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COLUMN: "Cool and Commercial-Free"

(11/06/92 10:00am)

From Ericka Guthrie's "The Fire This Time," Fall '92 As I was weaving my way between the ghosts and the goblins, I overheard two girls behind me comment on how few black students there were to accompany the children as they made their rounds. This is not the first time I have heard this type of statement, nor do I expect it will be the last. Despite what those two girls think, the future of the children of West Philly is a priority for the black community at Penn. Although the black organizations who sponsor these programs may not be as visible to the rest of the Penn community, they are indeed an active and productive force. As with everything else, though, community service at Penn has also become commercial. Not in all cases, but in some. Perhaps it is a good thing that community service has become "cool." Just think of the implications of a society where not trying to help out your community would be considered a crime, a display of poor social skills, a faux pas. I, for one, would not protest a society where community service was mandatory, so long as it was still done for the right reasons. But if community service becomes too commercialized, it will not be able to fulfill its purpose: to serve the community. It is a sad fact that a good number of Penn students have yet to realize this point. If the interest is not genuine, then the action will not be effective. Some people will argue that it does not matter why you serve, as long as you do. But it is on this point that I do not agree. If your heart and mind are not into it, then you are really of no service to the community. You could just stay home. Volunteering is not just a r sum builder, it involves human beings. And while your weekly tutoring session with a West Philly high school student may just be a way for you add to the "extracurricular" section of your portfolio, for the people you are helping, it is something far more important than just a gesture. Positive Images, a mentoring/tutoring program here at Penn, is a prime example of a group that is very successful, but is, to some degree, low key. Unlike many organizations on campus, Positive Images does not receive funding from the University. Not only is it a student-run mentoring program, but both the mentors and the mentees are black. While some may say that this component will not help the students of West Philly High, or Sulzberger Junior High, the members of Positive Images believe that it will. The whole concept behind Positive Images is that it allows high school and middle school students in the program to see that they can achieve the goals they set for themselves. It is a chance for them to accomplish anything they want in life, such as going to college. It is also a chance for the students to interact with people who are also in the process of attaining their goals. This is done through tutoring and academic assistance, and other programs in the schools. This message of higher education rings true for these students, because the people who are delivering this message are black students themselves. The Youth Forum, which is headed by Sabrina Philson-Skalski, a College junior, is one example of how the members of Positive Images try to let the students of West Philly see that their opinions are just as important as anybody else's. Sabrina stresses that the reason Positive Images is so successful is that when she or any of the other students goes up to the high school, she does not go to talk down to them -- she goes as a friend, as their peer. Each week, the facilitators of the forum present a topic to the students which is of particular interest to them. When the students get together, they not only are able to vent their anger and frustrations on a topic, but they can go a step further and organize their ideas. It is a means of getting them together, so that they can make a difference. While taking a mentee to a basketball game or to the movies would be nice, it really doesn't help the students to deal with the problems they face every day. And it does not get them to help themselves. Brian Peterson, an Engineering senior, and Sabrina's Co-Chair of Positive Images, has been involved in the program since his freshman year. He believes it is important to not only talk to the students, but to listen to what they have to say. "Oftentimes, no one is there to listen to the students, whether it be at home or at school," he said. "The Youth Forum is a chance for the students to be heard by the Penn students who facilitate the forums." "But perhaps more importantly, it is a way for them to listen to each other," he added. While the membership of Positive Images is not as large as many of the mainstream service organizations on campus, it is apparent that there is far more strength in a small group of determined and genuinely motivated people. As Brian explained, "The difference between Positive Images and some of the other mainstream community service groups is that we're not a community service group, we are the community." Perhaps it is this attitude that can help all of us. Ericka Guthrie is a College sophomore from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. "The Fire This Time" appears alternate Fridays.

COLUMN: "Playing Poker on a Tightrope"

(09/15/92 9:00am)

From Paul LaMonica's "A Room With A View," Fall '92 My roommate chooses to play blackjack since he is dealing first. After dealing, he announces," It's time to take this Jew boy's and this guinea's money." My friend and I laugh and reply," Don't worry because the chink is going to get cleaned out tonight." The three of us play cards on many occasions and not onjce do we worry about what Penn's PC Thought Police might do if they overheard us joking about each other's ethnic background. To us the idea of having to walk a tightrope when speaking about other groups is absurd. I undersrtand that many words used to describe certain groups can be very offensive, especially when the person who is using the words intends to harm the group with them. However, telling people what to say and how to say it is not an answer to racism, discrimination and bigotry. As a newspaper editor in high school, I was confronted by people who objected to the usage of certain words and terms. One article that was printed spoke of a group of students known as the "guidos." The Board of Education, composed of four Italian-Americans, wrote a letter to me and the other editors of the newspaper. In this letter, the Board expressed its collective opinion that we should be damned to Hell for offending the members of the Italian community. These people failed to notice two key things. First of all, we were not offending anyone, let alone Italians. The article merely referred to a high school clique, not an ethnic group. Second of all, four out of the five editors of the newspaper were Italian-American, myself included. Would we print something that we found to be personally offensive without voicing our own opinions as a response? I think not. Examples of narrowmindedness such as this undermine the PC movement and turn people like myself away from it. I'm not sure if these people truly believe that they can change the way people think by "correcting" what others say or if they just want to control others by putting their words in our mouths. I, for one, don't like other people telling me what the new word of the day for a certain group is. Furthermore, I don't want to be chastised for mistakenly using yesterday's word to describe that group. My mother, a child of the 1950's, still uses the word "colored". In a multicultural community such as this, she would be crucified for uttering such an anachronism. However, my mother has many friends of all different races and creeds. She does not hold any bigoted or racist views, so what's the big deal? In this day and age, it seems to me that too much importance is placed on what people say about other groups instead of how they act towards other groups. Why do PC advocates waste their time attempting to conjure up some ideal lexicon of non-offensive terms to describe people? Forcing people to be politically correct won't prevent further racial and ethnic violence. To do that, you'd have to bring all types of people together and show them that we all belong to one race, the human race. I don't profess to have a sure-fire way to solve this problem but a start would be to stop telling ourselves that there are thousands of different races instead of just one common group. However, it seems that the PCers will be content to just look for cute new ways to categorize people into different groups. Let's stop putting so much emphasis on what people say or how they say it? Wouldn't it be better to strive towards living in a world in which people can harmlessly joke around with each other as my friends and I do in our card games? One more thought.... If a white man goes out and kills a black man merely because of the color of his skin but calls him a PC approved word for blacks before he puuls the trigger, does that make the murder politically correct? Will the victim's family be consoled by the fact that this bigot used the right terminology to describe the man he killed? Of course not! Actions speak louder than words! Paul LaMonica is a sophomore Psychology major from North Babylon, New York. "A Room With A View" will appear alternate Tuesdays.

GUEST COLUMN: "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall"

(04/09/92 9:00am)

Two years ago on nationwide television, Oprah Winfrey rolled out a wagon of meat corresponding to the 60 pounds she had lost on a liquid diet. The episode garnered her highest ratings ever. Why were we so inspired and why did Oprah suddenly become America's role model? Because she chose to conform to society's ideals of beauty and lose weight in the fastest way possible? Why did we even care? Our image of beauty is one word -- thin. This "beauty myth," as it is sometimes called, is supplied by the media, parents and peers, and is perpetuated by society. And how about your emaciated roommate who is convinced she is fat? What about that hot guy in your chem class who gets all the women? Or that beautiful blond in your history class -- you know, the gorgeous one every guy is in love with? Are these people really happy? They may look good on the outside, but many are suffering. They may have very low self esteem, and could be destroying their bodies. Isn't it usually that hot jock who you suddenly find out is using steroids, and that gorgeous woman who cries herself to sleep because she thinks she is too fat? This is a reflection on society's values today. Thinness is the rule we play by -- only in this game there isn't any room for exception. Before we superficially judge those around us, maybe we should all take a deeper inward look. "Mirror, mirror on the wall . . . " Maybe you've seen these signs around campus during the past week. This has been GUIDE's attempt to encourage that deeper look. GUIDE -- Guidance for Understanding Image, Dieting and Eating -- is a two-year-old peer education group whose workshops explore society's mixed messages on body image. We address how to recognize destructive behaviors, and provide techniques to offer support and assistance. If you have not heard of us, this may be because body image and self esteem are not considered critical issues at Penn in comparison to issues of sexual assault, sexual health and alcoholism. In actuality, body image and self esteem are contributing factors to these problems, although we often fail to recognize it. Destructive patterns are especially prevalent in a college environment where peer pressure and desire to fit in are the norms. Still think this isn't a big deal? Okay, let's take it to a more personal level . . . Pick a friend -- you must have more than one who constantly talks about how much weight she has to lose before summer. Okay, now think of another one, one who flips out if he misses a day at the gym. Or your girlfriend who only orders salad and will only make love when the lights are off. And more seriously, how about your emaciated roommate who is so skinny you can't imagine how she has the strength to make it through the day? Or the athlete who chews his or her food and then spits it out to maintain a proper competing weight? You may not be worried about these people -- these behaviors are extremely commonplace. However, it is important to realize that these actions are signs of negative self esteem and can develop into more serious problems, such as excessive dieting, compulsive exercising, anorexia or bulimia. Most of us accept the images presented to us without question until we see the extreme effects of negative body image in anorexics or bulimics. But everyone can be negatively affected by images and ideals, even if they are not starving themselves or throwing up. These images can subtly chisel our self esteem away. We know that we should love ourselves for who we are, yet few of us actually do. How can we feel good about ourselves when we are told by society how we should look and feel? Remaining silent and ignoring the problem are not solutions and will not make it go away. Maybe the next time you hear a negative comment about that fat person, you will speak out -- if only to make your friend stop and think twice. There is no easy solution. The power to change comes from within us. It takes courage to stand up and challenge society's values, and it takes equal courage to love yourself the way you are. Bodies come in different shapes and sizes, yet rarely is this diversity seen as positive. Two of our slogans are "Relax, you're more than okay," and "Love your body, it's the only one you've got." Words to live by? Maybe not. But we should think about them before we are so quick to judge ourselves and one another. Oprah is one of the most successful women in television, yet we still focus on the fact that she is "overweight" and gained back the weight she lost. Despite the scrutiny, Oprah claims she is happier now than ever before. She has come to terms with her body and has learned to accept herself for the person she is. Can we? Marci Gluck is a senior Psychology major from Princeton Junction, New Jersey, and founder of GUIDE. Kammie Gormezanno is a College sophomore from Brooklyn, New York, and a GUIDE Peer Health Educator. Students are invited to attend an open workshop tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Houston Hall's Ben Franklin Room. For more information or to schedule a group workshop, call 662-7126.

Penn Tower fire forces short evacuation

(03/05/92 10:00am)

According to Fire and Occupational Safety Director James Miller, the fire caused "little or no" physical damage, but occured in a "critical area" of the hotel. The fire, which occurred at approximately 4:45 p.m., put the hotel and offices out of service until power was restored on Sunday night at 10 p.m. Jim Atkinson, Director of Security at the Penn Tower Hotel, said the fire was a result of electrical difficulties occurring at 49th and Woodland streets. Atkinson said the Philadelphia Electric Company informed hotel officials that because of difficulties in this area, the hotel would have to switch from its primary to its auxilary power system. But when the power transfer was made, Atkinson said there was "an electrical explosion." Atkinson said the hotel guests were transferred immediately to locations such as the University Museum and the Civic Center, so that the fire could be looked after. The medical practices housed on lower floors were simply moved to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Atkinson also added that a decision was made three hours after the incident to move the aproximately 150 guests to the University City Sheraton. Although PECO did not restore primary power to the hotel until Sunday night, the company brought in a large portable generator to power the hotel. As a result of the fire, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia had to switch to emergency power because it is hooked up to the same primary powerline that fed the fire, Miller said. Atkinson said there was a conference on blacks and higher education at the hotel that had to be postponed as a result of the fire. Miller said that the Penn Tower had "resumed business" on Monday.

PARIS to block students

(03/05/92 10:00am)

When PARIS opens for fall-term course registration on Monday, March 30, many University students may not be able to register through PARIS. · Most College juniors and seniors who have not declared majors. · Second-semester College freshmen and first-semester College sophomores who have not met with an advisor. · Psychology majors who have not met with a departmental advisor. · All Engineering and Nursing students who have not met with an advisor. It is uncertain how many students would be affected by this block. "The benefit is for the students," said Kent Peterman, executive assistant to CAS Associate Dean Norman Adler. "The major program is one of the key ingredients in the undergraduate curriculum . . . If [students] put off [declaring their majors] until the last minute, they've compromised that part of their education." Peterman said the rule requiring College students to declare their majors by the end of their sophomore year is not new. "[The rule] has been on the books. The only difference is, we've decided to enforce it," Peterman said. Psychology Chairperson John Sabini said the Psychology department has ordered the block on registration "because the Psychology Department thinks that it's important that our majors profit from the advice of an advisor." "We think it's a good thing for students to think about their programs . . . take a four-year perspective and for them to have the opportunity to talk to faculty about it," he added. Exemptions to the PARIS block may apply to juniors on the Communication majors' waiting list. These blocks on the registration system were implemented for the first time last semester. Staff writer Emily Culbertson contributed to this story.

Former head of Wistar sues over ousting

(03/04/92 10:00am)

Claims age discrimination A former long-time director of the Wistar Institute filed suit against the institute in federal court last week, charging Wistar officials with age discrimination in their decision to oust him as director last April. Plaintiff Hilary Koprowski argues in the suit that the institute forced him to step down because of his age -- 74 at the time -- even though a peer review board gave him high performance ratings as recently as 1989. The suit also cites Wistar's 1986 retirement policy which provides that "any termination of employment will be on the basis of . . . [performance evaluations] . . . and not on the basis of the employee's age." The Wistar Institute is a leading biomedical research facility located on campus, but separate from the University. The institute works closely with the University through adjunct faculty and research projects. The University Trustees approve the Wistar board members. The 18-page complaint portrays Koprowski as a scientist who brought prestige and success to Wistar over the years, only to be dumped unceremoniously after what Koprowski claims was "a discriminatory course of conduct designed to force [his] removal from the directorship because of his age . . . ." Koprowski further alleges that Wistar officials have carried out a campaign of "harassment and retaliation" against him since September when he filed complaints with state and federal agencies to protest his removal. The suit claims that in response to Koprowski's complaints, Wistar officials have engineered his removal as primary investigator for a cancer research grant, removed him as director of Wistar's Cancer Center, which he headed for 20 years, and deprived him of staff and responsibilities. Koprowski, a microbiologist who directed the institute from 1957 until last April, is demanding that Wistar reinstate him as director and end the alleged unfair treatment. Thomas Sprague, Koprowski's attorney, declined to comment on the details of the case yesterday. None of the three defendants -- Wistar, Wistar President Robert Fox and current Wistar Director Giovanni Rovera -- could be reached for comment yesterday. The institute is being represented by a lawyer in an outside Philadelphia law firm, Pepper, Hamilton and Scheetz. The lawyer could not be reached for comment yesterday. But Sprague said the defendants have about one week to file a response. Koprowski claims in the suit that he first learned Wistar intended to replace him in November, 1990, when Fox, who is a University Trustee, told Koprowski that a search committee would be appointed to locate a successor. When Koprowski protested and demanded an explanation, the suit contends, Fox told him the decision had nothing to do with Koprowski's job performance, which a peer board had rated highly in a report issued the year before. One month after Koprowski's conversation with Fox, Ira Brind, Wistar's treasurer and a member of the institute's board of managers, told Koprowski that age had been "a factor" in the decision to appoint the search committee, the suit said. That same month, a Wistar executive committee called on the board of managers to begin a selection process for a new director that would likely last "two to three years" and involve "an intensive review" of Wistar. But Koprowski argues in the suit that Fox, "not being satisfied with the prospect of a lengthy process . . . , initiated a campaign to convince" the board of managers that Koprowski "ought to be immediately replaced" because of his age. Last April 5, the board appointed Rovera as the new director, leaving Koprowski with the "titular role" of "president."

Despite city plan, U. plans to buy Civic Center

(03/03/92 10:00am)

Although the Philadelphia Five-Year Plan does not list the Civic Center as marketable city real estate, a University official maintained yesterday that the University will eventually buy it. The Civic Center, located at 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard adjacent to University property, was not mentioned as a piece of property the city may sell. But Robert Zemsky, director of planning for the University, said he remains confident the University will purchase the center. Zemsky announced last semester, as part of the University's 30-year plan to be written next fall, that the University will buy the Civic Center in order to expand the Medical Center. Although a new Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City will be completed in 1994 which will take away the bulk of the Civic Center's business, city officials contend that shows will still be held in the Civic Center. City officials said last semester that shows are booked through 1996 at the Civic Center. Zemsky said yesterday that he remains optimistic about the University eventually buying the Civic Center. He added that buying the Civic Center is a long-term goal and may not happen for 10 years. "Nothing is going to discourage me at this point," Zemsky said. "Clearly this is long-term, and in time, [the University] will work it out." Zemsky emphasized that the University "needs" the Civic Center, which could cost the University $60 million, to expand the Medical Center. "For the interest of the hosptial, we need to make it happen," Zemsky said. "There are a variety of ways possible [to buy the Civic Center], and the proper steps are being taken."

COLORS begins today with human chain

(02/26/92 10:00am)

A three-day program organized by University students to celebrate multiculturalism and sensitivity will begin today, and will include speakers, discussion groups and entertainment. COLORS, or Campus Organized Lectures on Racial Sensitivity, is a program of events designed to make students more aware of diversity at the University and of respect for differences as a whole. The program was founded in the fall of 1988 by Alpha Phi Alpha brother Franklin Ferguson and Sigma Chi brother Marc McMorris in response to racial tensions on campus. While the program was originally created to increase dialogue between the Black InterGreek Council and the InterFraternity Council, it eventually transformed into a program open to all members of the University community. "We realized that if the program was intended to reflect true diversity, it shouldn't be a strictly Greek program," COLORS co-chairperson and Alpha Phi Alpha brother Sean Gumbs said. And according to Gumbs, the program is currently being reviewed by Alpha Phi Alpha's national division to make it a mandatory program for chapters across the country. Gumbs is chairing the program with Sigma Chi brother Saad Khairi. The program will begin today at noon with Hands Across Locust Walk, in which a human chain will form from the 38th Street Bridge to the button in front of Van Pelt Library in a symbolic gesture of unity. COLORS will continue this evening with Skit Seminar Night in Vance Hall Basement at 7:30 p.m. Participating groups will perform three short skits dealing with racial topics and student leaders will facilitate discussion. And on Friday, COLORS will host the COLORS Variety Show, which will feature various University performing arts groups in a show of "the true diversity of students at Penn," according to Gumbs. The show, which will be held at Harrison Auditorium at 8 p.m., will be followed by a party at Boccie Pizzeria. While Friday night's party will cost $5 and the Variety Show will have an admission fee of $4 for singles and $7 for pairs, all other events of COLORS are free and are open to the public. "We encourage all students to attend," Gumbs said. "The program is only as effective as the amount of students that come out and voice their opinions."

FOCUS: Women in Blue

(02/24/92 10:00am)

University Police Lieutenant Susan Holmes comes from a family of policemen. Her brother is a lieutenant with the New York Police Department, her father is a retired detective who worked in the Nassau County Police Department in New York and both her grandfathers were police officers. But Susan Holmes is the first policewoman in her family. Holmes and other women on the force say that being a woman has not impeded their careers. But that long-sought equal status for female police officers is the result of a long hard struggle fought here and across the country. · Until 1910, no women were allowed to work as police officers in the United States. And then, until the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, women working in law enforcement were designated "policewomen" and were restricted to limited facets of policing. Today women have the same legal status as men in police departments, yet they are still a clear minority. In fact, only about one tenth of the University Police force consists of women. For many, police work has traditionally been considered the province of men. The public has stereotyped the physicality and occupational hazards needed for policing as unfit for a woman's career. But the past 20 years have heralded a new awareness of women's ability to perform police work in Philadelphia, due in large part to Ruth Wells, currently the director of Victim Support and Special Services in the University's Department of Public Safety. When she entered the field of police work over 30 years ago, Wells found herself a pioneer in the battle for the rights of women in police in Philadelphia. Her struggle echoed across the entire country. Wells said she first considered a career in police work in 1955, when her brother Albert, then a Philadelphia Police officer, told her that the Philadelphia Police Department planned to hire several women officers to be trained at the Philadelphia Police Academy. Wells said the Philadelphia Police Department had started hiring women about 30 years earlier to serve as police matrons, whose functions consisted primarily of tasks the men in police would rather not handle, such as frisking women, plainclothes patrolling in "red-light districts" and handling runaway children. The women with whom Wells was to train at the Philadelphia Police Academy were slotted for duties that would extend beyond the traditional roles of women in police. But before the women could begin training, they had to be admitted to the police academy -- in itself a feat of considerable proportions. "There was an intense search conducted for applicants, and the qualifications were higher for the women applying," Wells said. For instance, she explained, women had to undergo a massive background investigation, whereas men did not. In addition, unmarried mothers would not be considered for admission to the academy, and women enrolling had to sign an agreement indicating they would resign from the police force if they became pregnant, she said. These rules are officially obsolete today, and women are permitted leaves of absence for pregnancy. University Police Officer Maureen Forsyth, for instance, has been on leave from the department since last Labor Day to take care of her now-four-and-one-half-month-old baby boy. "I knew sooner or later pregnancy was in the cards, and I didn't know how it would work out," Forsyth said. "But it wasn't a problem at all." But when Wells applied for admission to the Philadelphia Police Academy in the '50s, she faced a far less liberated system. According to Wells, the Police Academy admissions decisions were based on a standard breakdown of factors which allowed for discrimination. She said 50 percent of the admissions decision was based on a written exam, 40 percent on an oral exam and 10 percent on Veteran's Preference for war veterans. Because of this, Wells said, a woman could get a score close to perfect on the written portion of the test and still be ruled out by a sexist interviewer on the oral portion. Of the 1300 women who applied for admission along with Wells, 19 were appointed to police jobs, she said. "I'm sure that men's rates were higher," she added. Wells' admission to the academy by no means meant that she had escaped gender-based prejudice or segregation. Men and women attended separate classes in the academy and "were not permitted, under any circumstances, to fraternize. Not at lunch, never," Wells said. In addition to regular police training, women at the academy received Juvenile Courts training so that they could become Juvenile Aid Officers upon graduation. Such officers handled all juvenile crimes, notably runaways and shoplifters. According to Wells, however, police departments used women for other purposes on an unofficial level. "The curious thing was that whenever one of the male officers needed women for an assignment, we would be detailed to the narcotics unit, homicide unit, major crimes unit or any unit of the department without being given the title or the compensation for it," Wells said. Wells worked in the Philadelphia Police Department, primarily as a Juvenile Aid Officer, from 1955 to 1967. In 1967, after being passed over three times in promotional exams, Wells filed suit against the City of Philadelphia for discrimination. "The kinds of things that were happening were also prevalent in the promotional system," she said. "The commanding officer of the Juvenile Aid Division appointed the oral board, which called into question the board's evaluations. It would have been different if the oral board would have been completely separated from the command of the Juvenile Aid Division." Wells went to court under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment but is limited primarily to the private sector. Wells said she was aiming to extend the prohibition of discrimination in employment to government agencies like city police. Confirming that the "case had merit," the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission decided to use Wells' suit as a test case for all Philadelphia policewomen. In 1972 the Equal Employment Opportunity Act extended to state and local governments the same regulations set forth in Title VII. The Act decreed that state and city governments had to remedy past discrimination against women in government jobs. Testing procedures and entrance requirements for police academies were made the same for men and women, classes were integrated, fraternization became permissible and women began to be assigned to all units of police departments. Between Wells' filing suit in 1967 and the 1972 Act, she said she experienced serious discrimination. "I was subject to various forms of harassment from both any male peers and from the supervisors," Wells said. "I was labelled as a troublemaker and given the most difficult assignments." Wells said she was forced to work on every holiday one year, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. "I was transferred to every division in the city, but I continued to do my job," she said. During the resurgence of the women's movement in the early '70s, Wells said her situation began to improve. She said she was the first woman assigned to the Police Community Relations Division, where she pioneered a program in self-defense and personal safety designed particularly for women and children. After five years of work in this division, Wells ran some programs to teach female students at the University about self-defense and personal safety. "That was when Penn first got to know me," Wells said. The University hired Wells as a security specialist in 1976. Her title was later changed to Crime Prevention Specialist, and ultimately to Director of Victim Support and Special Services. Today, Wells is in charge of programs in crime prevention, safety education, services to victims, sensitive crimes and acts as a liaison between the University community and the Department of Public Safety. · Among Wells' other responsibilities is the active recruitment of women and other minorities to work in the University Police Department. When Wells joined the University Police force in 1976, only two of 40 officers were women. "You get your employees based on your recruitment efforts, and the evidence would not indicate that they had made that specialized effort to recruit women," she said. And Sylvia Canada, a staff assistant at Victim Support who joined the force in 1977, said "we're still not where we want to be." Until October 1989, when the University began a redoubled hiring effort, seven of 45 officers were women. In the three major hirings between October 1989 and May 1991, 3 of the 55 officers hired were women. Of 100 officers currently employed by the University Police, 10 are women. In addition, one of nine shift supervisors is a woman, and one of four detectives is a woman. The comissioner, director and captain are all men. Canada, who supplied these statistics, said that the gender imbalance reflects a similar disparity in the number of applications submitted by women and by men. According to Canada, only 10 of the approximately 200 applicants over the past two and one half years have been women. University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said last week that "there are certainly less women [than men] who apply to law enforcement. I think it is because it was for so long a male-dominated environment that so few women apply." "There are just some natural hesitations [for women to apply] because there are so few women in police work," he added.

LETTER: More Rhetoric

(02/10/92 10:00am)

I am very confused by a recent column entitled "Sam's Place and the Evils of White Gentrification" (DP 2/10/92). Are Sarah Goldfine and Theresa Weir trying to say that the young boy who robbed the store at knife point was completely innocent? Granted, shooting the 14-year old might not have been the best solution, but we certainly cannot call Andre McNatte an innocent victim. After all, he was committing armed robbery. Second of all, it seems that two DP articles in the same edition conflict. In the aforementioned column, it is insinuated that Sam's Place closed due to a successful boycott. Flipping to the front page, the DP reports that Sam's Place was closed due to a second robbery attempt the previous Thursday. Which reason is correct? Additionally, why aren't there more black business owners? And why are blacks forced to shop at white businesses where "the prices are high, the merchandise is poor, and the owners are at best rudely racist"? How can such a business survive in a black community? There must be some kind of demand for their goods or wouldn't the store go out of business? Maybe I don't have the same business sense as the authors, but who is buying these expensive goods in all of these depressed black neighborhoods? According to the owner of Sam's Place, the store had a mixed clientele. I've never been there, but you describe the sale of fresh pastries and exotic coffee. These items are hardly a necessity in an economically depressed person's life. Besides, Acme is just a few blocks away. Also, what exactly are "block watches"? In my neighborhood they are used to deter crime -- I hardly think this is a form of vigilantism. And I think that the owner's statement about being on the "winning side this time" -- please correct me if I'm wrong -- could possibly refer to the war against crime. After all, he does say "this time." How was he defeated "last time?" And where did you find your facts? The "1990 Uniform Crime Reports" published by the FBI -- which falls under the Department of Justice -- lists violent crimes per 100,000 people up 23.1 percent since 1981, not zero percent as was erroneously reported. You can check it yourself in the 1992 edition of The World Almanac on page 954 -- if you need help finding it, I'm sure the librarian at Van Pelt can help you. In your last sentence you state that you want to "protest the media's lies" and that's exactly what I am doing. Please get back to us when you have some solid, accurate facts and some arguments that are rational and justifiable. Until then, keep alienating the white community and increasing racial tension. STEPHEN EULER Veterinary '93

GUEST COLUMN: "Turning Away Haitians: America Proves Her Greed"

(02/05/92 10:00am)

On Friday, January 31, the Supreme Court ruled six to three that the Haitian refugees being held at Gauntanamo Bay in Cuba and on Coast Guard ships in the Caribbean must be returned to Haiti unless they can prove they are political refugees. Those judges may as well have broadcast on the evening news that America is no longer accepting the poor. All the things that the Statue of Liberty represents have just been cancelled. As a European-American, I am ashamed when our country proves its greed, racism and ignorance so blatantly. · I was in Haiti on February 7 of last year when Jean-Bertrand Aristide was inaugurated. People in every city -- even the smallest villages -- were so happy, they created the most beautiful holiday Haitians had ever seen. This was the first time in Haiti's history that their leader had been elected democratically. Aristide was a priest who had spent most of his life working with the poor in the slums of Port-Au-Prince. On inauguration day, handmade decorations lined every street, and the poor people themselves were repairing the roads and fixing up storefronts. Now, if poor people stand together in a group they will be dispersed by soldiers with machine guns -- if they are not shot immediately. As Aristide started the country on a road to real democracy, those who previously had power -- the military and the monied -- were threatened. They once again seized power -- but, in a country where 85 percent of the people love Aristide, they have no hope of governing without complete repression. So while economic conditions in Haiti are miserable, any person who is not in the military or rich has reason to fear being shot or tortured. Consequently, thousands of Haitians crowd into rickety boats and brave the Caribbean, desperate for a chance to live in a democracy. Instead they have been picked up by Coast Guard cutters, have waited for weeks or months in Cuba and now are told, "Sorry, America is closed." · If my great-grandfather and the host of jobless Germans that came with him had tried to immigrate today, would they be turned away? Most likely -- and, if they were black, for sure. It does not seem to matter that the hundreds of thousands of Haitians that have already travelled to the United States have been some of the most industrious and prosperous immigrants this country has seen. A large percentage of New York City taxi drivers are Haitian, but they aren't the same Haitians that were driving five years ago. Many have gone on to get college educations and pay taxes along with everyone else. Yet Americans assume the thousands in Gauntanamo Bay will be a burden and on welfare, instead of an asset to our country. It does not seem to matter that these people, in order to get out of Haiti, have risked their lives as no European immigrant ever did. How can one question the severity of the persecution and torture they are suffering in Haiti? Obviously, if death is more certain in Haiti than on a rickety, overcrowded boat on the ocean, these people are leaving for more than some sterile "economic" reasons. And still, I hear this insane argument that if we provide even temporary asylum for Haitian refugees, a large number of them may die on the seas. America has just decided that we would prefer that all of them die in Haiti. So often we as Americans say, "well, we can't be responsible for the whole world." I agree. But the whole world is not asking for asylum. Some ten thousand Haitians are. As Americans, I just wish we would prove that we are a country of freedom where people at least get a chance. That's what my great-grandfather got: not a free lunch, not a hand out . . . just a chance to do it himself. I think he and his descendants have made positive contributions to this country. I hope all people who feel that way about their contributions to this country will not withhold such a chance from the Haitians, thinking that they'll get something that's yours. We must remember that they may also give us something we have long hoped for: the ability to rejoice that we live in a free country.

UA to restart tuition campaign

(12/06/91 10:00am)

Undergraduate Assembly members will pass around their annual tuition petition next semester, seeking to revive the University's commitment to lowering tuition increases each year. "We have witnessed that in the face of fiscal crisis, the administration turns to the undergraduates to bear the brunt of the burden," said two UA members in a statement yesterday. "We do not want the University of Pennsylvania to become an elitist institution." The statement criticizes the administration for last year's tuition recommendation to the Trustees, which reversed the University's commitment to decrease the percentage increase of tuition every year. Administrators recommended that the Trustees raise tuition by 6.9 percent, .2 percent higher than last year's increase. "We want to send a strong signal to the administration that we will not tolerate this again," the statement reads. "We will not let them ignore their commitments." According to UA Chairperson Mitch Winston, last year's petition, which 4000 students signed, helped convince Trustees to adopt a 6.7 percent tuition increase, the same rate of increase as last year. Winston said the UA also sent state legislators the signatures of Pennsylvania residents from 122 cities to lobby for state funding for the University.

U. charity campaign ahead of schedule

(11/27/91 10:00am)

"We're a little ahead of what we expected," said Assistant to the President Linda Hyatt. The charitable campaign is a system that allows University employees to contribute to charities through paycheck deductions. According to Hyatt, faculty and staff have responded well to this year's new method of solicitation. "One of the ways the charitable workplace campaign is different is in the design and solicitation of materials," Hyatt said. "We have had tremendous response indicating that they like this." This year, faculty and staff were given a single book, listing the different charities in alphabetical order, and giving a description of each. Previously, staff had received multiple mailings regarding the separate charities. "From a Penn perspective, just having a single book . . . is wonderful," said Jane Combrinck-Graham, a member of the Committee for a Combined Campaign. In the new campaign, there are seven United Way-sponsored federations and six independent ones, including Bread and Roses Community Fund, United Negro College Fund and Women's Way. A federation is a group that represents various charitable agencies and organizations when soliciting funds. The charitable campaign was redesigned last spring after faculty and staff complained that the only groups they could give money to were the United Way-administrated charities. The Committee for a Combined Campaign was formed last year to ask the University to allow non-United Way charities to be part of the campaign. Staff voted in a referendum this summer to change the campaign design and put all of the charities on an equal basis. The United Way charities have also been reorganized into seven separate funds. These funds group together specific interest groups, although they are still administered under the United Way's umbrella. Combrinck-Graham said she was pleased with the way the reorganization worked out. "The best thing is, it's Penn's campaign, it's not United Way's campaign," Combrinck-Graham said. "It belongs to the workplace."

Breast cancer, menopause topics of Women's Health Day lectures

(11/26/91 10:00am)

Breast cancer statistics may not be encouraging, but most agree they are important. Oncologist Jeffrey Wenger discussed these "pessimistic" statistics of breast cancer and ways women can detect the cancer in its early stages in a 90-minute speech yesterday afternoon. Wenger began his talk on a pessimistic note, stating unequivocally that "we don't know how to prevent breast cancer." He went on to discuss possible causes of breast cancer and the types of people in the higher-risk categories. He said that breast cancer is believed to be a result of the breast cells being continually bathed in estrogen. Due to the nature of this factor, women who started menstruation early in life or put off having children until after 30 are in the higher-risk categories. Another high-risk factor is heredity. Women who have a history of breast cancer in the family are at "highest risk." "A woman whose mother or grandmother had breast cancer is twice as likely to get breast cancer as someone whose mother did not," he said. Wenger suggested three methods of breast cancer detection -- self-examination, doctor examination and mammography. He urged all women to do a breast self-examination. "Most women do not perform self-examinations," he said. "They're afraid of what they'll find even though most lumps are not cancerous." Wenger ended his lecture by discussing two types of treatment for cancer in its earliest stages -- lumpectomy with radiation treatment and mastectomy. "The cure rate is identical each way and medically speaking, treatment results are the same," he said. He urged the audience to question their doctors if they recommend a mastectomy and do not give the option of a lumpectomy. Most students were responsive to Wenger's talk, asking many questions throughout the discussion. Other speakers during the day included John Moore, a surgeon from Jefferson Park Hospital, and Isa Valez, a gynecologist on staff in several Philadelphia hospitals. Moore talked about breast implants and different techniques of reconstruction. Valez's talk was broken into two parts. The first was about health issues later in a woman's life, such as menopause and osteoperosis, and the second part dealt with the reproductive system and various forms of birth control. Valez took her audience through a clinical approach and treated them as though they were patients in her office. "When I talk to my clients, I want them to walk away feeling they have learned something," she said. Wai-sum Lee and Stephanie Rosenthal, co-chairs of the Penn Women's Alliance, organized the event with help from Philadelphia's Breast Health Institute. "Women's health issues haven't really been addressed by anybody," College senior Lee said. "We hope to raise awareness among young women." Lee also said that Penn Women's Alliance hopes to have a similar event next semester.

'Pictures' rivets crowd for hours

(11/25/91 10:00am)

Some were uplifting. Some were depressing. Some were shocking, and caused a revolted few to gasp. Jacob Holdt's American Pictures exhibition took its capacity crowd at Meyerson B-1 through a roller-coaster of images and emotions Thursday night. Holdt's intent was to "oppress" the members of his audience by subjecting them to a four-and-a-half-hour, 3,000 picture photographic essay. The exhibition, Holdt's fifth at the University, covered the European traveler's years of "vagabonding" through the U.S., bombarding the audience with scenes of abject underclass poverty, contrasted with some of the most incredible affluence in America. After a seven-minute introduction, the Danish-born photographer turned out the lights and turned on the slide projectors to show the University community "a side of America most Americans don't want to deal with . . . a show of oppression in its most extreme forms, as seen through the eyes of a foreigner." Holdt, by his own account, hitchhiked over 118,000 miles through 48 states, and sold his blood plasma twice a week in order to compile approximately 15,000 pictures of a forgotten part of America. During the course of his travels, Holdt was arrested twice by FBI agents, four times by the Secret Service, infiltrated meetings of the Ku Klux Klan, and spent nights under the same roof as murderers on three separate occasions. Holdt, though, steadfastly maintains that he has "never known a bad American." At 11:30 p.m., roughly half of the audience remained, riveted. After the show, many in the audience were at a loss for words to describe the visceral impact of what they had been watching for the past four and a half hours. Student Employment Services worker Janice Hoggs said she was struck by the "very powerful, unforgettable . . . idea [that ] slavery still exists." College Senior Glenn Yeck said he thought the show was "powerful . . . a lot to absorb all at once." "If you leave with anything, [it is] an awareness that the problem [of poverty] is worse than anyone realized," Yeck said. But students said the education they had received more than made up for the four and a half hours of "oppression." College junior Joe Kim said the show "was riveting . . . I'd see it again."

Show looks at dark side of U.S.

(11/21/91 10:00am)

Millions of people came to the U.S. searching for the American Dream, but many, especially blacks, never found it, according to Danish photographer Jocab Holdt. Holdt's American Pictures, a "really powerful" slide show about racism and the lost American Dream, will be shown in Meyerson B1 at 7 p.m. tonight. "He thought America was the land of opportunity but was astonished by what he saw," Beeber said. "Having grown up in a social welfare state, he was amazed by the social evils." Holdt hitchhiked across the country living with complete strangers who became his friends. To buy film, he sold blood twice a week. Thousands of slides will be shown during the three-hour presentation, including pictures of Ku Klux Klan meetings and crack dealers. Beeber said because the show is "so moving," there will be a follow-up workshop lead by Holdt at 9 a.m. Friday in the Castle. "There is always a follow-up because the show is very provocative," Beeber said. Although the show has been presented at the University in the past, tonight's presentation will be special because University students themselves have a chance to become part of a documentary about Holdt. "This is exciting because he [Holdt] is in the process of being filmed for a documentary by a Danish broadcast company," Beeber said. "A Danish film crew will get Penn students' reactions on film." The slide show was shown at the University last April, but few came to see the show because it was shown so close to finals. In addition, tonight's presentation will be special for a Philadelphia woman whose family appears in the slide show. Dorothy McLeary, who attends every presentation of American Pictures shown in Philadelphia, will be at the University for the show. "The show is very good," McLeary said, "The pictures are beautiful, and he [Holdt] explains everything." McLeary said she first met Holdt when he walked into her all-black neighborhood during his journeys across America. "I saw a white man in a black neighborhood, and I wondered what he was there for. Maybe he was from the FBI or something," McLeary said. "And I asked if I could help him." She added that he was looking for her son, who Holdt had met before, so she made him a sandwich and lemonade and waited with him until her son came home. Since their first meeting, McLeary said Holdt has come back to Philadelphia and visited her many times for dinner and overnight visits. "Every time he comes he takes pictures of us," McLeary said. "He is a very nice man." She also said she has gone to Copenhagen to visit Holdt after he invited her. In addition, the University City resident said Holdt's pictures speak the truth about racial problems in America. "Most of it is true, it really is," she said. American Pictures has been shown at over 100 colleges across the country, and is used in many freshman orientation programs and in sociology and American studies courses. A book, based on the show, has also been published and has sold three million copies in America.

U. alum to work in Bush's Light program

(11/20/91 10:00am)

1990 University graduate Joelle Roberts was chosen as one of seven people to serve as an ambassador for Youth Engaged in Service, a division of the Points of Light Foundation which President Bush helped to found. As a YES Ambassador, 23-year-old Rogers' efforts will be geared toward the mobilization of youth between the ages of five and 25 in the fight against problems such as poverty, illiteracy, drug abuse, and hunger. Rogers said to accomplish this the group will act as a catalyst to youth service by making presentations and giving workshops on how to form community outreach programs and develop service. She and the other YES Ambassadors will also use the forums of television, radio and newspaper to make their efforts known. The YES program not only helps give ideas of how youth service can help communities, but it also thrives on ideas of others within the general public, she said. YES then mobilizes these idea with financial help. Rogers, a history major while at the University, applied to the program because of a "great need [for community service] exists." She has worked with the Benjamin Franklin Public Service Program and is currently a member of the American Jewish Congress Issues Forum Committee for Philadelphia. Before becoming a member of YES, she was part of the West Philadelphia Improvement Corps, where she was a senior administrator. The Points of Light Foundation was created in May of 1990 as a result of President Bush's call for national participation in community service. As a University student, Rogers studied abroad for a semester at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria where she obtained a "totally different perspective" of her life and the world. She said the United States and Nigeria have "very similar problems." Rogers said that although she believes that poverty, homelessness and illiteracy are worldwide problems, she is taking direct steps to solve the problems in this country, specifically in Pennsylvania. "There is a discrepancy between those with money and those without," she said, "I'm amazed with the resources we have." Rogers said she believes there are plenty of resources -- both human and natural -- to solve the problems this world holds. Rogers feels that "youth participation[in community service] means building youth leaders." Education is one of the keys to solving the problems of this country and she enjoys the fact that the YES program makes a tie between service and education, Rogers added. Public awareness of the problems in this country and advocating youth participation in community service are important elements in improving conditions in this country, she said.

Store owner disappears, upsets patrons

(11/20/91 10:00am)

After taking his computer there in September for repair work the store eventually said it could not do, the Fine Arts graduate student went to the store's only location on 40th and Walnut streets last month to pick up the still-broken IBM clone. But when he got there, he found the door locked and the window covered with brown paper. He tried calling, only to find that the store's phone was disconnected. Now, two months after his first trip to the store, Chalfen said he has not heard from the store's owner and is still waiting for his computer to be returned. "I want my computer back," he said Monday. "That's $1000 I don't have." Dan Shaffery, the owner of the Penn Computer Store, could not be reached for comment yesterday, and what he plans do now remains a mystery. Real Estate Project Manager Helen Walker, who manages the University-owned building, said Shaffery told her a month ago he was closing his store. She said he told her two weeks ago that he would begin contacting customers to arrange for them to pick up their equipment. As of last night, however, the doors remained locked and the customers' equipment was still inside the store. It is not clear how many other customers have found themselves in Chalfen's position since the store closed. But the sudden closing has inconvenienced at least some who did business with the store, including Campus Computer Rentals Inc., a Massachusetts-based company which rented Macintosh computers to students through the store. Paul Martecchini, the company's president, said yesterday that he received "no advance warning" the store would close and that a small amount of his company's inventory was still inside the store. Martecchini said he was "really quite upset about the whole thing" and his company would look for another campus-area computer store to rent its computers. Until then, he said students could rent and service the company's Macintosh models at Temple University's bookstore. A representative from the company was in town yesterday to look into the problem. Walker said the store was not very far behind on its rent payments, adding that what probably forced the store to close was its inability to compete with cheaper mail order companies and other stores in the area.

Phone services proliferating on campus

(11/18/91 10:00am)

Instead of letting their fingers do the walking, students are now letting their fingers do more talking and learning. The University has seen an startling upsurge recently in the number and variety of student phone services available -- from the FUNNLine to the RAPLine to the Weather Line -- and for now, this phone-friendly communications trend is thriving. "[Penntrex] saw a need for small groups, such as Hillel, to have voice mailboxes, and we wanted to address that need," Yamin said. "Our goal is to provide competitive, state-of-the-art communication tools at a reasonable cost." Yamin said more groups are now using the voicemail systems in more creative and diverse ways and for many different reasons. "People are now getting creative ideas on how they can use voicemail to serve their own purposes," Yamin said. "It's becoming a popular communications tool." Currently, student groups like FUNNLine, several fraternity and sorority lines, several Hillel lines, and the former Desert Storm Hotline use the new system. Other groups run through the administrative level of Penntrex include the Weather Line and the RAPLine, which is designed to provide emotional support to students and to offer referals to the University's professional counseling services. The most recent addition to the slew of lines is the WQHS-Penntrex Concertline -- 573-3CRT -- which gives information on the local Philadelphia music scene, catering to the more alternative tastes of WQHS listeners. Doug Randall, WQHS development director, said the ConcertLine, which is co-sponsored by Penntrex, brings several advantages to the student-run radio station. The ConcertLine tells students about events, increases publicity for WQHS and gives the station a more professional image, which may eventually lead to a broadcasting license. "If you look at technology, information phone lines are the future . . . people are becoming more accustomed to electronic medium," Randall said. "People have less patience. They don't want to listen to the radio for 40 minutes to get facts, so they call up and that's what they get -- concerts and no b.s." According to students who run phone lines, University students are responding heartily to the opportunity to make their lives easier over the phone. Neil Vogel, one of the founders of the FUNNLine, which primarily provides information on local and city bars and restaurants, said that Penntrex calculated that over 950 people called the FUNNLine voice mailbox in its first week of operation. "Students sure do call [the phone lines]," Yamin said. "But I'm not sure whether or not they will continue to call, or whether they are a novelty." And while the number of specialized phonelines is increasing, organizers aren't worried that the lines will result in increased competition. "Proliferation of phone lines can only help us. If people get used to getting info by phone, they will think of the FUNNLine," said Vogel. Randall agreed, saying, "We are not fighting for same markets right now. We are not competitors."

FOCUS: Asian American Concerns

(11/11/91 10:00am)

Don't tell Phan Lam about the Oriental Studies Department. The chairperson of Students for Asian Affairs laughs when her program is compared, or equated, with student concerns about Oriental Studies. "A lot of the departments that we do have -- and if people point to the Oriental Studies Department -- they're great departments," said the College senior. "But many of the departments are of classical studies. [The Asian-American experience] is a unique experience." Lam and other students are frustrated that Asian Americans are not viewed as an American cultural group, but are seen as foreigners whose concerns should be lumped together with those of Asian nationals. Two years ago, students acting on this frustration formed SAA, a group dedicated to serving the distinct needs of Asians and Asian Americans at the University. With Asians and Asian Americans forming 18 percent of the University's student population, SAA is a new, serious voice working to be heard in an institution that says diversity is one of its primary concerns. Last year, the group lobbied successfully to institute a course on Asians in America, which is currently being taught on an temporary basis under the auspices of the American Civilization Department. This year, the struggle has continued as the group petitions to install the course permanently and add an Asian American literature class. Many California schools have majors in Asian American studies, and Brown and Harvard Universities both have courses in the subject. Lam said she thinks the University needs to keep up with that academic trend. · Jean Wu, a Bryn Mawr College professor who comes to the University once a week to teach the Asians in America course, said that the discipline of Asian American studies, like other ethnic studies, developed in the late 1960s in the wake of the civil rights movement. Minority scholars began to question the definition of an "American," contending that although the U.S. considers itself a melting pot, to blend into the society, one had to "melt" into the mold set by European immigrants, a mold that Asians could not fit because of their appearance. "No matter how long a person has been in this country, people still ask them, 'Where do you come from?' and, 'How did you learn to speak English so well?' " said Wu. Now, Asian American studies curricula around the country cover a wide range of historical and social science disciplines. The University of California at Los Angeles, for example, has an Asian American Studies specialization has courses relating the Asian American experience to law, women's studies, literature, and the media, as well as classes that are specific to one Asian ethnicity. But Wu said Asian Americans' experiences must be integrated into broader courses at different educational stages in order to form a complete picture of their contributions to American history. · Wu's classroom was in a controlled uproar toward the end of her three-hour class last Thursday afternoon as the students heatedly discussed the "glass ceiling" that sociologists say prevents the advancement of women and minorities in American companies. All but one of the 25 students in the class were Asian, and as the professor called on them to address Asian success and failure in the business world, they drew emotionally on their own experiences. One student said she planned to take advantage of new hiring trends that target women and minorities, while another said she hoped hard work would be enough to make her successful. Wu moderated the discussion while students nodded their heads in agreement or shot their hands up to comment. After class, College sophomore Yin Lai said she enjoyed the forum the course provided for discussing Asian American concerns. "I love it when we all argue and scream about it," she said. "You'd think that you're all think alike, but then you come up with Asians who have completely different experiences from you." Lai apologized playfully to Regan Allen, the only Caucasian in the class, for the way the class laughed when she brought up Asians' success in medical fields. Allen said the course gave her the chance to experience to experience academia from the point of view of a minority. "For me, this class is the first time I've been a minority," said the College junior. "Sometimes I get really upset when the professor asks us to relate to something and I can't relate." · Wu's class was implemented as a result of student action, and similar requests from the SAA have fallen on fertile ground at the University. Am Civ Department Chairperson Murray Murphey said his department has not received authorization from School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rosemary Stevens to continue Wu's course next year, but he said the course was not expensive and would probably be continued. He added that his department made a proposal to Dean Hugo Sonnenschein two years ago to develop Asian American studies coursework, and although the proposal was rejected, Murphey still considers the topic important. "We believe that such a course is necessary, at a minimum," Murphey said. "I think there ought to be more than this." And English Department Undergraduate Chairperson Alice Kelley said her department began looking for ways to add a course in Asian American literature after College senior Jim Lee wrote her a letter about the problem. The letter was circulated through the department, and Kelley said several professors told her they already taught the works of Asian-American authors in their courses, while Peter Conn expressed interest in teaching a course on the subject. But none of the professors is an expert in the field, and according to Kelley, it will be difficult to attract qualified faculty in a discipline as young as Asian American studies. "I know how eager these students are, and I really hope we can move quickly," she said. "I hope they won't think we aren't caring if we can't find someone." The swelling demand for Asian American studies mirrors the growth of other ethnic studies at the University. In December, the faculty will vote on the creation of a Latin American studies minor, the culmination of three years of student activism for the cause. Similarly, Kelley said an increase in student demands for African-American literature courses several years ago outstripped the University's ability to find qualified faculty. "It's like a few years ago when we were looking for a senior African-Americanist," she said. "We had to woo like crazy and we lost." The University administration has also begun to respond to requests for Asian American studies coursework. Sonnenschein created a committee last May to advise the dean on how to integrate Asian American studies into the curriculum. The committee will report to Stevens by the end of the academic year.