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Grad students speak up about NYU

To the Editor:

On Feb. 18, a group of students occupied the Kimmel Center at NYU, listing a series of demands and asking the university to negotiate with them (see Early reports that excessive force may have been used during the 'resolution' of this situation raise questions for the Penn administration about the relationship between the University and state-level apparatuses based on the use of force. Whatever our stance on the strategy or on the tactics of the NYU protesters (and we think the community needs to debate these issues, too), we stand in solidarity with them against the use of unreasonable force against peaceful protesters. This letter is accompanied by a letter to President Gutmann, in which we invite her to join more than 170 professors at NYU calling for an independent commission to investigate the allegations. We have also asked her to clarify our own university's policy on the use of such force. Let us be clear: We cannot feel safe if intra-university disputes result not in negotiations and debate but in arrests and suspensions, even physical violence. We call on the Penn community to join us in demanding answers with regards to the Kimmel Center's occupation, and to remain vigilant about the necessarily fragile relationship between administrative and authoritative power.

Leif Weatherby and Concerned Graduate Students

The author is a College graduate student and a member of the Facebook group UPenn Grad Students in Solidarity with NYU Civil Disobedience Skimping on Soph. Skimmer

To the Editor:

My friends and I were looking forward anxiously to Sophomore Skimmer this year. Having heard great things about the event from our older friends, and having seen advertisements and promotions for the event all over campus, we made sure to arrive early so we could beat the lines and get the free door gift. Well, a "10-to-15 minute wait" became a 45-minute wait, and once we got out of the below-freezing weather and into the Rotunda, we were forced to wait on more lines just to get a small taco. After waiting over an hour, we gave up and angrily fought our way through the mob scene to go get dinner at Jimmy John's. The lack of foresight by the planners of this event was astounding. Sophomore Class Board: Next time you're holding an event, don't try to cram the entire class into a small room. This was without a doubt the worst Penn event I have attended. Hopefully next year's board won't let this annual tradition turn into an overcrowded mosh pit.

Jeff Weinstein

The author is a College sophomore

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