Penn Dining Woes Continue

Previous articles in Beta Pi’s monthly eLetters have set forth the problems with Penn’s mandated meal plans for all freshmen and sophomores. Besides being expensive, there have been many health issues at some of Penn’s dining locations. In particular, those locations have previously not passed required Philadelphia government inspections.

In a January 30, 2024 issue of The Daily Pennsylvanian (DP), DP journalists Nicole Muravsky and Kelly Yang report that in January 2024, involving three separate incidents, students have found a maggot, a cockroach, and a piece of glass mixed in with the food they were served.

As reported in the DP, Penn’s response to these incidents by Bill Hess, the Residential District Manager for Bon Appetit Management Company, the operator of Penn’s dining facilities, is that “Penn Dining staff have been and will continue to be extra vigilant when thoroughly cleaning produce since fresh ingredients are used, rather than frozen or canned ingredients.”

Following the cockroach sighting on January 14, an online petition was created demanding an “immediate overhaul of its dining services to ensure the health, satisfaction, and well-being of its students.” As of January 30, the petition had 358 signatures.

Controversy on Campus Update

As reported in the February 5, 2024 issue of The Daily Pennsylvanian, “Interim Penn President Larry Jameson criticized recent political cartoons published by a lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication…Jameson said that the cartoons do not reflect his or the University’s views, describing them as ‘reprehensible, with antisemitic symbols, and incongruent with our efforts to fight hate.’ The artwork facing scrutiny was made by cartoonist and freelance writer Dwayne Booth, who teaches courses at Penn on political cartooning.”  

Two cartoons were described in the article. One depicts three persons drinking blood out of glasses labeled “Gaza” in front of Israeli and American flags. The other depicts Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel shoveling skulls into a steam engine with a caption explaining the skulls are Palestinian.

The article notes that “The Daily Pennsylvanian has not independently verified several of the cartoons alleged to have been made by Booth.”

Regarding the criticism that his cartoons are antisemitic, Booth states they were taken out of context.

Steven G. Friedman, Beta Pi ’67, Donates Book Collection to Penn Libraries

As reported in the March/April 2024 edition of The Pennsylvania Gazette

“Steven G. Friedman W’70 is an attorney specializing in commercial real estate in the Washington, DC, area. After being introduced to writer Samuel Beckett’s work as a student at Penn, Steve purchased a graduation present for himself—a limited-edition (200 copies) set of the Collected Works of Samuel Beckett (Grove Press, 1970), signed by Samuel Beckett. For the past 50-plus years, Steve has displayed the books in his home in Potomac, Maryland. In December of 2023 he donated the Beckett book collection to the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at Penn Libraries.”

Controversy on Campus Update 

As reported in the March 1,2024, issue of The Daily Pennsylvanian, twelve pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a meeting of Penn’s Board of Trustees. The meeting was scheduled for one hour. However, after seven minutes, the meeting was adjourned.

A University spokesman said that despite Chairman of the Board of Trustees Ramanan Raghavendran advising the protesters three times that they were “heard and acknowledged,” the protesters continued the disruption in violation of rules for visitors that only allow them to observe. As violators of the University’s Code of Student Conduct and Guidelines on Open Expression, the protesters have been referred to Penn’s Center for Community Standards and Accountability for possible disciplinary action.

Philadelphia Magazine Top Dentist

The March 2024 edition of Philadelphia magazine on its annual list of Top Dentists in the Philadelphia region, under the category of General Practitioner, has once again named Dr. Louis P. Tarnoff, Beta Pi ’66. Brother Tarnoff is an Assistant Professor at the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry. Philadelphia magazine states that selections are made for this list on the basis of “thousands of detailed evaluations of dentists and professionals by their peers.”

Congratulations to brother Tarnoff for this very notable achievement.