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Two big-name bands headline Fling concert

(03/07/00 10:00am)

The Roots and Ben Folds Five will share top billing at the annual concert. Melding an unusual combination of harmonious piano rock and rhythmic hip hop, Ben Folds Five and the Roots will share center stage at this year's Spring Fling concert. The Social Planning and Events Committee, which announced the co-headliners last night, said negotiations for a smaller opening band are still in the works. By having the two groups co-headline the event on Friday, April 14, the concert's organizers hope to please a larger range of Penn students than in past years, when only one or two types of music were represented. "Our goal is to get a mix, since music is such a matter of taste," said SPEC concerts co-director Ari Jaffess, an Engineering senior. "I think a lot of people will be excited for these two bands." Tickets will go on sale on Locust Walk starting March 27. Tickets bought in advance will cost $15 for PennCard holders and $23 for the general public. There will be a yet-to-be-announced surcharge on tickets bought the day of the show. The concert will be held on Hill Field, rain or shine. For the last three years, the event has been moved inside to the Palestra because of adverse weather conditions. Ben Folds Five, a unique guitar-free piano trio, was formed in 1993 by pianist and singer Ben Folds. The group made a mainstream name for themselves with their hit single "Brick" in 1997. Their 1997 album, Whatever and Ever Amen, went platinum. Since then, they have also released another album, titled The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, which did rather poor commercially. The Roots, a Philadelphia-based rap and R&B; group, was formed in 1987. With no turntables or disc jockeys, the group is known for its use of live instrumentation at concerts and has in recent years exploded from the underground club scene to achieve critical success and widespread popularity. Drummer ?uestlove and rapper Black Thought -- who met while enrolled in Philadelphia's School for the Creative and Performing Arts -- have been called crafters of "organic hip hop." Their latest release and first live album is The Roots Come Alive. Off that album, the hit single "You Got Me" with singer Erykah Badu earned the group a Grammy in the category for the best duo performance. The Roots' other albums include Organix in 1993, Do You Want More!!??! in 1995 and Illadelph Halflife in 1996. Last year's Spring Fling headliner was the punk-ska band The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They were joined by Run DMC, D-Generation and Clowns for Progress. "These bands are more current than past year's bands," Jaffess said. Bands that have headlined Fling in past years include Violent Femmes, Cypress Hill and A Tribe Called Quest. The theme for this year's Spring Fling is "Fling Me Baby One More Time," inspired by teen-queen singing sensation Britney Spears' hit song.


UA eyes increased minority membership

(03/07/00 10:00am)

Departing from the proceedings of traditional Undergraduate Assembly meetings, the UA on Sunday night held a special program with more than a dozen United Minorities Council members to discuss community service and minority representation in student government. The UA and UMC combined forces in Logan Hall and broke up into small groups -- each with two UMC members and four representatives from the UA -- to tackle how the groups can together address student government representatives and community service initiatives. "The UA does not represent accurately the school. We don't have enough minority representation," UA Chairman Michael Silver, a College senior, told the roughly 40 students assembled for last night's meeting. He added that the small groups should "start talking about how these organizations can pool their resources." After spending nearly an hour brainstorming, discussing and debating different initiatives the UA and UMC could put forth, the small groups came back together to pool their ideas. Among the proposed community service projects for the two organizations were culturally infused service initiatives, mentoring the student governments of local high schools and working together for Habitat for Humanity. But the students also spent time addressing how to recruit minority students to run for the UA and, once those students decide to run, how to help get them elected. The small groups suggested that the UA educate UMC constituent groups about different candidates that directly pertain to their interests, hold more UA and UMC joint meetings and co-sponsor more events. "Even when minorities run, they don't get elected. We don't know why that is," Wharton and Engineering sophomore and UA member Michael Krouse said last night to his small group. He added that the election of the next UA this spring may generate more voters -- including minority students -- because students will be able to access ballots electronically through Penn InTouch. UMC members echoed the need for undergraduates, minority or not, to understand the impact of the UA on student life. "We have to extend the idea that this is something that will affect you," College junior and UMC member Kevin Chan said last night. After the special session with the UMC, the UA returned to its traditional agenda. The group passed a $1,500 budget request for Change for Change, a project that will provide students with small plastic cups to collect spare change and, at the end of the year, pool it with other members of their college house, fraternity or sorority. The change collected will be donated to Upward Bound, a program to help Philadelphia high school students gain admission to four-year colleges and universities. The UA also passed a resolution supporting a new funding plan for Student Health Services that will prevent students insured by Penn Student Health Insurance from having to pay a Clinical Fee twice, as the current plan mandates.


New fire precautions planned for dorms

(03/07/00 10:00am)

Over eight years, Penn will spend $23 million to updae safety systems. Acting in the wake of a disastrous Seton Hall University dormitory fire that killed three students there, Penn's Department of Fire and Occupational Safety recently announced a $23 million plan to install updated fire safety equipment in all on-campus residences. The plan calls for state-of-the-art alarm, sprinkler and detector systems to be installed in residential buildings over an eight-year period and for new public address systems to be integrated into the University's three high-rise college houses. Director of Fire and Occupational Safety Harry Cusick said that while the University's residential buildings currently meet code, changing standards and concerns following Seton Hall's fire have made such improvements a necessity. "With the code, we are where we need to be," Cusick said. "We're always trying to figure out the ways where it's possible to step up our preventative procedures." All of the University's 12 college houses currently feature smoke detectors in all rooms and sprinklers in basements and laundry rooms, Cusick said, though the goal is to bring the buildings beyond the city's minimum fire safety requirements. "We're in compliance and we're also upgrading everything as the [college house] renovations go on," Cusick said. "What we're doing in the high rises and elsewhere is even going beyond compliance." He added that the new high-rise public address system and additional fire safety staff is going to help ease the crucial flow of information to students in the event of a fire alarm. "It was our thought that by having direct communication on every floor, we could get more on-site contact with students," Cusick said. "Having a few additional people on our staff is also going to help out." Dormitory fire safety has been an issue of great discussion ever since a fire struck Seton Hall's Boland Hall in January, killing three students and sending 55 to the hospital. Since then, fire and police officials -- as well as a federal grand jury -- have been working to isolate the factors that contributed to the fire. Three suspicious sofa fires in a third-floor lounge are currently being blamed for the disaster. But Penn officials reviewing the case have expressed concerns regarding the contribution of two particular factors: alcohol and prior false alarms. "One of the things that we saw at Seton Hall -- and it's stunning, particularly as far as colleges go -- is that alcohol was definitely involved," Cusick said. "Alcohol is the catalyst in about 50 percent of fires in the general population, while at colleges it's more than 90 percent." He added that it is often the victim's intake of alcohol -- as well as that of an intentional or accidental arsonist -- that contributes to fires and injuries. False alarms provide further challenges to fire safety, Cusick said, as they dampen residents' recognition of the seriousness of alarms. In 1999, only 48 of 335 fire alarms in campus buildings were real fires. To combat these challenges, University Police have pledged vigorous investigation of all false alarm incidents. "People become very complacent when it comes to alarms, so our goal is to decrease the perception that when someone hears bells, it's some kind of a false alarm," University Police Chief Maureen Rush said. "We're also really adamant about prosecuting anyone who has pulled a false alarm or discharged a fire extinguisher." Rush, whose department works directly with Cusick's division of Fire and Occupational Safety, added that the Seton Hall fire may have been a valuable warning sign for the rest of the higher education community. "It takes a tragedy sometimes," Rush said. "Seton Hall, tragic as it was, will probably end up saving lives across the country."


Six bands entertain hundreds

(03/07/00 10:00am)

Each of the local bands invited to participate in Friday night's "Attack of the Cover Bands" at the former Christian Association building write and perform their own songs. But this weekend, the six indie rock groups decided to pay homage to their own favorite bands -- including the Rolling Stones and The Smiths, among others -- by performing their tunes in front of an energetic audience of about 300 area college students and other music fans from the region. Co-sponsored by the Social Planning and Events Committee and the Foundation, the concert brought to campus bands like The Persons, Atom and His Package, Asteroid #4, Clock Strikes Thirteen, Lilys and Strapping Fieldhands to perform covers of bands of their choice as well as original selections of their own. With characteristic aplomb and enthusiasm, the bands rocked the auditorium for four hours. "It is a really good idea how the bands are covering one band they like. I've seen it done at other places before, but I'd never seen it done in this area," said Dany Sloan, a student at nearby Westchester College. "It is a good way to attract people and for them to see a different side of the bands they like." Audience members -- most of whom stood throughout the entire show -- ranged from silent admirers of the music who swayed contemplatively to the drum beats and the electric guitar strokes while banging heads and tapping the floor to those who danced more actively. Other audience members seemed particularly pleased that some of their favorite bands were present at the show. "Atom is the greatest guy in the world, so it makes the whole show worth it," Wharton freshman Mike Berlin said of Atom and His Package, who covered The Mountain Goats. Many of the band members seemed to enjoy their participation in the event as well. "It was very fun," said Benjamin Xavier Kim, the lead singer of both The Persons and Clock Strikes Thirteen. "I saw people dancing at the end." And others, in turn, commented on the state of support for local artists. "I think it's really important that people take a stand on their community activities, what kind of things you want to see your community do," said Kurt Heasley of Strapping Fieldhands. "Do you want just classical music as a cultural event? Or do you want to explore local talent?" The concert benefited from more sophisticated equipment and from the support of sound and light engineers who provided much of the ambience of the event. "Each musical group had a very distinct style and sound which was both exciting and challenging," said 1999 Engineering graduate Harris Romanoff, who works as a light engineer. "I had only worked with Clock Strikes Thirteen before, so almost all of the lighting effects had to be done on the spot." The concert was produced by College junior Jared Goldman and College sophomore Nick McDermott-- both SPEC liaisons -- with the support of College senior Andrew Zitcer, who is also the director of the Foundation. The Foundation works to bring together the arts and culture of the West Philadelphia and Penn communities in a meaningful partnership. "The Foundation was the perfect organization to host the event," Goldman said. "Its support has been invaluable for us tonight.


Penn pre-meds receive career advice

(03/07/00 10:00am)

Medical school-bound undergraduates might be pleased to know that it is more than their grade point averages and Medical College Admission Test scores that count in the often cutthroat pre-med environment. Last night, in a small lecture room of Stiteler Hall packed with about 130 Penn pre-med students, four deans of admissions from elite medical schools shared their views on the ins and outs of the application process and offered advice on pursuing a career as a physician after medical school. The topics discussed ranged from what medical schools are looking for to the quality of life at schools in general to working as a physician in the 21st century. Most of the students present were freshmen, sophomores and juniors, with only a few seniors interspersed in between. Those who came said they wanted to get a better idea of what qualities medical schools require of their applicants. "This [panel] allows you to have contact with people you normally wouldn't be able to during the admission process: the deans of admission," College sophomore Meredith Chiaccio said. The panelists stressed that high scores and grades are not the only important criteria for medical schools. Besides strong academic credentials, quality of character and individual special characteristics rank high on the lists of medical schools, the panelists said. "You need to have meaningful, dedicated involvement in something important to you," said Charles Bardes, an admissions officer at Cornell University's Weill Medical College. He stressed the importance of having different life experiences and possessing special talents and activities. A doctor, Bardes said, needs a balance of biomedical knowledge and healing ability. George Heinrich, the assistant dean for admissions at the New Jersey Medical School, then discussed the gap between the pre-med experience and life as a physician. He stressed that good doctors understand themselves and can interact successfully with those around them. And Gaye Sheffler, the director of admissions and financial aid at Penn's School of Medicine, did her best to soothe students' nerves about the interviewing part of the application. "You need to think about what things about you are special and unique and will contribute to the medical profession," she told the students. Students then asked questions on issues including whether they can take time off between college and medical school, taking the MCAT and required courses and receiving financial aid. College junior Ayca Gucalp said she felt the panel "reaffirmed [her] general idea of the process." "It was well organized and informative, but they didn't get into the details of the process," Gucalp said. "It was a more general idea."


Search for campus video store continues

(03/06/00 10:00am)

In wake of TLA Video's decision not to open a branch at Penn, University officials and student leaders have already started the search for another video retailer. Members of the Undergraduate Assembly and Penn officials agreed last week they would try to lure a chain video rental store to campus after having difficulty locating another independent store. Tom Lussenhop, the University's top real estate official, said he has begun negotiating with several large national chains, including Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. He added that the University will hopefully have a new video store by the fall, calling that target "optimistic." "Right now, students still crave movies," said UA Chairman Michael Silver, who met with the University to present the group's recommendations for a new campus video operation. "TLA would have been awesome, but it's not happening," Silver said last week. "The only choice we have is a chain." The Philadelphia-based TLA had been in talks with the University since September, when both parties showed an interest in filling the vacant store adjacent to the Eat at Joe's diner on the 3900 block of Walnut Street. But following a boom in the eclectic distributor's online sales and speculation of old-fashioned video rental becoming obsolete, they opted not to come to Penn. Students have repeatedly asked for more video options on campus -- a request the UA hopes to fulfill through its work with the University. "In the area of campus retail and social options, this is the priority for the UA," said Silver, a College senior. Lussenhop, who solicited the UA's input, said "this will be a good opportunity for the UA leadership to get more involved. They're part of the process." He added that UA members will meet with representatives from each of the chains during negotiations. UA video store recommendations include support from a 1998 student survey and criticism of the current video rental option -- Video Library on the 40th block of Locust Street. According to a UA statement, the 1998 UA 40th Street Developmental Survey showed that 53 percent of 470 students polled expressed interest in a late-night video store, while anecdotal evidence -- especially freshmen input -- also supports another store. In its recommendations, the UA complained that the Video Library -- which closes at 10 p.m. on weeknights and Saturdays -- lacks accessibility and selection. "Video Library doesn't cut it," said Silver. Bringing a late-night video store to campus was a recommendation made last spring by Provost Robert Barchi's Working Group on Alcohol Abuse as a way to provide more non-alcoholic activities on campus. Silver said he told Lussenhop that students would welcome a national video chain to campus, despite student complaints that the campus is starting to resemble a mall. UA member Molly Siems, a College freshman, participated in last week's meeting, as representative of the first-year perspective. "It'd be a good idea to have one of the bigger names in a more visible space [for freshmen]," Siems said. The University will first show retailers the empty space next to Eat at Joe's, followed by other locations along 40th and Walnut streets, according to Lussenhop.


UA envisions student input

(03/06/00 10:00am)

Starting today, the Undergraduate Assembly is offering students the chance to tell University President Rodin exactly what they think of Penn. During this week and the week after spring break, the UA is sponsoring an online survey called UA Visions, intended to let administrators -- as well as the UA -- know what students are looking to take away from their Penn experience. "This will give us a good idea of what individual students want," said UA member Josh Klein, who is in charge of the Visions project. The survey will include questions in five categories --academics, social life, ethnic diversity, relations between Penn and West Philadelphia and expectations versus experience. Respondents will rate each aspect of campus life on a scale of one to 10, and they will also have the option to write in their own personal responses to the detailed questions. Students will be able to access the survey beginning today and lasting through the week after spring break. The survey Internet link will be e-mailed to class listservs and the UA will advertise it on campus and in The Daily Pennsylvanian. To encourage students to fill out the surveys, the UA will award gift certificates to local restaurants and online retailers to randomly selected students who participate. Klein said the UA will spend about $250 on several online certificates and they are also seeking out restaurants to donate gifts. The UA will take about a week to tabulate the results and will then compile the results of the survey into a book, which will be presented to Rodin, Provost Robert Barchi, Executive Vice President John Fry and the undergraduate deans. "[Rodin's] enthusiastic herself for the survey," Undergraduate Assembly Chairman Michael Silver said. The College senior said the UA would develop a summary of their major findings and they "definitely want to draw specific policy ideas" to give to Rodin. Visions is not the first online questionnaire sponsored by the UA -- the assembly conducted a survey on alcohol use earlier this year, to which about 2,400 students responded. According to Klein, a College sophomore, the UA is taking action to ensure that even more will fill out the Visions survey. Another initiative geared toward learning students' opinions was launched last week by the Penn National Commission. The newly created PennTalks will facilitate discussion between students on issues at Penn, offering the information to Rodin. But Silver said the two efforts will not conflict. "I don't see it as an adversarial thing at all," he said.


FDA rips into Penn gene study

(03/06/00 10:00am)

The FDA refused to lift the band on gene therapy studies at Penn's Institute for Human Gene Therapy. In a scathing letter to Penn's Institute for Human Gene Therapy on Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected the Institute's defense of its handling of the clinical study that cost an 18-year-old man his life and refused to lift the ban on gene therapy at the University. In the 20-page warning letter addressed to IHGT Director James M. Wilson, who led the study, federal regulators charged the researcher with having "failed to fulfill the obligations as the sponsor" of gene therapy studies, and accused him of violating federal human research regulations. "We are disappointed that the FDA appears to discount a number of the responses to those charges filed by the IHGT," University officials said in a written statement issued Friday. The warning comes six weeks after the FDA charged the Institute with 18 possible violations of federal research protocol breaches and placed a ban on all gene therapy at Penn. IHGT officials responded to the allegations last month and an external committee of scientists is expected to release its findings by mid-April. Federal regulators refuted nearly all of the responses offered by the Institute concerning the gene therapy trial in which Jesse Gelsinger, who died last September, was enrolled.Wilson and his researchers later determined that Gelsinger died of multiple organ failure induced by the gene therapy. The Institute -- which until recently had been considered one of the top gene therapy research centers in the world -- now has 15 business days to inform the FDA about any corrective steps that will be taken and submit any data and documentation for which the letter calls. But a source close to the investigation said that the University will now only submit the documents asked for in the letter; it will not seek to dispute every point with the FDA. "We will not reiterate our position on all of those points that state that we don't agree with [the FDA]," the source said, adding that the University will now await the FDA's final decision on gene therapy at the University, whether it be a lifting of the six-week-old ban or a continued or permanent suspension. University spokesman Ken Wildes said Penn officials could not speculate about the FDA's next move. FDA spokesman Larry Bachorik said the warning letter represents a major attack on Wilson's credibility as a gene therapy researcher. "Warning letters are issued only for serious violations," he explained. He added that the fact that the FDA issued Wilson such a letter "suggests that we had serious concerns" about Wilson's ability to conduct gene therapy research. "I think it's fair to say that the FDA disagreed with many of the responses," Bachorik said. "We take these violations very seriously, and we will closely monitor the response." While the letter is directed specifically to Wilson in his capacity as head of the Institute, the source said he expects Wilson and the two other principal researchers of the trial -- Steven Raper and Mark Batshaw -- to receive similar letters by Wednesday, which would "take them to task as investigators." Neither Wilson, nor Medical School Senior Vice Dean Richard Tannen, who has spoken for IHGT in the past, were available for comment, according to Wildes. Lee Silver, a professor of Molecular Biology and public affairs at Princeton University, said it's unlikely that this marks the end of gene therapy at Penn. "I think mediation will take place and all the deficits in the protocols will be corrected, and it will come back," he said. In the letter, the FDA maintained its position that patients were not properly informed about the dangers posed by the gene therapy trial. The letter stated that patients were unaware of prior adverse events in the trial, and cited numerous cases of poor documentation. Another issue that the FDA raised in the letter was that the IHGT failed to notify regulators of the deaths of two laboratory monkeys and the liver toxicity of a third until one year after the trial was completed. IHGT officials had maintained that the two monkeys were enrolled in studies unrelated to the Gelsinger case, and that the third -- though on a study very similar to the OTC study -- received a dosage of genes far greater than what OTC patients received. But regulators insisted that researchers "had an affirmative obligation" to notify the FDA about the monkey results. The FDA also reasserted its claim that many patients -- Gelsinger included -- were ineligible to participate because of high blood ammonia levels. In its response to the FDA, Wilson's researchers explained that though Gelsinger's ammonia level was high prior to infusion, previous readings were within protocol limits. But the FDA letter insisted that IHGT researchers should have waited to see if Gelsinger's ammonia levels would have decreased before proceeding.


Wrestling falls short at EIWAs

(03/06/00 10:00am)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- It was a two-horse race all year, and in the final stretch the Lehigh wrestling team proved it had a better kick than Penn. In the EIWA Championships this past weekend at Navy, the Engineers' team balance spurred them on to 157 team points and a first-place finish, bringing the Quakers' four-year run of EIWA titles to a screeching halt. Penn got individual titles from its three captains -- Brett Matter (157 pounds), Rick Springman (174) and heavyweight Bandele Adeniyi-Bada -- but in the end, four individual titles and a plethora of bonus points from its other wrestlers made the difference for Lehigh. Penn and Lehigh both placed five wrestlers in the finals, but the Engineers already had a solid hold on the team race by that point. Once Lehigh 125-pounder Bruce Kelly took the first championship bout, the decision was almost automatic. "I think up through the quarterfinals, we were wrestling well. It looked to me like we tightened up in the semifinals," Penn coach Roger Reina said. "Even some of the matches we won, we didn't win in the style and the manner that we trained for." At 133, Penn's Jason Nagle faced Brown's Livio DiRubbo in a rematch of last year's final, which Nagle won in a 10-6 upset. Top-seeded DiRubbo -- who had a 7-1 victory earlier in the year against the No. 2 seed Nagle --jumped out to a commanding 7-1 lead early in the first period with a takedown and three back points. Nagle fought back hard in the remaining periods, bringing the score back to 8-5 at the end of two. In the final period, Nagle managed two takedowns, but DiRubbo sealed the 13-9 victory with a late takedown of his own. At 141 pounds, freshman Jody Giuricich earned a trip to the NCAAs as a wildcard with a third-place finish. In the third-place bout, third-seeded Giuricich bested No. 4 seed Mark Conley of Navy. After a scoreless first period, Conley used a takedown to go up 2-0 in the second period. Giuricich escaped and got in a takedown right at the end of the period to go up 3-2. Giuricich rode out the entire third period to hold onto the victory. The final at 149 featured the tournament's only Penn-Lehigh final, with Lehigh's national No. 6 Dave Esposito facing Penn's Jon Gough. Esposito notched his second major decision victory over Gough this year with a 16-6 win. Matter was the shining star for Penn. With his title at 157 pounds, Matter became the EIWA's first four-time champion in 17 years. Matter also picked up the Fletcher Award, which is awarded to the wrestler with the most career points at the EIWA tournament. Penn's all-time winning wrestler picked up the Outstanding Wrestler award to boot. Matter cruised to a 6-1 victory in the finals over Cornell's Leo Urbanelli to etch his name into the EIWA history books. Of course, EIWA success is nothing new for the Matter family. Brett's title is the ninth for the Matters -- father Andy won three as a wrestler for Penn State, and brother Clint picked up two for the Quakers. "It's kind of a good monkey off my back," said Matter, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation. "The more I warmed up for each match, the more I started thinking about it. Every match I wrestled today they were mentioning, the first [four-time champion] since blah blah blah. I didn't think it was that big a deal." Penn's other national No. 2, Springman, tore through a very deep 174-pound weight class en route to his first EIWA title. He recorded a pin in his finals match against national No. 6 Ed Mosley of Harvard -- the second time Springman pinned Mosley this year. For his efforts, Springman picked up the Sheridan Award for the most falls in the least amount of time. Mike Fickell earned a trip to St. Louis with a third-place finish. Seeded No. 2 at the EIWAs and ranked No. 14 in the country, Fickell held off a scare from fourth seed Matt Greenberg of Columbia to win the third-place bout. In the strong heavyweight class, Adeniyi-Bada closed out the tournament with a 3-2 win over Harvard's Dawid Rechul. Adeniyi-Bada hit a double-leg takedown in the second period to go up 3-0 on a very passive Rechul. After taking an injury timeout in the third period, though, Rechul came out with a sudden burst of energy and initiated more contact. He was unable to manage a takedown, however, and Adeniyi-Bada emerged the champion.


Owens dominates paint to help M. Hoops to title

(03/06/00 10:00am)

Penn center Geoff Owens turned 22 on Wednesday. This weekend, Owens celebrated his birthday in style at the Palestra, helping the Quakers to stand tall over the rest of the Ivy League competition for their second consecutive Ancient Eight title. Owens has been through it all over the past four years at Penn, from the toils of a 12-14 season to the agony and uncertainty of sitting out a year with a medical condition to the elation of back-to-back Ivy League championships. And this weekend, Owens, like the team, was at his best. The man in the middle had a career night on Friday as the Quakers clinched a tie for the league title against Brown, then brought the house down again on Saturday as Penn wrapped up the title by beating Yale. The school's all-time leading shot blocker bolted from the gate against the Bears, swatting the first of his six shots just 18 seconds into the action. He finished the night with 50 blocks on the season, making him the first man in Penn history to amass 50 rejections in two different seasons. Owens is also the only Red and Blue player ever to record 40 or more blocks in three seasons. By the time Friday night ended, Owens exploited the undersized Brown frontcourt -- specifically 6'6" center Alaivaa Nuualiitia -- for a career-high 22 points, along with 11 rebounds, all in a scant 27 minutes as Penn demolished the Bears by 23 points. "We're very undermanned in the frontcourt," Brown coach Glenn Miller said. "It seems like the opposition's frontcourt players always have their best games against us. We're playing a 6'6" five man. We just don't have the personnel or the physical presence to cover low." Miller's estimation is fair enough, and Owens freely noted himself that his offensive explosion was facilitated by Brown's lack of frontcourt size. But championship teams take advantage of the weaknesses of their opponents, which is just what Owens did with his explosive night at the Palestra on Friday. The Bears' lack of size in the paint has not stopped Nuualiitia from averaging an impressive 14.2 points per game and earning honors as Ivy League Rookie of the Week five times this season. Friday night, though, Nuualiitia scored five points, shooting a ghastly 2-for-9 from the floor. "It's kind of my job to help my teammates out," Owens said. "It's my job to deflect a shot or make a guy miss. It's a personal challenge every time a guy comes down the lane or shoots, I want to bother his shot, make him miss." Owens did just that on Friday night -- his six blocked shots were the only ones registered by anyone in the game. And in the face of Ugonna Onyekwe's four fouls, Owens was particularly careful to not force himself out of the game as well. Owens did not pick up any fouls until four minutes into the second half. "Geoff Owens and Ugonna are back there changing shots and blocking shots," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "Ugonna had a tough night being in foul trouble? but we had a guy back there who could get the job done." Although Penn's big man did not put on the scoring exhibition against Yale -- tallying 10 points in 35 minutes -- that he did the night before, Owens was dominant in the paint, hauling in seven boards and blocking one shot. Without center Neil Yanke, Yale's starting frontcourt trio of John Kirkowski, Ted Smith and Bill Parkhurst combined to play 90 minutes. Together, they shot 5-for-15 from the floor, scoring just 13 of the Elis' 52 points. The three also combined to pull down a meager 13 rebounds. And when Owens did score on Saturday night, he really made his presence felt. Eight of his 10 points came in the second half, four of which were on dunks that whipped up the Palestra crowd into a frenzy. With 9:58 remaining in the game, Owens' first dunk brought Penn's lead back up to 10 points for the first time in over eight-and-a-half minutes. He rose over the fray underneath the goal to put home a David Klatsky miss and get Penn back on its way home to the title. When Yale drew to within seven points with 4:30 to play, it was again Owens who answered, taking a Matt Langel pass and clearing the lane for the dunk that started chants of "Ivy Champs" in the Palestra. Owens went above the rim once more on Saturday night -- with a pair of scissors to take down the net.


Professors voice concerns over online note firm

(03/06/00 10:00am)

Standing in front of the almost-full College Hall room 200 last Thursday, History Professor Bruce Kuklick addressed his class about what he called a great "moral problem" -- Versity.com. A commercial Web site that pays students $8 to $12 per lecture to post their notes online, Versity.com features notes from college courses across the country, including Kuklick's American History class. And when he found out about the Web site last week, an irate Kuklick vowed to address the issue with his class the next day. "I'm officially telling you that you shouldn't be [posting my lectures online]," Kuklick warned his students, saying the site seems to violate professors' intellectual property. Kuklick isn't alone in his concern. Last month, Yale University demanded that Versity.com remove the lecture notes of its professors from its Web site, citing as reasons possible copyright law violations and university rules prohibiting students from participating in commercial enterprises. "This was clearly, in our opinion, something that at the level of Versity.com was violating the law and at the level of the undergraduates was violating our regulations," Yale spokesman Lawrence Haas said. Although Penn currently does not have a policy regarding distribution of course notes online, a committee of administrators already investigating intellectual property rights on the Internet has begun the process of addressing the issue. "We do believe that the commercial use of such notes may violate intellectual property policies and we're investigating," said Deputy Provost and English Professor Peter Conn, who chairs the committee. More than 10 percent of Penn undergraduates are registered users on the Web site, according to Versity. com, which has online notes for 52 Penn classes this semester. "We believe that posting faculty lecture notes without their consent -- and even without their knowledge -- violates canons of collegiality," Conn said. Versity.com officials, however, deny breaking any laws. According to Versity.com spokeswoman Janet Cardinell, the Web site only took down Yale's lecture notes, "in order to have discussions with them." "We've reviewed the copyright laws and the copyright does not extend to coverage for basic historic fact, or scientific fact or information in the public domain," Cardinell said. Many Penn professors had no prior knowledge that their lecture notes were available online. The reactions of professors who found out about the site ranged from mild surprise to outright anger at Versity.com for not seeking their permission before posting notes from their courses. Psychology Professor David Williams, the chair of the undergraduate division of the department, saw posting of notes from his lecture on Versity's Web site as "neither good nor bad." "It's an inevitable consequence of the availability of the Web," Williams said. But Legal Studies Professor Phil Nichols, like Kuklick, was not happy. "I'll announce it in class," Nichols said. "If I find out anyone's feeding notes to Versity, I'll fail them." Many students said they see few problems with having class notes posted on the Internet. One student who sells her notes to Versity.com said she sees no moral or legal issues conflicting with her job. "As long as it's not plagiarism, as long as it's your own interpretation of the lecture, it's fine," she said. Statistics Professor Abraham Wyner, who was aware his lecture notes were accessible on Versity.com, saw no major legal or ethical difficulties. "I'm perfectly willing to participate in such an endeavor," Wyner said. But he, like many other professors, was disappointed by the quality of the notes. "What they put on the site looks like it took about five minutes to do," Wyner said. According to Cardinell, other colleges -- but not Penn -- have contacted Versity.com about the online lecture notes. But Yale is the first school to request an all-out ban of lecture notes on the site. "We saw [Yale's request] as a chance to raise the debate," Cardinell said. "A lot of what's going on is misinformation and lack of information of what the product really is and how students are using it."


Role of modern Jewish female discussed

(03/06/00 10:00am)

Some say women belong only in the kitchen. Others say women should pursue careers and leave the housekeeping to someone else. Somewhere in between these two extremes lies the advice shared by Bronya Shaffer to a crowd of more than 25 Penn students and community members at the Lubavitch House on Friday night. Shaffer, speaking on the role of the Jewish woman in the modern world, explained the middle ground in the conflict between the woman's place in the workplace and in the domestic realm. "It is never a conflict of ideals, it is just a conflict of time and energy," Shaffer said. Her suggestion to Jewish women and girls of all ages was to perform "simple acts -- like lighting the Sabbath candles." She also reminded college students that following traditions can enable a young woman to make wherever she lives into a home. Although Shaffer is herself an observant Hasidic Jew from the ultra-observant neighborhood of Crown Heights, N.Y., she stressed that her message is not meant only for religious Jews. Lighting the candles, Shaffer said, is "about creating an awareness and influencing the people around you. It's for all women." Shaffer also pointed out that even though women may have been limited to certain fields 50 years ago, they have since been more liberated. "Today there is no area that women aren't involved in. Society is changing, and that means traditions are changing," she said. Audience members were largely receptive to Shaffer's message. "Realizing that wherever I am is my home, and that I can light the candles even in my room here at Penn, is really comforting," College sophomore Ilene Kalter said. College sophomore Lisa Pitlor also felt that Shaffer's advice was relevant to her life. "I want to be able to raise my kids and have a career," Pitlor said. "I'm not that religious, but I plan to raise my kids in a Jewish home. These kinds of ideas make sense to me." Shaffer chose to concentrate on the idea of lighting the Sabbath candles in honor of the third birthday of Sterna Levin, the daughter of Rabbi Ephraim and Flora Levin, who run the Lubavitch House at Penn. In Lubavitch tradition, the third birthday is the first time a girl lights the Sabbath candles on Friday night. "At this age, a child starts to understand what they're doing," Levin explained. "They have ownership over their own actions." Levin had invited Shaffer and her family to join his family for the weekend in order to help celebrate this occasion. Shaffer, who travels occasionally to lecture around the country, focuses much of her studies on communication and relationships. Communication, she said, is important to the discussion of the modern Jewish woman. "There are serious misconceptions about traditional Judaism's view of women," Shaffer said. "There must be recognition that what I'm saying doesn't exclude anyone."


No luck for the Irish: M. Lax upsets Notre Dame in opener

(03/06/00 10:00am)

The young but determined Penn men's lacrosse team came from behind to beat No. 12 Notre Dame 10-7 in the Quakers' first game of the season at Franklin Field on Saturday afternoon. Penn was slow at the start, spotting the Fighting Irish a 2-0 lead, but co-captain Pete Janney led the Quakers back, scoring twice in the last 1:09 of the first quarter. From there, Penn never looked back, scoring seven of the next nine goals -- including another two by Janney. "We just let Pete do his thing, and he just carried us all the way through," Penn junior Todd Minerley said. "He's our leader out there, and he set the tone for us and everybody just followed." While Penn's attack was impressive, an inexperienced defense and goalie were also strong from start to finish. Sophomore goalie John Carroll -- starting in his first game ever -- had 18 saves, including eight in the first quarter when the Irish could have put the game out of reach. "Carroll bailed us out early in the game when they were getting a lot of opportunities," Penn coach Marc Van Arsdale said. Penn's defensive corps was also dominant. Sophomore Scott Marimow had the unenviable task of guarding David Ulrich, Notre Dame's best player. While Ulrich still managed a hat trick, Marimow's staunch defense prevented the Notre Dame junior from doing more damage. "Scott Marimow was our X-factor, containing their best player," Minerley said. "He kept him under control and didn't let him get feeds." At 2-0, Penn looked like it was on the verge of collapse, but the team did not panic. Janney took the game into his own hands, tying the score as the first quarter expired. "We were a little nervous early," Van Arsdale said. "We wanted to be in the game for 60 minutes, but at the end of the first quarter I told the team that they had already given back 15. We knew we had to play harder." And play harder they did. Janney netted the first goal of the second quarter with just over 11 minutes to go. About two minutes later, midfielder Billy Reidy scored for the Quakers to make it 4-2. Penn sophomore Scott Solow added one as he took the ball and flung it right past the Irish goalie to increase the Quakers' lead to three. With the score 5-3, Minerley tallied the prettiest goal of the game. With 6:30 left in the half, Minerley took the ball from behind the goal, swung around to the front, switched hands and flicked the ball past Irish goalie Kirk Howell as he fell to the Franklin Field turf. The Red and Blue ended the half 7-4, outscoring Notre Dame 5-2 in the second quarter. Ulrich made the game close in the third quarter, scoring twice in the last 40 seconds of play. The Quakers, however, would not be denied this victory. Penn junior Kevin Cadin scored from the top of the crease on a pass from Alex Kopicki, and five minutes later, Minerley added his second score of the day. When the final whistle sounded, the Quakers had knocked off the No. 12 team in the country thanks to strong play on all sides of the ball. "I think our inexperience was overcome by some energy and enthusiasm," Van Arsdale said. "Our experienced guys are really giving us some good leadership. There's not a lot of them, but guys like Janney and Reidy are really stepping up and getting everybody focused in the right direction."


UA envisions student input

(03/06/00 10:00am)

Starting today, the Undergraduate Assembly is offering students the chance to tell University President Rodin exactly what they think of Penn. During this week and the week after spring break, the UA is sponsoring an online survey called UA Visions, intended to let administrators -- as well as the UA -- know what students are looking to take away from their Penn experience. "This will give us a good idea of what individual students want," said UA member Josh Klein, who is in charge of the Visions project. The survey will include questions in five categories --academics, social life, ethnic diversity, relations between Penn and West Philadelphia and expectations versus experience. Respondents will rate each aspect of campus life on a scale of one to 10, and they will also have the option to write in their own personal responses to the detailed questions. Students will be able to access the survey beginning today and lasting through the week after spring break. The survey Internet link will be e-mailed to class listservs and the UA will advertise it on campus and in The Daily Pennsylvanian. To encourage students to fill out the surveys, the UA will award gift certificates to local restaurants and online retailers to randomly selected students who participate. Klein said the UA will spend about $250 on several online certificates and they are also seeking out restaurants to donate gifts. The UA will take about a week to tabulate the results and will then compile the results of the survey into a book, which will be presented to Rodin, Provost Robert Barchi, Executive Vice President John Fry and the undergraduate deans. "[Rodin's] enthusiastic herself for the survey," Undergraduate Assembly Chairman Michael Silver said. The College senior said the UA would develop a summary of their major findings and they "definitely want to draw specific policy ideas" to give to Rodin. Visions is not the first online questionnaire sponsored by the UA -- the assembly conducted a survey on alcohol use earlier this year, to which about 2,400 students responded. According to Klein, a College sophomore, the UA is taking action to ensure that even more will fill out the Visions survey. Another initiative geared toward learning students' opinions was launched last week by the Penn National Commission. The newly created PennTalks will facilitate discussion between students on issues at Penn, offering the information to Rodin. But Silver said the two efforts will not conflict. "I don't see it as an adversarial thing at all," he said.


SAS hopes to hire 40 new profs by end of semester

(03/06/00 10:00am)

School officials said offers have already been made to 18 prospective faculty members. Departments in the School of Arts and Sciences are planning to hire as many as 40 new faculty members by the end of the semester, school officials said last week. SAS Dean Samuel Preston said the hirings will be focused mainly in the departments targeted in the SAS Strategic Plan released last spring -- Biology, Economics, English, History, Political Science and Psychology -- with each acquiring as many as four new faculty members, including junior and senior professors. The strategic plan specified these six departments as ones deserving increased faculty appointments and funding. Offers have already been made to 18 prospective faculty members, Preston said, with more expected in the next few weeks. Each candidate must be approved by a series of committees and administrators, with final approval granted by the Provost's Staff Conference, which generally makes decisions through the middle of May. Preston said it is unlikely that all 40 authorized positions will be filled, adding that he would be "very happy" if 32 new professors were hired. The Political Science Department, which has struggled in recent years to recruit senior faculty members, is working to recruit as many as four senior professors and one junior professor this year, according to Chairman Ian Lustick. "We're recruiting in many areas, but primarily in American politics and political theory this year," he said. "In every one of our sub-fields, we want to add strength." He said the department is making an offer to an "outstanding" junior professor in political theory. And Preston added that the department is "pursuing vigorously three senior faculty members," still noting that ultimately they may hire "as many as four and as few as zero." The small size of Penn's Political Science faculty -- with fewer than two dozen professors -- makes it difficult to recruit senior professors who are looking to join faculties with many colleagues in their own area of specialization, Lustick said. "We have been very successful in recruiting people at the junior level," he noted. He said he hoped to get more junior-level authorizations in the future to build on this strength. The Political Science Department hired three new faculty members last year, including two senior professors. Last week, JosZ Antonio Cheibub, a junior professor, announced he would leave for Yale University this fall. Cheibub said the department was not recruiting enough new faculty in his specialty -- comparative politics -- while Yale has brought in several new professors over the past few years. The Chemistry Department, which until last year had faced difficulties in recruiting senior professors, is recruiting one senior faculty member and no junior professors this year. Chemistry Chairman Hai-Lung Dai said the department, which has 32 faculty members, currently has one candidate under serious consideration, adding, "We are not at the stage of offers yet." The department hired two senior and two junior professors last year and has not lost any of its faculty members to other universities in the past three years, Dai said. The Economics Department is looking to recruit as many as five faculty members this year, though Acting Economics Department Chairman Kenneth Wolpin noted that tough competition for senior professors with other schools may mean that fewer than five will be hired. "We currently have three senior offers out," he said. "All of the senior people we have offers out to have offers from other institutions." Two offers have been made for junior professorships, and one has been accepted by a recent doctoral graduate from the University of Wisconsin specializing in international trade. The Economics Department will not see any faculty departures this year, though it almost lost Professor Frank Diebold, a senior faculty member, to New York University's Stern School of Business earlier this year. After initially accepting an offer from NYU, Diebold decided to stay at Penn. And History Department Chairwoman Lynn Hollen Lees said her department is planning to recruit as many as two junior and two senior professors this year, some in conjunction with other SAS departments. The department has already made a long-term arrangement for Roger Chartier, a professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etude en Sciences Sociales in Paris, to be the Annenberg Visiting Professor of History starting next year. Chartier, an expert in early-modern French cultural history, will divide his time between Paris and Philadelphia for the first few years of his appointment.


Ivy collapse for W. Hoops

(03/06/00 10:00am)

All the Penn women's basketball team had to do was win its three remaining games, hope for a Dartmouth loss on the last day of the season and the Quakers would have won their first-ever Ivy League Championship in addition to earning the right to play for the league's tournament berth. Instead, the Quakers (17-10, 8-5 Ivy League) dropped both of their games this weekend, and -- after spending much of the season on top of the league -- have slipped to third in the standings behind Dartmouth and Harvard. The Quakers have lost five out of their last seven games since defeating Harvard on February 11 to take the league lead. "It was terrible," sophomore forward Julie Epton said. "On both nights, each team came out more intense and motivated than we were." In Providence, R.I., on Friday night, the Quakers led Brown (9-19, 4-10) for most of the game before falling in overtime, 92-83. Both teams exceeded 45 percent shooting in the first half, and Penn led at the break, 43-36. The Quakers had built a 10-point lead with less than 10 minutes left in the game. Brown then began a 9-0 run over a two and a half minute span to pull within one point, 62-61. The Quakers also hurt themselves by shooting a horrendous 7-of-31 from the floor in the second half. "We kept huddling, saying, 'Let's go, let's get it done, let's make a run and end it,'" Penn senior guard Mandy West said. "But we didn't have that competitive edge or that spark in us to do it. Then they got the refs and the crowd behind them, and it made it difficult." The Bears found their competitive edge just in time, as they took their first lead of the game with 2:02 remaining. Nineteen seconds later, the Bears had a four-point lead. West and her fellow tri-captain Diana Caramanico each hit two free throws to knot the game at 74 and send the game to overtime. For the first two minutes, neither team scored. West hit a three-pointer with 1:24 left to give the Quakers their final lead of the game, as they were outscored by the Bears 18-9 in the extra period. "Even when we were up, I felt like we didn't have that attitude," Epton said. "We sort of felt like Brown had the momentum, even though we were leading." West led the Quakers with a career-high 35 points. Caramanico scored 25 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for her 11th consecutive double-double. It's 100 miles from Providence to New Haven, Conn., so the Quakers had about two hours to ponder the Ivy title that was rapidly slipping out of their grasp. Dartmouth won on Friday night, so Penn was two games back with two to play. However, the Quakers claim that the only thing on their minds was their showdown with the Elis. "We came out with the attitude that we really needed to win this game," West said. Indeed, Yale and Penn went back and forth throughout the night, but unlike Friday, the Quakers were trailing for most of the game and were never really able to overtake the Elis, as they fell 82-81. The Quakers took a 14-12 lead with 12:19 left in the first half, but the Elis took advantage of six Quakers turnovers to go on a 19-2 run and take their biggest lead of the game at 31-16. The Red and Blue clawed back -- despite the fact that Caramanico spent 11 minutes on the bench with three fouls -- and trailed at halftime by five. "Our forwards especially got into [foul] trouble really early on," West said. "Which is really bad because then you start playing tentative on defense." The Quakers grabbed their final lead of the game, 81-80, with 23 seconds left. After allowing a layup by Elis forward Alyson Miller, the Quakers were unable to score in the game's final seconds. While Caramanico managed to score 20 points in 28 minutes, the Quakers were led once again by West, who had 34 points on the night. She was 6-of-9 from downtown and 12-for-19 overall. West finished the weekend with 69 points, but she wasn't pleased. "Obviously, I would rather have half as many points and walk away with two wins," she said. "The fact that I scored didn't really make me feel any better."


Blood drive fills urgent need

(03/06/00 10:00am)

College senior Alexis Allen sat in the common room of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity on Thursday, affixing to her shirt a small American Red Cross pin -- her reward for giving a gallon of blood over her lifetime. "I was all excited," said Allen, a Chi Omega sister who started giving blood when she was 17. "I was waiting for this." About 60 Greeks and non-Greeks gave blood at Phi Kap last week as part of the InterFraternity Council and Panhellenic Council's first joint Red Cross blood drive. The IFC held a blood drive last spring, and individual fraternities and sororities have held drives, but this is the first year IFC and Panhel have collaborated. According to IFC Vice President for Community Service Mark Zimring, who helped organize the event, IFC and Panhel decided to hold the drive because the Red Cross blood supply was running very low -- unexpected winter storms and a particularly bad flu season depleted the supply, he said. "It's an easy way to make an impact in the community and save some lives," Zimring said. "I'd like to see it become an annual event." Panhel Civic Committee Co-chair Jenny Turner, an Alpha Chi Omega sister and another of the drive's organizers, said the blood drive was an attempt to change their community service tactics from fundraisers to more intensive efforts. "We're trying to get the Greek community involved in giving of themselves," said Turner, a College junior. Turner's co-chair, Delta Delta Delta sister Lisa Zigarmi, agreed. "[We're looking to do] more hands-on work -- not so much fundraisers but involvement within the community," the College sophomore said. Like Allen, many of the other blood donors at Phi Kap had given blood before. For College freshman and Phi Sigma Sigma pledge Jamie Rosenthal, yesterday was her third donation. "It's a good cause," she said. "I have enough to go around." Rosenthal also offered advice to people donating blood for the first time. "It's not bad," she said. "You may be scared that you have a needle in you for 10 minutes, but just relax. It's a time to think about things -- you can't do anything else." College freshman Amanda Sadacca -- who had given blood three times before -- agreed. "It's not scary at all," the Alpha Chi pledge said. "Just eat a lot before and after -- which for most people isn't a problem." This year's drive drew about 20 more donors than last year's, which was co-sponsored by the American Red Cross and the IFC and held at the St. Elmo's fraternity. According to Zimring, the Greeks hope to get even more students to donate blood next year by advertising to more of the campus. "We want to involve not only the Greek community, but the entire University," he said.


M. Swimming earns ninth place at EISLs

(03/06/00 10:00am)

It was a weekend of record breaking, personal bests and the only individual first-place finish at the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming Championships since 1996 for the Penn men's swimming team. The Quakers finished ninth in the ten-team field, earning 516 points. Harvard too top honors with 1,468 points. Despite the ninth-place finish, the focus of the weekend was on the individual accomplishments of the Penn swimmers. "Kenneth Goh won the 100 [yard] breast. That's only the third guy we've had win since 1971. Spencer Driscoll yesterday morning in the 200 fly went really, really fast," Penn coach Mike Schnur said. "Our 200 medley relay broke the school record. Kenneth broke the school record in the 200 breast. He was very instrumental in the 400 medley relay where we got fourth. In a medley, we've never finished higher than that." Penn ended Thursday with some strong finishes, but not enough points to rise above ninth place. A seventh-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay, a fourth-place finish in the 400 medley relay and a 15th-place finish by Jon Maslow in the 50 free were the highlights of the day for the Quakers. On Friday, Penn roared ahead to end the day in seventh place. The Quakers continued their strong relay performances with a fifth-place finish in the 200 medley relay and a seventh-place finish in the 800 free relay. Penn proved strong in the 100 back as well, with a seventh-place finish by Matt Reilly, followed by a 11th-place finish by Kevin Pope and a 13th-place finish by Maslow. Driscoll had a ninth-place finish in the 400 IM, followed closely by Ian Bowman at 14th. The highlight of Friday's races was unquestionably the victorious finish by Goh in the 100 breaststroke. Goh broke the Penn school record with a time of 55.83, which qualified him to be considered for a coveted place at the NCAA Championships in late March. He was 0.42 seconds away from automatically qualifying for NCAAs. This is the first time Penn has had a first-place finisher at EISLs since 1996, when Jeff Brown won the 500 free and 200 fly. Goh took second place last year at EISLs in the 100 breast with a time of 57.37, 1/100th of a second away from the 12-year-old school record he finally broke on Friday. Despite strong performances by the Quakers on Saturday, they slipped back to ninth place, losing to rivals Army and Cornell by 10 and 69 points, respectively. Reilly finished sixth in the 200 back, while Driscoll finished sixth in the 200 fly. The 400 free relay finished off the meet with a seventh-place finish. Although Penn ended the meet second-to-last overall, they were seventh in swimming events. The Quakers were ultimately hurt by a lack of diving points. Sophomore Matt Cornell started the season with a broken wrist, and from there it has been an uphill battle for him and senior Mike Previti. Cornell and Previti have faced larger and better trained diving teams, and their EISL finish was a testament to the difficulty of their struggle against their competitors this year. Penn was only able to amass seven points over the course of the meet, with the winner of each diving event receiving 32. The strong performances this year by Penn swimmers bode well for next year and, with some work on the diving and continued improvement by the returning squad, the ever-optimistic Schnur is confident that the Quakers can break into the top five in the EISL next year.


SHALL WE DANCE? The Quakers clinch an Ivy title and NCAA berth

(03/06/00 10:00am)

For the second time in as many years, the Penn men's basketball team is champion of the Ivy League and headed to the NCAA Tournament. The Quakers swept this weekend's games against Brown and Yale to capture the title, enabling the Red and Blue to cut down the nets at home in the Palestra for the first time in six years. "I think it's a job well done by a bunch of kids who have worked hard all year long," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "I'm happy for the seniors in particular, but for the group as a whole. It's just a culmination of a long, hard fight." And while the wins were a total team effort, it was the seniors, playing in their last regular season weekend of their careers, who stole the show. On Friday against the Bears, Penn fourth-year center Geoff Owens -- who will petition the Ivy League for a fifth year of eligibility since he missed his sophomore season with a medical condition -- had perhaps his best game as a Quaker. Owens scored a career-high 22 points, grabbed 11 boards and tied a personal high with six blocked shots. The 6'11" Owens had his way with players in the Brown frontcourt that were five inches smaller than he is. The Quakers started off dominating Brown, sinking nine of their first 12 shots from the field. Penn jumped out to a 23-7 lead featuring solid play from the inside and outside. Both Owens and forward Ugonna Onyekwe had points in the paint, which enabled guards Matt Langel and Michael Jordan to get open looks at three-pointers. This balanced attack helped the Quakers to take a 46-26 lead at the half. The second stanza began with a 12-5 Penn run, and the Red and Blue never looked back, eventually beating the Bears, 85-62. Owens might have had a career night, but the Penn co-captains were impressive as well. Jordan was 4-for-7 from three-point land, scoring 19. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Langel hit on 4-of-10 from beyond the arc and dished out seven assists. Both backcourt players credit Owens with opening up the offense as well as improving the defense. "The difference playing defense from my sophomore to my junior year was huge knowing that there was a legitimate seven-footer back there who was such a defensive presence," Langel said. "We know we have a post player and that adds to our team offensively as well." While Friday night was an important win, the weekend's focus was on Saturday against the Elis. With a win against Yale, the Quakers would clinch the Ivy title. A loss meant that Penn needed a victory on Tuesday against Princeton to gain a berth into the NCAA Tournament. Clearly, the Quakers wanted to take care of things this weekend. Penn jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead, highlighted by Frank Brown, who scored six of the Quakers' first 12 points. Brown had a quiet night Friday, but dominated against Yale, hitting 6-of-12 from the field and all three of his free throw attempts. "Frank was unbelievable early," Dunphy said. "He came through shot after shot when we were struggling a bit. I am real happy to see him step up and see him end his career the way he is ending it." Despite the Quakers shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half, the Elis managed to claw back and stay within eight at 29-21 at halftime. Both teams came out hot after intermission. Yale guards Chris Leanza and Onaje Woodbine hit two three-pointers each to bring the Elis within two points with just over 13 minutes left in the contest. "I thought it was close the whole game," Yale coach James Jones said. "We kept fighting. The game was never out of hand. I thought we had a chance to do some good things, and if a call or two goes our way, we might have had a different result." The Quakers were able to counter the Yale attack, as Jordan stormed right back down the court to nail a three. Onyekwe then stole the ball on Yale's next trip down the court, was fouled and sunk 1-of-2 free throws. After another Yale turnover, Onyekwe was fouled again and this time hit both from the foul line. Owens then followed that score with a tip-in off a Langel miss to put the Quakers up by 10. Penn never looked back from there. "We got a couple of good stops and pushed the ball down and scored," Jordan said about the series of plays that stopped the Elis run. "Ugonna had a basket and a foul; Frank made a couple of shots; the guys on the team just made some plays." With about five minutes left in the game, when it was clear that the Quakers would be victorious, the 5,706 in attendance began to chant "Ivy Champs." As the final buzzer sounded, the fans stormed the court to celebrate with the players, something most fans could not do last year when Penn won the title away at Princeton. Moments later, the team returned from the locker room sporting "Back 2 Back Ivy Champions" T-shirts. The crowd gathered around the basket as each player climbed a ladder to cut down and take a piece of the net. The last player, Jordan, the odds-on favorite to win Ivy League Player of the Year award, jumped up and sat on the basket prompting the crowd to chant "MVP." "It's a great feeling to cut down the net in front of the Palestra faithful," Jordan said. "We're just happy they were here to enjoy it with us." Despite the team reaching the goal of becoming Ivy champions, the Quakers still have their hearts set on beating Princeton tomorrow night at the Palestra. A win would make the Red and Blue undefeated in the Ivy League for the first time since 1995.


Politics brings students together

(03/06/00 10:00am)

Maybe nothing brings Penn students together like the promise of free food and the opportunity to participate in political discussions. Last Tuesday evening, both the College Republicans and the Penn College Democrats held informal meetings open to anyone interested in the upcoming presidential and senatorial races. The College Republicans met in the main lounge of Harnwell College House for their bi-weekly "Pizza and Politics" function, which coincided with the GOP primaries in Virginia, Washington and North Dakota -- all of which were won by the frontrunner, Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Still, watching the returns of the primaries on television was not the only thing on the agenda. Instead, the question of the hour for the divided College Republicans was whether to support Bush or Arizona Sen. John McCain, who received an added boost two weeks ago when he won the Arizona and Michigan primaries on the same day. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, with 13 states -- including New York, California and Ohio -- holding their primaries. College senior Dahlia Morrone, who is not a registered Republican but came to the meeting because she is "interested in the presidential race," said she believed McCain "appeals to college students and a more diverse group." Vice Chairwoman of the College Republicans Marion Huie, a College senior, said many may side with McCain because "he's an underdog." She said she feels some perceive that, "Bush stands for the Republican machine." For the most part, though, there was excitement over finally having a heated race for the Republican nomination. "Who could have imagined back in August that we would have a race now?" Wharton sophomore Adrian Jones asked. "We've never had two candidates who were so viable," he added. Toward the other end of campus at the Quadrangle's McClelland Hall, the Penn College Democrats offered not food but an actual candidate in the upcoming senatorial primaries in Pennsylvania. Bob Rovner, former state senator and Bucks County lawyer, joined seven students for an informal discussion of his campaign. Rovner is hoping to do well in the April 4 primary election against several other Democrats vying for the chance to face off with freshman Sen. Rick Santorum. The issues he stressed included women's rights and abortion. In terms of the presidential race, Rovner said he supports Vice President Al Gore, but feels a ticket featuring both Gore and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley would be very strong. "I see a lot of good people working for Bradley," he said. The Penn College Democrats have been hosting many candidates from the upcoming primaries, but club officer Max Cantor, a College freshman, said that the group is "100 percent impartial." "Apathy is going down amongst Penn students," Cantor said, pointing specifically to the recent sit-in of University President Judith Rodin's office by Penn Students Against Sweatshops. Though there were not many substantive issues that the two political groups could have agreed upon Wednesday evening, Cantor said he thinks the two organizations succeeded in unifying for the purpose of voter awareness.