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Preparedness On Campus

Dear Members of the Penn Community:

As all of you are no doubt aware, hostilities have commenced between the United States and Iraq, and the nation is now on high alert for terrorist attacks.

We want to reassure you that the University is prepared to deal with any emergency that may arise. We have spent the past year developing a plan of action with the advice of outside experts to ensure the safety and security of everyone who studies, teaches and works at Penn. Our top administrators, safety and security personnel and Health System staff have rehearsed what to do in the event of a hostile act or other types of terrorist activity.

We maintain close contact with federal, state and city emergency management agencies, as well as with law enforcement personnel at all levels. Should an emergency arise, we are ready to do what we need to do as advised by government staff. We have also taken steps to ensure that extra security is available to protect the campus if it is needed.

You can assist us by staying informed about events as they occur. In the event of an emergency in the Philadelphia region, you should stay tuned to local television and radio for the latest information. We will inform you of any steps we may need to take through broadcast e-mail, voicemail and messages posted to our Penn Web emergency information site,

We understand that many of you are concerned about the war. We have scheduled a series of interfaith gatherings, academic reflections and humanitarian projects where the entire campus can share concerns. Details about these events can be found on the Penn Web calendar; please check it often, as new activities are continually being added. We have also set up a space in Houston Hall that will be open around the clock for conversation, contemplation and support, with staff and refreshments on hand.

While we send our troops our heartfelt wishes for their eventual safe return, we also believe the robust debate that has taken place over the past several months is good for the campus and the country. We encourage you to continue the discussion as you go about your normal course of studies and activities.

We urge you to continue your activities as usual while remaining vigilant. We appreciate your continued concern for the safety of the campus, the community and our country.

--Judith Rodin, President

--Robert Barchi, Provost

--Clifford L Stanley, Executive Vice President


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 26, March 25, 2003