Penn’s administration often champions our campus’s diversity — students who come to Penn each have unique experiences and identities. This said, amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, different students are experiencing the pandemic in extremely different ways. Students have galvanized their voices throughout the online semester to ensure that Penn’s administration hears their point of view, successfully demanding a delayed in-person commencement for the Class of 2020, an extended pass/fail deadline, and payment for Penn’s contracted dining workers who were laid off from Bon Appétit Management Company.
Though details of the fall semester and campus life after the pandemic are unknown, students can take part in dictating their own futures. If students want to continue having the Penn administration hear their voices, they need to fill out Penn’s COVID-19 Pulse Survey. By doing so, every student can have their unique experiences accommodated as Penn goes forward to make significant administrative decisions.
Penn’s student body is not a monolith. Given the diverse circumstances that students and faculty are facing, the same policies and support systems may not be the best for everyone. Because of this, it is imperative that the survey responses reflect students’ varied perspectives so Penn can bear them in mind when making policy decisions. It is also important that students from all schools and programs participate, as this can help with the allocation of school-subsidized resources. To make sure students from all backgrounds receive the resources, funding, or contacts they need, individuals should complete the survey to ensure their unique perspectives are recorded.
The survey is also valuable because it gives students a chance to raise concerns directly to Penn administrators. Though Penn students have already been successful with inciting change at the administrative level, this would be the best way to shed light on additional issues they would like to bring up with the administration. The survey will allow administrators to collect data on student concerns in an organized, systematic manner, gaining a broader view than they would from petitions or other methods of calling for immediate change.
While the survey is anonymous and only takes 10-15 minutes to complete, it could have an impact on Penn’s pandemic response that lasts for years to come.If responses are reflective of the wide breadth of circumstances and personal backgrounds that Penn students face, only then can the University implement policies that protect and serve the diverse student body it is so proud to have.
Editorials represent the majority view of members of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. Editorial Board, which meets regularly to discuss issues relevant to Penn's campus. Participants in these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on related topics.