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Your Voice | On WIEF and Narendra Modi

(03/11/13 3:57am)

In response to a letter of protest written to them by a large group of Penn faculty and students, as well as concerned citizens, the organizers of the Wharton India Economic Forum withdrew their invitation to Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. The organizers “felt that the potential polarizing reactions from sub-segments of the alumni base, student body, and our supporters, might put Modi in a compromising position, which we would like to avoid at all costs … .” A storm of media coverage followed — every major TV network and national newspaper in India (and elsewhere) debated Modi’s being disinvited. Several of us were asked to comment and we have done so in a variety of fora.


(11/22/02 10:00am)

So, you wanna go to the rooftop lounge? What a pick up line. Aww, yeah. Meh... it's our last night here at DPOSTM, and we forgot to interview someone for our PrognostiQuakers tonight. It doesn't matter, though. Stupid reader -- you didn't read the first letter of the first six paragraphs. You should have. It spells out something very important. You're a moron and an idiot and a moron. You should really stop reading this during COMM 226 and go do the crossword puzzle. Anyway, so tomorrow is the big Penn-Cornell game. Only problem? Penn is going to destroy Cornell. Really. We PrognostiQuakers are never wrong. Anyway (again), so what's up? How youuuuuuuu doing? "Oh, very well," said Coach Lake. This is the last PrognostiQuakers of the season. Football year is over after this game, and you won't have to read this again. Or again. Thanks, the Department of Redundancy Department. "Who's playing," said someone who we just called as we were writing this. We responded with "Penn and Cornell," as those are the two football squadrons who are meeting on the gridiron tomorrow. So, the person we called said, "Coach Lake," and we agree. Coach Lake will indeed score seventeen touchdowns as the Penn Quakers roll over the Cornell Big Red to become victorious in the immortal battle on the gridiron tomorrow. Thanks again, Department of Redundancy Department. Anyway, in case you were wondering, the three editors of DPOSTM (that's the Sports section, for you ignorant fools who don't know what DPOSTM is -- you stupid morons, man you should just stop reading this now) are done. New editors will be elected tomorrow night and you will have to read headlines, captions and information boxes written by other people from now on. Say goodbye to Amy "AP" Potter, Dan "D-Mac" McQuade Byline and Lance "Striped Bass" Stier and say hello to three new editors. So, we picked Penn, but we didn't explain it yet. In case you're wondering, Penn shall win tomorrow. Duh. Penn. Penn. Penn. I-V-Y CHAMPS! We jock Coach Lake. Penn shall win tomorrow and the game shall end with a huge victory for Penn. Thanks again, Department of Redundancy Department. Penn 45632957345, Cornell 0 Final Week Picks Name Penn at Cornell Yale at Harvard D'mouth at P'ton Columbia at Brown Tristan Schweiger (36-12) Penn 100-0 Harv.7-0 P'ton 10-3 Brown 29-3 Andrew DeLaney (35-13) Penn 42-7 Yale 14-10 Dart. 14-7 Colum. 28-7 Lance Stier (35-13) Penn 44-7 Harv. 24-17 P'ton 31-24 Colum. 22-17 Jeremy Dubert (34-14) Penn 52-10 Harv. 30-21 Dart. 30-20 Colum. 4-1 Steve Brauntuch (33-15) Penn 42-3 Harv. 28-10 P'ton 17-7 Brown 7-3 Kyle Bender (33-15) Penn 63-0 Harv. 28-21 Dart. 3-0 Brown 24-10 Alexis Gilbert (32-16) Penn 94-0 Harv. 28-10 P'ton 35-14 Brown 2-0 Dave Zeitlin (31-17) Penn 77-0 Yale 30-24 Dart. 21-2 Colum. 0-1 Matt Mugmon (31-17) Penn 77-8 Harv. 3-2 Dart. 2-0 Colum. 4-3 Jonathan Shazar (30-18) Penn π-e Harv. 2-1 P'ton 100-0 Brown 3-2 Amy Potter (28-20) Penn 42-7 Harv. 21-7 P'ton 26-2 Colum. 28-7 Dan McQuade (28-20) Penn 38-14 Harv. 44-9 Dart. 3-0 Brown 328-0 Jarrod Ballou (23-21) Penn 49-7 Harv. 21-7 P'ton 28-14 Colum. 10-3

Sports Briefs: Friday, February 25, 2000

(02/25/00 10:00am)

Sixers sign former Penn star Bowman Bowman, 26, has appeared and started in 40 games this season for the Connecticut Pride of the Continental Basketball Association. The 6'5", 195-pound guard averaged 12.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds for the Pride. He was in training camp with the Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks before the start of the season before signing with the Pride. Bowman, a native of Newark, N.J., was co-captain of the 1996 Penn squad. -- The Associated Press Caramanico receives academic accolades Wednesday, however, Caramanico was heralded for her achievements away from the hardwood. The Wharton junior was named a District Two GTE Academic All-American. In the classroom, Caramanico majors in Management and boasts a 3.24 grade point average, and the District Two honors make the Blue Bell, Pa., native eligible for national GTE Academic All-America status. Caramanico has been excellent on the hardwood this season, leading the Ivy League and Big 5 in both scoring and rebounding. A week ago today, at Cornell, she became Penn's all-time leading scorer. -- Jesse Spector

COLUMN: Believe it or not, Big 5 is back

(12/08/99 10:00am)

John McAdams, the longtime voice of the Palestra, was there at the mic. The two coaches were Big 5 born-and-raised. Four of the starters had cut their basketball teeth in Philadelphia. And, for the first time since 1991, two teams were meeting in a truly consequential Big 5 game, not an is-this-or-is-this-not official Big 5/City Series matchup. Except one thing was wrong. It was not the Palestra. There were no pigeons roosting on iron rafters and no dusty trophy cases, no "B I G F I V E" spelled out under the East basket and certainly no cement floors that have stood up to 70-plus years of Philadelphian foot-stomping. "I'd rather see it at the Palestra, but I understand the reason for wanting to come up here," Rubincam said last night. Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky, seated next to Rubincam at center court last night, knows a thing or too about the City Series himself, earning election to the Big 5 Hall of Fame in '88 for his stellar play as a Quakers guard 30 years ago. And last night, there were definitely no streamers, no musty concourse and no ear-drum bursting cheers echoing off an arched ceiling that's more kettle drum and amplifier than rafters and roof. "[Gola] is kind of a hard gym to generate that kind of excitement," Bilsky said. "I think there is a lot of noise, but it's not like being at the Palestra where it reverberates." But as anti-climactic as it might seem to revive the Big 5 anywhere else than at the Palestra with a doubleheader, the important thing is that the Big 5 is back. Period. "Both teams are playing hard, I think it's your typical Big 5 game," Bilsky said during a timeout with 11 minutes to play and La Salle leading 55-44. Little did Bilsky, or anyone else for that matter, know just how fast-and-furious the game's ending would be. After a lethargic first half and a confused first 30 minutes, the Quakers found themselves in danger of seeing an eight-game winning streak over La Salle snapped. After combining for an atrocious 3-for-24 performance from the floor in Saturday's loss to Penn State, Penn co-captains Michael Jordan and Matt Langel suddenly bounced back Big-5 style with 8:38 to play. Langel drained a three and deflected a La Salle pass to Jordan; Jordan then stole it himself after a Lamar Plummer miss and La Salle rebound before dishing to Langel for yet another three to cut it to 59-54 at the 8:03 mark. Jordan and Langel combined for 27 second-half points, and the two teams tallied 26 points over the game's final 2:45 as the Quakers desperately fought back and La Salle valiantly held them off. It was the Explorers' first win over Penn since December 1, 1990 -- the last time the two teams met in an official Big 5 game with the full slate of round-robin standings at stake. But round-robin or no round-robin, Palestra or no Palestra, the City Series games have always been, and will always be, intense battles and matters of pride. And they're something no player can truly understand until he has played in one. "I think our younger guys learned a little bit about Big 5 basketball tonight," said Penn coach Fran Dunphy, who captained La Salle in 1969-70. "You can't really explain it, you have to experience it and I think that's what they did." But as badly as Jordan, Langel & Co. wanted to start their Big 5 season 1-0 and earn bragging rights over many of the players they battled all summer in Philly, the Explorers played a determined and hungry 40 minutes of basketball. "We won the first Big 5 game since '91, and we wanted to win it bad, really bad," La Salle coach Speedy Morris said. "It's a pride thing, playing against guys that you know," said La Salle's Donnie Carr, who burned the Quakers for 25 points of pride last night. Carr, a veteran guard, has an excellent shot this season at becoming just the fourth player in history to earn first-team All-Big 5 honors four times. And last night, in a game with a significance belied by the setting but deeply understood by the players, Carr played as if he received an ice-water IV before the game. The Philly native and Roman Catholic product hit 9-of-10 from the free-throw line, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists while turning the ball over just once in a full 40 minutes. "That was the motivation all week, we didn't want to be the first to lose in the return of the Big 5," Carr said. "We didn't want to be remembered as that team." Instead, the Quakers played their hearts out for just a few spurts at a time, bringing life and a buzz to the Gola crowd while trying to make it close in the game's final minutes, as Philly basketball regained its real pulse for the first time since '91. But the Explorers were better prepared for a true Big 5 matchup and earned the right to ink their names on the first page of The Story of the Big Five, Chapter Two.

GUEST COLUMNIST: Katz has fresh answers to Philly's problems

(10/28/99 9:00am)

When Ed Rendell became mayor of Philadelphia in 1992, he compared the city to a patient dying from both a gunshot wound and cancer. The gunshot wound was a budget crisis that threatened to plunge the city into bankruptcy. The cancer was comprised of terrible schools, high crime and enormous taxes. The gunshot wound has healed, but the cancer lingers. If you don't believe that, consider the following: In the 1990s, Philadelphia lost a higher percentage of its population than any other large city in the country. Now, Philadelphia is faced with choosing a new mayor to fight that cancer and make the city healthy again. The right choice is Sam Katz. Katz is a Republican, but thousands of Democrats are planning to vote for him because they realize that this election isn't about parties. It's about which candidate -- Katz or his opponent, John Street -- has a better plan for Philadelphia's recovery. Former Democratic mayoral candidates Happy Fernandez and John White think that Katz's plan is better, as does The Philadelphia Inquirer. In large part, those endorsements are a tribute to Katz's experience. As co-founder of the nation's largest municipal-government consulting firm, Katz has spent his career assisting city governments. That's why Mayor Rendell turned to Katz for help in writing the financial plan that rescued Philadelphia from near-bankruptcy. Katz also sat on Philadelphia's school board for four years, so he understands the school district's problems. Street has tried to mischaracterize Katz's aggressive plan to turn around Philadelphia's public schools by portraying Katz's support for tuition vouchers as its central theme. Don't let Street fool you. Yes, Katz supports experimenting with tuition vouchers, charter schools and other options to help kids learn, just as Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley does. But Katz's primary commitment is to a public school system with smaller classes, alternative schools for disruptive students and more rigorous standards for academic performance. And Katz realizes that state legislators won't pay for those improvements until the mayor has reduced mismanagement and waste in the schools. In contrast, Street would keep asking the state legislature for more money without implementing the reforms that legislators have repeatedly said must happen first. Taxes are the third cause of the city's cancer. Philadelphia has the highest taxes of any big city in the country, discouraging businesses and residents from moving here. To reduce taxes, Katz will make the city government more efficient and apply the saved money to tax relief. Lower taxes will draw more businesses to the city and those new businesses will create new jobs. Street has tried to scare voters by saying that Katz's tax relief plan would cut into city services. But Katz knows that by subjecting government functions to competition, changing union work rules and eliminating unnecessary patronage jobs, it's possible to maintain city services while making them cheaper. In contrast to Katz's fresh ideas, Street offers the kind of thinking that hurt Philadelphia in the first place. On schools, he offers no new solutions. On taxes, he would implement "a modest reduction," not the major tax cut that's necessary in a city which lost 65,000 jobs in the 1990s. On crime, his lukewarm support of Commissioner Timoney would send the police department a message of no-confidence. And in 1998, Street led the fight against domestic partnership benefits for gay city workers, demonstrating that he's not the inclusive leader the city needs. In contrast, Katz supports partnership benefits and has received the endorsement of several Philadelphia gay and lesbian groups. So, when you help choose the city's next leader on Tuesday, ask yourself what you want the Philadelphia of the future to be. Do you want a city whose downtown is thriving but whose residential areas are suffering under crippling taxes, bad schools and high crime? That's John Street's legacy after 19 years in power. Or do you want a safer Philadelphia, a Philadelphia with enough jobs to go around and with good schools for the city's children? I'm voting for the healthy Philadelphia. I'm voting for Sam Katz for mayor.

Wrestling takes 11th at NCAA Champs

(06/01/99 9:00am)

Loyola Academy '97 Northbrook, Ill. At the NCAA Wrestling Championships on the weekend of March 18-20, the Quakers finished 11th in the nation, which bested last year's 27th-place finish and is Penn's best result since finishing eighth in 1942. On the strength of three All-American performances -- a Penn record -- by Brett Matter (149 lbs.), Andrei Rodzianko (197 lbs.) and Bandele Adeniyi-Bada (285 lbs.), the Quakers totaled 45.5 team points, just one behind 10th-place Boise State. The Quakers stood in 10th place for much of the tournament but Kirk White's championship victory at 165 lbs. dropped the Quakers back to 11th and pushed the Broncos to 10th. "The whole team wrestled well out here," Rodzianko said. "We were ready, we were well-trained and we really showed it." In addition to the three All-Americans, Mark Piotrowsky (141 lbs.) -- who battled through knee injuries -- and Rick Springman (165 lbs.) both were knocked out of the competition just one round short of placing in the top eight. Matter tore through his first three foes, pinning one and beating the other two by a combined 12-1. But in the semifinals he ran into top-seeded T.J. Williams of Iowa, the eventual NCAA champion. After a scoreless first period that saw Williams draw a stalling warning, the Iowa sophomore opened up, getting two takedowns in the second period en route to a 7-2 victory. "Once Williams got the first takedown, then he was able to sit back and counterattack," Penn coach Roger Reina said. The loss dropped Matter into the consolation bracket, where he lost a tight 3-1 match to No. 2 seed Reggie Wright of Oklahoma State. "I thought Brett controlled the match," Reina said. "[Wright] was completely defensive and should have been hit with stalling points." In the fifth-place match, Matter beat Lehigh's Ryan Bernholz, 5-3. Although Matter came into State College seeded No. 5, he was not satisfied with the fifth-place finish. "I'm happy to be an All-American, I suppose," Matter said. "But I didn't come here just to be an All-American. I came here to win." Adeniyi-Bada stumbled out of the blocks at heavyweight, losing a second-round match 2-1 to Slippery Rock's Derek Delporto on a stalling call. He wrestled back to the placing rounds, however, meeting nemesis Bronson Lingamfelter of Brown. Lingamfelter had pinned Adeniyi-Bada in the EIWA semifinals after Adeniyi-Bada controlled the match for almost three periods. But there would be no mistakes for Adeniyi-Bada this time around as he grabbed a convincing 14-6 decision. "It was nice to let him know he only got a fluke and if he wants to go anywhere, he has to go through me" Adeniyi-Bada said. "I just have to keep on spanking him." On March 18, he suffered a hip injury in his match against Oregon State's Mat Orndorff, the No. 4 seed. He competed through the pain, though, and lost 6-2 to set up a rematch with Delporto in the seventh-place match. The second time was a charm for Adeniyi-Bada, who won, 3-2. "We had [Delporto] scouted well out of that match and Bandele took advantage of it," Reina said. "We thought he could score on a double-leg and that's exactly what he scored on." Rodzianko came into the tournament seeded second but two losses to No. 5 seed Nick Muzashvili of Michigan State left Rodzianko in fourth place. After being knocked into the consolation bracket by a 5-4 loss to Muzashvili, Rodzianko faced stiff opposition on his way to the third-place match. The Penn tri-captain needed overtime to beat sixth-seeded Sam Neider of Northwestern, 3-1. He then pinned fifth-seeded Chris Vike of Central Michigan in the third period of a wild match. Rodzianko went up 2-0 on an early takedown and added three back points to take a 5-0 lead. But with 30 seconds left in the second period, Vike came up with three back points of his own, narrowing the gap to 5-3. In the third period, Rodzianko regained his edge, took Vike down and pinned him at 5:28. "I though he had taken [Vike] out of the match but he came roaring back," Reina said. In the rematch with Muzashvili for third place, the Michigan Stater outlasted Rodzianko 3-1. "Andrei had some scrambles that he had an opportunity to score on," Reina said. "But Muzashvili capitalized at the buzzer." The Quakers continued their upwardly mobile trend in the national wrestling scene and, with six of eight qualifiers returning next year, view this year's tournament as a stepping stone for greater things to come. While Rodzianko and Piotrowsky are graduating, Penn returns qualifiers Justin Bravo (125 lbs.), Jason Nagle (133 lbs.), Yoshi Nakamura (157 lbs.), Matter, Springman and Adeniyi-Bada.

Mayor Rendell helps spur Phila. revival

(06/01/99 9:00am)

Lynnfield High School '98 Lynnfield, Mass. Over the past several years, Philadelphia -- known as the City of Brotherly Love -- has experienced a remarkable economic and spiritual renaissance whose momentum is headed in a positive direction as the new millennium rapidly approaches. In the early 1990s, Philadelphia was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and faced annual deficits of well over $200 million, poor city services, a falling population and a bloated bureaucracy, among other foreboding issues. People everywhere had essentially given up on the city that saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence and gave the world Rocky Balboa. During his time in office, Rendell --Ewhose second and final term ends on December 31 -- has submitted six years of balanced budgets, seen the construction of a huge downtown convention center and growth in city-based jobs, helped transform the historic Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and in his crowning achievement, landed the 2000 Republican National Convention. But more than anything else, people in the city and around the country have regained faith in Philadelphia -- an accomplishment that holds a special place in Rendell's heart. "Changing the way other people think about us, that I think is something that I'm extremely proud of," Rendell said in April. "But I would say the thing that maybe I'm most proud of is that I changed our own people's view of the city, the business community, the people who live here.? People believe in Philadelphia again. People are proud." It comes as no surprise that Rendell's innovative tactics have garnered him national attention. While Vice President Al Gore has dubbed Rendell "America's Mayor," President Bill Clinton proclaimed "there's not a better mayor in America than Ed Rendell" during a recent visit to Philadelphia. Visitors to the downtown area of the city see very noticeable differences from just a few short years ago. The streets are cleaner, crime is down and major corporations are helping to revitalize the tourism industry. In the past year alone, construction on a new downtown indoor Disney theme park began and the state legislature approved funding for two new sports stadiums for the Phillies and Eagles. Construction is also underway on the massive $245 million Regional Performing Arts Center, designed to increase the amount of performing arts space in Philadelphia. Rendell has also overseen a drop in crime in the nation's fifth-largest city. Last year, he brought in former New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John Timoney to oversee Philadelphia's police department and he has proceeded to reform the city's troubled law enforcement agency. After he turns over the keys to City Hall, Rendell -- who will likely be a leading candidate for the Pennsylvania governorship in 2002 and has been rumored as a possible vice presidential candidate on Gore's ticket -- is planning to teach an Urban Studies class at Penn, where he can frequently be seen at the Palestra attending Penn men's basketball games.

U. alum's Web site allows students to stury '24-7'

(01/28/99 10:00am)

Join a study group at 3 a.m.? Get the lecture notes for a class you missed with no hassles and for no cost? And all without leaving your room? Craig Green, a 1998 Wharton graduate, and his partner Brian Maser, are hoping to turn such a dream into reality with their new World Wide Web site, The site consists of lecture notes for nearly every academic subject -- made available by students from thousands of colleges and universities across the country -- as well as chat rooms and discussion groups which students can access to get help with classes. The idea for the site evolved from Green's senior management project, which won the Frederick H. Gloeckner Award for the best business plan of the year. Green said the main goal for the site is to "provide an additional resource by which students can better their educational experience." He pointed out the convenience of the on-line discussion groups in allowing students to study with one another from the comfort of their homes. To run the Web site, Green pays student note-takers to post their work on the site for anyone who was interested. "That's the lure to get people visiting the site, not just once or twice but all the time," he explained. "But eventually we are hoping that the chat rooms and discussion groups really take off." Despite having only launched the site a week ago, Green said he is pleased with the progress, noting that he has already signed up 50 students to serve as note-takers. University of Florida student Nekeshia Negeussie signed up to be a note-taker for her developmental psychology course because "it seemed like a good way to make some money." Negeussie is hopeful about the future of the site. "Once there is a little more publicity it will be OK," she said. "I've seen other ads for it around campus." She added that while she would like to use the site for help with other classes, being a note-taker takes up too much of her time. Green and Maser said the best publicity comes from professors recommending the site to their students. "A professor is the ultimate authority when it comes to classes, so it's nice to have them approve of your work," Green explained. Penn English Professor Al Filreis praised the Web site as a "natural evolution of electronic media in education." Although he was not sure whether a nationwide Web site of this type will be effective, Filreis said he hopes Penn will follow the lead and create its own site whereby students can exchange course notes and ideas. The two founders are also hoping to spread the word about by offering a reward to the fraternity or sorority chapter that does the best job promoting the site to students. Future plans for the site include adding a travel component offering spring break trips to boost student appeal, as well as a gaming section.

First monthly 'AIDS in Africa' talk draws big crowd

(10/22/98 9:00am)

A large crowd packed a seminar room in the University Museum last night to learn about the spread of AIDS in Africa. The first session of the monthly AIDS in Africa dialogue dealt with the topic of "Epidemiology and Demography of HIV/AIDS in Africa" and featured three prominent speakers, most notably James Hoxie, the director of the Center for AIDS and HIV Research at Penn. The three presentations gradually narrowed the focus on the AIDS pandemic from a worldwide view to a regional one and finally to a specific nation. Hoxie took advantage of the opportunity to explain the objectives of the research center to the crowd of more than 70 people, which included such faculty notables as Donald Silberberg, the associate dean of Penn's International Medical Programs, which establishes research relationships with foreign institutions. Hoxie expressed his excitement at the partnership between his center and the "AIDS in Africa" dialogue by identifying their common goal: "to reach out to the student community." Because of this partnership, the center now officially sponsors the monthly dialogue. The other two speakers, Alex Weinreb and Amson Sibanda, a native of Zimbabwe, are both demographics experts who have researched extensively in Africa. Weinreb, a fifth-year graduate student in demographics, emphasized that the AIDS pandemic was still exploding at a terrific rate. "The belief that the fatalities as a result of AIDS would never catch up to the fertility rate is beginning to be undermined," he said. Weinreb added ominously, "There will be a negative growth rate." Weinreb also pointed out "some real problems" with data collection in Africa. He explained that "no one really knows how prevalent HIV is in the sub-Sahara." Sibanda narrowed the focus of the speech to the specific example of Zimbabwe, his native country. In his presentation, Sibanda posed the question of why the HIV and AIDS situation was so out of control in one of the most successful and developed African nations. Fourth-year Anthropology and Folklore graduate student Tonya Taylor, who organized the dialogue series, marveled at Sibanda's "rigorous honesty" as he suggested several possible reasons for the HIV and AIDS problem in Zimbabwe. Sibanda's answers ranged from the more popular explanation of the differing cultural context of sexual reproduction to more subtle problems including Zimbabwe's central location on many trade routes. After each of the speakers had finished, the program continued with a lively discussion among the many audience members who remained. On November 25, the next dialogue in the series will focus on the socioeconomic impact of AIDS in Africa.

Experts 'Communicate Africa' during sixth-annual workshop

(10/05/98 9:00am)

Speaking with the voice of experience, Gregory Simpkins set the tone for Friday's sixth-annual African Studies Consortium Workshop by challenging Americans' disinterest in Africa. "There are too many people who think Africa is a country," said Simpkins, a policy director of the Corporate Council on Africa -- a non-profit Washington, DC-based advocacy group -- who described himself as a "liaison between the thinkers and doers" in Washington. "Americans don't value Africa." Simpkins, also a former staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, delivered the keynote address on "Communicating Africa." The annual African Studies Workshop is a chance to "bring the Africanist community up to speed, so that we understand what the tip of the wave is," explained Sandra Barnes, director of Penn's African Studies Center. For his speech, Simpkins drew on the example of Liberia, an African nation founded in 1822 by freed American slaves who returned to Africa. "Liberians view America as a mother country, but their feeling toward us has little to do with our feeling toward them," Simpkins explained to the Faculty Club audience of more than 75 people. "Try stopping someone on the street and asking them where Liberia is -- they'll have no idea." In nine smaller panel discussions held throughout the day, 34 speakers tackled numerous topics crucial to the central theme of "Communicating Africa" -- from a panel on "Africa and the Western Media" to "African Knowledge: Intellectual Negotiations." In the "Africa in the American Imagination" panel, Professor Curtis Keim of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., addressed images of Africa among college students. Citing four words -- "tribe, primitive, native and development" -- that continually recurred in his class discussions, Keim explained that "students compartmentalize new information; they don't necessarily erase old stereotypes." Such stereotypes in Western media representations of Africa were part of the reason that "Communicating Africa" was chosen as this year's theme, according to Barnes. "Making Africa look bad seems to be a journalistic convention," said Barnes, who blamed such distorted coverage for the conventional view of Africa as "conflict-ridden, underdeveloped and chaotic." In response to this type of misrepresentation, Barnes saw this year's workshop as an opportunity to "look at how information is produced and disseminated for and about Africa." Though the format of the workshop is designed for highly-informed professionals in the field of African studies, Barnes was quick to point out that several graduate students were included on this year's panels. The topic for each year's workshop, she added, is determined the winter before the event by the African Studies Consortium -- which includes Penn and Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore colleges.

AIDS dialogue event draws large crowd

(10/01/98 9:00am)

The crash of SwissAir Flight 111 on September 2 dealt a tragic blow to the world's fight against AIDS, killing one of the world's foremost experts on the epidemic, Jonathan Mann. Mann's untimely death also affected a Penn student-led program to discuss the world AIDS crisis. He had been slated to speak at the University this fall as part of an AIDS in Africa dialogue initiated by three Penn students. The first event in the series, held a week ago, was a discussion of AIDS, poverty and human rights. The event was dedicated to Mann. Fourth-year Anthropology and Folklore graduate student Tonya Taylor, with the assistance of College juniors Adriana Lopez and Olivia Carballo, started the dialogue because she felt "lonely, isolated and constrained" by her efforts to investigate a topic that had impacted her so deeply. Taylor explained that several months of research in Zimbabwe stirred her interest in the AIDS epidemic. "I went to study the role of narrative in traditional healing, but I found that all the traditional healers were pragmatically dealing with HIV," she said. "I wanted to connect with other students, faculty and staff who share an interest in the global health crisis," Taylor added. "It was important to create an interdisciplinary community and dialogue." Despite Mann's loss, the dialogue will continue. The first meeting was described as a tremendous success, with more than 50 faculty members and students from many departments on campus attending, Taylor said. Included in that group were eight former students of Mann's from Allegheny University of the Health Sciences. Mann had taken a position there as dean of the School of Public Health just nine months before the crash. As the founding director of the Global Program on AIDS under the auspices of the World Health Organization, Mann supervised all of the UN's international AIDS programs. Mann was world-renowned for pioneering work that sought to establish basic public health as a human right, as well as the energy and devotion he brought to his work. Last spring, at the invitation of the career-planning office, Mann visited Penn to speak to pre-med students about the future of the medical field. He spoke with "spirit," recalled Renee Fox, professor emerita of the Medical School and a former colleague of Mann. "He had a questing, passionate approach to his work. He spoke with no flamboyance, but rather with intelligence and commitment." Fox recalled her astonishment at the diversity of the audience, which boasted students from a wide variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Taylor cited Mann as a role model both for her own career pursuits and the cross-disciplinary dialogue on AIDS that she was trying to initiate. "I was in awe of his scholarship and his humanitarian activism," she said. "My research constantly led me to Dr. Mann's work. He was a seminal writer on human rights, poverty and gender inequality." When Taylor invited Mann to participate in the dialogue, he promised to come and speak for free. "I was surprised," she said. "I was running around all summer trying to raise money to bring him to Penn. But it just illustrates how accessible and concerned he was about the students." Future meetings of the AIDS discussion group will combine both student presentations and prominent speakers from the international community. The group will next meet on October 21 at 5 p.m. in the University Museum's Rainey Auditorium. A memorial service for Mann will be held next Monday at 3 p.m. in Allegheny's Garry Auditorium at 15th and Vine streets.

GUEST COLUMNIST: Suicide: The problem, not answer

(09/23/98 9:00am)

Suicide. To take one's own life. Youth suicide. To commit suicide. The phrases hit me hard and fast. They have a painful, shocking, depressing meaning that angers and upsets me. They bring back memories one would rather forget. Some of the greatest and most famous men and women in history have committed suicide, most in the face of defeat or dishonor. But what of youth suicide? My own country, Australia, is the unofficial youth suicide capital of the world. Why unofficial? Because, thankfully, suicides and their statistics are not reported in the press to avoid copycat acts. This also means, however, that the issue of youth suicide has not been addressed adequately by the community and the "secret" problem still persists. She would have been a senior this year. She should have been looking forward to graduation. She could have been a great woman. Instead, another life was cut short. Imagine being the one who finds a friend or relative dead by his or her own hand. What does one think and do? Suicide can be difficult to understand for those left behind. There are no murderers to blame, no negligence, no disease. The person ultimately responsible is the victim. Why would one contemplate suicide? To end it all. To end suffering? Hurt? Pain? Mental torture? Depression? To be with one's God? To rest peacefully? I myself know how tempting such thoughts can be. But suicide is wrong. Life must go on. Many successful people have talked of past periods of severe depression when they seriously considered suicide. They had not thought life could get better. But it did. We never know what life holds for us. Suicide should not be an alternative. One must hang in there. Better times will come soon. Perhaps tomorrow. Perhaps next week or month or year or even later. But when it does come you will be thankful you hung in there. I spoke to my friend for the last time in April. She was still upset and shaken by her study abroad experience last fall. ("Unfortunately, my experience wasn't as good as I'd hoped.") She had become sick ("weak and dehydrated") due to heat exhaustion and was hospitalized for a month. Although she still wanted to complete her studies and receive full credit, her doctors forced her to return home to the U.S. in early October. Resuming classes at Penn last spring, she found it hard to readjust. When she instead decided to take the semester off to work, she seemed in a better frame of mind. She said she enjoyed what she was doing and looked forward to summer classes. I can now only guess what was going through her mind at the time. I suspect she again found it difficult to readjust to academics and wasn't able to concentrate during the summer term. In her suicide note she cited "depression." She perhaps thought she could never fit back in. Very sad. I never met her. We were e-mail buddies. She was like an older sister giving advice and answering my many questions: Sweet, affectionate, thoughtful, considerate and helpful in her replies. We had planned to meet several times, but it wasn't to be. If we had, I may have been able to see behind her brave words. I never got an opportunity to thank her in person. I don't know her family or even any of her friends. They probably don't even know of me. It would have been too easy for me to erase her from my memory, for I didn't even have a face to put to her e-mails. But, she touched me. By becoming my first friend at Penn, she will always live on inside of me. I know others who have contemplated suicide. Close friends. I have spoken to them, tried to convince them of the folly of their arguments. And whether because of me or others, or even themselves, they have always decided against suicide. For that I am thankful. That is why her death shocked me all the more. I wished I had stayed in touch with her during the rest of April and May. I wished I had realized that she was seriously depressed. Perhaps I, or someone else, could have made a difference. Perhaps. The last words she wrote to me were: "I must go, but I hope all turns out well for you. Good luck in everything:)." I know things will turn out well for me, thanks in part to her. If only she knew that. If only. Life at a competitive place like Penn can be lonely. The pressure and atmosphere can be depressing. We should not shrug our shoulders and say that people like my friend did what they wanted and are better off dead. We are all of the same great university. We should stand united together. We should take care of each other.

GUEST COLUMNIST: In the dark on the 'why' behind residential changes

(04/21/98 9:00am)

It is hard to escape the news that something is going on with respect to Community House -- something very odd. Not only are the current and prospective House residents and staff concerned, but large numbers of students who have lived in Community House over the past four years are as well. Normally, the process of collegial discussion and consultation provides the channel for the open expression of disagreements and their resolution. Now, for the first time, it appears that I am involved in a process in which there are few signs of either collegiality or consultation -- and, quite frankly, I don't know why. In order to try to stimulate the type of open discussion and review that has always prevailed at Penn, I think that it is time that the residents of Community House and the Penn community are provided with answers to the questions that have been raised in The Daily Pennsylvanian and elsewhere. Why was the Community House assistant dean of residence forced out of the house dean review process? After working with Diana Koros in Community House for four years, I feel that I have a reasonably good sense of her strengths (and weaknesses). Nonetheless, throughout the entire review process, I have never been asked to provide any information about Koros' performance. Nor, for that matter, were any of the house residents or staff. One argument is that the house dean position is entirely new and requires altogether different qualities than the ADRs. But even this argument does not hold water since, even in the charge to the review committee, it was clear that experience in Penn's residences was a central element of the review. As I was told by the chairperson, the intent was to "bend over backwards" to ensure that the current job holders had every opportunity to go forward to the next step in the review process. The result: Other internal candidates were put forward with only a Bachelor's degree and, in one case, only one year of experience in residence at Penn. What is of concern here, however, is just how Koros could have failed to make the "cut" -- since she has four years of experience in residence and very strong academic qualifications (dissertation status, seven years as a teaching assistant for Women's Studies and the departments of Regional Science, Political Science and English, plus extensive advising experience in the College and the house). What I have been told by three members of the committee is that Koros had "all of the necessary academic qualifications and residential experience" and that she was "smart and articulate" but lacked "other qualifications." When I asked what those "other qualifications" were, however, I was told only that the committee's work was confidential. Confidential or not, Koros is the current ADR, and I would expect that I am entitled to information that could affect the house -- all the more so since I also learned that no malfeasance, like the types of financial and morale problems that existed when I became faculty master, was even suggested. I now have only questions and a belief that several members of an otherwise excellent committee were allowed to use the committee to meet their own needs rather than those of the house residents. In the absence of collegiality and consultation, the questions about Koros' status thus remain unanswered. Why does it appear that Community House is opposed to the new college house plan? This question is particularly vexing since Community House has been one of the strongest supporters of the new program. Indeed, in a plan prepared by a house committee in December 1996, we proposed many of the same changes for Community House as were proposed this past September in Al Filreis' plan. Our plan called for the formation of Benjamin Franklin College House from the existing Community House units and Butcher. Already we have instituted an essay as part of the application to the house; designed the house educational program; provided extensive academic support services; implemented a house dining room; recruited upperclassmen as residents; designed University-wide programs such as PennWatch; and implemented comprehensive house-based governance procedures. Interestingly, virtually all of the Community House initiatives were guided by Koros. If anything, the house residents and staff believed we were in the vanguard in our support for the college house plan. Those concerns the house had with the new plan for the residences stemmed, almost exclusively, from what we felt to be arbitrary decisions that had been made entirely without consultation. These include the ratio of RAs to GAs -- which forced us to use both RAs and GAs exclusively for floor support rather than use GAs to develop the house educational programs -- and the almost complete absence of attention to the special needs of those houses that would continue, in the near term, to house freshmen. Community House may not be a "first-year house," but, at least for next year, more than 90 percent of the residents will be freshmen. Surely, collegial discussion and consultation could have easily remedied these concerns. But to date, no member of Community House has received invitation to participate in any of the planning discussions -- not even its faculty master! The question should thus be restated as: Just who is it that wants it to appear that Community House is opposed to the new college house plan -- and why? Why has Community House been singled out for this "special" attention? Or rather, Why has Community House been the subject of all this controversy? It is true that the house has always prided itself on its independence, but then so have Hill, DuBois, Modern Language and Van Pelt. It is true that the house has been known for creating new educational programs and initiatives that have at times been at odds with the leadership of residential living. It is true that the house students, staff and faculty leadership have often been outspoken with their concerns with respect to the extraordinary level of micromanagement which has been exercised toward the house. But if I read the Brownlee Report correctly, this is precisely the goal of the new residential program: to create strong, independent houses with educational programs dedicated to the support of the students' educational needs. Certainly, from all that I have been told (which, admittedly, is very little) the recent controversy with respect to Community House has not focussed on any concerns about the house educational programs or the dedication of the students, staff and faculty. If anything (at least judging by the applications to the house and the enormous number of calls we have received from parents wanting to know how new students can secure a room in the house), Community House is well-known and well-regarded as a place to live, learn and develop a community of friends -- perhaps the residence of choice for freshmen wishing to live in the Quad. Again, I must point at the absence of collegiality and consultation for an answer; at least at this point, no member of Academic Programs and Residence Life, the Residential Faculty Council or the administration has approached me (or any of the house students and staff) to discuss any specific concerns or misgivings with respect to the house. My point here is thus very simple. As with most issues concerning the design and implementation of educational programs, there are often differences of opinion and style. Academic tradition holds that these differences should be resolved by both collegial discussion and review and consultation with the administrators responsible for the operation of the University's educational programs. Over the past year, I have repeatedly asked to engage in this process. But without such collegiality and without the opportunity for consultation, all that remains is speculation, rumor and innuendo. My interest is in seeing Penn's standards of mutual respect and collegial support re-instituted with respect to the decisions about Community House. Any less will leave all of us only with suspicions and a belief that our single most important initiative for all of Penn's undergraduates has been tainted from the outset.

GUEST COLUMNIST: Wen you have no home

(04/07/98 9:00am)

Think to yourself what would happen if you were suddenly evicted from your room, house or apartment. With exams on the horizon and in the midst of searching for a summer or permanent job, you must pack up your belongings and move to a new residence. As many of you read today, Phi Sigma Kappa's Mu chapter lost its fraternity status yesterday and was subsequently forced out of its house on Locust Walk. I'm not here to contest our national alumni's decision to revoke our charter, although I do not agree that such a decision should have been made without representation by one of our chapter members. I understand that we violated our Risk Management policies, and as a result, we deserve to be punished. But as a brotherhood, we believe that asking us to leave the chapter house before our lease expires is unreasonable. If history is any credit, we have certainly not been a "problem" chapter on this campus. In fact, just last Friday we sponsored a concert to benefit the Penn Leukemia Society. And while several other fraternities at the University have received negative press as a result of high-profile incidents, we are guilty of comparably minor charges: illegal kegs and an offensive homepage. Phi Sig brothers were already planning to move out in June to make way for large-scale renovations -- a project scheduled to take more than a year. And we have offered to pay for any potential damage that occurs to the chapter house in the meantime. One wouldn't think that allowing us to remain in the house for the remaining month of the semester would be too much to ask. But the University has been unresponsive to our requests. Administrators explain that our only alternative is to appeal the decision to revoke our charter. According to our Grand Chapter's bylaws, however, since our chapter has only been suspended we cannot make an appeal. Therefore, we have no way to block the implementation of the University's policy. Our National has every intention of returning to this campus in the near future, yet it will not support us right now. That the University has also turned its back on us is unfair. As a community, we must protest this treatment by appealing to the offices of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and the Vice Provost for University Life. After all, you never know when it may be your turn to pack up.

COLUMN: Relays indicates apathy

(04/30/97 9:00am)

There are only a handful of meets in the country that can match the Relays in the number of events and attendance. And each year, those meets grow fewer in number. Athletes are increasingly forced to hop on a plane to Europe to compete in the track circuit overseas. The American athletes often find their greatest fans in the packed crowds at the European meets, while for the most part, America turns a blind eye toward track. For many athletes, the Relays represent the one chance to run in front of a large crowd in the U.S. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The 1996 Olympics was looked upon as a sort of track revival with Michael Johnson as its gold-shoed messiah, saving the sport and taking it to levels unmatched in recent years. The home country would witness one of the greatest track and field exhibitions ever, and the momentum generated would carry over in the following years. Everything seemed to go perfectly. Athletes such as Devers, Carl Lewis and Dan O'Brien all won gold medals. The concerted effort for Johnson to win the 200- and 400-meter sprints worked out better than imagined, as he cruised to a world record in the 200 meters. A media star and track savior had supposedly been born, but eight months later Johnson's face is not seen covering billboards. He is only visible in a Nike ad where he undergoes counselling for being too fast. Most Americans still assume the top runners return to normal 9-to-5 jobs in the years between the Olympics, and the meets this year have not witnessed the expected resurgence of track and field. The reason for the non-revival lies in the nature of the sport itself. The beauty of track and field is that it reduces running, jumping and throwing to some of its most basic levels. While this sets the sport apart, it also contributes to its lack of attention. The average person can better comprehend the greatness of a high-scoring basketball player than a high-schooler jumping seven feet, four inches in the high jump, as Canada's Mark Boswell did at the Relays Friday. It is hard to understand the difficulty, technical precision and determination involved with pushing one's self to run full speed for 400 meters. Most of these subtleties are missed by the first-time track viewer. The Penn Relays stand out in sharp contrast to the second-class state of track and field in the U.S. This year, over 87,000 fans packed Franklin Field over the course of three days, including 46,216 on Saturday. Somehow, the Relays set attendance records while the interest in track and field has failed to rise after the Olympics. The answer can be found in one thing Tim Baker, the former director of the Relays, always stressed. The true magic of the meet lies in the high school and college athletes whose only chance to run in front of 46,000 people will come at the Relays. The stands are filled with friends, family and fellow athletes who are there to watch specific high schoolers and collegiates compete. While this leads to higher crowd sizes, it also creates a stadium filled with knowledgeable fans who truly appreciate track and field. In fact, the Penn Relays is able to thrive because its does not showcase the world's best athletes, but rather the unknowns. The Relays are still largely unnoticed by students at Penn, who in many ways do not take advantage of the excitement offered by an event a few blocks away. Yet the Relays will continue to survive without the student support as long as the track enthusiasts still travel to Franklin Field to participate in the Penn Relays experience. One can only hope this weekends first time viewers become the fans who help revive interest in track and field in the future.

COLUMN: Violent acts do not justify violent words

(10/01/96 9:00am)

Will Harris says fear is no excuse for less-than-civil discourse about safety at the University. When last Wednesday's tense University Council meeting ended, I mentioned to one administrator that, after giving seminars on democratic theory and authoritarianism in the Serb Republic and the Croat section of Bosnia-Herzegovina in July, I had worried about whether moderating Council for another year might not seem awfully tame. At least that worry had been resolved. Any thoughtful democratic theory requires that those who have power be accountable for its use, subjected to questioning and expected to provide explanation. The deeply civil criticism which Council member Gil Beverly offered regarding my conduct of the meeting was entirely consistent with this principle. To the extent that I disagreed with him, I explained my different understanding of the character of Council as a deliberative representative body and not an open public hearing, immediately after he spoke. This exchange, however, occurred after I had bent the rules of Council -- as I have similarly done for years in times of high community tension -- to extend the discussion relating to campus safety issues so that it comprised at least 60 minutes of the two-hour meeting, where only five minutes had been allocated on the agenda. When I began restructuring the time, I said that any Council members who had concerns about the way I was doing it should make their views known. As a longstanding principle of constitutionalism, operating outside the rules, even for good purposes, requires special accountability. As those who have observed me conducting Council meetings in the past will have noticed, I make a particular effort to make sure that people who exercise power at all levels in the University are subject to questioning. Sometimes I even try to refocus participants' questions, with their concurrence, to make them hit home more precisely. Or I check back to see if they want to follow up a question when they've gotten a fuzzy response. I'm not sure that the recipients of this strategy always appreciate this, but none has ever complained. Most know that effective leadership thrives when it rises to the occasion to justify itself reasonably. At the same time, what I have assiduously tried to exclude (and will continue to discourage) are harangues aimed at bashing University leaders -- like the DP's editorials of last Thursday ("Shaken to the core") and Friday ("The right response") -- and elaborate, sometimes self-serving speeches that can be presented in less dynamically interactive forums. For this reason, when I extended participation in the Council meeting to non-members at the end of the two safety discussions, I insisted that they frame their remarks in the form of questions directed to those they wanted an accounting from. The headline on last Thursday's Council story, "Despite student requests, UC does not focus on safety; Council discusses FinMIS, restructuring, academics" was false in each of its three parts. Non-member student observers at the meeting did not request to present remarks, as they usually do in a quick arrangement with me just before the meeting. The Council meeting did, in fact, focus predominantly on safety, and for at least half of its duration, with every principal actor responsible for safety available and responding to questions. Council did not spend the "majority of the meeting discussing other issues." Some listed in the story were not discussed at all. In addition, "students" did not have problems addressing Council, as the story insists. Most of the questions and comments for the entire meeting were posed by student members of Council. And Jon Brightbill, a non-member, was allowed to direct questions to Public Safety Managing Director Tom Seamon on two separate occasions, along with other student non-members. These errors of fact do not touch the question of the framing of the story. Because the meeting was conducted as a critical inquiry into safety policies and not an angry confrontation among partisans, your reporter seems to have had to turn the story into a confrontation about the meeting instead of an inquiry into policies discussed there. The DP needs to extend its criteria for what constitutes news. Comes now the editorial on Friday, "The right response." The phrase "nothing but jeers" is aimed at me for "wondering snidely" about the idea for a University police officer on every off-campus block. I am sorry, but as journalists, the DP does not get to put thoughts into the heads of your characters and then hold them in contempt for your imaginings. My only remark about the proposal was "Do you want an essay on that?" because it was uncertain where one would even begin to address it. Is a security state compatible with a university community? What happens when a more heavily staffed police force -- bound by oath to the U.S. Constitution and its equal protection clause -- starts arresting not just "outsiders" but large numbers of students for their violations of law, as happened in the spring, the last time I stretched Council rules to make sure students got the chance to challenge administration policy? Or what are the implications when a private police force not subject to democratic political authority uses coercion beyond campus boundaries against the citizens of West Philadelphia? The DP's editorials should jeer less and think more. Nothing gives the paper the right to suspend reason, as the main campus forum for public discourse about the nature of this community. As the DP works its way onto the Internet, I really hope it will reverse the evolution of its editorial page into a flame sheet. The plaintive incantation, "We're scared," will not serve as a justification for turning fellow citizens of the community into publicly contemptible enemies in order to focus on readily available objects for students' insecurity. Just this sort of transformation lies at the base of this uncivil city and the person-hating violence it generates. And this slogan has worked enough harm by ostensibly decent people in the broader world that the paper's editors would be well advised to keep their rational judgment intact, even in the presence of fear.

Teke talks

(06/27/96 9:00am)

The former Phillies and PiratesThe former Phillies and Piratesreliever discusses baseball,The former Phillies and Piratesreliever discusses baseball,education, and his secondThe former Phillies and Piratesreliever discusses baseball,education, and his secondcareer as a broadcaster During the Phillies' Golden Era of the late 1970s and early 1980s it always seemed as if Kent Tekulve had their number. The then-Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher regularly stifled the likes of Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Gary Maddox and Greg Luzinski. "Teke", who combined a menacing sidearm delivery with an intimidating gaze, meant certain doom for opposing batters when he arrived late in the game. Perhaps it was no coincidence when the Phillies traded fellow reliever Al Holland for Teke at the beginning of the 1985 season. Division-rival Pittsburgh's biggest pest to the Phillies was now a Phil himself. Tekulve was quite valuable during his four-year, 291 game stint with the Phils, winning 24 games and saving 25, primarily in the setup role. By the end of his career in 1989, Teke had pitched the second highest total of games in major-league history (1,013). Just as valuable to the club though, has been his presence in the broadcast booth. Upon joining the Phillies broadcast team in 1991, Teke became the color analyst in SportsChannel Philadelphia's first year of Phillies coverage. He remained at that helm until this year, when he was added to Prism broadcasts as well. A 1974 graduate of Marietta (Ohio) College, Teke is articulate and well-spoken. Whereas the stereotypical professional athlete today finds it difficult to formulate a sentence in proper English, Teke has a very intelligent disposition on the air. His mastery of pitching and the game of baseball, combined with his intellect, make Teke's color analysis of Phillies games a treasure to intelligent baseball fans. SP: How did you get your start in the broadcast world? KT: It was actually almost by mistake. At the beginning of the 1991 season, [now Phillies manager] Jim [Fregosi] was doing color analysis. When [then manager] Nick Leyva was fired and Jim was hired, that left a position in the broadcast booth open. I was one of the former players who they called immediately to fill-in as a replacement. SP: Was the transition from the pitcher's mound to the broadcast booth a tough one? KT: Aside from getting the mechanics of the actual broadcast down, the transition was not too tough for me. As a pitcher, you're basically doing the same thing as a broadcaster ---analyzing the situation at hand and acting upon it. You go through the same thought processes. The toughest thing though, is knowing when to shut up! (laughs) SP: How did you come into using your trademark sidearm pitching delivery? KT: I really never knew anything else. From the day my father put a baseball into my hand, I always threw that way. I figured, if it ain't broke, then don't fix it. SP: What major league pitchers did you look up to as a youngster? KT: The Dodgers' Don Drysdale was the biggest one I looked up to. Although I was from the Cincinnati area, I still loved Drysdale. As a kid, I thought I was just like him, aggressive and a side-armer. SP: What broadcasters did you look up to as a youngster? KT: The guy who did the Reds' broadcasts was my favorite, Waite Hoyt. He was so entertaining, especially during rain delays, when it's so tough to fill the empty time. My favorite today though, is [Phillies Hall of Fame centerfielder and current broadcasting colleague] Rich Ashburn. I have tapes of him at home from my playing days when he was commenting on how poor my hitting skills were. SP: Explain the camaraderie which exists among the Phillies broadcasters. KT: We all get along great, but my case is special. I came in stone-cold, without any prior broadcasting experience. [Longtime Phillies broadcaster] Andy Musser would constantly help me out and tell me what I was doing wrong, and never get frustrated. Andy's tolerance has made me into a better broadcaster. And from day one, I've been accepted by [Phillies broadcaster] Harry [Kalas] and Richie. SP: Is it difficult to be on the road, away from the family during the season? KT: Without the playoffs, the season is six months long, and if your family doesn't come to spring training, that's seven months. Half, of that time, you're on the road, at away games. Yes, it's very tough--it's the toughest part about the game. SP: Compare playing in Philadelphia versus playing in Pittsburgh. KT: The Phillies and the Pirates are totally different organizations. Whereas the Pirates were frugal and conservative, the Phillies are willing to spend money, and it's as if everyone from the bottom up is part of the organization -- like a big family. The atmosphere in Philly is much more friendly. People from the ground crew to ticket takers are treated like part of the family -- there are only a handful of teams in the big leagues that have this. SP: Although the '96 Phillies have been dubbed as a team without substantial chemistry, the relief pitchers are reportedly quite close. In your playing days, were you a member of close-knit bullpens? KT: Bullpens are always pretty tight. We were always really close, especially in Pittsburgh during our successful years. The guys in the Pirates bullpen whom I was particularly close with were Grant Jackson and Enrique Romo. SP: What has been your most memorable experience during your baseball life? KT: Throwing the last pitch to win the '79 World Series without a doubt. Every kid dreams of throwing a strikeout to clinch the World Series. Well, mine was a fly ball to the centerfielder, but it's something that I'll never forget! SP: Today, very few major leaguers attend college, let alone graduate. As a college graduate, explain the importance of higher education. KT: Bottom line, without graduating college, I wouldn't be a broadcaster today, I'd just be a retired major leaguer. I learned how to speak intelligently while at college, and that has helped me today. If you're 100% sure that you'll be a major leaguer, then there's no real reason to go to college, but almost no one has that luxury. In fact, I didn't even know if I'd make it to the pros. College is one thing, but that (Doug, SEAS '91, and current outfielder for the Chicago Cubs) Glanville from your school is too smart! (laughs) SP: Do you have any words to live by, which you would care to share with the students of The University of Pennsylvania? KT: Set your goals high. Don't ever let anyone convince you that you "can't." Have fun, or else you won't enjoy your success! Kent Tekulve is a truly remarkable individual. Although he got a late start on his career by remaining in college to graduate, there is to date only one pitcher who has appeared in more games than Teke. A 2.77 career earned-run average indicates that longevity, perseverance, and wisdom were not Teke's only assets as a player. Today, Teke is a favorite among Philadelphia sports journalists. Via his wit and friendly demeanor, Teke has gained the respect of all with whom he has come in contact with during this, his second career.

COLUMN: Title IX has cots baseball locker room

(02/29/96 10:00am)

Lurking beneath the excitement in the Quakers camp, though, is a kind of bitter sadness. It's not because a team that reached the NCAA tournament last season lost several key players to graduation. It has to do with a program feeling spurned and unappreciated in the wake of a series of events that are encompassed by as touchy an issue as this university's athletic department has ever had to deal with. Different sources tell the story different ways, but it seems to go something like this. Having been banished from its Franklin Field locker room to the Hollenbach Center when spring football practice was instituted, the baseball team two years ago received an anonymous donation -- in the neighborhood of half-million dollars -- for a locker room facility to be built right next to Bower Field. But the construction costs exceeded expectations, so the plans had to be scrapped. The donor then said the money could go to a new locker room for the team to be built in the caverns of Franklin Field. But those plans were unexpectedly nixed by the athletic department. Such a facility, it seems, would have violated Title IX, which guarantees equality for men's and women's sports at all universities receiving federal funding. Because it would have been impossible to build a comparable facility for softball, the financial see-saw would have been tilted too much toward the men's sports side. It's my guess that, whether the athletic department admits it or not, the proposed locker room was a victim of bad timing. This was right around the time, in the summer of 1994, that a complaint was filed on behalf of 10 Penn coaches and female athletes alleging discrimination in University athletics in violation of Title IX. Among the inequities cited in the complaint were facility disparities. Building an expensive locker area for baseball -- while the softball team languished in its dank Hollenbach Center dressing room -- would not have been the wisest thing to do as the University tried to reach a settlement in the Title IX suit. A compromise was reached, according to which the Hollenbach Center, the baseball team's temporary home since 1994, would become its permanent home after undergoing an overhaul. (Ironically, the cost for the refurbishing was paid -- in part -- by another private donation given to the baseball team, this one for a press box to be built at Bower Field.) The upstairs portion of the center now holds locker rooms for the baseball, men's soccer and lacrosse teams. Downstairs are locker rooms for the softball team as well as a couple of other women's squads. So everything is nice and equal and the University of Pennsylvania is in total compliance with Title IX on this particular issue. In truth, though, everything is not equal. See, while the softball team can step out the back door of its locker room and walk across a couple of soccer fields and be on its playing field, the baseball team has to trek each day from Hollenbach across the Schuylkill Expressway overpass, around Franklin Field, behind the Palestra and down to Bower Field and back, a not insignificant walk given the equipment that often has to be lugged to and fro. When the Title IX controversy first came to life at Penn two years ago, Senior Associate Athletic Director Carolyn Schlie-Femovich put the whole issue of gender equity in perspective: "You achieve gender equity when the coach or athlete in one program would gladly trade places with a coach or athlete in a comparable other-sex program." Penn coach Bob Seddon has to drive a van back and forth every time heavy equipment needs to be transported from Hollenbach to Bower Field. Ask softball coach Linda Carothers whether she would like to trade the location of her team's locker room vis-a-vis its playing field for Seddon's, and the answer would be a predictable one. This inequity does not matter, though, because the principles of Title IX apply only to the under-represented sex at a particular university, which almost always means women. If the softball team had to make the longer trek back and forth, that would be a cause for complaint. Title IX was designed to keep athletic departments from spending undue time, energy and money on high-profile men's sports. But things may have gone too far. The threat of lawsuits has made universities -- by no means just Penn -- hesitant to take any action that could conceivably be construed as being the least bit gender-biased. So now we've reached the point at which a team can't accept a private donation from a parent or "friend of the program" in order to construct a much-needed locker room. If the baseball team already had a plush locker room within shouting distance of Bower Field and someone wanted to donate $500,000 to build a private jacuzzi and sauna for each player, that might be a different story. But in this case, the proposed facility was definitely needed. And had the baseball team gotten its Franklin Field locker room in the first place, maybe less University money would be required to renovate Hollenbach. Most of us would agree that Title IX is a good and just program. Sometimes, though, a good thing can be taken too far.