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Change in policy raises 1st Amendment concerns

(10/17/91 9:00am)

A proposed change in the University's judicial system could allow the University to punish students or faculty who discuss pending cases. The University's judicial proceedings have always been confidential, but there was never any system for punishing people for breaking confidentiality. The new proposed policy states that only the person accused in the case can make the issue public, and disclosure by others "shall constitute a violation of University rules and subject the individual to the appropriate procedures for dealing with such violations." According to the code, the person who files charges, or anyone else involved in the case, would face penalties if he or she went public with information on the case. "This is going to put a bite in it," said Stephen Burbank, the chairperson of the committee proposing the changes. Faculty who worked on the plan said yesterday that the intent of the revision is to prevent leaks and to protect confidential information about students from being released. "Breaches of confidentiality are a violation of University rules. If you leak, you're liable," Burbank said. Though the person charged is technically allowed to discuss a case, "that is discouraged," Burbank said. David Pope, chairperson of the oversight committee, emphasized that the intent of the committee was to protect the rights of the accused. "We don't want people who are privy to certain information to be trumpeting around campus that someone has been accused," Pope said. Pope said that while it would be fine to reveal that charges had been filed, the intent of the committee was to prevent revealing the name of the person against whom charges were filed. "The main concern we have is that once things go before a hearing court or honor court or when the JIO is given information by individuals, that no one leaks that information," Pope said. History Professor Alan Kors, perhaps the most vocal free-speech advocate on campus in recent years, said that he sees the need for the confidentiality, but that students' rights need to be protected. "It seems an admirable goal to prevent leaks, but one has to do that in a way not to preclude other legal rights," Kors said yesterday. "This has to be consistent with other rights . . . This also includes the right of a free press to report by its own choice information that comes into its possession." Mark Goodman, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C., said yesterday that administrators at other university have attempted to prosecute student journalists for printing information on judicial cases. "It's crazy to think they have the right to control what the newspaper wants to publish," Goodman said. Pope said under the new code, a reporter or editor could be brought up on charges by the JIO, or be asked to reveal who had leaked the information so that that person could be brought up on charges. "I suspect it would happen and I suspect that the editor would refuse to say who had told him," Pope said. But Pope said while he personally does not think this is how the code should be applied, it can be interpreted that way. "I personally wouldn't want to charge the editor, but there would be people who would want to charge the editor with violations." SPLC's Goodman said at Southern Methodist University, the student newspaper published a story about judicial proceedings and the administrators began a judicial case against the editor. "Defenders of the editor came out of the woodwork," Goodman said. But Goodman said he had never heard of challenges to such university rules going to court and predicted that most are resolved when there is a public outcry against the university suppressing freedom of the press. "I think it is disgraceful for any institution, especially the University of Pennsylvania, which has such a long and esteemed reputation, to take a notion that is contrary to press freedom in this country," Goodman said. According to the University's policy, all information concerning judicial cases must remain confidential under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which is commonly known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment. FERPA states that colleges and university cannot release "education records" of a student without permission from the student or his family. But over the summer at the University of Georgia, the student newspaper The Red and Black filed suit against the school, claiming that judicial records are not "education records" and therefore are not covered by FERPA. Reporters at the Red and Black tried to attend a hearing of the school's Organizational Court, which was holding hearings on alleged hazing at two fraternities. The schools lawyers said they could not attend the meetings, citing FERPA.


U. may face scholarship suit

(10/10/91 9:00am)

A local legal center may file suit against the University, claiming it does not abide by a city ordinance requiring it to provide scholarships to needy Philadelphia residents, President Sheldon Hackney announced yesterday. Hackney said at yesterday's University Council meeting that the Public Interest Law Center may be filing a suit against the University, charging that it is not holding up its end of the agreement with the city and demanding that it offer more "Mayor's Scholarships." A series of city ordinances and agreements starting in 1882 require the University to give out the monetary equivalent of 125 full scholarships each year in exchange for land. Hackney said at the meeting that he met with Mayor Wilson Goode this summer about the scholarships, and both the city and the University agreed the University is complying with the ordinance. And General Counsel Shelley Green said the University has abided by the agreements. "We have been working with the city for a long time," Green said. "Recently we have been discussing with the city whether they are satisfied and the city has said it's satisfied." Legal Center attorney Thomas Gilhool declined to comment yesterday. In the last academic year there were 162 Mayor's Scholars enrolled at the University, and according to Green, and the scholarships were valued at over $1.5 million. In 1882, the University agreed to establish and maintain 50 scholarships in exchange for land near what is currently the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Green said. The scholarships amounted to a total of $7500. This was increased in June 1910, when a city ordinance required the University to establish and maintain 75 additional scholarships in any department of the University. The scholarships were designated for deserving students who attended any high school in the city. In exchange, the University acquired additional land. On August 1, 1977, the University entered into a new agreement that consolidated the two plans so the city could remove deed restrictions that prevented the University from mortgaging the land. The University agreed "to establish and forever maintain at least one hundred twenty-five four-year, full tuition scholarships, or their equivalent, in any of the Departments of the University, to be awarded annually by the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia to deserving students from all of the schools of the City." Staff writer Christine Lutton contributed to this story.


SAC votes down absentee rule

(10/01/91 9:00am)

Student Activities Council members last night voted against changing their constitution to enact harsher punishments on SAC groups who do not attend the monthly meetings. In the first meeting of the school year last night, SAC members turned down a proposed amendment which would have made groups that lost recognition for missing two SAC meetings wait four weeks before applying for re-recognition. The amendment would have prevented unrecognized groups from using SAC money during the four-week probation period. Under SAC guidelines, groups that miss two meetings in a school year automatically lose SAC recognition and are unable to use the Council's money until they are reinstated. Currently, SAC groups can apply for re-recognition immediately after they lose it, so groups that miss two meetings can be reinstated at the next full meeting. SAC Steering members said they proposed the amendment as a deterrent to some student groups that frequently miss meetings, losing their recognition and then applying for re-recognition frequently throughout the year. "Some groups show a great disrespect for SAC and those who really want to make it work," SAC Vice Chairperson Felicia Maddox said at last night's meeting. "In the past, we've been accused of being a rubber stamp organization and we're trying to change that view." Wharton senior Maddox said the current guidelines allow for a revolving door of student groups that pass in and out of SAC during a school year. She said that 10 to 20 percent of SAC groups lose recognition each year for missing two meetings, adding that half of those groups come up every year. About 15 of the approximately 140 SAC groups missed last night's meeting. But many members said the amendment was too harsh because it does not distinguish between first-time offenders and those groups that frequently lose their recognition. Members added that it is "easier than you might think" to miss meetings because of miscommunication within groups. Maddox said after the meeting that SAC Steering members "will be looking more closely at groups coming in for re-recognition" in the future to prevent frequent offenders from continuously using up SAC's time. In other business, SAC Finance Committee Chairperson Howard Radzely announced that his committee will be auditing all SAC groups' budgets to find any expenses not approved by the Council. Radzely said any charges that SAC did not approve beforehand must come out of an organization's money, not SAC money. Wharton senior Radzely added that several groups owe SAC money, and that groups with three years of outstanding debts have their funding frozen until the payments are made. SAC members also re-recognized six organizations and allocated contingency money to six others.


City recycling law not enforced

(10/01/91 9:00am)

Describing the enforcement of Philadelphia's recycling law as toothless may be generous. "We have no personnel, no inspectors and no hope for either for quite a while," said Tom Klein, the director for education and promotions in the city's Recycling Office. Among the city's top officials, recycling simply isn't a priority for already scarce dollars, Klein said. The dearth of enforcement certainly has not been lost on University area recycling activists. Nick Sanders, coordinator for the Spruce Hill Recycling Group, said the city's three-year-old mandatory recycling law is not being enforced and it is going to be some time before it is. According to Klein, the recycling law requires landlords of residential buildings with seven or more units to contract private haulers to recycle their trash. The city services residences with six units or fewer. Students living off campus say the law has not facilitated their recycling efforts. "It's ridiculous," said College senior Lala Mykula. "I put all my recyclables in piles and take them to work where I'm sure they'll be recycled." A Law student who requested anonymity said she wants to recycle, but her complex, 2400 Chestnut Street Apartments, doesn't offer a recycling program. 2400 Chestnut doesn't have a recycling program, according to Marilyn Lipken, the building's rental manager. But she said that the management of the building, which houses about 550 students, is "working on it." College sophomore Keri McCann also said she wants to recycle, but her building, Hamilton Court, at 39th and Chestnut Streets, doesn't have a program either. Dave Mendell of University City Housing, which owns the 104-unit building, said he doesn't know of any recycling program at Hamilton Court. "The problem is that many landlords are waiting for the city to recycle their trash," said Klein of the city's Recycling Office. "Under the law, it is not our responsibility." Klein said the city has sent apartment building managers information on how to recycle their trash, saying "we've done our part, now it's their turn." Klein added that until mandatory recycling is enforced, recyclers can participate in community corner pickup programs or transport their recyclables on their own. "The enforcement of this law is going to be a matter of public pressure, tenant pressure, and the attitudes of landlords citywide," he said. Some off-campus housing complexes have hired commercial recyclers. Joyce Prentis, property manager for Alan Klein Properties, said their two largest properties have hired private haulers to recycle their trash. These include the 143-unit Fairfax Apartments at 43rd and Locust Streets and the 234-unit Garden Court Plaza at 4701 Pine Street.


Luke found not guilty of U. City rape

(09/30/91 9:00am)

The man police have accused of sexually assaulting four women in the campus area was found innocent of one of the assaults Friday by a Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge. Judge Craig Lord, after a day-long trial, found the 38-year-old Luke not guilty of attempted rape, burglary and related charges in the assault of a CHOP doctor near campus because of insufficient evidence, according to Assistant District Attorney Jeanette Synnestvedt. Luke was also found not guilty in August for the alleged rape of a University employee at 41st and Spruce streets, but he still faces another attempted rape charge and an indecent assault charge. The remaining two cases will likely go to trial in October. Luke, dressed in a yellow sweater and brown pants, was emotionless during the testimony of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doctor he was accused of attempting to rape. The doctor testified Friday that she was taking a shower early in the morning of February 15, 1988, when she heard a noise in her apartment, which is in a building on 42nd Street between Locust and Walnut streets. She got out of the shower, wrapped a towel around herself and was ready to investigate the noise, when she saw a man she identified as Luke standing in her bathroom doorway, she said. According to the doctor's testimony, she saw Luke's boots first and then screamed, but became silent when he pulled the towel she was wearing up to her neck. The doctor told the judge she felt her screaming made Luke nervous and she was afraid he would hurt her. Her attacker pushed her to her knees and then kneeled down on the floor above her, according to the doctor. "I asked him, 'What do you want?' and he said, 'You,' " she told the court. She said she turned to look at the man, dressed in a heavy grey jacket, baggy pants and wearing a cap with a tassel, but when she looked up, he punched her in her eye. "He spread my legs and I felt his finger in my vagina," sher said, adding that when she heard him pull down his pants' zipper, she decided had better do something to avoid being raped. She told the court that Luke then reached up to the sink and washed his hands, and then got up and walked to the window he used to enter. Before he left, she said that her attacker wished her, "Good morning, honey." The prosecution's case was weakened, however, when she selected the wrong man in a six-man line-up months after the incident, according to the testimony of a Philadelphia Police Major Crimes Division supervisor. According to the supervisor, Luke, the number five man in the line, looked remarkably similar in slides shown to the court to the number two man, whom the doctor chose as her attacker. She explained in her testimony that she made her selection based on the "behavior" of the number two man. She said the man was jittery and constantly looked down at the floor, while the rest of the men in the line up were relatively calm. After she told supervisor her selection, the men were told to leave the line-up box, and, she said, when she saw the profile of Luke, she realized she made a mistake. She said she asked the supervisor if she could see the line-up again, but he refused to repeat the process. Assistant District Attorney Synnestvedt also questioned the first officer who arrived at the scene, who testified that the doctor was hysterical and that he found an open window with a broken screen. During her cross-examination by Stephen Gross, Luke's attorney, she at times turned pale and was visably shaken, according to Synnestvedt. "Typically in rape cases, the defense attorney goes hard on the victim, and in this case, that was no exception," Synnestvedt said. "His style was extremely aggressive, more so than the average case I try." "The witness later said she would never put herself through this," Synnestvedt added. "She was emotionally distraught after the testimony." According to Synnestvedt, "nothing much came out in cross-examination." Synnestvedt said that Judge Lord rendered a fair decision and that Luke was found not guilty because of insufficient evidence. "He did not find her not credible," Synnestvedt explained. "We just didn't have enough [evidence]." "Police don't have enough equipment or people to [dust for fingerprints]," Synnestvedt said. "Very rarely is a sex crime scene prosecuted like a homicide scene." The two remaining charges Luke faces, one sexual assault and a second attempted rape, are "stronger," according to Synnestvedt.


Many at HUP oppose AIDS testing

(09/30/91 9:00am)

"First, do no harm." Meeting this seemingly simple commandment of the Hippocratic oath has grown more difficult with the increased spread of the AIDS virus, as patients worry that they may catch the deadly disease from their doctors. Currently the U.S. House of Representatives is debating legislation that would prohibit health care workers from conducting invasive medical or dental procedures if they are infected with human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. Medicine Professor Rob MacGregor, who specializes in infectious diseases at HUP, and his colleagues who oppose the mandatory testing said last night there is not sufficient data to prove that transmission through health care workers is a significant risk. There is one documented case of provider-to-patient transmission, and in that dental case, many records are missing, according to Assistant Infectious Disease Professor Patrick Brennan. "To make a national compulsory system in testing on the basis of one event seems to be an overreaction to the relatively minuscule," MacGregor said. "The case is very strongly disputed," Brennan added. "It is now believed that he may have had sexual contacts with his patients and that he may have infected them through poorly sterilized instruments." But Nursing sophomore Racquel Lowe said last night the legislation is positive and should be implemented. "The patients have a right to know if the doctor or nurse has AIDS," Lowe said. "If they make it known to the patient, some will discriminate and not go back -- others may have faith." Those who oppose the legislation, introduced by Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-Calif.), also argue that the cost of testing all health care workers is enormous and that it would divert limited funds away from research. "Do you test physicians once a year?" HUP infectious disease physician Ian Frank said. "That's a lot of money -- with not a lot of impact." Opponents to the legislation said that the test may not indicate positive infection immediately after receiving the virus and that testing would have to be continuous. "I don't think it is going to solve the problem," said Margaret Sovie, chief nursing officer at HUP. "It will only tell you about that moment in time -- not the rest of your career." The New York Times reported last week that it may cost up to $1 billion a year to carry out the program. The legislation would also allow physicians to test their patients for AIDS without the patient's consent. "If we are going to have testing on one side, we have to have it on the other side," Brennan said. "Very, very, very few people get infected by [the health care provider] and it is much more likely that a health care worker will be infected by a patient." One nursing student said she agreed with the legislation that health care workers should be required to be tested, but added that the results should not be made public. "I dont think it should be made public knowledge," Joy Lowe said. "The health care provider can know themselves and make responsible decisions." The Nursing freshman also said that she disagreed with the provision allowing for patient testing. "I think any test should be done only with the person's permission -- whether its an AIDS test or an EKG," Lowe said.


U. requests $41.2 million in state funds

(09/27/91 9:00am)

The University has requested nearly $41.2 million in state funding for the 1992-93 fiscal year, hoping to increase this year's $37.6 million allocation by 9.5 percent. The proposal calls for increased funding for all University programs which currently receive state money -- including the Veterinary School and related programs, the Medical School, the University's dental clinics and $16.6 million in unrestricted dollars -- and asks for two new line items for the Vet School. Administrators said this week that although the increase would exceed the rate of inflation, it is needed to offset a decrease in the real value of the state's allocation, which has barely risen over the last two years. And they said the budget crisis in Harrisburg this summer, which threatened to cut this year's allocation nearly in half, did not affect the level of the University's request. James Shada, assistant vice president for Commonwealth Relations, said the proposal simply reflects the University's current needs. "We feel we can make the case for what we're asking for," Shada said. But Senior Vice President Marna Whittington acknowledged the University's request could have trouble passing the legislature fully intact if a crisis similar to the one last year develops. She said it was important not to appear "greedy," while at the same time presenting an honest appraisal of the University's needs. The request stresses that the University is the city's largest non-governmental employer, helps attract industry to the area through research and technological developments, and educates thousands of Pennsylvania residents every year. The largest single component of the request would add over $1 million in unrestricted funds to the University's allocation, raising the level to $17.7 million. Administrators say this money is important because it is not earmarked for certain programs and can be used in areas where it is needed. The request lists three "strategic priorities" for this part of the allocation: undergraduate education, student financial aid and "research excellence." The financial aid budget has grown increasingly dependent on unrestricted funds in recent years because, while costs have risen, other sources of revenue have remained flat. Several parts of the request, totaling over $17 million, are related to the Vet School, whose financial stability is closely linked with state funding. The requests include $4.3 million for the New Bolton Center, $2.3 million for the Center for Animal Health, and $1.4 million for the Center of Animal Health and Productivity. The two new lines would include $477,000 for the operation and maintenance of animal health diagnostic and research programs, and $423,000 to help fund public health research in the Vet School, which is the only school of its kind in the state. The University now must wait until February, when Gov. Robert Casey unveils his budget proposal, to determine how the allocation likely will emerge in the final budget.


LIFESTYLE: Fact or Fiction?

(09/27/91 9:00am)

Christina Applegate does not attend the University. The 19-year-old star of Fox television's Married with Children doesn't even attend college. Such rumors are spread rapidly around campus and are passed down from class to class, but it is often difficult to pinpoint their origin. About half of the students contacted at random this week had heard the Applegate rumor. Depending on the version they heard, the actress who plays airhead Kelly Bundy had either been accepted for the following year's class, or was already a student on campus. Efforts to trace the myth where unsuccessful, as students did not recall exactly where they had heard it. "I just have heard it around," Wharton junior Melissa Smith said Tuesday. "I think at a party somewhere." Christoph Guttentag, director of planning for the admissions office, said that he first heard the rumor "about a couple of weeks ago" when some students in the admissions office were discussing it. "I've never heard of her applying," Guttentag said. "If somebody well-known would apply, we would know." Guttentag added that such rumors "don't spring forth and get spread for no reason, but I don't know what the reason for this one is." He added that several years ago, there was a prevalent rumor that a certain actress had applied to the University under an assumed name, but he doesn't remember which actress it was. This rumor, too, was unfounded. "I've never heard of anyone applying to Penn under an assumed name," he said. The only Applegate in this year's student directory, first-year grad student Catherine Applegate, said she is not related to the blonde star. "I'm a lot prettier than she is," Applegate said. "Probably a lot older too." And a spokesperson for Fox broadcasting in California said Wednesday that Christina Applegate does not attend college. · Television stars are not the only subject of people-related rumors on campus. An oft-spread myth concerns the assignment of freshman football players to the basement of Butcher/Speakman/Class of '28 in the Quadrangle. As the rumor goes, the entire freshman football team is normally quartered in this section of the Quad on coaches' orders. But residents of Butcher/Speakman denied any superior athletic ability on the part of their neighbors. "There are no football players on this floor," said College freshman Bridget Ward, who lives in the basement of Speakman. She said that she had heard the rumor even before coming to the University. Ward said that various people, when told of her rooming assignment, said, "Oh, I heard they put all the athletes in the basement." College sophomore Toni Minniti, who is the special projects manager for athletics in Butcher/Speakman, said that "It really is a total myth" and that athletic ability in her area of the Quad seemed "no stronger than in other areas." Assistant Dean for Residence Jane Rogers, who has been assigned to the dorm for two years, said that it might create a dangerous situation if the rumor were true. "I don't think anybody in a responsible position at the University would put a whole team on one floor," she said. Rogers said that the source of the myth may be the fact that unlike other sections of the Quad, Butcher/Speakman has almost all doubles, and "coaches like to have athletes room together." Rogers added that as a result, Butcher/Speakman might have gotten more athletes than other areas years ago, but that this is not the case this year. Residential Living "tries to apportion them equally," she said. · Ever notice that it takes forever for the elevators to leave the first floor of Van Pelt Library? Well, you're not the only one. Since the elevators often linger on the main floor even after students have pressed buttons, many have surmised that the elevators only move after a certain number of people have gotten on. Charles Jenkins, the manager for operational services at Van Pelt, said that he has seen students "jumping up and down" hoping to start the elevators. Jenkins said that the traveling patterns of the elevators are not based on weight, but on a timing device to which they are hooked up. He said that the first elevator must always leave ahead of the second one, and that theoretically, both elevators are not allowed to travel side by side, but "the elevators are old and not up to par." Jenkins added that due to the timing device, the doors of elevators on the main floor often close as a student is running toward them, and that students should not take it personally. · Most of the older legends on campus concern University buildings such as Irvine Auditorium. As legend has it, City Treasurer William Irvine donated a sum of money for the auditorium to be built with the stipulation that his son, who flunked out of the School of Fine Arts, design it. This myth was discussed in Daily Pennsylvanian articles in 1950 and 1973 and was said to have originated around 1932. According to files in the University Archives, the true story is that Treasurer Irvine was simply interested in the University and left money for the "erection, construction, and equipment of an auditorium where all University exercises may be held" when he died in 1914. He also left money to his sister Mary Irvine, who died in 1919 and forwarded her share to the University Trustees as well. The co-executor of William Irvine's will was John Bell, who was a University Trustee and later the governor of Pennsylvania. According to the 1950 article, Bell selected architect Horace Trumbauer, "one of the best architects in Philadelphia" and a Drexel graduate, to draw up the plans. He was reportedly assisted by his chief designer, University graduate Julian Abele. Obviously, neither Irvine nor any of his relatives designed Irvine Auditorium, but the rumor may have started due to questions about who actually drew up the plans. Correspondence between former University Archives Director Francis Dallett and a member of the late Trumbauer's firm suggested that the person who drew up the final plans was not chief designer Julian Abele but another man in the firm. An investigation into who drew up the final plans was inconclusive, but the designer of the building was certainly not one of the Irvines. · The myth that Vance Hall was accidentally built backwards, and that all of the windows were supposed to face Spruce Street and receive southern exposure to sunlight, has no factual basis either, according to the Hall's file in the University Archives. And the myth that the three High Rises, which were constructed around 1970, were built as "temporary structures" is one of the most common architectural myths. Jeff Rusling, the assistant director of work control for Residential Maintenance, said that all of his co-workers had heard the myth and that he had heard it himself while he was an Engineering student at the University in the late 70s. He said that he recalled one of his Engineering professors saying that the buildings had "one type of support [horizontal or vertical] but not the other." Director of West Campus Residences Nancy McCue said that the myth was untrue and that she was not sure where it had originated. She said that she vaguely remembered hearing that the rooms were designed so that they could be "changed over time." · One final myth that has been heard around campus from time to time is that alumna Candice Bergen, who currently stars in the CBS's Emmy-winning Murphy Brown, lost her virginity in a room in the Quadrangle. Calls to the show's publicity department were not returned this week. Some things will have to remain a mystery.


Grad students to put out monthly newspaper

(09/26/91 9:00am)

Graduate student leaders will have their voices heard in a new forum when The Graduate Perspective newspaper appears in each graduate student's mailbox sometime in the next week. Printed in tabloid form, the first issue of Perspective will include articles on such topics as Clarence Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court, health insurance, and Escort Service, as well as calendar and notices sections and student government pages. The monthly publication will be funded for the school year with $9000 from the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, but GAPSA leaders and the members of the editorial board insist that the newspaper will be editorially independent. "They should be able to do and say what they want," said GAPSA Chairperson Michael Goldstein at last week's GAPSA meeting. "It's going to be as open and uncensored as we can make it," said GAPSA's Vice Chairperson for Communication Bernadette Barker-Plummer, the paper's editorial board coordinator -- the newspaper's version of an editor-in-chief. In the past, GAPSA and other groups such as the Graduate Student Associations Council produced monthly newsletters containing issues important to their organizations. The GAPSA newsletter, though, has been incorporated into Perspective, while GSAC will continue to print a newsletter. The newspaper aims to provide a "forum to reach a broad number of graduate students and get them involved," said GSAC President Anne Cubilie, another member of the editorial board. "We don't think of it as . . . competition to the DP," Barker-Plummer said. "We think of it as complementary." "[It focuses] on issues that are interesting and critical to graduate students that aren't as important to undergraduates," she added. "It's obviously different from the DP," added Cubilie. "It is not a newspaper on that level." The acting editorial board is made up of those who worked on this issue of the paper, but the group said that there are openings for any students who are interested in donating their time.


Alums say students attacked them Fri.

(09/26/91 9:00am)

Two visiting alumni allege that they were physically attacked on Locust Walk Friday night by a group of University students, and claimed University Police mishandled the incident by allowing an assailant to escape and neglecting to interview key witnesses. The alleged victims said they intend to file a formal complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Office and to hire an attorney to file criminal and civil charges against the alleged attackers. One of the victims, a 1990 University graduate visiting campus last weekend who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that a group of five large men approached him and a friend near the button sculpture on College Green. The student said that one of the men told him to "get the fuck off the button." After the student told the men that he "did not want any trouble," the man who first spoke to him started throwing punches at him. "We were minding our own business . . . [the alleged assailant] slapped me in the head after I refused to get off the button," the alumnus said. The alleged victim said that a fight ensued between the five men, who he said all weighed over 200 pounds and some of whom were football players, and the two victims, who both weigh about 150 pounds. He also said that the alleged assailants' friends stood and watched the fight, but did nothing. The accuser also said he smelled alcohol on the breath of at least a few of the attackers. The accuser said he and his friend fought back in self defense and kicked one of the alleged attackers in the mouth. The accuser alleged that when University Police arrived on the scene, officers did nothing to stop one of the alleged attackers, who was running away, despite the alleged victims' pleas. The accuser also said police did not take down the names or question two witnesses who had seen the incident, despite pleas by himself and his friend that they do so. He added that because the incident involved students and not West Philadelphia residents, the police did not take the alleged attack seriously. "It seems [the police] wanted [the incident] to be swept under the rug and forgotten about because the perpetrators are University students," the accuser said. "Because someone is a student doesn't give him the right to commit any crime, and he should be pursued strongly and quickly." Although specific officers present at the incident have not commented on the case, University police reports of the incident differ from the account given by the alleged victim. University Police reports state that several officers responded to a report of a simple assault on College Green at 1:00 a.m. Saturday, and found the complainant had been punched in the eye. The accuser said he knew some of his alleged assailants were football players because he went to the University Police station asked for names taken down by the police, which he said matched the names of men on the freshman and varsity football teams. He said police listed several of these people as witnesses, but also had descriptions of them. He said these descriptions matched his assailants. The accuser's friend was taken to HUP by officers responding to the report and was released the same night, according to University Police. According to police, the assailant is described as a 20- to 23-year-old male, five feet, six inches tall to five feet, eight inches tall, with a crew cut. The alleged victim said the police report was "amazingly flawed," and that five assailants were involved in the attack, not one, and that they were all large men. "I can't believe the report says that," the accuser said. "It seems like the police officers I talked to didn't report information to other police officers or write down the rest of the information . . . I pointed out assailants directly to police." "The police were absolutely unprofessional, apathetic and unorganized, and apparently the information we gave them was not reported properly in the report," the accuser said. University Police said they were still investigating the incident and refused to comment. But University Police Lieutenant Susan Holmes said last night that the first responsibility of police is to care and give "aid to the injured." She said that, although apprehending suspects is very important, caring for victims is paramount. Holmes said that officers on the scene of a crime are instructed to immediately report the situation to headquarters. Although Holmes would not comment on the specific case, she said that, to her knowledge, "there have been no official complaints in reference to this incident filed with police." University Police officer Gary Heller said yesterday he was one of the officers who responded to the assault report but declined to comment on the case. University Police Officer Hugh McBreen, who the attacker said also responded to the assault report, could not be reached for comment. The accuser said this week that McBreen and Heller failed to write down the names and phone numbers of several witnesses and that the only witnesses interviewed by police were friends of the alleged attackers. The accuser said that one of the attackers was freshman football player Kevin DeLuca, but DeLuca said this week he wasn't involved. DeLuca said he didn't know anyone involved in the incident and that he only saw the end of the fight. DeLuca said he felt University Police handled the incident responsibly.


Upperclass facebook published, to be sold

(09/23/91 9:00am)

Several hundred copies of a facebook for upperclassmen arrived on campus Friday, about two weeks later than originally planned, the book's managing editor said yesterday. College senior Joe Koltun, a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, said delays at the printer and later with the shipping company pushed back the delivery date, which was originally scheduled for "September 1 or maybe a couple of days later." Koltun said students who want to buy the $10 book, called Faces in the Crowd, or pick up the copy they already ordered can go to a table that will be set up on Locust Walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, for the next two weeks. He said about 200 copies of the book have been sent to the homes of students who paid an extra $3 to have the book shipped home. Koltun said although former Alpha president Geoffrey Cousins is the facebook's editor and developed the project with his fraternity last year, Cousins handed the project over to Koltun over the summer after Cousins graduated and "there was no one else to keep things going." Koltun said the sale of the book "is no longer a charity function," adding that most of the profits will be used to pay the publisher, University Allied Publishers. He said he and Cousins, possibly along with some ATO brothers now working on the project, will divide the remainder of the profits. The book, modeled after the Freshman Record, contains photos of sophomores, juniors and seniors, along with their home address and school in the University. Koltun said a student's freshman year photo was used if the student did not send in a new picture, and because that happened in all but 300 cases, the majority of the book's pictures are old. "Hopefully we'll get more new pictures in the future," he said. He said 70 students expressly requested that their picture not appear in the facebook at all. In those cases a large "P" fills the space reserved for the picture.


While more are coming forward, victims still shy from police

(09/18/91 9:00am)

Every session someone comes forward. Each time Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape peer educators conduct seminars, a student tells a STAAR facilitator that they have a friend who is a victim. "It generally works out that at least one person reports at each workshop," STAAR adviser Susan Villari said earlier this month. Often distraught and in tears, victims come up to the student who conduct the workshop. They are usually scared and fearful of not being believed, STAAR coordinators said. It usually takes a while to compose themselves while the peer educator lends them support. With nearly fifty sessions last year and nearly fifty victims aided in the same period, STAAR has distinguished itself as maybe the most trodden path to report a rape by an acquaintance. "Our system works by word of mouth," Villari said. "You often reach people who are friends of friends of friends." Each promises the same service -- confidential help that allows the victim to remain in the driver's seat -- but many say STAAR and the Women's Center have been the most successful in reaching victims while the Police have been the least. In a Daily Pennsylvanian survey last week, 68 percent of students polled said services at the University for rape and sexual assault victims are adequate, while less than 17 percent disagreed. But of all three groups, University Police were singled out for harsh criticism. Over the past few years, rape victims have shunned reporting the incidents to police, turning to STAAR and the Women's Center. Women's Center Director Elena DiLapi said during the 1989-90 school year, 20 women reported being victims of sexual assault to her organization. And while STAAR continues to have students come forward, University Police took only one report of rape between 1987 and 1990. For years, conventional wisdom held that police would not be sensitive enough for victims and may not believe them. A Daily Pennsylvanian survey last week showed that the police have not shed this reputation. Of the 134 students who said they had been raped or sexually assaulted, 96.3 percent said they did not report it to the police, while only 55 percent said they never reported it at all. About 64 percent of women who had not been a victim of sexual assault or rape said they were likely to go to University Police if they were victimized. Freshmen women were most likely to report, at 69 percent. About 58 percent of sophomores, 66 percent of the and 61 percent of seniors would tell police. A female junior noted that she would not tell the police if she were the victim of acquaintance rape because she was unhappy with how police handled a string of obscene phone calls she received. "[I've had] bad experiences with University Police before," she said. "They were very inefficient, very uncaring and did not believe I really had a problem situation." Others, even those who mentioned no previous contact with police, said they would be uncomfortable going there. "With all the stories about how unsympathetic and callous the University is with victims of sexual assault or rape, I don't think they would lend a supportive ear," one senior said. "I have heard doctors and police officers say that they don't believe a victim or treat her like crud. The system is not set up to foster support or guidance to rape victims." Police officers said the public's lack of trust in the force is not exclusive to the University, but is an attitude that has prevailed throughout society. "You get a certain amount of callousness from people for just wearing that blue uniform," said University Police Officer John Wylie, who works with the police's Victim and Security Support Services department. University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said earlier this month that recent changes in his department will make it more sensitive to victim's individual needs. "I think that those officers' [who are supportive] need to be the standard for the officers that we hire," Kuprevich said. "I want a force who works on the street and understands victim support." Kuprevich, who took control of the force last fall, has introduced a new program that rotates officers into Victim Support for a couple of years. Victim Support Services is an arm of the department with its own director and which is separate from normal police functions. Although Victim Support often works with other officers, it is often independent and focuses on helping victims rather than solving and prosecuting crimes. Kuprevich said he hopes to train his core of street officers with skills that will make them more successful in dealing with acquaintance rape survivors. One student said she would feel more comfortable reporting it to the police if she knew that a female officer would be designated to handle the case. Victim and Security Support Services Director Ruth Wells said it is the University's general policy that a female police officer will respond to a female complainant. "If you want a woman officer, we'll get you a woman officer; a black officer, we'll get you a black officer, Asian, or male, we'll get it for you," Victim Support Police Officer Patrick Chad said. "That is just part of being sensitive." STAAR coordinators also said police are more sensitive than their reputation would suggest, and that Kuprevich is working hard to improve his department. "I think that there has been some insensitivity in the past," Villari said. "But, I know they are working very hard to educate their staff." Some respondents also said they could not trust the department to maintain the promised confidentiality. One junior female said if she reported to the police "Everyone would know/talk" and that there "would be a loss of privacy." "[The police] are very demeaning and uncomfortable," a female freshman wrote. "I would tell someone that I trusted." Wells said she guarantees that students who come to her office will be treated appropriately and always in complete confidence. "I promise that we will believe her," Wells said. "We've found that less than one percent of people make false reports of this nature." Wells also promised that her department will allow the victim to have complete control over whether or not she will prosecute and that the victim can always change her mind. With a new central reporting system, University Police also hope to be able to keep more accurate statistics on campus rapes than in the past, when they were never informed of rapes reported elsewhere. Now, when a student tells STAAR, the Women's Center or University Police that they have been the victim of a sexual assault, it is recorded in Victim Support's "system," Kuprevich said. The victim can request that their name not be entered into the "system" and the file will only show that there was an another acquaintance rape at the University. Kuprevich said that this is designed so that the University can fine-tune its efforts directed at acquaintance rape. "[Victim Support] will have access to the files, and only victim support," Kuprevich said. "Victim Support will then make sure that all of the resources of the University are made available to the [victim]." Coordinators for STAAR said they approved of the new centralized system for handling all of the reports, as long as confidentiality is maintained. STAAR Executive Board member Tristan Svare said that one of the difficulties with educating students about acquaintance rape has been the lack of statistics that are specific to the University. He said that the results of a recent STAAR survey and the new system together will help portray a more accurate and useful understanding of acquaintance rape at the University. "In itself it won't steer the public," Svare said. "But it will be much easier to work with the problem if we can see the trends over time." Many of the students who added comments to the DP poll said they would not report to the police, but that they would tell STAAR or the Women's Center. "The difference is we're recognizable, it's easier to go up to a student rather than an authority figure," Villari said. "And we can help people." STAAR and the Women's Center coordinators also said victims may see them as a more favorable method to report since they stress the necessity of a comfortable environment to report their problems and get help. But only five students of the 74 who said they told someone other than the police said they reported it to either STAAR, the Women's Center or Women Organized Against Rape. The 1265 students who responded to the poll were divided on whether or not services for victims of rape or sexual assault were well publicized. 54 percent of the undergraduates polled said that the services were well publicized, while 41 percent said that they were not. STAAR Executive Board member Derek Goodman said STAAR is not designed as a counseling service for victims, but rather as a peer education group. "STAAR students are not trained counseling professionals," Goodman said. "We advise them to get into some type of counseling, after helping their immediate needs." According to STAAR coordinators, the organization was created three years ago by two students who saw their friends victimized by acquaintance rape and were unsure of how to deal with sex crimes. The Women's Center, which was created in 1973 as a rape crisis center, also received approval from polled students. Surveyed students said that they trusted the Center and that it provided important role that the University Police could not match. A female student said she would definitely report a rape, but it would be the Women's Center because they offer a more comfortable environment. "[Police] would not be sensitive enough and I would be embarassed," she wrote. "If I told anyone it would be the Women's Center or a support group." DiLappi said she did not believe the number of students who are victims has increased in the past few years, just the percentage of those that report it. "I think what is on the rise is reporting," DiLappi said. "The administration has provided the safety and confidence -- a system which encourages support." But this sense of support may not be coming from student's families, since of the 134 students who said that they had been either raped or sexually assaulted, over 75 percent said that did not tell their parents. But one freshman who had been sexually assaulted said she would never report the incident at all because she believes that it is not appropriate. "You don't want to be the pin-up Barbie," she said. "It happens and that's life. Make a deal and you will be the whore of Babylon. Men need their pride."


Hackney says decision will change Walk

(09/18/91 9:00am)

President Sheldon Hackney said yesterday his plan for diversifying Locust Walk will result in substantive changes, despite criticism from committee members and others that fraternities will remain dominant on the main thoroughfare. Hackney released the report from the Diversity on the Walk committee Monday, accepting all of the committee's 17 recommendations. Most of the recommendations focus on behaviorial and philosophical issues, but there are three physical changes which would create student residences on the Walk within the next two years. "I continue to think that the report is a very good report and will lead us to a diverse Walk," Hackney said. "I feel the majority of students are in agreement with me and the committee." But several committee members -- including the heads of the undergraduate, graduate and faculty governing bodies -- complained throughout last year that the president's original charge to the group, which stated they could not force the fraternities to move off the Walk, hampered the goal of achieving a Walk accessible and welcoming to all students. Four committee members refused to sign the report, saying that the Walk cannot be diversified and behaviorial problems eliminated until some or all fraternities are removed from the Walk. "I wish they had signed it," Hackney said, "But its substance is not affected." Despite continuing criticism about his stance on forced fraternity removal, Hackney yesterday stood by the decision, but said if any fraternity wanted to relocate voluntarily, the University would provide support. The next student residences on the Walk will probably be created at 3609-3611, where the University Counseling Service is currently housed, Hackney said The administration is looking into renovating the building or tearing it down to build a new structure on the site, Hackney said. The most substantial change will follow the expected completion of the Campus Center in 1995. Then, the Book Store will be moved into the new Center and that space at 38th Street and Locust Walk, can be used for housing, the report said. The president said he expects this change to be possible immediately following the completion of the Campus Center. But he emphasized that this could only be in the very long-term. One issue mentioned by several committee members yesterday was that the group was so large and had so many points of view that it impeded the year-long process. Hackney, who was pressured to add members to the committee when it was first formed, said though the large size of the committee may have made consensus difficult, "it was probably necessary to have all voices in the community represented."


RAPLine provides someone to talk to

(09/16/91 9:00am)

In the often stressful and unsettling world of University life, a new phone service will provide a friendly ear for students to turn to in times when they need someone to listen. The Reach-A-Peer Helpline, or RAPLine, opens its phones today providing peer support for students, listening to their concerns, and offering them information about the University's diverse counseling resources. According to the phone line's founders, the RAPLine will provide a free, objective and confidential voice to all students who who wish to share a problem, need information, or just want to talk. College senior Melissa Karz, president and co-founder of the RAPLine, stressed that the students who staff the RAPLine do not give advice, but that the top goals of the line is to listen and describe resources and options to students in need. "We can get them where they need to go," said Karz. "But if they want to talk, that's cool too." Karz said she feels the RAPLine will be a tremendous asset to the University, filling a much needed gap by showing students the way between the University's sometimes confusing maze of support services. Karz said when students call the line, the listener immediately says "Hi, this is the Reach-A-Peer helpline, we provide information, support and referrals," so that callers understand not to expect advice. RAPLine co-founder and vice-president Rachel Miller said that the line will complement the support that friends give students in times of need. "Sometimes friends can [provide support], sometimes they can't," said the College junior. Founders Karz, Miller and College junior Marge Jacobs began the process of establishing the RAPLine over a year and a half ago, after they noticed that the University was lacking a peer support line. "Other places have [RAPLines] like this, but Penn was lacking it," said Karz, who was involved in a similar phone line in Los Angeles before she came to the University. The RAPLine, whose phone number is 573-2RAP, is open from Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and is staffed by 20 trained student volunteers. However, currently, there are only two lines running. Miller said they are currently training more students to staff the lines, and they hope to expand the hours when the RAPLine is open and the number of lines available. Karz and Miller said one reason the line took so long to set up the service because they wanted to assure the permanence of the RAPLine. "In five years, [the RAPLine] will still be here," Karz said. The volunteer peer listeners undergo a thorough training period, involving seminars with University professors, Student Health psychiatrists, graduate and international students, members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Student Alliance, and other campus organizations, Karz said. Other elements of the training includes role-playing scenarios between the caller and the listener. "The crux of the training is to develop active listening skills," said Karz. ""We try to help people to help themselves."


Health plan irks foreign students

(09/12/91 9:00am)

Elsie Effah expected to pay $360 for health insurance this year. Instead, the Engineering senior from Ghana now has to sign up for a $930 plan by tomorrow or she may not be allowed to register for classes next semester. "I don't know where I'll get the money," Effah said this week. Effah is one of a number of international students who had planned to sign up with the Penteco Student Insurance Plan. The plan, which costs $360, is specifically geared to foreign students. But when these students came back to school this fall, they learned the University had rejected Penteco for not meeting University standards. And according to University policy, all students must be covered by a health insurance policy in order to attend classes. Student Health Service Director MarJeanne Collins said she rejected the Penteco plan because it does not cover pre-existing health conditions. State law requires students to have insurance which covers pre-existing conditions. Student Health Director Collins said her office will allow international students who expected to pay for a less expensive plan to delay their payment until November because of the confusion. But first-year Engineering graduate student Sanjay Udani, who had also planned on signing up for the Penteco plan, said it is unfair for the University to have a monopoly on the insurance plans international students can use. "Not giving us a choice is kind of absurd," Udani said. If students do not want to use the University's plan, they will be forced to purchase an individual insurance policy, which is more expensive than the University's plan and other group plans like Penteco. Ann Kuhlman, associate director of International Programs, said Udani is not alone. She said 250 students signed a petition calling for the University to allow foreign students to purchase a plan specifically for them. "There does not appear to be other policies which meet the waiver requirements and are less expensive than the Penn Plan," Kuhlman said. "The changes in what constitutes an acceptable policy has left them without the options that they previously had." The University's plan differs from the Penteco plan because it covers pre-existing health conditions, as mandated by state law, which drives up the premium. Although the general premium could be reduced by making students with pre-existing conditions pay extra, Collins said insurance should be need-blind. "If we're going to have a plan, it has to be for all students," she said. Collins said she understands international students would prefer a plan tailored for them. But she said a separate plan would only make the existing Penn Plan more expensive for everybody else. The $930 premium for the Penn Plan is a $227 increase over last year's plan. Over $100 of the increase went for conversion coverage which will enable students to continue with their insurance after graduation without acquiring drastically higher premiums. Another $48 provides catastrophic coverage of up to $1 million in the event of a serious accident. The rest of the increase is to meet claims costs and medical inflation. "Philly is an expensive city due to the high quality of technological care that is available," Collins said. She added that for the past few years, claims costs have exceeded premium costs. But Collins emphasized the University does not earn any money from the insurance plan. She said an outside actuary has assessed the market and has determined that the University has charged a fair price. Student Health will have an open meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight to discuss the insurance policy in the Penniman Room, second floor Houston Hall.


Soviet students at U. recount life during coup

(09/11/91 9:00am)

Vladimir Bernstein is riding on the crest of history. The Wharton and College junior, who transferred from Moscow State University last year, was one of the first Russians to study abroad in the wake of perestroika while retaining his Soviet citizenship. And last month, he was one of the hundreds of thousands of citizens who turned the tide of the rightist coup in Moscow. Although he now spends his time walking up and down Locust Walk like any other student at the University, just three weeks ago he was one of the dozens of Muscovites at the barricades in front of the Russian Parliament Building. Bernstein said when he first heard of hard-line politicians' attempt to take over the Soviet government, he was afraid many of the Soviet Union's recent progressive reforms would be eliminated. As a business student and an entrepreneur, Bernstein's life was altered by policies of openness and economic restructuring instituted by President Mikhail Gorbachev, and it may be affected even more significantly by recent events. Although this is only his second year studying at Wharton, Bernstein is a veteran guide and interpreter. He has led three trips to the Soviet Union this year, and he said the country's decentralization will open many new business opportunities. "I will feel much safer going there now, being able to come back and not being afraid of new regulations being proposed," he said. "I am trying to find people who are interested in my services." While business enterprises were allowed under Gorbachev's government, Bernstein said he was afraid the coup would end that freedom. He feared his business associates and friends who were interested in cultivating economic relations with the U.S. would be arrested. Bernstein now lives with two friends from high school, both of whom are currently enrolled at the University. Vassily Sidorov, a Wharton junior who transferred from Moscow State University this year, was at his parents' house in New York when the coup took place. Sidorov, whose father is a deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said he feared he would not be able to return home. He was also worried about his brother and girlfriend in Moscow. "For two days I stayed in front of the television," Sidorov said. "It was really hard to imagine the city you've lived in for so many years being occupied or under curfew." The third housemate, Ivan Schevlov, was at the University this summer. He said that although it was frustrating to be cut off from information about his home, the Russian community at the University formed a strong support group. A satellite dish at the Annenberg School of Communication received a news broadcast from Moscow every day at 2 p.m., and according to Schevlov, the room in which the program was shown filled with students and faculty discussing the events every day during and after the coup. "My days were spent listening to the radio, trying to get through to my family, and going to watch the news," the College freshman said. Bernstein telephoned Schevlov the morning of August 20, and the two students, who describe themselves as best friends, discussed the possibility that Bernstein would not be able to return to campus. Schevlov said he went to the admissions office to discuss the problem, but when he got there, he found out the coup leaders had been toppled. The three students have different expectations for the future of the Soviet Union. Bernstein said he supports independence for the Baltic republics, but hopes there will be some kind of union agreement among all the republics. He added that although he supports Gorbachev, he gained increased respect for Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who led resistance to the coup in Moscow. "Gorbachev is a smart politician and a big diplomat," he said. "But Yeltsin definitely was a hero those three days." Sidorov said he is concerned that excitement over the blocked coup will distract leaders from long-term economic and political problems that have not yet been solved. He added he does not yet understand the full impact of the coup, but he believes the people of the crumbling nation will have to adjust their attitudes to life in a non-communist system.


Soviet students at U. recount life during coup

(09/10/91 9:00am)

Vladimir Bernstein is riding on the crest of history. The Wharton and College junior, who transferred from Moscow State University last year, was one of the first Russians to study abroad in the wake of perestroika while retaining his Soviet citizenship. And last month, he was one of the hundreds of thousands of citizens who turned the tide of the rightist coup in Moscow. Although he now spends his time walking up and down Locust Walk like any other student at the University, just three weeks ago he was one of the dozens of Muscovites at the barricades in front of the Russian Parliament Building. Bernstein said when he first heard of hard-line politicians' attempt to take over the Soviet government, he was afraid many of the Soviet Union's recent progressive reforms would be eliminated. As a business student and an entrepreneur, Bernstein's life was altered by policies of openness and economic restructuring instituted by President Mikhail Gorbachev, and it may be affected even more significantly by recent events. Although this is only his second year studying at Wharton, Bernstein is a veteran guide and interpreter. He has led three trips to the Soviet Union this year, and he said the country's decentralization will open many new business opportunities. "I will feel much safer going there now, being able to come back and not being afraid of new regulations being proposed," he said. "I am trying to find people who are interested in my services." While business enterprises were allowed under Gorbachev's government, Bernstein said he was afraid the coup would end that freedom. He feared his business associates and friends who were interested in cultivating economic relations with the U.S. would be arrested. Bernstein now lives with two friends from high school, both of whom are currently enrolled at the University. Vassily Sidorov, a Wharton junior who transferred from Moscow State University this year, was at his parents' house in New York when the coup took place. Sidorov, whose father is a deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said he feared he would not be able to return home. He was also worried about his brother and girlfriend in Moscow. "For two days I stayed in front of the television," Sidorov said. "It was really hard to imagine the city you've lived in for so many years being occupied or under curfew." The third housemate, Ivan Schevlov, was at the University this summer. He said that although it was frustrating to be cut off from information about his home, the Russian community at the University formed a strong support group. A satellite dish at the Annenberg School of Communication received a news broadcast from Moscow every day at 2 p.m., and according to Schevlov, the room in which the program was shown filled with students and faculty discussing the events every day during and after the coup. "My days were spent listening to the radio, trying to get through to my family, and going to watch the news," the College freshman said. Bernstein telephoned Schevlov the morning of August 20, and the two students, who describe themselves as best friends, discussed the possibility that Bernstein would not be able to return to campus. Schevlov said he went to the admissions office to discuss the problem, but when he got there, he found out the coup leaders had been toppled. The three students have different expectations for the future of the Soviet Union. Bernstein said he supports independence for the Baltic republics, but hopes there will be some kind of union agreement among all the republics. He added that although he supports Gorbachev, he gained increased respect for Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who led resistance to the coup in Moscow. "Gorbachev is a smart politician and a big diplomat," he said. "But Yeltsin definitely was a hero those three days." Sidorov said he is concerned that excitement over the blocked coup will distract leaders from long-term economic and political problems that have not yet been solved. He added he does not yet understand the full impact of the coup, but he believes the people of the crumbling nation will have to adjust their attitudes to life in a non-communist system.


Reps differed in opposing funding

(09/06/91 9:00am)

Including Gov. Robert Casey, 243 elected officials voted this summer to grant the University $37.6 million for the 1991 fiscal year. There were, however, three who disagreed. But despite the fact they voted together, these three members of the state House of Representatives seem to agree on little else. One believed state spending should be kept to an absolute minimum on all issues. Another felt the University was not using state funding to keep tuition down, as he felt the money was intended. And the third felt the $19 million Gov. Casey proposed in February was closer to what the University deserved. The state Senate and House of Representatives passed a $36.7 million funding plan for the University in August. The measure, House Bill 1555, restored the University's state allocation to the last year's level, without including any increase to compensate for inflation. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate, 50-0, but in the House, Gaynor Cawley (D-Lackawanna), James Gallen (R-Berks) and Kenneth Kruszewski (D-Erie) all dissented from the 192-member majority. Gallen said his "nay" was a simple matter of trying to limit state spending. "As far as I'm concerned I would have gone with a scorched earth budget," Gallen said this summer. Gallen said his vote was consistent with a personal policy of voting against so-called "non-preferred" spending bills, except for those supporting cancer research. Non-preferred spending is contained in a series of 40 bills outside the state's general fund budget, and helps fund state universities, museums, hospitals and research institutes. Rep. Cawley insisted that his vote against the University's funding bill was not a vote against higher education in general. "I think that education is probably our best investment in spite of what I did on the vote," Cawley said Wednesday. But Cawley said he agreed with the governor's original budget proposal and was displeased with the spending increases other lawmakers added to the proposal and the tax increases enacted to pay for them. Cawley said he also disagreed with most non-preferred spending, although he voted for the bills much more often than Gallen. His major exception: Pennsylvania State University's funding, because he had spent time at the school's research and medical facilities and was impressed with them. But he still questioned whether the state should be responsible for funding non-preferred institutions. "I think that it ought to be looked at because of the other services that this state is mandated to provide," Cawley said. "We should go back to when they were put in and why." First-year Rep. Kruszewski said he saw state aid for schools such as the University, to some extent, as a form of assistance to slow tuition increases. He reasoned that since many aided schools continue to increase both their state aid requests and their tuition each year, the end result of budget negotiations -- no increase or decrease in funding for the University -- might serve as a just punishment. "They should operate for one year at their past appropriation because every time we appropriate the money their tuition goes up," Kruszewski said. "But I still ended up and voted for the budget and tax appropriation," Kruszewski added. "I had the courage to do that." All three representatives insisted their cuts came as an attempt to solve the budget dilemma. For Cawley, that meant voting against both spending and tax increases. For both Gallen and Kruszewski, it meant voting against many spending bills but placing the crucial votes for a tax increase. "I was not part of the problem," Gallen said. "I did not vote for the spending -- but I did vote to pay for it."


U. area bike thieves spark summer stealing spree

(07/11/91 9:00am)

Two Philadelphia thieves have been making off with University students' bikes faster than a speeding bullet, unhindered by even Kryptonite brand locks. Since January, 195 bicycles have been reported stolen to the University Police Department, and according to Detective Larry Singer, the numbers are increasing. Singer said that the recent rise in bike thefts reflects both the warmer weather, but also the increased efforts of two Philadelphia residents, Charles Jones and Charles Taylor, who are suspects in many of the thefts. Jones and Taylor, who Singer said work together in the thefts, have been apprehended over 20 times by police and have had dozens of saws and tools confiscated. Jones was most recently arrested when he was found carrying a bicycle with the Kryptonite lock still around the wheel and frame. It wasn't locked to anything and he had simply picked it up, said Jones. They have each been arrested at least twice, said Singer. Because there is not room for them in the Philadelphia jails, they sign their own bail (a promisary note saying that if they do not appear for their court date, they will owe the amount of bail to the court), and are released. Although Singer estimate that many more than 40 bicycles have been stolen by Jones and Taylor from the University area, he says that even if they are convicted, they will only receive minor jail sentences because Philadelphia's overcrowded jail cells have no room for misdemenors like bicycle theft. Jones has already missed one hearing and Taylor is due in court on July 12. Singer hopes that people will come to the station and claim some of the other bicycles that he has confiscated so that he can get more arrest warrants for Jones and Taylor. Singer said that he is in contact with the Philadelphia Police, in an effort to determine where stolen bicycles are resold. He said he hopes that removing the market for stolen bikes will reduce the robberies. "These people are only on campus for one reason, to steal bikes," said Jeff Jacobson, co-chair of the University Council Safety and Security Committee. "They are preying on students and we need to fight back." Singer said Taylor is 5'4" and Jones is a 5'7" and has a beard. Jacobson and Singer urge students to call the University Police if they see someone with either of these descriptions lingering near a bicycle rack. Singer said precautions include using simple common-sense when locking up bikes, and registering bikes with University Police. "People have been securing bicycles to wooden railings which are easily sawed through," said Sargent Tom Messner. "They also lock them to hand-rails which are unbolted, allowing thieves to slide off and steal as many as ten bikes at a time." Messner said that although most stolen bikes had been locked up with standard chain-locks, many thieves now also know how to defeat even the toughest locks -- including the popular U-shaped Kryptonite brand locks.


Trustee pays for 67 2nd graders' college

(06/27/91 9:00am)

Last week, University trustee George Weiss gave 67 Massachusetts second-graders the gift that keeps on giving -- an education. Last week, Weiss attended a meeting at the Herrington School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and announced that he would put the all of the 67 rising third graders through the college or vocational school of their choice, provided they graduate high school. "They can go to any college or post-secondary school in the country," Weiss said this week. "We want kids to be productive members of the society." Weiss graduated from the Wharton School in 1965, and said he is pleased that students at the University are involved in the community, especially through their tutoring programs. Since 1987, Weiss has launched similar programs in Philadelphia and Hartford, under the "Say Yes to Education" Program, which he and wife Diane founded. Each program works closely with universities nearby. Weiss' first donation was to the Belmont Elementary School, which is located at 41st and Brown Streets. The 308 students currently in the program represent many different ethnic backgrounds. "This is one university reaching out to another to make a difference," said Weiss. "We want to make a difference and we don't care what the ethnic background is." The program is administered by the University's Graduate School of Education. Its main goal, Weiss said, is set at redirecting lives of at-risk students by providing educational and financial support. Say Yes also provides tutorial programs, dental care and family support for the students. "It's one thing to say that we will give you financial support if you reach there," said Carl Maugeri, assistant director of news and public affairs at Penn which handles communications and public relations for the program. "It's another thing to say that we will be with you every step of the way." Maugeri also stressed the importance of advocacy for the students under their help. Say Yes staff members serve as advocates by monitoring students' academic progress, meeting frequently with school personnel, and through counseling students and parents. Coming from a relatively poor background himself, Weiss said he paid his own tuition when he attended the University. He said when he was a sophomore at Penn where he met underprivileged kids at a Christmas party. "We got together years later at the homecoming football game and I was very impressed that these kids had completed high school," said Weiss. "They told me, 'We couldn't look at you straight in the eye if we didn't'." Ever since that day, Weiss said he set wanted to help poor children achieve higher levels in education. "I said to myself, if God ever gives me the ability to make a lot of money," he said. "What I'll do is try to implement a program to help the poor, that will have a strong component of caring."