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Editorial: Where has Clinton been?

(07/03/97 9:00am)

A brief review of recent major news stories: Attorneys for 40 U.S. states announce a landmark but flawed settlement with the major tobacco companies. The Supreme Court, in a flurry of far-reaching decisions, voids part of the popular "Brady Bill" requiring states to conduct background checks for prospective gun buyers, opens the door for state-funded special education in religious schools and tells states to decide controversial right-to-die issues by themselves. Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule. The Middle East peace process breaks down -- again. And so on and so forth. Now for a short quiz: What major American personality was almost entirely absent from the nation's airwaves and newspapers during this historic period? Let me give you a couple of hints: He has the most famous pasty, white thighs in America as well as weaknesses for pies, McDonald's food, shady real-estate deals and Arkansas state workers. His absence is not, however, particularly surprising -- especially to anyone who followed last year's presidential elections. Think back to Clinton's giant Hill Field rally. Do you remember hearing or seeing anything interesting, historic or courageous (apart, of course, from President Rodin's infamous black leather miniskirt) during the rally? Neither do I -- and for a good reason. Nothing of any interest or import happened at the Penn event, or at any of Clinton's other pre-election visits to the nation's college campuses. The speech was the same, the jokes (about Socks having his own Web page) were the same. And, as in all the other speeches, Clinton's Quaker address was entirely devoid of new ideas. Well, not entirely devoid of new ideas -- just devoid of any large-scale initiatives with which to define his second term. I suppose it makes a certain sense. After winning an election by trying not to offend anyone (by, say, offering up something that might actually make a difference, like a workable health-care plan), Clinton has apparently decided to follow the same strategy in office. So we get Clinton's proposed presidential commission to study, and presumably attempt to solve, the nation's racial problems; tax credits to help low-income families afford two years of public college (bad news, Penn parents). And, most recently, his plan to rescue the nation's inner cities by helping 2,000 police officers purchase houses in poor neighborhoods. All of which, on paper, sound fine -- which is exactly the problem. The proposals are designed to be totally unobjectionable, and indeed, the Republican congressional leadership has indicated that it will support all the new plans. You don't have to be a cynic (or, God forbid, a Republican) to question what, if any, impact these modest proposals will have. We are left, therefore, with a president seemingly content to ride out his last years in public office, one trying not to rock the boat. It often appears like Clinton is trying to gather strength for another election, to complete some nice, small new programs to get some positive publicity before Election Day 2000 -- when Vice President Al Gore will inevitably be up for the nation's highest office. But the strategy that won him re-election is entirely inappropriate for his second term. There are, after all, no more elections to win, no more offices to hold. Having done what every politicians wants to do more than anything else -- win re-election -- Clinton should devote the rest of his time in office to doing something grand, something worthy of a president who billed himself as the Man from Hope. The nation's problems are too vast and varied to be solved by small-scale, uncontroversial, ideas like a commission on racism. America needs, and deserves, better. The president's reluctance to try anything daring is understandable for a man whose first term was almost destroyed by grandiose plans such as his attempt to reform the entire American health care system. But having won re-election, and with the economy zooming to record heights and his Republican opposition in disarray, the time is right to dust off the political boxing gloves and get back into the ring. Now is the time to experiment with one of those radical ideas Clinton must have developed while not inhaling weed at Oxford. What, after all, is there to lose? Clinton, like most American presidents, has been said to be concerned about his place in history. But the man often referred to as the "Ultimate Politician" seems to have forgotten that history is not an election, and that the great are remembered not for treading softly and not upsetting the balance too much on either side, but for leading a hesitant and fearful nation to a brighter tomorrow. It is a lesson William Jefferson Clinton would do well to remember.

Admissions accepts 31% of applicants

(06/01/97 9:00am)

Of the 4,793 students accepted to the class of 2001, slightly less than half will enroll in September. Studio City, Ca. The Admissions Office sent letters of acceptance to 31 percent of the applicants for the class of 2001 this year. The 2,333 students who accepted the University's offer of admission represent 49 percent of the total number of admitted applicants -- the same yield as last year. Stetson said that the high matriculation rate again means that few students be admitted off of the wait list. Penn had accepted 4,793 of its 15,459 applicants this year. Applications to the University's class of 2001 dropped 2.7 percent from last year's high of 15,771, when 30 percent of the applicants were admitted. Every Ivy League school except for Columbia University saw a similar decline in applications, and most Ivy universities accepted slightly higher percentages of applicants than in recent years. Admissions officials across the Ivies suggested that applications to many top schools declined this year because students are being more realistic in evaluating their chances of acceptance. And Stetson maintained that he was not worried about the decrease in Penn's applications, stressing that he was "encouraged" by the small size of the decrease since applications tend to fall substantially when institutions are plagued by the type of crime problems that the University experienced last semester. The matriculating students include 1,487 in the College of Arts and Sciences and 354 in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Stetson said these schools may admit some students off the wait list to meet their goals of enrolling 1,500 and 370 freshmen, respectively. Both the Wharton School of Business and the Nursing School enrolled more students than had been anticipated. Wharton had a goal of enrolling 390 new students, but 417 have already matriculated, while Nursing had a goal of 70 matriculants and 75 enrolled. The dual degree programs remained popular, with 38 students enrolling in the International Studies in Business program between Wharton and the College and 46 choosing the Management and Technology program between Engineering and Wharton. Five freshmen also enrolled in the new Nursing and Health Care Management program. Members of the class of 2001 will come to the University from 48 of the 50 states. Idaho and Wyoming are the only states not currently represented. But while there were no applicants from Wyoming this year, Stetson said that he hopes to enroll a student from Idaho as soon as financial aid issues are resolved. Additionally, 209 international students will make up almost 10 percent of the class. And Stetson said the number of minorities in the incoming class increased from 769 to 802, including 535 Asians, 141 African Americans, 118 Latinos and eight Native Americans. A record-high 189 matriculants are from California. Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Minnesota and Utah are also represented in unprecedented numbers. Students from the traditionally well-represented states of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey comprise 45 percent of the class, a slight decrease from the 49 percent who matriculated into the class of 2000. Stetson attributed the decline to a decrease in applicants from these states. The matriculants into the class of 2001 had an average Scholastic Assessment Test score of 1363, six points higher than the 1356 average for the class of 2000. The average SAT II score was 675, up from 667 last year.

Spring practices highlight quarterback battle, RBs

(06/01/97 9:00am)

Penn football coach Al Bagnoli says the QB position is still up in the air. Saugerties, N.Y. Quakers coach Al Bagnoli led his team through a modified scrimmage April 15, bringing to an end the team's 12 spring practices, which were held sporadically after spring break to accommodate other team's needs for Franklin Field. "It's a different evaluation," Bagnoli said, weighing the significance of spring practice against the fall. "The fall gives you an opportunity to confirm what your suspicions were coming out of the spring or to give kids a second chance to make changes and win jobs." · No position attracts more interest than quarterback, and Penn is no exception. The Quakers have lost Brian Russell, who transferred out of Penn, and opening day 1996 starter Steve Teodecki, who graduated. On paper, that leaves the position to junior Matt Rader, who took about half of the snaps for Division I Duke last year. But Bagnoli claims Tom MacLeod, who started four games last year, and rising sophomore Brandon Carson are still in the mix. Bagnoli says all three are doing "reasonably well" and describes Rader's transition to the Penn system "smooth." He has also been impressed by MacLeod's offseason weight training -- one of Bagnoli's sticking points with MacLeod in the past. "I feel like there's always room for improvement, but all things considered, I feel good about my performance this spring," MacLeod said. Still, many expect Rader to emerge, including the 6'4'' Yardley, Pa., native. "I think I've played well enough to solidify a starting spot," Rader said. In any case, expect Penn to pass more, as Bagnoli will draw on experienced passers whether Rader or MacLeod wins the job. "We're going to try to get it opened up a little bit, more like a few years ago," said the sixth-year coach, whose team leaned heavily on departing First Team All-Ivy tailback Jasen Scott. "Just more wide open, more four- and five-receiver sets." · While a football assistant coaching position isn't exactly a Supreme Court justiceship, Penn has felt even more turnover than usual this season. The post-Carm Cozza era at Yale will have a Quakers flavor, as Rick Flanders goes from secondary coach to defensive coordinator of the Elis, and Duane Brooks makes the jump from coordinator of football operations to defensive line coach. Their replacements are Abbott Burrell and Jerome James, Jr., respectively. Also on the move is Ed Foley, the Penn tight ends coach who has moved to Jacksonville to become offensive coordinator of the new program. John Reagan fills his void. Jonathan Michaels has taken Louis Brunelli's place on the Penn staff. "They all have different ideas and it's good to get some new viewpoints," Bagnoli said. · In its continuing effort to blur the line between running backs and the defensive secondary, Penn has shuffled several people to other sides of the ball. First among them is Bruce Rossignol, who came to Penn as a running back, was switched to and started at strong safety last season and returns to offense for 1997. Mel Alexander, who worked out as a defensive back as a freshman in 1996 is joining Rossignol in the Quakers backfield. The favorite to take Scott's place as featured back remains Jason McGee, a rising junior, whose meager eight carries last season are actually the highest total of a returning Quaker. "I feel pretty comfortable with the offense," said McGee, brushing aside any notion of inexperience on the basis of practice reps over the past few years. What that means for the defense is junior-to-be Jim Finn's move to safety is permanent. He'll be joined by another returning starter, 1997 captain John Bishop, in the secondary, while myriad others fight for spots in an area that needs improvement. Neither Rossignol (back) nor Finn (shoulder) has practiced this spring. · The defensive line was the anchor of the Penn team a year ago, a distinction which may shift to linebackers this fall. In addition to returning Second Team All-Ivy pick Darren McDonald, Tim Gage will return for a fifth season after a foot injury sidelined him in 1996. Throw in senior Mark Van Meter and another 1996 casualty, Brian Hamilton, and playing time could be scarce. "We're very fortunate. Timmy Gage came back and really has done a nice job providing some senior leadership," Bagnoli said. "Darren McDonald is having a nice spring and Mark Van Meter? that should be one of the strengths of our team." "If there's any thing I've learned this spring, it's that competition really, really makes you play better," said Gage, who by all accounts is fully healthy. · Rader's transition to life at Penn has gone pretty well so far. The biggest problem? Philadelphia's northern climate doesn't agree with his allergies? Penn's two-sport athletes, including West Virginia transfer defensive back Glen Ambrosius, who plays third base for the baseball team, have missed almost all the spring football work. "You can't hold it against them. It's part of the philosophy we deal with," Bagnoli said? Carson may be more than just a third quarterback for Penn. His athleticism tempts Bagnoli to emulate another Pennsylvania quarterback, multi-dimensional Pittsburgh Steeler Kordell "Slash" Stewart. "He's our version of 'Slash.' He's a quarterback, he's a wide receiver, he's a running back," Bagnoli said.

DP Sports: Seeing it from both ends of the spectrum

(05/16/97 9:00am)

As a student journalist, I've written hundreds of column inches on subjects ranging from women's gymnastics to NCAA basketball tournament seedings. As a college soccer player and prototypical benchwarmer I've also logged countless minutes on benches from North Carolina to Boston. These two disparate experiences have contributed many of my fondest memories of college and given me the opportunity to meet some truly incredible individuals. For example, as a goalie, I've been fortunate enough to train with Bob Rigby, the goalie coach for the men's and women's soccer programs. As a professional soccer player in the '70s, Rigby starred for both the U.S. National Team and played with Pele on the New York Cosmos. To this day, he remains the only soccer player ever to featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Through journalism, I've gotten the opportunity to interview and observe scores of amazing athletes and coaches like Fran Dunphy and others. Without question, having spent so much time writing about sports added context to my athletic experience, allowing me to appreciate just being on a team despite seeing action so sporadically. It was actually quite ironic when during this soccer season, the writer covering the men's soccer team twice mis-reported the facts of my role in games against Cornell and St. Joseph's. For the first time, I had to personally deal with the annoyance of being incorrectly misrepresented in print. Having defended slip-shod writing which has appeared on the sports page of the DP, I found the shoe to be on the other foot. However, being on the receiving end of one DP Sports' notorious blunders in reporting didn't make me feel any different about the paper. The fact of the matter is that just as athletes are imperfect and have off days, so too are DP Sports writers and editors. Yes, DP Sports writers are journalists, but let's be honest, they're by no means professionals and do not portray themselves as such. Just as an athlete spends hours developing his conditioning and mastering the fundamentals of his sport, commitment which fans at a game will never see, DP staffers are a remarkably committed bunch as well. Athletes chafe at the DP's coverage when it is either factually incorrect or they perceive it to be overly critical, as evidenced by reaction to Miles Cohen's column on Jamie Lyren this year. Though I don't believe adding the prefix student to journalism is an excuse for poor reporting, I do feel DP Sports writers get too hard a rap for their miscues given how much they contribute to the Penn athletic program. The DP Sports writer is the best friend an athlete here can have. Writers commitment to their beats helps athletes stand out from the crowd at a school where students have to be pretty special just to gain admission. Sure, as an athlete, it bothers me when I read an article highlighting a less-than-stellar performance by a Penn athlete, because I know how dedicated Quakers athletes are to their respective sports. The attention an athlete gets in the pages of the DP through game coverage and features frequently far outweighs what he gets from fans, whose attendance is often sparse, whether the sport be fencing or football. Having transferred to Penn from a school where most athletes are on scholarship, I understand the immense sacrifice athletes make when choosing to enter Penn's non-scholarship athletic program. I enjoyed playing a sport at Penn largely because of the mystique being an Ivy League student-athlete, a quality which I suppose attracts many top notch recruits to chose Penn over schools with strong academic reputations which do offer athletic scholarships like Stanford, Georgetown and Boston College. No one organization on campus, including the Athletic Department, purveys the mystique with more fervor than the DP sports section, which probably has something to do with how it earned its nickname: DPOSTM (The Daily Pennsylvanian's Only Staff That Matters.)

LETTERS: More A-3 participation needed

(04/04/97 10:00am)

To the Editor: Specifically, what actually seems relevant is not whether the current A-3 board has done something bad, but whether A-3 employees are missing out on having a functional forum for solidarity. The reason this saga is pertinent to University Council is that it raises questions of consistency, and Council just happens to have at its disposal some means to help break the paralysis. Isolated A-3 employees are the ones losing out, as are, for instance, isolated graduate and professional students who are not served by their purported student 'government,' which some of us happen to be handing over to to the next bunch really soon. This actually interests me still far more than the aforementioned analog, and should be of no little interest to about 10,000 other people. Now that I'm on to my axe, let me grind it briefly. There is frequently a dearth of students willing and/or able to make significant input into the political structures at Penn -- potentially functional structures worth using and nurturing from within several constituencies. Alex Welte SAS doctoral student GAPSA Chairperson Insight on SPEC To the Editor: This is in response to the grossly ignorant editorial "The 'mother' of all concerts?" DP, 4/1/97. Before the DP intends to criticize the efforts of the Spring Fling or any other Social Planning and Events Committee, I strongly suggest they make the effort to actually find out about the hours invested and frustrations endured by these individuals over the past several months. A good start may be interviewing people who are actually members of a SPEC committee, unlike Howie Blumenstein. Perhaps the DP could have written more insightfully about the time and energy put in speaking to agents, organizing subcommittees, processing contracts, etc. to bring the best possible event they complain about. SPEC directors do not get their kicks from keeping bands secret or by disappointing students. In fact, the only reward we receive is seeing the events well-received by as much of the University community as possible. Melissa Muniz College '97 SPEC President

LETTERS: SPEC worked hard for Fling bands

(04/03/97 10:00am)

To the Editor: The claim that "SPEC needs to start looking for Fling bands earlier if they want to sign big-name bands" implies that we, as directors, have been either lazy or stupid. We have been neither. The ridiculous factual inaccuracies of the editorial show the DP has no idea about the process of setting up a national act concert. We would like to make it known that, while the DP or any student has a right to criticize the band choice, they do not have the right to criticize inaccurately our hard work or competence. This is not only insulting, it is just plain wrong. Our process began in September, the first week that school began, and yes we do work through a professional agent. We want to properly address the concerns of the student body and the obnoxious misrepresentations of The Daily Pennsylvanian. For now, we will suffice to say the DP has continued its legacy of problematic and inaccurate information. Barbara Burns College '97 SPEC Spring Fling Co-Director (4 signatures follow) u To the Editor: Where shall we begin? It is so obvious in their editorial on the Fling Concert the DP has absolutely no clue as to what they are talking about. There is an industry out there in music land that revolves around a thriving business market, driven by factors associated with many modern capitalistic markets. These are -- as I'm sure the DP doesn't understand -- factors such as supply, demand, monopolies, promoters, venues, repeat bookings, etc. While we will not take the time to explain the relevance and interaction of these industry drivers and their consequences, we will point out that we operate in the Philadelphia market under the influences of these factors and many others and enjoy our advantages and must deal with our disadvantages. We wanted A Tribe Called Quest and we were the only school to get them. We know what we're doing and how to get what we want if what we want is available. Not all bands are touring all the time! They actually have other things to do! And some bands that we may want are touring, but there is a thing called monopoly that exists and maybe if the DP thinks about it really hard you'll know what we're talking about -- maybe. We've been working on this show since the summer and if that's not early enough for you then you'll just have to get over it. Please refrain from trashing us, all we're trying to do is put on a concert that Penn students will enjoy and this year we have booked a band that almost everyone loves. The show is going to be incredible. If you don't want to come, we won't miss you. Allison Rosen Wharton '98 Betsy Pellegrini College '97 SPEC Concerts Co-Directors Support 'Take Back the Night' To the Editor: I am writing to commend your guest columnist Sapana Donde for her creative approach to making Take Back the Night as inclusive as possible. She and others on the Take Back The Night planning committee faced an enormous task in trying to unite students, staff, and faculty in support of sexual violence survivors. Most people at Penn agree sexual violence is wrong and must be prevented, but there is widespread disagreement over how to meet this goal. The debates about how to do it and who to include can be frustrating and even painful, but I believe that they are ultimately healthy and necessary debates. Only a hardy few, primarily student members of NOW and STAAR, have had the perseverance to move forward and take the risks which come with planning Take Back the Night. As the staff advisor to STAAR, I want to remind Penn students that STAAR is accepting applications from men and women who want to become facilitators in preventing rape and promoting healthy relationships. Applications are available in 310 Houston Hall. If men are wondering where they fit-in to the movement against sexual violence, let me point out that since STAAR was founded in 1989, over 50 male Penn students have made a difference at Penn as STAAR facilitators. Please join STAAR and support the work of Sapana and other women leaders on campus. Kurt Conklin Office of Health Education Baker is a good leader To the Editor: This is in response to Robert Glazer and Robert Fechner's letter to the editor. It has been my personal policy not to speak to the DP about issues concerning the InterFraternity Council. I have found the DP attempts sensationalism and often takes quotes out of context or completely misconceives them. However, IFC President Matt Baker does not have that luxury. He was elected by the presidents of the IFC to be our voice. When attempting to compare Baker to past IFC presidents, no previous president has had to deal with the "charging issue." For the past 40 years it has been passed down the line. Unfortunately, the University decided to press the issue now. Baker has done an exemplary job defending the Greeks and the Greek system while trying to work with the University. While it was not Glazer and Fechner's goal to berate or demean Baker they succeeded in not only that, but the berating and demeaning of the complete IFC Board. There are general meetings every other Wednesday. Each fraternity can send as many reps as they wish. Glazer and Fechner and any other Greek are more than welcome to come to discuss any issue they see fit. The only thing that the letter to the editor "Baker is not the only Greek voice" proved was their own ignorance of the situation. Adam Silfen College '98 Sigma Alpha Epsilon InterFraternity Council Vice President for Rush and Member Education

GUEST COLUMNIST: A modified "Take Back the Night" gives protection to survivors

(04/02/97 10:00am)

Spana Donde, Guest Columnist Spana Donde, Guest Columnist Imagine being in a lecture. Suddenly, something is triggered inside your mind -- a moment full of terror, pain and shame. You lose control and feel helpless. Although Penn has been an advocate of "Take Back the Night" -- a women's movement against sexual violence -- the march has caused a tremendous amount of controversy since its first year. The concerns surrounding the annual event were the presence of men and traumatic repercussions of the survivor speak-out. But meetings and discussions held in the past three years have only concluded in a stalemate, and the meaning of "Take Back the Night" has become a crippled soldier, lost and forgotten in the barricades of time. Yet each of the problems raised have crucial validity and it is no wonder why "Take Back the Night" has been such a touchy controversy. I knew to be some way to make everyone happy and satisfied with the event -- but the question was how to do it? Although I am not a survivor of sexual abuse, rape, molestation or incest, I felt this event was intended to be a gift to those survivors of violent crimes, a night to provide them with safety and a voice that had been silenced by personal traumas. I also felt that we should definitely have men involved in the event. While I am sensitive that some survivors may be threatened by the presence of men, men should be welcome to be a part of a major issue that affects many of the women they love. And care about and their importance should not be forgotten or diminished. In February, I created a proposal for the implementation of a new way of organizing "Take Back the Night" to alleviate all of the controversies as well as to remind people that the event is essentially all about the survivors and their voices. The evening will begin as it has in past years with prominent guest speakers. Then there will be an abridged version of the survivor speak-out to include a small group who feel comfortable with sharing their stories. After this will be a march around campus to protest sexual violence and followed by a small closing ceremony. At this point "Take Back the Night" will be officially over. But "Take Back the Night" does not end here. Two groups will meet after the closing ceremony running at the same time but very exclusive from each other. A group will meet in Steinberg-Dietrich to discuss issues raised by the evening. This is open to everyone who wants to participate, including survivors who want to share their stories openly. In contrast, the second group will be a special gathering for survivors only and counselors from the Women's Center and Women Organized Against Rape -- conducive for a poignant speak-out. Survivors have the option of bringing a friend with them, but only if they request so. This will be held at the Bio Pond because of its soothing and beautiful atmosphere -- allowing survivors to feel completely removed from campus. This will be absolutely confidential and intimate and must be survivors only. The event's success or failure cannot be predicted. I do feel though that with this reorganization at least some of the pain and traumas associated with the night itself can be alleviated. I cannot stress enough the importance of creating this sacred space at the Bio Pond for the survivors only. Survivors deserve to have their privacy and freedoms respected. We need to realize the basic truth: that this evening is a night for the survivors. It is their night to heal, an evening to give them peace and support. I believe and hope that with my ideas we can make everyone feel satisfied that a compromise has been made and give the evening of "Take Back the Night" the true meaning and essence of its name. Sexual violence is a serious and important concern for college campuses across the nation, but it can only be prevented when we all, men and women, increase our awareness, educate ourselves and listen to the voices of the survivors that have been ignored and silenced all this time. Do something about it. Please show your support in the fight against violent acts of crime by participating in "Take Back the Night." Take Back the Night" will be held on Thursday, April 3, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. on the College Green. If you are a survivor who would like to speak out please inform Gloria Gay at the Women's Center or Titi Yu at 898-4661 or

COLUMN: Holding out for real heroes

(11/26/96 10:00am)

From Sarah Giulian's, "From Under My Rock," Fall '96 From Sarah Giulian's, "From Under My Rock," Fall '96 Ani Difranco is my idol. Some of you will scoff at this admission, some will agree -- and some will just say, "Who?" I don't really care what you think of this folk singer-songwriter, though. She has been crucial for me in getting it straight. Unfortunately, our culture today has lost complete sight of positive role models like Difranco. Our superheros end up charged with murder, killing themselves, addicted to heroin, suing each other or spouting racist, sexist and other closed-minded remarks to the press. Those celebrities who are on the superhero track with a clean and tidy record are usually a little tough for us normal people to relate to. Itzhak Perlman, for example, may be the best violinist in the world, but he doesn't exactly inspire me. I'm not active in the sports world nor am I a sports fan, so that genre doesn't quite speak to me either. The same goes for entrepreneurs, biology wizards and even, for the most part, anyone in the film industry. So when I graduated from high school and an Ani Difranco tape fell into my lap, I listened. This might possibly be the best decision I've ever made. Inspiration is a necessity in life, especially during the early college years. We are all in the process of figuring ourselves out: who we are, who we want to be, what we believe, what we'll rebel against and what we like and don't like about ourselves. But not all of us are. When I step outside of myself and look at what I've done and who I've become over these past three years, I like what I see. If more college students could say they are exactly who they want to be, then the world would be a healthy place to live in. I owe a big chunk of my self-satisfaction to Difranco. Having her in my life for the last four years has been exactly the inspriation I've needed to get through bouts of depression, confusion, anxiety and anger. Her music has been one of my closest friends. But that's only half of it. A little over a week ago, she performed at Irvine Auditorium. I was amazed at how many people attended, how many die-hard fans were there who clearly regard Difranco as highly as I do. I had no idea there were so many of us. Every time I've seen Difranco perform, it's been a completely different experience. But one thing has been the same throughout every show -- the incredible high I get from it. I've never had a dose of thrill that lasts as long as the one I get when I see her play. I shiver, I cry, I laugh, I admire from afar and I smile ear to ear for hours, until my cheeks hurt. Inevitably, I find myself heaving a sigh of regret that it's all over. Plenty of people have heard Difranco's music and found it distasteful for whatever reason. I'm not looking to get in an argument over her talent or intelligence; to each his own. But there's nothing wrong with idolizing, admiring and being devoted to an artist or another kind of role model. Whether it's J.D. Salinger or Dennis Rodman, having a person in your life who you'll never meet, who doesn't even care that you're alive but who inspires you nonetheless, can be just what is needed for self-discovery. America's youth, especially today, need inspirational figures. It's just not as easy anymore to turn to the president or the movie stars. Celebrities are as individualized as we are, and it's tough to find the right match. Even then, though, mindless worshipping of a newfound hero is not the answer. We should continue to look at the people we admire and ask why. What is it that has drawn us to them? And, more importantly, what can we do to incorporate those mysterious qualities into our own lives, to leave us more satisfied with ourselves? Incorporating Ani Difranco into my life may have made me a little weird, but it has also made me full -- full and happy and complete.

10-0 Ten Years Later

(10/10/96 9:00am)

In 1986, Penn had itsIn 1986, Penn had itsfirst perfect season in 82In 1986, Penn had itsfirst perfect season in 82years, which included aIn 1986, Penn had itsfirst perfect season in 82years, which included awin over Division I-AIn 1986, Penn had itsfirst perfect season in 82years, which included awin over Division I-ANavy and a thrillingIn 1986, Penn had itsfirst perfect season in 82years, which included awin over Division I-ANavy and a thrillingdefeat of the Big Red After all, with four straight Ivy championships under its belt and a nucleus of returning seniors, the only achievement left was to win all 10 games on the schedule and secure the first perfect Quakers season in 82 years. Ten years after that 10-0 season, the returning Quakers will be honored this Saturday in a halftime ceremony during the 1:30 p.m. Penn-Columbia matchup at Franklin Field. "We had an expectation of winning everything," Jeff Fortna, an outside linebacker on the 1986 Quakers, said. "We wanted to beat up on everybody." Led by first-year head coach Ed Zubrow, Penn fulfilled those expectations, completing its 10-game sweep with a 31-21 win over Cornell at icy Schoellkopf Field. With the perfect mark came the Quakers fifth straight Ivy League championship and Penn football immortality. Quarterback Jim Crocicchia and running backs Rich Comizio and Chris Flynn -- both destined for the record books -- along with tight end Brent Novoselsky, a future Minnesota Viking, electrified the Quakers offense. Center and co-captain Steve Buonato and tackle Marty Peterson were part of an experienced, senior-laden offensive line. "We tried to incorporate the run game, two- and three-tight end teams and play-action pass as much as we could," offensive coordinator Dick Maloney said. "We were more of a diversified offense and I really think that helped." The Quakers were also well equipped on the defensive side. Tackle A.J. Sebastianelli, linebackers Fortna and Brad Hippenstiel and safety Jim Fangmeyer led a strong squad, coached by defensive coordinator Gary Steele, who turned down the head coach and athletic director's positions at Rice to stay with Zubrow at Penn. Steele was the Quakers head coach from 1989 to 1991. "I consider Gary absolutely one of the key architects of the 1986 season," Zubrow said. And despite the fact that every coach was new to Penn or to his position, everything clicked for the Quakers. "We were really fortunate to assemble an outstanding coaching staff," said Zubrow, currently an independent management consultant living near Portsmouth, N.H. He left Penn after three seasons to work for the Philadelphia public schools superintendent. In the first test of the season, senior tailback Comizio -- currently ranked No. 3 in all-time rushing yards for Penn -- scored two touchdowns and made the Big Green's offensive line look small as the Quakers beat Dartmouth, 21-7. "It was a good, solid win for us," Zubrow said. "We clearly had a very talented team and they played very well." The next week, Penn had one of its characteristically close matches against Bucknell. The Quakers halted a Bison drive late in the fourth quarter and Comizio contributed 175 rushing yards to lead Penn to a 10-7 victory at rain-soaked Franklin Field. "We were actually lucky to pull it out at the end," said Fortna, now a dentist residing in Lebanon, Pa. "We ended up sacking them and dashing their hopes." The third week was cake for the Quakers. Although it set an Ivy record for penalties, Penn extended Columbia's losing streak to 24 games in a 42-7 win. But while the Quakers were 3-0, they had had the easiest schedule in all of Division I-AA football through the Columbia game, according to the USA Today computer rankings. That cakewalk seemed about to change as underdog Penn visited Brown, also 3-0 and the favorite to grab the Ivy championship. But the Bruins' previously well-oiled offensive machine failed on all cylinders. The Quakers shut out their opponent, 34-0 as Comizio and Flynn both netted more than 100 yards, while Novoselsky added two touchdown receptions. The Penn defense recorded its sole shutout of the season. Next week, however, presented Penn with perhaps its biggest challenge of the season: a date in Annapolis with the Division I-A Midshipmen, to which the Quakers were heavy underdogs. "Going down and playing away against a Division I-A team, certainly that was a step up for us and a test," Zubrow said. Fortna felt that merely visiting Navy was "very intimidating in itself," adding that the Midshipmen "were a step above the Ivy League." The first three quarters did not seem to bode well. Comizio injured his hamstring in the first quarter and Flynn only rushed for 63 yards the whole game. At the half, Navy led 13-3 and the two sides exchanged scores in the third quarter to make it 20-10. "[My injury] was disappointing because I got hurt and missed homecoming [next week against Yale]," Comizio said. But Crocicchia's arm was golden in the fourth quarter, connecting twice with Novoselsky and once with tight end Jim Bruni for a total of 20 unanswered points. A late Midshipmen touchdown was too late, as the Quakers left Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium basking in the glory of a 30-26 upset of an average, but heavily favored, Division I-A team. "No one expected us to beat Navy," Peterson said. But "everybody [on the team] believed we could win that game," he added. Maloney, now head coach at the University of Chicago, said the Quakers had been practicing a certain play all week and were about to try it out for the first time -- but Navy lined up in formation as if they knew what was coming. That was when the Bruni touchdown "put the game away," Maloney explained. "That whole game, I think, put that football team on the map," Maloney said. The next three weeks saw Penn breeze to victory over Yale, Princeton and Lafayette, by scores of 24-6, 23-10 and 42-14, respectively. Comizio, who won the Bushnell Cup for the ECAC's most valuable player that season, eclipsed Adolph Bellizeare's all-time Penn career rushing mark in the Leopards contest. "Records aren't on your mind per se on a game-to-game basis," said Comizio, now a utility portfolio trader with Penn trustee George Weiss's company in New York City. "When you're surrounded by such talent as we have, it makes each individual's job a lot easier." On the next-to-last Saturday, Penn avenged a loss to Harvard the previous year as the Quakers stopped a late Crimson drive to win 17-10. Flynn smashed the Penn season record for all-purpose yardage, finishing his career with 1,620 yards. Currently, he is ranked No. 3 behind 1990 graduate Bryan Keys and 1995 graduate Terrance Stokes, who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. The whole season came down to the final game between Penn and Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. Both teams had perfect Ivy records, but the Quakers got a surprise when they arrived at Schoellkopf Field. "There was so much ice on the field that we couldn't get out there to practice," said Fortna, adding that the Cornell players "were talking a little bit. "We were completely sky high going into that game," Fortna said. Comizio explained that Cornell's behavior actually charged up the Quakers. "Cornell showed us a lack of respect by not plowing the field for us to practice," Comizio said. "It made us concentrate more on not just winning but really demoralizing them." Adding to the Quakers' tempers were the Cornell fans, who threw ice balls at the Penn players and coaches before the game started. Although the Quakers did not quite crush the Big Red, Penn led nearly the entire game and won, 31-21, as Hippenstiel's 13 tackles earned him Sports Illustrated player-of-the-week honors. And the Quakers had achieved their first perfect season in 82 years. "It was probably one of the most satisfying moments that I've ever had," Peterson said. Despite the various records set throughout the year, players and coaches emphasized how well the team played together. "I really tend not to think about individual performances or individual players," Zubrow said. "I think one of the things that distinguishes a particular team is the fact that we're able to play together." Comizio and the others are looking forward to this Saturday's game and halftime ceremony. "I think it's going to bring back a lot of fond memories," Comizio said. "Franklin Field is a place that will always have a meaning deep in my heart."

COLUMN: Waiting for a pro success

(08/01/96 9:00am)

The great Penn teams were, of course, products of great players. One of the great things about supporting those teams was knowing that the end for, say, Jerome Allen would not coincide with the end of the NCAA tournament. Now, with the departures of All-American wide receiver Miles Macik and quarterback/shortstop Mark DeRosa, all recent Quakers athletes with a chance to make a national impact have entered the rough-and-tumble world of professional sports. If their predecessors' experiences are any guide, things don't look good. After the 1993-94 season, Allen, the Ivy Player of the Year, looked a sure bet to become a household name. A projected first-round pick, Allen would have enjoyed a guaranteed contract and the patience of his NBA organization. As it was, a poor senior campaign dropped the Penn star to the late second round and the black hole that is the Minnesota Timberwolves roster. A year on, Allen's time in the Land of 10,000 Lakes has ended. Midway through the season, the T-wolves fired head coach Bill Blair, who had been playing Allen sporadically, and hired Flip Saunders, who never gave him the time of day. Now Allen is out of contract, last sighted playing with the guard-weak New Jersey Nets in the NBA summer league. He'll surely find his way into someone's training camp, but the promise he showed in four Palestra seasons has faded. Allen's backcourt mate Matt Maloney went undrafted, but just missed making the Golden State Warriors. So Maloney took his game to the Grand Rapids Mackers of the CBA. Seemingly just one injury away from an NBA roster spot, the 1995 Ivy Player of the Year never got the call. Now, he's starting over with the Houston Rockets (see box, page 7). Although not a part of the same era of dominance, former Penn outfielder Doug Glanville was ticketed for stardom with the Chicago Cubs. The 1991 first-round pick, who commanded a $350,000 signing bonus, has largely failed to live up to expectations. Just last weekend, the Cubs ended his first stint in the majors, a seven-week run, by sending him back to AAA Iowa of the American Association. Although he will probably be called back up eventually, perhaps in September when rosters expand, the time is running short for the soon-to-be 26-year-old to establish himself. Penn's other pro baseball hope is Mark DeRosa, last year's starting shortstop, who left school in June to sign with the Atlanta Braves organization. Presently stationed in short-season A ball as a shortstop for the Eugene Emeralds, DeRosa has gotten off to a slow start. His average is hovering around .240, and his defense has been questionable at short. Even if he catches fire, DeRosa is only one player of many prospects in baseball's premier organization of the 1990s. That leaves one -- one star with a chance to hit the big-time and stick. Macik, one of the great receivers in Ivy League history, is reportedly comporting himself well at training camp with the Detroit Lions. No one, not coaches or Penn teammates, doubts that Macik has the football sense and hands to play in the NFL. The question is whether he will get a chance on a team jam-packed with receivers. Even if he makes the team, Macik is stuck behind Herman Moore, Johnny Morton, Brett Perriman and several others. Still, Macik is Penn's best hope. The Lions coaching staff is supposedly not turned off by the 6-foot-4 receiver's lack of breakaway speed, believing his flypaper hands compensate. Just catching the ball can go a long way in the NFL, even if it does not make for highlights. Add to that Macik's auxiliary skills, like holding on field goals, and he may just make a career of football. Penn fans got a lot of mileage out of the Allens and DeRosas. If one could break through in the national scene, the legacy of Penn's great early 1990s teams will be all the greater.

EDITORIAL: Tere is Safety in Guns

(07/03/96 9:00am)

Semi-automatic weaponsSemi-automatic weaponswill allow UPPD officers toSemi-automatic weaponswill allow UPPD officers tobetter protect members of theSemi-automatic weaponswill allow UPPD officers tobetter protect members of theUniversity community.Semi-automatic weaponswill allow UPPD officers tobetter protect members of theUniversity community._______________________________ We applaud UPPD for taking a tough stance on crime and think the University community will benefit from their decision. If our Penn Police officers are to properly protect students from criminals, they should be competitively armed. As criminals are now favoring semi-automatics over revolvers, we must level the playing field and comparably equip our UPPD officers. They should not be at a disadvantage. Revolvers such as the ones used by the Penn Police in recent years are rapidly becoming outdated as semi-automatic weapons are becoming the professional standard. There is no reason to lag behind defensively while the criminals progress offensively. Some critics say that by arming UPPD officers with semi-automatic weapons, the University is encouraging unwarranted firearm use. But if the officers have handled their revolvers responsibly up until this point, there is no reason to assume that they will suddenly behave otherwise. We trust the officers with .38 caliber revolvers -- we should trust them with semi-automatic weapons. We do, after all, hire them to protect us.

COLUMN: "Finding Yourself" After College

(07/03/96 9:00am)

discovery is a never-ending process that cannot be completed within the bounds of college. For many of us in he United States today, a liberal arts education has become a given -- something that is compulsory, just like a high school diploma was for our relatives who are a generation or two older than us. This is, I'm sure, one of the few countries in the world where earning a bachelor's degree, even from an Ivy-league university, no long guarantees someone a job. After all, it is hard to see on the surface what sort of practical, marketable skills one gleans after four years of studying Slavic literature or the customs of the ancient Mayans. Sure, there is the fact that we gain sharpened critical analytical skills, we learn to write concisely and with style -- maybe we even learn to speak another language or two fluently. But unfortunately, the applications of these skills in the job market is not as self-evident as we would like it to be. I've learned that "finding yourself" is an ongoing process. It is not a tidy little package deal that you complete in four years in order to move on. The problem with saying that is what college is all about is that we feel like failures after spending four years at the task only to find out we still don't know ourselves well enough to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Or even the next year of our lives. We have the words ringing in our ears, "To thine own self be true" -- "buzzwords" of a liberal arts institution which displays a huge portrait of the Bard in the entryway to one of its buildings. And we feel terrible about ourselves if we cannot follow that advice. So some of us, frustrated and bitter, go off to Europe or the Middle East or South America for a year to keep looking for ourselves -- perhaps we'll be found inside some volcano or historical monument. The likelihood is that we won't, and that we'll end up either more frustrated and angry with ourselves over our own inability to complete something as easy as self-discovery. Or perhaps, after a year of gallivanting around some foreign place, one might be content enough to just buckle down and settle on something down-and-dirty and practical. Like law school. Or medical school, or business school, even if these choices do not indicate who you are as a person, or where you interests or your dreams lie. I have spent the past few months in a waitressing job, waiting for my future to come to me ina flash of lightning. I have been searching under tables and pilsner glasses and muffin mix to find myself, and guess what -- I haven't achieved it yet. The fact is that almost every other server in the restaurant I work in has a four-year college degree (and we are a large staff). The bus-boy has a master's degree in anthropology. Most of us are in the same boat. We don't want to commit to a "real job" because that would mean we were starting on a career path, and what if it's the wrong one? We are all so afraid of the wrong choice that we made no choice at all, and we just wait. But I have realized that I am waiting for nothing. Self-realization does not happen to you in four years of college or at any other time in your life. It is something one must constantly seek. I appreciate my liberal arts education for what it was -- a chance for me to learn about things I found interesting. However, I don't see it as a means to an end. In the same way that it did not provide me with the most marketable skills, it also was not a ticket to self-knowledge. It may have been a step along the way, but self-discovery is a life-long pursuit. My father keeps laughing at me when I tell him I want the world -- a fulfilling career, maybe a family, enough money, world peace. I may sound like I'm exaggerating, but the truth is, I feel like somehow I'm going to find something that's going to allow me to achieve all of this. And while I know intellectually it's pretty much impossible, I still so desperately want to find it. Because isn't that what "finding oneself" is all about -- not compromising on what you want from life, but going after everything you can dream about? I did get a lot out of Penn, like some wonderful memories and some knowledge I value, regardless of its practical applications. But I most certainly did not "find myself." Nor do I ever expect to, definitely. Because that implies settling on something, when I can always be reaching for and learning more.

PROFANITY: The Most Important Issue at Penn Is?

(04/05/96 10:00am)

One evening, I was having a conversation with a fellow student, and for nearly 10 minutes, not one sentence he said was completely free of profanity. I was completely stunned when, after I asked why he had to curse so much, he told me that he didn't think his cursing was a problem. Profanity and cursing have become so prevalent that people will curse without giving any thought to what the word they are using actually means. Swearing has become so commonplace for some that curse words have become filler speech, like "uh" or "like" sometimes are. Words mean things, and the meanings of what we call curse words are downright offensive. They may not bother you, but they do bother some people. Saying them without regard for what they mean and what their implications are will hurt you. When you say something that offends the person with whom you are talking, both parties are hurt. The other person leaves with hurt feelings and less respect for you. One example of profanity almost guaranteed to hurt is the use of curse words with God or Jesus. Putting my own religious beliefs aside, debasing these names strikes painfully at the core of the beliefs that millions of people hold dear. To mock someone's religious devotion in that disgusting fashion is tantamount to using offensive racial or ethnic language, and it is something I hear all too often on campus. If you ever use profanity in this way, please stop. If you hear it used this way, please tell whoever says it that his or her language is completely inappropriate. This kind of language is bound to hurt people -- and when you hurt people, you lose. If the person you hurt is a business associate, you lose business, or you lose your job. If the person you hurt is a friend, you lose that person's friendship. When I lost a friend this way, I learned this lesson the hard way. Our profanity is also an indicator of another disturbing trend. Often, we curse out of anger. The stress we all experience can generate lots of anger, so a certain amount of cursing is to be expected. We cannot, however, allow swearing to be a reflex reaction to anger. We all get angry, but we have to learn how to handle our anger. Simply swearing without a second though demonstrates no such control. We all learn at about age four that temper tantrums are unacceptable. They do not help us get what we want, and we only end up in more trouble. Cursing is nothing more that an adult temper tantrum. If we do not learn now how to control our anger, we might never learn. It pains me to think of the damage that my extremely bright and talented fellow students could do to themselves -- and to others -- if they cannot control their own anger. To solve the problem of profanity in the Penn community, the administration can do nothing, and I do not expect them to act. We have to solve this problem the old-fashioned way: all by ourselves. Cursing is a terrible habit with only hurtful potential. Mark King is a freshman English major from Narberth, Pa. What do you think the most important issue at Penn is? Send submissions of 500 words or less to

For some profs who have been denied tenure, 'life goes on'

(02/26/96 10:00am)

As two professors anxiously await a resolution to the resubmission of their tenure cases, they might turn to the past to see how the many other University professors who have been denied tenure dealt with the situation. While English Professor Gregg Camfield and Geology Professor George Boyajian have opted to continue their fights for tenure, most instructors in similar situations leave the University to pursue other professional opportunities. Former Veterinary Medicine Professor Ann Jeglem, who was denied tenure seven years ago, now practices at her own clinic in West Chester County. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Jeglem continues to conduct research at the University-affiliated Wistar Institute, and lectures at other institutions. She said she is very happy with her current work. Jeglem was first denied tenure in the summer of 1989, and filed a grievance against the University immediately afterwards. "I felt that my tenure process was not fair and based on sex discrimination," she said. After the court ruled in Jeglem's favor, she declined the judicial recommendation that she be reviewed again. In her settlement with the University, Jeglem was appointed an adjunct associate professor -- meaning that the University can ask her to lecture or teach again. But the University has made no such request as of yet. Former English Professor David McWhirter, who was denied tenure in 1991, is now a tenured English professor at Texas A & M University. "I was given tenure two months after I arrived," McWhirter said. Although McWhirter said he enjoys his present position, he added that he misses the East Coast very much. "The move from the East Coast to [Texas] was a major upheaval," McWhirter said. When former Veterinary Clinical Studies Professor David Freeman was denied tenure for a second time in the spring of 1991, he did not leave the University immediately. Instead, he accepted a staff position at the New Bolton Center and stayed there for another three years. Freeman, who now works at the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine, said he plans to apply for tenure at his present place of employment in the near future. Some professors who have not been granted tenure still maintain ties with the University. Denied tenure in the spring of 1994, former English Professor Dan Bivona now serves as a part time visiting professor for the College of General Studies. However, he recently accepted a full time offer at Rowan College in New Jersey, and plans to move to Arizona State University after one year at Rowan. And although former Management Professor Paul Tiffany works out of offices in both California and Philadelphia, he is technically still considered a member of the Wharton School of Business faculty. Former faculty members voiced mixed feelings about the tenure process. "Like the tenure process any place else, it's very uneven," McWhirter said. "What happens in each case is unique. "You can't extrapolate from case to case," he emphasized. "The most bothersome thing about the process is the discrepancy between department opinions and those of the other levels of tenure." McWhirter said he felt the process "on the whole is reasonably fair." He added that supports the tenure process and views it as a "good idea," but he also noted that the process is manipulatable by nature. But Bivona said he was not happy with the current state of the tenure process. "I don't think it's a very sane one," Bivona said. Jeglem also criticized the current tenure system. "The track record speaks for itself," Jeglem said, referring to the many sexual discrimination cases that have arisen from tenure disputes. Filing grievances, she added, is "the only way you can fight the tenure process." Freeman, however, took the middle ground between his former colleague's views. "Every system has got its weakness and strengths," he said. "There's no best way to evaluate someone for tenure. Each school ultimately has to pick the way it feels is most fair." Despite criticisms of the tenure process, former employees have no complaints about their individual departments. Bivona said the English Department treated him very well. "I have no serious complaints about [the department]," he said. And McWhirter emphasized the tremendous amount of support he received from the English Department "which translated to nothing at the next level."

FENCING: Like Father, Like Son

(02/22/96 10:00am)

The son of an Olympic silverThe son of an Olympic silvermedalist fencer, George KalmarThe son of an Olympic silvermedalist fencer, George Kalmaris one of the nation's best sabres George Kalmar wants the Ivy League championship; he's won everything else. "I no longer care about personal goals," Kalmar said, "just as long as the team does well." Kalmar began fencing when he was 11 years old, with his father doubling as his coach. At age 17, he had what he calls his best year. He was the 19-and-under national champion and placed 20th at the Junior World Championships. Kalmar's father, who won a silver medal fencing for Hungary in the 1968 Olympics, pushed George into fencing, even though he wasn't really interested in it. "I was an American kid," Kalmar said. "I wanted to play football, baseball, basketball. My father thought I would get something out of fencing that I wouldn't out of the other sports. "I never really had a passion for fencing, but somehow it got into me and it's a part of me now." In the past three NCAA championships, Kalmar has placed second, third and fifth, respectively. He feels that last year was his best overall year -- even though it was his lowest placing at the NCAAs -- since he only lost two bouts during the regular season. The low point of his college career came during his freshman year at the NCAAs. That year it was possible to win not only individual and team titles, but also weapons team titles. The Quakers sabre team had made it to the finals and faced their archrival, Columbia. Earlier this year, the same director approached Kalmar at a tournament and admitted he had probably made the wrong call on that particular touch. "That's the only thing that pisses me off about fencing," Kalmar said. "If you argue a call, even if you don't think you're right, you can get the director to throw the next questionable touch your way." Kalmar said the reputation of his father helped him earn his own reputation as a great fencer. "Everyone knew my father, and he was the master of acting," Kalmar said. "And now every once in awhile the directors will throw me a touch because they think I'm better." According to Penn coach Dave Micahnik, Kalmar's greatest effect on Penn's team is that he establishes an attitude, both for the Quakers and their opponents. "You put him out on the stripe first, and you know he's going to win," Micahnik said. "Your opponent knows he can't win, and it demoralizes his entire team." As to Kalmar's influence on the younger Penn fencers, Michanik said: "Sometimes he beats up on them, and none too gently. But it's sort of like a big brother." Kalmar, who feels he's more notorious than famous in the fencing world said, "I like to make things fun, see how far I can push the limits." Micahnik agreed. "Sometimes George is contrary just for the heck of it. It doesn't bother me." Kalmar attempts to use his reputation to intimidate his opponents. "Occasionally, on one touch I'll hit them really hard just to remind them of who I am." According to Kalmar, he was a better overall fencer when he was younger than he is now. "I got out of shape, I used to run in the mornings and practice all the time," he said. "I guess college took a toll on my fencing career." Looking back, Kalmar is glad his father pushed him into the world of fencing. "I did get something out of it," he said. "I got into college, and I was the best."

A Matter of Minutes

(02/14/96 10:00am)

Fan favorite Cedric Laster is finally seeing quality time Cedric Laster's prospects for playing time were dim at the beginning this season. He remembered recently what was going through his mind during preseason practice: "It'll be a near miracle if I play this year." Apparently, miracles do happen. "I'm getting a chance to play," Laster said. "I'm starting to feel more confident and relaxed on the court, and my confidence is starting to grow because of that." Laster's productivity, in his role as first man off the bench, is growing, as well. In his last five games, Laster has averaged 8.2 points and 2.4 rebounds. To be sure, the stats aren't earth-shattering. But they are certainly valuable to a Penn team that usually only goes seven players deep and needs all of the contributions it can get. "He's been a great spark for us off the bench," Quakers coach Fran Dunphy said. Besides, Laster's numbers are far and away better than could have been predicted before the season began. In his three previous seasons on the team, Laster had played in 40 games. His totals: 54 points and 25 rebounds, with individual-game highs of five points and four rebounds. A major factor in Laster's paltry playing time and output, of course, were the abilities of the people ahead of him on the Quakers depth chart. Laster was buried on the bench of a Penn team that was winning three-straight Ivy League titles. "He hasn't had much of an opportunity," Dunphy said. "He's kind of like Donald [Moxley, the Quakers senior starting guard] in that respect. This is the first year for him to show what he can do." But the wait was tough on Laster. At the beginning of each year, he hoped that if he worked hard and things went his way, he just might get a bit of playing time. But the minutes were never there for the taking. "It looked really bleak for me," Laster said. "I could tell I really wasn't going to get that look. There were other guys ahead of me." His high school career in Clayton, Mo., was much different. Laster was the all-time leading scorer at Clayton High. He put up 26.2 points and 11.1 rebounds a game as a junior. And as a senior, he averaged 25.0 points and 10.6 boards, earning first-team all-state honors. Laster says he was recruited by every Ivy League team except Princeton and Yale and several mid-level Division I programs, such as Wichita State and Northern Illinois, which offered him scholarships. Laster was looking for a college that met his particular requirements. He wanted a school in a metropolitan area with good academics and "big-time potential basketball-wise." Penn obviously fit the bill. But what sold Laster on coming to Philadelphia was his recruiting visit, which took place during Penn Relays. "I had a good time," Laster said. "I really felt comfortable here. I could see myself as a student." But after arriving on campus, could he see himself as a basketball player? With few minutes coming his way in his first three years, Laster said he seriously considered leaving the team on a number of occasions. "Coming out of high school, I felt really positive about playing," Laster said. "[I thought] wherever I went, I would have a chance to play well and contribute to the team. "I never thought I would ride the bench for four years." Yet that was the situation he was facing earlier this season. After starting the Quakers' first two games, including a six-point homecoming performance at Saint Louis in December, Laster saw his playing time drop. "He played just OK in the first two games," Dunphy said. Laster played only three minutes in Penn's next two games. After sitting out three more games to resolve some academic problems, he returned to the Penn bench against Brown on January 12. It appeared Laster would stay there. But injuries and academic difficulties hit the Quakers hard. And when senior forward Nat Graham left the team, citing a loss of interest in basketball, Laster was there to fill in. "When he came back and Graham left, the opportunity presented itself," Dunphy said. "And he's taken advantage of it." It ended up being a good thing for both Penn and Laster that he hadn't quit. His strong religious faith and his friendships on the team had convinced him to keep playing. "I had come so far and wanted to see it through," Laster said. "It was what God wanted me to do. That and the camaraderie on the team were what kept me playing." And finally, halfway through his senior season, Laster is getting a chance to play and contributing to the team. He chipped in eight and six points two weekends ago versus Cornell and Columbia, and scored 16 points last week in a win over Lehigh. "I've had to go back to the room on nights maybe where I've played well, and we've won games," said Ira Bowman, who is Laster's roommate. "I can feel for him knowing that he's not getting the opportunity to play, and he's working just as hard as me during the week in practice." Last Saturday against Harvard, Laster filled his sparkplug role perfectly. He scored nine points in a key first-half stretch during which the Quakers took the lead for good. "With his ability to shoot and his athleticism, it was just a matter of his getting the right opportunity," Dunphy said. "I'm happy that he's taken advantage of it."

GUEST COLUMN: OPINION: Collectively Solving Our Urban Problems Benefits Us All

(10/04/95 9:00am)

In The New York Times article, the President's Public Service Fellowship at Yale University is hailed as a "special" program which no other colleges have "matched with its combination of providing a stipend, but no academic credit (emphasis added)." This initiative's complete separation of service from scholarship is promoted as an outstanding characteristic that places the President's Fellowship above the efforts of other university programs. I find this statement to be quite disturbing given Yale University's established reputation as a stellar research university and a leader in the world of academia. Moreover, by ignoring the academic significance of their service program, Yale faols to focus on the vital role of higher education as the center for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. Universities have long been regarded as innovative institutions where the application of intellect and reason is used to devise and improve solutions to the problems of our society. The plagues of poverty, crime and unsanitary health conditions that have swept through urban America are among the most critical and strategic problems of our time. The dilemmas of our cities are intellectual problems that demand serious thought and deliberation by everyone. Urban colleges and universities are realizing that their future and success as educational institutions are intertwined with the fate of their surrounding communities. Matriculation rates may decline as crime and undergraduate dissatisfaction increase. Moreover, the inner-city students struggling to survive in the urban public school systems are among the pool of applicants that will eventually fill the ivy-covered halls of Yale and other universities in the future. There are different methods of achieving successful university-community programs. The Yale Presidents Public Service Fellowship adopts a "bulls-eye model," where students are propelled into the community on a stipend to work as university ambassadors outside the campus walls. This methodology is flawed. The undergraduates are most likely receiving the benefits of character growth from exposure to the community, but the learning process ends when they return to the safe, "neo-gothic buildings" of Yale, leaving the "other" world behind. Additionally, therc is no reciprocity -- the community is a passive object that receives aid from the university in the form of paid social-workers. This model may only perpetuate what some have labeled as the "monastic separation" between the "town" and the ivory tower on the hill. To bring "town" and "gown" together, one must establish a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship. To solve their shared problems, the university and the community should work together by uniting with existing community organizations in a manner that is directly integrated with the academic pursuits of the university's faculty and students. "Synergy" and "alliances" are the new buzz-words of this era. Across the private and public sectors, businesses and institutions are forming partnerships to overcome common obstacles and achieve mutual benefits. For more than a decade, embryonic biotechnology firms have struggled to become more competitive by aligning themselves with multinational pharmaceutical corporations to share resources, reduce costs, and maximize their shared profits. More recently, environmental public interest groups and organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, have worked with business leaders to develop feasible, cost-effective, often voluntary environmental solutions for industrial operations. In each of the examples mentioned above, both members of the cooperative initiative had to work together by establishing a shared vision, mutual understanding, equal contribution and the basis for long-term commitment. Universities should adopt the same principals when developing a program with the community -- "How can our institution help the community create solutions to their own self-identified problems while still adhering to our mission as a center for learning and academy research?" The University of Pennsylvania, along with other universities across the country, has worked to develop effective partnerships central to the needs of the community and parallel to the academic interest of students and faculty. Penn has realized that in order for community programs to receive administrative attention and resources, service must be a component of scholarship, an academically justifiable pursuit that directly contributes to the intellectual and personal development of the student. As part of its efforts to design a model for higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, the Provost's Council on Undergraduate Education recently stated, "The union of theory and practice also means that as an institution Penn promotes engagement with theoretical, ethical and moral concerns Of society and community defined broadly, globally and also locally within Philadelphia." This statement should not be surprising considering the philosophy of Penn's founder Benjamin Franklin who established the university as the first secular, civic college where students would "do well while doing good." This Fall, Penn is offering 34 service-learnong courses which utilize locals' real world problems as the basis for interdisciplinary, experiential learning. I can think of no better method of preparing college graduates to deal successfully with the complex issues of modern society than to construct their studies in a manner that incorporates real-world problem solving. There are other organizations on campus that unite service with academics. In The Pennsylvania Service Scholar AmeriCorps program undergraduates must complete nine hundred hours in four years on individualized community projects while taking service learning courses and spear-heading volunteer recruitment. Undergraduates in the West Philadelphia Improvement Corps are working with students and teachers of the Philadelphia Public School System on a collaborative effort to establish "community schools" in West Philadelphia as centers for cultural exchange, education and recreation for the entire community. Each summer, the Scott Paper Company Public Service Internship Program sponsors a group of dedicated Penn students who enroll in a research seminar and help conduct a week long institute for middle school students. With academically based community service, undergraduates have the opportunity to learn through active problom-solving and to reflect on and contextualize their efforts in the city as a part of their whole educational experience. As the Provost's Council on Undergraduate Education states, "knowledge derived from analysis is only complete when tested in the crucible of experience and that for experience to be valuable, it must become the object of reflection." As an undergraduate, I have taken full advantage of the opportunities at Penn by enrolling in service learning courses and living in the Community Service Living-Learning Program. Perhaps my most influential and beneficial experience with community service has come from my participation in an environmental education program at a middle school in West Philadelphia. This program is a collaboration between undergraduates and public school students to solve local problems in the community. Ironically, the environmental education program that I helped to develop at Penn was in many ways modeled after the Urban Resources Initiative at the Yale School of Forestry and Enviromnental Studies. In the URI program, graduate students are working with community members in New Haven Old Baltimore to create a healthier living environment by addressing issues related to education, economic development and public health. In addition, the program's graduates and faculty have produced dissertations and research papers related to their experiences in community service. The Urban Resources Initiative is an ideal example of a service-related activity that is integrated into the academic work of university professors and students. In conclusion, I challenge the colleges and universities of this country to make a concentrated effort to focus on community service initiatives as a method of solving the problems that plague our cities. As Penn's students, we have the unique privilege of being able to participale in a diverse range of service activities, whether it is tutoring a child, serving a meal at a local soup kitchen, running an after-school sports program or joining one of the many service-related student groups, I hope every Penn student will find a way to help strengthen our commlmity. Collaborative resolution of today's urban dilemmas is central to the future prosperity of America, and critical in the positive development of higher education and ourselves.

COLUMN: PCUE: The Future of Undergraduate Education

(08/03/95 9:00am)

At the May Unrvenily Count meeting I asked Provost Chodorovw if any ofthe proposals Som Be One of the Report of the Provost Council on Undeqrsduate Education CLUE) would be implemented before students refined in the fill and had a chance to resoew thenl. He assured me they would not. None that the PCUE Phase One report has been published in the AIm~c I can see why no proposals cats be illlEelemented; no proposals enst. At least it doesnt look like it PCUE Phase One is a set of vale goals X almost evedoody on Bus will agree wtth. ~ is necessary is not this a~ouEon of goals, but rather solid detailed proposals thal; we can take action on PCLE itselfatits in the Phase One report that it is not yet at His stage in Heir process. File I know that the administrators faculty, and students on PCUE are some of He most ieEgent and dedicated people on campus, I worry ~ the mitisl promise of PCWJE wil be lost if thy do not have Hee sped if ic proposals to reach He general goals that have beel} laid out Hisis sumlner. For example, Phase One says Eat "...the essence of evely Peal undergraduate will include engagement with faculty and older (equate) students. ." No lilting,. What is needed is a bold move like reclean a senior thesis for all Penn students and requiring Vulty and gad students to assist and guide Rem.. Another example is the old saying Perm needs more of a rluxtre of theory and pracolee. kstead of repeating is platitude, W0lat l$ nied B a specHo plm for how to stagnate red world e~a~e sto ti classroom. more tnps to Wall Street or local businesses fior Whartomtes, more involvement wig Philadelphia * hall for political science classes, and the like Rather than talking about more co

Rodin keeps hectic schedule bobbying for U.'s cause in Harrisburg, Washington

(06/30/95 9:00am)

Fox Chapel High School '93 Pittsburgh, Pa. Although her on-campus responsibilities kept University President Judith Rodin's appointment book full during her inaugural year, Rodin was also hard at work off campus, traveling frequently to keep the University's coffers full. At least once a month, Rodin met with elected officials in Harrisburg and Washington to discuss the University's funding for the 1996 fiscal year -- a hot issue in the months following last November's sweeping Republican electoral victories. Like most research institutions, the University receives reimbursement from the federal government for the indirect costs of basic research, including the construction of laboratory facilities and the payment of support staff. However, during the debate over President Clinton's proposed budget, the Republican congressional leadership made clear its belief that the costs of higher education in the United States are spiraling out of control. As a result, budget cuts are expected to be directed toward both indirect cost payments and federal financial aid, especially for graduate students. In April, Rodin traveled to Harrisburg to testify before the State Senate Appropriations Committee. She hoped to secure $50 million for the University for the upcoming academic year, up from about $35 million this year. The increase was requested to stabilize tuition at the Veterinary School, which is the only one of its kind in the state, and to guarantee financial aid availability for state residents, according to Carol Scheman, the University's vice president for government, community and public affairs. However, state representatives pushed Rodin to reveal her $350,000 salary during her testimony, and questioned the merits of providing an institution as rich as the University with 40 percent more state aid than it has received in the past. Rodin said she was pleased with the answers she offered lawmakers during the hour-long hearing, adding that she expected their "tough and probing" questions and felt they did not treat her more harshly than they did representatives of other Pennsylvania schools. During January and February, Rodin participated in the deliberations of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge's Keystone Commission, a coalition of civic leaders culled from across the state to advise Ridge on issues of policy reform. Rodin also served on President Clinton's White House safety panel, which recently recommended turning the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House into a pedestrian thoroughfare similar to the University's Locust Walk. Scheman and Rodin's new chief of staff, Stephen Schutt, were both Washington insiders before coming to the University. Scheman was deputy commissioner for external affairs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, while Schutt served as chief of staff for former Sen. Harris Wofford (D - Pa.). Apart from political travels, this year Rodin attended fundraising functions in California, New York, Florida and Texas. She characterized her off-campus jaunts as necessary for the University, and said she tries to be away from campus no more than 20 percent of an average semester. "In a sense, my schedule reflects the University's priorities," Rodin said.

Controversial magazine denied funding

(06/30/95 9:00am)

Richard Montgomery High School '94 Rockville, Md. Political correctness on campus was in the news again this year, as the Ivy League's oldest student magazine was denied any funding from the University. The result of the controversy was a total revision of the guidelines for financially supporting University student groups. The Student Activities Council voted three times this year to reject funding requests from The Red and Blue, which over the past few years has developed a reputation on campus for being extremely conservative. Some students were particularly offended by a controversial article published in the magazine's fall issue. The article, written by College junior Jeremy Hildreth, allegedly disparaged the culture and the people of Haiti. At the January SAC meeting, The Red and Blue applied for and did not receive money for publishing a spring issue. SAC, a student-run council that controls funding and official recognition of student groups on campus, distributes money collected by the University from every student's tuition. At the time, the body's guidelines prohibited it from funding groups designed to promote a particular political ideology or party. The magazine applied for funding again at the next SAC meeting, held February 27. At that meeting, the body revoked the group's eligibility for funds, with many SAC representatives saying that the magazine had a political bias and therefore should not receive University money. But SAC members opposed to not recognizing The Red and Blue said there were many SAC-funded groups that are just as politically-oriented as the magazine. And after the meeting, then-Red and Blue Editor-in-Chief Christopher Robbins, a College junior, said he was considering a lawsuit against the University to reverse what he felt was an unfair decision. Campus reaction to the body's decision was heated, with University President Judith Rodin issuing a statement criticizing SAC. Rodin and Provost Stanley Chodorow called for a review of SAC's guidelines to prevent future incidents. Rodin said the University's position on the controversy was that "funding decisions cannot be based purely upon the content of a student group's speech." Student government leaders began to revise the SAC funding guidelines shortly after Rodin spoke out against the policy. In late March, the new guidelines were approved by the SAC body at their monthly meeting. The body then voted to restore The Red and Blue's eligibility to receive funding. But when the time came to decide whether to fund the magazine, an overwhelming majority of the body was still opposed to giving the publication any money. After a month, The Red and Blue's newly selected editor-in-chief, College junior Thor Halvorssen, brought another budget request to SAC's final meeting of the year. The purpose of the meeting was to approve next year's budgets for all member groups. By then, the body was unwilling to consider any new requests for funding for last year, and voted not to hear the magazine's case. The controversy brought some national attention to the University, as Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern both devoted time on their nationally syndicated radio shows to developments in the situation.