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SAS TAs to get a $400 raise

(03/22/91 10:00am)

The School of Arts and Sciences standard stipend for teaching assistants for the 1992 fiscal year will be $8,600, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Donald Fitts said yesterday. The stipend is $400 more than last year's, which was set at $8,200. The funding usually increases $200 to $500 annually, Fitts said. The associate dean said there was no one factor that led to the $400 increase in the stipends, which are officially set by School of Arts and Sciences Dean Hugo Sonnenschein. "It increases by what we think we can afford," Fitts said. "We try and make it a little greater than the inflationary standard, and we also watch what the competition is doing." But graduate student government leaders said they were disheartened last night by the stipend level. Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Chair Susan Garfinkel said she was upset the University did not increase the stipend by at least $500 as it has done for the past two years. The SAS stipend was $7,700 in 1990 and $7,000 in 1989. Garfinkel also noted that the proposed student health insurance for the upcoming year is approximately $950, 11 percent of a graduate student's stipend. Graduate Students Associations Council President Michael Polgar said he was disappointed the University had not given the graduate students the $10,000 stipend they had requested in previous years. According to Polgar, the University formed a committee on doctoral education two years ago which had concluded that a reasonable stipend level was $10,000. "It's better than nothing," Polgar said of the stipend increase. Individual departments may choose to supplement the stipend with their own funds, while other departments split the money so they may accommodate more students. In past years, the Biology Department has paid its teaching assistants $12,500, one of the highest stipends, while the Folklore Department, which splits its stipends among students, has one of the lowest.

Penn Players to perform Chekhov's 'Seagull'

(03/21/91 10:00am)

The director of the production, Theatre Arts Lecturer James Schlatter, calls the play both a tragedy and a comedy. The play is about the struggle of young people in nineteenth-century Russia yearning to define themselves through art, Schlatter said yesterday. Schlatter added that The Seagull is about their quest to find a place for love and beauty in the reality of the world, and their attempt to use their art to fulfill their dreams. Schlatter said he thinks that students will relate to the characters in the play very well because it reflects the challenges of self-discovery which face many young people. The ten members of the cast have learned to emulate the closeness of Chekhov's characters, Schlatter said, adding that during three intense weeks of nightly rehearsals, the cast has developed into a strong performing unit. Seagull Producer Lisa Goldsmith said last night she is impressed with the group's effort in organizing the production. "It's a classic not done very often," said Goldsmith, a College senior. "It's a challenge for the students to do." Although Chekhov is often considered a serious and somber writer, The Seagull is clear evidence of his talent as a humorous author, Schlatter said. "I chose The Seagull to show people [that Chekhov has] wonderful moments of comedy," Schlatter said. Schlatter said that Chekhov's mastery of comedy lends the tale of struggle and awakening a real-life quality that enables the viewer to connect with Chekhov's characters by both laughing and crying at their experiences. He added that the play illustrates that tragic events in life can be "funny and absurd" as well as how quirks of life can make people feel sad. Chekhov's The Seagull will be performed by the Penn Players at the Harold Prince Theatre in Annenberg Center on March 21 to 23 and on March 28 to 30 at 8:00 PM.

Mayoral hopefuls debate at U.

(03/20/91 10:00am)

The Democrats in Philadelphia probably hope that the mayoral election will end the way last night's on-campus candidates forum did -- with only the Democrats left. Three Republican and four Democratic candidates for mayor were in attendance at the start of the forum, held in International House, but the Republican candidates left one by one as the night went on. Republican Dennis Wesley was the first to leave -- abruptly announcing during his opening remarks his intent to run as an independent candidate, and immediately leaving followed by a pack of reporters and cameramen. Former District Attorney Ron Castille, the party's endorsed candidate, left just before the closing statements and Sam Katz soon followed after delivering his closing statement. Wesley's early departure provided the most significant development of the night as all seven candidates mainly rehashed and restated established positions. In making his announcement, Wesley told the audience that Katz and the Republican City Committee had filed a challenge to the signatures he had filed in his petition for candidacy. Wesley said last night he filed 1187 signatures and if 187 are disqualified he will be forced out of the race. It is unclear whether election regulations would allow Wesley to make such a switch. He also said he may drop out of the race entirely and support one of the other Republicans. Following brief opening remarks from each candidate, five panelists asked questions of the candidates on topics ranging from financial and racial problems to crime. The candidates then took two questions from the standing-room-only audience of over 300 students, faculty and community members. Throughout the forum, Democrat Peter Hearn, a graduate of the University's Law School, emphasized his independence from current city politics. "I have no buddies, no baggage, no entanglements," Hearn said. "It's a clean slate." Castille spoke about his 20-year career as a public servant -- most recently as District Attorney -- and said the new mayor must make tough choices to balance the city budget and restore credibility to the city. Democrat James White, the former Managing Director for Mayor Wilson Goode's administration, told the audience he wants to run a fair campaign and said he would serve as a role model for city youth as a first step in working for improvements in the educational system. Democrat Ed Rendell, a University graduate, said the new mayor should serve as a leader who will motivate others and make changes in both morale and substance throughout the city. Rendell received perhaps the most enthusiastic applause of the evening when he compared the situation in the Persian Gulf to the city's plight. "It was very important to liberate Kuwait City," Rendell said. "It is just as important to liberate Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia." Katz, a municipal finance expert, said he has helped other major cities with problems similar to those Philadelphia is facing. He also challenged Castille, the only other Republican candidate still in attendance at the time, to a one-on-one debate. Democrat George Burrell, who is a former City Council member and a University graduate, emphasized the importance of a mayor and a City Council that can cooperate and get things done. He also alluded to his past experience as a city leader. "This is not a place for on-the-job training," Burrell said. Several students said the forum was interesting and helped change their minds about some of the candidates. Leonid Kritskov, a student from Moscow State University participating in an exchange program with the University, said that the candidates were comparitively calm and had closer contact with their constituents than many politicians in the Soviet Union. There, he said, people "have a feeling that the candidates have some games -- dirty games -- behind them." President Sheldon Hackney and the panelists, including Channel 6 reporter Vernon Odom, Professor of Public Policy and Management Anita Summers, University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich, Graduate and Professional Students Assembly Chairperson Susan Garfinkel, and Daily Pennsylvanian Executive Editor Helen Jung, remained largely in the background while the candidates laughed at each other's jokes and passed notes to one another. Connaissaince Chair Richard Smith said yesterday the group will hold an open meeting for feedback on the forum at 8 p.m. tonight in Bishop White Room in Houston Hall.

Psi Upsilon tries to block suspension again

(03/20/91 10:00am)

Psi Upsilon lawyers told the court the University policy under which the fraternity has been punished is too vague and asked the court to block the University's attempt to remove the fraternity's brothers from the house. To do so, the court would have to overturn a Common Pleas court decision made in June denying the fraternity an injunction to stop the sanctions. Lawyers for the fraternity and the University said they did not expect the court to reach a decision for several months. Attorneys for both the University and Psi U argued their cases before three Pennsylvania Superior Court judges last Thursday for a total of 30 minutes. Psi U attorney John Ledwith argued that the University's fraternity recognition policy was too vague in the usage of the term "collective responsibility." He criticized last summer's original ruling by the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and argued in the appeal that the University denied the Psi U brothers' first amendment rights to gather freely by kicking them out of the Castle. University staff lawyer Frank Roth responded by saying that Ledwith's argument is meaningless because the fraternity had signed the recognition agreement and was legally bound to obey it. Roth also said Ledwith's argument that the University was violating the Castle brothers' constitutional rights was "stretching it," adding that the University can create rules without taking away human rights. The 99-year-old fraternity filed for the injunction against the University in May after Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson kicked the fraternity out of its Locust Walk house and withdrew its recognition for at least three years. The chapter was punished for planning and executing the January kidnapping of Delta Psi fraternity brother William O'Flanagan. The Superior Court will announce their decision in Psi U's appeal in about four months, attorneys said. In reaching a decision, the judges will review the testimony given in last summer's original trial and last week's statements. The Superior Court has three main options, the attorneys said. It can either deny the fraternity's call for an injunction again, grant the injunction or call for another trial. Roth said he felt his arguments in last week's hearings were successful, adding that, "It was clear through judges' questioning [of Ledwith] that the judges weren't looking favorably on [Psi U's] arguments."

PARIS to provide grades this semester

(03/07/91 10:00am)

And to address privacy concerns that may result from the new technology, the Registrar's office is encouraging students to change their access code to PARIS immediately. The grade-listing function, which was installed on the computer system last semester, will list a student's course number, section number, and grade by alphabetical order for the last two semesters on record. Registrar Sanders said he expects students to use the grade-listing option almost as much as course-listing options. But Sanders said he is concerned with the problems that lie in the simplicity in getting access to records through PARIS. To enter the system, a person only needs to enter an identification, or Social Security, number, and a personal access code, normally a birthdate. Under federal law, people may only receive personal student records, including grades, from the institution if they have written permission from the student. Sanders emphasized it is easy for other people to learn those two pieces of information about students and illegally obtain their grade reports. Students will be able to change their personal access code as often as they wish and can change the code immediately. Sanders added that students should come to the Registrar's office with a valid PENNcard or another form of valid photo identification and complete a form to change the number. "We don't want to make this difficult," Sanders said. "We do want to make [students] aware [of security risks] . . . and keep their documents private." The registrar said that his office has mailed a letter detailing the new function to students. Sanders said the University decided it wanted grade-listing when it chose PARIS software from American Telephone and Telegraph, but that the basic program did not contain grade-listing abilities. Sanders said his office would be testing the PARIS's limits with the new grade-listing option over spring break, saying when they tested the system initially over winter break, it could not handle the increased demand. "We're trying to see if it will stand up to the expected volume of activity that it will receive from students," Sanders said. PARIS was installed in the fall of 1989 to both praise and criticism. Students have lauded the system as helpful, but said that there have been too many breakdowns and difficulties with the computerized system. Students have also complained that the system is impersonal.

Prof applies for federal grant to teach city kids engineering

(03/06/91 10:00am)

Associate Engineering Professor Jorge Santiago-Aviles is determined to improve the lot of Hispanics in North Philadelphia by opening their eyes to engineering. Santiago is currently applying for a National Science Fund grant to run a summer program designed to introduce Hispanics North Philadelphia high school students to engineering for a second year. Although the greater Philadelphia area has a Hispanic population of over 150,000, few enter the engineering sciences, Santiago said last week. Last year's program allowed ten high school students to participate in a seven-week summer program focusing on several fields in engineering. The National Science Foundation awarded the program $17,000 last year, but Santiago said he feels the program "has been funded at a low level." Santiago said more University programs should reach out and cooperate with the Hispanic community in North Philadelphia. "Penn has an obligation to the Hispanic population in North Philadelphia," he said. "There is a huge human resource pool." Santiago's program also incorporated the parents of the participants. He said it is vital for the families to understand the long term benefits of a college education, despite fears that studies may keep students from working to support the family. High school senior Felipe Valesquez praised Santiago and his program last week. "It helped me a lot," Valesquez said. "It gave me a look at the different fields of engineering." Valesquez is presently applying to college and hopes to be accepted at the University of the Arts this spring. Felipe Cruz also gave the program high marks, saying it opened his eyes. "It was a great program and we learned a lot about engineering," Cruz said. "It gave us some more ideas as to what engineering was about." Cruz and Valesquez both said the trip was one of the best experiences in their educational career.

CITY LIMITS: Channel One in Philadelphia

(03/06/91 10:00am)

Television isn't just for couch potatoes anymore. Now, through a program called Channel One, televisions and video cassette recorders have entered elementary school classrooms. But before you decide to forego your college education to return to grade school for non-stop cartoons, be forewarned: Channel One is not fun and games. The program, developed in March by Knoxville, Tennessee-based Whittle Communications, is a twelve-minute current-events news program. On the surface, it seems harmless enough -- providing daily, up-to-date information to American school kids, a group that has been chastised of late for not paying attention to world events. But along with the news comes commercials, and parent and teacher groups across the nation have prevented their school systems from using the free machines for fear the advertisements are an unfair influence on a captive audience of malleable minds. · Channel One's news program is beamed by satellite daily to middle and high school students in schools who wish to participate in the program. According to Whittle Communications spokesperson Marilyn Harrison, Channel One is like a network news broadcast on a tenth-grade level. Harrison said that Whittle developed Channel One because company officials felt that "students should be more educated and knowledgeable of current events and issues because the future depends on the knowledge of these issues." Whittle provides the technology for free in order to make these programs accessible to the schools: a satellite dish, two VCRs and wiring for the whole school are provided as well as one television monitor for every 23 students. This technology, which is often too expensive for inner city school systems, also allows schools to broadcast school announcements, assemblies, and school-run TV shows. And after 18 months of heated debate over Channel One, the Philadelphia School District just passed a resolution to implement the program within certain schools that want to participate. Eligible schools are institutions with 150 or more students in grades six and above. The school district decided to make Channel One an option because declining revenues in the district have prevented schools from buying cutting-edge technologies to enhance students' education, according to Philadelphia School District spokesperson William Thompson. The 6000 participating schools in 46 states are required to broadcast 90% of the news shows aired. Each day teachers review the program to see if they feel it is appropriate for the students and if it isn't, they won't show Channel One that day. Teachers at several local schools with Channel One said last week the programs provide information about current events, careers, and social studies skills. The teachers added that students can also improve their writing and critical thinking abilities. According to Murray Rothman, who teaches television production at Pennsauken, Channel One gives students a better awareness of geography and current events while it piques their interest. "It is similar to an MTV-type news show for kids because of its graphics," Rothman said. But even with such benefits, Channel One has come under fire for two minutes of commercials aired in each edition of the program. The commercials, lasting from thirty seconds to two minutes, feature either a regular advertisement of a product, such as a bag of M & M's, or a public service announcement, like Burger King's "Stay in School" message. These commercials are subjected to strict guidelines devised by a panel of active educators, Whittle spokesperson Harrsion said. According to Graduate School of Education Dean Marvin Lazerson, schools would be wise to participate in Channel One, even if only to acquire the accompanying equipment. Once schools have the equipment, they can then use it for other educational purposes, such as watching educational movies. Many who oppose Channel One because of its commercials believe that schools are not the places for commercial messages, and that the students would be influenced too much by the commercials and would, therefore, not take the show seriously. Trenton Public School Video Specialist Dave Winogron, who supports the Channel One program, described the opponents' argument as the "captive audience" effect. Furthermore, opponents believe that the time spent watching Channel One could be used for instruction and education of traditional subjects, Winogron said. According to Philadelphia school spokesperson Thompson, schools are already filled with commercial messages and corporate identities such as the publisher's name on a textbook or the manufacturer's name on a bottle of glue. "Channel One is like regular TV in the sense that students watch it like regular TV," Thompson said. "When the program is on they watch, and when the commercials are on, they talk." According to Trenton's Winogron, students are not negatively influenced by commercials, but they are positively influenced by the news portion. As in a home situation, Winogron added, students discuss the news during the commercials and are not affected by the commercials aired on the program. According to Sister Patricia Fadden, the Catholic Education Office's director of curriculum and instruction of secondary schools, many who originally believed that Channel One was a "waste of time" and an intrusion into teaching changed their minds after trying it for six months. Winogron also said that people at Trenton previously opposed are now "excited" by Channel One because they believe that the program is not taking away from instructional time and that the news stories are of high quality. While University City High School does not have the program yet, the school's principal, Davis Martin, said they will be eligible for it and plan to take advantage of it. "Sometimes you've got to give to gain a whole lot," Martin said. "The knowledge the students will receive will be so much more worthwhile than those two minutes of advertising." The Archdiocese Schools of Philadelphia faced another opposing force to Channel One -- an objection to the content or the slant of the news stories. For example, if the program dealt with AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases by promoting safe sex through contraception, the lesson the program was passing on would not be in accordance with church doctrine, according to Fadden. As a result, Channel One reached an agreement with the 16 participating Archdiocese schools, allowing them to exempt programs that they do not show for such reasons in their required 90 percent rate. Whittle spokesperson Harrison also said that Whittle chose television as its medium because "it is an age of technology and some schools are starving poor of this technology. Therefore, Channel One gets the equipment into the schools at no cost to them while benefitting with education and other opportunities." Graduate School of Education Dean Lazerson said that the effects of Channel One depend on how it is presented in the classroom. "If Channel One is only seen for 15 minutes of the day without any discussion, then the program isn't working to its potential and not being beneficial to the students," Lazerson said.

U. employee victim of attempted rape; Incident occurred near center of campus

(03/04/91 10:00am)

A University employee was the victim of an attempted rape on 36th Street near Locust Walk early Saturday morning, prompting University Police to increase patrols on campus during early-morning hours, University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said last night. The victim was was walking on 36th Street between Locust and Spruce streets at 7:20 a.m. when she was grabbed from behind by a man she did not know, Kuprevich said. The man, who was unarmed, attempted to rape her, he said, but the woman managed to escape. A HUP security officer notified University Police and the Philadelphia Police Sex Crimes Division of the incident, Kuprevich said. Detectives from both units are conducting an investigation, the commissioner added. The woman is receiving counseling from Victim Support Services, Victim Support Services Director Ruth Wells said last night. Kuprevich said he did not know whether the victim intends to press charges. The commissioner said the victim described the assailant as a black male, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, clean shaven, and in his early 30s. Because of the attempted rape, Kuprevich said, University Police will increase patrols on campus during early-morning hours. Kuprevich said yesterday that under normal circumstances, many police patrols stretch from Spruce to Chestnut streets. But under the revised schedule, the area of two foot patrols will be cut to concentrate more officers between Spruce and Walnut Streets. He added that vehicle patrols will be increased to maintain the usual level of coverage for the northern part of campus and some officers will work overtime to staff the revised patrol areas. Kuprevich cautioned that revised patrols are no guarantee against another incident occurring. "People have to realize that we could put 100 more officers on the street and that wouldn't guarantee that nothing will happen," Kuprevich said. Kuprevich said everyone on campus should be cautious, recommending that people walk in groups, take Escort Service or call police dispatch if they need to travel after dark and call University Police at special emergency phones if they feel uncomfortable.

DuBois conference looks at black identity

(03/04/91 10:00am)

The second annual Souls of DuBois conference brought over 100 people together to celebrate black identity in the W.E.B. DuBois College House Saturday. The theme of the conference, "Examining Our Identity: A Day of Introspection," permeated all aspects of the day-long event with seminars, exhibits and concerts all examining blacks and their identity. Associate Social Work Professor Howard Arnold made the keynote address, tracing the history of the college house and black presence at the University. Arnold, who served as faculty master of the DuBois house from 1974 to 1977 and also in 1980, called for an increase in minority faculty, retention rates of black students and courses offered in the Afro-American studies department during his half-hour speech. But he emphasized that progress can only happen when students unite to promote change and encouraged students to unite to change the University. "Change takes place with struggle," Arnold said as he explained the steps which brought about the formation of the DuBois House. He said students joined together and formulated many of the programs which exist today. "You really need a vision and collective action," Arnold said. Arnold also encouraged the students to become role models for elementary and high school students in the West Philadelphia. "I think that there are young people in the West Philadelphia schools that have some problems we need to face," Arnold said. Arnold was just one of several faculty members who participated in the conference. After a continental breakfast, the conference members attended one of the three seminars which focused on concerns of W.E.B. DuBois. English Professors Sandra Paquet, Houston Baker and Herman Beavers led discussions about families and their identity, race, class and education in the 1990s. Baker, the director for Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture at the University, led one seminar discussing the American educational system. He said the U.S. should consider itself a third world country because American demographics show that only a few people posess most of the country's wealth while the majority of the citizens are poor. Baker emphasized, though, that people should be taught about different cultures instead of being indoctrinated with ideas. "It begins with a recognition of the incredible diversity that characterizes our shores," Baker said. DuBois Faculty Master Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said she was pleased with the event, sponsored by the college house and the Afro-American Studies Program, and said she was encouraged with the interaction spurred by the seminars. "What's more important than the number [of participants] is the quality and interaction of the seminars," Lavizzo-Mourey said. College sophomore Walter Dawson said the conference was interesting but wished more people had come to see the displays. "It would be interesting to see . . . just the general population of the campus come to see this," Dawson said. "Sometimes racism is just based on not knowing someone else's culture."

SCUE's 'Practical Scholar' would detail academic life

(03/01/91 10:00am)

Benjamin Franklin, known for his 'practical' proverbs, would probably be proud of a new project being spearheaded by the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education. The Practical Scholar, currently being assembled by SCUE, will be a guide to academics and academic resources at the University, according to SCUE Chairperson David Kaufman. "The aim of this is to be both a great resource to students at the University and to show prospective matriculants that this is a great place to study," he said last week. Currently in early planning stages, Kaufman explained that the 'Practical Scholar' will address issues currently not covered by any one publication by pooling the information in many different ones. Up to fifty pages in length, Kaufman said the project will cover subjects ranging from libraries to foreign study programs to computer resources at the University. He said that much of it will be done on computer, so that frequent updates in the future will not be difficult. "First and foremost, we want to be accurate," he said. Susanne Bradford, School of Arts and Sciences director of communications, described the project as unlike any she has seen in her 12 years at the University. "The different schools and different departments are not centralized," she explained last week. "They operate fairly independently. No one school would want to take it on." She said that responsibility for compiling such a project therefore falls to the students, adding "that's probably where it should fall." "I believe that it's important for the students to get involved in projects like this that are above and beyond the classroom," she said. "It's a monumental job." According to Kaufman, SCUE has contacted the provost and the deans of each of the undergraduate schools with the proposal. He said that their response has been favorable. "Anytime the students get involved in communication between the system and other students, it is to be applauded," said Norman Adler, who heads SAS's undergraduate division. John Keenan, head of the Engineering School's undergraduate division, said "it struck me as being a very appropriate and important thing." "[The Practical Penn] tells how to live at Penn," Kaufman said. "This tells how to study at Penn." Bradford added that because the book will be sent by the University to all incoming students, the quality of the book is important. But quality will not come cheaply. Kaufman said that the project could cost between $20,000 and $25,000 depending on the number of copies printed. Bradford said that with that amount, the high-quality book could be completed, but the amount of color and photographs, paper quality, and binding style will all effect the total bill. She said that the University's current budget difficulties may effect the project. "At this point, it is very important to watch the costs," she said.

Theater Festival presents 'Zora' tonight

(02/28/91 10:00am)

When Cathy Simpson was asked how she would describe the woman she portrays in Zora, she answered without hesitation. "Zora Neale Hurston -- the woman who jumped at the sun." Simpson re-enacts Hurston's life and times in Zora, which will play tonight as part of the Women's Theatre Festival. A novelist, anthropologist and black activist, Hurston spent her life struggling to keep her black cultural heritage alive. In a combination of narrative, storytelling and performance, Simpson's one-woman show focuses on the life and work of this famous female artist. Simpson said she feels a strong affinity with the woman she portrays. "She intrigued me because she was an iconoclast, a survivor and an individual," Simpson said. "I relate to her, I identify with her and I like her very much." A four-time winner of the Best Actress Award at the Washington D.C. Play Festival, Simpson said she is thrilled to bring her show to the Women's Theatre Festival. "I'm excited because I'm so close to the script, the woman and her creativity," she said. "I want people to laugh with her, cry with her and evolve with her. I want them to experience Zora Neale Hurston." Produced in connection with Black History Month, Zora was written by Lawrence Holder and is directed by Erica Schwartz. Zora will be performed together with But Only If Things Get Hot Enough, a collaborative project produced and performed by the University's Coalition Theater. Coalition Theater was formed last December in an attempt to unite women of all colors and backgrounds in a multi-cultural and multi-racial theatrical performance. The show is being coordinated by College senior Debra Morton and College graduate Susie Wise. "We recognized there was no integrated space on campus for women of all colors to express themselves artistically," Morton said. "We say 'women of all colors' deliberately," Morton added. "After all, white is a color too." The show is a dramatization of poetry and prose chosen by the members of the group. "We picked pieces that represented us," said College graduate Kanako Shiokawa. "The different ideas and themes of the show are shown in our selection of texts." Group member Cheryl Lynn White said she had thoroughly enjoyed the whole enterprise. "It's been fun," she said. "Having worked so closely with these women for two months, I feel a real bond with them." Zora and But Only If Things Get Hot Enough will play tonight at the Christian Association Auditorium at 3601 Locust Walk. The show begins at 8 p.m., and tickets are available for $5 at the Annenberg Center or for $7 at the door.

CITY LIMITS: PennSTAR involved in trauma service dispute

(02/27/91 10:00am)

Last fall, the Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council in suburban Media drafted a contract which all emergency transport services in and around the county were required to sign if they wanted to continue to operate in the county. By the deadline of August 20th, only one air-ambulance service agreed to the pact -- Sky-Life Care, associated with Brandywine Hospital in Chester County. Neither PennSTAR nor Medevac, the helicopter that services Hahnemann and Jefferson Hospitals, took part in the agreement. Now, Sky-Life Care is the "primary provider" to Delaware County and PennSTAR and Medevac are only called in when Sky-Life Care is unavailable. But PennSTAR's base at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is critical minutes closer to eastern portions of Delaware County than other air-ambulance services. HUP officials said last week that the hospital's proximity makes it a vital part of proper patient care. · The source of contention between PennSTAR, Medevac and Delaware County is a clause in the county's contract which governs where trauma patients are taken. The EHSC contract places that decision in the hands a Medical Command Official within the county, even if PennSTAR is called. HUP officials said that they want the decision to remain where it had been before August 20th, in HUP's hands for calls on PennSTAR. Tim Morgan, the program manager of the trauma center at HUP, said that the hospital is focusing on patient care in the dispute. "We are willing to come to some agreement with Delco that would be best for the patient," Morgan said. "That's what it's all about." Previously, when the helicopter was called by emergency crews in Delaware County, PennSTAR rushed to the scene and reported back to its base to report on the condition of the patient. A standardized Trauma Triage Program was used to make the assessment. Based on that report, a Medical Command Official at HUP decided where a patient should be taken. EHSC officials, however, decided that in certain circumstances patients had been flown to hospitals in Philadelphia, passing up closer centers within Delaware County. Robert Holm, Delaware County's Emergency Medical Service Coordinator, said that he knows of at least one case in which a patient died while traveling to a trauma center that was farther away than necessary. On top of everything else, the Pennsylvania Trauma Foundation rates the ability of trauma centers to care for emergency cases. Such ratings can affect the decisions of emergency personnel as to where they bring trauma cases. HUP is a Level I institution, while the highest rated hospital in Delaware County is Crozer-Chester Medical Center, which is only Level II. The main difference between the two is the heart-lung machines that Level I hospitals have and that Level II hospitals do not. Delaware County's Holm said that the distinction is not critical, citing a Trauma Foundation opinion that the difference between the two levels is not crucial, pointing out that Level II facilities have the capability to keep a patient alive long enough to transfer the person to a Level I center. Holm also said since it is almost impossible to discern in the field which of the two facilities a patient will need, PennSTAR has the tendency bring patients back to its own Level I base. However, HUP's Morgan disputes Holm's charges of any such "rubber band effect." Morgan said PennSTAR does not follow such a policy, adding that they were the first service to institute a practice of choosing a destination hospital on a case-by-case basis. This, Morgan said, has made HUP quite unpopular with the other Level I facilities in the Philadelphia area, because it puts pressure on them to follow suit. "We were the first in the region to break the mold," Morgan said. The situation has caught the attention of the Department of Health in Harrisburg. Kum Ham, director of the Emergency Medical Service Division of the state's Department of Health, said last week that regulation in the division depends on geographic proximity and response time. Therefore, Ham said, "there is no such thing as exclusivity." "We took the position on the Delaware County contract that we do not agree with contracting with a specific air-ambulance service exclusively providing such service to a given region," Ham said. The Health Department division is a regulatory body with the power to enforce its decisions. However Robert Fisher, a Health Department spokesperson, said that the division's stand does not mean that the contract will be voided. He added that meetings are currently being scheduled to decide on the future of Delaware County's emergency transport situation. HUP trauma center head Morgan said that HUP is working to settle the matter without angering Delaware County officials, state officials and patients. "We are probably closer to the Department of Health's position than Delco," Morgan said. "When your house is burning down you don't call a firehouse miles away if you have one just down the road." While EHSC' Holm had no comment on the Health Department opinion, he suggested that a possible solution may to implement the emergency call-up of he helicopters on a rotating basis. For example, one month HUP may be the primary provider then the next Medevac may take its turn.

War vigil draws few protestors

(02/26/91 10:00am)

The 14 protesters, who stood expressionless with hands folded for 90 minutes, were observed by three open expression monitors, two University police officers, and two troop-supporting Operation Homefront members. Since the start of the war, which saw almost 300 protesters take to the streets, participation in such anti-war events has dwindled precipitously. The group of activists attracted little, if any, attention from the hundreds of students who passed by on their way to class. The two University police officers watched the demonstration from a distance because of two incidents at protests over the weekend. On Saturday night, anti-war protesters entered Van Pelt Library and laid down in Rosengarten Reading Room in a "die-in" and were later the targets of an egg-throwing incident on Superblock. Although most of the protesters maintained their silence, graduate student Brian Teaman said, "We got together to show some presence of opposition to the war." College of General Studies student and Vietnam veteran Joseph Parsio added that "since the war began, there's been a vigil here every day to call people's attention to the war." The dozen protesters left quietly at 1:30 p.m. without incident. Open Expression Monitor Christopher Dennis said monitors are "called out anytime we are aware of a protest." There were no incidents during the protest, and while the troop supporters and anti-war students faced each other, they did not exchange words. The two troop supporting students carried signs calling for a "Free Kuwait" and American flags. "Those people whose hearts weep for baby seals, why don't they weep for Kuwaiti or Jewish babies?" College freshman Mark Liberman asked. In a second, and apparently unrelated event, anti-war protesters hung a blue flag with a peace symbol on the pole atop Houston Hall. Several University Life officials said yesterday they were unaware of the flag and said they would have the flag removed either last night or today.

Penn News' owner Monk subpoenaed

(02/21/91 10:00am)

John Kelly, the head of the attorney general's Philadelphia office, refused to discuss the subpoena, saying only that "a formal investigation is pending." Three weeks ago, Wharton senior Alyssa Rokito filed a complaint with the attorney general on behalf of over 120 Penn News customers seeking refunds for newspaper subscriptions. Wharton junior Monk, who took over the financially-troubled delivery service last fall, downplayed the significance of the subpoena. "I'm not worried about [the subpoena]," Monk said. "I don't think anything's going to come of it." But Monk said he hopes his company's problems can be resolved. "I want to see everyone get their money," he said. "I don't want to see people think, 'Hey, I got ripped off.' " Monk said he was aware that Penn News had some debts when he bought the delivery service. But Monk said he thought subscription money would eliminate the debts. "I knew that there were outstanding bills," he said. "But we had enough accounts in accounts receivable." According to Monk, the blame for Penn News' problems rests with the University. He said University officials reneged on their promise to allow Penn News to bill subscribers on student bursar bills. "Financially, we would have been fine had the University billed the bursar bill in the first place," he said. "If they had done that, we'd be fine and the students would be happy." In September, Penn News offered students the option of paying for subscriptions on their bursar bills. But over winter break, Penn News sent a letter to subscribers asking them to pay directly for their subscriptions. The letter explained the University would not allow the delivery service to use bursar bills. Monk said he cannot prove the University broke its promise because the agreement to use the bursar bills was never put in writing and consisted only of a verbal commitment that University officials made to the previous owner. The old owner "hasn't gotten involved in the situation so far," Monk said. Despite the current investigation by the attorney general's office, Monk said he feels "pretty good" about his chances for paying off his company's outstanding debts. Last month, officials at The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and USA Today said Penn News owed the three companies a total of at least $24,000 in overdue bills. "That's something I'm working on and I do have a couple of plans on the backburner," he said. He would not discuss the details of his plans or suggest when he may implement them. However, Monk did say that Penn News currently does not have enough money to pay either the newspaper companies or subscribers seeking refunds. "How could I be sitting on the money if the newspaper companies are going to come after me and students are too?" Monk said. "The money we did collect at the beginning of the year we spent on [delivery costs]," he said. "That's why we came up short at the end of the year." Monk also disputed an assertion made by Deputy Vice Provost George Koval that when the University decided last summer to give campus delivery service to Penn News, it only intended the change to last one year. "That's not true," Monk said. "I will take issue with that anytime he wants." Koval said last month that Penn Student Agencies will take over the newspaper delivery service next year. But Monk said the contract signed by the University, which established Penn News' independence from PSA, included no stipulation that the agreement would last only one year. Koval said yesterday he has "not seen or talked to Monk" since early January. Wharton graduate student Jonathan Eilian, who filed the complaint at the attorney general's office with Rokito, said he and Rokito were glad the subpoena had been issued. "We're very pleased with the rapid response," Eilian said. "It's nice to know that someone still cares about the little guys." Monk said he would "very much like to talk" with Eilian to explain his position. Please see PENN NEWS, page 7 PENN NEWS, from page 1

Vargas speaks on his writings and politics

(02/15/91 10:00am)

World renowned novelist and playwright Mario Vargas Llosa elaborated on his controversial claim that Mexico's government is "the perfect dictatorship" during a discussion of Latin American literature and politics last night. The crowd of 400 students and professors began to form well in advance of the author's arrival, proving the small Benjamin Franklin Room to be inadequate. The discussion, completely in Spanish, drew students and professors from Haverford, Swarthmore and Dickinson Colleges. Many of the students present were from Latin American and European countries, where Vargas' name is immediately recognizable, and his work is part of the canon of twentieth century literary studies. Houston Hall officials were alerted that the large, enthusiastic crowd forming outside the room was a fire hazard and abruptly interrupted the hour-long dialogue in order to move to the audience to Irvine Auditorium. The discussion was conducted in the form of a public interview, with Romance Languages Professor and long-time friend Jose Miguel Oviedo questioning Vargas on topics ranging from the inspiration for some of the Peruvian novelist's characters to an evaluation of contemporary Latin American political problems. Once inside Irvine, the novelist-politician alluded to many of his works, distinguishing the style for writing plays and short stories, as opposed to the expression that characterizes the novel. Towards the end of the informal questioning by Oviedo, the discussion took a decidedly political turn. The audience reacted with interest to a statement Vargas made several months ago which caused an uproar in political circles. In a controversial comment made in Mexico City, he characterized the ruling party of Mexico, the PRI, as "the perfect dictatorship." The statement was significant because it openly articulated what he believes to be the unspoken rules regarding the PRI's monopoly of power within Mexican democracy. It was also significant given Vargas' recent and controversial entry into Latin American politics. Vargas made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency of Peru during that country's elections last year. Representing a large coalition of moderates and conservatives, he gained widespread support throughout the country, ultimately causing a runoff with eventual winner Alberto Fugimori, a wealthy businessman of Japanese decent. The question of the Peruvian novelist's opinion of the political posturing of the famed Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez was also received by the crowd with great interest. Vargas and Garcia have a well-publicized adversarial relationship based on both politics and personal conflict. Vargas Llosa nonetheless said that he holds the Colombian novelist's literary work in high regard, thankful of the fact that his starkly different political views "have not contaminated" their greatness. Finally, as Vargas was preparing to leave, an impromtu meeting took place between he and a long time friend and fellow writer Yevegni Yevtushenko, a famous Soviet poet who is spending a semester at the University. Yevtushenko spoke perfect Spanish to the Peruvian as he discussed the current distress of his native Soviet Union. Vargas will speak tomorrow at 3 p.m. in room 17 of Logan Hall on the contemporary historian and social critic Karl Popper.

Measles outbreak forces Yale to screen fans at game

(02/15/91 10:00am)

Students who want to attend the mens' basketball game at Yale University will have to present proof of two measles innoculations before entering Yale's Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Yale's athletic department announced last night. Other weekend athletic contests have either been canceled or will be held on the condition that all University athletes be immunized against the virus, University officials said last night. Because of a measles outbreak in Philadelphia and on campus, Yale Athletic Department officials, on the advice of the Connecticut State Health Department, decided to require differing standards for entrance to the game for different age groups. They hope to keep the disease from spreading from one campus to the other, Yale officials said last night. Five cases of measles have been confirmed on the University campus, Student Health Director MarJeanne Collins said last night. Four of the five students were members of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the wrestling team. The Yale Athletic Department has been discussing ways to prevent the virus from spreading for the past three days, Yale Sports Information Director Steve Ulrich said last night. University students, as well as anyone between 13 and 34 years old who wishes to attend the game, must present photo identification plus written proof of a second measles-mumps-rubella vaccination dose. Those wishing to enter the arena who are age 35 and over must present photo identification. Age groups will be treated differently because of a change in the vaccine in 1957. Some people innoculated with a measles vaccine after 1957 are not immunized and have caught the virus. Yale students, who are required under Connecticut state law to receive two immunization doses more than one month apart after 1980 in order to enroll, must show student identification and match their social security numbers against an immunization record. Yale's athletic department had hoped Student Health could provide a listing of immunization records to be taken to the game site for students to check before entering. Student Health Director Collins said last night, however, such an arrangement would be unrealistic, considering the service would be busy handling patients and immunizing other athletes who are playing this weekend. "Our phones are ringing off the hook," Collins said last night. "Students should have their own records anyway." Parents of children under the age of 13 must present written proof of a single immunization dose administered after age 15 months. Yale's Ulrich said last night the department wants to make sure the virus does not spread any further through Ivy League athletic competition. "We're just concerned about confining the area where the disease has sprung up," he said last night. "[We must make sure] anyone attending does not run the risk of contracting the disease and going any further." Ulrich added Yale had also considered closing the game entirely and barring anyone under the age of 35 from attending the game. Alan Schreiber, chairperson of the graduate group of immunology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said he doubts University students traveling to New Haven poses a serious health threat to Yale. "Penn students carrying measles to play Yale -- I'm not worried about it," Schreiber said. The athletic department told the band and the cheerleaders this afternoon -- before Yale decided to restrict entrance to the game -- that Yale had asked them not to go to New Haven. The groups then canceled their trips. Mens' Basketball Coach Fran Dunphy said yesterday he will miss the groups' presence at the game. "I can't tell you how important [it is] to stand here before the game and hear the band play," Dunphy said. "[But Yale is] feeling they're better safe than sorry." Band Director Claude White said yesterday he does not question the need to control the spread of the virus but said staying home will be disheartening because the band enjoys cheering for the team and travelling. "It's disappointing," White said. "Is it understandable? Yes, if they are trying to be very cautious, but it doesn't change the fact it's disappointing." Staff writers David Bowden, Steve Glass and Noam Harel contributed to this story.

Temple faculty approve contract offer, ending six-month dispute

(02/14/91 10:00am)

Temple faculty overwhelmingly approved a contract offer last night, ending a bitter dispute that has raged for six months. Faculty voted 338 to 65 with one abstention to approve the offer. According to the contract, Temple faculty will receive a five percent across-the-board salary increase for three years, with an extra one percent increase in the third year. In the fourth year, the faculty will receive a two percent salary increase. The contract also resolves the issue of health care co-payments, which has been one of the thorniest problems in the contract dispute. The agreement maintains the co-payment but also allows for the creation of a joint faculty-administration Health Care Advisory Board to study health care costs and make recommendations. Faculty members will receive rebates of the co-payment if health-care costs rise less than six percent in a one year period. Six other unions at Temple had already agreed to the co-payments when the faculty went on strike in September. Arthur Hochner, president of the Temple Association of University Professors, said that the faculty did not take issue with the $260 co-payment which the administration initially requested, but rather with the reasoning behind it. He added that he felt TAUP got a better deal than the other unions who signed on to the deal in September. "[The six unions] don't have an input and we do," Hochner said. "We do want them to join us. We can all benefit in the future." "It went better then I thought," Hochner added. "We made a lot of gains." Temple spokesperson Kathy Gosliner said last night that the university's administration was "happy" that the dispute was finally resolved. One issue that was not resolved by the contract, however, was make-up pay for faculty during the dispute. In November, Temple administrators offered faculty one-third of their regular pay for the period when the faculty worked under court order. The faculty was ordered to return to work by a Common Pleas Court judge on October 3. "Last November's offer of one-third pay was objectionable," Hochner said. "Now we have none, but we have a chance of getting 100 percent." Both the union and the administration said that it may be difficult to start "a healing process" after months of bad blood. "It's been a very difficult time," said Temple spokesperson Gosliner. "We have to move forward -- it's not going to happen overnight." Hochner said last night that although he now has reservations about the administration, he feels that changes must be made. "It became clear that we're dealing with a punitive administration here," Hochner said. "This is an administration that plays hardball, that takes advantage of people weaker than them. That perception isn't going to change but their attitudes have to change if there is going to be real healing. If there isn't [a change] it's just going to be a repeat of the bitterness." The strike began on September 4, the first day of classes last semester, when the union called for a faculty walkout. The strike lasted 29 days, and, before it was over, over 1800 students withdrew from the University. Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Samuel Lehrer ordered the teachers back to work on October 3. Lehrer said that the strike, which left over 23,000 students without at least one class and 6000 with none, had damaged education for the students. Both sides said that the decision should help Temple's sagging enrollment. Only about one-half of students who withdrew during the strike have returned this semester, according to Gosliner. "It absolutely has been hurtful in our ability to recruit," Gosliner said. "But we're rebounding, and with a contract agreement we should be able to do even more." Hochner said that the length of the contract guarantees stability for incoming students. "The contract goes for four years, so anyone enrolling this year is not going to see any problems while they're here," Hochner said. The contract agreement must still face the vote of the Temple Board of Trustees. The board will vote Thursday morning at 10:15 in conference, and is expected to approve the contract.

CITY LIMITS: Going to College

(02/13/91 10:00am)

All 29 students in Ms. Peay's third grade class in room 204 of the Harrity Elementary School leaned forward from their desks, stretched their hands to the sky, and cried, "Ooo, ooo, me, me." Christopher is finally called on to identify Iraq on the Persian Gulf map and all the students clap when he is correct. These enthusiastic students, unlike many of their counterparts, will be able to pursue education through college -- their class was selected to participate in the Say Yes to Education program. Say Yes and the College Access Program are both efforts spearheaded by University officials and graduates in an attempt to widen the narrow options facing area public school students once they graduate from high school. The Say Yes program guarantees college tuition for elementary classes chosen to participate. The College Access Program is described as a "last dollar" program, because it provides up to $2000 to close the financial gap facing a college-bound senior. The idea of the College Access Program was conceived four years ago by Adjunct Associate Education Professor Norman Newberg, director of the Collaborative for West Philadelphia Schools, who was also involved in starting the Say Yes program. Newberg said he was motivated to form the program because while Say Yes provided "in depth" support for one class, he "simultaneously knew that there were a lot of students out there who needed help." · The Say Yes program, which is designed to encourage students to stay in school, unites interested philanthropists with children in need of money for college. Donors, such as 1966 Law School graduate Robert Toll and Graduate School of Education graduate Jane Toll -- who began sponsoring the Harrity School third graders last October -- promise to pay the tuitions for the students they "adopt." Many of the students' families otherwise would not be able to afford college. Several students in the other third grade class, Ms. Murphy's room 205, said their parents cried when they found out that their class was chosen. "My mom hugged me and kissed me," said Melody, who wants to be a rapper when she grows up. Leeshon, who wants to be a lawyer, said his grandmother "almost had a heart attack" at the award ceremony. "She didn't know where the money would come from to go to college," Leeshon said. As young as the third graders are, the excitement and publicity surrounding the Say Yes scholarship now makes the program seem more like a big party than a chance at a college. As Ms. Murphy explained, most students did not understand the scholarship at first. "They thought it was a lottery and . . . they'd be coming into a lot of money," Murphy said. "Later on, as the weeks had gone by, and by talking to them and explaining exactly what the scholarship consisted of, [they learned] if they continued their good grades that it's a possible chance that all could go to college and college is basically paid for," she said. Philanthropist Eugene Lang originated the idea of a class scholarship in New York City in 1982. His program, called I Have A Dream, began when he gave a graduation speech at the public school he graduated from in Harlem. But Public Policy and Management Professor Alan Campbell said this month that researchers have found that these "standing alone" education incentives -- where individuals sponsor students -- do not seem to provide "sufficient motivation" for the students. "Just that offer does not change the behavior of the kids sufficiently to stop them from dropping out," Campbell said. He added that the programs need to be supplemented with health care, housing and drug prevention, especially for children from broken families. "Unless it is accompanied by a package of social services, the schools cannot provide an environment that's going to make education attractive to the students," Campbell said. But he added that the lack of other social reform packages does not negate the positive aspects of programs like Say Yes. The incomplete "social package," Campbell said, only highlights the point that "one shouldn't assume it is a major answer to the deterioration and near collapse of many central city schools." The students at Harrity are the second group of beneficiaries of the Say Yes scholarship in West Philadelphia. The first class was the former 112-member sixth grade of the Belmont Elementary School. In 1987, George Weiss, a University Trustee, and Diane Weiss, who is the overseer and an associate trustee of the Graduate School of Education, pledged to pay for their college educations. Those original students, now in tenth grade, will have the scholarship offer follow them throughout their pre-college careers, even if they move away to different districts or states. Students in the Say Yes classes at Harrity report that their older and younger friends become "really jealous" when they get taken to Philadelphia 76ers games, the zoo, or other special events designed to enrich the Say Yes classes. The tutoring sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays are not envied by their older and younger schoolmates, however. But the Say Yes students understand the price of the perks. "You have to know all your times tables to be able to go see the Sixers," third-grade student Gregory said. · Those not in the Say Yes classes in need of financial assistance to go to college may be helped in high school by the College Access Program. College Access works intensely with students in nine high schools to help with college and financial aid applications. It also awards "last dollar" scholarships to fill in gaps between the money students get from financial aid or loans and what they can afford to pay to go to college. The award amount has just been raised to $2,000 a year per student for up to five years, starting with the class of 1991. Of the donation, University Trustee John Neff donated the first $250,000 two years ago and CoreStates Financial Corporation completed it through a University gift of $750,000 this January. Adjunct Associate Education Professor Newberg, said that President Sheldon Hackney was very "influential" in securing the funding. The program is seeking a fund of $15 million to provide the "last dollar" scholarships. Currently, the maximum amount that the fund can award each year is $50,000. 60 students received scholarships in 1990, its first year of operation. Newberg emphasized that even $250, which a student now attending Temple received last year, "could make the difference between going and not going." Cunningham echoed Newberg's sentiments, saying that small monetary awards can cover book or transportation costs. But she stressed the importance of the counseling in the program. "Just handing out money doesn't make the kids take the proper courses [to prepare for college]," she said. Cunningham added that many of the students are the first members of their families to go to college or to even graduate from high school, so that "academic lingo" and complicated financial aid forms can be "very intimidating." She recalled a meeting for students who had won scholarships to the state university system, where a father recognized that "going to college was a good thing" for his daughter but later asked Cunningham to clarify a term for him. "What is tuition?" the father asked.

Films portray racist attitudes during war

(02/13/91 10:00am)

Over 80 people gathered in the Bowl Room of Houston Hall last night to view two films that dealt with the effects of racism during times of war, followed by a panel discussion with some of the films' producers. The first film, Family Gathering, dealt with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Lise Yasui, the film's writer and producer, said that the film chronicled her family's experiences during the war. "[I wanted to] show how these rather large events in history trickle down and affect people on a day to day level," Yasui said. "I had learned about [the internment] through facts and figures." Yasui said that the film was intended to "personalize a rather obscure portion of American history." Voices in Exile: Immigrants and the First Amendment was about seven Arabs living in Los Angeles who were accused of terrorism by the Federal Bureau of Investigation after they distributed information about Palestinians living in the West Bank. "The main focus is whether immigrants have the right to free speech," said Laura Hayes, who produced the film after following the case for several years. After the films were shown, Yasui, Hayes and attorney Khaled Abu El-Fadl fielded questions from the audience. El-Fadl said that there has been a recent "upsurge in cases" of discrimination against Arabs because of the Persian Gulf war. The panel also discussed a contingency plan for fighting terrorism, developed in 1986 by a government task force that included then-Vice President George Bush, which called for the internment of Arabs. Panel members pointed to the plan as an example of racist attitudes during war. Audience members said they were impressed with the films. "I thought it was very informative," said Philadelphia resident Sandy Clory. "There's a lot of confusion going on." She added that she was disappointed that only the problem of racism, and not a solution to it, was discussed. And student who attended the forum said they felt that the films raised issues that are sometimes swept under the rug in wartime. "I think this is an important point that was overlooked in discussions about the war," said Annenberg graduate student Bill Mikulak. "I think racism in any war affects all people," added College senior Amy Hsi, who helped plan the program. "Just in building this program we were able to reach a greater understanding of each others cultures," said Scott Kurashige, a member of the Asian-American Students Alliance. "I was happy both because of the attendance and because of the quality of the films, which were up to the standards we were looking for," said Fine Arts graduate student Yasir Sakr, one of the event's organizers.

Panel discusses Madonna's music video

(02/11/91 10:00am)

Over 70 students attended a panel discussion last Wednesday on whether or not Madonna's music video "Justify My Love" is pornography or art. The two-hour discussion was moderated by Assistant Director for Residential Services Joe Kirk and consisted of debate, not only about the video, which was banned by MTV last year, but also about flag burning and the breakdown of the American family. The discussion began with a viewing of the entire video and was followed by debate. The panel members did not reach a consensus as to whether or not the video was pornography or art, or a combination of both. Rimmel said videos like "Justify Your Love" exploit women and desensitize men into viewing women as "a nice piece of meat." Mattern said there should be some concern about children seeing the video. "We need to regulate at some level that children don't see this," he said. Marvin said the video was not harmful and parents need to take responsibility in determining what their children view. Nearly half the audience had trickled out by the end of the discussion and those that remained said that they found it disappointing. "I think some of the individuals here came with a platform of their own . . .a lot of people got turned off," Wharton sophomore Brian King said. College senior Mee Rhan Kim said she did not feel the discussion addressed the issue of "Porn or Art." "I didn't think it would be quite as political or theoretical or broad as the discussion was," she said.