Campus Buzz

Be someone’s Santa: In addition to the Penn VIPS toy drive (see page 3), there are two other holiday gift drives currently under way that deserve your support. One is the annual “Operation Santa Claus” party for local senior citizens and neglected children. The organizers are looking for toys, games, clothing and other items to be distributed by Santa at a holiday party Dec. 19 at the Sheraton University City. For information about Operation Santa Claus, contact Yvonne Oronzio at 215-898-7234 or 215-898-4210.

The other is the Holiday Coat Drive sponsored by WXPN, Lockheed Martin and Borders Books and Music. Donors can drop off coats at any of 12 area Borders locations for distribution to residents of the city’s homeless shelters. For a list of the participating stores, visit

Licensed to Microsoft: To make sure that all of its corporate software is legal, Microsoft Corporation has turned to the University’s corporate compliance officer, Odell Guyton. Guyton, who has been recognized as a national leader in developing effective software compliance programs, will be the software giant’s first corporate compliance officer, charged with adapting Penn’s model to the for-profit corporate environment.

The shepherd lays down his staff: The man in charge of the welfare of Penn’s laboratory research animals, Jeffrey Linn, has announced his retirement effective July 1. On his watch, the quality of care the animals received increased dramatically, the latter thanks to the work of the animal care technicians in University Laboratory Animal Resources, the office Linn heads.

Form follows function: The Facilities Operations Center not only works well (see "Facilities"); it looks great too. Or so said the local and state chapters of the American Institute of Architects, which gave Awards for Design Excellence to the Left Bank facility that houses Facilities Services and Real Estate. The awards qualify the complex for the AIA’s national awards competition.

Penn in ink: In a scathing Christian Science Monitor opinion piece Nov. 20, Professor of Political Science Rogers Smith criticized both President Bush’s executive order allowing military tribunals to try foreign nationals suspected of terrorism and the legal precedents used to justify the action. “The U.S. began committed to the principle that all persons were endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that governments were created to secure these rights,” he wrote. “The founders of this country had a name for executive officials who decided, on their own authority, that some persons had no claim to such inalienable rights. They called them tyrants.”…A Nov. 8 Baltimore Sun story examined how well America was prepared to fight the other war on terrorism—the one for public opinion. On the domestic front, said Professor of Communication Joseph Turow, selective release of information will play a key role. “We know bits here, bits there,” he said. “The constraints on information are pretty profound. We’re not going to know about this war until 10 years from now.”

What’s the buzz? Tell us what’s happening! Give us a call at 215-898-1423, send e-mail to or drop a line to the Current at 200 Sansom East/6106.

Originally published on December 13, 2001