Council Coverage: March 22 Meeting
President Judith Rodin reported that she recently received responses from both organizations--the FLA and the WRC--that she wrote to about the sweatshop labor issues. Penn's Ad Hoc Committee will reconvene this week to discuss the responses and make recommendations. (Click here for the Code of Workplace Conduct for Penn Apparel Licensees which the president has adopted.)
Provost Robert Barchi noted that as the College Houses are completing their second year, there is an increase over last year in both RA and GA applicants from graduate students to live in the College Houses. He also said that he is "gratified by the efforts of the student body to change" in regard to alcohol although "much is left to be accomplished" there is "continuous quality improvement," he said.
Dr. Larry Gross, chair of Steering, explained that Steering has scheduled an extra Council meeting for April 19 to accommodate extended reports from the president and provost on the budget and to have ample time for committee reports.
Kendra Nicholson, chair of GAPSA, announced the upcoming Graduate Student Appreciation Week, April 10-14.
Michael Silver, chair of the UA, reported that they have been collaborating with the Penn Police on safety projects such as bicycle registration and a video on crime prevention. He also noted that their race relations dialogue had sixty participants.
Jerome Byam, chair of the UMC, said they are sending a letter to the College of New Jersey denouncing racism since there had been an incident there recently.
Terri White, chair of PPSA, said that the professional development workshop was very successful and was attended by more than 100 staff. There will be a follow-up session on April 26 at the Vernada.
Debra Smiley Koita, chair of the A-3 Assembly, indicated that she is pleased with the new retirement options for A-3 staff; the information sessions have been helpful to staff, she said.
Lee Stetson, dean of undergraduate admissions, gave a report on Penn's minority recruitment efforts of the regional directors throughout the United States. He said that Admissions has also been working on campus with LaCasa Latina to expand contacts and with LEAD, directed by Hal Haskins. While the overall admit rate at Penn has dropped to 22%, he said the minority admit rate has dropped "less drastically." Letters to parents of prospective students will be sent in "as many languages as reasonably possible." Dean Stetson said that the yield has gone up, noting that of the students who visit campus for Scholars Weekend, 70% enroll. However, he said that an institution like Penn, in an urban setting appeals to Black and Latino/Hispanic students more than to Native Americans who generally prefer the more rural campus settings.
Discussion resumed on the revised Draft Policy on Privacy in the Electronic Environment which was presented by Dr. Martin Pring, chair of the Committee on Communications. He said the latest revision includes substantial improvements and provides "strong and adequate protection." Moderator Will Harris expressed his concerns about the policy, suggesting stronger standards and principles. Jim O'Donnell, vice provost ISC, said he didn't think the proposed policy would lead to surveillance by ISC. Dr. Gross said that while he shared some of Dr. Harris's concerns he believes it is much better to have the policy in place, perhaps on a temporary basis. President Rodin agreed that if something needs to be altered in the policy that could be done in the future.
The revisions to Council's bylaws were discussed briefly and in order for them to be approved at the next meeting there must be a quorum.
Almanac of February 29 carried a call for volunteers to serve on standing committees of University Council in 2000-2001. To assure broader representation, the deadline for nominations has been extended to April 3. Serving on a Council committee is a great way to become involved in issues of importance to you and the University community. Please take time to consider whether you could make a meaningful contribution through one of the committees. The standing committees of Council are described on the back cover of the February 29 issue of Almanac. You can access that issue via the Web at www.upenn.edu/almanac/v46/n23/council.html. Please submit nominations by April 3, 2000, using the form below.
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 26, March 28, 2000