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City crisis not on applicants' minds

(12/04/90 10:00am)

Although Philadelphia's budget crisis has graced the front pages of national newspapers, prospective freshmen and their parents do not seem worried about attending college in a cash-strapped city. Admissions Officer Eric Furda, whose territory includes the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia, said that so far, students and parents only asked questions about how the financial crisis would relate to security. But he said if the crisis gets worse, it could have its own effects. "Down the road it could certainly affect applications or, more importantly matriculation," Furda said. Furda added that the students and parents who have asked questions about the budget crisis are from areas which traditionally criticize the city anyway. "A lot of people [in the region] had a bad perception of Philadelphia," Furda said. Nationally, high school guidance counselors at schools that are "feeders" -- who send a lot of applicants to the University -- say that no one has raised questions about the financial crisis. Norm Reidel, chairperson of the college counseling department at New Trier High School in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, said that there was no decline this year in Early Decision applicants to the University from his school. He said any decline in applicants would be due to the declining population of high school seniors. "I haven't heard anything that is going to curtail interest or the number of applicants," Reidel said. Thomas Hassan, the director of college counseling at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, said that he hasn't "heard a peep" of concern from students or parents about the effect of Philadelphia's cash crunch. He said that the story has reached New Hampshire, but it is not front page news there. In fact, the University looks good to Exeter students. Glenn Singleton, the University's director of western regional admissions, said last week that although there has been negative publicity about the city, the skyline has looked attractive in recent Monday Night Football games and in a new Visa advertising campaign which highlights Philadelphia's Strawbridge and Clothier stores. The concern that students and parents have about Philadelphia's financial troubles is tempered by similar problems experienced in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Singleton said. Concerns about attending school in urban areas are widespread, he said. "It's not related to the crisis of [Philadelphia], but related to the crisis of cities," Singleton said. But Singleton said that high school students see universities as "being somewhat removed from the problems of the city." Cristoph Guttentag, director of planning in the admissions office, said that in seven weeks of travel up the East Coast he has heard "one question [about the crisis] from one student once." "My impression is that students and parents are wise enough and sophisticated enough to understand that while Penn is a part of Philadelphia, there is enough of an independence there that one wouldn't have too strong of an effect on the other," Guttentag said.

Debate over houses turns into fight over legitimacy of frats

(12/04/90 10:00am)

and ROXANNE PATEL No one is surprised that fraternities are at the center of the debate over the future over Locust Walk. The 10 chapters have some of the most convenient, centrally located houses on campus, and they occupy the only residential sites on the Walk. But fraternity members say they have been shocked at the allegations and anger that the issue has aroused. They knew that anti-Greek sentiment had been rising for years, but the vehemence of the attacks was unexpected. In their attacks on the all-fraternity Walk, critics have charged that the chapters foster sexism, racism and violence. The system has been barraged with charges of sexual harassment, elitism, and rape. Although they knew their organizations would be central in changing the Walk, Greek members say the Walk dispute has caused the entire system to be unfairly criticized. What began as a discussion over housing has become a battle over the fraternities' place in the University community. · The linchpin of the Walk debate has been the claim that Locust Walk does not represent the entire University because its residents -- members of 10 predominantly white fraternities -- do not reflect the racial, sexual, and ethnic diversity of the University. These claims are accompanied by complaints by women and minorities who say they avoid the Walk whenever possible because they feel at best excluded and at worst physically threatened when they walk to work or class. Lydia York, who received a graduate degree from Wharton in 1987, said last week that because of the Walk's atmosphere, she consciously avoided the Walk at night and on weekends. "At night, Locust Walk takes on sort of a carnival atmosphere," said York, co-chairperson of a recent alumni committee on campus life. "I don't want to say I ever felt physically threatened, but I thought 'What if the boys get out of hand?' " "Personally, I think that something that important on the campus should be a little less threatening," York added. The anti-fraternity factions were given ammunition in 1987 with the release of a report of an ad-hoc committee on racial and sexual harassment. The study, dubbed the Berg Report, states that according to evidence obtained by the judicial inquiry officer and the Office of Student Life, fraternities were responsible for the majority of racial and sexual harassment charges. The report is still cited by a broad coalition of anti-fraternity groups as evidence that fraternities should be thrown off of Locust Walk. Additionally, in a report released this fall, the Committee on University Life noted that many student and faculty members had said they would like the fraternity system to be abolished. While the report did not take a position on the issue, it suggested moving the 10 chapters off Locust Walk. Anti-fraternity sentiments became markedly more vocal last spring, when a group staged an impromptu "Take Back the Walk" protest during a rally which protested crimes against women and minorities on campus. This vocal stance continued through last semester and into this fall. In a book published in August, Anthropology Professor Peggy Sanday increased anti-Greek ire with charges against the fraternity system and specific allegations of sexual harassment against some Locust Walk chapters. In October, she said that her aim in writing Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood and Privilege on Campus was to help remove fraternities from Locust Walk within 10 years. Prompted by concern over reports of fraternities' harassment of women, some University Trustees who are also fraternity alumni have gone to their houses and explained that sexist behavior will not be tolerated, according to Trustee Richard Censits. "Fraternities provide people with the opportunity to get together and be part of a group," said Censits, who was a member of Beta Theta Pi when it occupied the space where the Sweeten Alumni Center now stands. "They don't have the right to hurt or be rude or crude to anyone." In response to these charges, fraternity members have gone on the offensive this year, accentuating their positives to counter the claims that they are intolerent and violent. They say that as an organized campus group, they have the best opportunity to counter racist and sexist behavior. Several fraternity brothers said many groups do not give them credit for their community service and social awareness programming. Consequently, brothers say, when they fight for their houses on Locust Walk, they feel that they are also fighting for a place as a legitimate group at the University. Sigma Alpha Epsilon President Mike Feinberg said defending fraternities' place in changing Locust Walk and defending the Greek system are "two different issues, but in a way it's the same thing." "On the one hand, the issue deals with pluralism, but on the other hand, the people most vocal about diversifying Locust Walk . . .are very anti-Greek and they want to see the fraternity system abolished," he said. Interfraternity Council President Bret Kinsella said last week he feels the Locust Walk fraternities can help the process of building a new Locust Walk. "Fraternities are in a unique position . . . to facilitate the pluralistic goal," Kinsella said. "Fraternities should be integrated in the process because they are first and foremost students of this University. [They] should have the opportunity to participate in a pluralistic campus and should help construct a pluralistic campus just as any other student." IFC President-elect Jim Rettew said last week that he does not fully understand why people are intimidated on Locust Walk. "Sometimes, people say fraternities make them feel uncomfortable," said Rettew, the current IFC secretary. "In a way I understand, but in another way I don't. Some of the guys living on Locust Walk are physically big, but they don't mean to be intimidating." "Fraternities were founded for all the right reasons: brotherhood, honor, trust, fraternity," Rettew added. "Once people get to know us, they will be able to get past this 'intimidating' stereotype." Rettew defended fraternities' place on Locust Walk, saying the Walk is not completely homogenous. "A key to diversity is integration, and fraternities provide the best means of this integration through perpetuating diversified interaction under a common roof in a fraternalistic bond," he said.

U. Program LINCS old, young students

(11/30/90 10:00am)

When Engineering junior Doug Glanville explained gravity to 10 fifth-graders at Samuel Huey Public Elementary School, the children, mouths full with cookies, stared back at him in disbelief. "If I drop a Mack truck and a pea off a cliff, they land at the same time," Glanville explained. "I know you don't believe me." Then for the next hour, Glanville gave a lesson in gravity to the students as part of the year-old PENNlincs program. PENNlincs, an elementary science mentoring project, consists of 20 teams of University students mentoring weekly in nine elementary schools in scientific fields. And although the program is just one-year old, both organizers and teachers have praised it saying both mentors and students learn from each other. Program director Jean Roberts, however, said that the University students do not tutor the children, but rather expose the children to science and science related fields without pressures of a school room environment. She added that since the children can relate better to the mentors than to their teachers, they develop a greater interest in science. Roberts, who said she has been amazed at the demand for PENNlinc mentors at several Philadelphia public schools, plans to expand the program in the coming years to include more public schools and more universities. "It's terribly sad to turn children away from the program," she said earlier this week. "We have to do that a lot." Plans are being made to extend the program to Drexel University, Temple University, Chestnut Hill College, and Villanova University. PENNlincs is now funded through a three year, $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and hopes to institutionalize the program in the future. But currently, the program has been successful on its small scale. Wednesday afternoon at the Huey School, located at 52nd and Pine, was just another example of the program at work. Students at the Huey school enthusiastically trooped up to the science room Wednesday afternoon to learn about Sir Isaac Newton and gravity from College sophomore Shashwatee Bagchi and Glanville -- who plays on the varsity baseball team. But the children, perching on the miniature chairs in the science room cluttered with plants and astronomy charts, had trouble understanding the concept of a vacuum. Many wanted to know how people could breathe in a vacuum and could not comprehend how objects of different weights could fall at the same rate. Glanville tried to clear up matters with a piece of paper and a baseball while most children watched with interest. Alexis Hamilton, a fifth grader at the school, proudly displayed her one page essay on gravity, complete with illustrations of the sun with people floating next to it. "Gravity is a substance that keeps us from floating off the earth," Hamilton wrote. "If you get very close to the sun, it will burn you to a crisp like a piece of burnt toast." Hamilton said later that the program allows her to have fun with science. "I like experiments and taking things apart and putting them back together," Hamilton added. Fifth grader Samantha Beverly, who said she wanted to be a scientist or lawyer, joined the program because her aunt and sister often talked about science experiments. "I want to cut open a frog," said Beverly, "but I have to wait until the eighth grade." Huey School Program Supervisor Rita Arrington, a science teacher at the school, said that it is too early to tell if the program will have positive, long lasting effects on the children. But she quickly added that it offers the children a chance to find out what really interests them. "PENNlincs gives them an opportunity to interact with adults in science," said Arrington. "They have interests, but getting them to pursue them is a different matter." PENNlincs mentor Bagchi, who has been with the group for two semesters added, "Most things can be made interesting if you just get it on their level."

LIFESTYLE: Churning the Tide

(11/30/90 10:00am)

Mention the word "laundry" to students, and many cringe in disgust. "Next week," some say, while others just shake their head, declining to disclose the last time they set foot into the laundry rooms around campus. And while their ways of doing laundry may differ, students all must face the stark reality: one day, they will run out of clean underwear. Some stock up in preparation for the eventual end of clean clothes, while others just find the time weekly to do a washload. And although the service sounds like an excellent idea, some students complain that the PSA distributes poor quality linens. One student, Engineering junior Hyunsuk Seung, added he found the service inconvenient, saying he no longer uses the service because the distribution places were not open all of the time. So after experimenting with the service, some students will turn to professionals to handle the dirty work. One manager of Henry's II Cleaners in Houston Hall, which offers dry cleaning services, said earlier this week that nearly 75 percent of their business is from students. Freshmen said they feel especially hard-hit by the responsibility of laundry with most using a laundry machine for the first time. College freshman Seong-Joo Jeong complains that freshmen must not only fit laundry into their weekly schedule, but when laundry time finally rolls around, "there aren't enough machines or laundry rooms" for the students to use. And although South Campus Assistant Director for Residential Serivces Gordon Rickards said there are laundry machines in every renovated dorm, several students complained that the University is unresponsive to the needs of the students. For instance, coupled with trouble of lugging laundry to a room several dorms away, students said they virtually always to wait for empty machines. College freshman Andrew Eisenstein summed it up when he said that "it's stupid to have as many washers as dryers because everyone knows it takes three times longer to dry than it does to wash." Most of the residents of the Quadrangle contacted over the past two weeks, say they are displeased with the cost, scarcity of machines, and the cleanliness of the laundry rooms. University laundry machines cost 75 cents to wash clothes and an additional 50 cents to try them. One student, College freshman Jeanne Mahoney, remarked earlier this week that the Butcher laundry room is infested with ants. Students complain that some dryers don't heat up, while the washers do not drain completely. Students find themselves in a battle to get a good machine. To counter the scarcity of laundry machines on campus, some students said they find odd hours and new ways of doing their wash in order to avoid the long lines for facilities. Wharton freshman Navdeep Singh explained that he washes his clothes between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. But others try to save money and time by asking friends to take care of the mess. Wharton freshman Brian Gustason said that since September he has only done his wash twice. "I bribed some girls to do my laundry -- twice," he said. However, he adds that he "plans on washing it more in the future." "I'm set for the next two months," the Quad resident gloated after having brought his clean clothes back from his home in Arizona. Reliance on mom's cleaning is still the basic motto for freshmen who never set foot in the University's laundry rooms. Michael Izhaky, an Engineering freshman, said that he takes his laundry home to Brooklyn each weekend. Although freshmen seem to find laundry time to be especially difficult, upperclassmen must also deal with the problem. High Rise residents, comprised primarily of upperclassmen, said they are blessed with laundry rooms on every even floor, adding that it is more convienent, safer and more efficient than the Quadrangle. "It's not that bad," said College sophomore Jennifer Shulman as she puts detergent into the washer. She says that doing laundry in the Quad was a hassle because she was always concerned about theft. But she disregarded people's complaints on the lack of laundry machines, saying that students just have to plan ahead. A diligent washer, Shulman does her laundry weekly. But others take the task of laudry less seriously. College junior Chris Geisel, who "mooches" detergent, does his laundry bi-weekly, still complained that its "too expensive" to wash his clothes.

SPOTLIGHT: Penn Dance tries to broaden audience

(11/29/90 10:00am)

Dividing their production into five unique dance pieces that can be interpreted in differing ways, Penn Dance members have pledged their show has "something for everyone." "The show involves a really diverse group of pieces ranging from modern to jazz to very strict experimental pieces," College junior Jen Claggett said. On Tuesday night, group members twirled, leaped and swayed about the stage clad in spandex and sweats as they readied for three showings of their fall production, "Affinity," scheduled to open tonight. At the rehearsal, members finalized their routines for the five dances, which all focus on different types of human relationships. Three of the dances were choreographed by students, and the others were organized by assistant director Vaughnda Hilton-Lyn and guest choreographer Norman Taylor. "The pieces are fun. . . they offer something that anyone could enjoy," said Engineering junior Sevrin Huff, a cast member. Proclaiming that the contribution from assistant director Hilton-Lyn in particular has been "absolutely unbelievable", cast member Claggett emphasized that "the group is the most together it has been." Other members added that they hope the group's unity will translate to enthusiasm in the performances. "It's a family thing," said David Knox, a dancer from Philadelphia who said that he enjoys dancing with the group because of the support they give one another. Claggett added that she is confident the devotion of the group will pay off this weekend, saying "the dancers are all very competent . . . it's a strong show." The performance opens tonight at 8 p.m. and plays Friday and Saturday nights in the Annenberg School Theater. Tickets are $4 and on sale on Locust Walk or at the door.

Administrators discuss safety issues in forum

(11/21/90 10:00am)

Several University administrators and community leaders told a small crowd of students yesterday that they must do everything they can to protect themselves from crime -- and then told them how to do it. Nine panelists spent nearly two hours giving students safety tips and outlining the University's safety services in a special student forum on security. Only about 20 students attended the Houston Hall forum, organized by College junior Lara Leibman. Most of them asked questions of the panelists, and all seemed to be satisfied with the answers. The overall message the panelists presented was that the University and the local community are making an effort to stop crime and that if students look out for themselves and their neighbors, the crime problem will decrease. "Whatever I tell you, you can still be a victim," warned Bruce Price, a crime prevention officer for the city's 18th Police District. "There's nothing that will protect you 100 percent. That's why it's important to do everything you can." "Keep it simple," he added. "Try to put as much protection on yourself as you can and if you're a victim, try to notice as much as you can so that we can possibly catch somebody." Senior Vice President Marna Whittington promised that security is the University's "top priority." "We need all of you as partners to try to reduce the opportunities for crime," Whittington said. "We're committed to making sure people know we're serious about crime on campus." Whittington said the University has a "three-pronged" plan of attack against crime. The first, she said, is the deterrent police provide. The second, she said, is to improve the environment in which students live. Automatic teller machines in dormitories, improvements to campus lighting, and transportation around campus all create a better environment. The third "prong," Whittington said, is an information network. She said the University has to let students know about the services that are available, and students need to report suspicious activity to police. "We want this campus safe for everyone in this community and if you have any ideas, we'd like to hear them," she said. Other speakers outlined their roles in this plan. University Police Captain John Richardson talked about the recent expansion of police patrols. Director of Off-Campus Living Eleni Zatz explained her department's off-campus housing security inspections. Blondell Reynolds, the director of the West Philadelphia Partnership, and Stephanie Washington, of Community Intervention Programs, also talked about their efforts. Reynolds told students they are not alone in their concern about crime. She said the local community is also "struggling" with the problem. Washington said students, living either on or off-campus, need to meet their neighbors and establish ties with people around them. Simply saying hello, she said, can help establish a basic relationship and enough caring that people will look out for each other.

Officials plan new look for 40th St.

(11/20/90 10:00am)

The 40th and Walnut streets area may take on a different character in the coming years as University officials plan a "new direction" for the block of 40th Street between Locust and Walnut. University Police officials announced in September that they would relocate operations -- currently located across from High Rise North on Locust Walk -- to a facility to be constructed on the parking lot at 40th and Walnut streets. They said the increased visibility of the police department on the troubled corner could help deter future incidents. In addition, administrators are negotiating with the Free Library of Philadelphia and McDonald's Restaurant -- both on corners of 40th and Walnut streets -- to move them into the multi-story facility. Van de velde said last week that a mutual exchange of property could be beneficial for all parties involved. He added that McDonald's 24-hour operations policy contributes to creating an unsafe environment. Talks between McDonald's and the University have included a drive-thru proposal which van de Velde said may be more attractive to the restaurant than remaining open all night. But van de Velde stressed that officials are only discussing such an exchange, adding that no decisions have been made. Sandra Viddy, head librarian of the Free Library of Philadelphia's 40th and Walnut streets branch, said yesterday that she does not care whether the library relocates or not. Viddy said problems that continually cropped up during the library's three-year closing have been solved, and that she has noticed a "tremendous difference" in the facility's attractiveness since its reopening in August. McDonald's Restaurant officials could not be reached for comment. Associate Vice President for Business Services Steven Murray said last week that Penn Mail Service may relocate to the new facility, adding that operations have outgrown their alloted space in the Franklin Building. The new facility, which is not expected to be completed until 1992, is part of a sweeping effort by the University to reshape the character of the 40th Street area. Van de Velde said that officials are negotiating an agreement of sale for the University City Shopping Center -- the block of shops between Locust and Walnut streets which includes Marty's Dollar Worth and Smokey Joe's -- and are studying ways to create an area that "positively contributes to the tone and character of campus." Van de Velde said officials hope to "clean up" the physical appearance of the block, adding that the block does not appear safe and welcoming to students. "40th Street is a little on the unsavory side," van de Velde said. "It's not one of the all-time attractive commercial strips." He added that officials will also look at limiting the number of vendors along the sidewalk and at the mix of merchants along the block. Officials would decide whether the stores are assets to the community or whether other stores would better serve the area. But van de Velde said there is no "wholesale reorganization of space planned." He said officials hope to alleviate crime concerns by improving the lighting and general appearance of the area. "You cannot change the behavior exclusively by changing the physical setting," he said. "But there's no question that when the place looks like it's blighted and derelict, that atmosphere increases the number of problems."

Speaker discusses neo-Nazism as LaRouche followers protest

(11/20/90 10:00am)

What started out as a speech and discussion about radical politician Lyndon LaRouche and former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke quickly degenerated into a heated interchange between the speaker and audience members. In a speech before 50 people at the Christian Association last night, free-lance reporter and author Dennis King said that neo-Nazism is steadily gaining strength and warned that the movement could soon be a major force in national elections. "The problems we fail to fight in the ballot box, we will have to fight in the streets," King said. But much of the evening was marked with strong protest from a handful of LaRouche supporters who questioned King throughout his presentation and handed out literature throughout the evening. King began his speech reservedly, but quickly gained strength and became louder throughout the lecture. Gripping the sides of the podium, King blamed the rise of facism on several factors including the two-party system in the United States and the press. "If the media and the democratic and republican parties had done their jobs there may have never been a David Duke," King said. After his nearly 90-minute speech, the hecklers picked up the pace of their snickers, laughs and questions, consistently interrupting the lengthy explanations by King. "I am living testimony that what you are about to hear from Dennis King here is complete lies," Smith said. After the presentation, University police wandered among the audience. Except for the handful of supporters for LaRouche, many of the audience members supported King's ideas. "I think that the trend King described is pretty scary," said College freshman Avinoam Freedman, while ripping up the pro-LaRouche literature. "This is only reinforced by the lunatic behavior of the LaRouchians here." "I thought that King gave a very powerful overview of what I see as the early emergence of facism in the country," said area resident Gwynne Sigel. "As for Smith, what can you say?. . . He's clearly a facist."

$1 mil. pledged for 32 Nursing students' work

(11/20/90 10:00am)

An $18 million fund raised by the sale of a Picasso painting has been dedicated to paying 32 Nursing students' tuition in order to draw them to New York City hospitals. The Alex Hillman Family Foundation sold Picasso's Mother and Child last year to subsidize the students' $13,420 tuition. Eight juniors and eight seniors were selected in October for the $1 million program, and freshmen and sophomores will be selected in the spring of their sophomore years. The scholarships will fund their junior and senior years. Students will be required to work one year in any New York City hospital for each year they receive scholarship money. The foundation will review the program after three years and decide whether it will extend the program. Associate Nursing Professor Ellen Baer said yesterday that the program sprung from Foundation President Rita Hillman's concern that there will not be enough nurses to staff New York City hospitals as they struggle with AIDS and drugs. "The whole purpose of the foundation [in establishing the program] is to entice the students to come to New York," Baer said. The foundation specializes in making art available for museums and schools. Baer said last night that scholarship winners will conduct part of their required field work at the New York Hospital, spending Thursday and Friday of each week at the facility. Students will work under nurses in their field of interest during the second semester of their senior year, and will be supervised by Baer. The experience will let students experience working and living in New York City, Baer said. New York Hospital is located on New York's fashionable Upper East Side, and is the site of the Cornell University Medical School. Baer was introduced to Hillman by a mutual friend who knew both of Hillman's concern and that Baer was a nursing professor at the University. Baer and Hillman met last December, and Hillman met last spring with Nursing Dean Clare Fagin, Undergraduate Nursing Director Mary Naylor and President Sheldon Hackney to hammer out details. Naylor said yesterday that the program strengthens financial aid programs available to Nursing students, allowing students who otherwise would have to work to focus on their studies. During their junior year, scholarship recipients will receive $12,500, which will increase to $13,250 the next year. The program may also serve as a model for financing nursing education at other universities, Naylor said. Nursing senior Carin Julian, a scholarship recipient, said yesterday that she expects the program to be a "good experience," giving her an opportunity to work in New York under a structured environment. She said the program's seniors will be like "guinea pigs" as they are the first to go through the program. Baer said that students are selected for the program based mostly on academic standing, but she said extra-curricular activites and diversity of interests were also considered. "We wanted students who had a certain vitality," Baer said.

Forum held on Persian Gulf this weekend

(11/19/90 10:00am)

A war of words erupted several times during a day-long conference on the Persian Gulf Crisis and Palestinian-Israeli conflict held this weekend at the Christian Association. The conference included three sessions with panels of professors and other Middle East experts. Each panel member spoke for 20 minutes, and then answered questions. At the second session, all three panel members addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that Palestinians living in Israel are discriminated against. They added that a resolution must be found. All three members condemned current Israeli policies while backing the actions of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Judith Chomsky, a civil rights lawyer for the National Lawyers Guild, told the audience that "Jews and non-Jews are not entitled to equal protection" under Israeli law. The lawyer, who spent part of her life on a Kibbutz, an Israeli commune, sighted several examples where Palestinian villages are not connected to electricity or water facilities. She added that while Israeli Arabs cannot serve in the Israeli Army and, therefore, do not qualify for subsidies, many Jews who refuse to serve in the army still receive the subsidies. "Its a catch-22 situation," she said. Brooklyn College Professor Norman Finkelstein was the most vocal of the panelists, saying that while "the Palestine Liberation Organization is fully aligned with the international consensus," Israel has not taken one step towards reconciliation. Finkelstein's speech -- a strong criticism of Israeli policies -- included a condemnation of Israel's invasion of Lebanon. Finkelstein charged the Israeli intelligence agency with thwarting PLO efforts to negotiate a peace. One exchange that set the tone for much of the conference came during a question-and-answer period, in which Finkelstein yelled at an audience member, calling that student "demented and delirious," for questioning his ideas. Several students said the conference was biased and one-sided, saying that the panelists never listened to alternative viewpoints. College sophomore Jonathon Huppert called the day-long discussions a "very one-sided conference blind to any other view." He added that the panel supported "itself through the elimination of many facts." Penn Committee members said afterwards that the conference was useful because it led to the free expression of views about the Middle East. The committee is comprised of faculty members and students who have coordinated their efforts with two University student groups -- the Muslim Students Organization and the Penn Committee for Palestinians. The newly-formed organization opposes the U.S. build-up of troops in the Persian Gulf and have called for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

REWVIEW: 'Laundromat' spins bold tale of current era

(11/16/90 10:00am)

Third and Oak: The Laundromat, which opened last night in the High Rise East Rathskellar, presents a substantial slice of life, full of comedic flavor and a sharp view of the world that may take a long time for some viewers to digest. The Laundromat is a ships-passing-in-the-night story of two women who come to a seedy laundromat at 3 a.m. to escape the realities of their lives. One is Alberta -- played by College junior Elana Weinstein -- a studious, reserved, middle-aged woman obviously far from home, and the other is Deedee -- portrayed by first-year graduate student Wendy Braund -- a young housewife who literally stumbles in from her apartment across the alley. As Deedee's almost compulsive talking battles Alberta's reserve, the characters drop hints about their troubled lives to each other and to the audience. While the unfolding stories are somewhat predictable, the show creates suspense by drawing the audience into the characters' developing relationship. Both characters could be reduced to stereotypes, but the actresses' talent gives them depth and sympathy. Weinstein makes the most of Alberta's comic potential. With her hair drawn tightly into a bun and a dainty string of pearls peeking over the collar of her turtleneck, she could be the ultimate sour-faced spinster. Instead, her wry expressions and high-brow jokes give the play much of its humor. Braund's rapidly changing facial expressions convey emotions that her rough-edged, uneducated character could not express in words. As the two women grow closer through their confidences, they develop a mother-daughter relationship, and one almost expects them to hug, or at least to make some sort of physical contact before the show ends. But that sort of behavior is more suitable for a sudsy television drama than for Marsha Norman's ruthlessly realistic script. The author resists the temptation to give pat solutions for the women's problems, leaving several unresolved chords that contribute to the play's believability. The production was directed by 1990 College graduate Katie Goodman under the aegis of the Women's Theatre Festival. Goodman said that the festival, which will take place in February, has attracted widespread attention on campus, drawing 45 student volunteers this semester. Third and Oak: The Laundromat runs through Saturday at 8 p.m. in the High Rise East Rathskellar. Tickets are $3.50, or $3 with a donation of a piece of winter clothing for the University City Hospitality Coalition.

AFTER HOURS: Soak up some Women's Theatre

(11/15/90 10:00am)

Attracting followers like a sweater with static cling attracts socks, the Spin Cycle Theater has revived student interest in women's theater with its production of Third and Oak: The Laundromat, which opens tonight. "It's a forum for women's issues at times of the year other than the week of the festival," Goodman said. The Laundromat is about two women in a laundromat at 3 a.m. The women, a starchy suburbanite and a washed-out housewife, are prompted into sharing confidences because of the strangeness of their situation. The play falls under the rubric of women's theater both because of its well-known feminist author, Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman, and because of its themes. Goodman said this week that the show portrays the struggle of a woman whose husband will not let her work, a problem that she said is as relevant now as it was when Norman wrote the play in the mid-1970s. "Fifteen years ago when she wrote it, [the problem] was a little more novel than it is now," she said. "But it scares me that it's still so common for women to think that they don't have the right to make choices about their own lives." Another of show's important themes is the development of communication between the two women, according to actress Elana Weinstein, who plays the suburbanite. "I do think it's a women's play. There's a lot of communication between the two about men, although not in the men-bashing sense," the College junior said. "There's a lot of relating to each other and sympathizing with each others' situation in life, which is something women do a lot." Both Weinstein and Goodman said that although good communication is not an exclusively feminine quality, the characters' gender and their choice of topics put The Laundromat in the feminist realm. Norman also wrote a play called Third and Oak: The Pool Hall, in which two men are in a similar situation. Her other plays include 'Night, Mother. First-year graduate student Wendy Braund, the show's only other actress, said that the play's appeal is not confined to women. "It's not that limited," said Braund, who plays the housewife. "There's definitely an empathy that you can feel whether or not you're a woman." The Women's Theatre Festival, which English Professor Lynda Hart developed and produced last year, has become a student-run enterprise, according to Goodman. She added that the festival, which will take place in February, has drawn 45 student volunteers this semester. "There are a lot of really intelligent women on this campus who are highly motivated and who want to put that motivation into a festival," the director said. "All these feminists are mixing their love for theater and their love for women's issues." The Women's Theatre Festival has lent its name to the production of The Laundromat, and Penn Women's Alliance and the Women's Center are helping produce the show. Goodman said she created the Spin Cycle Theater specifically for this production, but added that she will probably use the name for other productions because "it has sort of a women's connotation and it's kind of tongue-in-cheek." Third and Oak: The Laundromat opens tonight at 8 p.m. in the High Rise East Rathskellar and plays through Saturday. Tickets are $3.50, or $3 with a donation of a piece of winter clothing for the University City Hospitality Coalition.

Sororities' security concerns rising

(11/13/90 10:00am)

This fall's crime wave has intensified sorority members' already mounting concerns about the safety of chapter houses, located on two of the most dangerous areas around campus. Members say their security concerns are similar to those of all off-campus dwellers, but they notice more quickly the problems of living off-campus because all seven sorority houses are off campus. They add that they are more equipped to mobilize than other students because they already have a structure within which to work. Sisters have attempted to address safety problems through security forums during Panhellenic Council and individual chapter meetings, and by cautioning each other on safe practices when traveling at night. But sisters said last week that such measures are long-term solutions, and in the meantime members must remain on guard. Several members said they never walk alone at night anymore and a few said they do not even feel safe in a group, forcing them to take Escort Service whenever they need to be out at night. Several members living in the houses said they feel threatened even inside their houses. During the night, they said, strangers have climbed their fire escapes, looted their trash and slept on their front doorsteps. "We don't know what to do anymore," Panhel President Anita Hsueh said. Phi Sigma Sigma, located on the 4000 block of Walnut, has put bars on its first-story windows, and like most chapter houses, has multiple bolts on all its doors. Few members of Delta Delta Delta, on the 4000 block of Spruce, will park their cars in the lot behind the house. On the high-crime block, Tri-Delt officers provide information for members who want to buy mace. Tri-Delt President Laura Lazarus said that the University owes sororities a secure environment since they do not have an area as safe as Locust Walk. "If they are not going to put us on campus, it's their duty to protect us where we are," Lazarus said. Hsueh said last week that sorority members have discussed several measures which would improve security such as increasing foot patrols and moving sorority houses together so that they were all in the same area. She added that sorority presidents voiced security concerns during their annual meeting with President Sheldon Hackney two weeks ago. Members said their sisters are vulnerable when they walk off campus for their weekly meetings. Between 700 and 900 sorority members attend nighttime chapter house meetings once a week. "Tuesday nights make me very nervous," Sigma Delta Tau President Suzanne Weiss said last week. "We will have about 100 girls walking toward our house." Many sorority members said that they encourage other members to walk in groups or to take Escort Service. But one member said walking in groups may not be safe. "Even when people walk in large groups, they can still be mugged," Tri-Delt Chaplain Farina Talbert said yesterday. And some sorority officers said that security concerns is a financial burden as well, because members hesitate to move into the houses on the fringes of campus. "We have problems filling our house," Phi Sig Sig President Jennifer Jones said Sunday. "Parents are concerned about security. We're on one of the worst blocks."

The task for participants: Save the world

(11/02/90 10:00am)

While the University and the city grapple with a new recycling program, a group of students is hoping to come up with its own solutions this weekend. Using a 70 foot by 30 foot world map, over 100 students will participate in a role playing game called "Environmental Game," in which players will try to navigate various developmental and resource issues, while preserving the environment. The game was created by the World Game Insitute several years ago to deal with political and social problems. However, according to Institute Workshop Coordinator Walt Tunnessen, the game this weekend will be the first one organized by the Insitute to look specifically at environmental problems. Normally, the Institute charges $3500 to run the workshop, but organizers of the event said this weekend that the Insitute is presenting the simulation free because of the experimental aspect of it. Students, however, will be charged to cover advertising costs. Tunnessen said that the environmental version of the game was developed because of a growing need to address the environment. "Environmental problems are a big crisis right now," he said earlier this week. "There's also a demand for it. People right now are interested in the environment." "You can talk all you want about saving the environment, but what most people don't know is how to go out and do it," he added. Organizers of the event said that both participants and the Institute can learn valuable information about the environment. PERG President Colin Yost, a College junior, said he hopes that players will realize "that environmental problems aren't insurmountable, and that there are enough resources to go around." Tickets are $2 at the gate, $1 if purchased in advance on Locust Walk. The game will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at Vance Hall.

Five-day jazz festival opens

(11/01/90 10:00am)

Festival coordinators made final plans and sold tickets and t-shirts to the room full of students, promoting the five-day series of lectures and concerts that gets fully underway today. The four students responsible for bringing jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis to campus tomorrow said last night that University interest in their organization and in jazz in general has grown tremendously in the last year. Festival chairperson Alan Stern, a College senior, said that in the first such program last year -- a Sonny Rollins concert -- a staff of six people did all the work. But this year, over 30 student volunteers are helping with the event. Travis Jackson, a festival vice-chairperson, said support from the now-defunct Penn Union Council and from the Social Planning and Events Committee helped give the festival the prestige and money it needed to attract well-known performers. "If you want to bring an artist of any caliber, you have to be willing and able to pay for it and to convince them that you're not just some fly-by-night operation," said Jackson, a College senior. Jackson added that he felt that he, Stern, and College seniors Sherry Riesner and Stephen Lapointe filled a gap in campus life when they began the jazz festival. "When I got to Penn, I really wanted something like this to be here," he said. "We found out the only way to get something done was to do it ourselves." Students said they were excited about the idea of a weekend devoted to jazz. "I think it's great," said Penn Jazz Ensemble President Lloyd Mandell, a Wharton and Engineering senior. "]Jazz[ is another culture Penn students should be exposed to." Last night's Handel's Mug event included performances by the a cappella group Penny Loafers and by pianist Adam Glazer, a College junior. It was also the opening of an exhibit of photographs by bass player Milt Hinton, who photographed his friends and colleagues in the jazz industry, including such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie. The photographs will remain on exhibit in Houston Hall Bowl Room through the weekend. Some of the upcoming festival events include: ·Performances by local high school jazz ensembles, noon today and 11 a.m. tomorrow, in Bodek Lounge. ·A lecture by conductor Gunther Schuller, "Is Jazz America's Classical Music?", 3 p.m. today in Bodek Lounge. ·A panel discussion and debate on "The Impact of Commercialism on the Jazz Composer and Performer," tonight at 8 p.m. in Bodek Lounge. ·A lecture on jazz criticism, noon tomorrow in the Ben Franklin Room of Houston Hall. ·A speech by saxophonist Branford Marsalis, at 4 p.m. tomorrow in Bodek Lounge. ·A concert featuring the Branford Marsalis Quartet, 8 p.m. tomorrow at Irvine Auditorium. ·A jam session with University musicians, at 1 p.m. Saturday in Bodek Lounge. ·A jamboree featuring Counterparts, the Penn Jazz Ensemble and Penn Dixie, at 9 p.m. Saturday in Bodek Lounge. ·Philly Phinale concert spotlighting Philadelphia jazz bands at 8 p.m. Sunday in Bodek Lounge.

3 local bars not allowed to sell liquor

(11/01/90 10:00am)

The liquor licenses of three popular local restaurants expired last night, making it illegal for the establishments to serve alcoholic beverages. Pinkham said the bar owners have already appealed the LCB's decision, but that none of the appeal dates have been set. High Rise and Kelly and Cohen will remain open, but Backstreet owner Mark Wright said last night that he is not sure if his restaurant will reopen today. Wright said he plans to consult his attorney before deciding if it will be worth it for him to remain open without a liquor license. "[My business] is about 50/50 food and alcohol," he said. "Right now it is up in the air." Until the LCB hears the appeals, the three restaurants can apply to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania for a stay, which would allow them to serve alcoholic beverages until their re-hearing. But according to LCB records, none of the owners have applied for stays. If the restaurants serve alcohol without licenses, they receive a citation and risk what Pinkham called "serious" fines. High Rise and Kelly and Cohen owners were not available for comment last night. Pinkham said that the restaurant owners showed a "blatant disregard" for the law by continuing to serve minors even after being fined several times in the past by the LCB. Backstreet was cited four times in the past two years for serving minors and received a seven-day suspension last year, Pinkham said. High Rise was cited four times this year alone for serving minors, she said. For the first offense the restaurant received a $1750 fine, for the second a $1000 fine, and for the third a $1200 fine and three-day suspension of the liquor license. The fourth citation has not been adjudicated. Kelly and Cohen was fined $1200 in 1989 for serving 16 minors and received a two-day suspension earlier this year for serving five minors, Pinkham said. Although the bars have filed for appeals, Pinkham said that in the past, only a few appeals have been successful. The bars must first appeal to the LCB, asking the board to reconsider its original deicision. Pinkham said the restaurant owners must show reasons "why they should be open." The LCB can either uphold or reverse its previous decision to not renew the licenses. If the LCB rejects the appeal, the next appeal is made to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. From there an appeal goes through the Pennsylvania courts, if the higher courts are willing to hear the cases.

Youth arrested for attempted theft

(10/31/90 10:00am)

University Police detained eight local youths and arrested one in two separate on-campus incidents last night. In the first incident, which occured at about 6:30 p.m., a University student noticed someone attempting to steal her backpack in the Chemistry building. The student yelled for the person to stop and called for help, according to University Police Lieutenant Jerry Leddy. The youth dropped the backpack and fled the scene, Leddy said. The second, unrelated incident occurred on Superblock at about 7:30 last night when several juveniles were seen throwing eggs at University students. High Rise East desk worker Donna Smith said she called University Police after a group of about eight to 10 youths chased another youth into the high rise lobby, where the youth asked security personnel for help. When police arrived on the scene, the youths were no longer inside the building and couldn't be linked to the egg-throwing incident. "We didn't have anything on them," Leddy said. "It was too early to arrest them for curfew, so they were released."

Israeli writer speaks on Holocaust

(10/31/90 10:00am)

Recounting his personal experiences from the Holocaust, Israeli writer Aharon Applefield intrigued nearly 100 students with anecdotes about his ordeals at a speech Monday night. Applefield, a prolific Jewish author, detailed his assimilated upbringing in the Austro-Hungarian Empire explaining how the Holocaust affected his life. "The sudden Holocaust thrust us into the depths of suffering," Applefield said. He said that the pain of the Holocaust was harshest for assimilated Jews in Europe citing not only physical torture, but destruction of their beliefs. Two years after the Russians liberated Eastern Europe from Nazi control, Applefield emigrated to Israel where he and his peers tried to ignore their experiences. Applefield said that he sees many similarities between pre-Holocaust European Jewry and current American Jewry. "History is repeating itself in such a banal way," he said. "But let's hope it repeats in a good form." Applefield said that today the Jewish soul no longer exists, which he called a "vicious victory for Hitler." The author added that he always had a desire to express his feelings so he turned to literature, "to open the darkness and callousness in me . . . to say something of my experience." After the speech Chaim Potok, a Jewish writer and Philadelphia resident, said that "there is a tendency on the part of Israelis to see the American world in black and white." Despite his difference of opinion, Potok said that he found Applefield's narration "very profound and moving". College and Wharton junior Rachel Schuldiner, who organized the speech, said that she also found the speech moving but said that Applefield "hedged a lot of questions."

U. will increase security after students complain

(10/31/90 10:00am)

In response to student outcry, several University departments are planning changes in order to better protect students against crime. After students complained last week about several serious crimes near campus this semester, the University Council's Safety and Security Committee met several times to find ways to "quell what seems to be a rising tide of fear in the student community," a statement released yesterday said. According to the announcement, the Department of Transportation and Parking, Physical Plant and University Police -- all of which have representatives on the committee -- agreed to provide students with additional ways to travel safely on and around campus and to take several other steps to improve security services. Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape Coordinator Erica Strohl, whose organization called for changes late last week, said she was impressed with the committee's quick action. The changes, which will take effect the week of November 12, include: ·Adding regular Escort Service stops at Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall and Van Pelt Library several times every night. The times of these stops will be announced. Regular Escort Service will continue as usual. ·Changing the University Police phone number. The committee decided the current number, 898-7333, is too difficult to remember in an emergency and chose to replace it. The new number will be announced and in place shortly. Committee Co-Chairperson Jeffrey Jacobson said the committee will not publicize the number until it is working so that people do not mistakenly call it before it is working. ·Installing new lighting in several areas on University property. The committee identified several areas where lighting is insufficient. The University will install lights on its property and pressure the city and local landowners to do the same on their property. ·Publicizing existing programs better. In the committee's news release, for example, it reminded students that off-campus residents can have a free safety check at their house by calling the Office of Off-Campus Living. The committee will also distribute PennBus schedules. Jacobson, a College junior, said the changes will mean only a small increase in security spending and are mostly a reallocation of existing resources. All of the new and current University programs will be advertised and outlined in detail over the next two weeks. Jacobson said University officials are still working out final details for the changes but should be ready to implement the programs by November 12. The changes come in direct response to student outcry following an October 19 robbery during which a University student was run over by a van. "We understand that people are more afraid now than they were before," Jacobson said, adding that the planned changes are designed to show students that the University is willing to take steps to cut down on crime. University Police Captain John Richardson said he has begun to notice a "fear of crime that is pervading the campus." He said serious incidents shock students into a beneficial awareness of crime, which compels them to take precautions. But he said some students panic. "For people to walk the streets and the campus in fear is certainly not healthy," Richardson said. "We want to reduce the panic we are experiencing at this time. We want to reduce the fear." The announced changes fall short of STAAR's request for University Police to escort students around campus at night, but Jacobson said this is still a possibility. STAAR had asked for the police escort to supplement existing riding and walking escort programs, but committee members felt this was not necessary or practical, Jacobson said. He said a small number of officers may walk students around campus after midnight, when the walking escort program ends. But, he said, police are reluctant to become the primary escort service for students. Police officials will meet with student leaders to discuss how they deploy their officers and to find out where students think they are needed most, Richardson said. Richardson said he and University Police Director John Logan will meet with new Commissioner John Kuprevich when he returns to campus Monday. "We'll decide what we can implement," Richardson said. "I don't have a problem with it [the plan.] I think we're heading in the right direction." STAAR coordinator Strohl said the changes are only a "stop-gap" measure but are the best the University can do in the short-term. "I think that they're going to make people feel a little calmer," Strohl said. "Once people calm down we can look a little farther ahead." Strohl said the administration must make an effort to improve relations with the West Philadelphia community. Until that happens, she said the crime problem will never be significantly reduced. Jacobson said the make-up of the committee was behind the group's ability to act quickly. Although it is technically an advisory committee to University Council, its members include several University department heads. Whereas most committees are made up of students and faculty and have only authority to advise, many members of this committee are in the position to make decisions on their own. Jacobson said, however, that Senior Vice President Marna Whittington approved all the decisions, adding that President Sheldon Hackney did not play a major role in the discussion. Jacobson said he considers the quick changes an example of the willingness on the part of University officials to meet students' needs. He said students must take the responsibility of helping to make the new systems work. He said students should make a concerted effort to catch scheduled shuttle rides and not call for escorts between stops, to schedule off-campus safety checks and to memorize the new police phone number.

1989 witnessed crime upsurge at U.

(10/30/90 10:00am)

The total number of on-campus crimes reported to University Police last year rose by more than 100 incidents over 1988, reversing the previous year's decline in reports. But University Police spokesperson Sylvia Canada emphasized yesterday that the bulk of the increase was in theft of unattended valuables, which rose from 1203 to 1313 incidents, pushing the overall total to 1721. Canada also noted that the categories with the highest number of reports -- theft, burglary, vandalism and car theft -- were not crimes against people. The statistics were part of a University study published earlier this month which lists all campus crimes reported to University Police over the last three years. Senior Vice President Marna Whittington said last night that although the rise in non-violent crimes is of concern to the University, crimes against people are the administration's primary concern. Whittington said the report is published and released to the University community both because it is mandated by state law and because "we're trying really hard to let people know what's going on." According to the report, which is published annually, over 62 percent of last year's 1721 reported crimes were thefts. The report also states that there were 185 vandalism incidents, 125 burglaries and 36 car thefts in 1989. Only four aggravated assaults and no murders, rapes, attempted rapes or arsons were reported to the department. An aide to State Senator Chaka Fattah, whose district includes the University, said she did not know what schools must do to comply with the law's requirement of informing students and employees of the statistics. According to a report released by the state this summer, the University tallied the second highest number of crimes on any Pennsylvania college campus, ranking below only Pennsylvania State University. The University's study includes reports made only to University Police and does not include incidents reported only to the Philadelphia Police.