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.
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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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Penn clinched the Ivy title in front of the Palestra faithful. After clinching the Ivy League title and ensuring themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, the members of the Penn men's basketball team did what they'd been waiting their entire collegiate careers to do -- cut down the nets in front of 5,000 cheering fans in the historic Palestra. Penn has not clinched a championship in the storied confines of its home arena since 1994, so even for seniors Michael Jordan, Matt Langel and Frank Brown, climbing the ladder on Saturday night was a novel experience. "It feels especially good for me because it's my fifth year," Brown said. "We were co-champions my freshman year, so to finally win in front of all these great fans that we have at the Palestra -- it's just a great feeling." The weekend's victories over Brown and Yale gave Penn a 13-0 Ivy record and an insurmountable two-game lead over Princeton. The win over Yale on Saturday gives Penn a 20-7 record for the year with one game left. After early season struggles, including an embarrassing 105-59 blowout loss to Kansas on January 4 and nonconference losses to national powerhouses Kentucky, Auburn and Temple as well as to Penn State and Villanova , the Quakers are now riding a 15-game winning streak – the second longest streak in Division I. The team's final game is tommorrow, against the hated Princeton Tigers in a sold-out Palestra. Despite the insignificance of the game in terms of the league championship, the Quakers are clearly gunning for their perennial archrival. "A lot of teams have won championships, but not a lot of teams have gone undefeated in the league. That's something that's hard to do," Langel said. Jordan, the team's star point guard whose 1,571 points rank him third on the Penn men's basketball all time list, certainly got into the celebration. After most pieces of the net had been distributed, the senior took what was left of it, climbed up on the naked rim and swung the net around like he was training for a rodeo as spectators screamed "M-V-P" for the Ivies' dominant player. The "M-V-P" cheer for Jordan was popular throughout Penn's season, along with the traditional "Let's Go Quakers," various pleas for cheesesteaks and the infamous airball chant. "Our fans are really great. They have come through basically all year long for us," said Quakers head coach Fran Dunphy, who has now won five Ivy League titles in his 11 years at Penn. "There are a lot of loyal people who love Penn basketball and I think it shows every time we play." The Quakers just have to look behind their own bench to find one such loyal fan. Susan Arenschield, whose father was a former Penn assistant athletic director, has perfected her "Go Frankie!" shout for Brown. "I've been rooting for him for five years for no reason," Arenschield said. "I've never met him, I just think he does better when I scream for him. He knows someone's out there. My mom and I come to every game. She's been coming for 80 years." Another Penn fan who is hard to miss is College junior Alex Moskowitz, who paints his face red and blue for every game. "We're going to the tourney and we're going to win a game, baby," Moskowitz said. "We're going to win at least one." And an NCAA Tournament victory would please College senior Ryan Orr. He said that at this point in his career as a Penn fan, rushing the court after winning an Ivy championship leaves something to be desired. "I've done it three times, and it's getting old. We need to win a tournament game before anybody gets really excited," Orr said. Others would beg to differ, though. "I mean, winning the Ivy League championship -- it's awesome to see the crowd so excited," Wharton senior Steve Rubin said. "When they get loud and then all of the sudden it's deafening out there and everyone runs out on the court -- it's the best." The Quakers now look toward the NCAA Tournament, where they hope to go further than last year in Seattle, when they made an early first-round exit with a loss to Florida. This year, possible first-round venues include Buffalo, N.Y.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Tucson, Ariz.; Cleveland; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Birmingham, Ala. The tournament bracket will be announced on Sunday.
George Stephanopoulos, now a political analyst for ABC, will come to Penn on March 28 as Connaissance's spring speaker. White House aide-turned-TV pundit George Stephanopoulos will speak at Penn this month just days before the Pennsylvania presidential primaries, Connaissance announced yesterday. Scheduled to talk to the Penn community about his career and the state of American politics, Stephanopoulos will deliver an address entitled "Politics: The Art of the Impossible -- A View From Washington," March 28 at 7 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium. "The big draw of Stephanopoulos this year is that this year is an election year," said Connaissance Co-director Nishchay Maskay, a College junior. "With the Pennsylvania presidential primaries coming up just one week later, I believe his speech with have some bearing on the Republican side as well," Connaissance co-director Theo LeCompte added. Stephanopoulos worked as deputy campaign manager for President Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992 and acted as senior advisor for policy and strategy during the Clinton administration. He left the White House in 1996 for a career as a political pundit. Since leaving politics, Stephanopoulos has been a critic of the president, especially on his conduct during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Currently on the faculty of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, Stephanopoulos also acts as an analyst for ABC News. He has also written a book about his years with Clinton. Connaissance, which hosts two speakers each academic year, usually chooses one politically based guest and one from a different field. Past guests have included author Gloria Steinem, talk show host Conan O'Brien and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. This year is an exception to that standard, however. After hosting former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the fall, the group chose to invite yet another political figure in light of the upcoming elections. "They are different enough political figures that it provides a good mix," Maskay said. Students reactions to Stephanopoulos' impending visit were generally positive. "It is more interesting to hear a political figure speak than a comedian or actor," College senior Josh Karetny said. "They generally have more important things to say." And Patrick Ruffini, a College senior, said, "Penn is very good at getting a lot of world leaders and not as many people from the American political scene." Tickets for the event are $3 each and available only to PennCard holders. There is a limit of two tickets per PennCard. They will be for sale on Locust Walk Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 23.
The male student, found in critical condition, is expected to recover fully. A male University freshman suffering from alcohol poisoning was hospitalized in critical condition early yesterday morning, marking the most serious known alcohol-related incident of the academic year. According to University Police Chief Maureen Rush, the student -- who is expected to recover fully -- was in extremely poor condition when paramedics arrived at the scene and extensive measures had to be taken to stabilize him before he was transported to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia paramedics and University Police officers responded to the location in an unspecified Quadrangle residence after they were alerted by a call at about 3 a.m. "Fire and rescue took him to HUP and he was then transferred to the intensive care unit," Rush said. "[The paramedics] had to take some extreme measures to make sure he was OK." The student was unconscious for much of yesterday, regaining consciousness later in the afternoon. "I'm very pleased to report that he is conscious and they're going to keep him overnight to keep an eye on him," Associate Vice Provost for University Life Juana Lewis said yesterday. "We're out of the woods from a medical perspective." Police and University officials said they will now begin investigating where the 18-year-old freshman acquired a quantity of alcohol large enough to endanger his life. "If we have students who are getting into these dangerous underage drinking situations, then the people who are supplying the alcohol are responsible," Rush said. "We will be working with VPUL to determine how an underage person got that drunk." She added, however, that University Police have no intention of prosecuting the student or any individuals who may have been with him. "We're not looking to do any prosecution of him or anyone else," Rush said. "No one should ever think that if they're with someone who is intoxicated they should be concerned about getting in trouble for reporting that person is sick. Our goal is not getting people in trouble, it's saving their lives." Yesterday's incident is the most severe alcohol-related incident of the 11 known hospitalizations since September. Excessive drinking has been a major issue at Penn over the past few years, especially since the death of 1994 College graduate Michael Tobin after an alcohol-induced fall down a set of stairs at the former Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house last March. Tobin's death ignited a campus-wide debate on the University's alcohol policy, which was significantly revised by a group of administrators and students last spring. Following yesterday's incident, Alcohol Policy Coordinator Stephanie Ives expressed concern for the student involved but confidence that problems involving alcohol abuse are being effectively curbed at the University. "We're very, very concerned about him and his family and friends and how the community will deal with this," Ives said. "We're continuing on our path in bringing about cultural change and doing what we can to prevent these kinds of episodes in the future."
Penn will hold off on joining a monitoring group until certain conditions are met. University President Judith Rodin agreed yesterday to accept in full the recommendations that the Ad Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor released this week. The committee recommended that Penn join one or both of the factory-monitoring organizations for school-logo apparel -- the Fair Labor Association and the Worker Rights Consortium -- if the groups agree to give greater representation on their boards of directors to academic institutions. Penn is currently a member of neither organization after withdrawing from the FLA two weeks ago. Members of Penn Students Against Sweatshops demanded in a nine-day sit-in last month that the University leave the FLA in favor of the WRC, which they believe is less beholden to corporate interests. The WRC currently has about 12 schools on board, including five that joined this week. The FLA has more than 130 colleges and universities among its members. Rodin said yesterday that she is sending letters to both groups requesting greater representation for colleges and universities and "would be very surprised if they didn't seek our response readily." "Certainly one representative on the FLA is not sufficient, and so we would like to see their response," she said. "And the same from the WRC, that indeed has more college and university representation, but not in the committee's opinion -- and not in mine -- a sufficient amount." The fledgling WRC currently plans to allocate about one fourth of its board seats to academic institutions. In the recommendations, the committee noted that it hopes for a speedy response from the WRC and the FLA, especially because the WRC founding conference will be on April 7. "I agree, as you suggest, that it would be in [workers'] best interests if we could work with both the Fair Labor Association and the Worker Rights Consortium if they respectively agree to balanced representation of colleges and universities on their governing boards," Rodin wrote in a letter to Howard Kunreuther, the committee's chairman. In the letter, Rodin said she will ask the committee for further advice on how to proceed after receiving responses from the FLA and WRC. Rodin's decision comes after several weeks marked by anti-sweatshop protests at schools across the country. More than 300 students at Yale University rallied on Tuesday, asking their administration to leave the FLA and join the WRC. PSAS member Susan Casey, a College of General Studies student and member of the Penn task force, said she was not surprised by Rodin's decision to accept all of the committee's recommendations. However, Casey emphasized that the committee's work was just the first step in a long-term process. She said she would prefer that the University join the WRC and withhold its membership from the FLA until the FLA agrees to more than just changes in the way it is controlled. "There are so many issues that are more important," she said. "I don't know that I'm necessarily happy about the fact that she is taking up these recommendations." Casey added committee members' decisions to vote for the group's final report "doesn't necessarily mean that everybody's real happy with it," but that she thought the code of conduct for apparel manufacturers included in the committee's report was very strong. Religious Studies Department Chairman Stephen Dunning, another committee member, said he was pleased by Rodin's decision, noting that the committee worked very hard to create its recommendations. Dunning said the long-term recommendations of the committee, especially its plan to set up a committee of students, faculty and staff members to "monitor the monitors," were more important than its short-term suggestions. "Both organizations look like they are subject to being controlled by interests" other than the factory workers, he said -- the FLA by corporations and the WRC by the unions that helped start it. "The groups present very different advantages," Dunning noted, adding that committee members all agreed on the basic ideas behind ending sweatshop abuses but had specific concerns about each monitoring group's effectiveness. The code of conduct included as a part of the committee's final report will undergo a period of public review for comment through March 22 and will be formally presented to University Council by Rodin on March 24.
After a sixth-place finish at Heptagonals, the Quakers' best will try to excel at Harvard in IC4As. The reason why the Penn men's track team was not all that upset with its sixth-place finish at the Heptagonal Championships last week is the same reason it is optimistic for IC4As this weekend. The individual talent is there. Though the Quakers only placed in the middle of the pack at last week's Heps at Dartmouth, a number of Penn athletes turned in brilliant performances. And IC4As, this year being held at Harvard, provides just the right spotlight for these stars. All participants in IC4As must surpass a designated standard for their particular event in order to qualify. Though still a team meet, this is where each school has the opportunity to showcase its top talent. Penn will send fewer athletes than usual to this year's competition, but it is excited about those who will be present. One such individual is sophomore phenom Tuan Wreh, who qualified for both the triple and long jump events very early in the season. And he made quite an impression in Hanover, N.H., last week. Wreh shattered a 22-year-old Heps record when he triple jumped 52'2", establishing a new personal best by some 20 inches in the process. The Rockville, Md., native's teammates enjoy watching him compete and know that he will continue to improve on what are already outstanding accomplishments. "Tuan hasn't hit his best mark yet," said senior pole vaulter Bob Reynolds, who added that since Wreh is likely to participate in nationals the following week, "this is another stepping stone [for him]." Reynolds has much to be proud of in his own right, as does the entire vaulting corps. Four Penn pole vaulters will make the journey to Harvard, making this the best represented of the Quakers' field event squads. "I feel like I can jump 16 [feet] on any given day," said Reynolds, who qualified for IC4As in the season opener at Princeton with a clearance of 16'1". He says that 16'6" is his target this weekend at Cambridge, Mass. Reynolds is not the only athlete who knows he needs to have a career day in order to make some noise. Sophomore distance runner Matt Gioffre, who will run in the 3,000-meter race, realizes that he probably needs to set a personal record in Saturday's qualifying round just to survive until the finals on Sunday. While Penn was optimistic about competing for a Heps title, it understands that the 104-team field at IC4As brings a greater challenge. "Winning in IC4As is a much more difficult task," Gioffre said. Teams from all over the East Coast will be at Harvard, including traditional powerhouses Georgetown and Navy, the latter a long-time league nemesis for the Quakers. For Wreh and senior thrower Matt Pagliasotti, who could easily win his event, the competition at IC4As may just be a lead-in to nationals. But for the others, IC4As will serve as a measuring stick heading into the outdoor season, which begins on March 25 with the Quaker Invitational at Franklin Field.
For the Penn women's fencing team, the regular season is over. Now it's crunch time. The Quakers (8-8) will travel to Yale this weekend to begin the postseason with the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championship. The two-day meet begins with a team tournament tomorrow in which the Red and Blue will square off against 12 other schools. The top fencers will then qualify for the individual tournament, which will take place Sunday. Of the 12 teams that Penn will be going against, the Quakers defeated five in the regular dual-meet season, while coming up short against five others. They did not fence against the other two schools -- Boston College and Vassar. However, the structure of IFAs differs markedly from that of previous dual meets. In the regular season, each fencer would fence all three of her opponents with a certain weapon. In the IFAs, however, each fencer is seeded A, B or C (based on skill level) and goes against the fencer paired against her from the opposing school. That being the case, each athlete will fence 12 bouts on the day, and each weapon squad will fence 36. The overall victor is then determined by the combined record of all three weapons. While the Quakers lost to five of the schools that will be in New Haven, they still believe they can place very well. While Penn's goal is to take home the whole enchilada, they realistically expect to finish in at least the top four or five. "Our people are good enough to get a good result," Penn coach Dave Micahnik said. "The top third is a realistic goal?. Anything better than that is wonderful." But while many have high expectations, Penn's freshmen, who have been an integral part of the team this year, are not quite sure what to expect in what will be their first collegiate postseason tournament. "I'm really nervous, because it's a really tough field," epeeist Kim Linton said. Nevertheless, the newcomers are looking forward to the event. "I don't really know what to expect, but I think the days will be long and challenging," foilist Stacey Wertlieb said. "And they will probably serve as good indicators for how well we match up to opposing upperclassmen." And while the freshmen will be fencing in their first postseason tournament, it will be the last for Penn's four seniors. "Careers are winding down for some, while taking off for others," Micahnik said. But newcomers and veterans alike will have to come together to try and put an exclamation mark on their 1999-2000 season. "There is no other competition like this in the country," senior captain Heba Abdulla said. "It's a very prestigious honor to win this tournament and a great way to culminate the season."
There has never been a Penn gymnastics graduating class quite like this one. In the four seasons that these Quakers have been at Penn, the team has had unprecedented success. Four Ivy Classic titles in as many years, with each team score breaking the Classic record. Two individual Classic championships. One ECAC Championship. Three ECAC individual champions. Come tomorrow afternoon meet's against Wilson College, seniors Becky Nadler, Kirby Thorpe, Joci Newman and captain Lizzie Jacobson will compete in the last home dual meet of the season and their Penn careers. "I think this meet has special meaning for us seniors because it's the last time we'll ever be competing in Hutch," Nadler said. With that motivation, the focus of the team remains not only on Saturday's meet, but the ECAC Championships, hosted this year by the Quakers on March 18. "The meet should help us to hone and perfect our skills and gather more confidence before heading into the ECACs," Penn freshman Veena Abraham said. Coming off a strong showing at the Ivy Classic, the Quakers are looking forward to using that momentum to carry them through the rest of the season. That is not to say, however, that they are satiated by their accomplishments thus far. "As nice as Ivies was, we can definitely improve on our performances, and we are looking forward to doing that in the next three weeks," Thorpe said. Season-long consistency has kept the Red and Blue confident, and by seemingly hitting their stride beginning last month with victories against Brown and Temple and culminating with a first-place finish at the Classic, they are now focused on maintaining the routines that have worked for them of late. "Everyone has been hitting solid, clean routines at practice and the more solid we are at practice, the more likely we are to hit routines at meets and that's what we need to do consistently until the end of the season," Abraham said. In addition, the ECACs are looming ever closer on the horizon and the Quakers realize they must finish the season strongly in order to be in good position for the championship. "Just because Ivies is over doesn't mean our season is. We still have one more championship meet and two other meets [Wilson tomorrow and the Wolfpack Invitational next Saturday] that we would like to do well in. We stay focused by keeping in mind that ECACs is soon and we need to be prepared," Nadler said. For now, though, the Quakers just want to enjoy the rest of the season and take every challenge as it presents itself. "Every meet is a chance to give it our best effort and go for a good score, no matter what," Jacobson said. "The lineup may change or be the same, but we never think less of any meets. We are still thinking of our regional qualifying score [which determines the ranking of the team at the ECACs]." Expect the last dual meet at Hutch tomorrow to provide plenty of solid gymnastics and a fond farewell to one of the most successful graduating classes in Quakers history.
With the women's indoor track season all but over, a few talented Quakers will get an opportunity to go head to head against some of the nation's best college athletes at the ECAC Championships this weekend. For most of the team, last weekend's disappointing last-place finish at the Heptagonal Championships was the final meet of the season. However, four Penn athletes will compete in the prestigious tournament this weekend in Boston. Bassey Adjah, Ruthie Neuhaus, Liz Wittels and Ami Desai met the difficult qualifying standards in their events to earn the right to compete on Saturday and Sunday. With the abundance of talent that will be present in Boston, these skilled Quakers definitely have their work cut out for them. "It isn't easy to even qualify for this meet, so this is a very elite field," Penn assistant coach Tony Tenisci said. "It is a step above Heps, so it can be a little intimidating, but our girls are ready and thrilled to be a part of it." With more freshmen on the team than head coach Betty Costanza can shake a stick at, this Quakers squad has been plagued by a severe lack of experience and depth. For perhaps the first time all season, this shouldn't play a role in the upcoming meet. All four Quakers competing are upperclassmen, and only Wittels is a sophomore. "This is a great opportunity for us to shine against some awesome competition," Tenisci said. "We obviously didn't do as well as we had hoped at Heps, but we also had some girls perform well at Heps and throughout the season. The ones that are going to Boston deserve to be there and have a chance to be part of something special." This meet could be very challenging both mentally and physically for the Penn athletes. For those competing on Saturday, this will be the ninth straight weekend competition. Also, the grueling two-day format of Heps had to take a toll on the team. "They were all pretty exhausted after the weekend," Tenisci said. "So we've been doing our best to help them out and give them some down time. They only had one hard workout this past week, so we're confident that they're ready to go." One advantage the Penn athletes will have is that no Quaker is competing in more than one event. This not only means that fatigue will be less of a factor, but also that each Penn athlete's preparation can be more targeted. "I am definitely a bit fatigued after Heps and all the other meets we've had," Adjah said. "But I don't think that it will be too much of a factor because I can focus all my energy on the long jump." The Penn pole vaulters could provide some excitement this weekend. Desai placed second last year at the ECACs, and Wittels, who was seventh last season, has been on a tear of late, breaking the school record three times in the span of a month. If Penn is to be successful at ECACs, it is important that the team does not get caught up in the scenery. With so much talent in the field, the Penn athletes seem to understand the importance of focusing on their own performances. "It would obviously be great to place in this meet, but that isn't really my goal," Adjah said. "My goal is just to improve on my own jumping and not worry about everyone else." Some strong individual performances at ECACs may help the team to forget a less than memorable Heps.
Huntsman Hall, the Wharton School's six-story, 320,000-square-foot business education complex, will finish on time but at a cost $9 million more than originally expected, officials said. University officials attributed the steep expense increase to a tight construction market across the region. The increase brings the total cost of the project to nearly $140 million. Vice President for Facilities Services Omar Blaik said the original estimates made over the summer were too low to cover construction expenses. "We went out to five construction companies to ask for five prices on construction costs -- all of the prices came in in a very close range and all were above the estimates for the project," Blaik said. The University Trustees approved the first estimates in the summer, but at their meeting last month, they approved the increased budget. The building -- named for Wharton alumnus Jon Huntsman, who donated $40 million to the project -- is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2002. It will house a 500-seat auditorium, classrooms for undergraduate and MBA students, administrative offices and four academic departments. Blaik said that the amount of construction going on across the region has resulted in heightened costs. Huntsman Hall was affected to a much greater degree than other campus construction because of the size of the project, he said. Craig Thomas, a senior economist with the economics research firm Dismal Science Inc., based in West Chester, Pa., said that a tight labor market has contributed to an increase in construction costs. "Skilled construction workers are particularly scarce and that's because we've had a booming construction market," he said. Thomas also indicated that costs of certain construction materials, such as drywall and steel, had recently increased. "After the Asian currency market [crisis], all commodities saw significant price drops," he said. "But now with the Asian economy [recovering]? you no longer have those very cheap commodities and steel is one of the commodities that has been affected." Scott Douglass, Wharton's senior vice president for administration and finance, said that despite the increased expenses, the project's costs would still be covered entirely by funds obtained by Wharton. "Several years ago, the school received a major gift that the donor has subsequently 'reallocated' to Huntsman Hall," Douglass wrote in an e-mail. "In addition the school has always known that a portion of the cost would be covered by operating surpluses in executive education, as well as discretionary funds available to the dean." Douglass said the project was a few days behind schedule due to snow earlier in the year, but is expected to be back on schedule by mid-April. "That sort of thing is to be expected in a project of this size," Douglass said. "[We are] very pleased with the status of the project."
Penn outsourced management of its facilities to the Dallas-based firm just two years ago. Nearly two years after Penn entered into a groundbreaking but controversial outsourcing agreement, officials announced yesterday that the University will resume management its on-campus facilities -- abruptly restructuring a deal that had been touted as the first of its kind. As part of a new, six-year contract with Trammell Crow Co., both sides agreed to take away some of the responsibilities that the Dallas-based management firm assumed in a highly contentious 1997 move that drew fire from University faculty and staff. Under the terms of the restructured agreement, Trammell Crow will continue to manage Penn's for-profit real estate arm and focus on the management of large-scale construction projects -- which it had been doing before the 1998 deal. But while the deal includes a contract for Trammell Crow to manage University City Associates for the next 10 years, the firm will no longer be in charge of day-to-day operations, such as housekeeping and maintenance, for on-campus facilities. Penn will resume control over the management of its on-campus facilities and will rehire the 75 current Trammell Crow managers, offering them comparable positions, salaries and benefit packages. In financial terms, the restructured deal will reduce the cost of services that Trammell provides from about $18 million to $11 million, Vice President for Facilities Services and Contract Management Omar Blaik said. And the $26 million lump-sum payment that Penn was promised by Trammell Crow for taking part in its first attempt to outsource a higher-education institution will also be cut in half to about $13 million, according to Executive Vice President John Fry. Fry, who spearheaded the outsourcing deal more than two years ago, insisted that this latest development is not a total repudiation of the initial agreement. "It's a mid-course adjustment on ways we can improve things," said Fry, who earned the enmity of many in the Penn community for going forward with the plan without consulting those who were to be affected. Still, University President Judith Rodin acknowledged that poor performance on the part of Trammell Crow had caused the change. "We need to take responsibilities for maintenance," Rodin said. "Despite the fact that it is not our core strength, it is indeed our core responsibility. And when we don't see it going as well as we would like, of course the only default is to take it back ourselves." Trammell Crow Higher Education Services Executive Vice President Bob Chagres said the new agreement would only help Penn and Trammell Crow work together better. "Generally speaking, long-term contractual relationships go through modifications based on the practical realities of the day to day," he said. For the past two years, Trammell Crow has been providing the University with services under year-long agreements as they worked to get approval from the Internal Revenue Services for a 10-year contract. But with this year's contract set to expire in July, University officials decided to sit down at the bargaining table with Trammell Crow in confidential negotiations to hammer out a new contract that they hope will rectify the problems in housekeeping, maintenance response time and overall efficiency. According to Fry, University management of on-campus facilities will focus on making its employees more responsive to daily concerns. "Our work-orders will take place in 24 hours instead of 72 hours," Fry said. "The impact I am looking for is service." Although Fry said Penn will continue using Trammell Crow's decentralized, organizational structure, the new University management will concentrate on deploying staff more efficiently. "It's one thing to design an organization, and it is another thing to implement it," Fry said. "Direct management of University employees is the best way to go. Trammell Crow was seen as a layer between the University and University-managed, union employees." When the Trammell Crow outsourcing was first announced in the fall of 1997, members of the University community responded in outrage. A special session of University Council was called to discuss the situation, and the body passed a resolution asking the Board of Trustees to reject the deal. And nearly 200 staff members rallied on College Green in an unsuccessful 11th-hour attempt to persuade the Trustees to rethink the proposal. For the past 21 months, many Trammell Crow employees have voiced displeasure with the management, calling it inefficient and dysfunctional, and few students or faculty have seen any improvement in facilities services. Upon hearing yesterday's announcement, many said they believed outsourcing all of Penn's facilities to Trammell Crow was doomed from the start. "Contracting out institutional work is a delicate operation and three years ago, [Penn] was very anxious to start work and didn't have the experience," said City and Regional Planning Professor Anthony Tomazinis, who chaired the Council's facilities committee when Fry first proposed the deal. "I know they didn't do the homework they ought to have done and I am not surprised." Added a former Penn Physical Plant manager, "[Trammell Crow] was a real estate company and they never had experience with facilities. It is evident because they failed."
Penn students may debate among themselves whether affirmative action is racial justice or reverse discrimination. But rarely do they get the chance to sit in a studio audience and listen to two experts express their views on national radio. Seven undergraduates, all Harrison College House residents, traveled to Center City Monday night to watch a taping of the public radio show Justice Talking. Inside Carpenters' Hall in Olde City, Law professors Frank Wu of Howard University and Gail Heriot of the University of San Diego argued for more than two hours on the effectiveness and legitimacy of affirmative action measures. The two constitutional law scholars focused on a recent court case brought several white students against the University of Michigan for using racial preferences in the admissions process. Wu, who has authored several books on the benefits of affirmative action programs, claimed that showing favor to minority applicants is a measure necessary to promote equality. "The question here is how we will remedy racial discrimination," Wu said. "We've seen that we can do some things about it." Heriot, however, said she believed that such programs have had largely negative effects on colleges due to the admission of students who she said are underqualified. "Preferences have tended to foster separatism," she said, "and the reason for it is this mismatch in academic credentials" that results from preferential admissions. The Penn students attended the taping as part of a house-sponsored series called "Finding Philly," which seeks to expose residents to a variety of cultural events in the city. Harrison House Dean Art Casciato, who created the series, said he thought Justice Talking was a perfect addition to it. "Nothing could be more Philadelphia than Carpenters' Hall," Casciato said, referring to the building's history as a meeting place for America's First Continental Congress. "If you're going to find Philadelphia, this is the place to do it -- around the historic district where it all started," Casciato said. Though the seven students said they enjoyed the show itself, not everyone was pleased with some of the answers given by the speakers during an audience question-and-answer session. "She didn't respond to my question," College sophomore Melissa Ganz said of Heriot. "I thought a lot of what she said was skirting the issue." Justice Talking, hosted by National Public Radio correspondent Margot Adler, is produced by Penn's Annenberg Public Policy Center. It is currently broadcast by more than 60 public radio stations around the country. The show aims to "enable the public to understand the issues and why our laws are the way they are," said Executive Producer Kathryn Kolbert, who is also a senior fellow at Annenberg. "Too often, these issues are cast in three-minute sound bites," she said. "We can provide depth to them in a better way than any other medium." Tapings for Justice Talking are held on Monday nights during the academic year. Topics for the rest of this season include hate speech, juvenile prosecution and gay rights.
They won an Ivy League championship together. They won a national championship together. Now, the top five members of the Penn women's squash team will eschew team glory for the pursuit of the individual kind -- even if it's at the expense of a fellow Quaker. Today, 64 women's squash players from across the nation will begin the hunt for the individual national championship at the the Intercollegiate Championships at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. The tournament, which concludes Sunday, will feature competition from Penn senior Katie Patrick, who has played all season at the No. 1 position for the Quakers. Patrick -- who reached the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Championships last year when the event was held at Penn's Ringe Courts -- is the tournament's sixth seed and will face Dartmouth's Lindsey Bishop today at 9 a.m. Because of Patrick's ranking, her experience and her past success in the Intercollegiate Championships, some feel that she might come home with a title. "I think Katie [Patrick] has a chance of maybe winning it," said Penn junior Megan Fuller, who did not make the trip to the tournament. "If she plays well and stays focused, she has a very good chance of winning." The Quakers' other representatives are freshman Runa Reta -- who will compete as the championships' eighth seed -- and juniors Rina Borromeo, Helen Bamber and Lauren Patrizio, who will occupy the 13th, 14th and 26th rankings, respectively. "They might all be better than their rankings portray," Fuller said, referring to the Quakers who have enjoyed two weeks of rest since clinching the national title. "I think they're better players in terms of their rankings. I think Katie, for instance, should definitely be higher than sixth." In first-round action today, Reta will face off against Brown's Katherine Esselen at 10:30 a.m., while Borromeo will clash with Katharine Stickney of Trinity at 9:30 a.m. Bamber will face off against Harvard's Virginia Brown at 10 a.m., and Patrizio, who has battled knee problems all season, will face Abigail Drachman-Jones of Dartmouth at 11 a.m. The Intercollegiate Championships is not a team tournament but a tournament of individual competition, so the Quakers who made the trek to Massachusetts know that every woman is in it for herself -- even if two Quakers meet in battle at some point in the tournament. "They're competitors," Fuller said of such a scenario. "You kind of have to forget who you're playing and just play squash." The Quakers are no strangers to championship tournaments. It was two short weeks ago that the Quakers travelled to Yale to take part in the Howe Cup national championship tournament and returned to Philadelphia as owners of a perfect season record and a first-ever national crown.
The Quakers will face stiff competition from Lehigh and Cornell at Navy. The 15th-ranked Penn wrestling team is traveling down to Annapolis, Md., in search of an unprecedented fifth consecutive title, as the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championship starts today. The Quakers (9-5, 5-1 EIWA) are in a position to become the only five-time repeat EIWA team champions in the modern wrestling era. In fact, you would have to go all the way back to before World War II to locate another dynasty that tallied four in a row. "[Winning at Easterns] has become a tradition for the last four years," Penn junior 197-pounder Mike Fickell said. Based on individual seedings, the teams to beat in the 14-team field look to be perennial EIWA powers No. 12 Lehigh, No. 17 Cornell and Penn. Harvard, meanwhile, has an outside chance to sneak into the top three. The Crimson are led by 2000 All-American contenders Ed Mosley and Joey Killar. The Quakers, though, like their chances of bringing home another EIWA title. "I think if we wrestle to our potential, it won't even be a close team race," Penn senior Brett Matter said. Lehigh -- the last team to capture a team title before Penn's current streak began -- leads all schools with seeded wrestlers in nine out of ten weight classes. Penn, Cornell and Harvard each look to field eight seeded competitors. Lehigh will have the top team seeding in the tournament, by virtue of narrowly defeating Penn earlier this season. The February 20 loss at the Palestra will no doubt be on the minds of the Quakers. "It stings to lose [to Lehigh]," Matter said. "We want to wrestle hard and prove that we're the best team in the EIWA by far." Besides crowning the overall team champion, the tournament also serves as a qualifier for the NCAA Championships. The top two wrestlers in each weight class, along with six wild cards, will head to the Kiel Center in St. Louis on March 16-18. "We should have the ability to have 10 semifinalists and send all ten guys to Nationals," Matter said. This weekend's action, to be held at Navy's Alumni Hall, kicks off at 11 a.m. today with the preliminaries. Here is what to expect in each weight class. 125 National No. 13 Jeremy Sluyter of East Stroudsburg looks to be the favorite again. Perhaps the most interesting match will be between Lehigh's Bruce Kelly and Cornell's Aaron Taylor in the semifinals, as this match could have big implications in the team race. Penn's Kevin Rucci, who may return to action for the Quakers, dropped from the EIWA rankings after he sustained a hand injury. 133 The action here looks to be relatively weak as none of the competitors are nationally ranked. Brown's Livio DiRubbo should be the top seed. His main competition will come from Penn senior Jason Nagle and Harvard's Matt Picarsic. 141 Lehigh's Matt Goldstein was a slight favorite to grab the top seed until Penn freshman Jody Giuricich knocked him off at the Palestra, 3-2. 149 Lehigh's Dave Esposito should be a lock at the No. 1 seed, but there is parity among the rest of the competitors. Penn's Jon Gough may be able to grab a No. 2 or 3 seed. 157 All-American and national No. 2 Matter has never lost a match in the EIWA tournament and looks to become the first Quakers four-time EIWA champion. Leo Urbinelli of Cornell is probably a lock at the second seed. With these two wrestlers hailing from two of the top three teams, this weight class is vital in the race for the team championship. 165 There will likely be a showdown between Lehigh's Travis Doto and All-American Joey Killar of Harvard. Penn senior Tim Ortman has been emerging of late. 174 National No. 2 Rick Springman of Penn is the favorite to beat No. 4 Ed Mosley of Harvard in the finals, but defending EIWA champion Joe Tucceri of Cornell could also be a factor at the three seed. 184 Lehigh's Rob Rohn and Cornell's Rost Aizenberg should vie for the title, but Penn's Mike Gadsby has the ability to be dangerous. 197 Fickell has held the highest national ranking, and he will be a lock to win if he is at his best this weekend. Heavyweight National No. 5 Bandele Adeniyi-Bada of Penn is a definite top seed. He has defeated last year's champion, Seth Charles of Cornell, in dual meets the last two years.
Marie Howe's brother died of AIDS 10 years ago, a tragedy that grieved her to the point of inspiration and provided abundant material for her latest poetry anthology. Howe, a writing professor at Sarah Lawrence College, read passages from her book What the Living Do to a crowd of about 40 students, faculty members and area residents at the Kelly Writers House on Tuesday night. Howe's latest anthology is dedicated to her late brother, John. Most of the poems she read intimately depicted personal stories from her own life, including her troubled relationship with her father. Much of Howe's poetry, as indicated by titles like "Sixth Grade" and "The Grave," had a special meaning to her. Still, Howe was able to elicit chuckles and nods from audience members at various points during her reading. In "Practicing," Howe writes about a poem of young girls who kiss each other as practice for when they get older. And in "The Fort," she discusses the pride that her brother and his friend felt upon constructing a playhouse. Howe, who is also a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, often stopped to add personal anecdotes related to a particular piece of poetry. After reading a poem that chronicled an intimate gift-giving between her brother and his lover, she looked up to the audience and said, "You know this is one of those moments. This really happened." English Professor Gregory Djanikian, the director of the Creative Writing program, introduced Howe to the audience. "To read her poems is to come away slightly undone and aware of the deep feelings in our lives as well as hers," Djanikian said. On Tuesday, Howe visited Djanikian's Advanced Poetry Writing class and talked with the students about the actual writing process. "My students and I have been pouring over her latest book," Djanikian said. "We have had marvelous discussion about her style, tone and subject matter." Several students attended the reading, including College freshman Omotara James, who said she appreciated the opportunity to work first-hand with an accomplished poet. "[We were] able to ask her questions on her present book and critique our own poetry," James said. "She talked about her methods of writing and the things to include and not to include when writing." Melissa Cahnmann, a third-year doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education, described Howe as a "poetry mentor goddess." Cahnmann actually took a seminar with Howe in Mexico and described her as being "one of the best poetry teachers I have had." She called Howe's poetry "passionate, true and loving." College senior Laurie Kalb said that the work of Howe is "obviously autobiographical and that her greatest talent seems to be the ability to compel the reader to want to understand her experience."