and you can't beat that." Barlett and Steele have been partners for 20 years, and as any two people who have spent up to 18 hours a day together for weeks at a time, the reporting team thinks alike. They act alike. They even speak alike. Inquirer Assistant Managing Editor Lois Wark thinks they "think with one brain." But when their stories are finished, Barlett and Steele each go their separate ways. They have a strictly professional relationship and never socialize outside of work. "It was never any conscious decision," Steele said. "It's just a very fortunate thing, only because we see so much of each other as it is." The writers' family lives are separate as well. In fact, Shirley Barlett, Don Barlett's wife of 34 years, has never even met Jim or Nancy Steele. She said the families just never got around to getting together, noting that time apart is probably good for the workaholic men. · Barlett and Steele, who joined The Philadelphia Inquirer on the same day in 1970, formed their prize-winning team in 1971 to investigate abuses by the Federal Housing Administration in Philadelphia. The story turned into an expose on the corruptness of the city's judicial system that changed the way Philadelphia's criminal courts do business. The reporters' impromptu union worked, and Barlett and Steele went on to expose abuses in the American oil industry, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Congress. Besides winning various awards, Barlett and Steele have been a force in the political forum of the last decade, and their conclusions have often been cited during heated debates about the state of this nation's economy. The latest series, which may garner the team another Pulitzer, has caused a nationwide uproar about the way America works. Literally hundreds of letters, phone calls and reprint requests arrive at the newspaper office daily, the largest response rate of any Inquirer series to date. Parts of the lengthy series have also been reprinted in newspapers around the country, including most of the 35 Knight-Ridder newspapers -- the company that owns the Inquirer -- such as ITALICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The Miami Herald, The Detroit Free Press and the San Jose Mercury News. · In the past, these kinds of long, in-depth series have been the source of The Inquirer's many Pulitzer Prizes, and in turn, the source of much of the paper's prestige. This fact, coupled with the high profile of both the series and its authors, has led some critics to fault The Inquirer for aiming the series not just at the readers, but also at the Pulitzer Prize board. Pulitzer Prizes are the most prestigious honors for journalists in this country. They are awarded once a year in 14 different categories, including national reporting, explanatory writing and public service writing. A 19-person committee at Columbia University chooses the winners, often deciding among over 1000 entries. Inquirer reporters have received the awards about 20 times in as many years. But Inquirer reporters and editors, as well as others in the field, disregard this criticism, insisting that it is unfounded and they do not work that way. "That's muddleheaded and doomed," said Inquirer Executive Editor Jim Naughton. "If somebody writes a story to win a Pulitzer, it's almost invariably doomed because they're not writing for the right people." Bill Dedman, a former ITALICS!!!!!!!!Washington Post staff writer and a Pulitzer Prize juror said he thinks the series could very well win the award, but insisted that "no one would spend two years on such a tedious project . . . if their motivation was to win an award." "I believe this series could win a Pulitzer, but I have a firmer belief that you just can't predict [award winners]," Dedman said. "And I have an even firmer belief that they did not write the series for that purpose." Barlett and Steele themselves rarely mention their two previous Pulitzers, and Barlett said that their best series ever, one about nuclear waste, only garnered the pair one minor award, "the least number of prizes of any stories" the team has written. Instead, the reporters tend to judge stories by what changes they bring about. "The series wasn't written for a prize," Steele said. "What we really like to see is the response. People say we've answered a lot of questions they had about what went on in the '80s . . . and that's what's really important, not what awards we win."

Smoke's owner Ryan dies of cancer at age 66

(11/12/91 10:00am)

Smokey Joe's Tavern owner Paul Ryan, a popular businessman known for remembering anyone who frequented the bar, died Sunday night at the age of 66 after a long battle with cancer. Ryan, who has owned and operated Smoke's since 1952, died at his home in Overbrook after being sick for several months. "He was a down-to-earth . . . kind man, remarkable in the scope of his relationships," said Joseph Ryan, the late bar owner's great-nephew and a worker at the tavern. "He was friends with many different people, from seniors at Penn to the dean of the Wharton School . . . to Princess Grace, who always came around when she was in town," he added. "And he would have just as much fun with all of them . . . and they with him." Paul Ryan bought Smoke's when the tavern was located at 36th and Locust streets, moving it twice before settling into its current 40th Street location. He also owned the surrounding mall on 40th Street for several years, only recently selling the property to the University. Ryan had eight children, including one University alum, Sean Ryan, who graduated last May. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren. West Philadelphia business man Frank Turner, a long time friend of the tavern owner who was at the bar last night, said he "owes everything" to Ryan. Turner said Ryan helped make him into a businessman by partly financing a bar at 37th Street and Fairmount Avenue. Turner said he already misses Ryan. "He was just like a father to me," Turner said. "He was a very decent and kind person . . . the whole neighborhood liked him." Turner remembers Ryan as a "funny but serious man," who loved to joke around but who could be explicitly trusted. "If he told you something, you can bet he really meant it," he said. Wharton senior and Smoke's bartender Chance Van Sciver agreed, saying when he met Ryan last year, the bar owner remembered Van Sciver's father, who graduated from the University in 1952. The bartender said Ryan recognized him and remembered what his father had studied, where he worked and where he lived. "He was a remarkable person," Van Sciver said. Smoke's as well as its sister bar on the Main Line will continue to be run by Ryan's sons -- Paul Jr. and Patrick. Ryan's funeral will be held on Thursday at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on 63rd Street and Lancaster Avenue at 10:30 a.m. Contributions in his memory may be made to The Motherhouse of the Sisters of The Blessed Sacrament, 1663 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, 19020 or to The Convent of Divine Love, 2212 Green Street, Philadelphia, 19130.

UA blasts U. stance on splitting JIO

(11/07/91 10:00am)

Undergraduate Assembly members last night "condemned" the administration for not splitting the roles of the Judicial Inquiry Officer and for "misleading" students about the outcome of the JIO review. A unanimously passed resolution called on the University to reconsider its decision and to reconvene the committee which reviewed the student judicial system last year. UA members echoed last year's assembly stance that the JIO should be divided into a "prosecution JIO" and a "settlement JIO" saying the current system -- in which one person performs both roles -- hurts students' chances for a fair hearing. "With a strong and united voice, the University must realize that those most directly affected are unhappy with the current system," the resolution reads. The statement passed last night is the strongest stance the UA has made all year and harshly criticizes the administration for leading "the united front of students into believing that [their] voices would be heard" on the JIO issue. "The student body was lied to," said UA Treasurer Jeff Lichtman, who proposed the resolution. "[Administrators] basically decided they knew better . . . and chose to ignore the recommendations of those who were most involved." Overlooking the objections of all the student members, a provost committee established to review the student judicial system last year recommended that the JIO remain as one position. The students, who included both undergraduate and graduate representatives, later released a minority report advocating several additional changes as well. The resolution passed last night also demands more student representation on the judicial hearing panel, which currently consists of three faculty members, one undergraduate and one graduate student. Some UA members said they plan to come back with additional recommendations for changing the JIO. Last night's meeting also uncovered some confusion about the role of the Nominations and Elections Committee -- which governs UA elections and appoints undergraduates to University-wide committees. According to the UA Chairperson Mitch Winston, the student government constitution says the NEC is a UA committee. In light of that interpretation, Winston said the UA will take a greater role in running UA elections in the spring because recent elections were "not up to par." But while acknowledging -- even welcoming -- the UA's input on running elections, NEC Vice Chairperson Melanie Brownrout said the bodies are two completely separate branches of student government. "The NEC is not a committee of the UA," Brownrout said. "We are our own governing body, we make our own decisions." In the recent past, elections have been handled solely by the NEC, but the UA constitution gives veto power over the NEC's election plan to the UA. Winston said the UA will take a closer look at the plans for next semester's election. In other business, UA members elected College junior Lichtman and Wharton junior Sandor Hau to be University Council representatives. Lichtman will be representing Nursing students, who have no UA representative, despite some members' concerns that his appointment violates the UA constitution by not giving the seat to a Nursing student.

AIDS Week will not be held again

(11/07/91 10:00am)

HIV/AIDS Awareness Week will not be held this February for the second year in a row, despite ongoing claims by graduate students and campus AIDS activists that the administration has failed to make complex health issues known on campus. Student Health Counseling Coordinator Kate Webster said last week she does not plan to organize the awareness session this year because sparse attendance at past events made the program more effort than it was worth. Webster said she plans to have awareness programming throughout the year instead. But the Graduate Students Associations Council this week passed a resolution requesting that Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson "take responsibility for sponsoring and coordinating" the program this year and ensuring that the programs are held every year. The resolution states GSAC's concern "that plans for HIV/AIDS Awareness Week are poorly developed or non-existent." "There's been no indication from the University so far that any concerted planning has gone into an AIDS Awareness Week," GSAC President Anne Cubilie said. In past years, HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, sponsored primarily by Student Health, featured speakers, forums and programs to educate the University about Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, as well as safe sex practices. The annual event was not held last February. "I want to have a few different programs scattered throughout the year," Webster said. "To put all of your energy and resources into one week of programming does not serve the purpose." Webster, who came to the University in December, was not on campus for any of the Awareness Weeks the University held several years in a row. But she said that Student Health officials told her the last program, held in February 1990, was sparsely attended. Contrary to her stance this fall, Webster said last spring that "I would hope [in the future] there would be some program around February that would approach HIV infection awareness." So far this year, Student Health administrators have sponsored no AIDS awareness programs, despite Webster's insistence that there needs to be a constant flow of information about the fatal disease. Webster said she is still planning the events. Like last spring, there is apparently some confusion among University offices about the status of the Awareness Week. In the Office of Student Life, which co-sponsored the program in the past, and in the President's Office, officials did not know whether AIDS Awareness Week was going to be held this February. Executive Assistant to the VPUL Barbara Cassel said yesterday she agrees with GSAC that "there should be an AIDS Awareness Week," adding that she does not know if anyone is planning it. "I think that there needs to be programming raising consciousness and sensitivity to those people [AIDS] has an impact on," Cassel said. "And I think there should be ongoing programming as well." Graduate students and campus AIDS activists last week faulted the administration and Student Health for cancelling the week and for failing to make the "complex" health issues known to students, faculty and staff members. Anthropology graduate student Michael Bazinet said students and faculty members do not understand the many issues surrounding AIDS, saying AIDS Awareness Week is a good way to bring the issue to people's attention. Bazinet also said Student Health officials have exaggerated the impact of low attendance during the week's programs. Bazinet added that he does not agree that events were poorly attended. "Some programs were, and some weren't," he said.