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HERE TO SERVE: Students serve as 'Pennpals' to youth

(12/07/94 10:00am)

PENNpals volunteers devote themselves to providing a steady and reassuring presence in the lives of West Philadelphia children. Each week, the University students spend three hours with their PENNpals. Most volunteers take care of one child, though some are assigned more than one sibling. The children range in age from six to 12 years old and are second- through sixth-graders. PENNpals is intended "to help the children through one-on-one interaction with a mentor or friend," said College junior Jerry Greenberg, president of the program. Greenberg said he has worked with his PENNpal for more than two years. "We've done everything from visiting museums, [to] going to sporting events [and] playing at a playground," he said. "He loves coming here [and] visiting Penn." College junior Tina Chinakorn said the program is designed to reach out to the Philadelphia community. "[The purpose is to] be a mentor to kids in the Philadelphia area," she added. "They have a shaky family support [system]. The Penn students really fill that gap." Chinakorn said she believes the University students make a significant difference in the lives of their PENNpals. "Penn students and their PENNpals really create a special relationship," she said. "At [our] functions, you can see a lot of the Penn students hugging their PENNpals. This reflects the special relationships that arise from this program." College junior Melina Ziegel said the children take great satisfaction in spending time with the University students. "They're so happy [about] any contact," she said. Since most children participating in the PENNpals program have different backgrounds, some volunteers say working with the children makes them more aware of cultural diversity. College freshman Marla Snyder, whose PENNpal is Indonesian, said working in the program has been a learning experience. "I [find] myself lucky that I was paired with someone different from me ethnically and religiously," she said. "It allows me an opportunity to learn about other people and broaden my knowledge of other people." The students participate in a variety of activities with the children. Snyder related the time she helped dress her child for Halloween by painting his face with face paint. She also recalled helping her child with his homework and assembling a Lion King jigsaw puzzle with him. Ziegel said she likes to take her PENNpal ice skating. She also enjoys sitting in front of her child's house and talking with her PENNpal. College senior Robyn Kent said she tries to expose her child to a variety of cultural experiences. "We've gone to museums, a carnival, [and] the Franklin Institute," said Kent, who is also president of the Black Student League.


THE COLOR OF MONEY: Running out of options

(12/07/94 10:00am)

"Penn's $25,000 tuition is worse than putting up a sign that says 'No Blacks Allowed.'" The Oct. 27 Podberesky v. Kirwan decision, which found race-based scholarships to be unconstitutional in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, leaves the future of minority scholarships in question. And the pending appeal of this court decision further clouds the race-based scholarship issue. In 1990, Daniel Podberesky, a Hispanic student, requested consideration for a four-year, full-tuition, non-need-based scholarship under the University of Maryland's Benjamin Banneker Scholarship Program. Although the school admitted Podberesky was qualified for the scholarship, University of Maryland officials said the scholarship was only open to black students. In wake of the October decision, some institutions have already begun to look for alternative methods to attract minority students to college. In states presently affected by the Podberesky decision, it is too soon to predict its impact on universities. "I need [legal] interpretation of the decision, but we will comply with the law," said James Belvin, the director of Undergraduate Financial Aid at Duke University. The state of Maryland along with the University of Maryland at College Park has requested an en banc hearing of the case. If granted, it would mean that a panel of all 13 justices of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals would hear the case rather than just the three judges who issued the October decision. The request will most likely be denied. "[The defendants] have a virtually zero chance of being reheard," said Richard Samp, lead council for the plaintiff, who submitted his rejection of the en banc hearing on Nov. 25. If denied, Maryland will request a U.S. Supreme Court hearing of the case, which will most probably be granted because of the federal and state governments' stake in the case -- they promote minority scholarships through affirmative action directives. "If the government asks, the Supreme Court will hear it," Samp said. If the Podberesky case is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which would not happen until after the 1994-1995 term, race-based scholarships may be abolished nationwide. "This decision, if affirmed in the Supreme Court, would be the death knell for all minority scholarships," Samp said. Some university officials across the country say the threat of losing minority scholarships is frightening. Officials at the University of Florida at Gainesville, the 1994 winner of the National Association of Graduates Admissions Professionals Award for Graduate Admissions of Minority Students, find themselves asking how the school would function without race-based grants. "It's very interesting," said Jane Burman-Holton, director of Programs and Information for Graduate and Minority Programs. "If you wanted to recruit minorities, what would you use?" To combat this very real question, several scholarship programs have started to consider alternatives to race-based grants. In order to target the students that were formerly distinguished by race requirements, the Department of Education, in awarding its Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program limits eligibility to first generation college students whose income does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level and who are members of an ethnic group that is underrepresented in graduate education. Some experts don't think that lack of money is the main problem impeding minority students. The problem is the lack of college preparation. "You can get the money from the government if you have the academic ability to stay in school," said Sam Evans, chairperson of the American Foundation for Negro Affairs (AFNA). Evans said professors often discriminate against minorities in the classroom. "When black students are put on scholarship, they can't succeed academically," he said. "[Discrimination] is no further than the tip of the teacher's marking pen." Evans added that in addition to discrimination, other obstacles many African American students face is inadequate preparation for college. To better prepare black students for college, AFNA created an alternative to scholarships that lower standards for minority student recipients by creating special programs which enable these students to compete with the mainstream. AFNA's summer program, which has held classes on the University's campus, allows Philadelphia African-American students to attend courses designed to give them extra help in areas that will facilitate their success in college. "When we set up the program, minorities were three percent of all professionals, but were 12 to 14 percent of the population," Evans said. "In order to increase professions among minorities, we set up the program to aid students in meeting the academic requirements of the school he or she attends." Since its birth in 1968, Evans boasts that AFNA's program has had 7,000 graduates, with 370 doctors and 250 lawyers and doctorate degrees. He added that it has been selected by the government as a model for the nation. Evans said he supports the abolition of all minority scholarships. Instead, he says, college should be affordable for everyone. "Penn's $25,000 tuition is worse than putting up a sign that says 'No Blacks Allowed'," Evans said. "Blacks were kept out of universities for 100 years and as soon as they were let in, tuition was raised four times as much." Evans said this trend is like restaurants raising prices to maintain their caucasian clientele. The phenomenon of increasing tuition has been held responsible by many for the discrepancy in minority enrollment at universities, regardless of financial programs present at these schools. This statistic is difficult to measure, however, because often students who do not think they can afford a school will not apply, according to Bill Schilling, director of Undergraduate Student Financial Aid. While some think lowering tuition is the answer, others think the number of minority scholarships should be increased. Pat Walton, assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Maryland would like to see a larger number of race-based grant programs. She believes that they improve conditions of discrimination. "I would like to see programs for every minority," she said. "Change comes gradually, whatever is popular gets noticed first." By 2004, 68 percent of high school graduates will be minorities, according to Jane Burman-Holton, director of programs and information for Graduate and Minority Programs at Maryland. "In the long run we will switch to recruiting caucasians and simply recruiting the ethnic group that is underrepresented," Burman-Holton said. Because of the relatively small scholarship fund held by the University and the current controversy surrounding minority scholarships, the financial aid offices are weary of any change at all. "We want to continue to be able to overcome the financial obstacles for our students," Schilling said. "With federal programs not increasing, we're faced with a challenge that we'll have to deal with over the next five to ten years." Graduate program administrators expressed similar sentiments. "I hate to see anything to happen to financial aid which might jeopardize it," said Vice-Provost for Graduate Education Janice Madden. "Anything that happens to financial aid is disturbing." The debate over minority scholarships is a multi-faceted issue with as many different viewpoints as recipients. Policy makers are being faced with compelling arguments on both sides of the issue and the solution does not seem close at hand. "You could probably write two or three books on why we are in the situation we are in today," said Jean Girves, associate director of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. "It is not simple how we got here and it is not simple how we get out of it."


Schorr, Debicella debate future of UA constitution

(12/07/94 10:00am)

Amidst prolonged debate about constitutional reform, two Undergraduate Assembly leaders remain diametrically opposed about the future structure of student government. UA representative and College senior Dan Schorr claims that an effective student government must be unified. But for UA Chairperson and Wharton junior Dan Debicella, other branches of student government should be left alone. In recent weeks, the UA newsgroup, upenn.undergraduate-assembly, has been a forum for concerned students and UA members alike to discuss ideas to reform the existing constitution. Schorr posted his proposal for the constitution on the newsgroup earlier this week. Schorr said his proposal involves significant changes that include two other branches of student government besides the UA -- the Nominations and Elections Committee and the Student Activities Council. Regarding NEC, Schorr said that as of now,"elected people aren't deciding what opinions are represented on the University committees, and that's a problem." NEC Chairperson and College senior Rick Gresh said the NEC is an apolitical group and therefore cannot disclose their opinions on the issue. "It will be NEC's responsibility to run the election if anything changes," he said. "But we respect the right of the student body to change what they want to change." "We believe very strongly in students' rights," Gresh added. Schorr said another component of the proposal involves placing the SAC Finance committee under the UA. The UA would take on full responsibility for funding recommendations to student groups. "Student funds aren't being allocated by democratically elected people," Schorr said. "They are elected by the SAC body and not by students at the University." He added that, according to his proposal, there would be one student government, while the remaining branches -- the Social Planning and Events Committee, Student Committee on Undergraduate Education, and Class Boards -- would become SAC-type student groups. Schorr said he believes the newly-formed student government's increased power will encourage better people to run for the positions. Debicella, however, said the problem lies not with the members, but with the UA's internal election structure. Schorr agrees with Debicella that internal structure needs to be dealt with, and said he sees a two-part solution to the problem. "One is by election reform and one is by UA Steering better utilizing resources," Schorr said. "Both [aspects] have to be dealt with." Debicella said he believes Schorr's idea to create a one-student government is not necessary, and that the other branches of student government do not need to be changed. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," said Debicella. "For SAC and NEC to be disbanded –– that's like throwing the baby out with the bath-water." He added that the UA's main job does not include funding or nominations, but rather student advocacy. Debicella also said he supports the inclusion of a supremacy clause in the new Constitution. "Any action taken by [the other branches of] student government can be overturned by the UA," he said. "It wouldn't affect the workings of the other branches." Currently, however, SAC and SCUE are autonomous branches and do not need to look toward UA for final approval on decisions their organization makes. Referring to the reform process, Debicella said time will tell on its success. "How far this goes, we will see –– it's been tried in the past," he said.


U. gets $1.2 million from NIH

(12/07/94 10:00am)

The University has been awarded a $1.2 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to support an international training program in biomedical research for underrepresented minorities. The three-year program -- called the Minority International Research Training Program -- is the result of a collaborative effort between the University and two of the country's leading black universities, Lincoln and Howard, according to Saul Winegrad, professor of physiology and chief architect of the MIRT program at the University. The program, which will begin next May, will match 18 students with internships established by the University in laboratories around the world, including sites in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. "It's going to be a highly individualized program where any student in that program will get a great deal of individualized attention," Winegrad said. "A heavy investment of time and energy and resources will go into that individual so that the success rate will be very high." The program was designed to send nine undergraduate students, nine graduate students and one or two faculty members overseas. The undergraduates will stay abroad for three months, the graduates will remain for up to nine months and the faculty members will be able to stay for a full year. Applicants will be selected based on a two-tiered process -- one at the individual institutional level and the other consisting of an advisory board of representatives from each university -- Winegrad said. "We are interested in judging several things, not only the academic qualifications and not only the commitment and the interest in the program, but the social maturity to be able to handle going to a foreign country for the first time, going into a laboratory where you basically know no one and not only surviving but having a constructive experience," he said. "Studying abroad has the potential to profoundly change the lives of minority students," said Joy Gleason Carew, director of the Center for the Study of Critical Languages and Cultures at Lincoln University and a member of MIRT's local advisory committee in a statement issued by the University Medical Center. "These students, when removed from the social and political context of the United States, are able to revise their views of themselves and reach beyond other people's perceptions of their abilities," Carew added. Winegrad said he hopes the program will provide all those involved with a worldly experience. "Research is truly international," Winegrad said. "Not only is the content of it international and the application of it international, but the community is truly international."


Kuprevich's leadership troubles police officers

(12/07/94 10:00am)

and Gregory Montanaro University Police officers and Fraternal Order of Police officials voiced concerns this week about the management style of University Police, and specifically Commissioner John Kuprevich. "He does a whole lot of talking and not a lot of doing," University Police officer and FOP Chief Shop Steward Peggy O'Malley said. "He's made a lot of pie-crust promises, and as we all know, pie-crusts can be easily broken. His intentions are good, but he didn't follow through." University Police officer and FOP President Dave Ball agreed with O'Malley. "He said he was going to do certain things and take certain initiatives, and none of them have come about," Ball said. But Interim Executive Vice President Jack Freeman, who supervises University Police and Kuprevich, said he supports the Commissioner. "I continue to have confidence in Kuprevich's leadership," he said. He added that he had "never heard a word from the FOP." "You need to realize you are dealing with union leadership," Freeman said. Numerous officers cited failed plans for a new police station, the poor condition of the cars and slow changes in technology, such as the failure to purchase radios that scan the Philadelphia Police frequency. Although a few of the officers have theses radios, some are still carrying older models. A few officers also complained that not all of the service revolvers are functional and that winter uniforms have not yet arrived. Ball said he did not know whether Kuprevich or the administration was to blame for not following through with various development plans, such as the new police headquarters. "I think it's a political job, and I don't think he's done well politically," Ball said. Kuprevich would not comment on any remarks made by FOP officials because he said the issues raised should be kept internal to the organization. "I think it's highly inappropriate to put those kind of comments out in the press, and I see no value to respond to those comments," he said. "If the officers feel that they should go to you with concerns that's up to them, but I am not going to respond to that. It's highly inappropriate." O'Malley said she does not think the officers are unhappy with every aspect of the University Police management, though. "Chief [George] Clisby is fair and reasonable for the most part," she said. "We've been able to settle some grievances." She said that her only concern with Clisby, who directs patrol and supervises police operations, is that he does not interact with the officers enough. "I think he needs to get more involved with the patrol officers," she said. "We need to see his human side, right now, he's the name on the memo or directive. He never gets out there and addresses roll call or tells people they've done a good job." O'Malley also said Victim Support and Special Services Director Maureen Rush "has been an excellent addition to the management staff." "She's very knowledgeable about police work," she said. "And she appreciates the job the police officers are doing here. Her presence has definitely boosted morale." O'Malley said officers respect Rush because "she came in, she said what changes she wanted to make and she made them." Clisby and Rush would not comment for this article.


Civil rights leader speaks

(12/07/94 10:00am)

Wilmette Brown has battled racism and homophobia around the world since the 1960s. And last night she brought her message to the University. In a forum co-sponsored by the Program for the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Community at Penn and the Penn Women's Center, Brown spoke on the topic of "Organizing Across the Divides of Race, Nation, Poverty, and Sexual Orientation." Brown is one of the founders of International Black Women for Wages for Housework, a group which promotes the recognition of women's work in the home. In her speech, Brown addressed several different topics, including her personal beliefs about the direction of the gay movement, welfare reform and government policy regarding AIDS. She described her first priority as "connecting with other people to promote The International Black Women for Wages for Housework." Brown also praised the media for its recognition of young people and minorities within the gay, lesbian and bisexual community, but expressed concern over the lack of coverage of gays with disabilities and lesbian single mothers. "I think it is important to acknowledge women's work in the community," said Gloria Gay, associate director of the Penn Women's Center. "Often we don't acknowledge the work done in the home." In addition to the rights of housewives, Brown is a strong supporter of the rights of the gay, lesbian and bisexual community. "From the perspective of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Association, often times the gay movement has set an agenda for white males and females," said Ruth Kauffman, program assistant for PLGBCAP. "Ms. Brown addresses the issues of the gay community across the divides of class and race," she added. The event, which drew an audience of more than 35, was sponsored by 16 different campus groups, according to Gay. "The number of groups reflects the broad appeal of the speaker," she added. Currently, Brown is working to stop the trials of the AIDS drug AZT, which are being held in Europe. "We consider them to be genocidal experiments," she said. Brown is also trying to bring blacks and whites together in the British gay pride movement and is coordinating opposition to Britain's Child Support Act. Additionally, Brown has worked to eliminate the stigma attached to welfare. "Welfare is the power to refuse a wage job," she said. "The unwaged work of lesbians spent fighting AIDS should be paid for." Brown is also active in the anti-nuclear, health and environmental movements and their relation to the minority community.


'Generation XX' hits newsstands

(12/07/94 10:00am)

Students will find a new addition to the University's host of publications today when the first issue of the women's newspaper Generation XX hits the newsstands. College juniors Jennifer Manion and Colleen Mastony started the paper this year and served as co-editors-in-chief. A staff of 50 students wrote and designed the 12-page issue. Two thousand copies will be placed today in residences, Van Pelt Library and other locations on campus. Several offices across campus, including the Women's Center, Student Health Services and the Afro-American Studies Department, funded the paper. Generation XX will find out next semester if the Student Activities Council has decided to fund it, according to Mastony. Incorporating art and articles, Generation XX covers a wide variety of issues, including gender equity in athletics, the experiences of a biracial students and women's health. A list of places that offer services to women and where students can volunteer is also provided. Mastony says Generation XX gives students an opportunity to discuss issues that do not currently receive enough attention. "We wanted to help increase communication so that more women can come together and talk about their experiences as women and educate themselves," Mastony said. "The paper provides a forum for our voices to be heard." The purpose of Generation XX, though, goes beyond highlighting issues that are not usually addressed. "We hope to build bridges between the different women's groups on campus," Mastony added. While Generation XX focuses on women's issues, College sophomore Zoe Schonfeld says the paper could appeal to all students. "It would be useful for men to read the paper and learn about women's issues," Schonfeld said.


Rodin and family finally move home

(12/07/94 10:00am)

Most teenagers would cringe at the idea of moving twice in one year. But for University President Judith Rodin's son, Alex, the moves from Connecticut to Center City, and now to Eisenlohr have brought more benefits than sorrow. "It's really great," he said last night as he stood outside his new home at 3812 Walnut Street. "It's a lot bigger than our old house so I can have a lot more friends here." Rodin and her family moved into the president's house yesterday, after spending their first months in Philadelphia at 21st and Delancy streets while Eisenlohr underwent renovations and repairs. At approximately 8 a.m., the first movers and other workers arrived to begin the lengthy process of preparing Eisenlohr for its new residents. The day's work included moving Rodin's personal possessions from her rented home to Eisenlohr, doing final landscaping and installing a new banister on the outdoor side stairway facing Walnut Street. The Louderback Mayflower moving company, located in King of Prussia, transferred the family's belongings. Employees from the company spent hours bringing lamps, an ironing board and many boxes from the truck parked outside the home into Eisenlohr. Louderback supervisor Mark Anderson said the move ran smoothly. "The facilities department did the planning and did a great job," he said. "It's been going really well." Vice President for Facilities Management Arthur Gravina said Pat Mulroy and Dom Fantozzi in the Public Management Department within his office were responsible for most of the planning. House Manager Alice Nelson said a total of four or five moving trucks have brought everything from personal belongings to furniture over the last two weeks. Gravina said the entire process has been "complicated." "It's been an interesting project -- one that facilities normally doesn't get involved with," he said. "But I believe the president will sleep well tonight even though the house is still in disarray." Others involved in the process spent the day preparing other aspects of the president's home. Gardener Ann Dixon said she spent her day "raking leaves and planting bulbs." Dixon, who will work at Eisenlohr on an ongoing basis, said her work "is a pretty fun job." Nelson, who served as overseer for the entire process, said Rodin has barely seen the house since its renovations. "She's only been here a couple of times," Nelson added. She said the rest of the family has seen the house, adding that Alex and Rodin's step-son, Gibson, have been able to "pick out things they wanted for their rooms." Nelson, who was also house manager under former Interim President Claire Fagin, said her job encompasses "everything from A to Z." "I try to make sure the family is happy," she added. Nelson said taking care of a family is different from only dealing with Fagin and her husband, adding that the household will now be "very youthful." Housekeeper Tina Thompson agreed, saying that Eisenlohr was sometimes "lonely." "Now it'll be family-like," she said. "It's an abundance more to do but it's nice working for Dr. Rodin and her family. "My responsibilities include keeping the house physically up to date and preparing for events," Thompson added. Probably most affected by the move was Rodin's dog, Butterfinger, who nervously ran around the grounds all day, unaccustomed to her surroundings. "Butter's having a hard time getting used to the place," Nelson said. Also affected by the move are Rodin's new neighbors, including the Sigma Alpha Mu and Sigma Nu fraternities. "We look forward to having fun with her," Sigma Nu President John Licciardello said. "We intend to open our house to her and talk with her as neighbors do." The Wharton sophomore added that Alex is also "welcome," although he said he did not "want to personally be responsible for corrupting a teenager who also happens to be the president's son." One of Eisenlohr's first large events will be a holiday party scheduled for December 19, Nelson said.


Sheriff sale held at defunct store

(12/07/94 10:00am)

Today, $20 will buy 20 Big Macs at McDonald's, a ChiaPet or 13.5 trips on a SEPTA bus. Or, if you are lucky, you can purchase a fax machine -- slightly used. Wharton sophomore Faquiry Diaz did just that yesterday afternoon. He took advantage of a massive sheriff sale at Quantum Books, held from 11:30 a.m. to noon yesterday at 140 34th Street. At a sheriff sale, the police sell confiscated items. According to Caroline Schultz, lawyer for the landlord of Quantum Books, the sale followed the tenant's eviction. The stock consisted mostly of empty wooden bookcases and, of course, a fax machine. "It is a sheriff sale to satisfy a judgement," she said, refusing to elaborate. Diaz said this was not what he and his friends had anticipated. "We just came in because we thought they would be selling technical books," he said. He added that he doubts the fax machine works. But he said he is hopeful that he will be able to restore it. "I live in the Science and Technology wing of Kings Court," he said. "We will just play around with it and see what we can do." Diaz and his friends also purchased a large bookcase for the Science and Technology wing for a mere $20. Shultz said the new management staff may be having its own sale in the future of whatever was not sold yesterday. "If they do, they'll advertise," she said. The sale was held next door to the former location of Quantum Books, because it has since been replaced by The Camera Shop Inc. Camera Shop Manager Scott Telford said he moved into the location the day after Thanksgiving. He added that he does not know the circumstances surrounding the space's availability. "All I know is that my company became aware that this location was becoming available," he said. "We were able to come to an agreement and relocate to a larger space." Telford said he does not know what will be moving into the space his store formerly occupied.


PILCOP to appeal scholarship ruling

(12/07/94 10:00am)

The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia has 30 days to appeal the Commonwealth Court's ruling Monday in favor of the University and the city in the Mayor's Scholarship lawsuit. In a four to three vote, the seven judge panel of the Commonwealth Court voted in favor of the University and the city. The decision upheld Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson Diaz's original ruling in favor of the University and the city. PILCOP has vowed to appeal the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, according to PILCOP attorney Michael Churchill. According to an agreement signed in 1977, a set number of scholarships are to be awarded to Philadelphia residents by the University in exchange for rent-free land. PILCOP sued the University in 1991, claiming that the 1977 agreement provided for 125 scholarships per year, for a total of 500 scholarships. The University contends the total should be set at 125. Legal experts said yesterday that PILCOP must file a petition for appeal -- also know as allocatur -- to the State Supreme Court. After they file the appeal, it is up to the court to decide if they want to hear the case. Daniel McGinley, president of the Philadelphia Association of School Administrators, said he is disappointed with the court's decision, but he hopes PILCOP will appeal the verdict. "I think ultimately the decision should not be left to just this court when other means are available," he said. "A number of judges were persuaded [for the plaintiff's position], unfortunately not enough of them." Although McGinley said he is disappointed with the decision, he is pleased that the University has taken steps to improve the Mayor's Scholarship program. "What we see now is that the people who got scholarships this year aren't saddled with student loans," McGinley said. "We regret students who are currently at Penn now and are saddled with loans. Our hope is to get this thing turned around." Churchill said he is concerned that the "swing" vote in the case came from Commonwealth Court President Judge James Colins, "a person who has close ties to the University." Churchill said Colins was asked to recuse himself because of his close relationship to Mayor Ed Rendell. Colins refused to do so. College freshman Monique Martin, a Mayor's Scholarship recipient, said she would not have been able to attend the University without the scholarship. She added that she knows several people who could not attend the University because they could not afford it. College freshman Hope Smith, also a Mayor's Scholarship recipient, agreed with Martin that the funds have been helpful. "Honestly I wouldn't be here without the Mayor's Scholarship," she said. "It's paying a major part of my tuition. "I think it's a shame because many people who are smart enough and deserve this kind of education are going to forego it because the opportunity isn't there." Diaz ruled in favor of the University in February 1993, but also said the University must provide complete support for scholarship recipients.


Program looks at waste sites and the poor

(12/06/94 10:00am)

Poor areas often get dumped on. Or so claimed Benjamin Davy, who led a discussion entitled "Junk Justice: Why Dumping on the Poor Might be a Bad Idea" at Kings Court/English House Thursday night. The program, co-sponsored by the Institute for Environmental Studies, dealt with various environmental justice issues. Davy, a professor of law at the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria, is a visiting professor at the Law School and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In the discussion, Davy addressed the fact that waste sites, which are often hazardous, tend to appear in poor communities. He also spoke about the possible political and economic reasons why this practice continues. "Since the 'greening' of the public agenda, sometime in the late '70s, policy makers?were concerned with the contamination of the environment on a local level," he said. "At least we should acknowledge that there is injustice here." The discussion centered around the economic strife that poor communities incur when trying to keep their neighborhoods free of hazardous waste. "The poor don't have enough money to fight back," said College freshman Ian Kelley. "They simply can't counteract [the interests of ] big corporations." Wharton sophomore Faquiry Diaz said the situation is analogous to building a jail. Though most community members may support the construction of a prison, few would be happy if it were built in their own backyard, he said. College freshman David Aaron explained the role racism plays in environmental injustice by referring to New Jersey's Quality Education Act. Under the act, which was espoused by former New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, local taxes are collected and divided statewide using a method that siphons money away from opulent communities and toward minority communities such as Camden, N.J. Aaron, who worked on Florio's failed reelection campaign earlier this year, explained that the capitalist system maintains a comparative advantage for whites. "The market structure has racism built into it," said Aaron. About 25 undergraduate, graduate and professional students attended the discussion, held in the Class of '38 Lounge in English House. "We try to arrange events that will be interesting to the student population," said Daren Wade, program assistant for Kings Court/English House. Wade said this program is valuable to students in his residence because it encompasses all three of the residence hall's magnate wings, which specialize in the sciences, the humanities and international studies. Krimo Bokreta, assistant dean for residence at Kings Court/English House agreed, stressing that the problem of "junk justice" affects each of those fields. The program was funded by the Department of Residential Living.


Court backs U., city in Mayor's Scholarship case

(12/06/94 10:00am)

After an unprecedented three re-arguments before the Commonwealth Court, a seven-judge panel ruled four to three yesterday in favor of the University and the city in the long-standing Mayor's Scholarship lawsuit. The decision upheld Judge Nelson Diaz's original decision in favor of the University and the city in February 1993. The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia has vowed to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. If the decision is upheld, it will clear the way for the University to award 125 Mayor's Scholarships total, as opposed to 125 each year as PILCOP argued. University General Counsel Shelley Green said she is very pleased with the court's decision. "I'm delighted with the outcome," Green said. "I believe the University's position, and I am pleased the Commonwealth Court has agreed with it." Outside University counsel Arthur Makadon agreed. "I'm delighted the lower court decision was upheld," he said. The dispute over the Mayor's Scholarship agreement between the city and the University has been in litigation for the last three years. According to an agreement signed in 1977, a set number of scholarships are to be awarded to Philadelphia residents by the University in exchange for rent-free land. PILCOP sued the University in 1991, claiming that the 1977 agreement provided for 125 scholarships per year, for a total of 500 scholarships. The University contends the total should be set at 125. A judge ruled in favor of the University in February 1993, but also stated that the University must provide complete support for scholarship recipients. PILCOP attorney Michael Churchill said yesterday's decision will have a negative effect on Philadelphia students. He said he hoped the decision would have placed the number of scholarships at the same level it had been in 1910, which was then five percent of the University's student body. "It's a tough day for the students of Philadelphia," Churchill said. "At a time when Philadelphia is trying to improve education and stimulate students, the loss will have a big impact." But Churchill said he is pleased with the University's effort to expand its recruiting in Philadelphia and lauded the improvement of the Mayor's Scholarship in general. "We are heartened by the fact that Penn has expanded and has been recruiting more students in Philadelphia," he said. "We hope they consider expanding what they are doing." Judge Dan Pellegrini was one of the four judges who ruled in favor of the University and city. "Even if the objectors had standing?we would affirm the trial court's interpretation that the University and city intended to maintain 125 full-tuition scholarships at any given time," Pellegrini stated in his opinion. Judge Bernard McGinley issued a concurring opinion with the majority in favor of the original decision. Judge Doris Smith issued a dissenting opinion. "The court erred in concluding that objectors had no standing to bring their equity action and in its interpretation of the 1977 ordinances with respect to the number and frequency of Mayor's Scholarships to be awarded to deserving graduates of Philadelphia schools," Smith wrote in her opinion. According to University spokesperson Barbara Beck, a 1992 agreement between the University and the city reaffirmed the University's obligation to Philadelphia students. The agreement also "substantially enhanced" Mayor's Scholarship students' financial aid packages. "The University has aggressively strengthened the implementation of the Mayor's Scholarship Program and intensified the recruitment of students from the local community," Beck said. "It's part of a long-standing commitment to Philadelphia. The University wants more Philadelphians attending Penn." According to Beck, the average Mayor's Scholarship package includes $18,806 in grants from the University. The University accepted 32 Mayor's Scholars this year, 16 percent more than last year. Mayor's Scholars are selected by the Mayor's Scholarship Committee, whose members are appointed by Mayor Ed Rendell. Churchill said Judge James Colins was asked to recuse himself from the case because of his close relationship with Mayor Ed Rendell. Colins, who is the president judge of the court, refused to do so. The Commonwealth Court's decision comes in the wake of third re-argument in Philadelphia in October.


Rodin set to move into new residence

(12/06/94 10:00am)

When the fraternities on Walnut Street hold parties or events from now on, University President Judith Rodin will be the first to know. Today, Rodin and her family will officially move into 3812 Walnut Street, better known as Eisenlohr Hall. Eisenlohr, the traditional home of the University president, has undergone renovations since the summer. The heating and cooling system and roof required repairs, while the third floor of the home was renovated to create living quarters where storage space had existed before. Rodin's husband, son and stepson will join her in the on-campus home. She lived at 21st and Delancey streets while the renovations were being completed. "I am the only one in my family who has not been there," she said on Friday. "Alex was there to set up his bed [last] Tuesday, my husband and stepson were there [last] Monday, and I just haven't had time." Rodin said she and her family have looked forward to "finally" moving for a while. "The stuff is all moving first and then I said 'please move us last,' because we're all frantic about it," she added. "I just can't wait." Originally, the renovations were set to exceed $1 million because of plans to build a back staircase in the home to give the first family more privacy. Rodin immediately rejected that idea because of the cost When the renovations commenced, Interim Executive Vice President Jack Freeman estimated the cost at $800,000. In late September, the Board of Trustees approved $727,350 for the project Rodin said she thought the final cost was much less, but Freeman could not be reached yesterday to confirm this.


Dean reviews ready to begin

(12/06/94 10:00am)

Reappointments expected Editor's Note: This is one of several stories focusing on the four graduate deans. Today's story centers on Law School Dean Colin Diver. Four graduate school deans are up for review this year and a recommendation of reappointment is expected for each. Law School Dean Colin Diver, Annenberg School for Communication Dean Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dental School Dean Raymond Fonesca and Medical School Dean William Kelley will be judged by faculty members and students on their performances within the coming months. According to the Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators, a review committee is established in the sixth year of a dean's initial term if a reappointment of more than two years is considered. Executive Assistant to the Provost Linda Koons said she does not expect any difficulties for the deans. "I can't imagine that any of these are going to be bad reviews," she said. Diver said he does not anticipate problems in the process, as long as the president and provost want the Law School to continue on its current track. "If they're basically interested in the direction we've been going, then it seems to me it should be smooth sailing," he said. Diver said he hopes to increase the amount of publicity the school receives. After focusing for the last five or six years on improving the Law School's quality, he said he now hopes to work to make the school's reputation match its accomplishments. "I think we're trying to increase the effectiveness of our communications and our marketing because we're better than the world recognizes," he said. Several law students seemed quite pleased with Diver's performance. Chuck Connolly, a third-year Law student, praised the dean. "I think he's done a really good job," he said. "I've worked with him on a couple committees, and with the journal that I'm working on now?he's been open to me as a student." Last year, Connolly served on the committee to select a new dean of admissions for the school. "I was very impressed with [Diver] in that and his goal of trying to improve the Law School and searching for the best candidate," he said. Law School student body President Alan Reifenberg said he thinks Diver's "greatest accomplishment has been his fundraising." Reifenberg, like several students, commented on the school's new law library in Tanenbaum Hall, which was dedicated on Oct. 14, 1993 during a ceremony that included a speech by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. "I think it's extremely impressive that he was able to do this in very hard economic times, because this is a tremendous resource for the student body," said Reifenberg, a third-year Law student. "We have a cutting edge library, and that affects the day-in and day-out life of every law student." Jared Silverman, a second-year Law student and a member of the school's Council of Student Representatives, said he likes the direction in which the Law School is going. "I think that the dean has done a fantastic job at the Law School," he said. "He has a real vision for the Law School, where he wants it to be, and I think that's demonstrated through his hard work in raising money and seeing through the construction of the new library." Second-year Law student Jim Rollins said Diver has worked on expanding the size of the school's faculty. He said the dean "pulled off a major coup" in getting Geoffrey Hazard, the head of the American Law Institute, from the Yale University Law School. Ned Kase, a third-year Law student, was less enthusiastic than other students about Diver's performance. "The job of the dean of a law school, as I understand it, is to get money for the school," he said, "and to the extent that we have a brand new library, it looks like he's partially successful." He added, though, that the school "could use better teachers and more books." The committees that will review Diver and the other three deans will consist of four faculty members from within each school and four outside faculty members chosen by the president and provost. In addition, students select two of their peers to serve on the committee. The faculty members chosen by the Law School are Steven Burbank, Regina Austin, Eric Posner and Michael Fitts.


Laboratory's 100th anniversary honored

(12/06/94 10:00am)

In celebration of the William Pepper Laboratory's 100th anniversary, an all-day symposium entitled "The Clinical Laboratory in the Future of Medicine" was held at 9 a.m. Friday in Dunlop Auditorium in Stemmler Hall. The laboratory, established in 1895 as the nation's first study of clinical pathology, is a central component of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University. "The Pepper Laboratory was established to excel in investigation, training of advanced students and patient care," Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Department Chairperson Leonard Jarett said. "We feel that today's Pepper Laboratory and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine fulfill that expectation and place us in an excellent position to start the next 100 years." Division of Laboratory Medicine Director Donald Young, who heads the William Pepper Laboratory, emphasized the importance of this area of study. "At a time when many institutions are cutting back on their educational programs, we are maintaining Penn's level of academic excellence by increasing the funds and opportunities for study," he said in a statement. "Our goal is to recruit and train young scientists to ensure that needed research and clinical advances continue." National experts will speak on subjects such as economics and society, aging, infectious diseases, malignant diseases, the human genome, biotechnology and instrumentation and information management. The speakers represent medical schools from across the country including those at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and Princeton universities and the University of Washington. Director of the Institute for Clinical Science at Pennsylvania Hospital William Sunderman concluded the symposium at 4 p.m. with an introduction to the Centennial Exhibit. As part of the centennial celebration, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is also inaugurating a fellowship fund. The program will offer fellowships to medical students who are interested in investigating the field. Residents who want an extra year of training and post-doctoral and post-residency individuals who would like to pursue more in-depth training will also be candidates for the fund.


UA meeting focuses on Maple

(12/06/94 10:00am)

Debate on Maple, the mathematics computer software program, continued at Sunday night's Undergraduate Assembly meeting. The controversial program, implemented last year to assist freshmen in introductory calculus courses, was included in the UA freshman committee's threefold proposal. UA representative and College freshman Tal Golomb said instead of receiving only one credit for Calculus 140 and 141 classes, students should be required to take a one-hour laboratory section that would instruct them in proper use of Maple. According to the proposal, the lab would be taught by a teaching assistant "who demonstrates a full knowledge and understanding of Maple," and will add .5 credits to the course. The proposal also calls for the Mathematics Department to revise the Calculus 150 and 151 courses by cutting Maple from the curriculum entirely. Software that is more "suitable" for 150 and 151 students should be implemented in its place, Golomb said. But Mathematics Department Chairperson Dennis DeTurck cautioned against making such drastic changes before a substitute can be found. Last night, the UA announced that students enrolled in introductory level calculus courses will form a committee to test possible programs to replace Maple. "We've got support from Dr. DeTurck," Golomb said. Several UA members questioned the legitimacy of hour-long laboratory sections. UA member and College sophomore Seth Gribetz expressed concern about TA's ability to teach students Maple. "Calculus TA's I had last year weren't trained," Gribetz said. "Something [should be done] to get TA's up to par." UA representative and Wharton freshman Hester Wong said the problem is "something that is definitely being looked into." Another problem discussed during the meeting was whether a replacement program is necessary in the 150 and 151 courses. "I don't think it's necessary to introduce a whole new program to confuse them," said UA representative and College sophomore Josh Gottheimer. He proposed that a "more user-friendly" program be added if necessary. In response to the UA members' thoughts on Maple, Golomb said computer programs are necessary in mathematics courses. "It gives students a chance to use computers," said Golomb. "The conceptual ideas they learn can be seen in a practical way." "Students need Maple, especially for higher level [mathematics] classes," he added. Despite the amount of questions the freshman committee fielded from the body regarding the proposal, it passed with a unanimous vote. UA Chairperson and Wharton junior Dan Debicella said he hopes the committee can begin negotiations with the Mathematics Department in the spring and implement the proposal changes by next fall.


THE COLOR OF MONEY: A Double Standard

(12/06/94 10:00am)

Many see minority scholarshipsMany see minority scholarshipscreating much-needed opportunities.Many see minority scholarshipscreating much-needed opportunities.But others feel these scholarships areMany see minority scholarshipscreating much-needed opportunities.But others feel these scholarships arelowering standards and insulting theMany see minority scholarshipscreating much-needed opportunities.But others feel these scholarships arelowering standards and insulting theintelligence of minority students These days, it's not always the thought that counts. Minority scholarships, although implemented to meet a wide variety of well-intended goals, are encountering increasing resistance from students and society alike. Some students said last week minority scholarships are degrading because they assume minorities cannot compete with the mainstream. And other critics wonder how a scholarship committee can determine the race of a student who has a mixed background. Some have said students try to manipulate the system for their own personal gain. Academics have also said these types of scholarships further divide the races rather than diversify student bodies. Sam Evans, chairman of the American Foundation for Negro Affairs, said although institutions establish these scholarships as compensation for past discrimination, the harm that comes from further separating the races far outweighs any financial advantage. "Schools should not have special scholarships for minority students," Evans said. "Minorities aren't asking for special treatment, they're asking for equal treatment." Students with mixed ethnicities also pose a problem for the system of minority scholarships. Angela Todd, a Committee on Institutional Cooperation staff member, said multiethnic students sometimes cause confusion for scholarship selection. She said eligibility for certain scholarships "depends on the situation." "Every now and then someone will call if they're half and half," she said. "Some are Asian and Mexican, but Asian isn't covered. To be considered, you have to consider yourself Mexican." She added that mulatto students also have difficulties applying for minority scholarships. "Mulatto is not covered," she said. "It is better to say that you feel black." Graduate School of Education Associate Dean Nancy Streim said federal guidelines exist to categorize minorities, but they are not distributed to those applying for the Foster Fellowship, GSE's minority scholarship. She added GSE uses self-report data to determine races. "It is one's experience in life where you find your real identity," she said. Streim said students who are only one-sixteenth black, for example, are not abusing the system if they apply for scholarship money. "It is more important that [applicants'] goals be consistent with Dr. Foster's," she said. Foster was a University alumnus who was assassinated while working in a high school in Oakland, Calif. But she does admit that "there is a fuzzy area between your lineage and your race." Administrators of various colleges also said students may try to manipulate the system to their own advantage, although it is unlikely. "There is a possibility of abuse of the system, but I haven't seen it come up," said Robin Gabriel, Assistant Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Multiethnic Recruitment at College of Wooster. "If the student wanted to play games, they'd be putting their reputation on the line," Gabriel said. Still, advocates cite many justifications for the establishment of these grants. Minority scholarship programs in Florida were created to compensate for traditional discrimination that plagued the public school systems since their foundations. In 1969, the University of Maryland at College Park established its program in an effort to diversify its 99 percent white student body. One consistent claim is that standardized tests, like the Scholastic Aptitude Test, which are commonly used as criteria for the awarding of scholarships, are biased. Congresswoman Cardiss Collins (D – Ill.) endorsed the Black Coaches Association on Sept. 23, 1995 in recommending the abandonment of the Scholastic Aptitude Test for college entrance requirements. She also supported the elimination of SAT scores for athletic eligibility in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Illinois Democrat said the test is racially and culturally biased. At the University of Maryland-College Park, standardized test bias was one reason minority students were not winning the Francis Scott Key Scholarship, the university's race-neutral scholarship, according to Pat Walton, the assistant director of undergraduate admissions. "The [Key] scholarships are based on SAT scores and they discriminate against minority students," Walton said. "Academic criteria is different across cultural lines and the SAT is a better indicator for white students." Walton said many minority students are not raised in comparable environments to white students and therefore should not have to compete with them for scholarships. "Caucasian students may have more opportunity to take SAT prep courses and may better use the type of analytical thinking necessary for the test," she added. College junior Lisa Foreman agreed, adding that minority students in public high schools often cannot prepare for standardized testing as well as other students. "I don't see anything wrong with lowering standards because blacks score lower on the SAT," she said. "I believe they are biased. I didn't have books that prepared me for the SAT. Public schools are just different from private schools." But other minority students find the lowering of standards for minority scholarships unacceptable and insulting. "[A minority scholarship] disadvantages the person and it's an insult," said College junior Samantha Ching. "It's insulting because they're saying you can't get in on your own. It's saying they're just dumber, they don't meet up to par." College junior Cynthia Lam agreed, adding that minority scholarships "breed suspicion." "People feel you're inferior because it's questionable how you got where you are," Lam said. "You don't see the real person, you only see that they were given all these opportunities." "It may lead you to question your own self," Lam added. Janice Gams, associate for Public Affairs at The College Board said that all standardized tests report discrepancies in the scores of minority groups as compared with overall averages. But no valid research has produced evidence for cultural bias on the SAT, she said. Gams reiterated many of the same factors as Walton in accounting for the differences in scores across ethnic groups. "Minority students may not take the same academic courses [as white students]," Gams said. "[They] may come from poorer families, and their families may have less education." But opponents of minority scholarships do not think it appropriate to allot money solely on the basis of skin color. Currently, the biggest obstacle for race-based scholarships is the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which on Oct. 27, decided that minority scholarships are unconstitutional in Podberesky v. Kirwan. The three-judge panel in the case held that University of Maryland at College Park failed to present sufficient evidence that a race-based scholarship is necessary and legal on its campus. "It thus remains our constitutional premise that race is an impermissible arbiter of human fortunes," the judgment stated. "The injustice of judging human beings by the color of their skin is so apparent that racial classifications cannot be rationalized by the casual invocation of benign remedial aims." In 1990, Daniel Podberesky, a Hispanic student requested consideration for a four-year, full-tuition, non-need-based scholarship under Maryland's Benjamin Banneker Scholarship Program. Although the school admitted Podberesky was qualified for the scholarship, University of Maryland officials said the scholarship was only open to black students. The panel of judges said in their decision that the Maryland's Banneker Scholarship Program does not meet the constitutional criteria for race-conscious measures because discrimination is not currently prevalent on Maryland's campus. The Court of Appeals went on to say that although the program is used to attract high-achieving African American students to the University of Maryland, "High-achievers, whether African-American or not, are not the groups against which the University discriminated in the past."


Rodin defends decision at Yale

(12/06/94 10:00am)

University President Judith Rodin responded last week to allegations that she was partially responsible for diverting the use of a $20 million grant to fund a Western Civilization program at Yale University. A cover story in Light and Truth, a journal written by Yale students, claimed that Yale and Rodin, the school's former provost, did not adhere to the 1991 grant's conditions and misled the donor, Lee Bass. Rodin denied allegations of wrongdoing, saying that financial reasons "totally and completely" guided her decision. The article stated that a committee asked Rodin to consider a proposal for four new assistant professorships for Western Civilization classes, but that she rejected the request. Rodin said last week that the donor had pledged the money, but had not actually given it. She added that the senior professorships for the course were designated before she became provost. "A couple were on leave and they asked not to give the course the year I became provost," she said, confirming that she was asked to approve a search for four new assistant professors to teach the course. Rodin said Yale had a "significant" deficit of $36 million that year, causing financial constraints on the university. She said one of the reasons for the university's financial difficulties was "spending in advance of getting the money." "One of the tenets that we developed that year was that we wouldn't spend money we didn't have," Rodin added. "It's a simple principle, but a very important guiding one. "The decision was simple and we made it over and over again," she said. "We did very little hiring that year and we were making cuts and changes all over the university." Rodin also said the decision was solely for 1991, adding that Yale President Richard Levin began to work with Bass the following year to actually obtain the money. Rodin also said the magazine that published the accusations was a "political commentary magazine" with a certain political perspective. "They are welcome [to] provide the kinds of debate and dialogue that ought to be present on campus," she said. "But it ought to be recognized when it is not a newspaper and when it is a political organ with a particular political perspective." She added that she was disturbed that the facts were distorted "so considerably by Light and Truth without asking me about the events." "It's really a total misrepresentation, and I would believe an intentional one," Rodin added. The Light and Truth article, written by Yale junior Pat Collins, claims that the decision not to implement the program was "influenced by the opposition of many faculty to the program, and that a number of faculty have even tried to have the funds redirected to their own projects or departments after succeeding in killing the original proposal." Daily Pennsylvanian Staff Writer Joshua Fineman contributed to this story.


Council members debate body's role at U.

(12/06/94 10:00am)

Each month, faculty, students, staff and administrators sit down for two hours in McClelland Hall to talk about the University. They make up the University Council, an advisory body to the president and provost that includes members of every constituency in the University. Council moderator and Political Science Professor Will Harris said his goal "has been to have Council be a place where discussion takes place, where concerns are raised with response and reaction following." According to former Secretary of Council Robert Lorndale, the University Council was started in the early 1960s in an attempt to bring various committees together under one umbrella. At its inception, the organization did not include students. "It was a meeting ground really for faculty and administrators," Lorndale said. Students became part of the Council in the late '60s. "The Council with its committees gave students a voice," he said, adding that Council helped to keep the University on an "even keel" during the sometimes traumatic events of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Harris emphasized the advisory role of Council now, saying that the administration is not "required to take our advice." "We don't make the policy," he said, bringing up Provost Stanley Chodorow's recent decision to reject the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education's proposal to amend the University calendar despite Council's unanimous approval. "I think it was a mistake, but he had the right to do it," Harris said. "That doesn't make us irrelevant -- the president and provost do always owe us an explanation for why they've done what they've done." Associate University Secretary Constance Goodman, who serves as the Council's current secretary, said the advisory panel is very important to the University since it provides the sole forum where "direct advice is given to the president and provost." Assistant to the President Stephen Steinberg, whose role in Council is to "support the president," said the discussions make Council an important body. "The strength is certainly that the quality of discussion can sometimes be very high," he said. "It's a coming together of the University community to talk about our lives together." Steinberg added that although many discussions are substantial, some are "very local and sometimes less important." University President Judith Rodin and Chodorow both said their previous universities did not have any organization similar to Council. "The closest to it was the Yale College Faculty meetings, but they didn't involve students and staff," Rodin said. "But I enjoy the meetings and am very impressed with the quality of discussion." Rodin said she sometimes finds such meetings frustrating. "There are moments I feel uneasy because I wish we had a better response or had done something that was able to solve a problem," she said. Besides its monthly meetings, Council also has 14 committees whose members and activities are approved by Council. These committees focus on topics including student life, The Book Store, financial aid, facilities and community relations. "[Council] provides informative reports on issues that are being addressed by its committees and they are held accountable at the forum when they present information to Council," Goodman said. "They also provide a structure for people directly in charge of areas of the University to hear that feedback." Goodman said people who serve as committee members become "active when they would never otherwise be active." But she added that the committee structure, in which some committees overlap, also shows some of the weaknesses in Council. Although Goodman refused to give an example of this problem, she said the Committee on Committees within the Council has to "be very careful when constituting committees and looking at their charges." Harris said the committees could "coordinate their work a little bit better" but added that they are a very important part of Council. "They are more representative than other committees," he said. "The committees may have a more diverse membership and can be more representative and more thoughtful than if one constituency -- administrators or the faculty -- just appointed them," he said. Goodman said the connection between the committees and the full body needs improvement. "I think we need to work harder at assuring that the agendas committees address and the results are known by the full community," she added. "More feedback is needed and the Council has a responsibility to ensure that the rest of the community is privy to that as well." Another issue both Harris and Goodman addressed was attendance. Harris said more Council members should attend each meeting. "I don't think the attendance is good enough," he said, "People show up when they think there's a crisis." But Goodman said outside attendance is a problem, adding that she wishes more members of the University community would attend.


Pre-meds get advice at forum

(12/06/94 10:00am)

Anxious to provide students with more information about medical school, the John Morgan PreHealth Society held an open discussion for interested undergraduates yesterday. Prospective medical students attended the forum where a panel of current University Medical School students answered questions about the application process and their current academic experiences. "The questions asked by the undergraduates reflected their well-founded concerns," said Deb Levy, College junior and co-vice president of Activities for the Society. "I think the medical students were very successful in allaying the fear about the application process." Levy also said she was very pleased with the attendance and variety of panelists who could relate to the different issues brought up by the undergraduates. The medical students answered questions about volunteering at hospitals in preparation for medical school. In addition, they discussed their workload and stressed that pre-med students should have time for extra activities and should enjoy their undergraduate years. "I hope it was beneficial for them," said fourth-year medical student Craig DellaValle. "It was important to reassure them that people in medical school have time for outside interests, but at the same time make them realize that medical school takes up a large block of time with training easily spanning 10 years." Several panelists came away from the forum hoping that students would continue to ask pertinent questions before deciding whether to apply to medical school. "The more you speak to other medical students, the more you will be prepared," said fourth-year medical student Lisa Forman. Fourth-year medical student Doug Martin said students should continue to ask questions about the admissions process and medical school in general. "I hoped the students had a healthy sense of skepticism," he added. Several students reacted positively to the forum. "I was concerned about what it takes beyond good MCAT grades and scores to get into the best medical schools such as Penn," said College sophomore Guy Lin. "Overall, it was informative and it touched on the major issues." College sophomore Mitchell Berger agreed. "It's kind of refreshing to get the student's point-of-view instead of the professor's," he said. Approximately 50 undergraduates attended the event, which was held in the Ben Franklin Room of Houston Hall.