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Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

In 2023, the Penn community navigated the greatest administrative turmoil in University history, heightened student activism, concerns about academic freedom, and a surge in labor organizing.

The year was marked by significant changes to campus life, many of which continue to cause uncertainty. Just 16 months into Liz Magill's presidency at Penn, Magill and Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok's dual resignations culminated an unprecedented leadership crisis fueled by a series of antisemitism controversies that angered many Jewish students and faculty, donors, politicians, and national groups.

The fall semester saw a campus divided by waves of demonstrations in support of Israelis and Palestinians, as well as heightened concerns about antisemitism and Islamophobia amid uproar over Penn's response to the Palestine Writes Literature Festival and the Israel-Hamas war.

While students navigated a tense campus environment, they also renewed their demands for climate accountability, an end to gentrification, and fair Open Expression policies. From graduate student workers to Penn Medicine residents, campus saw an unprecedented push in favor of unionization, while The Daily Pennsylvanian documented the labor conditions of RAs, Falk Dining workers, and Steinberg Conference Center housekeeping staff.

New businesses opened their doors to the campus community, and Penn Dining addressed a repeated history of health code violations in residential locations. Beyond the immediate corners of campus, Philadelphia elected its first female mayor — a Penn graduate — and universities nationwide, including Penn, navigated the end of affirmative action in college admissions.

Look back at the University's biggest stories this year with the DP's Year in Review: