Pullout: Report of the Provost's Committee on Distributed Learning


COUNCIL Year End Reports, 1997-98

The three reports (Pluralism, Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, and Safety and Security) are on the University Council's April 22 agenda for discussion. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. in McClelland Lounge, The Quad, and is open to observers who register in advance their interest in attending, by calling the Office of the Secretary at 898-7005.

Safety and Security

The Safety and Security Committee has met six times during the 1997-98 year and has one scheduled meeting remaining. Topics addressed during the year included the following:

Bicycle Safety

We reconstituted the bicycle safety subcommittee with a focus on supporting the University's perceived desire for bike lanes on Walnut Street. One meeting was attended by Philadelphia Streets Department engineers Charles Denny and John Devine, who presented maps and a detailed explanation of city bike lane plans for the University City area. We debated the positive and negative effects of bike lanes to assure all views on subject were considered. Issues considered included safety of bike riders and pedestrians, frequency of accidents in bike lanes, effect of any removal of parking spaces, effect on regular deliveries and special events such as Quad move-in, ambulance parking at HUP, sidewalk bike lanes, and advantages/disadvantages of southside or northside bike lanes. We concluded that in balance it is in the University's best interest to support bike lanes. Ex-officio member Tom Seamon prepared for John Fry's signature a letter to the Philadelphia Streets Department in support of bike lanes.

Video Monitoring

We discussed the need for a video monitoring policy. Development of a draft policy followed when it became evident such a policy is needed. Extensive discussions of the specifics of such a policy. One meeting, attended by representatives and the chair of the Committee on Open Expression, was largely devoted to this subject and to COE's recommendations and concerns with the draft policy. Issues considered included privacy, liability, crime reduction, physical control of the cameras and tapes, video monitoring versus video surveillance, operations of the video monitoring panel, general proposed camera locations and possible prohibited locations, legal versus moral questions of use, and how the policy interacts and/or conflicts with the guidelines on open expression. We concluded that, although the draft policy is a good framework, certain details will need to be addressed by a wider-scope body, i.e. University Council. These include possibly modifying the guidelines on open expression, especially section V-E, and composition of the video monitoring panel.

We constituted an education subcommittee to lead the development of methods to send safety information to students with continuity over their four years. Issues and methods considered included more effectively reaching students during New Student Orientation, training RA's to advise students of the availability of safety information, use of "Penn life sketches," assignment of a public safety representative to each college house, use of the "college house wheel" for ongoing presentations, use of "University 101," online safety information, "peer educators/safety advisors-students advising students" and/or University employees advising students, and interactive video sessions. There was also consultation with the Student Affairs Committee.

Other action items, agenda topics, and areas of recommendations to ex-officio members of the committee: satellite vehicle tracking system for Penn Transit Service, certain incidents reported to public safety, city fire code changes concerning smoke detectors.

-- Sean Kennedy, Chair

1997-98 Safety and Security Committee

Chair: Sean Kennedy (anesthesia/med); Faculty: John Lepore (civil systems), Jerry Prince (Romance lang), Alvin Rubinstein (political sci), Karen Winey (materials sci), Gail Yarnell (restorative dentistry), Ponzy Lu (chemistry), Marilyn V. Howarth (emergency med); Graduate/professional students (two to be named); Undergraduate students: Ben Cohen, Emily Pollack, Scott Cohen; PPSA: Valerie Pena (Dir. Health Science Lib.), David Valentine (Office of Int'l Programs); A-3: John Hogan (Biddle Law Library); Ex officio: Barbara Cassel (associate vice provost), Elena DiLapi (director, Penn Women's Center), Robert Furniss (director, transportation and parking), Thomas Seamon (managing director of public safety), James Miller (director, fire & occupational safety), Scott Reikofski (director, fraternity/sorority affairs), Maureen Rush (director, police operations), Jeanne Arnold (director, African American Resource Center), James Wargo (director, physical plant), Robert Furniss (director, transportation and parking).

Almanac, Vol. 44, No. 30, April 21, 1998