Speaking Out

The following is in response to a letter by Michael Masch in Almanac April 22, which responded to Dr. Vining's letter of the same issue.


I sympathize with the struggles of Mr. Masch to get our budget under control. Still, there is colossal waste. McNeil, I'm sure, is replicated all across campus. And some professors are overpaid. We now have students teaching students. And the bureaucracy. Yale is trying to pull back from the brink. Why not we?

Anybody who's been around here awhile will notice a much prettier campus. But it's escalating. It's not clear where we're going.

There were errors strewn through my previous letter. First, it appeared on Passover (April 22, 1997), which was rude, to say the least. When it was written (March 27, 1997), Passover was not on my radar screen, or anyone else's, for that matter. And Penn is a resolutely secular institution. Second, I should have said "some blacks" and "some Jews", instead of "the blacks" and "the Jews". The latter is particularly silly, since Pioneer funds or has funded at least 2 Jews: Robert Gordon (sociology--Johns Hopkins) and Michael Levin (philosophy--CCNY). Third, the geometry of the men's room on the ground floor of McNeil is all screwed up: the urinals are on the right and the washbasins straight ahead. Fourth, the editor was quite right to flag my murder in 199596: that murder (of a graduate student in mathematics) occurred August 1994. It must have gotten some publicity in 199596, confusing me. Finally, in an equal opportunity university, there are plenty of princesses, duchesses, countesses, and ladies around, in addition to all the princes, dukes, earls, and lords. Forgive me for overlooking them.

-- Daniel R. Vining, Jr., Associate Professor of Regional Science

Al Fresco Favorites

This summer, the Compass Features section will report on outdoor dining at and around Penn. This article will feature not only the area restaurants with outdoor seating, but also good places on and around the campus to bring food to eat, and good food to take to them (besides a lunch you pack yourself).

While the article will be based on my own observations of restaurants, food trucks and outdoor spaces, I want to include what others have to say as well. Is there a truck/takeout place that you consider unusually good? Why does it rate in your book? And when you feel like dining al fresco, where do you like to go on or around the campus? What do you find special about the place?

I'd like to get as many comments as possible from Penn people: students, faculty and staff. The results of this unscientific survey will be incorporated into the article, and I may contact some respondents for further comments. You may register your opinions in one of three ways:

-- Sandy Smith, News & Public Affairs

Letters on Hold

Two letters to Speaking Out have been held for responses, one of them on the cost of renovations and architectural preliminaries approved by the Trustees May 2, and the other in relation to the use of home addresses for mailing of benefits packets to staff.

Publication is expected in the June 17 issue.- -Ed.

Speaking Out welcomes short, timely letters on University issues. During weekly publication they are accepted by Thursdays at noon for the following Tuesday's issue, subject to right-of-reply guidelines. The deadline for letters in the June 17 issue is Thursday, June 12. Please see the staff box for email and fax addresses.--Ed. Almanac

Volume 43 Number 35
May 20, 1997

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