ALMANAC BETWEEN ISSUES April 19, 2001


FROM THE PRESIDENT

Statement to University Council Re: Campus Copy Center

President Judith Rodin made a statement at yesterday's University Council meeting, prompted by the April 3 altercation at the Campus Copy Center and the ensuing turmoil on campus:


Statement by Judith Rodin

University Council

April 18, 2001

The turmoil on campus prompted by the altercation at Campus Copy Center is of deep concern to us. The welfare of our students is our greatest responsibility--and our greatest concern.

I am grateful that Gregory Seaton did not suffer any serious physical harm. But I regret any emotional pain and trauma that he has experienced.

I recognize that there are conflicting versions of what happened in this incident, and we may never be able to know, with absolute certainty, what took place.

But with that said, I want to make myself clear: We do not--and will not --tolerate violence at this University. We do not--and will not--tolerate discrimination of any sort.

I understand the concerns that so many students have expressed in the past week. In particular, I have heard from many members of campus minority groups, who feel at risk in ways that others do not.

Those concerns are real and cannot be brushed off. We cannot influence how everyone feels about another person. Or how everyone interprets an event. But we should--and we must --do all we can to make everyone feel safe-and respected.

I am personally committed--and this University must be committed-to ensuring that the Penn community is safe and welcoming--to everyone.

With all our accomplishments, all our talent, all our promise, we cannot consider ourselves truly great if we are not a place where everyone is treated with dignity.


Posted 4/19/01

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