to Residential Life
that the massive, four-year renovation of the Quadrangle has been
completed, the University has received an $11.5 million commitment
from Alan Hassenfeld C70 and Jerome Fisher W53 and his wife,
Anne, to help pay for the Quads transformation into three College
Houses. In recognition of their joint gift, one of the College
Houses will be named Fisher-Hassenfeld College House, and the
Memorial Tower Gatededicated to the memory of Pennsylvanians
who died in the Spanish-American Warwill be renamed Fisher-Hassenfeld
Memorial Tower Gate.
Penn President Judith Rodin hailed the joint gift as a magnificent
investment in undergraduate life at Penn, and predicted that
generations of students will share our gratitude for their generosity.
The Quad Renewal Project was completed this past September, and
the old dormitoriesdesigned by Cope and Sewardson and built between
1895 and 1900have been reconfigured to create spaces supporting
College House life. They have new lobbies, computer labs, fitness
rooms, music-practice rooms, lounges with kitchens, libraries
and seminar rooms, and faculty master residences. The architectural
features have been restored and the systems have been updated
(including air-conditioning). The landscaping has also been enhanced.
Fisher-Hassenfeld College House, in the oldest, westernmost part
of the Quad, has undergone the most dramatic improvements, and
now has extensive common spaces.
a Better Homepage
Web site (www.upenn.edu) was
cutting-edge when it launched five years ago, but 1997 in Internet
time is ancient history, says Deni Kasrel, the Universitys manager
of Web and publishing services. The site was overdue for a major
renovation, and after eight months of work last spring and summer,
it got one.
The result, launched at the start of the fall semester, offers
a lot more than the online equivalent of a new coat of paint.
Links have been streamlined and neatly organized, with clear descriptions
of the information to be found at each. The static navy-blue background
has been replaced with a design that features a large seasonal
photo of College Green and the Universitys recently redesigned
logo, plus frequently updated links to news, Penn events, and
It is, in short, a lot more attractive and easy to usea window
to the University, as envisioned by Deutsch, Inc., a New York-based
advertising agency, whose Web division collaborated on the project
with the University. (Donald Deutsch W79, chairman and CEO, donated
the agencys services to the project.)
lot of research was done on our side, says Kasrel. Her department
conducted interviews with administrators, trustees, faculty, staff,
students, prospective students, alumni, and high-school guidance
counselors to gain their impressions of Penns old homepageand
also received more than 2,000 responses to an online survey that
asked Penn Web-users to discuss the pros and cons of the page.
Finally, the University performed a competitive analysis of the
homepages of the top 28 universities in the country, as ranked
by U.S. News and World Report.
They found that Penns homepage design was primitive compared
with those of its peer institutions, and it wasnt particularly
user-friendlyas evidenced by the fact that Penns Webmaster was
unable to keep up with the constant flow of e-mails from dissatisfied
surfers. Finallyand perhaps most importantthe old page did not
provide a clear representation of Penn to the outside world.
Response to the new site has been positive, both from within the
University and outside. The number of e-mails received from dissatisfied
users has been greatly reduced. All in all, says Kasrel, its
just a much more informative site.
| Jan/Feb Contents | Gazette
Out Against War
The brakes on this runaway train,
this runaway history, can be applied, should
be applied, and now, said Dr. Walter Licht, standing at a podium in Huntsman
Hall as faculty, staff, and students continued pressing into the crowded
classroom, seating themselves in aisles and on the floor near his feet.
by Jacques-Jean Tiziou
Rules: Some Grad
Students Are Employees
major victory for the unionizing
organization known as Graduate Employees Together-University of Pennsylvania
(GET-UP), the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board
has ruled that certain graduate students at Penn are indeed employees
when they are teaching and acting as research assistants. Dorothy Moore-Duncan,
the regional director, also directed that an election be held sometime
in early 2003 to determine if a majority of those graduate students want
to be represented by a union. Continued...
Allegations Shock Campus
Five Penn students
charges for the alleged assault of a Princeton University student who
was visiting the campus in November for a debate tournament. The students
reportedly entered a Quadrangle lounge where Princeton student John Brantl
was sleeping at 4:15 a.m. on Saturday, November 16; poured motor oil on
him; and flicked a lit cigarette at him. Continued...
by Tommy Leonardi
Highlights Alumni Presence in Media
Jobs are scarce,
fierce, bosses often shortsighted and paranoid, and the balance between
creativity and commerce weighted heavily toward the latter, but the 200-plus
alumni gathered in New York in November for the first Penn Media Summit
were in agreement that the media worldencompassing news and entertainment,
print, movies, TV, radio, music, and the Internet is a great place to
work. (Besides, as one participant said, isnt every business like that?)
AND MORTAR Huntsman
Hall: Whartons New Nerve Center
GCE81 Gr83, dean of the Wharton School, stood beneath
a canopy at the Locust Walk entrance to Jon M. Huntsman Hall. Behind him,
the massive new building stretched all the way to Walnut Street, its long
west façade flanking 38th Street like a great red-brick locomotive,
its glassy six-story circular tower commanding impressive views of West
Philadelphia and Center City. Continued...
by Julia Vakser
Patients + Fewer Nurses = More Deaths
a grim, obvious logic
to the findings of a recent study by Penn researchers: More surgical patients
per hospital nurse means those patients run a higher risk of dying. According
to the studyled by Dr. Linda Aiken, the Leadership Professor of Nursing
who serves as director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research
at the School of Nursingeach patient added to the workload of the average
hospital nurse increases the risk of death in surgical patients by seven
percent. Patients who have common surgeries in hospitals with the poorest
ratio of nurses to patients increase their risks of dying by up to 31
the spring semester,
the Kelly Writers House Fellows Program will feature three well-known
visiting Fellows: screenwriter Walter Bernstein (February 17-18), performance
artist Laurie Anderson (March 24-25), and Susan Sontag, the art critic,
novelist, essayist, and theorist (April 21-22). Continued...
way Jack Shannon sees
the recent $28 million University City Neighborhood Improvement Program
put forward by Penn and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania represents a holistic
approach to revitalizing a sizeable chunk of West Philadelphia. Continued...
| Jan/Feb Contents | Gazette
Copyright 2003 The
Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 01/05/03
no truth to the campus legend that Penns high-rises were built
as temporary structuresin fact, until recently, it appears
that even the furniture inside them was expected to last forever.
But now, as part of a projected $80 million effort to renovate
the three 30-plus-year-old buildings, the original desks, bureaus,
tables, and chairs will be replaced by some combination of four
possible design schemes.
The first high-rise to be made over is Hamilton College House.
Sample furniture was installed in selected student rooms this
fall, and residents were invited to vote on their favorites
in November. (The results were still being tabulated and reviewed
as the Gazette went to press.) The original sofas, which
miraculously were still in good shape, will be reupholstered
in funky retro patterns called Small Dots, which look like
jacks, and Hula Hoop, according to a handout from the Housing
and Dining Renewal Project.
Furniture for the three buildings, which house about 800 students
each, should cost $2 million. The Hamilton House renovation,
which began last summer and is projected to cost $26.5 million,
also includes patching and sealing exterior concrete, replacing
the window/wall system; installing new sprinklers and elevators,
refurbishing public spaces, and adding computer labs and other
amenities, as well as landscaping designed to bring the Hamilton
Village area up to the level at the core of campus, says art-history
department chair and former College House director David Brownlee,
who continues to oversee the renovation effort.
Most of the work at Hamilton House is expected to be complete
by fall 2003, with the other high-rise College Houses, Harrison
and Harnwell, to follow.