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TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
PennDesign prof to spearhead global urban development
Uncovering the other
across the river Just a 10-month resident, Penn grad and Rutgers prof Steve Danley is fast learning the intricacies of Camden, one of the nation’s poorest and most dangerous cities BY MIKE TONY Senior Staff Writer
Q&A | The DP spoke to Eugenie Birch about her work on the World Urban Campaign
t’s April Fools’ Day in Camden, N.J., and the joke is on everyone near the intersection of Cooper and 4th Streets on the campus of Rutgers University-Camden — just a 10-minute train ride away from Center City on the PATCO Speedline. A New Jersey Transit River Line tram full of dozens of passengers is stuck in the middle of a left turn onto Cooper Street, lodged behind a red, crusty Chevy Cavalier parked in the right lane, close enough to the intersection that the tram would smash it if it went any further. Instant traffic jam. “It sucks to suck,” a man in a black hoodie yells towards the tram while walking on the other side of the street. One police car arrives on the scene, then another. A police officer in the first car activates her siren so that the owner of the Cavalier might come out and retrieve his vehicle. Then a school bus approaches, turning right onto 4th Street off of Cooper. It takes 10 seconds for the bus to squeeze between the curb and the tram. The two police officers shake their heads in disbelief, and so do the handful of pedestrians who have stopped to watch. Finally, the owner of the Cavalier comes rushing out of a Subway and 7-Eleven plaza across the street. “I’m so sorry!” he says. “Write him a ticket!” a bystander yells gleefully from the street corner, as if this 2:30 p.m. logjam is guaranteed to be the highlight of his day. The Cavalier’s owner drives shamefully away after the police officers are done with him, but not before the tram driver honks the horn one more time for good measure. “What was that?” the first police officer asks. That was the schoolchildren, police and citizens of the city, innocent and guilty, black and white, all struggling to navigate around each other. And in a nutshell, that’s Camden.
BY FOLA ONIFADE Staff Writer The United Nations Human Settlement’s Program recently named PennDesign professor Eugenie Birch chair of the World Urban Campaign, an organization that advocates sustainable city development. Birch is currently a co-director of Penn’s Institute for Urban Research, a interdisciplinary research center that studies sustainable and suburban development strategies. She has been working with the WUC since 2009, when it was in its early stages of development, and was elected cochair in 2010. T he D a i l y Pennsylvanian spoke to Birch about her previous work with and goals for WUC. D P : W h at EUGENIE does the World BIRCH Urban CamChair of the paign do? World Urban EB: Over the Campaign years w e ’ v e done some work writing manifestos and documents that talk about importance of cities and urbanization and how important it is to … not be wasteful with our resources. This objective has gotten more important because of two big things happening in the United Nations in the next two years with the creation of the post-2015 agenda. DP: Can you tell us more about the post-2015 agenda? EB: In 2000, the UN issued the
‘Local Knowledge’ is power
ust across the street, sitting in his office, is Rutgers professor Stephen Danley, the Oxford-educated, 6-foot-8, three-time Ivy League champion Penn basketball forward who moved to Camden in July. He’s far removed from the cacophony of sirens and horns below, but he’s got more than enough voices in his ear to make up for it. That’s because Danley’s Local Knowledge blog has become arguably the most important forum for citizens of Camden, which in February was ranked the most dangerous city in the country in a list compiled using FBI data from 2012. Camden has the highest crime rate of any city with a population over 75,000, suffering 131 homicides from the beginning of 2012 through Feb. 19 of this year. In September 2012, United States Census Bureau statistics revealed Camden to be the poorest city in the nation. These are powerful superlatives, and they define Camden for many. But Danley’s blog goes beyond the superlatives to lend a platform to voices crying out for ownership over their own policy as the city moves away from democratic processes and its citizens feel like they have increasingly less formal power. “What I’m trying to point out in the blog is that power has been exploited,” said Danley, who graduated from the College in 2007. But it’s those voices in Danley’s ear that are doing most of the talking. Contributions to his blog are varied and touch on redevelopment, public education and other city issues. Danley has scored guest posts from fellow Rutgers professors as well as his students, Camden School District teachers and representatives and the founder of the Sunny Camden, a blog committed to highlighting the positives throughout the city. Most of these voices are saying the same thing: Camden lawmakers have willfully ignored their constituents.
SEE URBAN PAGE 6
Penn Law website, FactCheck.org win Webby Awards
SEE CAMDEN PAGE 9
Courtesy of Blake Bolinger
BY MAYA RAWAL Staff Writer
It’s lights, camera, action for Penn Masala The a cappella group performed at the Bollywood ‘Oscars’ this weekend BY CATHY HAN Contributing Writer
Courtesy of IIFA
Members of Penn Masala pose in their prime seats at the International Indian Film Academy Awards. The group performed “Evolution of Bollywood Music” at the event in Florida over the weekend.
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Penn Masala is red carpet ready. Their newest song, “Evolution of Bollywood Music” not only captured the attention of its usual fans, but also gained notice from the organizers of the International Indian Film Academy. Members of Penn Masala, a widely recognized South Asian
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a cappella group, traveled to Tampa, Fla., this past weekend to perform at the annual International Indian Film Academy Awards. The event is considered the “Oscars” of Bollywood and combines performances with an award ceremony. The biggest stars in the Hindi language film industry were present in the audience of close to 25,000 people. “It was a surreal experience. For a lot of us, it was a dream come true,” Penn Masala Business Manager Varshil Patel , a Wharton and Engineering senior, said. “ E volut ion of Bol ly woo d SEE MASALA PAGE 7
The websites for the Penn Law School and FactCheck. org, an Annenberg Public Policy Center project, won Webby Awards on Monday. Penn Law’s website won its second consecutive People’s Voice Award, chosen by public voters. FactCheck.org, which verifies the accuracy of polit ic i a ns’ st at ement s du r i ng major elections, won both the People’s Voice Award for the seventh time since 2007 and the judge’s award, following wins in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The websites were nominated for Webby Awards, an internet award The New York Times called “the Internet’s highest honor,” in their respective categories of Law and Politics. Penn Law’s website features an interactive homepage with SEE WEBBY PAGE 10
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PAGE 2 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
Your candidates for pa. governor
Harrisburg City Councilman BRAD KOPLINSKI wants to see the Commonwealth push toward relying on alternative revenue sources beyond traditional income and property taxes. He tentatively favors legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania, depending on how it is received in states where the substance was recently legalized. Koplinski is pro-choice and supports marriage equality.
THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN
BY SAMUEL BYERS / GRAPHIC BY SOPHIA LEE
Pennsylvania’s governor will face many challenges in the coming term that need to be addressed, including education funding, civil rights issues (such as same-sex marriage) and infrastructure. In the legal battleground that is same-sex marriage, top government officials are being sued in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union in order to overturn Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Philadelphia School District has faced budget problems for several years now. Most recently, School District Superintendent William Hite said the district needs $216 million more in order to adequately fund the city’s schools.
ALLYSON SCHWARTZ G has served in Congress since 2005, representing the 13th congressional district (which includes part of Philadelphia). She supports anti-discrimination laws for LGBT Pennsylvanians and favors same-sex marriage. Schwartz also wants to expand state education funding, including implementing statewide pre-K programs. As governor, she would seek to freeze in-state tuition rates at Pennsylvania universities and raise the eligibility ceiling for state tuition grants.
The Daily Pennsylvanian compiled the candidates’ positions on several relevant issues.
? ? Pennsylvania will hold its primary elections for the governor’s race on May 20.
The G governor since 2011, TOM CORBETT has pushed to reduce the state budget deficit, which was substantial when he took office. He added more state money to public education programs, but was criticized for not increasing funding enough. Corbett has also been criticized for his comments comparing gay marriage to incest.
JIM CAWLEY has served as Tom Corbett’s lieutenant governor since 2011. In addition to his duties in the state senate, he heads the Local Government Advisory Committee, which coordinates state efforts with municipal governments, and the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which has recommended harsher penalties for natural gas drillers who contaminate the environment.
ROBERT GUZZARDI G is a Pennsylvania lawyer who is challenging Tom Corbett for the Republican nomination for governor on a platform of free markets and BRANDON NEUMAN LG supply-side economics. Guzzardi is a member of the Pennsylwholeheartedly supports lowering the vania House of Representatives Commonwealth’s taxes, which he sees as who has focused on protecting the an infringement on the personal Commonwealth’s children and liberties of Pennsylvanians. He teenagers, working on several bills to supports expanding parental provide resources for abused and choice in children's education neglected children. He also introduced MIKE STACK is a and the right to work. legislation in the House to strengthen state senator from the Commonwealth’s whistleblower Philadelphia. He wants to see ROB laws and make the bidding funding for education restored to MCCORD is a process for state contracts pre-Corbett administration levels. Wharton MBA graduate and more transparent. He supports marriage equality and the current Pennsylvania State strengthened hate-crime legislation, LG Treasurer. He supports a 10 as well as the decriminalization of percent tax on companies drilling for G small-time marijuana posses*Incumbent natural gas in the state’s rich Marcelsion and the legalization of lus Shale, the funds from which would medical marijuana. be applied toward a $1.3 billion G Former Pennsylvania MARK CRITZ is a increase in funding for K-12 KATIE MCGINTY A LG Revenue Secretary TOM former Congressman from education. He supports the served for six years as the Bradford County WOLF is one of the frontrunners the Pittsburgh area. He current marriage equality bill Secretary of the Pennsylvania Commissioner, MARK for the democratic nomination to advocates increases in early in the state legislature. Department of Environmental SMITH supports universal LG challenge Corbett. Wolf, who supports childhood and university education Protection under Governor Ed Rendell. pre-K programs as well as across marriage equality, also wants to restore spending and wants Pennsylvania to She is in support of both marriage the board raises in pay for Pennsylstate education funding to the level it prioritize the repair of critical roads and equality and the legalization of medical vania’s teachers. He upset local was at prior to Corbett’s tenure. He also infrastructure in its budget. He marijuana in the state. She has called groups with his support for same-sex G wants to make college education more opposes Tom Corbett’s plans to for a tax increase on certain tobacco marriage in a heavily Republican affordable, especially to veterans, by privatize the state lottery because products to offset the cost of county. He is pro-choice and offering them grants and low it would lead to a loss of tuition grants to help Pennsylsupports expanded access tuition rates at state revenue for programs that vania students pay for to birth control for universities. help seniors. college. women.
July 174 to July 274
CCPAlogoFINAL.spot.ai / 13 sept 2004 © THINKING EYE, L.L.C.
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Undergraduate Assembly bans laptops at meetings The UA will start printing materials previously available electronically BY FIONA GLISSON Campus News Editor In an unexpectedly controversial move yesterday, the Underg raduate A ssembly banned laptops at meetings. “It gets really tiring and fatiguing to listen to something for two to three hours and ... I get that sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked on a laptop,” UA President and College junior Joyce Kim said. “It’s something I’ve done, I’m going to be honest.” Kim believes that banning laptops at meetings will boost engagement among members. She cited Sunday’s meeting, which she called “more productive” in the absence of laptops. Phones will still be allowed. E nga gement , however, comes at a price — specifically $510 of an unexpected $592 given to Penn Student Government by the Board of Trustees, according to UA minutes. The money will go
to print materials previously disseminated to members via the Internet. This morning, student government branch leaders expressed dismay that the UA had passed a budget amendment t hat a l loc ated t h is money to themselves without notifying branch members that the UA meeting would feature a discussion of the addition of new line items to the budget. The UA did send their weekly email with a “meeting packet” detailing all topics to be discussed to branch leaders and others. “Normally, when it pertains to the [student government] branches, the UA is a lot better about contacting us,” Student Activities Council chair and College junior Kanisha Parthasarathy said. “They just slipped up a bit.” 2016 Class Board president Jesus Perez agreed. “It just caught me off guard and a lot of other people as well,” he said. “I think it was an honest mistake.” The UA typically contacts other student government branches when pertinent discussions such as those relat-
ing to the budget are going to take place at a meeting. Kim said it was an accidental oversight. “This experience encouraged all [Penn Student Government] leaders to work on improved communication and better collaboration among our branches next semester,” Student Committee on Undergraduate Education chair and College junior Lucas Siegmund said in an emailed statement. T wo d iscussion papers were also introduced at the UA meeting. One, authored by College senior Hyun-Soo Lim discussed a pane of stained glass depicting the Rising Sun Japanese flag, which some Korean students argue is offensive. The second, authored by College freshman and SAS representative Daniel Kahana discussed liquor enforcement and student safety during Fling as well as “how the UA can help Panhel, IFC, the Multicultural Greek Council and students in general so that students feel like there is more transparency in liquor enforcement,” Kim said.
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PAGE 4 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
Opinion VOL. CXXX, NO. 62
The Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania
130th Year of Publication TAYLOR CULLIVER, Executive Editor AMANDA SUAREZ, Managing Editor JENNIFER YU, Opinion Editor LOIS LEE, Director of Online Projects FIONA GLISSON, Campus News Editor HARRY COOPERMAN, City News Editor JODY FREINKEL, Assignments Editor WILLIAM MARBLE, Enterprise Editor GENESIS NUNEZ, Copy Editor MATT MANTICA, Copy Editor YOLANDA CHEN, News Photo Editor MICHELE OZER, Sports Photo Editor CONNIE KANG, Photo Manager
STEVEN TYDINGS, Senior Sports Editor RILEY STEELE, Sports Editor IAN WENIK, Sports Editor HAILEY EDELSTEIN, Creative Director ANALYN DELOS SANTOS, News Design Editor VIVIAN LEE, News Design Editor JENNY LU, Sports Design Editor JENNIFER KIM, Video Producer STEPHANIE PARK, Video Producer
s a Penn alumna, I always look forward to my yearly visit to Philadelphia to officiate Penn Relays. This year, I was extremely excited and proud to learn that Noel Jancewicz had won the heptathlon. I eagerly awaited Thursday’s (April 24) Daily Pennsylvanian, anticipating a wonderful story about her
accomplishment. There was none. Therefore, I assumed that Wednesday’s (April 23) results were recorded after the print deadline. Surely there would be a mention in Friday’s (April 25) paper. However, with the exception of one sentence (and other people’s pictures) there was none. Winning a Penn Relays Championship of America
event is a big deal. The finest athletes from all over the world travel to Penn to compete in Relays. Relays truly is the biggest and the best track meet. When a Penn student wins an event, it is an even bigger deal. When I won the Relays heptathlon, I was fortunate to receive a great deal of press from the DP. It felt very good receiving appreciation and
acknowledgement from my peers. Noel should have that same well deserved time in the spotlight. It is both surprising and sad that when a Penn student wins the Penn Relays, the Penn paper ignores this achievement. Noel and the women’s track team deserve better. Frances Childs College ’88
GIANNI MASCIOLI, Business Manager CHANTAL GARCIA FISCHER, Credit Manager ERIC PARRISH, Marketing Manager
SELMA BELGHITI, Finance Manager KATHERINE CHANG, Advertising Manager
THIS ISSUE MONICA OSHER, Associate Copy Editor LEAH FANG, Associate Copy Editor EVAN CERNEA, Associate Copy Editor AUGUSTA GREENBAUM, Associate Copy Editor MEGAN MANSMANN, Associate Copy Editor
JEN KOPP, Associate Copy Editor HOLDEN MCGUINNESS, Associate Sports Editor SOPHIA LEE, Associate Graphics Editor CLAIRE YAO, Associate Layout Editor NATALIA REVELO, Associate Photo Editor
CORRECTION An article in Monday’s issue of The Daily Pennsylvanian appearing on page one with the title “Local cemetery seeks input on renovations” incorrectly stated that the Woodlands Cemetery was founded by Alexander Hamilton’s grandson, William Hamilton. William Hamilton is the grandson of Andrew Hamilton, a Philadelphia attorney. The DP regrets the error.
HANNAH ROSENFELD is a College freshman from Tokyo. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why I can’t leave Penn saying that I loved it
GUEST COLUMN BY JONELLE LESNIAK
s a senior, I’ve been asked by the ad m i n i st r at ion to take multiple surveys about my Penn experience. The surveys ask seniors to rate the curriculum, faculty, community and how well Penn has fostered awareness of the world, among other things. I’ve found all of these more than satisfactory. But still, something has been amiss in my college experience that keeps me from being completely satisfied. A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about a question in the senior survey asking what we would say to a future Penn student about the Penn experience. Both of us confessed to giving less than positive responses. I’ve long wondered what it is about Penn that prevents me from wholly
loving it, and now I am finding I am not the only one asking that question. Many months of contemplation have led to one conclusion: The prevailing mentality of competitiveness among students really puts me off. In Wharton, this is drilled into us on day one of Management 100 and usually sticks from then on. I remember our first day of class when the TA explained to my classmates and I that we would be graded against our peers; we would not graded on how well we performed, but on how well we performed compared to everyone else. Penn students are pitted against each other academically from the beginning. Throughout my four years at Penn, I’ve observed how the competitive attitude has affected student life at Penn.
Interactions between students are too often approached with a “what can I get out of this” attitude. It isn’t explicitly stated by anyone that that’s how things work around here, but students tacitly assent to it over time. The competitive environment leads students to make collections of networks to exploit their performance in situations from group projects to jobs opportunities. To some extent that’s smart, and college is a great place to build networks. But relating to peers as consumers can change students from team players to shirkers with self-promoting attitudes, interested in only their benefits in order to stay at the top. By the time OCR comes a r ou nd , compet it iveness reaches its height and students become frenzied, with piles of them vying for limited offers. I spoke with many peers that ad-
mitted that they didn’t want to be doing OCR but were doing it because they felt like they had to in order to keep up with everyone else. I was one of them.
“If we carry a competitive, selfseeking and elitist mentality with us into society, we will find it affecting our relationships with colleagues, friends and … others.”
We are conforming to competitive norms that we don’t necessarily like, but we do so just to keep pace with everyone else, instead of pursuing our own unique paths. Students
funnel themselves toward a hamster wheel, many times when most of them would admit that they’d rather not. Healthy competition can foster achievement and create motivation to excel. But if we’re not careful, a competitive mentality will affect our entire lives. This attitude doesn’t stay limited to the classroom. It seeps into our every day attitudes toward others. It affects the way we treat the people around us. Do we have team members or stepping stools? It also affects our work ethic. Do we perform our best or do we do just enough to beat the next best person? After four years of being in this atmosphere, we enter the workforce, higher academia or some other type of occupation. I wonder how the everyone-forhimself training ground affects the industries that many students pursue after Penn, in-
cluding popular financial and consulting careers, to name a few. If we carry a competitive, self-seeking and elitist mentality with us into society, we will find it affecting our relationships with colleagues, friends and all sorts of others. We cannot let an attitude of competitiveness stifle meaningful working relationships, and we must do what we can to prevent it from affecting our social lives. We must encourage one another to break molds and do what we want to do rather than worry about keeping up with everyone else. The attitude on campus won’t change unless we change it. And hopefully all of us will love college a little bit more. JONELLE LESNIAK is a Wharton senior from Wausaukee, Wisc. Her email address is jlesniak@ wharton.upenn.edu.
A magnolia for North Korea?
GUEST COLUMN BY JAY CHUNG
t is a somber time in K or e a . T wo we ek s ago, a passenger ferry carrying 476 people, mostly high school students on spring break, capsized near the southwestern coast of the peninsula. As of Sunday, the search team had recovered 188 bodies, but 114 people still remain missing. In its wake, I was heartened to see how people have turned distress into a call for gathering and healing. On our campus last week, students held a candlelight vigil to express support for the families of the missing. In the realm of social media, people have been posting the image of a bright yellow ribbon, which was first widely used in America during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, to express hope that the missing might eventu-
ally come back. And this past weekend, President Obama presented Koreans with a memorial flag and a magnolia tree. The latter is said to symbolize “beauty and renewal.” Meanwhile, another group of Koreans has been dealing with tragedies on a daily basis and arguably deserve our more immediate attention: our estranged neighbor, North Korea. T he l at est U N Hu m a n Rights Council report estimated that 80,000 to 120,000 North Korean political prisoners are detained in camps. “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations,” the experts wrote, “does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.” In its wake, however, I was disheartened to find that people have privately reserved their sym-
pathy for the plight of North Koreans. Critics of North Korea, on the other hand, have publicly used the report’s findings to launch the routine rebukes against the government and confirm their existing beliefs about the deplorable nature of North Korea. President Obama, during his recent trip to Asia, added that the North Koreans “suffer, terribly, because of the decisions that its leaders made.” America’s stance toward North Korea is quite understandable — perhaps even strategically logical — but at times, it is nonetheless baffling to me. What confuses me is not so much the North Korean government as it is the American government and its interpretation of factors, which leads to hostile North Korean threats. It seems as though the
international community’s unspoken desire is for North Korea to be within its realm of control. It needs North Korea to be predictable, or else, it is simply labeled crazy. North Koreans are not crazy. They are being human. In my view, North Korea is reacting to a specific set of historical circumstances, which, unfor tunately, the United States is largely responsible for. The North Koreans seem to suffer from inherited grudges against A mer ic a a nd Japa n. For example, the United States dropped more bombs in Korea during the war — 635,000 tons to be exact — which is more than the amount dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. The memory of such atrocities still seems to haunt North Koreans, who have subsequently responded by creating a virulently anti-
American regime. It is human to forget the harm you’ve caused. But the harm that was done to you, I find it harder to forget those things. And this makes me think that the situation in Korea might change if the American leaders would, for once, stop and reflect on their own decisions that might have elicited certain responses before criticizing the North Korean leaders for their decisions. Nor t h K or e a i s slowly adapting to the world. It is opening up, if ever so slightly. Two weeks ago, the Pyongyang Marathon welcomed 225 r unners f rom across the globe, providing access to unforeseen images of the country. The Dennis Rodman visit, despite whatever fierce criticism people had against him, also provided a foundation for a potential dialogue.
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And in light of the tragedy in South Korea, North Korea has even publicly expressed “deep sympathy as regards the sinking of the ferry Sewol.” I hope more people could ask not how much North Korea should change to meet our standards, but about what they could do to change their own attitudes towards North Korea and to help them join the international community. I dream that just as Americans presented the South with a magnolia tree to heal wounds, the process of renewal between the United States and North Korea could begin with a simple gesture of goodwill that would come without any strings attached. JAY CHUNG is a College senior from South Korea. His email address is jaychulchung@gmail. com.
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TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014 PAGE 5
THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN
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PAGE 6 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
On human rights in Sochi
BY SIOBHAN ROONEY Contributing Writer Sochi failed as a platform to spotlight Russian human rights abuses, according to a husband and wife team in the Department of Political Science. During a discussion on Russia, advocacy and human rights hosted by the International Relations Undergraduate Student Association yesterday, Associate Director of the Political Science Department Eileen Doherty-Sil and political science professor and Co-Director of the Huntsman Program Rudra Sil expressed the drawbacks of using the Sochi Games as a platform for highlighting Russian human rights abuses. “The human rights community blew it in Sochi,” said Doherty-Sil, who spoke from the perspective of the global human rights community. “We lost the audience,”
she said. Sil, who offered a Russian perspective, also spoke of the Olympics as a missed opportunity for more traditional Western countries to truly connect with the Russian populace. The Russian people must have thought, “‘Here we go again, the West lecturing us,’” he said. “We don’t care what the Russians think, just how they should think,” he said. The husband and wife team invited the audience to think of the discussion as a strategic planning meeting: How can an event such as the Winter Olympics be used as “a forum for human rights pressures?” Sil reminded the audience to keep in mind the Western-oriented nature of the event. “How many third world countries actually participate in the Winter Olympics?” he asked. Sil compared Sochi to the 2008
Beijing Summer Olympics. He said that Beijing’s events engaged the entire world, while Sochi saw a less diverse set of participating nations and a less diverse international audience. That lack of breadth detracted from Sochi’s legitimacy as a platform for spotlighting Russian human rights issues. “When you spotlight, you localize, but also demonize,” he said. Focusing on one particular group can paint over the broader history and context. “We need to be really careful about what spotlighting does. It can allow people to bypass the entirety of the issue,” he said. He suggested that human rights advocates take a broader look. “Comparatively, where does Russia really stand on human rights?” Sil asked. “[Russia may] not be great in comparison to the West and the U.S. but it’s way ahead of loads of other places. Progress has been made,” he
said. “We ought to be crystal clear about what [Russian] human rights issues are,” Doherty-Sil said. She encouraged the audience to understand the issue before trying to change it. Sil said that Russia’s human rights record may fare poorly compared to the West but “the country has just gone through cataclysmic change.” “Here we are at our most progressive moment and we’re trying to pull Russia along too far,” he said of the West. “There are serious human rights discussions to be had and we need to be more clever about it,” Doherty-Sil said. In order to stir momentum for change in Russia and elsewhere, there needs to be a change in mindset. “Make global discussions global. Get everyone involved. It should be on all fronts, at all times,” Sil said.
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Prof’s research informs her work on WUC URBAN from page 1 Millennium Development Goals, which end in 2015. [While] MDG largely applied to developing countries, the Sustainable Development Goals — [goals that will be addressed in the post-2015 agenda] — will apply to all countries, not just the developing world. That means the scope of the SDG will be broader and will work on two big world issues: climate change and how we deal with sustainability in that context, and poverty alleviation worldwide. These are aspirational goals — meaning they don’t have legal backing … But there are new ideas that have emerged since 2000 one of which, of course, is cities and human settlements. By this September, the committees work ing on this topic will make a proposal through the Secretary-General and we’re pretty sure it will establish the framework. DP: What’s the second big thing going on in the UN? EB: The second activity is that we’re working on the program’s Habitat III … We’ll be focusing on sustainable cities and settlements and what sorts of things need to be done in the coming years. The UN organizes this by asking member states to create national committees which think about what their priorities are. Part of the work of the WUC is to encourage, work with, inform and help national committees as part
of preparatory work for Habitat III. DP: How will your experiences as a Penn professor influence your work as WUC chair? EB: One of the critical concerns in the next few years is that we expect 3 billion more people to live in cities — doubling the urban population. The speed with which this is happening is overwhelming but not impossible to deal with if we, as a world and individual nations and cities, think about how to manage this growth well. The growth will be largely in three places: Asia, Africa and the U.S., but the growth in the U.S. will be different from the other two. In Asia and Africa, it will be dominated by huge growth in informal housing, such as slums, where there are no services or security and we will have to think about how to accommodate that. In addition to how we think about accommodating, we have to think abut how we can upgrade. We need to think about … how we’re going to move people around places. Everyone would like to have cars, but they’re not the most efficient or green way to move people so we need to think about how mass transit will work in these cities. We need to think of innovative ways to house people, feed people and transport them to their jobs. We need innovative ways to supply heathcare and education and most importantly, innovate ways to make sure that people moving in to the city can find jobs. It’s a complex world out there. These are issues that through my academic careers I’ve taught, done research and engaged in practice.
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TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014 PAGE 7
DISCONNECT AND RECONNECT .
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Penn [Dis]Connects, a week of programming that encourages a technology detox in favor of more time with friends and fewer electronics-centric activities, hosted a screening of “Her” and s’mores making yesterday on High Rise Field.
Group also performed in India in 2013 MASALA from page 1 Music” is an arrangement incorporating a medley of Bollywood songs from the 1940s to present-day. Although it has hit close to one million views on YouTube since its online release a month prior, the performance opportunity was unexpected, according to Patel. A representative of IIFA reached out to the group only about two weeks ago to see if they were interested in
performing. While Patel felt that “it was an awesome opportunity to see the show live and also get to be a part of it,” he noted the logistical difficulties of performing “Evolution of Bollywood Music.” Weeks leading up to the event, the fourteen members put a lot of time into perfecting their performance and practicing how they wanted to present it on stage. Masala has done its fair share of traveling and performing in the past. In early 2013, the group partnered with Hard Rock Cafe in India for its tour, performing at locations in five cities. While they experienced India together and introduced a cappella music to Indian
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audiences who were unfamiliar with the genre, they also participated in community service with the Teach for India organization. Patel, reflecting on his last four years in the group, says that one of the most meaningful experiences in his Masala career was volunteering in a classroom with students who did not have access to music within their curriculum. The group taught fourth grade students an a cappella arrangement. “It was a moment where we saw our music have an impact.” “It’s cool to be popular. It’s cool to tour and have shows, but it’s awesome to say that our music does more than entertain people,” Patel said.
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For residents with little control, alternative media give voice CAMDEN from page 1
Courtesy of Blake Bolinger
“Local voices are the best way to provide context,” Danley said. “The great failing of urban policy is we take a cookie-cutter approach.” Danley first encountered this approach in New Orleans, where he worked with neighborhood associations while earning his doctorate degree from 2009 to 2012. When he got to New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, city planners had decided to rebuild all the public housing facing inward, leaving a green space in the middle for a suburban neighborhood. “People were 100 percent against it, and no one could figure out why,” Danley said. “Every developer says face it in.” But it turned out that the housing was on the Mardi Gras parade route. “So their favorite memories were sitting on porches watching the parade facing out,” Danley said. “It was a cultural link to their street. For that to get lost is a huge loss in issues of urban development.”
The perils of ‘poverty porn’
ete Toso knows all about the zero sum game of urban development. His pizza shop Little Slice of New York stands just two blocks from Danley’s office, and it’s been there since September 1992, when Toso moved from New York to start his own business. “I was told the streets were paved with gold,” Toso said. Toso only came to Camden because he was hoping to capitalize on what was rumored to be a new plaza in the area around the old RCA Victor buildings. But after manufacturing ceased in 1992, the plans dried up. He’s still here, though. Toso beams at the before and after pictures hanging on his wall. The before is of the shack Toso first bought back in 1992, a boarded up skeleton of an establishment. The after is of the building as it still stands today — after Toso constructed an entirely new one, laying the cinderblocks himself. Two decades later, it’s still a popular restaurant among Rutgers students. It’s also the kind of resilient smallscale entrepreneurship that Danley believes is the key to turning around Camden long-term. “It’s an interesting town,” Toso said sardonically. “Nothing but good things to say about it.” Like Toso, Danley didn’t take long to find out the streets of Camden weren’t paved with gold. Upon moving to Camden, he’d walk through a new neighborhood and get asked whether he was looking to buy a new home. If he stopped by a new shop, the owner would want to know if he’d just moved to the area. When he’d park his car downtown, he’d be approached and asked if he needed drugs. “The message to local residents is clear: The nice things here aren’t for you. We need other people,” Danley wrote in an August blog post for Next City, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit providing online coverage of progress in metropolitan areas around the world. Danley’s post, “Camden, A City for Others,” proved extremely popular. “That piece would make this an office where students wanted to show up to talk about Camden,” Danley said. And when they showed up, they all said the same thing: Camden was getting exploited in mainstream media. The Nation’s November 2010 feature “City of Ruins.” Brian Williams’ March 2013 NBC News special. And then, in December 2013, Rolling Stone’s feature “Apocalypse, New Jersey,” in which writer Matt Taibbi posited, “If Camden was overseas, we would have sent troops and foreign aid.” All three profiles of Camden portrayed the city as broken, highlighting its impoverished despair with photos of shacked up houses and passages on resident drug addicts. Danley calls this “poverty porn.” “It’s the cheap calories of looking at
personnel unfamiliar with the city, and Camden,” Danley said, playing with local residents marched in rallies and his pen as he becomes more agitated. protested at city council meetings. “The idea is people come here to tell Earlier this month, a post from a the story about how horrible it is. They Rutgers student on the Local Knowldecide that ahead of time. They come, edge blog featured a long list of recent they look, they show pictures, basically resident complaints about police overto inspire horror.” reach and harassment in response to But if Brian Williams or Matt Taibbi the one-year anniversary of the new can’t speak for Camden, who can? police force taking over. Yet total crime Camden doesn’t have a city newspaper in Camden dropped nearly 30 percent and is instead covered by the Philain the first quarter of 2014 compared delphia Inquirer. But the Inquirer is to the same quarter in 2013. owned in part by New Jersey DemoThe jury is still out on the Metro cratic Party boss George Norcross, Police, though, and the same holds an unpopular figure in Camden due to true for the Camden School District. what many residents say is his political The majority of resident contribucontrol over the city. tors lament the state-appointed suSo it’s little surprise that those perintendent, residents have imthe mayor-apmediately embraced pointed school alternative media like board and a the Local Knowledge public particiblog and the Facebook pation process page I Am Camden, We’ve normalized that seems to another page often the violence and be interested focusing on positives in only token around Camden which trauma so much participation. has more than 9,000 that we now say the Camden acfollowers. problem is when tivist Juan Ro“I would hear so many negative things driguez was a you talk about it. about Camden, not security officer to mention the looks in the Camden —Father Jeff Putthoff, people would give School District Executive Director of Hopeworks ‘N Camden me when I said, ‘I’m for 10 years from Camden,’” said before leaving the page’s founder, in November who wished to remain pa r t ia l ly so anonymous for this that he would story. “I applaud [Danbe able to ley] on his efforts. He is doing what speak out against the district’s power most won’t for the city of Camden.” structure. But Father Jeff Putthoff sees very “When it comes to the Camden little good to write about. As executive School District, if you don’t allow residirector of Hopeworks ‘N Camden, a dents to vote for board members, the nonprofit dedicated to getting youth government gets control and Norcross ages 14-23 back in school, Putthoff has appoints somebody to do his bidding,” become convinced that Camden is far Rodriguez said, summing up the views more ravaged than resilient. of many contributors to Danley’s blog. “I actually think the Rolling Stone Earlier this month, the Philadelphia article was spot on,” Putthoff said. Inquirer reported that 20 percent of “I think the reaction, ‘Oh, but you’re school staff and 32 percent of adminmissing the good,’ misses the fact that istrative staff will be losing their jobs. people are wounded. It is terrible here. “The political structure here has We need to claim that every day.” alienated the police union by moving to a Metro Police force and attacked the public school system by shifting jobs from the public sector to charters and More than token Renaissance schools,” Danley said. participation “People are starting to ask where the base will be for [the political structure’s] coalition moving forward.” n fact, Putthoff, one of Camden’s most prominent nonprofit leaders, has an analogy to demonstrate A walk down Haddon just how egregiously he thinks CamAvenue den is hurting itself. “[NFL running back] Adrian Peterson hurt his knee really badly,” Putthoff, a 16-year resident of Camden, ou’d think Mr. J’s Fine Wine said. “Then he came back in 10 months & Spirit would be one of Camand almost broke every NFL rushing den’s hottest crime spots. It record. Everyone’s like, ‘Oh my god, sits on the edge of town, far away from how does that happen?’ The very first the tiny campus bubble that Rutgers thing that happens to him after he provides and far enough that it adhurts his knee is people run out on the opted a policy of not calling the police field. He gets surgery. My experience after the old city-run police were alin Camden is when people get hurt, no ways too slow in responding. one responds.” But on this April Fools’ Day, it’s Two years ago, Putthoff was part of nothing but laughs as Kharee Jenkins a protest group that planted nearly 100 gets his jokes watching “Tosh.0” on a white crosses bearing the names and screen to the right of the counter he’s ages of victims from 2012 and earlier standing behind. The screen to his in front of Camden’s City Hall. left is a security monitor giving the “The mayor and city government all clear. got really upset and said we were giv“The Metro Police force has been ing Camden a bad name by drawing a lot better, they’re the real deal,” attention to this,” Putthoff said. “We’ve Jenkins said. normalized the violence and trauma so Since Mr. J’s is just a stone’s throw much that we now say the problem is away from Collingswood, a dry town when you talk about it.” where alcohol cannot be sold, the store And since murder is part of the serves its purpose. So does CollingCamden landscape, so are its police. swood’s police force. Three hours after the traffic jam at “The Collingswood police, everyCooper and 4th streets, there’s still a body knows, are real rough,” Jenkins police car parked right outside Little said. “They don’t want any Camden Slice of New York. There’s one parked spillover.” outside the Subway and 7-Eleven plaStill, Jenkins said he feels safe in Camden, where he lived briefly with za. A third keeps driving around the a girlfriend. block. And this is Rutgers, the “good” “One of the most pleasant experipart of town. ences of my life,” Jenkins added. The Camden City Council approved But for Jenkins, you can’t expea plan to lay off the city’s entire 270-ofrience Camden until you’ve walked ficer police force in January 2013, weldown Haddon Avenue, one of the oldest coming a controversial new Camden and longest roads in Camden. Thirteen County-run Metro Police force. An homicides occurred last year within a official of the Camden Fraternal Order 2-mile radius west of the intersection of Police called the merger a “recipe of Haddon and Kaighn Avenues. for disaster” that would introduce new
As the sun sets on Haddon Avenue, it’s clear that this is not the apocalypse. A walk between Kaighn Avenue and I-676 reveals six restaurants and several other businesses. Yes, there are several very rundown buildings along the way, but it’s not the war zone that Taibbi portrayed. It’s a city with the darkest of corners, but it has its bright spots for those daring enough to open their eyes at what has been broadcasted many times over as the scene of the crime.
Is Penn in or of West Philadelphia?
amden is so close, it shouldn’t have been surprising when Facebook started identifying many posts from Philadelphia as “near Camden” last month. But Pennsylvania Democratic state Rep. Brian Sims saw it as enough of a political issue to mention it on a visit to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., last month. If it wasn’t for some misguided GPS triangulating, Camden would be easy for Sims and his constituents to forget about altogether. It is the other across the river, a city redeemed in the eyes of many by only its college campus. Sound familiar? Earlier this month, an early-morning shooting with a semiautomatic weapon near 40th and Spruce streets left a 31-year-old man named Timothy Cary dead. Neither the victim nor the suspect are affiliated with Penn, according to the Division of Public Safety. The murder served as a reminder for many members of the Penn community of how uneasily Penn’s campus opens to the West Philadelphia neighborhood in which it resides. When College of Liberal and Professional Studies student Alan Chelak moved to West Philadelphia six years ago, he encountered many who had negative perspectives of University City. “I remember thinking that Penn seemed like an anomaly, really out of place and inaccessible in many ways,” Chelak said. “I was on the other side looking in.” Chelak took part in a dumpsterdiving tradition dubbed “Penn Christmas.” “I found all sorts of textbooks that I sold on Amazon, and a friend of mine found a laptop computer,” Chelak said. “Who throws this shit out?” Penn Christmas is obviously an example of extremes, but an Ivy League institution expanding within a neighborhood like West Philadelphia will bring such examples to the fore from time to time. “Penn has provided part of the neighborhood with a lot of growth, but especially because of the way that many Penn students think about the rest of West Philly, I don’t think it fits perfectly,” College junior and Philadelphia native Kyra Reumann-Moore said. “I just think University City is something completely different than West Philadelphia,” Wharton sophomore Melanie Smith said. “The second you walk onto campus, you know you are no longer in West Philadelphia. The feel changes, the culture changes, the people change.” Change has been a good thing with regard to Penn’s relationship with West Philadelphia. Penn political science professor John Dilulio — who taught Danley at Penn — grew up in Southwest Philadelphia and graduated from Penn in 1980, commuting to and from Penn on subway car No. 36 every day. “Penn was not in the best shape back then, and its relations with West Philadelphia were generally thought to be less than mutually beneficial and harmonious,” Dilulio said. But Dilulio observes that the last few decades have brought significant progress in the relationship, which was marked by gentrification dating back to Penn’s redevelopment of the close-knit West Philadelphia commu-
nity known as the Black Bottom in the 1950s and 1960s. “Walking towards the campus from 56th Street, I get the sense of a University City continuum,” Chelak said. “The signs slowly present themselves. Security guards on bikes ready to walk you to your destination so you can feel safe. Fancy or casual restaurants, corporate and indie bookstores, quirky boutiques.” Before it was his job to learn about the place he lived in, Danley as a Penn student was in Philadelphia, not of it. “I would say I didn’t start living in Philly until I graduated from Penn. I only visited Old City once in four years,” Danley laughed. But now he’s the model for instant community involvement. Within a month of moving to Camden, his Next City blog post raised questions of what it meant to be a resident of the city, and within three months, his Local Knowledge blog was off and running. It may have been his job to acquaint himself with Camden, but he did so clinically, going to neighborhood meetings in Cooper Grant, Night Garden — a nighttime art and bike festival — dine arounds with the Latin American Economic Dining Association and City Council and grassroots meetings alike. “I think that a lot of Penn students consider themselves Philadelphia residents. I hear a lot of students talk about their Philly pride, or post photos saying how beautiful their city is,” Reumann-Moore said. “However, just because they say they love Philly doesn’t mean that they understand it or know it the way that people who have lived there their whole lives and have explored many more parts of the city do. And I wouldn’t expect them to. Most of them have only been here for a couple of years.” But it hasn’t taken even that long for Danley’s students to start engaging with the city right along with him. “One of my students said one of the big results of my class was that she said she could talk to her grandmother about Camden and know what her grandmother was talking about,” Danley said. “I am unbelievably jealous of that student, because I wish I could talk to my grandmother about Camden. I thought it would be two to three years of me learning before my voice was in the mix here.”
The ‘cities for others’ are for you
he Penn continuum that Chelak notices daily with West Philadelphia and Center City on either side is natural — most universities boast an aesthetic distinct from their surrounding neighborhoods. The trick for Penn students who feel a distinction between University City and neighboring communities like West Philadelphia, Center City and yes, Camden, is to start navigating that continuum. Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships exists for that very purpose, and so do other programs such as Sunday Suppers and Philly AIDS Thrift. One can’t begin to understand the stigma of Camden until one lives it. That axiom has become Steve Danley’s life, and his Local Knowledge blog’s many readers, guest posters and other contributors wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course Penn students ought to join Danley in doing something about Camden’s startling superlatives, even if it’s merely changing how they think of the city for a start. But above all else, it’s Danley’s general embracement of an urban university as a forum for negotiating communities of difference that current Penn students should follow. “The question I asked at my job interview was, if I walk into a community meeting with a Rutgers shirt on, what will people say to me?” Danley said. “It’s the question I ask myself every day when I go out. So I just put my best foot forward.”
PAGE 10 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
State rep incumbent aims to fix Phila. schools Q&A | James Roebuck spoke to the DP about his platform BY JILL GOLUB Staff Writer
S t a t e R e p r e s e nt a t i v e James Roebuck is running for reelection for Pennsylvania’s 188th Legislative District, which encompasses Penn’s campus. A Democratic pr imar y candidate, his sole opponent is Algernong Allen, a community activist. Born in Philadelphia, Roebuck went to Central High School and then Virginia Union University. Afterward, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has served on the board of directors for Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Assistance Agency and is a member of the Legislative Black Caucus. The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke to Roebuck about his political platform. Daily Pennsylvanian: How do you see Penn fitting into your platforms? James Roebuck: [Penn] has a unique role as a strong, traditional liberal arts university, but it has also got the only veterinary school in the state, which is important for the state’s economy. It is the largest employer in the city, so it’s a major economic factor and an institution where many of us look at to partner and a source of economic support in the community. ... Penn always discusses what their concerns are in terms of securing state funding for the University, but also we talk on a regular basis about the ways in which Penn can be a better part of the community, whether its through First Thursday Meetings but also in terms of individual projects from the University. The relationship with Penn is critical to some of the things I do in Harrisburg. DP: What do you think the most important skills are to
The incumbent state rep is running in the Democratic primary succeed at this job? How are you better for the job than your opponent Algernong Allen? JR: I’m a native West Philadelphian, I have lived here all my life, I have a sense of what the community is, and I’ve also worked very hard on various projects in terms of promoting art and culture in West Philadelphia. I founded West Philadelphia Partners for the Arts, designed to bring all the art and cultural groups together in West Philadelphia in order to have a common voice and draw down funding from the city and the state to promote cultural activities. We have more art and cultural groups in West Philadelphia than north and south Broad Street combined. ... Beyond that, I’ve been very instrumental in bringing in additional dollars for libraries and other facilities to improve quality of life. ... I am by profession a teacher, and that translates to my strong commitment to education and improving education in Philadelphia and the state. My involvement is very deep and well established. I would argue that you don’t have to ask what Jim Roebuck would do, I have a record in Harrisburg. I have no idea what Algernong Allen’s priorities are. DP: How can the Philadelphia school system be fixed? JR: I think it is going to take a lot of things to fix it. The first thing we need is a funding formula. We are one of three states in the United States that does not have a funding formula for our schools. I’m proud of the fact that I was the majority chair of the Education Committee, and I was able to work with [Governor] Ed Rendell in securing education reforms.
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A class for creating ‘wonderful experiences’ through art
For example, before Rendell, the state put no money into early childhood education. Rendell made that a priority, and by the time he left the office the state had become a leader in early childhood education. We’ve expanded funding for kindergarten in Pennsylvania. ... We have to fund education if we want it to work and I am committed to trying to turn that around, and I am hoping for a Democratic governor in the future that will do that. Also, we need greater accountability for charter and cyber-charter schools. DP: What is your stance on the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana? JR: I support that. When the bill comes up I will vote for it. For most of the student issues my vote is what students are looking for me to do. DP: What is your stance on marriage equality? JR: I support marriage equality, and I am a strong supporter of LGBT issues. You will find if you look at the record that there have been very few representatives who consistently support those issues — I’m one of those, and my record is strong which is why Liberty City Democrats endorsed me and I am a supporter and advocate for that community. DP: Anything else? JR: I certainly think that Penn students are probably concerned about the gas industry — the fact that it is expanding rapidly and not taxed and an industry that infringes upon the integrity of our natural resource areas in Pennsylvania and brings into jeopardy local water supplies. Therefore, there needs to be greater accountability and reg ulation of that industry. We ought to tax them at a level so that they return some of the immense profits they make that can be used to fund things like education.
Courtesy of Jillian Kaltman
Professor Jim Schlatter believes that art that engages the community, like performance art, is a way to counter the isolation of the typical 21st Century Westerner. Schlatter thinks ‘we kind of live in a compartmentalized way at Penn.” BY BRENDA WANG Deputy News Editor The students of Jim Schlatter’s class, “Taking Performance Art Public at Penn,” are learning to think outside the picture frame. The course is a freewheeling interdisciplinary look into the intersection of art making and community engagement with public space, Schlatter said. It involves analyzing the work of famous modern performance artists like Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramovic. A self-described “old-time bohemian,” Schlatter’s lifelong love of cities and “the wisdom of the streets” led to his idea for the course, which is in its first year. “We have lost the sense of gathering together in physical and public space, so a lot of this is reigniting the sense that we are all in this together,” he said. He believes art, especially the kind that engages the community, is a way to ad-
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dress the alienation of the modern experience, something he believes is especially necessary at Penn and in West Philadelphia. “We kind of live in a compartmentalized way at Penn,” Schlatter said. “Locust Walk is kind of the parade of self display.” However he pointed out that even small things like the lights that go up in winter on Locust Walk affect the spirit of a public space. “It’s a small little difference, but it’s a sparkle of hope,” he said. “The environment does have an impact.” “We all came into this with different notions about what public performance art was,” College sophomore Rebecca Somach said. She is one of only three students in the course, a fact which allows debate and discussion between students and Schlatter. “My favorite thing about the class is we didn’t really know where this was going to go,” College senior Trevor Pierce said. “Each class ends with, ‘So what’s next?’ and that’s so liberating. It’s so refreshing.” The class even created a “Magical Mystery Tour” for admitted freshmen during
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news from on-campus and worldwide and uses hashtags to help users sea rch the page. “We’re excited to be honored again. There are so many leading-edge websites out there and we’re proud that our site stands out among them,” Penn Law Director of Web Ser v ices Christine Droesser said in an emailed statement.
Quaker Days, which involved audience participation and masked performers to make the normally “passive” tour more interactive. “We wanted to make the tour theirs, that they’re discovering Penn ... [in] surprising and funny and nonchalant kinds of ways,” Schlatter said. Schlatter hopes that next year he will be able to make the course more communityoriented in partnership with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships and the Benjamin Franklin Scholars program. If he can secure funding, Schlatter is aiming for his students to open a “pop-up” community center in West Philadelphia that serves as a public gathering space for art. He sees the revolutionary nature of public performance art in its democratic possibilities for creating “microutopias.” “Those who were previously the spectators are now the creators,” he said. “We’re not trying to change the world. We’re not trying to start a revolution. All we want to do is create these sorts of wonderful experiences.”
Associate Dean for Communications Steven Barnes values the website’s community-based accessibility. “The site is a reflection of the vibrancy of the people and programs at Penn Law,” Barnes said in an email. FactCheck.org redesigned its website last year to be faster and more responsive. “ We’re t h r i l led a nd honored to have won both the judge’s Webby award and the People’s Voice award,” Managing Editor Lori Robertson said in an email. “We owe the latter to our devoted readers and their votes on the Webby Award site, and we’re very grateful for their support.”
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THE BUZZ: THREE UP, THREE DOWN
A quick Ivy title tuneup BY LAINE HIGGINS From The Daily Pennsylvanian’s sports blog, THE BUZZ VIllanova Today, 4 p.m. Villanova, Pa
Penn softball has one regular season game remaining before taking on Dartmouth in the Ivy League Championship Series for the second straight year. That matchup is against Villanova on Tuesday. Here’s who’s up and who’s down for the next week of Red and Blue softball. THREE UP: Leah A llen: This freshman right fielder has been the star of Penn’s offense all year, maintaining a batting average of .410 and racking up 41 RBI. Allen leads both the team and the league in these categories. When Allen steps into the batter’s box, the Quakers can always expect something big. Perhaps the best example of this is the 13 home runs she has hit this season, also a
league high. If Allen continues her hitting hot streak, she will prove to be a valuable asset in this game and the Ivy Championship Series. Mindset: At the beginning of the season, coach Leslie King set a clear goal for her team: to end up in the Ivy League Championship game for the third year in a row. In order to do this, she encouraged her girls to treat every minute on the field — be it for a routine practice or a game-deciding inning — like a championship game. Thus, the Red and Blue should be able to keep their nerves in check and walk out onto the diamond as proud, defending champions come May 3 when they face the Big Green. Experience: Even though Penn’s team is young (11 of the girls on its 21-person roster are freshmen), almost half of the team has been to the Ivy League Championship game before. The Quakers faced Dartmouth in its last championship appearance, so the high stakes are nothing new for the Red and Blue.
THREE DOWN Stamina: In Penn’s last meeting with Dartmouth on April 5, the Red and Blue dropped both games, losing 3-2 and 12-1. The Quakers clearly lost steam in their second game, going through their entire pitching staff in a vain attempt to stop Dartmouth’s offensive attack. With one more game to play before facing the Big Green, the Quakers will be well rested before taking on their biggest test. Conference play: The Quakers would likely rather focus on Dartmouth, but the Wildcats will take a little time away from that as Penn heads to Villanova. Expect Penn to take its collective foot off the gas pedal as King prepares her team for a much more important matchup. Young mistakes: Lately, Penn has been allowing its opponents to score runs on fielding errors. In fact, Penn’s fielding percentage is the second worst in the Ancient Eight. If Penn wants to pull off its second-consecutive title, it cannot afford to make split-second errors in judgment.
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014 PAGE 11
Running or not, the Penn Relays have meaning for everyone
her e’s somet h i ng about Penn Relays that makes me nostalgic. Maybe it’s seeing the high schools that I used to run against sending their relay teams flying around the track. Or maybe it’s watching people I used to share a track with running at their absolute peaks in college, with schools like Oregon and Rutgers emblazoned across their chests now instead of Livingston and West Orange. Or maybe I just miss running in relays of my own. Either way, Saturday afternoon, I sat in the press section and watched Oregon dominate the college men’s 4xMile Championship of America. The lineup was supposed to include Jeramy Elkaim , who used to compete for my high school’s biggest rival. I consider not getting lapped by him the one time we competed against each other to be a career highlight. And the anchor was supposed to be Edward Cheser-
ek , whose name you should probably now know if you don’t already. One year after I graduated from Millburn High School , leaving my organized running days behind, Cheserek became the king of high school cross country while running for St. Benedict’s Prep. In 2012, Cheserek easily won our county championship, finishing with a 5-kilometer time of 14:18. For context, the next-closest finisher, a former teammate of mine, crossed the line almost two minutes later. Just three days ago, I watched Elkaim sit out while Cheserek broke the magical four-minute mile barrier, putting up a dazzling 3:56.4 split in the second leg as his squad won by more than eight seconds. “It was just an amazing experience. I didn’t know how crowded the stands would be, and the noise, the competition, it was such a thrill,” he said in the post-race press conference. “I’m so happy to have such a great team. It was a great opportunity.” It’s almost impossible for me to rationalize the fact that this smiling, bashful kid up on the podium used to run on the same courses I did — and that he’ll likely be in the Olympics one day (as the other writers in attendance were quick to
point out). I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit jealous. And I would also be lying if I said I didn’t feel pain for Elkaim last year, who faded in the final two laps of the same race as Penn State’s Robby Creese passed him and scooted away for the victory. Every runner has a similar story — I once cost my distance medley team a medal when I botched an exchange with the 400m sprinter I was supposed to hand off to, causing him to drop the baton. But most of us won’t ever get the chance to win — or lose — on a stage as large as the one that was set up on our campus last weekend. Whether you’re a track junkie (me), nostalgic (also me) or you just like soaking up the scene of 40,000 or so Jamaicans screaming their heads off, Penn Relays has something for everyone. The Relays’ spirit doesn’t go away when the Carnival packs up for the year, either. I know that I’ll be stepping up to the starting line for this weekend’s Broad Street Run wearing my lucky old training shirt, the lettering that reads: “MILLBURN TRACK & FIELD” inexplicably not faded yet. And I still wish I hadn’t dropped that baton.
Michele Ozer/Sports Photo Editor
Yuzhong Qian/Staff Photographer
Freshman Alexis Sargent has been part of Penn’s first-year invasion as more than half of the Quakers’ roster this season has been made up of freshmen. Despite the lack of experience, the Red and Blue are heading to the Ivy League Championship Series.
Oregon freshman distance runner Edward Cheserek celebrates after anchoring the Ducks’ winning college men’s distance medley relay team with a 3:57.98 1600 meters. Cheserek was named Penn Relays Men’s College Athlete of the Meet.
Mentoring program gains momentum MENTORING from page 14 “We just talked about anything and everything,” Pisarri said. “The upcoming football season. Senior year.” But by then, Ambrogi wasn’t himself anymore. A month later, he told his mother, Donna, that he had thought about jumping off a bridge. “We put him into counseling at Penn when we realized,” Donna said. “I don’t think he really understood what was happening to him.” “We were in conjunction with Donna getting him help,” Penn coach Al Bagnoli said. “So he had medication and counseling. For the most part, everybody was seeing an improvement.” Indeed, Kyle began taking notes in class and going out with his friends for beers again. But his suicide that October turned the Penn football program into a support group of 110 players plus coaches and trainers. Bagnoli invited CAPS staff members to talk to the team, also working with the Office of the Chaplain to encourage an open dialogue throughout the program. Bagnoli had one goal throughout the aftermath of Kyle’s suicide. “Just keep everybody together,” he said. “This situation was obviously so devastating, no one really knew how to handle it,” Pisarri said. “We all agreed that continuing to practice and playing was the right thing to do because Kyle would have wanted us to, but we had nothing left in the tank. Coach Bagnoli and his staff were an incredible support system and did everything they could to help us.” Donna only started to definitively move on from her son’s death a few years later, when
she began working with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP reached out to Donna to see if she’d be interested in participating in the organization’s annual International Survivors of Suicide Day activities. She accepted the invitation. “The thing that impressed me with AFSP is they do research on the whys,” Donna said. “How did this happen? Most people involved in the organization have had a suicide somewhere in their life. So they get it.” Encouraged by her work with AFSP, Donna established the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation in 2009. Since then, the foundation has sponsored need-based financial aid scholarships at Penn and St. Joe’s Prep. The foundation has also held a Beef and Beer event each year since then to raise money for AFSP. “People make thoughtless decisions because they’re emotionally feeling so terrible,” Donna said. “But it’s scary, and you need help to work through that. And that’s part of the problem is you feel worthless. They think they’re not worthy of being helped. That’s tough to get through.” ‘Sign me up’ Greg got through by helping out with the foundation and trying to understand more about clinical depression. So when Reilly came up with the idea of setting up several alumni from the last 10 years or so to be mentors for each varsity program, Ambrogi was ready to act. “Greg had tremendously more knowledge and connections than I did, so when we said, ‘OK, what does this actually looks like?’ he made a lot happen,” Reily said. Each program mentor will undergo mental health training. Reilly and Ambrogi hope that mentors who have already signed up, as well as those still looking to find out more about the program, will show up for a Mental Health Awareness Day event slated for May 4, at a time and place on campus to be deter-
mined. The event will be run by Cogwell UPenn, a mental health group on campus. Ambrogi and Reilly also want program mentors to be in contact with their mentees on a weekly or biweekly basis by text, and by phone at least once a month. “The mentor shouldn’t be somebody that the kid’s going to call every week and be told, ‘Hey, I had a quiz in Spanish,’” Reilly said. “It’s just, ‘How are you feeling?’” “We want people that really
“The doctor didn’t seem to understand the commitment I had to athletics fully and made suggestions that just weren’t feasible,” deSandes-Moyer said. Eventually, deSandes-Moyer sorted out her mental health issues with the help of friends, teammates and parents. But her mental health experiences primed her for the call she got in February from Penn field hockey assistant coach Katelyn O’Brien telling her about Ambrogi and Reilly’s program. O’Brien, who
You have to realize, being on a sports team is like having a family.” — Kyle deSandes-Moyer Penn field hockey alumna
feel strongly about this and are willing to put in a couple hours of training,” Ambrogi said. That approach has weeded out the vast majority of alums initially interested in helping out. But not Kyle deSandes-Moyer. A 2013 Penn field hockey alumna, deSandes-Moyer went to Parkland High School, where as a freshman she became acquainted with future Penn football player Owen Thomas, a senior at the time. When deSandes-Moyer came to Penn in 2009, Thomas reached out to her and made sure college was going well for her. Often they would talk while walking to classes together. After Thomas committed suicide on April 26, 2010, deSandesMoyer was suddenly surrounded by grieving friends from both high school and college. The next year, five members of deSandesMoyer’s class quit the field hockey team. The grief and stress were mounting, and deSandesMoyer’s parents made her go to CAPS, where she says it was difficult just to secure an appointment.
had been good friends with Kyle Ambrogi, recommended deSandes-Moyer as the program point person for Penn field hockey. “I was like, ‘Sign me up!’” deSandes-Moyer said. By that point, Ambrogi had already reached out to a cadre of Penn coaches and, just as importantly, Jay Effrece, who works in the sports medicine department of Student Health Services and was a trainer for Penn football during Ambrogi’s time with the team. Effrece put Ambrogi in contact with CAPS, and Ambrogi met with CAPS Director of Outreach Meeta Kumar earlier this month for training advice. “It will be very useful to have a mentoring point person for each varsity program,” Kumar said. According to Kumar, CAPS has formal and informal training opportunities for Penn coaching staffs focusing on signs and symptoms of distress, referral strategies, information about CAPS services and a liaison relationship with CAPS senior staff. Ambrogi also recalls a popular Penn football mentorship pro-
gram that focused on securing networking and job opportunities for current players. Still, Ambrogi hopes that the new mentorship program will provide a unique opportunity for Penn student-athletes to voice mental health concerns. “If you’re feeling bad about yourself or you’re not confident, the last people you’re going to tell are your coaches or someone trying to get you a job,” Ambrogi said. Ambrogi would like the mentorship program to eventually extend beyond Penn Athletics and has targeted fraternities and sororities about providing mentorship opportunities there as well. For now, though, the focus is on personalizing mentors for Penn athletes as much as possible. “The hope would be, say on the basketball team, Justin [a Dallas native] could maybe mentor somebody from Texas who might have come to Pennsylvania and feels out of touch with what they’re used to,” Ambrogi said. “We can connect people to alums they have more in common with so they’ll be more willing to open up to that person.” Reilly would be happy to be that mentor, as he proved when he talked to both the men’s and women’s basketball teams in February about mental health concerns. “Essentially what I said was if anything matters, then everything matters,” Reilly said. “You matter. Everything that you do matters. People look up to you, people are inspired by you. No matter how you feel right now, whether it’s good or bad, there’s always more than that.” Being together “Prep’s Ambrogi runs all over O’Hara: ran for 322 yards,” reads the Delaware County Daily Times headline inside the glass case. Two Philadelphia Inquirer stories on other successful games from Kyle Ambrogi’s days at St. Joe’s Prep run alongside another newspaper brief from
Jan. 16, 2002, reporting Ambrogi’s declaration for Penn. A teammate of Kyle’s from St. Joe’s Prep walks by and looks at the glass case full of his yellowed newspaper clippings. “That’s Ron Jaworski,” he observes with a prideful smile, pointing to a photo of the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback with Kyle while he was in high school. But tonight isn’t about the past. Tonight’s about being together. It’s the sixth annual Kyle Ambrogi Foundation Beef and Beer event at at the Great American Pub in Conshohocken, Pa. Kyle’s friends and family walk by in abundance, beers and sandwiches in hand. Florida’s beating Dayton in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on the big-screen plasma TVs lining the bar, and DJ Tommy Tunes is blasting out Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4.” Signed Adrian Peterson and Connor Barwin jerseys attract attention in the next room, but less so than a signed copy of Sports Illustrated with Kate Upton on the cover. 465 people are here in total to participate in auctions and raffles benefiting AFSP. About as many folks were here last year. They’ll be here next year too. “Having a support system of people surrounding you is very important,” Donna said. “I’m very fortunate to have a large family, lot of friends. Penn family, Prep family, everybody.” A “Penn players basket” donated by Penn football sits in the corner. It’s stuffed with a visor, a sweatsuit, a dri-fit T-shirt and shorts, each a reminder that once a teammate, always a teammate. “You have to realize, being on a sports team is like having a family,” deSandes-Moyer said. Nine years after his brother Kyle’s death, Greg’s greatest hope now is making that family feel a little closer. “I want to see how I can be a helpful ear,” Greg said. “You can always do something more.”
SP OR TS
PAGE 12 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
Lange had support while she mourned COMMUNITY from page 14 first couple of days coming to school.â€? All in this together For menâ€™s soccer coach Rudy Fuller, the process of building a team community starts long before school begins. â€œIt starts for us when someone comes on a visit,â€? he said. â€œWe want to hear from our current players, to see if heâ€™d be a good fit for our team, our locker room, our family.â€? Once the coaching staf f and the senior leadership on the team determine that the player is right for the program, Fuller makes sure that the player meets with the senior leadership to assure that any questions are answered. As a freshman, senior Jonny Dolezal went to a soccer camp and met five of the current players on the roster. â€œI loved talking to them,â€? Dolezal said. â€œThey provided great mentorship. â€œOne of the reasons I chose Penn is because I had met those guys and they were just such great guys.â€? While Fullerâ€™s system of making sure seniors bring along the freshmen generally works, that doesnâ€™t always translate for others. â€œThis isnâ€™t a perfect system,â€? he said. Some players will fall through the cracks, and sometimes the development doesnâ€™t translate to wins. In November of 2012, Penn menâ€™s soccer was down in the dumps. A fter beating Harvard to end what was a miserable 3-13 season, something had to change. So Fuller decided to get the team in better shape. But the only way he could get the team to buy in was because of the community that Fuller developed with the team. The next season, the results paid off on the field. After having his team train hard in spring ball, he also scheduled a tough nonconference schedule, again thanks to the fact that his team was prepared. The squad grew in its nonconference slate and dominated in Ivy play, leading to a pseudo-Ivy championship game between Penn and Harvard. In the locker room before that game, Fuller had a few words about togetherness for the squad. â€œYour lifetime is made up of moments,â€? he told his team. â€œThe truly special moments are shared with people, and this is one of those special moments.â€? Fullerâ€™s squad was resilient beyond belief, but also showed
the power that camaraderie can have on the field. More importantly, however, are the lasting effects of the ties his team creates. â€œIâ€™m still friends with the seniors, the guys that were seniors when I was a freshman,â€? Dolezal said. â€œIt just shows how these are lifelong friendships because weâ€™ve been through
new positions. Sophomore Keiera Ray was out for most of the year for womenâ€™s basketball, and the Red and Blue made the NCAA tournament. Dougherty, when he fell ill with a case of mononucleosis in his junior season, took to a role as a player-coach. Injuries are just par for the course when playing a sport, and the mentality that Copeland described comes back to being a part of the team. â€œThis is a new set of reality,â€? Copeland said. â€œHow do we make this next play as good as possible? â€œYou canâ€™t stress what you canâ€™t control â€Ś but I can move forward and have a sufficient role on this team and push people in the same way that I would have had I been on the field.â€? That mentality also arises when tragedy strikes.
It just shows how these are lifelong friendships because weâ€™ve been through this together.â€? â€” Jonny Dolezal, Senior menâ€™s soccer captain
Coping with loss Princeton is one of the traditional powerhouse programs in womenâ€™s squash, and Lange, as a freshman, travelled to face the Tigers as the No. 1 player for Penn. Just before the match against Princeton, she found out that her grandfather had died. â€œI wouldnâ€™t have gotten by without my team being there for me when I went through some tough times,â€? Lange said. â€œWhen the girls found out they helped me get through that match.â€? In the same way, Penn football came together following the death of Owen Thomas, who had just been named captain going into his senior year in 2010. The team had just finished spring ball, and after being ushered into an auditorium in one of the engineering buildings, coach Al Bagnoli announced the news.
this together.â€? The new realities That togetherness pays dividends during the struggles that inevitably arise during oneâ€™s time at Penn. Kristen Lange came to Penn as a squash star and was thrust into a big role for Jack Wyant and womenâ€™s squash. â€œIt took me about a semester to feel comfortable in my position on the team, socially and academically,â€? she said. â€œBeing No. 1 on the team from the start was a huge challenge. A lot is expected of you both privately â€” getting in extra sessions on and off the court, constantly improving and being the most focused on the team â€” and publicly â€” always staying focused when the team is around and during matches staying composed in some really high stress situations, which I was always put in because I played last.â€? Still, Lange felt support from the coaching staff that ultimately allowed her to succeed in all areas Penn had to offer. â€œAcademically, learning how to balance all the training and studying took a while,â€? Lange said. â€œBut after a semester, making good friends with people in my classes and the aid of outside resources, it all fell in place and I felt comfortable and confident in my role.â€? One of the risks of putting so much stake into oneâ€™s athletic career is running the risk of getting injured. Fifth-year senior running back Brandon Colavita had season-ending injuries in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, taking him off of the field, unable to help his teammates. â€œSeeing those types of injuries is hard,â€? former Penn defensive lineman and current NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland said. â€œWhat you get with a football player is someone who is hardened and very used to dealing with adversity.â€? But football isnâ€™t the only team that has to deal with injuries that places players into
You can let it eat you up, or you can realize youâ€™re blessed to be in a situation to have that type of stress.â€? â€” Brandon Copeland, Penn football alum
â€œIt felt so surreal,â€? Copeland said. â€œYou were almost waiting for him to come out and say that it was all a bad joke.â€? But following the tragedy, the football community came together. Copeland remembered spending a lot of time afterward at the seniorsâ€™ houses, sitting around campfires, telling stories about Thomas and about life. The next season, Pen n cruised to an Ivy title, as the seniors willed the team to victory. â€œWe spent time getting to know the person next to us, not just as a football player but as a personâ€? Copeland said. â€œAnd
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Blessed From the time an athlete starts at Penn, he or she undergoes a transformation â€” sometimes organic, sometimes more forced â€” from follower to leader. As much as coaches themselves try to build locker room culture, the task of doing so ultimately falls on those that have been in the system, with the team, for four years. â€œThere has to be a foundation of a relationship at the very core,â€? Fuller said. Fuller puts it on their shoulders to lead. He and his staff would meet with the seniors for weekly meetings. At times, these meetings would be just shooting the breeze, while others would handle issues that either side was seeing on or off the field. Fuller wanted to give the seniors the tools to handle situations on their own. On the backs of its seniors, Penn menâ€™s soccer took home the Ivy title last year. More often than not in Ivy play, there will be strong seniors behind a teamâ€™s success on the field. â€œYouâ€™re only going to be as good as your seniors,â€? Copeland said. But more important than winning is learning the skills to succeed. Copeland has worked his way into the NFL, and even though the journey has been hard, the tools he learned at Penn have helped him get to that point. â€œMy time at Penn, the biggest thing Iâ€™ve taken from it is how to deal with stress,â€? he said. â€œYou can let it eat you up, or you can realize youâ€™re blessed to be in a situation to have that type of stress.â€?
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Hall of Fame basketball coach attended Penn for graduate school before coaching in NBA
â€” the NIT â€” in his first season on the job. In total, Ramsay took St. Joeâ€™s to the postseason 10 times in 11 seasons, including the 1961 Final Four. Despite the success at St. Joeâ€™s, Ramsay is most remembered for his triumphs at the professional level. Ramsay took over as general manager of the 76ers in 1966-67 and helped guide the team to an NBA title. He became head coach the following season. In addition to his time in Philadelphia and with the Buffalo Braves, Ramsay is best known for his stint with the Trail Blazers. Dr. Jack took over in Portland in 197677 and, along with Bill Walton, guided the Blazers to the first playoff appearance and championship in franchise history. Upon his retirement in 1988, R amsayâ€™s 864 wins ranked second all-time in coaching victories behind only Red Auerbachâ€™s total. In his later life, Ramsay became a broadcaster for ESPN, as well as a radio analyst for the Miami Heat. He was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1992. Ramsay is survived by his four children and 13 grandchildren.
BY RILEY STEELE Sports Editor Jack Ramsay, a Hall of F a me b a s k et b a l l c o ac h most recognized for his tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers in the late 1970s and 1980s, passed away due to cancer on Monday. He was 89 years old. Ramsay was born in Philadelphia in 1925. The Hall of Famer later attended St. Josephâ€™s as an undergraduate and played for the Hawks before receiving both a masterâ€™s and doctorate degree from Penn. In fact, it was Ramsayâ€™s degrees from Penn that earned him the moniker â€œDr. Jackâ€? by which so many individuals involved with the game of basketball came to know him. Ramsay spent time both playing semi-pro basketball and coaching at the high school level. In 1955, he returned to St. Joeâ€™s, this time as head coach, and managed to lead the Hawks to their first postseason tournament
What Iâ€™ve been looking for There is still a buzz around campus as the shadow that is cast from Rodinâ€™s 24 floors has shifted over the course of an hour. Students are still worried about final projects, about jobs and about that BYO on Thursday that they may or may not be able to attend. The mitts that had graced the hands of Penn basketballâ€™s members just 60 minutes before have been dropped to the grass, picking up dirt as the highrise winds continue to blow, seemingly never-ending. The sound of ball hitting glove has been replaced by simple chat, as the four members of the squad stand in a circle. Senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright has joined his teammates. There is a history between these players that even the highrise winds cannot displace, even for a moment, that even the seniorsâ€™ rapidly approaching graduation cannot augment. Winds and grades, shadows and final projects, those come and go. But the time spent together â€” at the Palestra, in the film room and on the grass during a sunny day in late April â€” will continue to last.
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Jack Ramsay, often referred to as Dr. Jack, coached at St. Joeâ€™s, his undergraduate alma mater, and led the Portland Trailblazers to the 1977 NBA title.
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Alum Jack Ramsay passes away
you saw it on the field.â€?
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A team means family On Oct. 8, 2005, all that Penn football player Greg Ambrogi had to worry about was a slippery Franklin Field turf, and even that was working out in his favor. The Quakers were facing Bucknell in a pouring rain that only got worse as the game went on, and in the second quarter, Bucknell’s quarterback fumbled a snap. Ambrogi recovered the ball in the end zone for a Quakers touchdown. As the rain picked up momentum, so did Greg’s older brother Kyle, a running back for the Quakers who notched two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter en route to an easy 53-7 Penn victory. Kyle had finished what Greg had started. Two days later, Kyle fatally shot himself in the head in the basement of his mother Donna’s Havertown, Pa., home. It took years for Greg to even be able to talk about Kyle, but in 2009 he joined his mother in founding the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting suicide prevention and awareness of depression in young
Penn football alum Greg Ambrogi and Penn basketball alum Justin Reilly have created a mentoring program for current Penn athletes BY MIKE TONY Senior Staff Writer
adults. Still, Greg had planned to do more to promote depression awareness on Penn’s campus, discussing general mental health issues with his friend Justin Reilly, a 2011 Penn basketball graduate. Then on Jan. 17, Penn track and field freshman Madison Holleran jumped to her death. Greg knew it was his time to make a difference. “So I thought to just go through the sports teams, alumni who have solid relationships with the coaches, get them on board,” he said. Ambrogi and Reilly proposed to their former classmates a mentoring network of Penn athlete alumni to be a resource for current student-athletes. The response was overwhelming.
Reilly got 350 messages in his Facebook inbox in a span of 36 hours. Now more than three months later, Ambrogi and Reilly have set up a program of alumni mentors for nearly all of Penn’s 33 varsity sports programs and are still hoping to set up more. The pair officially launched the mentorship program last Thursday, putting a sign-up form on the homepage of the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation website. But a day before the launch, Greg keeps looking back instead of ahead. Every question about the launch gives way to an answer about his brother. For Greg, the launch is his brother. “I tried to have him get help,” Greg says. “A lot of friends talked to him like, ‘Hey, just talk to me! We’re best buds, we can talk!’ We didn’t know how to help.”
And now that he does know, he wants you to know how he learned. ‘Keep everybody together’ All through Mike Recchiuti’s senior season at Downingtown High School, he kept hearing about an outstanding running back from St. Joseph’s Prep. “I was wondering to myself, who is this kid?” Recchiuti said. It was Kyle, who ran for 322 yards and four touchdowns in a single game his junior year. Recchiuti, a 2005 Penn graduate, wound up a year ahead of Ambrogi, and when Ambrogi visited Penn with a group of recruits his senior year, Recchiuti gave him a tour of Penn’s campus. “I thought that maybe he would be arrogant since he was such a standout player, but he was the complete opposite,” Recchiuti said. “When I told him
that I had heard of him and what a great athlete he was, he sort of just shrugged it off and spoke of what the team had to do for the remainder of the season to accomplish its goals.” Like Recchiuti, Ryan Pisarri, a 2006 Penn graduate, remembers Ambrogi being as generous as he was humble. Pisarri shared a townhouse with Ambrogi their senior year, and Ambrogi came in handy when he had to move in a couple of days before training camp started in mid-August. “I drove up a truck with tons of clothing and furniture as I was preparing to get all settled in before camp started,” Pisarri said. “Kyle saw me outside and without hesitation came outside and offered his help.” Ambrogi helped Pisarri move in until every piece of clothing was put away and every piece of furniture was set up a few hours later. Then, drenched in sweat, they walked across the street to Allegro’s.
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Community spelled P-E-N-N Athletes, past and current, reflect on the importance of sports during their time at the University BY JOHN PHILLIPS Senior Staff Writer Amidst the buzz of students coming and going from class, of worries about grades and jobs, of the hectic life of Penn students, on this gorgeous day in late April, a group of four decided to dust off their old mitts. On the grass, beneath the shadow of Rodin College House, a baseball flies through the air. It whips through the swirling highrise winds and lands in the glove of Fran Dougherty, one of Penn basketball’s captains for the 2013-14 season. With good form, he throws it past fellow senior Cam Gunter and into classmate Steve Rennard’s hands. Rennard squeezes his glove tight around the ball before swinging it to freshman Preston Troutt. Gunter looks on, smiling. Maegan Cadet/DP File Photo Closer to Harnwell College House, sophomore forward Greg Louis is When dealing with the stresses of life in the NFL, Penn football alum Brandon Copeland thinks back to the lessons he learned while sneaking a picture. He has his phone studying at the University. While at Penn, Copeland had to struggle with the death of then-Penn captain Owen Thomas back in 2010. out for too long though, as the rest of the players catch him. moments before. stick together. From classes to clubs to what they’re “He always does that!” The exclaEven off the court, months after the wearing in the morning or what they’re mation, filled with a sense of camara- team’s last game of the season — the Not in Kansas anymore doing that night, one thing all freshderie and history, flies through the air last of Dougherty, Gunter and RenGoing to college is a stressful ex- men come to realize is that they aren’t just as easily as the ball had just a few nard’s entire careers — the players perience, a whirlwind of uncertainty. in Kansas anymore.
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And at Penn, where the bar has been set so high, it’s imperative for students to land on their feet after the dust settles from freshman year. Athletes have an even larger burden on their shoulders when they step onto campus. Soccer players start playing games before classes begin. All fall athletes report back to campus a week earlier than everyone else to cram in as much information as possible — both on the field and off — before being thrown into the mess that is NSO. Men’s soccer junior Duke Lacroix had to be driven to an away game at La Salle during NSO, as he had to skip the team bus due to a required college house event. It is easy to make the argument that — especially in the wake of Penn track and field freshman Madison Holleran’s death in January — playing sports at an institution that is as rigorous academically and challenging socially would make life that much more difficult for athletes. Rather, thanks to the communities that are formed amongst the players who don the Penn uniform week in and week out, it becomes that much easier for those athletes to transition from high school to college, and ultimately, the real world. After all, as women’s lacrosse freshman Sarah Barcia said, “It’s definitely easy having 32 best friends within the
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Published on Apr 29, 2014