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Penn recently sent an email to parents and families about campus safety amid tension surrounding the Israel-Hamas war. Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Penn sent an email to parents and families discussing student safety on campus amid heightened tension surrounding the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas. 

The email, which was sent on Oct. 24, addressed how parents may have been hearing from their children and family members regarding concerns about safety and comfort on campus. 

The statement said that the Division of Public Safety will continue to be present at rallies, protests, vigils, and other gatherings to maintain a safe space and that Penn Police will take “immediate action” if there are threats of physical harm.

“As ever, our goal is to be there for each other and to continue to deepen our connections as one Penn community,” the statement read. 

The message also included multiple resources for both Penn students and families to reach out to, including Wellness at Penn, University Life, and Public Safety. The statement also included a link to the University’s previous message about its approach to the safety of its students. 

Vice Provost for University Life Karu Kozuma, Vice President for Public Safety Kathleen Shields Anderson, Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé, and University Chaplain and Vice President for Social Equity & Community Chaz Howard signed the email. 

Parents were encouraged to share resources with their students and said that the University will “work tirelessly” to check in and support students to learn and grow. 

This email was released before Family Weekend, where parents visit their students and attend events and workshops hosted by the University. 

One of the events hosted during Family Weekend includes a fireside chat with President Liz Magill. Recently, Magill has come under fire for her responses regarding the Palestinian Writes Literature Festival and the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas. 

Many alumni and donors have criticized Magill, saying that the University should have done more to distance itself from the festival and to condemn antisemitism. 

Multiple rallies have taken place on Penn's campus, following the start of the conflict. On Oct. 23, Penn community members rallied in support of Israel, emphasizing Jewish unity. On Wednesday, Penn and Drexel University community members participated in a national student walkout in support of Palestine, and this was the third pro-Palestine demonstration on Penn's campus in the past two weeks.

Magill said that she is responsible for the safety of Penn’s students in her third statement to the Penn community since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 18. 

"I am also responsible, as the President of this University, for ensuring the safety and security of our entire community while also safeguarding our ability to carry out our academic mission," she wrote in her statement.