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Academic calendar raises mental health concerns


Management 100 to be replaced by Wharton 101 NINA SELIPSKY Staff Reporter

Penn has the fewest number of midyear break days in the Ivy League JACOB WINICK Staff Reporter

Penn students have the shortest combined mid-year breaks in the Ivy League. This year, the University gave students less than three weeks off in the winter , a two-day reading period before exams and a week for finals. And its reputation as a stress cooker, coupled with shorter breaks than most of its peer institutions, has caused many to wonder how seriously Penn takes mental health. Based on calculations that include winter break, spring break, thanksgiving break, reading days and all long weekends for the 2016-17 academic calendar, Penn gives students 34 days off for the year — fewer than Dartmouth, Cornell and Brown’s winter breaks. Meanwhile — with the exception of Columbia, which gives its students 40 days off — the rest of the schools in the Ivy League all give students at least 55 days off in mid-year breaks. Penn not only gives students the shortest midyear breaks of any school in the Ivy League — it also gives students fewer days to study before finals than most. Princeton, for instance, gives students eight reading days . Harvard, Brown, Yale and Princeton all give students at least a week off from classes before finals each semester. Cornell also gave its students more than a month off for winter break and four reading days before exams for the 2016-17 year . Many Penn students complain that Penn’s SEE CALENDAR PAGE 5


Being a ‘radical’ then, by definition, should be synonymous with being a ‘critical thinker’…” - Mike Palamountain


his spring, students played a role in shaping the future of the Wharton School’s undergraduate curriculum. Approximately 30 students and three professors took part in a half-credit pilot course of Wharton 101 this semester. It was intended to be a trial run for the new program that will replace Management 100 as the school’s introductory course starting in the fall. Scott Romeika , the director of academic affairs and advising at Wharton, said he hopes Wharton 101 will give students exposure to different fields of business, introduce them to leadership and inspire them to reflect on their own academic and co-curricular development and strengths. “The point of the pilot is to make sure we have a good proof of concept and learn from that as we roll out the new curriculum,” Romeika said. “We have to make sure we kick the tires and it all runs well.” Wharton freshman Victoria Warner enjoyed Management 100 and enrolled in the Wharton 101 pilot to get a glimpse into how the curriculum was being changed. “I had a really great experience with Management 100,” Warner said. “My team was very close — we held birthday parties for each other.” However, Warner is aware that other students did not have the same positive experience. “I know some people had difficulties working within their team,” Warner continued. “That was a stress for some people, so I think for Wharton 101, they really tried to eliminate the competitive nature of Management 100.” Management 100, currently a required course for all Wharton undergraduates, focuses heavily on experiential learning — teams of students partner with outside organizations on a semester-long project, during which team members are graded on their individual management contributions. Warner thought the pilot placed a stronger emphasis on personal growth and collaboration, citing surveys taken in the class. “They were more conscious about picking the surveys that were going to be most helpful for students,”

Warner said. “They want you to be able to see things you might not have noticed about yourself yet, and see how that plays into your leadership style.” The pilot course also featured presentations on the different Wharton concentrations. “This was extremely helpful, because we got to see more of what they actually do in the real world and the problems they face,” Warner said. “It helped me to decide which way I want to look for my concentration.” With more class time spent on these concentration presentations, less time was devoted to project work. “Even though we worked with groups, we didn’t spend a lot of time with them,” Wharton freshman Stefanie Williams said. Warner agreed that the project in the pilot was particularly “low-key” and said the majority of work was done in class. “It was very different from Management 100 where we spent hours upon hours outside of class with our teammates,” Warner said. Warner hopes the new curriculum will reach a middle ground between the strong team-building aspects of Management 100 and the collaborative, less stressful focus of the Wharton 101 pilot. “We are being very deliberate about the questions we are asking students to answer and the projects they’re doing,” Romeika said. “We want to get that right.” Although Romeika appreciates how the Management 100 project engages students in the community, he does not want to see other parts of the course overshadowed. “It’s not so much about the project as it is about the process,” he said. “We don’t want the project to be the most dominant piece of the course.” While Warner had a positive experience in Management 100, she believes that Wharton 101 has the potential to be even more beneficial for students going forward. “Wharton 101 will be effective because it will allow people to see the options that they have for their career while learning about their personal leadership style,” she said. “I think it’s really important to see both of those things, especially for incoming freshmen who don’t yet have a clear idea of what they want to do.”

PennMed widens regional presence The expansion reflects a growing national trend





In July of 2016, Princeton HealthCare System announced that it had signed a letter with Penn Medicine confirming their partnership.


Penn Medicine’s new partnership with the Princeton HealthCare System is part of a national shift toward incorporating small hospitals into larger health systems that aims to make care more accessible to people in all geographic areas, Penn experts say. Guy David, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, said Penn Medicine has recently been expanding to local hospitals to provide more specialized and efficient care to a broader population. “If you look at the purchases that

Penn Medicine has made in the last couple of years,” David said, “it’s really buying community hospitals, preparing a system for a world where they can take risk for a large population that they can manage now, as opposed to just sitting back and waiting for the most complex cases to just land on their door.” In September 2013, Chester County Hospital joined Penn Medicine, followed by Lancaster General Hospital in August 2015, accounting for the five hospitals under the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Penn Medicine was officially formed as an umbrella organization with a unifying governing body in 2001, with three hospitals: the SEE PARTNERSHIP PAGE 2





North Phila. district may elect Republican rep. Penn Dems react to Lucinda Little’s probable victory STEPHEN IMBURGIA Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, March 21, a majority Democratic district in North Philadelphia will likely elect a Republican state representative. And Penn Democrats are doing little to intervene. After the resignation of incumbent Democrat L eslie Acosta due to her guilty plea for embezzlement, a special election was called for Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 197. But the Democrats’ original candidate was disqualified when a court ruled he was ineligible to run since he didn’t live in North Philadelphia, and the ruling came after the deadline to find a replacement, reported. Now, Republican Lucinda Little is the only candidate who will be on the North Philadelphia ballot for Tuesday’s special election. “It doesn’t really matter,” Wharton freshman and Penn Democrats Political Director Dylan Milligan said about the election’s outcome. “The House already has 121


The election, in which Republican Lucinda Little is the only registered candidate, will determine state representation for an area of North Philadelphia that is 85 percent Democratic.

Republicans and our governor is a Democrat,” Milligan said. “We have a divided government, and that wouldn’t

change.” M i l l iga n expla i ne d t he strategic reasons why the organization isn’t mobilizing

for the write-in campaign of Democratic candidate Emilio Vazquez. “A Democrat will take that

seat in the next election … so between now and 2018, one more Republican in the House makes zero difference. It’s fine if there’s this no-name Republican who will just be unseated in two years,” Milligan said. But for political science professor and FiveThirtyEight blogger Dan Hopkins, a key issue surrounding this election is representation. “Voters have a right to choose between the key parties that represent them, and to structure an election without either of the major parties seems to be denying voters their opportunity to make a reasoned choice,” Hopkins said. He added, however, that he hasn’t followed the election closely. The election, in which Republican Lucinda Little is the only registered candidate, will determine state representation for an area of North Philadelphia that is 85 percent Democratic, according to However, for Penn Democrats, it simply doesn’t pay to intervene. “First of all, North Philly is kind of far away for us,” Milligan said. “Our ‘get out the vote’ efforts are mainly for big

elections like the midterms and presidential elections. But I don’t think a GOTV would make a big difference if we were to do it. You have to realize that people don’t care.” But according to Hopkins, there’s a good reason to care. “State houses have tremendous influence over the policies that govern our day-to-day lives … Harrisburg is a central source of power,” Hopkins said. “A lot of key policies here in Philadelphia are written in Harrisburg, so I think it’s unfortunate that many voters view state politics as just an occasional addendum to national politics,” he added. Hopkins, who is currently writing a book on “how little attention people pay to state politics,” continued on to talk about his expectation of a low turnout and the general difficulty of write-in campaigns. “Write-in campaigns are known to be very, very challenging endeavors — they require a pretty high level of information from voters,” Hopkins said. “Also, in bi-elections, turnout is typically very low. Turnout has also been declining in state politics generally.”

Penn surgeon develops procedure for genital mutilation

The new technique helps alleviate women’s pain

with 16,417 in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Ivona Percec, assistant professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery and associate director of cosmetic

surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, developed the procedure after being introduced to the issue of FGM by accident. Percec’s first patient who

underwent the procedure was referred to her by the patient’s gynecologist, whom she had gone to see because of the pain and embarrassment of undergoing FGM earlier in life. The patient was so ashamed of her body that “she would not let her husband see her, even though they had two children together,” Percec said. Percec said she looked through the national and international medical research on FGM and found nothing about procedures to help ease the pain and medical problems that can result from FGM. Percec then used her “toolbox as a plastic surgeon” to design the new procedure with her patient. Since the initial success, Percec has performed the technique on two additional patients — referred to her by the first patient — who also underwent FGM. She says that the patients have referred the procedure to other women in their social communities due to the success and

rewarded monetarily by insurance companies for expensive procedures. But in the past few years, instead of rewarding based on the sheer volume of procedures performed, insurance companies have been rewarding health care providers for improving overall patient health. Essentially, healthier patients means fewer complex procedures. This health insurance model incentivizes hospitals to provide better care, more efficiently, with fewer procedures. It also encourages a more clinically and financially integrated health

system to facilitate coordination so that information can be shared across all hospitals under umbrella systems like Penn Medicine. So under this model, certain factors like poor patient outcomes, or multiple readmissions due to inadequate care will affect the quality measures that insurance companies use to evaluate hospitals. This means that the hospital has to pay more if the overall care for patients is worse, said Amol Navathe, a physician and assistant professor at the Medical School. “So the notion behind these

models is that if you were to do something in a financially motivated way it would still be good for your patients.” The Affordable Care Act served to accelerate this national trend toward new integrative models of care and towards rewarding hospitals for patient health instead of number of procedures. Navathe said it is difficult to tell whether the GOP health care bill, if passed, will interfere with this trend in health care coverage, although he is hopeful that it will not. “At this point, health providers


A new reconstructive surgical procedure developed by a surgeon at Penn Medicine’s Center for Human Appearance can increase the sexual function of patients who have undergone female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is defined by the World Health Organization as “any procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to female genital organs for nonmedical reasons and with no health benefits,” and is conducted as a cultural ritual in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. WHO estimates that over 200 million women have undergone FGM by the time they are adolescents, while the Population Reference Bureau calculated that 506,795 women in the United States were at risk for FGM,


Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Pennsylvania Hospital. In July of 2016, Princeton HealthCare System announced that it had signed a letter with Penn Medicine confirming their partnership, and the arrangement is now in regulatory review. Five years ago, David said, Penn Medicine and other hospitals lived in the “fee-for-service world,” where they would be


A new surgical procedure developed by a surgeon at Penn Medicine can help patients who have undergone female genital mutilation.

emotional benefits they received as a result. The three patients, who were all recent immigrants from Sierra Leone between the ages of 30 and 33 according to the Penn Medicine News press release, suffered from what is known as Type II mutilation also known as excision. Excision is defined by WHO as “the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva).” Joseph Serletti, chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Penn, says that medical practitioners across other disciplines often use plastic surgeons as a resource for patients with problems related to reconstruction, like the scarring and tissue damage that can occur as a result of FGM. “It’s not something from a reconstructive standpoint that we may typically do, and so [doctors] look to plastic surgery to provide some of the unique solutions to that

problem,” Serletti said about “primarily scarring around the vagina.” Percec is currently working with one of her former patients to speak at the patient’s women’s group, which includes other women who have undergone FGM. Percec said her patients informed members of their community and received a mixed response, as some women felt that the procedure would distance the patients from their home culture because of the social significance of the procedure. Percec hopes to bring greater awareness to what she sees as a human rights issue for women all over the world. She published a paper on the procedure in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal after only performing the procedure three times because “it was more important to publish … based on my limited experience just to get the word out there” to other surgeons, Percec said. “There is something we can do about this.”

have made a lot of investments to try to succeed in those models and health insurance companies have tried to invest a lot in helping their providers be successful in these models,” Navathe said. “If it’s indeed good for patients, there is this sense of alignment between the health insurance companies and the providers to keep moving in that direction.” The umbrella system results in a highly specialized healthcare structure, which means hospitals see fewer patients with general health problems. “It used to be that physicians just had to do a fantastic job taking care of patients, but now physicians are seeing less of the coughs and colds and more of the patients with chronic diseases,” Navathe said. “Physicians have now been placed in the role of being organizational leaders and managers.” This is also changing the way

physicians are trained in medical school. There is now an emphasis on understanding the management and financial aspects of medicine, rather than just the clinical training. With the expansion to Princeton HealthCare System, medical students can study a variety of specialties, many of which are not a focus at the hospital on campus. “By having access to the other outposts of the health system, that allows the medical students to actually go and experience different studies of care,” Navathe said. “This may be a good opportunity for Penn medical students to get access to a new study of care. To the extent that we can integrate our medical education mission there, then that would be positive for the medical students.” Officials at Princeton HealthCare System and at Penn Medicine both declined to comment for this article.

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Freshmen lead video campaign on cultural identity Organizers hoped for education through discussion ESHA INDANI Staff Reporter

“Be proud of your roots. We’re rooting for you,” is the sentiment encouraged by the video campaign launched by College freshmen Tiffany Wang and Lisa He Wu. Wang and Wu conducted the campaign on Facebook from March 12 to March 19, when they periodically shared a series of videos that showed participants answering questions exploring their cultural identities. Each video explored a different theme or question related to cultural identity, such as “What does being a minority mean to you?” or “What is your most cherished cultural tradition?” The campaign aimed to provide a forum for students to share personal stories concerning their individual cultural backgrounds and to promote discussion on themes related

to minorities. “I’ve wanted to do this campaign for a while now — probably since I first joined the Penn Taiwanese Society,” Wang said. “I saw that, while there was a lot of open cultural discussion in my group and board, I wanted to make sure every minority had an opportunity to be heard.” Many students who participated felt campaigns like this are necessary to promote cultural education at Penn. “I think it’s important to be more knowledgeable of other cultures,” Nursing freshman and campaign participant Heidi Chiu said. “I was able to put my own experiences with my culture into words, and it was more difficult than I thought it would be.” Several campaign participants were struck by how much more they were able to learn about the cultural backgrounds of people they know. “Before I came to Penn, I really

only knew European people and coming to Penn has really opened my eyes to what’s out there,” College sophomore and campaign participant Sinziana Bunea said. “I think it’s very hard to comprise an entire culture in a two-minute video, but I think just seeing a bit of what people are a part of can make me want to explore further, make me want to befriend those people and learn more.” Bunea added that the video, by highlighting the diversity of languages spoken by Penn students, helped her look beyond the global model she was taught growing up, which she now sees as Eurocentric. “Because I’m very Eurocentric, I always thought the languages I speak are the most important, but in the video I saw all those kids who spoke either Mandarin or Hindi,” Bunea said. “It just kind of made me think that, wow, there are other languages out there that maybe I should have pursued when I was younger. And I guess it made


Wang and Wu conducted the campaign on Facebook and periodically shared a series of videos that showed participants answering questions exploring their cultural identities.

me look outside of the Eurocentric model.” Education through discussion, like Bunea experienced, is exactly what the organizers of the campaign were hoping those who participated would gain from it. “We hope that people who participated in our videos as well as

people who were watching them, learned something from this campaign and got something out of it like [Tiffany and I] did,” Wu said. Wu added that they hoped the campaign would gain a greater outreach and encourage communities beyond Penn to engage in discourse.

“We also hope to inspire other people in the community to take initiatives to spread more cultural awareness,” Wu said. “A student from the University of Pittsburgh reached out to me to ask for permission to do the same thing at this university, which I was really happy about.”

Perry World House creates joint fellows program with Brookings

Three national security experts are coming to Penn CIEL CHEN Contributing Reporter

In one of Perry World House’s newest programs, students can meet one-on-one with former leaders in nuclear nonproliferation, peace building and human rights. National security experts Bonnie Jenkins, Tarun Chhabra and Bathsheba Nell Crocker will be coming to campus this semester as the first members of the Perry World House and Brookings Institution joint Visiting Fellows Program. Perry World House Director Bill Burke-White said the fellowships will last three to six months, during which fellows will spend approximately two days per week at Penn. The Perry World House will hold

events and lectures so that fellows may interact with students, and the fellows will visit classes relevant to their areas of expertise. Burke-White said fellows in the program will “connect Penn to global policy challenges.” Jenkins worked for the U.S. Department of State as the coordinator for threat reduction programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. Chhabra has worked for the National Security Council as both a director for strategic planning and a director for human rights and national security, according to a press release. Sheba has held various leadership positions at the U.S. Department of State, including assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs and senior adviser to the secretary of state. “The fellows work closely with

students and faculty, informing scholarly research and helping advance students career prospects,” Burke-White said. Last Thursday, Crocker gave a talk at Perry World House, where she discussed Brexit and its future implications. Wharton junior Hanxiao Feng said that, as an international student, she is interested in learning about U.S. foreign policy from the perspectives of people who have practical experience with national security. Burke-White added that it was “perfect timing” to bring these fellows to Penn’s campus after the transition between presidential administrations, as there was significant turnover among senior officials and some parts of the national government may face budget cuts.

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National security experts Bonnie Jenkins, Tarun Chhabra and Bathsheba Nell Crocker will be coming to campus this semester for the Perry World House and Brookings Institution Visiting Fellows Program.



Why we need to reclaim the word “radical” STRANGER THAN FICTION | The increasing importance of being critical

TUESDAY MARCH 21, 2017 VOL. CXXXIII, NO. 34 133rd Year of Publication CARTER COUDRIET President DAN SPINELLI Executive Editor LUCIEN WANG Print Director ALEX GRAVES Digital Director ALESSANDRO VAN DEN BRINK Opinion Editor SYDNEY SCHAEDEL Senior News Editor WILL SNOW Senior Sports Editor CHRIS MURACCA Design Editor CAMILLE RAPAY Design Editor JULIA SCHORR Design Editor VIBHA KANNAN Enterprise Editor GENEVIEVE GLATSKY News Editor TOM NOWLAN News Editor ALLY JOHNSON Assignments Editor COLE JACOBSON Sports Editor JONATHAN POLLACK Sports Editor

Today the word “radical,” sometimes spelled with a capital R, may inspire fear in the hearts of many. From the speakers of our television sets to the news media to our elected officials — or out of the mouths of our own families and friends — “Radical” is commonly used in the United States as a political catch-all term to describe terrorists and/or enemies of the state, when really the definition is more benign. “Radical” actually describes individuals or ideas which seek change in a certain culture or way of life. This zealous association with terrorism is harmful in that it allows our society to draw negative connotations to the word and therefore avoid its true meaning altogether. I once said I was proud to be a radical thinker to my mom; by that, I meant I was proud to think differently and be critical of the things around me. Even she, as a relatively liberal Democrat, couldn’t see the merit in the word radical and associated it only with nega-

tive themes of terrorism and other such connotations. Today, professors seen as too radical are being put on watch lists by political groups that oppose them. But what are they really doing, besides giving students a more comprehensive understanding of society? This is what being radical truly means. Those who oppose this are only opposing the freedom of thought and expression. Google dictionary defines “Radical” as “relating to the root of something, in particular.” There are other definitions, but I would like to focus on this as it is closest to the term’s original Latin meaning. This definition implies that rather than being some sort of bomb-throwing anarchist, a true radical is one who searches for truth, or at least the root of problems they see in society. Being a “radical” then, by definition, should be synonymous with being a “critical thinker” — a skill which is widely cited as integral for the educational

development of individuals and societies by institutions of higher learning. If we reclaim the true definition of what it means to be radical, we may see all the ways being a radical is crucial to the progress of a free democratic society. Despite my politics, I have many conversations

sides we may fall on, I am sure we can agree that truth is a virtue. In American society today, those who are radical are often not considered virtuous in their search for deeper truth. As a matter of fact, they are often marked as traitors. Consider the treatment of whistleblower

If we reclaim the true definition of what it means to be radical, we may see all the ways being a radical is crucial to the progress of a free democratic society.” with those whom I may be diametrically opposed with ideologically. These are often the most enlightening conversations for both sides because they focus on uncovering truth and understanding in the true sense of being radical. No matter what political

Edward Snowden as a highprofile example or think of any person who is critical of an American system in a much more common sense — they’re immediately deemed “un-American” or “a commie” or some other pejorative insult. This sort of unconditional national-

istic loyalty is a trap, one which leads to party politics and the rise of demagogues. I’ll spare you evidence for this assertion. It is clear that today, we need those who search for truth more than ever. We need radical thinkers. It is important even to cultivate a culture that supports and reinterprets this word at Penn; it is important for us because we will be the next round of intellectuals shaping the political landscape of this country and our world’s future. As scholar, activist and Penn alumnus Noam Chomsky wrote in “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.” The logical conclusion people come to when they finally see the merit in radical thinking is: “Don’t you ever get tired of being angry?” I have heard other radical professors and mentors discuss this at length. The response is neatly summed up with the following quote from Aldous Huxley’s “Island”: “We don’t despair ...

MIKE PALAMOUNTAIN because we know that things don’t necessarily have to be as bad as in fact they have always been.” Choosing to be passive agents in a system is easy. But we should not stray away from being radical because it is the easy option. It is our moral imperative to use our critical thinking and reasoning to speak truth to power, especially in an age where truth is so hard to find. MIKE PALAMOUNTAIN is a College senior from Philadelphia, studying psychology. His email address is mpal@sas.upenn. edu. “Stranger Than Fiction” usually appears every other Tuesday.


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Penn and diversity — another view

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LETTERS Have your own opinion? Send your letter to the editor or guest column to Unsigned editorials appearing on this page represent the opinion of The Daily Pennsylvanian as determined by the majority of the Editorial Board. All other columns, letters and artwork represent the opinion of their authors and are not necessarily representative of the DP’s position.

Penn runs through my veins. I am a Penn alumna, Penn parent and Penn staff member. I was also a low-income student in the 1980s, which is why the recent story in the DP about the difficulty that some first-generation and low-income students have experienced during spring break caught my attention. Of the many things about being a Penn student in the 1980s that were difficult, spring break wasn’t one of them because it was not one of my priorities. I grew up in West Philadelphia as the oldest of four sisters in a family where I was still expected to participate in the care of my siblings and as a result, did not participate much in late-night activities on campus, let alone travel much for breaks. I know through my own experiences as a student, and now as a Penn administrator, that first-generation and low-income students face unique challenges. And

Penn, along with higher education, is having a paradigm-shifting moment as the University community is committed to exploring ways in which we can better address these challenges. For example, this year, Student Registration and Financial Services, Penn Dining and VPUL collaborated with the Penn student-led Swipe Out Hunger, to proactively reach out to high-need students with options for meals during the Thanksgiving and winter breaks, and our most recent spring break. While in the past we applied solutions on a case-by-case basis, these efforts expanded upon that and successfully assisted many of our students who remained on campus during the breaks. One participant shared a note with me which read, “Because of this program, I had a lot less ‘life stress’ to worry about (stresses like, ‘Can I afford groceries this week?’) and I felt like I was able to focus on preparing

for the experiments and interviews that I’ll be responsible for next semester, most of which I could not have done away from the lab at home.” Also during the spring

the volatility surrounding the travel ban. No student should ever have to worry about meals. Whatever we need to do to make that known to every single student and to do so

I know through my own experiences as a student, and now as a Penn administrator, that first-generation and lowincome students face unique challenges.” break, meals and pantry items were made available through the Greenfield Intercultural Center, and SRFS provided cash advances for meals to eligible students, among them highneed students and international students reluctant to travel home, as they are from countries impacted by

in a way that affirms their dignity and celebrates their place in our community, it is our responsibility to do so. And the same applies to school supplies, and an appropriate amount of support to level the playing field in the academic and community experience for every student at Penn.

There are, however, limits to what Penn or any other institution or individual can do. In an environment as diverse as Penn, there are bound to be differences in student experience. My life has evolved from being a student navigating a much less diverse Penn campus in the 80s, to an administrator helping to advance Penn’s goals of access and inclusion through grant-based financial aid in a much more diverse environment, and to having my child attend and graduate from Penn and begin a career. That journey has been in a single generation. My Ivy League education has afforded me many opportunities, including access to people with means and relationships that I might never be able to replicate. It’s a reality that I accept as a member of a diverse society. And I’m proud to collaborate with staff and students who are committed to helping create

the best possible experience for all of our students, even while recognizing that to expect the experiences to be the same would be to resist the true nature of diversity. I am equally proud of the University’s commitment to making Penn more accessible to students regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds. It is a commitment that has resulted in the dramatic shift in the number of first generation freshmen from one in 20 in 2004 to one in eight in 2016. Penn has also increased the number of students from underrepresented groups and nearly half of the undergraduate student population receives financial aid. As a result, our University community benefits from diversity of thought, perspective and experience like never before. KAREN HAMILTON, C’87, is an alumni parent and director of communications for Penn Student Registration and Financial Services.




lack of sizeable mid-year breaks and reading periods does more than simply limit their time on the beach. Wharton sophomore Geeta Minocha stressed that Penn’s calendar has a major negative impact on both mental health and academic success by not giving students either enough time time to prepare for finals or adequate breaks. “I think they are being very disingenuous by not at least acknowledging that the calendar is a mental health factor,” said Minocha. “When you shorten our winter break and only give us two reading days to prepare for exams, there is an issue.” Some international students reported not even being able to get home on time for Christmashttp:// why-winter-break-is-short this past winter break due to more expensive flights and a shorter break. Since the break was so close to Christmas, many students had to purchas flights that were more than double the price that they would pay during the rest of the year. Mental health has been a central topic of conversation at Penn after a series of student suicides , an outpouring of student activism and a subsequent bundle of administrative policy changes . But while Penn has created a mental health task force, some students argue that the University’s lack of flexibility, particularly on scheduling breaks and reading days, shows that it is not serious in confronting stress and mental health issues. Rob Nelson, executive director for education and academic planning, said Penn’s short breaks and reading period is simply a product of constraining regulations and the lack of a better option. “The variation in calendars with other peer institutions who are similarly set up has to do with state regulations,” Nelson said. “We have specific regulations and those regulations stipulate a certain number of hours for each class.” Nelson is referring to a



Pennsylvania law stipulating that for all colleges in the state, whether public or private, each “college semester credit is defined as 14 hours of classroom instruction.” This means that for the state of Pennsylvania to recognize Penn as a school of higher education, every Penn class offering a full credit must meet for at least 14 hours a semester. While it might be hard to believe that an addition of a couple reading days would push any Penn class below the 14-hour threshold, Nelson insisted that the state regulation is a key reason that Penn has shorter breaks and reading days than peer institutions. Other Pennsylvania schools though, such as Haverford College and Swarthmore College, have been able to create academic calendars with longer mid-year breaks and reading periods. Swarthmore, despite being under the same Pennsylvania law, has a week off for both fall and spring break, a month off for winter break and five reading days in May. So, what does Penn do with its unused break time? Make an abnormally long summer vacation, of course. While no student interviewed for this article expressed a need for a three-and-a-half-monthlong summer vacation, Nelson explained that the long break was necessary as Penn turns many of its college houses over to educational programs in the summer. “We are under pressure to get summer started as early as possible because we have to end it in time for the residence halls and all the operations to get ready for the the summer,” Nelson said. Once these programs end, dorm rooms need to be updated and cleaned before New Student Orientation. The trend of sacrificing midyear breaks to extend summer vacation is especially evident this year. Winter break was shortened by six days, creating five extra days of summer. For many students, the exchange of mid-year breaks for a long summer is not worth it. They said that more time off in August simply does not alleviate the stress many students feel during the

school year. Instead, some argue that Penn should either stop shortening mid-year breaks or use the extra time to lengthen reading periods. Longer summer breaks might give the University more time to run summer programs, but many students feel the time would be better used reducing stress during the year. Robert Ashford, the president of Quaker Peer Recovery and a second-year graduate student in the School of Social Policy & Practice, said there is a disconnect between what students need to be healthy and what the University thinks is important. This is especially true around midterm and final exam periods. “We see a tremendous amount of stress around those periods and I think increasing the amount of reading time before could alleviate a lot of that,” Ashford said. “It’s something that Penn has got to take a look at.” Ashford added that if the University is really going to try and address mental health on campus, it needs to consider how changes to the academic calendar could help students who struggle with high stress levels. College freshman Nate Fessel noted that mid-year breaks can be vital for students’ academic success and mental wellness. “The fact that we have short breaks really contributes to having more stress and not having time to recover after stressful midterms and finals seasons,” Fessel said. “It would be beneficial to everyone’s mental health on campus if we had more time to rest over break.” For students hoping for an updated calendar, change in the near future is unlikely. The academic calendar for the next three school years has already been set. While students seem to agree that longer breaks would help them decompress after exams, Nelson said it can be extremely difficult to craft an academic calendar that fits everyone’s needs. “Stress is actually good if it leads to success and effective learning,” he said. “It’s bad if it interferes with that. Trying to gauge that over an entire student population is tough — we have one

Campus Diversity Award

calendar that has to suit all kinds of educational experiences.” Nelson noted that the art of calendar making can also be tremendously difficult as academic needs vary widely between disciplines. He explained that while classes requiring large amount of memorization, like organic chemistry, might benefit from extra reading days to help prepare for a finals, other seminar-based classes would benefit more from another week of learning.

“It’s kind of a balancing act where a lot of different curricula is crammed into one academic calendar,” Nelson said. “This structure works the best that it can.” Brown, however, seems to have taken these class differences into account based on its calendar. Students can receive up to 12 reading days in spring 2017 based on the instructor’s preference. However, many students insist that despite clear differences in

academic needs across disciplines, it’s obvious that the vast majority of students want longer breaks and more time to study. Some even argue that Penn’s lopsided academic calendar demonstrates that, despite its lip service to combating mental illness, Penn is unwilling to make real changes to promote a healthier campus. “They should do what they claim to be doing,” Minocha said, “which is prioritizing students’ well-being.”

LETTUCE CELEBRATE The Campus Diversity Awards honors individuals and group of collaborators who have made outstanding contributions to promoting diversity and inclusion at the University of Pennsylvania.


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2016 Ivy Player of the Year Tim Graul switches position for 2017

Catcher moves to outfield for lineup flexibility JACOB SNYDER Associate Sports Editor

A star reborn? Or maybe just repositioned. Penn baseball’s Tim Graul burst onto the scene last year, posting career numbers and earning Ivy League Player of the Year honors while being one of the top defensive catchers in the league. But if you want to watch Graul this season, you better bring some binoculars — the senior will regularly be playing outfield for the Red and Blue instead of his familiar position behind the plate. Although it may seem counterintuitive to adjust a player’s role after such a successful season, this is a move that suits both Graul and the Quakers in a variety of ways. First, and most directly, moving Graul to the outfield gives Penn more lineup flexibility. Last year, while Graul was busy cementing himself as the best player in the Ivy League, freshman catcher Matt O’Neill was likewise establish ing


Although senior Tim Graul had a breakout year at catcher in 2016, he moves to the outfield for the 2017 season in a move that provides the Penn lineup with greater flexibility going forward.


they can. That’s not to say that the freshmen aren’t expected to produce in a big way. For his part, Pellis was picked to win the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award by Baseball America in the preseason. He has shown flashes of that potential, but like most of the Quakers outside of Adams, his

himself as one of the better hitters on the Penn squad. This left head coach John Yurkow with a dilemma, albeit a good one — which of the two would suit up at catcher on a regular basis? The answer, as it turned out, was

to essentially split the time, with the player who was not catching filling the designated hitter spot in the batting order. And although this strategy worked for the time being, Yurkow knew that he did not

bat has been slow to reawaken from its winter slumber. “There’s a lot of season left. We’ve had guys get off to not so great starts and still wind up hitting .360 and being all-league players.� Yurkow said. “[Pellis] is a really hard worker, and it’s just a matter of him really trying to lock things down from a mechanical standpoint and have good atbats.� The freshmen will also benefit

from a strong group of veteran leaders. “I think a lot of older guys have been very helpful on the mental side of the game.� Adams said. “Just with keeping my mind at an even level, and instead of being nervous just having the mindset that you’re better than the guy you’re [facing].� It’s a long season, but freshmen are leading the Quakers so far, at least on the lineup card.

want the DH spot to be as limited this season. While Yurkow was talking to Graul after the season, Graul suggested the switch to outfield so that O’Neill could catch more regularly and Yurkow could utilize another

player as the DH. “It was actually my own suggestion to move to the outfield,� Graul said. “I would play some outfield during batting practice last year and I think a couple coaches saw me and recommended I take more reps out there.“ Secondly, the move improves Graul’s MLB draft stock. Professional teams put a high value on versatility. Almost every Major League Baseball team has a utility player, or someone who can play several positions. If Graul shows that he can excel at both catcher and outfield, he proves that he can be an effective utility player at the next level. Also notably, playing in the outfield gives Graul a bigger stage to exhibit his speed, arm strength and other athletic attributes which can be restricted as a catcher. “I think it will get me a few more looks,� Graul said. “Not many catchers get to show off their athleticism, so this is a pretty unique opportunity.� All these factors combined mean that it makes sense personally for Graul to undertake the challenge of playing outfield.

However, it must be pointed out that the switch is only being made because Graul has past experience at the position. The East Greenwich, Rhode Island native played outfield in high school and throughout his childhood, giving him a good enough understanding of the position to be able to re-train himself this offseason. “I played a bunch of positions growing up,� Graul said. “No matter where I play I just want to go out there and show that I’m a good all-around baseball player.� “I wouldn’t have put him out there if I didn’t think he could do it,� Yurkow added. “I have the utmost confidence that he’ll do a good job for us out in left field.� No matter the position, Graul’s goal remains the same — helping a perennially competitive Penn team get over the hump to win the Ivy League while, as he put it, limiting the pressure he places on himself. “I know that I can repeat what I did last year,� Graul said. “It’s just a matter of staying within myself and producing, whether that’s behind the plate, in the outfield or as the DH.�


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Murnane’s walk-off lifts Penn to its only weekend win The Quakers lost two of three against Marist THEODOROS PAPAZEKOS Sports Reporter

Penn baseball was just happy to be playing at all this weekend. After the snow hit on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, the Quakers were forced to relocate their weekend series with Marist, in a series of postponements, delays and updates. When the games finally took place, the Quakers failed to improve upon their Spring Break trip to Florida, losing the threegame series 2-1. Penn (3-9) led for most of game one on Saturday before falling 4-3 to the Red Foxes (9-7). The Red and Blue only got four hits in the game but capitalized on the few base runners they had. Senior pitcher Jake Cousins allowed only six hits in his six innings of work, but an



play-in games two of my first three years,” senior pitcher Jake Cousins said. “So last time around, gotta get a ring — that’s our only motivation, the only goal.” Without a doubt, the Quakers have the returning personnel capable of getting the job done. On the defensive side of the ball, Cousins is just one of several veterans in what could be a historically dominant pitching staff. After finishing second in the Ivy League with a stellar 3.99 team ERA in 2016, the Red and Blue return all of their top five and eight of their top nine arms from a year ago, with Cousins being joined by 2016 All-Ivy selections Mike Reitcheck and Gabe Kleiman atop the rotation. Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball, the most

unearned run in his final frame allowed Marist to tie the game at three before scoring the goahead run in the next inning. Sophomore Matt McGeagh provided all of Penn’s offensive contributions in the game, going 1-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Game two, played as the first half of a double header on Sunday, was scheduled as a seven-inning game. Marist junior Scott Boches pitched a complete game shutout on the way to a 5-0 win for the Red Foxes. “He had a solid arm, but we were pressing a little too much sometimes,” junior center fielder Andrew Murnane said. The Quakers did have seven hits, including two doubles, but they failed to score with runners in scoring position. The game also featured senior pitcher Mike Reitcheck’s first allowed runs of the season, ending a 19.1 inning scoreless streak with a three-run second inning.

The crown jewel of the series though was its final game. The Quakers started game three where they left off, taking their third consecutive early deficit in the second. By the end of the sixth, the score was Marist 3, Penn 0. Penn only had one hit, and it looked like a repeat of game two. But the Red and Blue fought back to tie it at three in the seventh with some small ball. The first two runs came from consecutive ground balls to second before Junior Daniel Halevy singled to close out the inning. Ma r ist wasn’t done yet though, scoring the very next inning to go up 4-3. After a 1-2-3 eighth, the Quakers were down to their last outs in the bottom of the ninth with the top of the order on deck. Freshman Chris Adams delivered from the leadoff spot with a clutch single that would be the only hit of the inning. Adams did manage to score on some more small ball, advancing on a sacrifice

bunt and a wild pitch before scoring on a sacrifice fly. Two walks and a player hit by a pitch loaded the bases with two outs, but Sophomore Kevin Thomas struck out to end the inning. The Quakers would end the deadlock and win the game 5-4 in the 12th inning on an infield single by Murnane. “I just wanted to put the ball in play... I knew [Marist pitcher Connor McNamara] had a fastball/slider combo and I was looking for a pitch up,” Murnane said. He must have found it because his bloop single was just enough to score pinch-runner Jacob Levison from third. Any dream of the ideal weekend for Penn baseball ended with the news of the relocation of the games on Wednesday. The Quakers salvaged one game out of the three, but the weekend just showed once again that Penn has work to do before the Ivy League season opens in two weeks.

Sophomore third baseman Matt McGeagh’s big weekend included a home run in Penn’s first game, a 4-3 loss to the Red Foxes.

recognizable name is 2016 Ivy League Player of the Year Tim Graul, but the record-setting senior is far from all returning. Having led the Ancient Eight with 5.0 runs per game and a .282 team batting average last year, Penn returns six of its nine regular offensive starters from last season, including fellow .30 0+ hitters Matt O’Neill and Matt Tola, suggesting that the Red and Blue should once again be among the conference’s elite on both sides of the ball. “Every year, it’s always a new team; we’ve had guys that have been in some of those tight games and battles, which is good because they’re tested. Every year, our goal is to win the Ivy League championship, and anything short of that is gonna be a disappointment,” Yurkow said. “We’ve had some good seasons where we’ve come up a little bit short, but I

think this team has the makeup and we have the pieces to make a good run in the league.” But while the depth chart appears to be stacked for the Red and Blue this year, big names alone won’t be enough to put them over the edge. As all athletes and coaches across sports can attest to, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard — and fortunately for Yurkow, his senior class has taken that message to make sure its final year in Philadelphia doesn’t end with the same heartbreak that each of its first three did. “Those guys do a great job with the preparation and making sure they do all the necessary things so they can have success during the season, and that’s coming from getting the treatment done, how they eat, how they lift, making sure they get the proper amount of sleep, thei r st retch ing

program,” Yurkow said. “If you watch those guys on an everyday basis, you kind of come to appreciate that. And that’s nice because when the younger guys see that, they think that’s the only way to do things, and if you have the older guys setting that example, they just fall right in line.” As hungry as the seniors are, though, it may be the development of those younger guys that finally pushes the Quakers to the top. In 2016, a highly-touted freshman class accounted for four of the team’s eight starting position players, with O’Neill and Tola being joined by third baseman Matt McGeagh and first baseman Sean Phelan — not to mention closer Jake Nelson, who seized arguably the most nerve-wracking position in the sport as a rookie. But with the Class of 2019 now having a year of experience under its belt — and now

knowing the pain of second place that the team’s veterans had felt for so long — it could be ready to wreak even further havoc on the league. “We’re a year older; last year we had so many starting freshmen, and this year we have a bunch of sophomores,” Cousins said. “We have four seniors in the rotation, and we got seven sophomores now instead of freshmen, so I think that extra year of experience can get us over the edge.” Of course, just because Penn wants its first title in 22 years so badly, that doesn’t mean the rest of the league will simply hand it over. Baseball America, and Perfect Game all predicted the Red and Blue to finish second in the Gehrig Division yet again, with the latter two expecting a Princeton squad that returns a league-leading five 2016 All-Ivy selections, including


Pitcher of the Yea r Chad Powers, to repeat. But though the Tigers will likely be strong again, the Red and Blue appear to have the pieces to make history. With a stacked senior class on the mound, a rapidly maturing core of sophomores, the unquestioned top offensive player in the league and — most importantly — the fuel from the sting of three consecutive seasonending heartbreaks, it could finally be Penn’s time to shine after so many years of disappointment. “It’d be more incredible, honestly,” Graul said when asked how a team title would compare to his 2016 Ivy POY. “We haven’t been able to win it in 30 years almost, so being able to put our name up there on that outfield wall, and being a captain for that team, would be a feeling that I’d be way more proud of.”







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BASEBALL ISSUE Freshman class already paying off in big ways Trio of rookies making immediate impact in the infield for Quakers THEODOROS PAPAZEKOS Sports Reporter

After three years of finishing second in the Ivy League, Penn prepares for an all-or-nothing title charge

Senior LHP, Adam Bleday pitches for Penn


This has gone on long enough for Penn baseball. In 2014, first-year coach John Yurkow’s squad set a school record with 15 Ivy League wins and tied for first place in the Lou Gehrig Division, but came up brutally short of its first Ancient Eight championship since 1995, falling to Columbia, 4-0, in a one-game playoff for the division title. In 2015, the narrative was eerily similar; another best regular season performance in program history (16-4 in Ivy play), another one-game playoff loss to Columbia (this time by a score of 4-2), and another season wrapping up without a championship. Last year, though there was no tie atop the standings, the

basic result was the same — yet another second-place finish, this time three games behind Princeton, and yet another year without postseason play. So as the perennial silver medalists in recent years approach conference play, and as the Class of 2017 enters its last chance to break down that barrier, the challenge is clear for this Red and Blue squad: it’s time to end the drought and finally bring home a ring. “I’d say there’s a little bit [of extra motivation]; last time to go around, we’ve come in second place, lost in SEE SECOND PAGE 7


Penn baseball fans would have a hard time guessing who leads the team in batting average (.364) and on-base percentage (.447). Here’s a hint: it’s not reigning Ivy League MVP Tim Graul. It’s freshman Chris Adams. While it’s true that the season has only just begun and that the sample size is small, Penn’s leadoff man has the potential to continue his success. Coach John Yurkow tried to temper expectations but stopped short of calling Adam’s early success unsustainable. “I’m not expecting him to hit .400 all year, but if he can continue to have good at bats...” Yurkow said. “Even if [freshmen] have early success it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to struggle, because they haven’t gone through it.” Adams is a part of a freshman class that’s already making huge contributions to the Quakers. The other two freshmen players joining him on the field are fellow infielders Tommy Pellis and Peter Matt. Neither Pellis nor Matt has had the same kind of early success as Adams, but both have played in the majority of the Quakers first 10 games and neither is truly struggling. The young position players having an immediate impact are part of a larger trend for the Quakers in the last few seasons. Last year, the Red and Blue started up to six freshmen. This is drastically different from the pitching staff, which relies heavily on veteran seniors. For the young Quaker pitchers, this means playing time is scarce. The trio of freshmen infielders on the other hand, have cracked the lineup, giving the Quakers incredible flexibility. Adams has played games at both second base and shortstop, Matt at left field and designated hitter and Pellis at both DH and short. This allows Yurkow the flexibility to mix and match across the field according to matchups. This flexibility was what led to Adam’s current spot at second base. Pellis’ ability to bat well as a DH allowed Adams to take over on the field. The solution has been working, so Yurkow is sticking with it. “That’s how it works, you give guys an opportunity, and if they do well you have to stick with them.” Yurkow said. The freshmen seem comfortable with their coach’s tinkering. Both Pellis and Adams mentioned their flexibility as important elements of their games. They appreciate that as freshmen, they have to adapt to the veteran team around them and to contribute wherever SEE FRESHMEN PAGE 6

In pursuit of an Ivy title, seniors will lead the way

Pair of senior starters give rotation big boost TOM NOWLAN News Editor

Penn baseball’s sta r ting lineup is relatively wet behind the ears: seven regulars are either freshmen or sophomores. That is not the case for the pitching rotation. Led by established veterans Mike Reitcheck and Jake Cousins, Penn’s starting pitchers are among the most experienced in the Ivy League. Those two nowseniors have been mainstays in the rotation since their sophomore seasons — when they each finished in the conference’s top three in earned run average. And in their final Quaker campaigns, Cousins and Reitcheck have set their sights on something that has eluded them during their first three seasons: an Ivy championship. “We’ve brought back basically everyone from last year, so we don’t have the ‘excuse’ that we’re a young team,” Reitcheck

said. “Our senior leadership on the pitching staff... it’s gonna help lead us to the title.” Both of the hurlers enjoyed stellar sophomore campaigns in 2015. Reitcheck led the league with a miniscule 1.71 ERA while Cousins — fresh off a 2014 rookie campaign that produced a 1.59 ERA and 4-0 record in somewhat limited action — spun a 2.32 mark. Both pitchers earned all-Ivy nods (Reitcheck to the 1st team, Cousins to the 2nd) and appeared poised to dominate over the latter half of their careers. Unfortunately, 2016 represented something of a step back for both hurlers. Cousins’ ERA ballooned by nearly two runs, including to an unimpressive 4.60 mark in conference play. Reitcheck’s struggles were less dramatic, though his 3.96 ERA was a far cry from his sophomore campaign. Luckily for Penn, two then-sophomore hurlers — Gabe Kleiman and Billy Lescher — turned in breakout 2016 seasons and return this season as additional veteran weapons.



Senior pitcher Jake Cousins has returned to dominant form for the Quakers, posting a 1.93 ERA over his first three starts this year.

But both Reitcheck and Cousins have returned to stellar form so far in 2017. Cousins has excelled in three nonconference starts, giving up just four earned

runs en route to a 1.93 ERA. Reitcheck has been even better, giving up zero runs across three appearances, culminating in a four-hit, complete-game shutout


in his last appearance against Fairfield on March 12. “My arm feels very good; I have great command on everything right now,” Reitcheck said. “I’m very optimistic on how this year’s gonna keep going.” “As we get into conference play, we’re gonna really depend on those guys,” Penn coach John Yurkow said of his senior starters. “If they throw the ball like they have been, we’re going to be in really good shape going forward.” And though he will not be handling the majority of the catching duties, senior Tim Graul — the defending unanimous Ivy Player of the Year — will intermittently return from the outfield to his natural catching position to provide veteran leadership behind the plate. “[Graul] is still going to play a big role in what we’re doing behind the plate,” Yurkow said. “I imagine that if we play three games in a weekend, [sophomore and defending Ivy League Rookie of the Year] Matt O’Neill will catch two games

and Timmy will catch the other one.” The lefty/righty combo provided by Reitcheck and Cousins calls to mind the Quakers’ most recent dynamic pitching duo — 2015 graduates Connor Cuff and Ronnie Glenn. Both enjoyed decorated careers in University City and Glenn is entering his third season of professional baseball in the Los Angeles Angels organization. However, Reitcheck sees his leadership partnership with Cousins as superior even to that of Cuff and Glenn. “Honestly, me and Cousins are closer off the field than [Cuff and Glenn] were,” Reitcheck said. “We’re best friends and all that. We spend a lot of time together. We work out four days a week together outside of team events... when you’re tired, that’s who you can lean on for the motivation.” And god knows Penn baseball will do a whole lot of leaning on Reitcheck and Cousins if the Quakers are to break through in 2017 to the elusive Ivy championship. CONTACT US: 215-422-4640

March 21, 2017  
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