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Kilbourne lecture attacks ad industry

(10/09/96 9:00am)

Approximately a third of all three-year-olds can link Joe Camel with cigarettes. In fact, this black-leather clad dromedary has become as popular as Mickey Mouse. Jean Kilbourne, media critic, lecturer, writer and single mother, used this information to blast cigarette advertisers last night in Meyerson Hall, to the welcoming applause of an overwhelmingly large audience. Kilbourne's speech received extensive ovations and many students stayed for a question-and-answer session when the presentation concluded. Internationally recognized for her research on tobacco and alcohol advertising and images of women in advertising, Kilbourne has advised two U.S. surgeon generals and has testified before Congress twice on her field of expertise. She was recently featured in The New York Times Magazine as the second most popular speaker on college campuses, trailing only poet Maya Angelou. Kilbourne has twice received the Lecturer of the Year award from the National Association of Campus Activities. Kilbourne, an ex-smoker, expressed her anger toward the tobacco industry by posing rhetorical questions on cigarette advertising. "How do members of the tobacco industry feel about their own children?" she asked. "Do they want their own kids to start smoking too?" The industry is undeniably a lucrative one, Kilbourne said, adding that its leaders pretend their product is safe. She said an 11-year-old child surrounded by billions of dollars in advertising can easily be "sucked into" buying cigarettes. She explained that not only is Marlboro the leading cigarette brand in the world, but it is also the leading packaged product today. Kilbourne first became involved in her field when she started collecting advertisements in the late 1960s. She was a teacher and an activist, and her interest in "the power of image and how it affects people" still remains. She called her perspective original, saying it strikes people in new ways. "I'm an activist for women's rights and social justice," Kilbourne added. "Drugs and eating disorders sap people's energy and make it more difficult to bring about people's change." Her career path has given plenty of fodder for her speeches. As a former model who hated the business, Kilbourne emphasized that advertising companies surround the public with an unrealistic image of female beauty. "Women must spend enormous amounts of time and money striving to attain this ideal," she said. Further, Kilbourne claimed, the advertising industry creates a climate of widespread violence toward women, where they are viewed as "things" rather than human beings. According to Kilbourne, women are faced with objectification from which men do not suffer. To back up this point, she showed a slide of an advertisement that stated: "I'd probably never be married if I hadn't lost 49 pounds." Kilbourne said she hopes to make college students "more conscious of the influence of the media and to understand that addictions are actually political." "We have a right to be free from manipulation and censorship," she said. Entitled "Deadly Persuasions: Advertising and Addiction," Kilbourne's speech was coordinated by the Office of Health Education and sponsored by Connaissance, the Drug and Alcohol Resource Team and Guidance for Understanding Image, Dieting and Eating.


Prnn in 1830: Wild studentys, cheap tuition

(09/27/96 9:00am)

Remember when a semester's tuition, room and board cost $28, and you could throw ink blotters at your professors in class? Costs have climbed and the University has calmed down since 1830, explained EFFECT member and College junior Morgan Friedman during a forum Tuesday night. More than 30 students, faculty and staff attended the presentation by EFFECT, which was formed last year for students interested in undergraduate research. Students formed the program when a University-sponsored living-learning pilot, the Center for Advanced Undergraduate Study and Exploration (CAUSE), was dissolved last spring. CAUSE was to open this fall as a residential college pilot program, where students interested in research would live in one dorm together. CAUSE, along with one other proposed pilot program, was canceled for lack of adequate student enrollment. Members of EFFECT remain dedicated to research. The group holds small talks or workshops where members present original research work. On Tuesday, Friedman conducted a talk in the Upper East Lounge of Hill House, based on his research into Penn's campus 160 years ago. He obtained most of his information from the University Archives and Record Center beneath Franklin Field, he said. Friedman's goal was to present his research through an on-line multimedia tour of campus circa 1830. "Making a web site was sort of a new, avant-garde research idea," he said. The site presents maps, student profiles, course descriptions and library catalogs from the time period. EFFECT organizers hope presentations like Friedman's will show other students how important it is to get involved in research at the earliest levels, and to share with and learn from other people who do similar work, Friedman said. He added that the exciting part of EFFECT is presenting information not only to people who are involved in that field, but to anyone else interested. Those who attended Friedman's presentation learned that the University used to be located on 9th Street, between Chestnut and Market streets. At the time, campus consisted of one small building, built originally for the president of the United States when Philadelphia was the nation's capital. The 1830s were a time of rebellion, Friedman said. It was not rare to see students throwing blotters at their professors, insulting a professor to his face, or rolling pebbles on the floor with the intention of tripping a professor. Friedman added that there were five professors and only 15 students per class, all studying the same topics. In addition, all professors and the students were male. Freshmen learned algebra and rhetoric, while sophomores studied The Iliad, Cicero and chemistry. Juniors took classes on electromagnetism and moral philosophy, and seniors studied geology and took a class on "Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion." Tuition cost only $25 per term, and an extra $3 covered room and board. "[Friedman] did an excellent job of making life at Penn in 1830 seem real," said College freshman Bill Conway. "I felt like I was actually there." College and Engineering senior Raj Iyer said the loss of CAUSE has not dampened EFFECT members' love for research. The organizers of the program lobbied Provost Stanley Chodorow last year for funds to start EFFECT after CAUSE was canceled. Iyer said the program solves the "ever-recurring problem of students who are interested in doing research, but don't know how to get started." "EFFECT helps them narrow the scope of possibility to decide what exactly to research," he explained. "It does not have to be only academic." Several students in EFFECT live in Van Pelt College House, "a themeless but communal and friendly house," according to Iyer. Other members live elsewhere, but still participate actively. The group has also drawn some residents of Van Pelt who liked what EFFECT was doing, he said. "Once we had a mass of about 20, we finally had enough to say 'good, now we can do something'." Those interested in learning about the University in the year 1830 can visit Friedman's web site at "http://www.upenn.edu/AR".