November 17, 1998
Volume 45
Number 12

Arrest in SH-DH Assault

A 16-year-old male will be tried as an adult on charges that include attempted murder in the November 8 assault on a Penn woman student in Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, Maureen Rush, director of police operations at Penn, said Friday.

Arrested Thursday on the basis of physical evidence found at the scene by Penn Police Detective Frank DeMeo, the juvenile was charged with "aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, terroristic threats, simple assault, robbery, criminal trespass, and attempted murder" in his arraignment Friday in the Court of Common Pleas.

Sketchy accounts of the incident surfaced briefly in the Philadelphia Inquirer's City & Region page 2 summary,but ran all last week in The Daily Pennsylvanian, where a front-page story November 9 was followed by letters disputing the initial coverage. By most accounts, near 3 a.m. Sunday the woman left SH-DH's all-night study facililities and went to a ground-floor bathroom where, when she emerged from a stall, she was confronted by young man armed with a knife. She was thrown to the floor and attacked with the knife but struggled free and managed to activate one wall alarm (which may or may not have sounded), then another that did sound-apparently causing the assailant either to flee or to hide in a stall. She ran into the hallway where was aided first by a student, and then by a Spectaguard. She was treated at HUP for cuts to her hands, which she had used to protect her throat from the knife, and for bruises including a black eye. She is reportedly recuperating at her family home.

From Peking, President Judith Rodin said Friday, "I was outraged when I learned of this assault; it was a despicable, cowardly act. I am extremely pleased by the outstanding performance of our campus police officers in apprehending the perpetrator," she continued. "We must now make sure that he receives the stiffest penalty possible under the law."

Housing and Amenities: A $300 Million Campus Plan, Plus...

In addition to the ten-year, $300 million construction and renovation plan for campus housing and nearby amenities outlined to Trustees in an October 29 meeting, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported last week that Penn has purchased the properties of Campus Associates, one of University City's largest student-apartment landlords with 200 units in 36 buildings. The properties and their management now come under University City Associates, Penn's for-profit real estate unit operated by Trammell Crow, according to the D.P.

Garden Railway's Center City Stop: A model SEPTA train speeds past a replica of the Mt. Airy Train Station in the Magical Holiday Railway at SEPTA's headquarters as part of the Center City Holiday Festival. It's now SEPTA's show (through January 9 on the Concourse level at 1234 Market Street)-but it's based on the Morris Arboretum's Garden Railway, the July 4-October4 display that dramatically broke not only attendance records (by drawing 40,000 visitors, a 248% increase over the season's norm), but also membership records (by signing up 842 instead of a usual 100). Paul Busse and his company, Applied Imagination, built both installations. The Arboretum is lending SEPTA its 17 buildings now, and in return SEPTA will be a sponsor of the 1999 Garden Railway at the Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, where nearly double the number of buildings, and more trains, will be on display June 19-September 19.

Winter Break Includes Thursday, December 24

To the University Community:

This year has been one of great achievement for the University. Thanks to the many contributions of Penn's faculty and staff, tremendous progress toward a number of the strategic goals outlined in the Agenda for Excellence has been made. Through dedicated efforts and long hours, we have enhanced Penn's academic programs; attracted and retained world-class faculty; moved up in the federal research ranking; significantly exceeded our fund raising targets; improved many of our business practices; and instituted many important community improvement initiatives, to name but some of our accomplishments.

We want to recognize these contributions and show our appreciation for these special efforts. After examining our business needs during the holiday period, we have decided to extend the Special Winter Vacation by one day to include December 24, 1998. The Special Winter Vacation (inclusive of the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays) will now begin on Thursday, December 24, 1998 and run through Friday, January 1, 1999.* For those employees with a Monday through Friday work week, the University will reopen for regular business on Monday, January 4, 1999. We are pleased to provide this extra day of rest and relaxation to our faculty and staff in recognition of the many fine efforts devoted to Penn's success throughout the year. Our best wishes to you and your families for an enjoyable winter break.

 Judith Rodin  Michael L. Wachter  John A. Fry
 President  Interim Provost  Executive Vice President

* Vacations and holidays for hospital employees or those staff members in collective bargaining units are governed by the terms and conditions of the respective collective bargaining agreements.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 12, November 17, 1998