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University Council Meeting Coverage

Last Wednesday, at the first University Council meeting of the academic year, President Judith Rodin appointed Dr. Janice Bellace, the Samuel A. Blank Professor of Legal Studies, as the new moderator; Dr. Rodin thanked Dr. Bellace for assuming this leadership role. Dr. Rodin reappointed Archivist Mark Lloyd as the parliamentarian.

The President said that she and Provost Robert Barchi are mindful of the increase in crimes on and near campus recently. She then asked Chief Tom Rambo to highlight some of the efforts that have been taken by the Penn Police in light of the increase in robberies within the past few weeks. He said the UPPD is working with the UA, GAPSA, and the College Houses to distribute information about safety to students. While there will be more officers saturating the area, during the evening and early morning hours, from 7 p.m.-3 a.m., he urged the Penn community to utilize the resources such as Escort Service and Penn Transit. Chief Rambo stressed that safety is a shared responsibility and it is essential to use caution. Dr. Rodin reiterated the importance of picking up the phone and asking for a ride, "don't hesitate," she said, "we have the resources." Chief Rambo said that he had met with the Division of Public Safety Advisory Board earlier that day to determine the best ways to disseminate information such as crime alerts.

Secretary of the University Leslie Kruhly invited the Council members, and the entire Penn community, to attend the Town Meetings sponsored by the Consultative Committee September 30. She said that the committee wants input from faculty, staff and students about what attributes the Committee should look for in Penn's next president.

Dr. Yvonne Patterson, chair of the Community Relations Committee, gave their interim report (Almanac September 23, 2003), noting that the committee was one of the Council committees that will continue through this semester before finalizing their work.

Dr. Dennis Culhane, chair of the Pluralism Committee, presented that committee's year-end report (Almanac September 16, 2003).

VPUL Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum  added that the funding for the numerous resource centers on campus has tripled in the past two and a half years thanks to the president and provost being very supportive. She said that there are many academic linkages with the schools; such programs are sponsored by numerous organizations and groups, providing rich interactions. She cited the Office of International Programs which offers programs to increase interaction among international students.

Chaplain William Gipson said that this year is the fourth year that a Thanksgiving dinner will be served in Bodek Lounge for those international students who don't go home for the holiday.

  Dr. Lance Donaldson-Evans, chair of the Faculty Senate, explained that the Council Bylaws (Almanac September 23, 2003) mandate the "selection and ranking of focus issues for University Council for the academic year." For those new to Council, he noted that no topics or focus issues were raised at the final Council meeting of the prior academic year. He offered the Steering Committee's suggestion to concentrate attention on the issues that arise from the interim and final committee reports throughout the year.

One suggestion involved the challenges faced by international students and scholars with the increasingly complex requirements and restrictions. The International Programs Committee could address these concerns in an interim report, Dr. Donaldson-Evans suggested.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 6, September 30, 2003