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FOCUS: Students' fear of crime rises after recent events

(10/29/90 10:00am)

Ray Ramos wants to buy a gun. Over the last 18 months, the Wharton senior's off-campus house has been burglarized three times. The last time, one of his female housemates was stuck in the house alone with the robber. "It's scary when you think you might have to confront a burglar sometime in your apartment," he said. "I wouldn't want to walk out of my room and find somebody there and be at their mercy." "It's pushed me to the point that I feel in order to feel safe at home I need a gun in case something happens. I hate thinking that that's what it has to come down to but that's how I feel." One of Ramos' housemates, College senior Adam Pines, said he has felt West Philadelphia's crime problem in many other ways. One of his friends was robbed at gunpoint at 41st and Pine streets. Another of his friends, upset that his apartment was robbed, just bought a $700 Beretta handgun. "It's pretty immediate," he said. "I think it's gotten a whole lot worse in the last couple of years, especially in the last year." ' Ramos and Pines are part of a growing number of students who no longer feel safe going about their daily life. Dozens of students are victims of crime each year. Countless others have adjusted their lives to protect themselves. And several seniors said this week they feel crime is as much, if not more, of a threat than it was during their violent freshman year. They said several highly-publicized incidents three years ago -- including a near-fatal stabbing of a student and the murder of a local youth outside of the McDonald's Restaurant at 40th and Walnut streets -- shocked them into changing their habits. After a two-year lull, many students said they think the University has been hit with more violent crime than ever this fall. This semester, no fewer than 15 armed or strongarm robberies have occurred. And a robbery 10 days ago in which a student was seriously injured has brought crime to the forefront of discussion. "This has gotten everybody talking," said College junior Jeffery Jacobson, a resident advisor in the Quadrangle and the co-chairperson of University Council's Safety and Security Committee. "I think this case has really sobered some people up. I think it's really a shame that it took this kind of case to make that happen." Engineering senior Kathy Magliochetti said the concern about crime she developed as a freshman is re-awkening. "Those [incidents] were kind of eye-opening for freshmen," she said. "Now it's back to a height where it's very scary to go out." · According to University Police statistics -- which do not include all crime involving students -- on-campus and off-campus crime has remained constant over the last three years. But some students say they perceive that the crimes have become more violent. Jacobson said it seems students are more likely to be hurt in crimes now than a few years ago. "There seem to be more reports of injuries than there were," he said. "The criminals have gotten more brazen." Pines said crimes no longer follow a predictable pattern. Pointing to the break-in at his house, he said location or time of day no longer seem to have any bearing on how crimes occur. "They've lost their shame," he said. "That they'd break into an apartment while people are home is pretty amazing to me." And Ramos, who said he is from a "bad neighborhood" in East Los Angeles, said he did not expect West Philadelphia to have the same crime problems as Los Angeles. Instead he found that the problem was worse. Other students said they were not prepared for the crime problems they faced upon arriving on campus. Only those students who come from urban areas or Philadelphia suburbs said they knew what they were getting into. While most students did not explicitly criticize University officials' response to crime, they said current measures are not sufficient. · Students differ in how they deal with the crime threat. A small handful dismiss the problem and do not let it affect their lives. Most students seem to adopt basic common sense principles, like not walking alone at night, but do not let it become a constant worry. Some, like Ramos, consider more drastic measures. Freshmen Paul Gait and Steven Marks fall into the first category. "I don't think it [the crime problem] is bad at all," said Marks, who is in the College. "Sometimes it's blown out of proportion. I'm pretty safe." "It's pretty overrated," Gait added. "I don't think it's bad unless you do something pretty stupid." But Gait and Marks are exceptions. Most freshmen, as well as upperclass students, say crime is a major threat. College freshman Marie Levine said the October 19 robbery, in which two men in a van grabbed the student's bag, dragged her 30 feet and ran over her, was a shock and has made her concerned she might become a victim. "I've never thought in that manner before but you have to," she said. College senior Virginia Young is living off-campus this year for the first time, about a block away from the site of the incident. Until recent weeks, she said, crime was not a major concern. Now it is. "In the future I imagine I'll be a lot more careful about walking home at night, even at eight or nine o'clock," she said. Young said in light of recent crimes, she has decided to buy mace. College freshman Holly Strutt keeps mace in her backpack. She said she was embarassed when her father suggested carrying it, but after being on campus for two months is grateful for the protection. And Friday two students, after perceiving an increased student concern about crime, sold a new mace-like weapon called CAPSTUN on Locust Walk. Wharton juniors Brian Butler and Marek Gootman sold about 25 to 30 of the two-ounce, chemical spray weapons as part of the Wharton Entrepeneurial Club. Butler said he read about it in a magazine and ordered one for himself to protect himself. When he read more about it, he decided to sell them on campus. He said several sororities have expressed interest in making large purchases. "There's definitely a need for some kind of deterrent," he said. "It's something to make you feel a little safer when you walk to WaWa." University Police spokesperson Sylvia Canada said police do not recommend buying weapons. She said students should just report crimes or suspicious activity and let police handle it. · Students say they see a big difference in crime once they cross 40th Street. "It doesn't bother me in any way to walk on campus," said Engineering junior Kaan Erenler. "But, past 40th Street, forget it." The addition of 31 new police officers over the past year, Canada said, has made the area within campus borders relatively safe. Jacobson agreed. "So long as you're within the radius of 34th Street to 40th Street, Walnut to Spruce, the safety is far better than it was," he said. "I look over my shoulder, but I don't have any trepidations about making the trip." And students living in the dormitories said they have few, if any, concerns about their safety inside the buildings. In 1985, University officials dramatically increased residential security after the murder of a graduate student during Thanksgiving break and the report of a rape in the Quadrangle. Some students say they hesitate to move off campus -- and their parents discourage them to -- because of concerns over crime. · Jacobson and University Police officials say students can significantly reduce crime risk. Jacobson said students are much less likely to be victims if they walk in groups, cut down on walking at night and do not antagonize others. He also said students should not hesitate to use services like PennBus or Escort Service. A few years ago, many male students said they felt uncomfortable or embarassed to use the service. Now, several male students said they use the service regularly. "Worrying about crime is not a macho thing," Jacobson said. "If someone puts a gun in your face it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. That person has control over whether you live or die. Walking through campus is not a test of masculinity -- it's a test of intelligence." Student use of University ride services has grown "drastically," according to Steve Carey, assistant director of transportation and parking. Carey said Escort Service serves nearly as many riders in a single month as it used to serve in a year. In the 1985-86 school year, Escort Service provided 13,350 rides. This figure jumped to 23,870 in 1986-87; to 24,722 in 87-88; to 41,244 the next year; and to 78,466 in '89-90. The service has provided almost 9000 escorts this month alone. Ridership of PennBus, which has routes in West Philadelphia and to Center City, has also increased, rising from 37,460 rides in 1987-88 to 69,188 in 1989-90. Carey said Escort has succeeded in decreasing the time students wait for the service, and tried to meet growing demand by adding a new van this year. In 1985-86, he said, about five percent of students had to wait over 30 minutes for a ride. This figure has now dropped under two percent, he said. Still, some students said they do not call Escort because they do not want to wait. Several students say they only use the service in extreme situations -- like when they are alone off-campus. Canada said students can take an active role in preventing crimes by immediately reporting suspicious activity to police. She said she believes students are reporting crime more often and more quickly than they used to, indicating more genuine concern for safety throughout the community. "When you have people actively coming into the department and reporting things, that's a good gauge," she said. "We have students coming in, pointing out suspects and going to court."

Student will win jeep

(10/23/90 9:00am)

Most undergraduates will come to Friday's Homecoming festivities on foot, but one lucky student may ride back home in a new Jeep. Undergraduates can enter to win the Jeep by filling out a raffle ticket outside the Book Store. The winner will be announced at the Homecoming picnic on Hill Field Friday afternoon. Social Planning and Events Committee Chairperson Varsha Rao said this week that the giveaway is the "icing on the cake" that will draw students to homecoming events, which include a 22-float parade, a picnic and performances by campus groups. Scott said that he expects students to be excited about the Jeep, which he estimated costs about $11,600. "No question that this is a young person's vehicle," Scott said last night. "It is the kind of vehicle that you can have a lot of fun with."

Hotel manager is one of two of a kind

(10/22/90 9:00am)

If you called Marcia Rafig unique, you would almost be right. "In most cities you can count the number of women [who are hotel managers] on one hand," said Rafig, a Philadelphia native, who became general manager when the University purchased Penn Tower Hotel in 1987. She supervises the running of the entire hotel, overseeing a staff of 200. Previously she had been head of the Class of 1920 Dining Commons. Rafig attended Widener College and Philadelphia Community College. She said that it was not hard to find role models when she came to the University. "I was lucky," she said. "I had Helen O'Bannon, a senior vice president, as a mentor." She also cited Vice President for Human Resources Barbara Butterfield, Senior Vice President Marna Whittington and Assistant Provost and Assistant to the President Valerie Cade as women who influenced her. "It's impossible to feel inferior or passive when you're surrounded by women like that," Rafig said. Joann Mitchell, director of the University's Office of Affirmative Action, said that men have traditionally dominated the hotel management field. "It's taken quite a long time for people to break through the barriers," Mitchell said. "Penn can be proud that they nurtured her." And Rafig serves as a role model herself. She informally advises more than 40 hotel and management students from schools throughout the country. Three times each year, she goes to Cornell University to speak to students at the hotel management school. "I always liked young people, I liked helping people," she said. "When I was in school I didn't have anyone and I had to fend for myself." Rafig often invites students from area schools to the hotel for career days. The students range in age from kindergarteners to college level. "I'm a working mother, most of these kids have mothers who work," Rafig said. "When they see me on the job they can . . . understand that it's okay to have a mom who works, that you can have a home, a career, and a family and still be okay." The career days also give minority children a positive role model. "Marcia shows them that they don't just have to work behind the front desk or as a maid or a porter," Mitchell said. "They can be the one in charge, the one calling the shots." "In upper management there aren't a lot of minorities," said Rafig. "When they see me they can say 'if she can do it, I can do it too'." Rafig got her start in hotel management through her family -- her parents were cooks and caterers. She worked at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, distributing food trays to patients. She then spent several years living in Ghana, working for the United States Information Service as an adviser for students who wanted to study in the U.S. "After I came back my husband said 'why don't you do something for yourself?' " said Rafig. "At first I looked into nutrition but I realized what I was really interested in was the management side. So I went back to school and got my degree."

Grad sports a return to campus

(10/19/90 9:00am)

A recent Wharton graduate has returned to Philadelphia in order to "give something back" to the University campus in the form of sporting goods store geared specifically toward its students. As a tennis player during his undergraduate days, 1988 graduate Watson Brown said he thought the area around campus lacked a sporting goods store that sold the equipment he needed. His store, the Athletic Department, will specialize in tennis racket restringing and t-shirt silk-screening, and will also sell sports apparel and footwear. Brown said he hopes that if his store is successful, more area retailers will focus on the students, and expand the University community. A slide show showing University students in action on the court and the field will run against the back wall. Brown said he looked into many state grants to finance the store. He was able to get a state Minority Business Development Authority Grant, but in order to qualify, he had to have already raised 25 percent of the money and have selected a location. Brown got the initial 25 percent from the West Philadelphia Project, an organization funded by 1979 Wharton Graduate Michael Milken. Brown said the store will have an urban motif and a staff that is knowlegeable about the merchandise. "In today's active society, we are dealing with an educated consumer who knows what he is buying," said Manager Rob Gardner. The store's Grand Opening is slated for a week before Thanksgiving, although it may open in late October.

U. will advance city gov't $10 million in wage taxes

(10/18/90 9:00am)

The University will advance about $10 million in taxes to the city of Philadelphia, joining several other institutions in a group effort to help the city weather its cash flow crisis. The $10 million, which will be paid in one lump sum from cash reserves, is the amount of wage taxes that the University would owe to the city through next June. The University is the city's largest private employer. University Treasurer Scott Lederman said that the $10 million will not be taken from another project, and that prepaying the money will not force officials to manipulate the University's budget. He stressed that the prepayment will not affect students' tuition. "We are very careful about those things," Lederman said. "We have a focus from the Trustees on down to keep the rate of tuition very low." Lederman said that the University pays the city $1.25 million in wage taxes in several payments throughout the year. But the University stands to lose several months of interest income that it would have earned on the $10 million. Lederman did not give an exact figure, and said that the University will not seek a tax discount to make up for the lost interest. Philadelphia Electric spokesperson Bill Jones said that the utility agreed to prepay $8 million in wage and property taxes, forgoing about $300,000 in interest. "We feel that it's incumbent upon business to assist the city in any way we can," Jones said. Assistant to the President William Epstein said that it was PE that proposed the idea to President Sheldon Hackney early last week. The move is a "small price to pay" to give city leaders time to find a solution to the city's cash flow problems, Epstein said. He added that it is important that the city's business community make a statement that the Philadelphia economy is basically sound. Treasurer Lederman said that the University wanted to join other institutions in helping the city through its tough financial times. "We don't make decisions like this very lightly, and Philadelphia is obviously very important to the University," Lederman said. Philip Terranova, Drexel's assistant vice president for public relations, said that his school will prepay $650,000 in taxes. "We live in this city and have a stake in it like everyone else," Terranova said. Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science will also contribute. Philadelphia Revenue Commissioner Cheryl Weiss said yesterday that the city has not received money from the prepayments yet, but that her office is working with participating institutions in arranging proper crediting of their accounts. In addition to the large employers, about 100 private citizens have inquired about how to prepay their taxes, Weiss said. She stressed that people should not mail in prepayments without consulting the city's Revenue Department. City Council member George Burrell said that the prepayment demonstrates to potential investors in the city that Philadelphians are willing to work through the crisis. The city failed in an effort to sell $375 million in notes last month. Other institutions prepaying taxes include Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Conrail, the Meritor Bank, The Resources for Human Development Inc., Rohm and Haas Company and the Tasty Baking Company. Helen Jung and Brent Mitchell contributed to this story.

State senate candidate talks about heated 4th district race

(10/12/90 9:00am)

The Democratic candidate in one of this season's hottest state senate races spoke Wednesday about her campaign platform, which focuses largely on women's and children's issues, and about women in politics. In her speech at the Law School, Allyson Schwartz, who is in the midst of a campaign for the fourth district seat against Republican incumbent Joseph Rocks, described herself as "aggressive and tough, which isn't the same as nasty and mean." "As a woman and a newcomer, I was underestimated in the primary," she said. "No one expected us to out-organize my opponents." Schwartz garnered 50 percent of the Democratic vote in the May primary. Her 45-minute talk centered mostly around her platform, which focuses on such issues as Head Start programs, drug education and abortion rights. Unlike many politicians, Schwartz's background is in health and social services rather than law. When questioned about her opponent's campaign strategy, which she said focuses on the fact that she is a pro-choice woman from New York, Schwartz replied that she "blasts Joe Rocks whenever they are together." Schwartz laughed when she was asked about the resources she draws on for the race. "You have to have a lot of guts, an emotional support system, and the willingness to ask people for money," she said. The crowd seemed to warm to Schwartz's enthusiasm. "She seems geniune and sincere, and it's refreshing to see a young woman involved in politics on a state level," said Lauren Liss, a second-year law student. Meryl Icove, also a second-year law student, said it was "rare" that a candidate would speak so honestly about her platform.

Nursing School program guarantees jobs to grads

(10/09/90 9:00am)

Myrna Buiser's reason for entering the Nursing School's new Hospital Nurse Scholars Program was simple. "I knew that once I graduated I'd have a job waiting for me with a good salary," she said. Buiser, a freshman, is a participant in a new program between her school and Graduate Hospital in Center City -- a program which guarantees her a job at the hospital after graduation, and guarantees the hospital a supply of much-needed nurses. Graduate Hospital has pledged to pay 60 percent tuition for each student in the program -- eight will be selected each year for the next four years -- on the condition that they work there for two years following graduation. The project involves a $1.4 million commitment from the Graduate Hospital, and a sizeable time commitment from the staff of the school to put it together. In fact, some Nursing School administrators said they were surprised that the project started as quickly as it did. "Our plan was not to start this year," said Claire Fagin, dean of the Nursing School. "But Graduate wanted it." Fagin was the architect of the program, which she began to develop after learning about a similar project at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "I thought [the Case Western program] would wipe out our freshman class," she said. "I had to have the same program here. I had to." Fagin met with several local hospital presidents and began negotiations. Fagin said that the University's program will be more applicable to other nursing schools than Case Western's. Case Western did not have a nursing program until Cleveland hospitals, in desperate need of nurses, asked officials to start one. All students in that nursing program receive tuition supplements. "I think ours is actually a model," Fagin said. Students were selected for the program after they were admitted to the University, and through a separate application. "It was leadership, background in health care, and academic qualifications," said Elizabeth Roach, assistant director for admissions for the school. "A willingness to pursue the next six years in Philadelphia" was also critical. Officials and students said the program benefits participants on both sides. "It will provide financial aid for undergraduate students and it will increase our applicant pools," said Director of Development and Alumni Relations Bonnie Devlin. "It helps us deal with the high cost of tuition in a creative way," she said. But there are other benefits besides the obvious financial advantages. "The students will begin to feel very desired by the world and these institutions," Fagin said, referring to the hospitals in which they are placed. Elizabeth Montgomery, a freshman, said she was excited about both the program and the commitment after graduation. "Because Grad is a very good hospital, it seems like a very good thing not to pass up," she said. Carol Hutelmyer, Health System vice president for patient services at Graduate Hospital, said that the hospital will also benefit. "When we considered our recruitment needs and compared them to the supply of nurses that will be available in the future, we decided to lock in," she said.

Latino high schoolers get glimpse at U.

(10/08/90 9:00am)

The first-annual Latino Recruitment Program last year changed Evelyn Lafontaine's life. "It was the first Latino recruitment conference that made all the difference from all the other colleges," Lafontaine said. "It's why I came here." The second conference, held this weekend, attracted about 35 high school juniors and seniors from around the country. The event was sponsored by the University Admissions Office and two Latino student groups. The weekend consists of informational and social events designed to give Latino visitors an all-around view of the University. The prospective applicants, who stayed with current Latino students, attended panel discussions, a dance and a Puerto Rican dinner. In addition, the program was aimed at exposing the students to their own culture on campus, said College sophomore Elizabeth Cedillo, who helped organize this year's conference. "They're starting to see that they can make it here, and that is the point of the program," Cedillo said. The number of Latino students in this year's freshman class rose to 117 from 100 last year. Cedillo said some of those students attended the recruitment program, but admissions officials are unsure of the exact number. Several program participants said the weekend's conference convinced them to apply here, adding that they saw aspects of the University by which they were pleasantly surprised. Many also said they plan to attend if accepted. And Karen Velazquez, a senior from New York, said she enjoyed the program because "it made me feel proud to be a Latino student." She added that the University is her "dream school" and said the student hosts made her realize that Latinos on campus have a very close-knit community. Velazquez said that the program reversed ideas about the University which high school advisers give to Latino students. She said that counselors discourage her and other participants from applying here because "they think we can't make the grade here."

UTV alters policy after program

(10/08/90 9:00am)

University Television officials will put stricter controls on what goes over the air and what goes on in the studio after controversy over what the station termed a "blatantly offensive" talk show. Officials Friday changed station policy to ban alcohol in the studio and proposed to give the UTV program director power to pull the plug in the middle of a live show, Production Manager Kirk Marcolina said last night. Taped shows would have to be viewed by the production director in advance. The executive committee canceled the program and fired the producers and hosts of the program -- College senior Richard Rothstein and Wharton senior Vincent Fumo -- because of their behavior on the show. During the 45-minute premiere, shown last Tuesday, Rothstein and Fumo discussed oral sex in graphic detail, displayed both male and female centerfolds from Playgirl and D-Cup magazines, and called first-year women whose pictures appeared in the Freshmen Record. During the show, Fumo and Rothstein each downed numerous shots of tequila. UTV said they fired the two because they could have damaged UTV's equipment. The alcohol ban in the studio became effective immediately after Friday's board meeting. At the meeting Friday, the board proposed that the program director sit in on all live shows and terminate broadcasts if he or she deems it necessary. Criticism of the show intensified after the publication of a partial transcript in a Friday Daily Pennsylvanian editorial. Because UTV can be seen only in Superblock dormitories, many students were not familiar with the show's content until they read the DP account. Several students said last night that the show was shocking and offensive. "I thought it was definitely in poor taste and the humor was pathetic," College sophomore Elana Horden, who viewed the show, said last night. "The other [UTV] shows were pretty disgusting also, but this one was unbelievably disgusting." Some students said last night that although Rothstein and Fumo had a right to express their opinions, they should not have said them on the air. "You can't step on other peoples' rights in order to get a joke out of it," College freshman Dana Lynch said. "They have a right to say it, but they shouldn't do it publicly." Associate Communications Professor Carolyn Marvin, who teaches a course on freedom of expression, said last night that while the printed transcripts she read were were offensive, UTV's right to broadcast the show should be questioned only if the DP's right to publish the transcript is also questioned. "I think the DP did a service by printing a portion of the transcript so that the campus could discuss it," Marvin said. "But if we were to say that UTV could not broadcast that portion, we would also have to say that the DP could not print it." Pig Penn has received media coverage in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania due in part to the fact that Fumo is the son of State Senator Vincent Fumo (D-Phila.) Matthew Hilk contributed to this story.

3 local bars' liquor licenses not renewed

(10/05/90 9:00am)

All three of the popular campus restaurants will remain open to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages, and the owners of Backstreet and Kelly and Cohen said they will appeal the decision. The owner of High Rise said that he would probably not file an appeal. LCB spokesperson Donna Pinkham said that the appeal process could be as brief as one week, but said that in the past, only a few appeals have been successful. The current liquor licenses do not expire until October 31. Pinkham said that sale to minors was the main reason why the bars' licenses were not renewed. She said that in the past two years, each of the three establishments has been cited and fined two or three times for between $300 and $1250, and has had its license suspended, for serving minors. "When [LCB members] see evidence of blatant disregard for the law, you're putting your license in jeopardy," Pinkham said. In all, 21 licenses were not renewed at the LCB's twice-monthly meeting Wednesday, she said. The owner of High Rise Restaurant, who gave his name only as Pano, said that he does not need the liquor license and may "let it go." He said he is happy with his food business. Kelly and Cohen owner Vinesh Vyas said yesterday that he was confident he would regain his license on appeal. He said, however, that he has tried to deemphasize the restaurant's liquor business. He said employees now check identification more closely and the establishment closes at 10 p.m. "The aggravation was just not worth it," Vyas said. He said that both Kelly and Cohen and Poor Richard's Deli, which he also owns, will remain open to sell food even if he does not win the appeal. Backstreet Cafe owner Mark Wright also said that he will appeal, but added that future plans are "up in the air." Backstreet will remain open regardless of the result of the appeal, he said. College junior Jeffrey Jacobson, co-chairperson of the University Council's safety and security committee, said that the combination of the non-renewal, the new fraternity BYOB policy and the University's strict alcohol policy may "push campus drinking further west." Jacobson said that travel back to campus from off-campus bars and parties poses problems, since intoxicated students are less able to recognize dangerous situations and are easier targets for crime. Jacobson said that the Council's safety and security committee is discussing the role alcohol plays in crimes. Smokey Joe's Tavern, along with High Rise, was on a list of "nuisance" bars submitted to the LCB by state police over the summer. Smoke's license was renewed. "There isn't any bar in a college area that isn't vulnerable, because there's so many underage people directly across the street from you who don't obey the law," said Paul Ryan, the owner of Smoke's.

Little Boy Blue plays horn at U.

(10/05/90 9:00am)

At the age of 12, Stuart Ambrose has done it all. He has traveled around the world and seen both glasnost and the intifada first-hand. He's performed in nearly 200 concerts in places from former West Berlin to the Western Wall. Encouraged by his brother, College sophomore Michael Ambrose and a friend, Stuart, a seventh grader at the Haverford School, began playing trumpet in the band at the beginning of the semester. Penn Band conductor Claude White said that although the band traditionally been limited to University students, they had no objection to Stuart's addition. "He's completely at home in the group," said White. "He's a very mature person." Stuart's age did, however, present a problem when he had to fill out some paperwork for the band and he did not know what to put for his year of graduation. Some quick calculation provided the answer. "[I] put 'class of 2000,' " explained Stuart, who will graduate college 10 years from now. "It's really neat." In addition to playing the trumpet, Ambrose sings with the Philadelphia Boys' Choir. "Music is such a way to express yourself," he said. "Sometimes you want to break out singing." Although Stuart has observed some of the band's social life at the University, he said he has never tried alcohol. "My brother and my father and my mother say 'You'd better not touch it or you're dead,' " he said energetically. "I wouldn't touch it, anyway." Band members said this week that they welcome the youngest addition to their group adding that they admire his courage and dedication. "He's probably the only person in the band who goes home and practices," said Paul Luongo, a College sophomore. "His mother says she heard The Red and the Blue continuously for eight days." But Stuart, who at 5-foot, eight inches tall, towers over several other members, fits in well with the band. "He's taller than half the flute section," added Luongo, who first suggested that Stuart join the band. "Most people don't even know [Ambrose's age]," said Band President Michael Brose. "They just think he's a freshman." Ambrose said he hopes to continue playing with the band. "To think, if I like it, and if I go to Penn, I could be in it for nine years," he exclaimed. If he does attend the University -- which he said he would like to do -- Ambrose will be well prepared to handle several issues, such as diversity, that currently face the campus. He said his trip with the Boys' Choir to the Soviet Union, for instance, taught him that people around the world have common interests. "The people were nice," he mused. "They're just like us. They just don't have all the things we do." But despite warm receptions he's around the world, he was still surprised at the kindness of other band members. "You'd think that they wouldn't pay any attention, but they've been really nice," said Ambrose. "They listen to my questions."

Penn Band makes a play for the Castle

(10/04/90 9:00am)

Band executive board members have said they hope to occupy the former Psi Upsilon house at 36th and Locust streets when it becomes available in January. They insist their group will bring diversity to the center of campus. "If they're looking to diversify the Walk, we have 150 members from every kind of human being created," band President Michael Brose said last week. President Sheldon Hackney said earlier this semester that the Castle, which has remained vacant since Psi Upsilon fraternity was kicked off campus last May, will house students by January. He later said that no Greek organization will occupy the house. This opens the Walk to students who have no other access to housing in the center of campus. Brose said the band was prompted by Hackney's statement to send a letter to Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson at the beginning of the semester, requesting that they be allowed to occupy the majestic house. VPUL Morrisson said last night she has not decided who will live in the Castle, adding that she has received letters from several student and academic organizations. She said that she has not even decided whether the house will go to an existing organization or to a mixed group of students. Band Secretary Stacey Branco said band members would benefit from living together. "I'm really close to the people I work with," said the College junior. "I wouldn't have to trek to their dorms or to the band office all the time like I do now. It would take a lot of stress off of us." Some members of the a cappella group Counterparts have also discussed the idea of housing part of the performing arts community in the Castle. Student Performing Arts Coordinator Kathryn Helene said yesterday she was not sure that any single organization should occupy the house. "I would have to say there are so many deserving groups that I couldn't go out on a limb and say my group is the most deserving," she said. Performing Arts Council President Stuart Gibbs said last night that Arts House provides sufficient living space for performers. "I don't think performing arts needs the Castle," said the College senior. "There are many more worthwhile groups."

UTV fires 2 staffers over lewd program

(10/04/90 9:00am)

University Television fired two producers and canceled a show yesterday because the program's premiere broadcast was "offensive and blatantly dehumanizing," station officials said last night. Also during the broadcast, the hosts telephoned freshmen women, whom they identified on the air, pictured in The Freshman Record. When the women answered the calls, the producers tried to set them up on dates. They also exhibited photos of nude women from D-Cup magazine and nude men from Playgirl. The UTV Executive Committee statement last night apologized for the content of the show and said that no committee members knew of the show's content before the producers aired it Tuesday night. Almost none of the executive committee watched the 45-minute when it was initially aried. After viewing the program during a special meeting last night, the board decided to fire the two producers. The producers, College senior Richard Rothstein and Wharton senior Vincent Fumo, defended the show last night, saying that people overreacted to their humor and that they ran a disclaimer at the beginning of the show to warn viewers about the program's content. Pig Penn drew criticism from viewers who said it degraded women and lacked taste. And an administrator said that officials will investigate whether the producers violated University policy on the show. Last year, Rothstein and Fumo produced another controversial show, Penn Lifestyles with Rich and Randy, which came under fire for using ethnic slurs and a stereotypical portrayal of Italians. The two refused to apologize and no disciplinary action was taken. Fumo and Rothstein criticized the board for their actions, saying that the four committee members did not listen to their side of the story and did not consider the views of those who thought the show was funny. "There's a woman who lives on my floor who left a note on my door saying she thought it was funny," Rothstein said last night. Assistant to the President William Epstein, who had not heard about the show's content, said last night that the University would investigate whether the show violated University policies. "If it's a question of University facilities being used for behavior that goes beyond what the community as a whole agrees is respectful, then there's something we'd have to look into," Epstein said. College senior Emily Nichols, who said last night that she watched the show because of a friend's prodding, called the show's content graphic, vulgar and crude. "It was just sick," Nichols said. "There was a discussion -- 'If your girlfriend won't do oral sex, what good is she anyway?' " Nichols said. While on the air, the hosts drank several shots of tequila. Nichols said that by the end of the show, one of the hosts was visibly drunk. Engineering sophomore Tom Yannone said last night that the pictures of the nude women were "degrading to women," but he only stopped watching the show when the hosts started showing pictures of nude males. "When they pulled out this Playgirl, I said, 'I gotta go. I have to do homework,' " Yannone said. "The show was kind of dragging and it was kind of stupid." He added last night that most of his friends did not see the show. "If I didn't watch 10 hours of TV a day, I wouldn't have watched it either," the Engineering sophomore said.

CPPS trying to shed corporate-only image

(09/27/90 9:00am)

Every year the University spends more than $1 million funding the Career Planning and Placement Service. Administrators justify the expenditure, saying the office is an important resource for students trying to sort through the choices facing them after graduation. But some students have long complained that CPPS does not serve the entire student population. They say it focuses too heavily on careers in business and science and does not give enough help to graduates interested in other fields. Some students also say minorities and international students do not receive enough attention. CPPS director Patricia Rose said the office is well aware of the complaints and is working to expand its offerings and to reach out to a more diverse group of students. Every student deserves first-class career planning advice and should use the office's resources, said Assistant to the Vice Provost for University Life George Koval. Among CPPS best-known services are its resume books, which companies buy, and its "slots" in which students can drop resumes in hopes of being invited to an interview with a recruiter. Michelle Dyer, a 1990 College graduate who found a job at American Management Systems through CPPS, said many of her friends never used CPPS because they were not informed of the office's other programs. "There is a large percentage of the population that they [CPPS advisors] miss somehow," Dyer said. "People think the only kinds of jobs you can get through CPPS are investment banking or consulting." Rose said the office is trying to combat its image of catering only to students interested in the corporate world. "Every year students say to us, 'Why don't you have more ad agencies ]recruiting on campus[, why don't you have more TV stations, why don't you have more social change organizations?'" Rose said. "The answer is those organizations . . . don't recruit on any campuses." But Rose said CPPS has other ways to put students in touch with employers in those types of fields. Each year, CPPS runs a not-for-profit career day when students can meet people working in not-for-profit organizations. It also has a resume book for teaching positions in private schools. And the office is working to expand job listings for fields such as publishing and communications, Rose said. "You have to network yourself into a job [for those fields]," Rose explained. "That's how most people get jobs. Most people don't just drop their resumes in little boxes and get interviews and offers. That's not what job hunting is all about." Rose said CPPS is also trying to help minority and international students who might not know about the service. "We want everyone to feel comfortable coming into this office and to leave feeling like they got what they wanted," Rose said. Rose encouraged students to voice any concerns about CPPS with any of the staffers or directly with her. The CPPS director said students who do not use the service are missing out on valuable advice and may consequently run into difficulties. "We certainly have more experience with the problems that arise than any individual student," Rose said. "Students get themselves into trouble when they're pressured to accept a job before they're ready to do so. Sometimes they meet with sexual harrassment, religious harrassment or racial harassment in the course of a job hunt." Other students who tend not to take advantage of the office, Rose said, are those who are unsure of their post-graduation plans. "By setting foot in this office, you are going down the road to the future and that's scary," Rose said. "You do not have to know what you want to do to come in here. Most of our students have very good prospects, but they need to think about it in a logical way and spend a little time investigating the opportunities the world presents. We can help them do both things, but they have to walk in the door." And Rose stressed that students who know they want to attend graduate and professional schools need to use the service, too. "You need to have a set of reccomendations on file," Rose said. "You can't expect faculty members to write 12 individual letters to 12 individual schools. It's also an insurance policy for students who have any interest in graduate or professional schools." CPPS orientations take place all year round, but anyone can walk in at any time for advice, Rose added. But the CPPS head warned that "if you wake up as a senior and its May 1, you've probably missed a lot of what we do."

Close call for Penn Band's gig at Lafayette

(09/26/90 9:00am)

But until this week, they have never been told they could not play. When travel manager Heidi Saffer made a routine call to confirm the band's appearance at this weekend's football game at Lafayette University, she was told that not only does Lafayette no longer have a band, but they had already hired a halftime act. The band had invested $500 for a bus to Lafayette and had scheduled field and music rehearsals to prepare for the game. In addition, 55 band members had agreed to perform on a weekend when the band's ranks will be thinned by the Yom Kippur holiday. And executive board members discovered that the Lafayette athletic department had already sent sideline passes for band members. As one might expect, band members were upset. "It would be unprecedented for us not to play at a Penn football game," Band Vice President Stephen Birmingham said earlier this week. "I was kind of shocked," said College junior Tom Gordon. "I figured that marching bands are enough a part of the football game that [Lafayette] would respect the fact that we have a band even though they don't." The problem was resolved when Carolyn Schlie, the University's associate director of athletics, spoke with Lafayette Dean of Students Herman Kissiah and arranged for the band to perform with the high school band that Lafayette had already hired. "It was basically a big communication problem," said executive board member Michael Brose, an Engineering senior. Ivy League bands meet yearly to discuss intercollegiate travel and performances, but since Lafayette is part of the Patriot League football conference, their band was not included.

'Walk' committee's work began at Hill House dinner table

(09/25/90 9:00am)

When cries of "Take back the Walk" overwhelmed an anti-rape rally last March, no one was more surprised than the fraternity members who had supported and co-sponsored the event. As marchers challenged the fraternity presence on Locust Walk, Greek leaders expressed dismay that the "Take Back the Night" march -- an anti-crime demonstration -- had been transformed into a political event. They and other students became confused three weeks later when President Sheldon Hackney, in a suprise move, endorsed the idea of putting non-Greeks, especially women and minorities, on the fraternity-dominated Walk. "It was completely unforeseen," Interfraternity Council President Bret Kinsella said this month. "It did not come with consultation from the people who are directly involved." But like most major social movements, "diversity on the Walk" did not spring from barren ground. Campus leaders say they had discussed the future of the Walk privately for years, and officials interviewed this month point to History Professor Drew Faust and her University Life Committee, rather than rallies and the Progresive Student Alliance, as the true catalysts of change. Last week President Hackney officially charged a committee to change the residential mix on Locust Walk, but over the past year, he and Faust have discussed the issue several times. By next month he is expected to approve her committee's final report, which will call for non-Greek housing in the residential core of campus. While some students believe that the president buckled under pressure from radical liberals or that the administration has targetted fraternities, such as Psi Upsilon, which was evicted from its Locust Walk house last May, Hackney said last week that his decision came from measured discussion. "I think Drew Faust was the most influential," the president said. "In the process of talking with her, as that committee went along, she began to make me aware of not only the importance of Locust Walk, but also the way it is seen and experienced." And Faust said her inspiration, and the beginning of the recent movement, came from five black freshmen with whom she ate dinner in Hill House in the spring of 1989. Members of the University Life Committee were eating dinner in the dormitory to talk to students about their college experiences. Faust said she expected students to complain about the low number of black faculty members, but was surprised when they mentioned Locust Walk. "They were very happy about their freshman year," Faust said. "[But] they said it was upsetting to come to this campus and see that the center campus space was dominated by white fraternities and the Wharton School, which is also primarily male and primarily white." The history professor said she had never thought about the social importance of Locust Walk, even though physical relationships are important in her academic work. She said when she returned to discuss the Walk with administrators and other faculty members, she found many of them had either been harassed walking by fraternities or wondered why women and minorities were excluded from the prime locations. "Once the issue came up, people said, 'Oh, yeah,' " Faust said. College senior Erica Strohl, a member of the president's "diversity on the Walk" committee, said students considered Locust Walk to be a problem since at least her freshman year. In fact, Assistant to the President William Epstein said a group of female undergraduates talked with Hackney about the issue early last semester. He said the president endorsed the idea last April because "the time seemed ripe." "It was something that was coming up more and more frequently as an issue," Epstein said. "Contrary to what some people believe, it was very much before the Castle [Psi Upsilon] issue." Next month as the "diversity on the Walk" committee begins its year-long study, it will continue to try to answer questions raised by five freshmen 18 months ago.

Groups toast Chilean independence

(09/24/90 9:00am)

Dancing the Cueca and munching on empanada, approximately 75 students and family members celebrated the anniversary of Chile's independence from Spain at a party held Saturday evening at the Christian Association. "Viva Chile!" said Fernando Carrizo, a 17-year-old Chilean-American from Allentown, Pa. who attended the party with his family to celebrate Chile's independence and to meet other Latin-Americans. The evening's activities were structured after a "pena," a type of coffee house that originated in Chile, where people get together to eat, sing, dance and read poetry. Both Chilean committees have been in existence since 1973, when the legally elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende, was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet. According to Vivian Schatz, a University graduate who has worked for the Penn Chile Committee since its start in 1973, this year's celebration was especially important. This is the first Chilean Independence Day celebration in 17 years without the dictatorship rule of Pinochet, who was voted out of office last year. "The Chileans can finally have a real celebration," Schatz said. Juan Figueroa, also a University graduate and member of the Penn Chile Committee, spoke during the evening celebration, detailing the historical importance of Chilean Independence Day, and introduced the evenings activities. The three-hour celebration included traditional Chilean food, music and dancing. Pia Nicolini, a Chilean-American whose recipes have been featured in the Food section of the Philadelphia Inquirer, did some of the cooking. The foods were typical of Chilean Independence Day. They included: empanada, a dish made of raisins olives and onions in a fried dough; pastel de choclo, a spicy corn and chicken pie; salad, and cake. Gill Smith, who works for the Chilean Committee for Human Rights, passed around a petition asking for the release of political prisoners in Chile. The petition will be presented to Patricio Aylwin, the president of Chile, next month at the United Nations. "Tonight is an important event to bring together activists who are concerned with human rights and Latin America," said Milagros Cisneros, a second-year graduate student at Temple University.

Security officials say that street smarts are the key to safety

(09/19/90 9:00am)

For many students, coming to West Philadelphia where crime is a constant threat can be a culture shock. Thrust into an environment where crimes occur with alarming frequency, students are forced to develop street smarts under fire. But campus crime officials say there's no need to panic. Members of the University's Safety and Security Committee and the University Police say there are several basic steps students can take to protect themselves and their friends. And College junior Jeffrey Jacobson, the Safety and Security Committee co-chairperson, said he has found that most victims of crimes in and around campus have not taken precautions. Students who use common sense, he said, are much safer. University Police Captain John Richardson said in a recent letter to the community that students and faculty must learn street wisdom along with book wisdom while at the University. "You don't have to be a victim simply because you live or work on campus," he said. "Street wisdom works on the campus just as it does beyond the boundaries of the campus." Richardson also outlined several ways students could be safer in dormitories. He advised students: · Not to prop doors open · Not to lend out their PENNcards · To lock door when sleeping and when out of their rooms · To always to escort guests in and out of building · To avoid allowing people who are not your guests to enter residence hall · To contact University Police upon receiving obscene or harassing phone calls · To report all security-related maintenance problems to residence hall staff · To be careful about leaving windows open on first-floor rooms · To attend all residence hall security programs · To report all suspicious persons in building to University Police immediately. Richardson said reporting suspicious behavior is especially important so that police will be able to respond before crime occurs. "Disinterest and complacency are the prime contributions to the success of crime," he said. "The burden of crime prevention rests not only with the University Police Department but also with each member of the Penn community. Safety is everyone's business." The police captain also said reporting crimes is crucial for future crime prevention. "University Police Officers are not omnipresent, and therefore are dependent upon you to recognize and report suspicious incidents and criminal activity," Richardson said. "Remember that unreported crimes cannot be solved. By not reporting crimes, you allow the perpetrators an opportunity to commit additional and perhaps more serious crimes." Students with security problems can call University Police by dialing 511 from any University phone. The telephone system will automatically tell police where the call is coming from. Richardson said students who live off campus can improve their safety by making an effort to be a part of their neighborhood. Introducing yourself to neighbors is a good start, he said, because neighbors will be more likely to watch out for students safety or come to the aid of a student they know.

Nursing grad student produces TV show about child testimony

(09/17/90 9:00am)

In a dark, wood-paneled courtroom, a judge sits behind his bench, observing grave proceedings. Lawyers speak in hushed tones, preparing their questions for the witness. In the midst of this somber atmosphere, a young girl approaches the bench preparing to testify, clutching her stuffed dog. This scene opens What Jennifer Knew, a one-hour documentary produced by Nursing graduate student Margaret Slusser, which addresses the controversial issue of children testifying in court. Slusser began the project as "a study in children's rights," but quickly found that this "was far too broad a topic" and decided to concentrate on children in courtrooms. "Court is an arena with adult actors, and when children have to participate in court there is minimal attention provided to this fact," said Nursing Professor Ann Burgess, Slusser's adviser. "People don't understand how to deal with children in the courtroom." Early on, Slusser realized that children are confused by the legal process. This confusion often means that "every child who goes into court faces trauma." Slusser interviewed a young boy who, when asked what a jury was, replied that "he thought his mother had some gold jewelry." She did not interview any children who had testified in court, since she did not want to "revictimize" the children. One of the difficulties with the issue of children testifying is what Slusser calls "the two-sided dilemna." Since children are often attuned to details that adults may miss, they can be extremely important witnesses. But in the intimidating environment of the courtroom, children can become confused and stumble over facts. Some child advocates have tried to combat this confusion by taping the young witnesses immediately after the incident, in a less threatening environment. Sometimes this testimony is admissable in court. But this method impinges on defendants' sixth ammendment right to face their accusers. Slusser had problems speaking to mental health researchers about their work, since many researchers had previously been approached by television programs like 20/20 and 60 Minutes and are wary of having their results misinterpreted. Slusser, a practicing nurse who is pursuing a graduate degree in mental nursing, regularly produces television shows in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Slusser is currently working on a half-hour instructional video about interviewing children in court, targeted at judges and lawyers. She plans to use what she learned from making What Jennifer Knew to teach legal professionals how to deal with young witnesses in their own courtrooms.

Connaissance plans include alumni lecture series, Vonnegut speech

(09/12/90 9:00am)

Connaissance, the organization which helped bring Spike Lee, Mario Cuomo and Louis Farrakhan to campus, will offer new programs during the coming semester which highlight distinguished alumni and international students at the University. Operating with a budget of approximately $39,000, Connaissance receives more Student Activities Council funds than any other individual student organization, said Connaissance Chairperson Emily Nichols. At least one-third of these funds are earmarked for co-sponsoring speakers with other student groups. In the past, Connaissance has sponsored speeches by former Kennedy press secretary Pierre Salinger and former Attorney General Ed Meese, and co-sponsored speeches by author Joyce Carol Oates and Martin Luther King III. This fall the group plans to bring author Kurt Vonnegut. Connaissance's new programs include an alumni lecture series, which begins next month with NBC Washington Correspondent Andrea Mitchell. The series will commemorate the University's 250th anniversary. Richard Smith, Vice Chairperson of Connaissance, said that his group wants to improve interaction between present and past students by bringing distinguished alumni to talk about their areas of expertise. The College and Wharton junior said that he wants to attract a more diverse group of speakers. "I would like to see fewer politicians and more speakers to address homelessness, drug and alchohol abuse, and child abuse," Smith said. Connaissance will also launch a new International Scholars Forum aimed at building better relations between foreign scholars at the University and the rest of the University community. Suzanne Sims, co-chairperson of the forum, said she envisions small seminars where the international scholars, mostly graduate students, would discuss what it is like to study in their native country. "We hope to find a diverse group of students from all different schools in the University," Sims said. Nichols said that student groups that want to bring speakers to campus should petition Connaissance for funding, since the group is the major source of funding for speakers on campus. After a group petitions, Connaissance members recommend the amount of money to be awarded. The recommendation is then reviewed and voted on by the SAC Finance Committee.