Search Results

Below are your search results. You can also try a Basic Search.

Negotiators, U. finalize theater deal

(11/16/94 10:00am)

Students will once again be able to see the latest movies without leaving campus. According to Associate Treasurer Chris Mason, the University is "very close to finalizing an arrangement" for the former AMC Walnut Mall 3 Theater location on 39th and Walnut streets. The AMC theater closed down when its lease ran out this month. Another theater near campus, the Erik 3 Campus Theater on 40th Street, closed down last August. Mason said the University is hoping to have a decision finalized by the middle of December, adding that he wants to open it up early next year. He said the University has spoken to four different operators, one of which is the Ritz Theater Company. Undergraduate Assembly member and College junior Eric Tienou said one of these four theaters has a strong lead in the negotiations. He added that although the UA has a minimal role in contract negotiations, several members have been closely involved with the process. "We have been there on behalf of students making sure that they go through with this," he said. Tienou said he is confident that the project will be completed in the near future. "I am overwhelmingly sure that we will have a theater back on campus next semester some time," he said. Mason disclosed that the theater will be showing "artsy movies to cater to a college campus." He added that this is a change from the action movies the AMC theater showcased. He added that it is not likely that the new operator will be part of a chain, although he has not ruled out the idea of the Ritz. "It is going to be an individual operator probably," he said. Mason said money was not the main focus of their decision. "The University is not going to get rich from this transaction-- that's for sure," he said. He added that the University's main focus is to fill the space to fulfill the need for a student theater. One criterion his department has requested from the operator is the willingness to work with student groups and the University, he said. He wants the new operator to make a screen available to student groups so they can show films, Mason added. "So far people have been receptive to it," he said. "No one has said no." Tienou said the University is exploring the idea of a co-op between the next theater company and the SPEC film society. Undergraduate Assembly member and College senior Dan Schorr said this would be a good idea because the Penn Film Society had wanted to use Irvine Auditorium for this purpose. He added that this will free up Irvine for performing arts space. As another solution for the lack of performing arts space on campus, the Erik 3 is going to be transformed into performing arts space, Schorr said. He said the Performing Arts Council has had an independent person analyze how much it will cost to transform the building into a performing arts center. "We will be getting these numbers imminently to the provost and the vice provost of university life," he said. "Then specific discussion about [the actual project] will begin." Schorr said he wants to have a basic outline and plan for funding by the end of this semester. He added that the UA hopes to implement this plan as soon as possible. Tienou said he is hopeful about the future of these projects. "I hope that by the beginning of next year both theaters will be operational -- one as a movie theater and the other as performing arts space," he said.

Mail problems continue in Quad

(11/11/94 10:00am)

Mail problems have been plaguing University dormitories for several years now. But the situation just keeps getting worse. According to a letter sent out to students by Residential Living this week, 30 first class letters addressed to University students arrived on campus with slashed envelopes over the last two weeks. And Manager of Residential Services Rodney Robinson said yesterday that his department has received an additional 30 to 40 complaints about damaged or lost mail since the letter was sent out earlier this week. Before the letter was sent out, the department had only received one or two calls, he added. Robinson said all damaged letters have been handed over to the University Police. He added that at this point, police are unsure of the cause of the damage. "It could have been machine damaged, it could have been hand damaged," he said. "We don't know." He added that the situation is currently being investigated by the U.S. Postal inspectors. United States Post Office Delivery Manager Robert Clark confirmed that an investigation is being performed by his department. "It's an ongoing investigation," he said. "[The inspector] is working on the case very closely." He said all points of delivery are going to be investigated, adding that machine damage is a possibility. "You all think that just because mail is slashed open that someone is stealing it," he said. "A lot of the damage is done by machines." Clark added that his department has done a lot to improve the University's mail system over the last few years. He meets with individuals from Residential Maintenance at least once a month, he said. Programs such as the plus-four zip code digits for the dormitories have increased the efficiency of the mail system, he said. "I think we are processing mail faster this year than last year," he said. Robinson agreed that this year's mail situation is an improvement over past years. "In the past years, the complaints at this time were a lot more numerous," he said. In the spring of 1993, Residential Living received more than 350 complaints from students about lost or delayed mail. He added, however, that there are still some problems that need to be solved. "It has improved, but it is not satisfactory in terms of the number of complaints we have been getting," Robinson said. He also attributed these problems to the United States Post Office. "It's not at a level where we feel comfortable with the service we are receiving with the Postal System," he said. Robinson stressed that students should report all problems they see to the Residential Service Center at 573-DORM.

Steam pipe burst causes flood

(11/11/94 10:00am)

Students in Spruce Street House were woken up at 5 a.m. yesterday by the sound of fire alarms. According to Vice President for Facilities Management Arthur Gravina, a steam leak in the Spruce Street office, located on the second floor of the Mask and Wig section of the Quadrangle, triggered the sprinkler system. Engineering senior and Resident Advisor Brian Wong said the sprinklers flooded the office. He added that the water dripped down into a student's room. This room belonged to Wharton senior Tyler Dickovick, who has been temporarily moved to the 18th floor of Graduate Tower A. College sophomore Robyn Nichols lives in the room directly above the Spruce Street Office. She said workers came to check her room for a water leak at around 3 a.m. because the office was flooding. Wharton freshman Amy Chen said the boiler, which is below her room, was shaking so hard at 4 a.m. that her bed was shaking. "I called the front desk but they said they couldn't do anything about it," she said. "It was scary." Chen added that a workman told her that the incident was related to the pipe bursting. Wharton freshman and Daily Pennsylvanian Ad Production Assistant Maury Apple said someone pulled the fire alarm at 5 a.m. He called the front desk at 5:30 a.m. and they told him it was not necessary to leave his room. Philadelphia firemen showed up at 5:45 a.m. and told him to leave, he added. College freshman Jessica Kline complained that officials failed to alert her of the problem. "No one came knocking on my door to make sure I left," she said. Nichols said other sections of Spruce Street House were evacuated because fire alarms in the adjacent buildings are connected. She added that she returned to her room when the alarms stopped at 6 a.m. "I came back and I knew that someone had been through my room because my closet door was open," she said. Approximately 10 people came in to check her room throughout the day, Nichols added. Apple said steam emitted from the Spruce Street Office throughout the entire day. Workers set up a fan to blow the steam out of the window, he added. The Spruce Street Office was severely damaged as a result of this incident. College junior and Resident Advisor Jennifer Gwynne said the walls of the Spruce Street Office were knocked down. And Apple said workers broke through the ceiling of the room. Carla Ambrister, assistant dean of residence for Spruce Street House, could not be reached for comment last night.

Students happy about elections

(11/10/94 10:00am)

Anti-Democratic fervor reached its peak Tuesday as incumbent senators, congressmen and governors were sent packing by angry constituents. And many University students said last night that they were happy with the results of the election. Engineering sophomore Brad Hausman, a New York native, said he was happy that Republican George Pataki beat three-term Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo. "I would have voted for anyone over Mario Cuomo," he said. "The joke on Long Island was that Mickey Mouse could have beat Mario Cuomo." College sophomore Ethan Bloom, also a Long Island native, agreed. "I'm glad Cuomo is out because I don't think he was taking the state in the right direction," he said. "It is time to give someone else a chance." Not all students had such strong opinions on the subject, however. "I am very glad that Cuomo was finally voted out, but I don't like Pataki either," said College freshman Steven Friedman. "He was basically the lesser of two evils. Hopefully, Pataki will exceed our low expectations like Rudy Giuliani did." College senior and former College Democrats President Abby Russell said she was particularly distressed by the decision because she worked on Cuomo's campaign over the summer. "I think this is really bad for New York State and especially bad for New York City because I don't think [Pataki] will be as concerned with urban interests," she said. Russell added that this is just another example of the flow of American politics toward conservatism. College senior Emily Gold said the election result also distressed her greatly. "Cuomo's been my idol since I was 10, and I am traumatized," she said. The Texas state gubernatorial race, in which Republican George W. Bush beat out incumbent Democrat Ann Richards, provoked positive reactions in students. "I am very happy to see Bush take the governorship now," said Wharton sophomore Jeff Estes. "I think he deserved to win because he ran a good campaign." College senior Glenn Nix had stronger feelings on the subject. "Ann Richards had her four years of ineffective crassness and now she can take it somewhere else because she did absolutely nothing for the state," he said. The result of the California election, in which Dianne Feinstein was re-elected over Republican Michael Huffington, also made many students happy. College sophomore Molly Quinn said she is satisfied that Huffington did not win even though he outspent Feinstein two to one. "I am very happy [about the result] because it gives me a little hope that a candidate can not buy a seat," she said. Undergraduate Assembly member and College senior Dan Schorr said he was satisfied with the overall results of the national elections. "I am excited that the Republicans are controlling both houses of Congress," he said. "I hope they stick to their conservative economic agenda and don't proceed with a conservative social agenda."

Mail problems plague on-campus residents

(11/09/94 10:00am)

Mail problems are becoming worse for students living on campus, and Residential Living is searching for solutions. According to a letter sent out by Residential Living yesterday, 30 first-class letters sent to students arrived on campus with envelopes slashed open in the last two weeks. Residential Living Director Gigi Simeone said last night that the mail has been turned over to University Police for further investigation. The University Police are currently conducting an investigation with a United States Postal Inspector, she added. At this point, Simeone said her staff is unsure if the tears are the result of tampering or damage from postal machines. These letters were, to her knowledge, all addressed to students living in the Quadrangle or the high rises, she said. The affected students were individually contacted and invited to come down to the police station to inspect the mail, Simeone said. Half the students went to the station yesterday. She added that so far nothing has been found missing from the envelopes. Complaints about damaged and missing mail on campus have been on-going for the past several years. In 1993, students lodged close to 350 mail complaints with Residential Living and University Police. During the 1993-1994 academic year, over $13,000 worth of personal checks sent to students were lost. Residential Living suggests that students encourage family and friends not to send important letters via first class mail, Simeone said. "If there is anything of value at all it makes more sense to send it through some means that requires a signature, because then it can be traced," Simeone said. Residential Living suggests students use either Federal Express, UPS or certified or registered mail. Simeone said students with complaints about the condition of their mail can call 3-DORM to file complaints. She added that Residential Living staff will be at Stouffer Dining Commons during lunch tomorrow to take complaints. Mail problems are not uncommon for students living on campus. College and Wharton freshman Kenneth Henderson said he experienced problems with his mail earlier this year. He received a damaged birthday card. "It looked like it had been opened," he said. "There might have been money in it." College freshman Jason Karp had a similar experience. "I've received mail that looked like it was slashed open with a knife," he said. Engineering freshman Saisel Khan had a different problem receiving mail this year. "I had a ticket sent for a flight to Los Angeles and it never showed up," he said. Some students are urging campus groups to find solutions to the problem. "If I had a problem I would get in touch with the UA or whoever is responsible," Wharton junior Aris Joshi said.

'DP' sports fumbles again, 21-14

(11/07/94 10:00am)

The third time was not the charm for The Daily Pennsylvanian sports staff yesterday afternoon. For the third year in a row, the DP non-sports staff humiliated the sports staff by a score of 21-14 in the annual Kamin Cup football tournament. "It sucks," said sports writer and Defensive End Luke "Gibson" DeCock. "They got lucky." Although there was a great deal of hype and anticipation by the sports team, their surprise celebrity coach --rumored to be Miles Macik -- did not show up for the game. Associate Editor Petey "Mo" Morrison led his team to victory with his superior quarterbacking and defensive skills. Morrison threw for three touchdown passes and had two first half interceptions. He said his success was aided by the awesome skills of his teammates. "[Assistant Managing Editor] Chuck [Ornstein] added depth to the offensive line in the second half," he said. He added that Business Manager Marc "Weird" Saiontz was undeniably the team's most valuable player. Saiontz scored the first touchdown and had two key interceptions. Beat reporter Josh "Speedy" Fineman caught a pass for the second touchdown. He attributed his completion to the weakness of the sports team. "The sports defense was actually kind of wimpy," he said. 34th Street Features Editor Mike "Real Tired" Tuhy scored the crucial third touchdown in the second half, which he declared as the offensive play of the game. "It was a sliding diving catch at the risk of personal injury, dirtying my otherwise dapper outfit," he said. "I did it all for the sake of the team." The two touchdowns by the sports team were scored by writers Leo "Miles" Congeni and Mike "Fitz" Barthlow. In keeping with Kamin Cup tradition, each team had at least one woman on the field at all times. The sports team was represented by sports writer Jane "Limited Contact" Havsy, while the non-sports team was represented by beat reporters Kara "Noisy" Blond, Melissa "Andrea" Geschwind and Amy "Lippy" Lipman. Blond caught a pass and successfully sacked sports writer and Quarterback Jed "Rastaman" Walentas. Walentas commented on his poor performance. "I sucked," he said. Geschwind, who caught a pass, concluded that the talent of the DP sports department lies in only one area. "Those sports guys sure can... write about sports," she said. The game was refereed by Executive Editor Jordana "Dinner with Dan" Horn. "I was very pleased that the longstanding tradition of beating up the ref was not perpetuated this year," Horn said.

Walk may receive massive facelift

(11/02/94 10:00am)

Locust Walk pedestrians beware: The campus's main walkway may be due for more construction. According to Vice President for Facilities Management Art Gravina, the blue stone on the Walk, between 34th and 36th streets, is "deteriorating very rapidly." Although repairs were made to Locust Walk last April because of the disintegration of the stone, he said the University is investigating a permanent solution to the problem. "We are continuing to make repairs to Locust Walk either in the form of patches or replacement of individual blue stones," he said. Gravina said the deterioration is a result of the decisions the University made when choosing the original material for the Walk more than a decade ago. "We found that the stone that was originally put in 15 years ago was not the appropriate stone," he said. The stone should have been two and a half inches thick, but instead the University ordered stone that was an inch and a half thick, Gravina said. He added that "this was done intentionally to save money." Another specification that should have been followed 15 years ago was for the stone to be a single layer of blue stone, he said. "But we went with an inferior stone for cost reasons," he said. Gravina said the deterioration occurred because the stone is so thin that it gives in under the weight of trucks on the Walk. "Blue stone is not a great stone for traffic," he said. "The Walk is in better condition where there is less traffic." Executive Director of Physical Plant James Wargo said the University is looking to replace the Blanche Levy Park area of the Walk with a new material. He said the University has been testing different materials on small sections of the Walk for the last four years. Five months ago, workers put in slabs of sculpture concrete material on 36th Street in front of the Castle, he said. Gravina described the material as "a very dense concrete which is colored to match the blue stone." He said the University wants to make sure it chooses a material that will provide the same ambience on the Walk. The blue stone was originally used to give the impression that the Walk was not too wide, he said. Officials want to make sure the new material gives the same "ribbon effect," he added. Wargo agreed that aesthetics are an important characteristic for any prospective material. "We are looking for something not too expensive that keeps with the aesthetics of the Walk," Wargo said. Some other materials workers have been looking to include a smaller blue stone, granite and brick, he added. Wargo said his department is waiting to see how the material holds up under the traffic and how it withstands the weather conditions of the winter. But Gravina said he is already confident that this material is appropriate. He feels the test is more of an aesthetic one. "We are not testing it primarily for its durability and ease of maintenance," he said. "We are really checking to see how many people notice it." He added that so far there has not been any response to it. He said the material would be easy to repair because they would just have to "pop a new stone in." In contrast, each blue stone costs between $500 and $800 to replace, he added. Gravina said while the replacement of the Walk could cost as much as $2 million, to replace the Walk in sculpture concrete only would cost between from $300,000 to $500,000. The next step is to take the project to the Design Review Committee, which helps the University assess the architecture and aesthetics of the campus, he added. Gravina said he wants to get the committee's sense of how well- colored the material is and if it meets the intent of the blue stone as far as giving the 'ribbon effect.' "I don't have one to two million dollars to put into a walkway," he said. "If they don't like it, they will have to come up with another material." Gravina said if the committee approves this material, the project can be completed in phases over several years and could be started as early as this summer.

Intruder follows students into Speakman hallway

(10/31/94 10:00am)

Two students were followed into the Quadrangle Saturday evening by an unidentified male intruder. The man was later arrested by University Police on trespassing charges. College sophomore Chris Metcalfe said he entered the main gate of the Quad with Engineering freshman E.J. Poplawski when he noticed the man. The man followed Metcalfe through the Quad to the Speakman section door and entered behind him, he said. "He didn't seem like he belonged there, but we figured he was visiting someone," he added. The man followed them up the stairs, and stopped when they got to Metcalfe's fourth floor room, he said. Metcalfe said he asked the man if he could help him, but the man said no. "At this point, me and E.J. started to get nervous," he said. Through a series of questions, the students found out that the man was 31-years-old, had no PENNcard and visited the Quad frequently. Poplawski said the two asked the man what he was doing there, and he said he had just walked in. Metcalfe added that the man identified himself as "Claude." "His behavior was not such that either of us felt threatened," he said. "But it was weird that he never took his hands out of his pockets." Poplawski said he stalled the man with small talk while Metcalfe, who entered his dorm room, quietly alerted authorities. "Chris called the University Police as I kept talking to [Claude] trying to keep him there," he said. The two students talked to the man for five minutes until the police arrived at the scene, Metcalfe said. He added that the officers asked the man to remove his hands from his pockets and proceed to frisk him. College freshman and fourth floor Speakman resident Jay Weintraub said the man acted in a very normal manner. "I couldn't believe how comfortable he was here," he said. He added that students were lucky that no one was hurt or injured, adding that they may not be so fortunate in the future. "The odds are that next time something might happen, and it's that next time that I am worried about," he said. Metcalfe said they were questioned by an officer after the man was put into the squad car. He added that he was satisfied with the way the police handled with the situation. "The officer did a really good job in how she dealt with him," he said. "The situation could have been confrontational, but it wasn't." University Police Sergeant Joseph Risoli confirmed that a male was found on the fourth floor of Speakman Saturday night. He said the man was arrested and issued a citation for trespassing. The man already had a warrant out for his arrest on similar counts, he added. Residential Living Director Gigi Simeone said last night she was unaware of the situation.

Quad flagstones to be replaced

(10/28/94 9:00am)

Repairs in the Quadrangle to flagstones damaged by the Campaign for Penn Party last month should be completed today. According to Director of Campaign Programs Linda Gilvear, approximately 60 to 65 flagstones -- tiles along the walkway -- were damaged as a result of trucks carrying equipment through the middle of the Quad. "I guess the machinery was heavier than we thought," she said. Associate Director of Residential Maintenance Al Zuino said his department became aware of the problem on Sept. 27, four days after the party. He said his department handed in a report to the Risk Management Office, which pursued the problem. Risk Management advised him that his department would be reimbursed for everything above the deductible, he said. The deductible is about $500. Repairs are estimated to cost $6,000. The Development and Alumni Relations Office will pay the rest of the cost, Zuino said. "I believe the Campaign for Penn will pay the balance," he said. Gilvear said her office, rather than campaign funds, will cover the expense of the repairs. "When something is broken because of something we have done, we have to pay for it," she said. Gilvear said the money will come out of the development budget, explaining that when her office delves into any project, it has an emergency maintenance budget. These repairs, however, exceed that budget. "I didn't anticipate this, but somewhere within the fiscal '95 fund, I will have to figure out how to pay for this," she said. "It may mean I eliminate something that I plan on doing in the spring so that I know all the funds are available for this," Gilvear added. But acting Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum assured students that the damage would not have a negative effect on them. "I am positive that [Vice President for Developmental and Alumni Relations Virginia Clark] would make decisions that would only act positively both on the residents and on the developmental's alumni relations," she said. McCoullum said the repairs were essential to the University. "The Quad is an important resource for us, and any repairs we can put into maintaining the Quad is money well-spent," she said. Zuino said contractors were contacted during the week of October 10. The department received bids back on October 14, he added. "Based upon them, we advised the low bid contractor to proceed," Zuino said. Residential Living Director Gigi Simeone said repairs should be done by today.

Swastikas upset grad students

(10/26/94 9:00am)

Students distressed over recent sightings of swastikas in Graduate Tower A met last night to discuss the situation and share their feelings. Over the weekend, students found three swastikas carved into the second and third floor stairwell doors. Last Tuesday, a student found another swastika carved into the same third floor stairwell door. Last night, approximately 20 students and staff members gathered to share their impressions of the situation. Representatives from both the University Police Department and the Philadelphia Police were at the meeting as well. University Police Lieutenant Susan Holmes said police have reports on file in reference to these incidents. She added that crime reports have been distributed to all residents on the affected floors. "Since that area has been targeted, we want to make sure that all residents are informed of the situation," she said. Many issues were brought up at the forum, including the varied appearance of the four swastikas. Senior resident and second year graduate student Darren Fava accused the perpetrators of "playing with the symbol." He added that this has a teasing effect. Fifth year graduate student Paula Lupkin agreed, but added that it does not lessen the implications. "The idea of playing with the symbol doesn't make it any less serious," she said. "It is like a slap." Grad Tower A head resident Andy Walker said the repeated occurrence of swastikas increased the seriousness of the situation. "The fact that it was repeated raised it to a different level in my mind," said the fifth year graduate student. The group also discussed the possible motives of the offender or offenders. Director of Graduate Programs Michelle Ray suggested that the hate could have stemmed from fear. Walker said the response could have been a result of the great celebration of diversity in the graduate community. But he said this should not change the way people act. "Do you stop expressing your Jewish identity for fear that this hatred will be brought against you?" he asked. "I say no." "It doesn't really matter what the motivation was," Lupkin said. "It matters how it makes us feel." Philadelphia Police Officer Dennis Bowman said although this type of graffiti hate crime is common, the perpetrators are becoming "more intelligent." Penn Hillel Director Jeremy Brochin said the students really needed to come together and share their ideas and concerns. "It was clear that people had something to say and questions to ask," he said. Although some students were disappointed with the low turnout, Ray said she thinks the meeting will have extended effects. "With any type of program there is an effect where people will go back and discuss the meeting with their friends and roommates," she said. Some students said they do not feel the program was a complete success. Fourth year graduate student Alev Linar was disappointed that Hillel was the only organization that supported the forum. "I want to see this recognized as a threat to the entire community and not only to one particular group," she said.

Students find swastikas in Grad Tower

(10/25/94 9:00am)

Three more found Saturday Three more swastikas were discovered by students in Graduate Tower A over the weekend. Senior resident and second year graduate student Darren Fava was the first to report the swastikas, which were found Saturday morning and evening. All three were carved into stairwell doors, two on the second floor and one on the third. Last Tuesday evening, a swastika was discovered in the same location on the third floor. Students estimated that the carving was the size of an eight and a half piece of paper. Fava said all three swastikas discovered this weekend were different in size. He said the one on the third floor was the same as the swastika found last week, but the two on the second floor varied in size and appearance. He estimated that one was six inches by six inches, and the other was a half inch squared. He added that even though the carvings were variations on the swastikas, the symbols are still very potent. "People were making comments that it was not really a swastika, but the symbol has enough connotations that it doesn't matter if it was drawn right," he said. Fava added that he thinks the act was done by someone seeking attention. First year Law School student Dvora Golowa said the repetition of the incident distresses her. "I am not scared in the physical sense, but the fact that someone is doing it specifically to get a rise out of everyone to prove a point -- that means it is not just a childish prank," she said. Director of Residential Living Gigi Simeone described the incidents as being "extremely upsetting." Residential Maintenance took care of the situation yesterday morning, she added. "I would say that this is unusual, but it is certainly not unheard of," Simeone said. University Police were notified of the incidents and they investigated them, she added. University Police Sergeant Keith Christian confirmed that an investigation was conducted, but added that the report has not come back yet. Grad Towers head resident Andy Walker said he was impressed by Residential Maintenance and Residential Living. They were on the scene within an hour, he added. "They acted on the situation and got it taken care of very quickly and efficiently," said the fifth year graduate student. He added that Simeone's department has worked hard to deal with everyone's questions. "We tried to be there for all of our residents," he said. Acting Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said she hopes the police are able to determine who carved the swastikas into the doors. "We will do everything allowable by law to them if they are caught," she said. "I would encourage anyone who has information about these incidents to come forward." McCoullum added that the University is committed to a campus community that is respectable, adding that tolerance is not even enough. "It is just tragic that in 1994 we have to live with the evidences of hatred," she said. "But we as a residential community and University are better than this and we don't have to tolerate this." She added that she hopes a heightened level of vigilance will come from this situation. In fact, she sent out a letter to all on-campus residents discussing the situation. McCoullum said the vandalism was actually a criminal act -- it breaks the state's Ethnic Intimidation Law. "This violates every principal of human decency, but it is also against the law," she said. The University has been doing everything possible to deal with the situation, she added. "I hope everyone will get a sense that this is very important to us and that a lot of people are devoting a lot of time and attention to this," McCoullum said. Second year graduate student Dave Effross said he hopes the incidents will have a concrete result. "You have to raise awareness to the community as a large and make it known that these behaviors are unacceptable in a civilized society," he said. There will be a program tonight at 8 p.m. in Grad A's new lounge during which residents can discuss the incidents of the past week. All students are invited to attend. Director of Penn Hillel Jeremy Brochin will be running the meeting. "Hopefully people can come [to the meeting] to talk about it and resolve the issue," Fava said.

Trustees OK appointment of state reps

(10/21/94 9:00am)

Move saves funding for U. and Betty Yuan The University Board of Trustees approved the appointment of four non-elected officials yesterday, as part of a deal between the University and the state. In return, the University will accept $35 million in funding from the state for the current fiscal year. This resolution was approved without debate, questions or comments yesterday at the Trustees Stated Meeting. No timetable has been currently set for when the new Trustees will join the Board. University spokesperson Barbara Beck said the agreement is a fair trade. "If the state is going to give the University money, then the University should be accountable," she said. "[This] expands the state's presence on the Board, but does not change the Board's objective to govern the University in the most fiscally responsible matter," Beck added. She said the Board will continue to "preserve Penn's status as a premiere teaching and research institution." Outgoing Board of Trustees Chairperson Alvin Shoemaker said he was in favor of the decision. "A long-term question of Commonwealth support in higher education is not yet resolved," Shoemaker said. "The University will continue to work with the state to craft the most productive relationship in order to move forward." "Penn is currently accountable to the state in many ways," Beck said after the meeting. "With the election of a new governor in November, there is a certain amount of insecurity surrounding the future of state funding." The Board also elected Trustee Roy Vagelos to replace Shoemaker as chairperson of the Board. During the meeting, Trustees praised Shoemaker for his eight years of leadership and gave him a standing ovation. "[When Shoemaker was selected], I thought he had all the right qualities for the job," Trustee Paul Miller said. "I was wrong. He had more than the right qualities for the job." Shoemaker expressed his gratitude to the Board, and proceeded to shake hands and change places with Vagelos. During the meeting, University Provost Stanley Chodorow also announced that President Judith Rodin has been appointed a professor of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences. And there were several Trustee committee meetings yesterday, including one for the Academic Policy committee and another for the Budget and Finance committee. The Academic Policy meeting was held to address undergraduate academic concerns. Speaking to the committee, Chodorow reiterated Wednesday's announcement of the administration's plans to revamp undergraduate education at the University. "I want to see a model defined by the spring of next semester," he said. He explained that students can participate in this effort as well. There will be five undergraduate students who will serve on the oversight committee. The five students will include the chairperson of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education and one representative from each of the four undergraduate schools. The Budget and Finance committee passed four resolutions to proposals made in June for funding of the Medical School, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Center for Molecular Modeling and the University's library system. Comptroller Al Beers also delivered a financial report at the meeting. According to the report, the Nursing School, the School for Social Work and the Graduate School of Education all rendered profits during the fiscal year that ended in June. Beers added that the University's other schools all "broke even." Daily Pennsylvanian Staff Writers Randi Feigenbaum and Jorie Green contributed to this article.

Swastika found in Grad Tower

(10/21/94 9:00am)

A swastika was found carved in the third floor stairway door in Graduate Tower A earlier this week. According to student estimations, the carving is the size of an eight and a half by eleven piece of paper, but not as thick. First year graduate student Jeremy Blumenfeld said he saw the swastika for the first time yesterday at noon. He said he thought a knife was used. The next time he saw it, Blumenfeld said the carving was covered up by a poster. But, he added, he is not satisfied with this solution. "I don't think just covering it with a poster is going to solve the problem," he said. The optimal solution would be to get a new door installed, he added. Second year graduate student Dave Effross said the swastika was not authentic because it was drawn backwards. "It may have been done by someone who is anti-Semitic, but obviously it was someone who doesn't know what he is doing," he said. Effross also expressed frustration with the situation. "The problem with a situation like this is it's impossible to trace who did it but it causes people to finger-point," he said. "And then they've really won." First year graduate student Vivian Perez noticed the swastika Wednesday evening. She said she was disturbed by its possible implications. "At first I thought it was someone trying to start controversy," she said. "It is scary to think that it might be directed towards a person." Director of Residential Living Gigi Simeone said her department is aware of the situation. "We are very concerned and will be following up in the Graduate Towers," she said. She added that she is confident that Residential Maintenance will do whatever it takes to remove the carving. Both University and Philadelphia Police have been called about the incident, she said. University Police Sergeant Keith Christian confirmed that his department has written a report on the subject. However, he added that no conclusions have been reached yet. Christian said University Police would be looking for who made the carvings and what needs to be done to prevent further cases. This is not the first instance of anti-Semitic vandalism in dormitories. Last spring, there were five instances over a six week period. Two times signs were posted in the Quadrangle which read, "The Jewish God Eats Human Shit." The other three times, paper swastikas were taped onto the first floor fire door of Cleeman, a section of the dorm.

Bees swarm McNeil Bldg.

(10/13/94 9:00am)

For students with class in room103 of the McNeil Building, this week seemed like a scene from The Swarm. Between 50 and 100 bees took over the room for the past five days, forcing 10 classes to be moved as workers tackled the problem, according to Business and Building Administrator Tina Nemetz. The bees came from a beehive growing outside the building between the foundation and the wall, she said. Bees still remain on one of the main support columns of the building. When the bees were discovered, the room was immediately sprayed by exterminators. The bees have been slowly dying off since then, she added. While the room was back in use yesterday, Nemetz said that it will take several more days for all the bees to perish. Despite this, she said the problem is under control. "We haven't seen any live ones," she said. "So far, there is just a windowsill full of dead bees, and we will get that cleaned up today." Nemetz estimated that about 50 dead bees were piled up on the windowsill. Officials are still unsure of how the bees got into the room in the first place. "Exterminators are going to return to seal up any existing cracks so they don't come back in the spring," she said. Although all classes assigned to room 103 were relocated since last Friday, professors said this did not cause too much of an inconvenience. Graduate Chair and Associate Professor of Sociology Jerry Jacobs said his Sociology 650 class was moved Monday. "They moved my class, but it was no big deal," he said. "Nobody was bitten." Sociology Professor Jane Menken agreed. "It was very clearly no big deal," she said. "The University arranged for the class to be moved and they are taking care of the situation." Classes were held in the room as of yesterday afternoon.

Bucks County Coffee shop ready to open near campus

(10/12/94 9:00am)

Students starving for a coffee fix can feed their caffeine addictions just off campus at the new Bucks County Coffee shop. The store, located at 34th and Sansom streets, replaces the space formerly occupied by Beanie's Coffee House, which closed down last spring. Bucks County Coffee President Rodger Owen said he hopes the franchise will open up by the end of next week. "We are hoping to open up the 20th or 21st of October, but the way things usually go, it will probably be a few days late," he said. He added that the only thing left to do is install equipment in the store and pass inspections. Owen said the coffee house will have four different varieties of coffee available every day, as well as espresso-based drinks such as cappuccino and latte. It will also sell cold drinks, including Bucks County Coffee's very own creation, the "mocha crush." Owen described the "mocha crush" as having "a good kick of caffeine and its own distinct coffee flavor in a milk shake consistency." In addition to drinks, a wide variety of food will also be served at the coffee house. Breakfast pastries, luncheon sandwiches, afternoon goodies like brownies and cookies and late evening desserts such as chocolate cheesecake and chocolate mousse pie will be available at all times of the day, he said. Bucks County will also sell 30 different varieties of coffee in whole bean form. The store will have special hours to cater to students -- it will be open until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, he said. Owens said he decided to open up the franchise on Sansom Street because the company wanted to have a presence around campus. "We think that coffee and the campus community go together," he said. "And it was an opportunity to locate on Sansom Street, which we think is a marvelous location." The Bucks County Coffee chain has 27 other locations across the country, including one at 30th Street Station. There is also a store by Princeton University, which Owen said "has been very well received." Owen said he is looking forward to being a part of the University community. The company hopes it will be able to open a larger store on campus as well, he added. Associate Vice Provost of University Life Larry Moneta said this is a good start. "Penn is a campus of 24,000 people, and for that many people, you are talking about a lot of need for places like this to support them," he said. Moneta added that there are not enough places on or near campus for students to gather. "I think places for people to interact and talk to other people in a variety of other settings are important," he said. Moneta said he would like to see more businesses like Bucks County Coffee open up in the West Philadelphia area. They could serve graduate students, the high rise community, fraternity house residents and undergraduates living off campus, he added. "I think that Penn is hang-out deficient," Moneta said. According to Executive Director of the Christian Association Reverend Beverly Dale, the University has the opportunity to open a coffee shop right on Locust Walk. She said the Board of the Christian Association approached the University two years ago with an offer to sell the University a portion of its building to use as a coffee house. She added that both the Board and the University are interested in raising the quality of student life on campus. "The Board has offered to sell the property to the University, but the University has not expressed interest," she said. University Treasurer Scott Lederman said his department discussed the opportunity with the Christian Association, but could not come to an agreement. "We did talk some numbers which they did not find satisfactory, so the discussions ended," he said. He added that the prospect of purchasing the building comes up periodically in discussions because it is a centrally located facility. "At the right price we would be interested, but there is no active interest in it at the moment," he said. Dale said private investors are currently interested in the building and some of them have proposed to open it up as a coffee house. But she added that this is only one of the many possibilities for the building's future. "The Board is pursuing lots of different options, and a coffee house would be only one of them," she said. The University is planning to open a coffee house of its own, called Chats, in the Class of 1920 Commons Dining Hall next semester.

Pres., provost offer support for Revlon

(10/06/94 9:00am)

University officials have reaffirmed their commitment to the Revlon Center in light of doubts about the project's future. Acting Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said yesterday that President Judith Rodin and Provost Stanley Chodorow "have confirmed that they absolutely support the campus center program." Last Wednesday, Rodin and Chodorow said they wanted to re-view plans for the Center and all capital projects on campus. McCoullum said Rodin and Chodorow have authorized her to work actively with students to discuss strategies for expanding the availability of student meeting and performing arts space. The VPUL said some of the projects her department has in mind include additional student meeting places, an enhanced commuter center and cafes. Her office has already rented performance practice space in the Christian Association for student groups. "But we are now going to move even beyond those initiatives to put in place some additional proposals about what the campus needs," McCoullum added. The president and provost are anxious to move forward with these projects, she said. "They want to make sure we move forward as the other elements for the financing are developed," she said. "The president, the provost and I will work closely with the executive vice president, the deans and the director of athletics on interim steps to advance all program elements." McCoullum added that the administration wants "to make sure that steps are being taken immediately so that people see visible symbols of progress." She said her department is ready to move ahead with the project. "In the division of University Life, whatever we can implement immediately, I am absolutely committed to do," McCoullum said. She added that while some of her plans have been authorized, she wants to implement more proposals as soon as possible. "I want to have an interim set of opportunities in place no later than January 15, but if possible I would like to begin some of them as early as November 1," she said. She said she is excited by the idea of working on this project. "It is absolutely terrific that they want us to work closely with students to move forward," McCoullum said. She added that since students are the main users of the facilities and participants in the programs, it is important to her that students are partners in the process. Associate Vice Provost for University Life Larry Moneta discussed several of the proposals that the department has already implemented. Last year the VPUL office created a catalog of all spaces on campus available for students. They now are working to make this space accessible to students, he added. And they have been negotiating cheaper rates for renting campus space, Moneta said. "I have confidence that if we put together a good plan, the University will work with us to make space available to students," he said. They are also working with the movie theaters, he said. According to United Assembly and College senior Dan Schorr, several UA members are pushing to get a real movie theater to replace the AMC Walnut on 40th and Walnut streets, which closed down last month. The members are also hoping to fill the Eric Theater on 40th Street with performing arts space. "Since the Revlon Center is being delayed once again, something has to be done imminently to alleviate the need for performing arts space," he said. For security reasons, it is a good idea to have a lot of people around the 40th street area, he added. "Having a movie theater and a performing arts center will liven up the area because there will be more people around and there is safety in numbers," he said.

Groups upset by Revlon delays

(10/03/94 9:00am)

Six years after the Revlon Center was first proposed, University President Judith Rodin and Provost Stanley Chodorow announced last Wednesday that the Center, along with all other capital projects, is going to be completely re-examined. The delay comes at a time when students say there is a drastic lack of rehearsal space on campus, placing an added burden on performing arts groups. Performing Arts Council Chairperson Rosalie Will said she is frustrated by the situation. According to plans approved by former Interim Provost Marvin Lazerson, the Center was to include the Black Box Theater and meeting space for the groups. "I was convinced last year that even though I was never going to see the building, it would start this year," said Will, a College senior. She said the problem of limited rehearsal space is becoming more serious as the number of performing arts groups steadily increases. Will added that off-campus practice space is very expensive. "We shouldn't have to pay an hourly fee to rehearse," she said. "My hope is that if Revlon isn't going to happen for awhile they can help us in finding temporary space or by giving us money so we can afford off-campus space." College junior Eric Conner, an active member of the performing arts community, said campus locations, such as the Nursing Education Building, rent out auditoriums to these groups. He said the University should either give the groups a discount on spaces that charge rent or give students a few free nights. "There is potential for more groups to start up, and this presents a problem unless the space is increased," he said. College senior and Bloomers Chairperson Liz Rudnick said a lot of performing arts groups saw the Revlon Center as a good sign of what was to come. Given the probable delays, she said the administration and groups should meet. "What we all need to do is sit down in some sort of forum and come up with solutions," Rudnick said. She added that the groups are being forced to settle for locations. "We adapt, but we wind up rehearsing in places that are not meant for performance," Rudnick added. These places include rooftop lounges, lobbies of buildings and people's houses, Will said. She added that her biggest hope is that communication remains strong. "I am fairly optimistic, but I am still very concerned and am not going to give up if I get pushed away," Will said. The University Assembly is equally upset about the recent announcement by Rodin and Chodorow. In a letter to the provost yesterday, the UA said that "without the Revlon Campus Center, there is very little hope for creating this community atmosphere we so desire." The group urged the provost to make the Center "the heart of any plan for facilities." Several students said they are upset by the delay of this project. "The Revlon Center seemed to be an excellent facility for students," College sophomore Sabrina Flaum said. "It's very unfortunate that current Penn students probably won't get the opportunity to enjoy it." But, some students are still very apathetic about the entire situation. "I'm never going to see the results of this, so it is not something pressing in my life now," said College junior Melissa Kaplan.

Revlon study will be part of larger review

(09/30/94 9:00am)

All projects to be evaluated After more than four years of planning, the Revlon Center is headed back to the drawing board. University President Judith Rodin and Provost Stanley Chodorow announced at Wednesday's University Council meeting that plans for the center are going to be completely re-examined. But Chodorow said yesterday that he does not feel the move is a huge setback for the center, which was originally proposed in 1990 and set to be completed by 1996. "If you look at the progress of the project, it was in the early stages," he said. "It had a long way to go." Executive Assistant to the Provost Linda Koons said Chodorow is reviewing all capital projects, not just the Revlon Center. The review includes the renovations to Logan Hall, College Hall and Houston Hall, she added. "You can't make a decision about one building without it affecting other buildings," Koons said. Chodorow explained that he and Rodin are looking at every project they inherited from the interim administration of Claire Fagin and Marvin Lazerson. All of the projects are in various stages of development, he added. The decision to re-evaluate Revlon specifically, Chodorow said, came after he and Rodin began examining the projects and discovered that "everything you touch affects something else." He added that they are also facing a problem of incomplete funding. "We haven't identified where we would get the funding for several projects yet, including Revlon," he said, adding that he does not want to compromise the quality of the center just to make it fit into a budget. "Is it worth building a structure smaller than you want because of lack of funding?" he asked. "It is my view that what we need to do in the long run is a comprehensive approach to student facilities so we create adequate central facilities for students to use," Chodorow said. Acting Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said the project is being deferred so that Chodorow and Rodin can look at the big picture. McCoullum was a key player on Lazerson's team to move the project ahead last year. Lazerson had chosen a final plan for the center, which would have cost $40 million and consisted of two buildings with a freestanding bookstore and black box theater. Lazerson could not be reached for comment yesterday. McCoullum said the new administration is developing a "comprehensive master plan for campus facilities and programming." And the student center is taking on the added dimension of a campus center, she added. "Revlon will become a piece of a much, much larger picture," she said. Chodorow was not able to confirm whether the designated site of 36th and Walnut streets would remain the location for the Center. "I don't know," he said. "I am not ready to say what is going to come out of the process." He said that the parking garage and chiller plant built at 38th and Walnut streets over the summer -- which were constructed with the Revlon Center in mind -- are not wasted investments. Chodorow said the chiller plant -- which was slated to service the Revlon Center -- provides the University with the capacity for constructing additional buildings on the campus besides the student center. "And we can always use the parking," Chodorow said. The anticipated delays to the Revlon Center only exacerbate the growing problem of the lack of performing arts space on campus, many students say. Revlon Center plans had space set aside for students to use for club meetings and rehearsals. McCoullum said Chodorow is an ardent supporter of the University's performing arts groups. "He is really supportive of the student performing arts groups," she said. "They are one of his top priorities." Chodorow said he has a group looking for temporary space for the performing arts community. But he added that "you don't want to put any serious money into something that is temporary." Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Dan Debicella said he feels very strongly that the Center is an essential addition to the University. "While financial issues are a concern, I don't think they should be the end of the dream of a campus center," the Wharton junior said. He said he was very disturbed by Chodorow's announcement at Wednesday's Council meeting. "It sounded like they were very skeptical, and that worried me," Debicella said. "I hope they know that this is something that students really want."

Lightning hits Quad chimney, leaves damage

(09/28/94 9:00am)

Quadrangle residents endured an electrifying experience yesterday afternoon when lightning hit the dorm at approximately 2:30 p.m. The direct hit caused no injuries, but damaged one of the chimneys of Cox Hall, which is located in the Spruce Street House section of the Quad. The damaged chimneys had been on top of the Quad for almost the entire century. According to Adjunct Legal Studies Professor Nick Constan, this is not the first time lightning has stuck the dormitory. "I believe a chimney has been hit by lightning in the Quad before," he said, adding that this refutes the adage that "lightning never strikes twice." Director of Residential Living Gigi Simeone said that there was no damage to the inside of the dorm as a result of the lightning. She added that Physical Plant went to the scene to take care of the situation. Because the lightning was not part of a rain storm, workers were able to tackle the problem immediately after it occurred. "They have done some work today to stabilize the situation, and there will continue to be repairs," she said. Associate Director of Residential Maintenance Al Zuino said the workmen removed all loose bricks from the roof yesterday. Superintendent of Operations Wayne Conner said workers covered the chimney by tying a mat around it with a cable. Their goal was to secure the chimney in order to insure that no one gets hit by falling bricks, he said. The area below the chimney was also blockaded off . Conner said he could not predict how long the blockade will remain in place. "Until we make a permanent repair I think it will be blocked off," he said. Conner added that engineers will be looking at the situation today to make recommendations. Zuino said the chimney served a purely aesthetic purpose. It has no heating or ventilation function. Several students were eyewitnesses to the incident. College freshman Melissa Donald said it sounded like cannons were shot across the Quad. "It was definitely the loudest thing I have ever heard," she said. "It beat all of the noises and fumes that the tent fiasco produced." Other residents panicked when they heard the boom. "We just heard a big boom," said College freshman Ritu Siani. "People thought a bomb dropped. Somebody hit the deck." "I saw a bright flash of light," said College freshman Carl Sipowicz. "It was the loudest thing I have ever heard in my life. I actually felt my heart stop." Several students who were not even near the Quad at 2:30 p.m. were affected by the lightning strike. College freshman Jill Resnick was in a class in the basement of Hill House at the time of the incident. "I saw a lightning flash and heard a loud bang," she said. "It sounded like something was hit across the street." College senior Sarah Gardener was even further away from the scene. "I was at the boathouse on the Schuylkill River and there was this flash," she said. "I thought a nuclear plant was exploding." But students were not the only ones who experienced the boom. Constan was in the Mellon Bank Building when it happened. "I thought it was a bomb -- I was really flabbergasted by the sound," he said. Acting Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said it felt like a sonic boom had taken place. "I was a block away and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up," she said. "I didn't know what was going on. I thought that something had been hit right next to where I was standing."

Fumes leave Quad residents feeling ill

(09/26/94 9:00am)

The Campaign for Penn party held in the Quadrangle Friday night left a bad taste in the mouths of some dorm residents. Diesel fumes emitted from two large generators in Lower Quad filled the surrounding rooms. The generators were used to cool the outdoor tent, where the party took place. Students in Spruce Street House, Community House and Butcher, Speakman and Class of '28 sections of the Quad were affected by the fumes. Mancing said the fumes started to have negative effects Thursday, when the generators were first turned on. The fumes caused several of his students to complain of nausea and headaches, he added. "I was feeling a little light-headed Friday night," said College freshman Michael Singer. Wharton freshman Kevin Davis had a similar experience. "There was a noxious odor emanating from the system's generator," he said. "For a second, I saw fruitcakes dancing around my head." Mancing added that the smoke forced many residents to close their windows, despite the humid weather. "[The generator] was making living conditions very uncomfortable for students," he said. College freshman Chris LaVigne likened the odor to that of burnt sausages. "It was so bad that we had to close our windows," he said. "It got so hot in our room that we had to leave." The effects of the fumes were also hitting administrators. Assistant Dean of Residence for Community House Diana Koros was hit hard. "Any airborne irritants are not good for asthmatics," she said. "I am asthmatic." Assistant Dean of Residence for BS-28 Jane Rogers said she experienced a headache and felt dizzy. But, she said her momentary discomfort was worth it. "I think for all the good the campaign did for the University, it was worth the inconvenience," she said. Mancing said when he spoke with engineers standing by the generator Friday, he was told that the situation could have been avoided. "Whoever was in charge of [the Campaign] never took into consideration the fact that students were living in the surrounding area," he said. He added that the engineers told him that it would have been possible to avert fumes completely out of the Quad, had they known during the planning stages of the event. Mancing described the situation as "an example of the people in charge of the planning commission allowing the fundraising aspect of the University to supercede what the University is really here for -- to provide an atmosphere conducive to education." "They blatantly denied the students an opportunity to live comfortably for four days," he added. College senior and RA Mike Zugay described the situation as being "outclouted by alumni people." "It was kind of sad that they came, took advantage and left the mess for us," he said. College freshman Lisa Ohebshalon resented the weekend's events. "I don't mind if they put up the tent," she said. "But when it interferes with my well-being, it bothers me." Mancing also spoke with a representative from the Office of Health and Safety, who he said took a lot of interest in the fumes. He added that Assistant Director of Safety, Security and Facilities Gordon Rickards was also on the site to talk with students and take care of the problem. When the problem persisted, Director of Residential Living Gigi Simeone came to the scene, he said. Rickards and Simeone demanded that the generator be turned off because they were becoming a health hazard to students. "The people in development were very agreeable," Simeone said. "Students unfortunately had to experience some pretty unpleasant fumes from [the generator], but it was turned off." Both administrators and students were impressed by the way Residential Living took care of the situation. "Under the circumstances, I think everyone did the best they could," Koros said. Zugay, who was personally affected by the fumes, expressed his gratitude. "Residential Living was rather helpful in this circumstance," he said. "I was impressed. "Gigi Simeone and Gordon Rickards were here to protect the students rights and all the student appreciate that," he added.