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penn-commons-vandalism
Credit: Chase Sutton

The sign for Penn Commons, which was previously named for former University trustee and 1963 College graduate Steve Wynn, was chalked over Dec. 11 with the words "You don't pour tea down someone's throat."

After reports against Wynn emerged of a decades-long pattern of alleged sexual misconduct, Penn removed "Wynn" from the "Wynn Commons" sign and renamed the common space "Penn Commons." The reference to the popular "Tea and Consent" video took the now-empty space where Wynn's name was once engraved. The video compares sexual encounters with drinking tea. 

In addition to the quote written in chalk, the video makes other connections between consent and drinking and offering tea.

"If they're unconscious, don't make them tea. Unconscious people don't want tea, and they can't answer the question, 'Do you want tea?' Because they're unconscious," the video's narrator says. 

The pavilion outside Houston Hall was previously named Wynn Commons, after Wynn donated $7.5 million to Penn in 1995. When Wynn was accused of sexual misconduct in January, the University chose to remove Wynn's name from the title and revoke his honorary degree, which was granted in 2006. While Wynn denied the allegations, he resigned as the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, a position he was appointed to by the Trump administration. 

On Feb. 1, the University placed a metal rectangle to obscure the name "Wynn" on the large seal outside Houston Hall. Later that month, the University confirmed that the area would be renamed "Penn Commons." However, the sign has not yet been relabeled.

This is not the first time that the sign outside Houston Hall has been defaced. Shortly after the allegations against Wynn came to light, streaks of black paint were painted across his name on the seal.  

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