Over 3,300 people have signed a petition calling on President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett to suspend University operations on Thursday in light of the Super Bowl parade being scheduled for 11 a.m.
This comes just hours after University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy said Penn "will be open for normal operations" during the parade.
The School District of Philadelphia will be closed for the parade on Thursday, as will the Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University, University of the Arts, and all Archdiocesan high schools and parochial elementary schools in the city.
"In a year of political and social unrest where the fabric of what binds us together is being tested daily, the city of Philadelphia has a chance to come together," reads the petition, which was launched by Wharton freshman Matthew Daniels. "For many students, this event will be a final ending to what is one of the most significant sporting events in the history of Philadelphia. Even for non-natives of the area, this allows students to leave the 'Penn Bubble,' immerse themselves in the city, and be a part of a historic Philadelphian memory."
As of 1:00 p.m. on Feb. 6, 3,350 people had signed the petition.
The City of Philadelphia announced earlier on Monday morning that a celebratory parade was being organized to commemorate the Philadelphia Eagles' first ever Super Bowl win on Sunday evening. The team beat the New England Patriots 41-33, earning their first ever Super Bowl title and setting off chaotic celebrations across the city.
Many students have said that they intend to attend the parade regardless of whether University operations are suspended.
"I'm going to the parade no matter what," Wharton sophomore Julia Wietrzychowski said. "We have been waiting our whole lives and this is something we absolutely can't miss. Philly literally loves the Eagles more than anything."
College junior and Philadelphia native Jamie McCann agreed.
She cited the email sent on Feb. 2 by Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum which read, "We have all chosen to be members of a beloved Penn community nestled in the embrace of the vibrant City of Philadelphia. Our home team, your home team, is “on the brink, on the brim, on the cusp” of preeminence. Whether or not you follow, in the U.S. vernacular, “football,” this is a very special time, a truly delightful moment, in the life of our City."
Quoting that phrase, McCann said, "Well, we have achieved preeminence, we won, and Philadelphia is celebrating. You cannot advocate for us to be a part of the Philadelphia community then shut down an opportunity for students to participate in a city wide event. Philadelphia is our home for four years, and we deserve to celebrate with all of the city."
College sophomore Claire Smith who actually attended the Super Bowl game in Minnesota said she was "disappointed" with the University's decision not to suspend operations.
"It seems hypocritical for Penn to consistently praise its Philly roots and then deter students from partaking in celebrating a victory that means so much to this city and that has been so long awaited," she said.
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