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EDITORIAL: Buying into the housing market

(11/12/98 10:00am)

Penn's purchase of 200 rental units could be a big boost for the neighborhoods in University City. Penn's purchase of 36 University City buildings containing 200 rental units marks one of the University's largest real estate deals in recent years, though the parties involved have refused to disclose the terms. More important than the size of the purchase, the deal to buy Campus Associates fits perfectly into the University's ultimate goal of stabilizing and improving the neighborhoods surrounding campus. For years, community members have rightfully complained about a transient student population that is messy and loud. Though this description by no means extends to all students, we recognize that a strong neighborhood must contain owner-residents with strong ties to the community. Though Penn's decision to buy such a large chunk of area property and use part of it to attract faculty and staff to University City was wise, we hope that this does not become a trend that deprives students of the opportunity to live off campus. One of the University's strongest draws is that it is a city school, and a major part of that stems from being able to live in a community where you are exposed to people who are not college students. One worrisome aspect of this deal is that the public was not made aware of it in July, when Penn actually bought the houses. University officials have been very conscious over the past few years of how they are perceived -- and as a result have tread carefully and tried to avoid the popular perception that Penn only makes West Philadelphia decisions unilaterally. As a result, it's all the more puzzling why officials didn't come forward, announce their purchase and explain its intended effects. Given the contentious history of Penn buying land, demolishing the buildings on it and then rebuilding, it seems that much more important for Penn to let students and community members in on major property purchases after they occur. Fortunately, in this case the effects of the purchase appear to be in line with many of the University's other large recent initiatives in the community -- well-guided and with lots of potential for University City.

Princeton F. Hockey plays UNC

(10/30/98 10:00am)

The Daily Princetonian PRINCETON, N.J. (U-WIRE) --Women's field hockey is like a fine wine: it gets better with age. Or at least with every game it plays against a top-five opponent. "We played better against Old Dominion than Connecticut, and I think we will rise again to the occasion against North Carolina," senior attack Molly O'Malley said. While it is true that the last two times No. 4 Princeton (12-2 overall, 6-0 Ivy League) faced off against such an opponent -- last weekend against No. 1 Old Dominion and two weeks ago against No. 3 Connecticut -- they have lost, the Tigers have improved. Tomorrow Princeton will get a chance to continue to improve, as the Tigers travel to Old Dominion to face to No. 5 North Carolina (11-4). Against Connecticut, the Tigers' offense hurt them the most. Teamwork has never been a problem. Rather it was individual skills that made Princeton's offense unable to capitalize on the opportunities it had during the contest. Last Sunday against Old Dominion, the Tigers played well. One of the two goals scored against them was questionable, as head coach Beth Bozman even earned a green card disputing the goal. Offensively the Tigers gave themselves scoring chances, fixing the individual skill problems that plagued them against Connecticut. But Princeton still was not able to convert its chances. "We had a couple of chances to convert on corners, and we didn't," O'Malley said. "We got our shots off well, we just missed the tips." "Overall we were pretty happy with how we played against Old Dominion," senior defense AnnMarie Reich said. "A team like that is going to get through once in a while." Princeton has already proved its players have the individual skills indicative of a top-five team. For Saturday's game against North Carolina, it needs to focus on utilizing the scoring opportunities it does get. "In the big games, we really need to convert [on every chance we get] because we have less chances against the big teams," O'Malley said. If Princeton is to win the game this weekend, it needs to work on finishing, putting the ball in the cage after a breakaway or a good drive up the middle. In addition, the offense will have to focus more on pushing up, rather than falling back to help out on defense like it does against top teams. The last three years, North Carolina has ended Princeton season in the NCAA tournament. Each time the Tarheels went on to claim the national title. But North Carolina has never faced the Tigers in the regular season. "I think there is a definite revenge factor in this weekend's game," O'Malley said. National-powerhouse field hockey schools such as North Carolina don't really have rebuilding years, but this season the Tarheels are feeling the effects of losing four All-Americans to graduation. "It is hard to say that North Carolina has a rebuilding year, but if there is one, it is this year," Reich said.

LETTERS: Presenting 'Both Sides' equally

(11/18/96 10:00am)

To the Editor: In recent years, several other student newspapers have adopted similar strategies. When I was an editor of The Chronicle, the daily student paper at Duke University, we developed a monthly "In this corner? In that corner" section that served the same function. Implicit in these types of editorial presentations, however, is a responsibility on the part of the editorial staff not normally present for regular columns. Regular columns merely represent the opinions of their authors, who are typically given the freedom to write on any topic they choose -- and, of course, to argue any side of a story. While Stephen Thompson's piece, "Always spare the chair," represented a thoughtful discussion of one side of the issue, the community was done little service by College sophomore John Mamoun's truly sophomoric judgements as to who is and is not a "high-quality human being." Hopefully future editions of "Both Sides" will be better paired in terms of the quality of insight. Scott Halpern Medicine '00 To the Editor: In his guest column "Execute Sled's murderers," John Mamoun claimed execution is the best punishment for those who kill someone of significantly more societal worth ("Execute Sled's murderers," DP, 11/14/96). Mamoun attached "worth to society" to "quality as a human being." In judging quality as a human being, he appears to disregard someone's willingness to kill another person, while considering level of education as definitively good. This view not only makes acceptable an educated person's murder of an uneducated person of high moral fiber, but seems to encourage it. Mamoun then asks "What if a high-quality human being destroys another high-quality human being?" A high-quality human being does not destroy another human being. Doesn't Mamoun know his commandments? Paul Smith College '99

GUEST COLUMNIST: The University's conflicting halves

(11/12/96 10:00am)

But in fact, this institution has two internally consistent, mutually contradictory policies toward the community. The "Penn" policy is followed by the University's 12 schools. Essentially, these schools treat the community both as an opportunity to fulfill the University's mission of service, and as a living lab and source for research data. Very often, the Penn approach is exploitative to some extent; the schools provide services in exchange for the community serving an educational or research function. Although the projects themselves are coherent, there appears to be no consistent University-wide strategy involved. Consequently, efforts are piecemeal and generally ineffective in spurring significant change. The efforts are piecemeal, and Penn policy is good for the community, but not terribly helpful. The other approach is the "UP Inc." policy -- and it is consistent, coherent, powerful and wholly destructive to the University City and West Philadelphia community. UP Inc. is Penn acting as a corporation, with the same amorality and lack of social consciousness displayed by America's least socially responsible corporations. UP Inc. is the policy that leads to the University negotiating with the city for Penn Police protection in areas with the greatest concentration of University property, not the greatest concentration of University community members. UP Inc. is the policy that leads to the University negotiating a deal with a local landlord that allows him to avoid all sorts of taxes in exchange for a substantial annuity; UP Inc. makes out and the landlord makes out, but the city and the community get nothing out of the deal. UP Inc. is the policy that leads to the exchange of University jobs, offering community members decent pay and benefits, for outsourced jobs, with low pay and lousy (if any) benefits. Again, UP Inc. makes out and the stockholders in the company that takes over a University division makes out, but the city collects fewer wage taxes and the purchasing power of the community suffers. UP Inc. is the policy that treats every problem as first and foremost a public relations problem. And UP Inc. is the policy of creating an entirely new and artificial retail district that sells affluent Penn students to prospective tenants as a captive market, to maximize UP Inc.'s rental income. This strategy is similar to the "mall"-ification of America, which destroyed viable retail districts in virtually every small- and medium-sized town in this nation. Old-time retail districts were populated by locally owned and operated businesses, while the malls are populated by stores owned by huge conglomerates with no comunity roots. And as UP Inc. continues to expand and promote non-community based businesses in University City, the few local businesses that remain struggle for survival. UP Inc. is the policy that ignores the University's mission of education, research and service. It is a juggernaut that treats the accumulation of cold hard cash as its first priority. UP Inc. also has the power of every penny of the University's considerable assets at its disposal in pursuit of this goal. Ultimately, UP Inc. is destroying not only the community that it dominates, but the University as a whole. For every dollar Penn earns, two more pay for insulating the University from the effects of its own avarice, on such things as security systems, police patrols, Escort services and massive public relations efforts, assuring students that they are safe and parents that their children will be returned to them alive and in one piece. Utimately, UP Inc. is creating an environment of physical fear, completely incompatible with intellectual freedom and inquiry. And ultimately, as the ethos of greed and self-interest that UP Inc. personifies permeates the rest of the University, as we acquiesce to UP Inc.'s inevitable and irresistable corruption, the University will lose its soul.

Educational cuts may affect U. financial aid

(09/10/95 9:00am)

The House of Representatives voted to pass a spending bill on Friday that contains several educational cuts, including some which could have an affect on the level of government funding the University will receive for student aid. One of the cutbacks is with the Perkins loan program. According to David Morse, assistant vice president for policy planning and federal relations, the University receives "a reasonable substantial allocation of these loans." "If [the loans] go away, it will make it more difficult for students to finance their educations reasonably cheaply," he said. Morse added that, as a result, students might be required to borrow more under a bank-based program, which is at a higher interest rate. But he said even if these cuts become a reality, the University will still receive a large fund of Perkins loans. The University provides a little over $10 million in Perkins loans to undergraduates and graduates each year, he said, adding that the capital contribution that is threatened represents a little over $1 million. "So we would still have $9 million to loan each year," Morse added. There were also some changes proposed for the Pell Grant program, which will help some students while hurting others. "Financially needy students will get a larger grant," Morse said. "Students with a limited need who would have otherwise been eligible for a Pell Grant don't get one." Associate Vice President for Finance Frank Claus said he does not see these cuts as having a major effect on the University. "Obviously we never like to see any cuts," he said. "But at the moment there doesn't seem to be any that would have a serious impact on the undergraduate program." Most of the financial aid programs the University offers is funded by the University itself, he explained. One positive aspect of the bill is that it retains the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant and work-study programs at their current levels. "That is very favorable," Morse said. "Those are programs that are very important to Penn students." But the bill also contained cuts in other areas that could affect the University. Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs Carol Scheman said she is concerned about the level of discretionary funding. Scheman said it is important for Congress to differentiate between expenditure and investment. "Investing in education and research are investments that pay off many times," she said. Scheman added that the significant program cuts will "affect the University across the board." On a more positive note, the National Institute of Health was given a $643 million budget increase under this bill. Morse said he sees this increase as a good sign. "The National Institute of Health provides a substantial amount of support at this and other universities," he said. "This increase suggests that members of Congress think that basic research done by universities is a very good thing." While Scheman said while she believes the University is "very much at risk," she stressed that the bill has not even completed the first third of the checks and balances process. And Morse predicted that this bill will undergo significant changes before President Bill Clinton has to vote on it. Claus said he does not think the Senate or the President will pass such a severe bill in its current form. He added, though, that he expects more tension from Congress in the near future. "I don't think we are done," he said.

Employee sues U. for $1.5 million in compensation for sexual harassment

(08/10/95 9:00am)

The trial of Joyce Schofield, a University employee who is suing the University for racial discrimination and sexual harassment, began Tuesday in federal court. Schofield, an administrative assistant in the compensation office of the division of human resources, filed the lawsuit last September seeking more than $100,000 in damages. But William Ewing and Deborah Weinstein, Schofields' attorneys, say she is asking for more than $1.5 million in damages. The trial began Tuesday in front of U.S. District Judge Curtis Joyner, with an all white jury of six women and two men. Schofield, who has worked at the University since 1991 claims that her supervisor, former Human Resources Communications Manager J. Bradley Williams , "used his authority as her supervisor to make her life miserable." She asserts that he constantly asked her on dates and he warned her to adopt a plantation mentality because a smart black woman would be too much of a threat and would never get ahead. And the suit says that Williams told Schofield that his boss, Adrienne Riley, vice president of human resources, "had racist attitudes" and "hated" her because she was a "strong black woman." Between January 1993 and July 1993 Schofield said she was subjected to sexual harassment, according to a court document. She alleges that Williams made several sexual explicit comments to her that made her feel uncomfortable. She also alleges that she felt constantly threatened and was afraid to complain because of fear of retaliation. "Bradley Williams talked dirty ... that's not in dispute," University outside counsel Neil Hamburg said yesterday. "He acted inappropriately. The question is what the University of Pennsylvania did wrong in this case, if anything." When Schofield filed an internal grievance concerning Williams, her complaint was ignored by the University, the suit charges. After filing her complaint, Schofield claims she was continually discriminated against, and became the subject of retaliation. She also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in February 1994. Hamburg said that Williams supervisors gave him a disciplinary memo that warned him of dire consequences if he were to continue his inappropriate conduct. And he added that sexual and racist talked seized after the letter. According to an article in The Legal Intelligencer Schofield as been unable to work since January 1995 due to psychological stress and she expects to be hospitalized an average of 21 days until the year 2000. Hamburg told The Legal Intelligencer in July that he will prove that Schofield engaged in a "pattern of on-the-job dishonest and fraudulent conduct" beginning in 1973 when she was fired from Fidelity Mutual Bank for stealing. She later pleaded guilty to theft charges, according to Hamburg. Schofield, 43, graduated from the Wharton School with a marketing degree two years after she was has hired by the University.

Wharton grad student settles suit

(08/10/95 9:00am)

Wharton graduate student John Knight, who claims his ex-wife and in-laws tricked him into marriage, settled a federal lawsuit against them Monday for an undisclosed amount of money. Knight accused Mary Rourke and her parents of fraud and misrepresentation, according to court papers. He had sought $100,000 in damages. He said Rourke lied when she told him he had fathered her child, convincing him to marry her. He also said she and her parents withheld the father's true identity for three years. Terms of the settlement were confidential, according to Norman Perlberger, Knight's attorney. But he added that Knight was pleased with the outcome. ''I think it's a groundbreaking case,'' said Perlberger. ''It calls for the possibility of claims like this, not just in paternity, but in other aspects of human relations.'' He added that he case was settled out of court because "Knight really didn't want it to become a media circus." Attorneys for Rourke and her parents were unavailable for comment. Knight began dating Rourke in December 1988, when he was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. She told him she was pregnant with his baby in August 1989 and gave birth to Micaeli in May 1990 -- the same month Knight graduated. The couple was married a month later, according to court papers. In 1992, Rourke took Micaeli and moved out of the house, telling her husband that she was having an extramarital affair, according to the lawsuit. Knight instituted divorce proceedings after that, attempting to gain custody of Micaeli. But he didn't find out until June 1993 that the young girl had been fathered by someone else -- a college friend of Rourke's, according to the lawsuit. And he learned just prior to a custody hearing. The lawsuit contends that Rourke and her parents knew all along that the child was not Knight's. But Rourke replied in court papers that she firmly believed the child was Knight's until the summer of 1993, when DNA blood test results virtually excluded him as the father. Knight's lawsuit sought to recover money he had spent on the marriage, along with lost income from a career change that he said he made at his wife's strong urging.

Judge Sabo grants stay of execution in Abu-Jamal case

(08/10/95 9:00am)

When Mumia Abu-Jamal was granted a stay of execution Tuesday, his supporters were astonished by their victory. The "Free Mumia" Campaign that has swept from Philadelphia to Hollywood was at last seeing its first glimmer of hope. But not everyone was surprised by Common Pleas Court Judge Albert Sabo's ruling, which allows Abu-Jamal more time to pursue state and federal appeals. Law School Lecturer David Rudovsky has served as Abu-Jamal's local counsel during his post-conviction hearing in front of Sabo -- the same judge who originally sentenced Abu-Jamal to death in 1982 for killing Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner at 13th and Locust streets. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge signed Abu-Jamal's death warrant earlier this summer. Rudovsky said he always expected Sabo to grant Abu-Jamal the stay of execution. He only wonders why the ruling took so long. "Nobody in the history of capital punishment has been executed this early," he said. "In any case involving the death penalty, everyone ought to be convinced that there was a fair trial." Many observers have indeed questioned whether justice prevailed at the 1982 murder trial. Demographics Professor Antonio McDaniel said it would have been a "miscarriage of justice" if Abu-Jamal had not been granted the stay of execution because Sabo had been biased by racial bigotry when he originally convicted Abu-Jamal. Sabo allowed Abu-Jamal's involvement in the Black Panthers Movement in the 1970's to be used as evidence of his guilt, McDaniel said, yet he found irrelevant the fact that the trajectory of the murder weapon did not match that of Abu-Jamal's gun. Many of Abu-Jamal's followers have also questioned Sabo's objectivity, as Sabo has sentenced more African Americans to death than any other judge in the country. "This case was fundamentally unfair," Rudovsky said. As Abu-Jamal's local counsel, Rudovsky will not be involved in appeals to higher courts. He added that Abu-Jamal is "very early in his appeals process." Rudovsky said Abu-Jamal's case has not been that different from other cases he has worked on during his career -- although it has been the most high-profile. Celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg have come out in support of Abu-Jamal, and his book Live From Death Row has sold more than 35,000 copies. But at the core, Rudovsky said Abu-Jamal's case is merely one of many demonstrating problems with the capital punishment system. "When you strip it down to its essentials, there are the same serious questions of the fairness of the original trial [and] the effectiveness of the appointed counsel," he said. "I found the proficiency of the [appointed] defense counsel to be very weak." "These issues themselves point to the fact that the criminal justice system as a whole is unfair," he added. Rudovsky said the legislatures recent vote to slash all funding to legal resource centers aimed at those that cannot afford their own attorneys will only exacerbate matters. "Congress is running one way on the crime issue in order to appear that they are tough on crime," he said, "But their approach is dead wrong."

Time has run out for Smith Hall

(08/10/95 9:00am)

Smith Hall is history. At least it will be by Tuesday. The building is being demolished in a slow, drawn out process. Brick by brick, workers have been taking apart Smith Hall for the past week, according to a worker at the site. The University was issued a permit by the city late June that allows for both the demolition of the building and the construction of phase one of the Institute for Advanced Science and Technology on the same location, according to Barry Cooperman, vice provost for research. Phase one entails the construction of a $34 million, 86,000-square-foot high-tech building on the Smith Hall site. This site was officially approved by the Air Force last month when it signed a Record of Decision and released the necessary funds. This approval came after more than four years of planning, discussions and controversy. Since the initial plans for the IAST were released, many students and alumni have expressed concern over the idea the historic building will be destroyed in order to make room for the IAST. Throughout July, the University prepared Smith Hall for demolition. This involved removing all of the asbestos in the building and hiring a contractor to undertake the project. The earliest the building could have been demolished was July 19 because the demolition notice has to be posted at least 21 days prior to the act, Cooperman said. Gravina said the University met with seven contracting companies in order to look into the various ways to approach tearing down the building. This project began in 1991, when the federal government selected the University as the site for the IAST. The project was then turned over to the Department of Defense and subsequently to the Air Force. The project is slated to create space for the Chemistry Department, additional Chemical Engineering laboratories and research space for the Bioengineering Department. Three years ago, the Air Force began an Environmental Impact Study, analyzing the plan's historical and environmental significance, focusing specifically on Smith Hall. In March, the Air Force finally completed the EIS and deemed the site appropriate. And last month's release of the Record of Decision made it official. As of March, the Air Force had already allocated $23.75 million in grant money for the entire project, according to Associate Director for Federal Relations Carl Maugeri. Its total contribution could reach $35 million. Cooperman has estimated that the construction phase of the project will cost between $44 and $50 million, and that the entire project could cost up to $70 million. Phase two of the project will consist of remodeling the Morgan Building and the Music Building and constructing a new wing that will connect the two buildings from the rear. For the third phase, the University will construct an engineering-science library in Hayden Hall. This will be expensive, and may take a long time to construct. The fourth and final phase of the project is the retro-renovating of space in both the engineering and chemical complexes. Because this phase is routine renovation work, its budget can be cut if the costs of the project become too high. Gravina has estimated that the entire project will take two years to complete.

Court overturns conviction of recent grad

(08/10/95 9:00am)

In a hearing at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on July 18, the conviction of recent University graduate and former Daily Pennsylvanian columnist Ian Blake was overturned, Blake's attorney said. According to the attorney, Daniel Conner, the prosecution had no evidence to present and the charges were dismissed on Conner's motion. Blake had been convicted of charges including disorderly conduct in June, at a hearing presided over by Judge Robert Blasi at the Philadelphia Southwest Detectives Station. At that hearing, University Police Officer David Carroll testified that he went to Van Pelt Library at about 2:50 p.m. on May 2 in response to a woman's complaint that her wallet had been stolen. He said that the woman believed Blake to have committed the theft. According to Carroll, when he approached Blake the latter raised his voice and pushed the officer into the library office. Blake said he was reluctant to go into the stacks with Carroll, adding that the officer pulled him into the stacks, shoved him three or four times, and arrested him. Although no criminal charges remain against Blake, he is not out of trouble yet. Carroll filed a complaint with the Student Dispute Resolution Center concerning Blake's conduct. According to Blake, the charges at the SDRC made it impossible for him to graduate in May despite having the requisite academic credit. As a result, he says he has had to ask graduate schools of education at the University, Columbia University and Harvard University for permission to delay accepting their offers of admission. He added that they are all still waiting despite his having missed the extended deadline for at least one school. Blake says the SDRC has told him to expect a hearing on those charges sometime this month.

Soap opera star, figure skating champ entering with Class of '99

(08/10/95 9:00am)

and Betty Yuan September 2 will bring the last entering freshmen class of the millennium to the University. And the Class of 1996 certainly has its share of star, according to Admissions Dean Lee Stetson, ranging from budding television actors to rising professional athletes. One member of the entering class, Jessica Prunell, who has appeared on As the World Turns for the past three years, turned down a six-year contract for a television series to pursue a college career. From actor to authors, one entering freshman, who immigrated from Russia in 1988, has already co-authored a textbook. And another student is an egyptologist who had her work published. Joining their illustrious fellow classmates will be several young athletes as well, including a nationally ranked figure skater, a top male squash player from Pakistan and a champion snowboarder from Munich, Germany. And the talent seems to stem abundantly from global sources -- a number of foreign countries have contributed to this year's prestigious group of first-year students. From Mongolia, comes the first undergraduate of her nation to enter the University of Pennsylvania in recent history who aspires to be a pre-medical student and will someday take her medical practice back to her home country. In addition, the controversial nations -- Bosnia and Croatia will also be sending the University it's finest students this coming fall. And the University is prepared to welcome their entering freshmen in style. This includes freshmen-geared programs such as "PennQuest" and New Student Orientation. Described as "an outdoor experience" by its glossy brochures, "PennQuest" is a four-day excursion and will start on August 28. Participants will spend one day at the Pocono Environment Education Center and the following day backpacking on the Appalachian trail. Students who wish to join in the "Quest" will pay $150 for the chance to get a head start socially, by meeting their new peers before the move-in frenzy that is marked by NSO. After move-in, students will be able to take part in several time-honored University traditions. This year, the Penn Reading Project assignment is the play, Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard. Small workshops will be carried out where faculty and students and discuss their reactions to the reading. And the NSO convocation -- with speeches given by the President and Provost to name a few -- will be among the first events that help create the Class of 1999's first impression of the University. There will also be a "Philly and You" bus tour among the events that will be offered. NSO will end with a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure taking place the Sunday after classes start.

Police commissioner search down to one preferred candidate

(08/10/95 9:00am)

After months of carefully reviewing candidates to replace John Kuprevich as University Police Commissioner, Executive Vice President John Fry said earlier this week that he has made his recommendation to University President Judith Rodin and Provost Stanley Chodorow. While Fry would not reveal what his recommendation was, a source close to public safety has disclosed that the top two candidates for the position were Rutgers University-Camden Chief of Police Gene Dooley and Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Thomas Seamon. Fry declined comment on the issue. Dooley could neither confirm nor deny his candidacy but referred all calls to the Executive Vice President's Office. And Seamon did not return phone calls all week. Last month Fry reported that he had brought the search down to two candidates and that his next step was to bring the group to "select groups of students and faculty on campus to see what they think." These groups had the opportunity to meet with and interview Dooley and Seamon over the past few weeks. Since that time, several new candidates entered the picture, Fry said, adding that although he felt it would be irresponsible not to consider these new applicants, he would not let their emergence slow down the progress of his search. Fry said he made his consultative group to Rodin and Chodorow last Thursday, after collecting input from his committee. They will be meeting with the candidate today, and will give him their feedback by Monday, he added. And he hopes to be able to make a final announcement next week. But he said he will take their opinions very seriously, adding that if they are not satisfied with his choice he will come up with another candidate for them. As Deputy Commissioner, Seamon is second in command of the Philadelphia Police Department. He fills in as department head in the Commissioner's absence. And Seamon served as interim police commissioner in 1992 when Willy Williams, the Philadelphia police commissioner at the time, went to Los Angeles in May 1992 to become the commissioner there. Seamon ran for the commissioner position in 1992, but lost to current Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Neal. Some of Seamon's major duties include implementing strategies and devising policies for the department, in addition to working on the budget. Rutgers Police Captain Douglas Thompson said Dooley has accomplished a lot since his arrival to their Public Safety Department in 1992. He said Dooley has been instrumental in instituting a comprehensive crime prevention program at Rutgers, which includes programs pertaining to personal security, student orientation and crime prevention, as well as a Rape Aggression Defense program. "He has also been effective in having a harmonious liaison between local police agencies throughout South Jersey," Thompson added. He said the Rutgers security program is smaller, adding that Dooley has less responsibility and involvement than he would at the University. "I assume the job [at Penn] is much more involved and would pose more challenge than a particular job here," Thompson said. When Kuprevich announced his resignation in April, he expected to be done with his responsibilities by the end of July. But since the search for a new commissioner has been taking longer than originally projected, Kuprevich is going to remain at the University for another six weeks, until the replacement is selected, Fry said last month. The comprehensive national search for Kuprevich's replacement began promptly after he announced his resignation. Since then, Fry has narrowed the field of candidates from more than 70 applicants to the few that currently remain.

U. searches nearing completion

(08/10/95 9:00am)

University officials are working hard to fill several administrative positions as soon as possible. The search for a permanent vice provost for university life, african american resource center director, chaplain and press director are all reaching their final stages. The VPUL position could even be filled by the start of the fall semester, VPUL Committee Chairperson Dennis DeTurck said. He added that he will be delivering his recommendation to Provost Stanley Chodorow in the next few days. And after the provost receives the reports, he has the final say in deciding who will be the next VPUL. After the lengthy search, Deturck said that he has gained great respect for the people involved in the division of university life. Provost Stanley Chodorow began the search for a permanent VPUL last spring. Acting VPUL Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum , who has occupied the post since December 1993 is one of the candidates for the permanent position. And the search for AARC director has narrowed down to a few candidates, University President Judith Rodin said yesterday. Rodin said she has been given several names to choose from and that she hopes to appoint someone by the end of September. She added that she was impressed by the candidates. "[The committee] worked over the summer to get this done because we are so eager to get someone in place for this year," she said. Rodin had high praise for the acting director of the AARC, Isabel Sampson-Mapp and AARC administrative assistant Afi Roberson. "I would really like to say what a great job the acting director did this year," Rodin said. "They kept the center running at full speed and they have really shown great loyalty towards it. Allen Green, the former director of AARC and assistant to the provost, left the University July 1 to become dean of the college at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Chodorow said he is working on finding an interim chaplain and hopes to have one in a couple of weeks. He added that he will organize the search for a new permanent chaplain when the new semester begins. After former Chaplain Stanley Johnson announced his retirement plans in March, the president and provost set up a committee to evaluate the role of a chaplain at a modern university. The committee, chaired by Social Work Professor Jane Lowe, recommended the position be maintained and expanded to include work with various campus ministries and groups. And the search for a press director is also down to the final round, according to Chodorow. He said that he is currently interviewing finalists and expects to make a decision in a couple of weeks.

Blue kiosk draws attention

(08/10/95 9:00am)

When safety and the University clash, the University has a secret weapon -- a paintbrush. The security kiosk located at 36th and Sansom streets, which was recently transformed into a blue structure with a tin roof, is an example of this. Originally, the five kiosks set up around campus were all wooden and shingled. But soon a Design Review Committee and Vice President for Facilities Management Arthur Gravina assessed the kiosks. They decided that there was a need to alter the appearance of the one at 36th and Sansom, according to Security Service Director Christopher Algard. "It did not meet the aesthetics of the surrounding buildings," he said. "The building style of the surrounding area is different than the Locust Walk area." And the closest neighbor of the kiosk, the Institute of Contemporary Art, agreed that the original design did not belong in the environment. "It would have been more suitable to a garden setting than a West Philadelphia street-scape," ICA Director Patrick Murphy said. But he said he was not involved in the decision to change the kiosk, adding that the whole situation has been a mystery to him. Diane Wynne, a recent graduate of the Graduate School of Education, was not as supportive of the changes, calling the blue kiosk "just plain ugly." "I do not know what possessed them to paint it blue and put that shiny roof on," she said on the newsgroup last month. College senior Matthew Ro disagrees. "This is a perfect example or art in everyday life, sort of the Mona Lisa of kiosks." University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said there are no plans to change any of the other kiosks. Summer Pennsylvanian Staff Writer Josh Fineman contributed to this article.

Trials set for students charged in spring

(08/03/95 9:00am)

The trial of Wharton evening student Douglas Murphy, who was caught carrying a loaded 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol into class in April will begin Monday, according to Victim Support Director Maureen Rush. And the ethnic intimidation lawsuit filed by two South Asian students is scheduled to begin trial Tuesday, prosecuting attorney Brian Hood said. The students allege they were harassed by intoxicated Drexel University students in March. Murphy was charged by the District Attorney's Office with violating Pennsylvania's Uniform Firearms Act and with one count of harassment. Acting Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said in April that the Murphy had been placed on an involuntary leave of absence. University Police brought Murphy into custody after they discovered that he was armed with a loaded gun in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall. The student who notified the police about the incident said he was assaulted by Murphy two weeks earlier. Another student in the class said that a "disagreement" during a class presentation led to the alleged assault two weeks prior. He said Murphy thought the victim was attempting to sabotage the presentation by removing transparencies and turing off the overhead projector before Murphy had finished with his speech. After class, the student said Murphy struck the victim and knocked him to the ground three times. The victim has filed a complaint with Philadelphia Police. In another University-related court case, Class of 1995 graduates Bela Shah and Monika Parikh claim they were harangued with racial epithets by Drexel students Gregory Rosenbaum and Victor Vencus. Shah and Parikh, then both residents of Hamilton Court, said they were awoken at 2 a.m. when they heard voices calling out a racial slur containing the words "Indian" and "7-11." When they asked Rosenbaum and Vencus to lower their voice, they were bombarded with more slurs for a period of about 15 minutes -- until University Police arrived at the scene after receiving about eight calls complaining of the noise. University Police took the Drexel students to Philadelphia Police Southwest Detectives for questioning. They were released at approximately 6 a.m. with no charges pressed, Shah and Parikh claimed the police mishandled the case, as they were not interviewed about the incident by detectives. While at Southwest, Shah said she overheard a discussion in the next room in which one person was urging another to release the students. Parikh said University Police officer Rudy Palmer told her that that the father of one of the Drexel students is an area police officer. Later that week, Rosenbaum turned himself into the police. He was charged with ethnic intimidation, harassment, conspiracy, disorderly conduct and open lewdness.

Summer security tightened

(08/03/95 9:00am)

and Betty Yuan Due to low student occupancy on campus and the surrounding vicinity, the University has taken action to strengthen their security initiatives during the summer months. According to Victim Support Director Maureen Rush, several safety measures were implemented last week. "What we have done to insure safety for August is work with the city of Philadelphia in conjunction with the Penn Police department to put together a strike force," she said. The "strike force" consists of plain clothes and uniformed police officers from both the University Police and Philadelphia Police departments, Rush said. "We are saturating areas of campus that we feel are more on the outskirts such as the 4000 block of Baltimore Avenue -- areas where there have been previous reports of crime and/or areas which are off the beaten path," she added. Security is now more visible in these areas, in an effort to deter crime and make students feel more comfortable about the safety of the area. "The best you can expect is no crime being reported, and secondly, people have a greater perception of security for their well-being," Rush said. Rush added that in addition to providing security and comfort, a goal of the program is to encourage students to utilize such services as the Community Walks program, walking escort and mobile escort vans. There are nine transit stops available, which provide students with a safe place to wait for the escort van to pick them up. They include the stop in front of High Rise South, which has been moved over slightly as a result of construction. "People believed that the transit stop at High Rise South was not open and we want to correct that," she said. "In fact, the High Rise South transit stop is open and is being staffed by public safety representatives." Rush added that, as a result, Escort vans cannot drive up to the front of the high rise as they have in the past. Instead, drivers are being instructed to pull up to the intersection of 39th and Irving streets, and beep their horns as a signal to students waiting either inside the lobby of High Rise South. "All people need to do is keep an eye out but stay in the building," Rush said. "We have a security monitor inside the building with them." These transit stop monitors are stationed at each of the transit stop locations in order to insure students a safe waiting environment.

PCPS student saved from rape attempt

(08/03/95 9:00am)

A Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science student was a victim of attempted rape Thursday on the 4000 block of Baltimore Avenue at about 10 a.m., according to Victim Support and Special Services Director Maureen Rush. The 23 year-old student was accosted by a man with a knife, who attempted to abduct her into an alley way. But by continuously screaming, she was able to get the attention of six carpet layers, who came to her assistance, Rush said. The carpet layers became involved in an altercation with the 22 year-old assailant, during which one of the "good samaritans" was stabbed in the armpit. Then the suspect attempted to flee the scene, but the carpet layers chased after him and Philadelphia police arrested the suspect. The Pharmacy student received minor injuries and is recovering "okay," said Tim Michener, director of public safety at the College of Pharmacy and Science. But the carpet layer who was stabbed sustained more serious injuries," Rush said. The assailant was charged with multiple counts, including robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault and criminal attempt to rape, Rush added. He remains in custody at the Philadelphia Detention Center with bail set at $50,000, according to University Police Detective Gary Heller. Heller added that the suspect has other previous arrests. Michener said he was surprised by the time of the attempted rape. But Rush said the attitude that crime only happens at night is wrong. "People assume things like rape only happen in the middle of the night," she said. "That's a misconception." Rush added that students must be aware of their surroundings at all times, whether it is day or night. Michener said he was very pleased with the community participation in the incident. "It's really nice to see the community get involved and apprehend the criminal," he added. "We're happy to see that this one had a happy ending." Rush had several recommendations for how to deal with a rape situation. She said individuals should follow the example of the victim in this attempted rape and make as much noise as possible. If the victim is able to break free from the assailant, they should find the nearest blue phone and dial 511, she added. And the University has several resources for these individuals who are victims, or even near-victims, of sexual assault. Victim Support, Penn Women's Center, University Counseling and Phycological Services and the Philadelphia Sex Crimes Unit are all helpful sources of support for victims of sexual assault, Rush said. She added that programs like Rape Aggression Defense and safety seminars given by the University enable people to have a better chance at fending off potential assailants.

Wharton graduate sues wife, in-laws for pregnancy fraud

(08/03/95 9:00am)

This Monday in federal court, Wharton graduate student John Knight will be making legal history. Knight is suing his ex-wife Mary Rourke and her parents for fraud and conspiracy because he said Rourke deliberately misinformed him that she was pregnant with a child that was not his. Knight, who is asking for more than $100,000, said her parents as well knew all along that he was not the father of the girl, who is now five years old. When Knight's attorney Norman Perlberger argues the case before U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter, it will be the first time in history that such a lawsuit will be heard. It is not the first time a man has filed fraud charges over misrepresented paternity. But in similar cases, the lawsuit was supposed to relieve the man of making child-support payments. Knight abandoned his ex-wife's child when he found out that she was not really his. He is seeking to recover money he spent on the marriage and lost income from a career change he made so he could care for his wife because of her mental illness. And if Knight wins, his ex-wife, the five-year-old girl and her grandparents stand to lose the family house from the damages Knight would recover from his suit. Knight was unavailable for comment. Perlberger did not return calls placed to his office. Rosalie Davies, an attorney for the grandparents, told the Philadelphia Daily News that the family's homeowner insurance policy "will not cover an intentional wrong, and fraud requires intent. "Norman [Perlberger] has said to me at they could lose their home," she said. DNA tests determined that Knight was not the father. And when Knight was in a custody battle with Rourke in 1992 after the marriage broke up, he dropped the custody case and all contact with the child after finding that the girl was not his. "I just don't feel like it's right to be a false father figure to her for the rest of her life," Knight said in a deposition. "If I'm not her father, I think the father needs to be a part of her life and to raise her." Knight alleges that Rourke's parents are responsible for the damages because he claims that Rourke told her parents about everything. The Philadelphia Daily News contributed to this article.

VP for Human Resources named

(08/03/95 9:00am)

John Gould to remain until Sept. 30 Clint Davidson has been named to the position of vice president for Human Resources, Executive Vice President John Fry announced earlier this week. The University's Board of Trustees will vote on Davidson's nomination on September 22. If confirmed, Davidson -- who is currently the associate vice chancellor for Human Resources at Vanderbilt University -- will take over the post October 1. But he will not be on campus full-time until November 1. He will spend the month making his transition from Vanderbilt to the University, Fry said. In his new position, Davidson will be responsible for "the development, implementation and coordination of policies and programs encompassing all aspects of human resource management," according to a University statement. He will essentially be responsible for overseeing the University's employees, which is no small task considering that the University is the largest private employer in Philadelphia, and the fourth-largest in the state. Davidson said he intends to focus his initial attention "on listening and seeing what the primary needs are." John Gould will remain acting vice president for Human Resources until September 30. The post had been vacated last summer when William Holland left the University after two years in the office. Gould has been holding the interim position since October. Gould was unavailable for comment. Davidson comes to the University with more than 25 years of experience in the field. "He really is very deeply experienced in human resources and higher education," Fry said. "He is one of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field." Fry said he has been involved in the search for a vice president for human resources since his arrival at the University in April. At that time he was presented with the names of four candidates for the position. He said Davidson did not initially apply for the position until the University pursued him as a candidate. Fry added that Davidson made a really positive impression during his interview. "I decided based on meeting with all four candidates that Clint was the one I wanted to bring on," he said. "He really seemed to be a person who really could be very fair relative to employee concerns. "He seemed to have a real heart," Fry added. Davidson said while both Vanderbilt and the University have their own personalities, there are a lot of similarities. "Our universities are only as good as the people a part of the University," he said. He said his goal is to insure that the work environment at the University is conducive to productivity. And Davidson said he is convinced that the University has the kind of leadership to "really make things happen." Davidson has also served as the director of personnel services at the University of Oklahoma, the assistant senior vice president for Administrative Services at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the director of the University of Rochester's Personnel and Affirmative Action department.

Newsweek: Rodin is up and coming

(08/03/95 9:00am)

University President Judith Rodin is one in a million. Or at least one in a hundred, according to Newsweek. Along with Vice President Al Gore, Detroit Piston Grant Hill and fashion designer Donna Karan, Rodin is listed as one of the nation's "Overclass 100." The Overclass 100 is "an unscientific list of 100 members of the new overclass," according to the article in the July 31 issue. "They are among the country's comers, the newest wave of important and compelling people," it says. But this is just the most recent example of Rodin national recognition. Since her inauguration she has been sought after by many organizations and companies. Earlier this summer, she was elected to the Board of Directors of Aetna Life & Casualty insurance company. Aetna Chairperson Ronald Compton said the corporation selected Rodin because of her "distinguished academic career, expertise in health care delivery and broad understanding of the issues facing society." Rodin is also currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia First Corporation, which is comprised of 32 leaders of the largest corporations in the region. The committee's purpose is to work with other organizations in the region to improve the educational opportunities available to the next generation of scholars. And she is one of only two university presidents named to the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. Rodin said she always has the University in mind when she is serving in her other capacities. "I see the opportunity to turn whatever interests people have in me as a way of getting Penn's message out," she said. "So I am always in committees and in any national exposure trying to talk about what we are doing here and why what we are doing is groundbreaking." She added that she only chooses to serve on committees that will enable her to make a difference on issues that are important to the University community. Rodin said she limits the number of offers she accepts, because they are time-consuming. She accepted a position on Aetna's board because its issues directly relate to the University Medical Center's own health care system. "I chose that one and turned down several others that I felt were not as relevant to issues that I was confronting at Penn," Rodin said. Rodin's dedication to the Philadelphia community motivated her to join the board of the Greater Philadelphia First. "I certainly think that she has taken on an active role in terms of seeing the University as very much a part of this community," said Mary Gregg, deputy director of the organization. "And in that sense she is very reflective of the type of member we like to have as a member of Philadelphia First." And Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs Carol Scheman said Rodin's service on the President's Committee is "enormously important to the University because we are a research University and so much of our future is tied to research." Scheman added that since the federal government is now rethinking the funding it will allocate for research, Rodin's presence on the committee will insure that the University's direct needs are represented. And University spokesperson Barbara Beck said Rodin's leadership skills make her a successful president. "She has vision, confidence, optimism and the ability to get things done fast," she said. "Those are the qualities needed to command a world class institution like the University of Pennsylvania."