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Credit: Ethan Young

Several buildings around Penn’s campus — including Van Pelt Library and Penn Hillel — increased security as the Gaza Solidarity Encampment expanded on College Green this evening. 

The main entrance to Van Pelt Library is closed to everyone — including Penn students — as of 8:04 p.m. Allied Security guards had previously been manually checking PennCards. Students are able to enter the library through the basement entrance after scanning their PennCards at a makeshift scanner system. All floors within the building remain accessible to PennCard holders. 

PennCard access to the Penn Hillel building has been shut off, according to a source familiar with the matter. 

“Penn continues to focus on the safety of our campus, including expanding security presence in response to the expansion of the encampment, despite our efforts to resolve this situation,” a University spokesperson wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Other buildings surrounding College Green have also increased security. Meyerson Hall is manually checking the PennCards of all individuals entering the building. 

Fisher Fine Arts Library appears to be completely closed. The regular operating hours of the library are until midnight on Wednesdays, according to the website

The increased security measures come during finals season for Penn students, some of whom have expressed frustration with the impacted access to Van Pelt during a stressful time of the semester. 

“I just think it’s unfair for the students,” a College first year, who was granted anonymity due to fear of retaliation, wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “The administration is trying to give the undecided student body a reason to dislike the encampments when our safety isn’t at risk.” 

The increased security measures come after the Gaza Solidarity Encampment expanded to the east side of College Green earlier this evening. Encampment participants moved barriers, and at least eight tents were moved to the opposite side of the lawn, which had previously been clear. There has been an increased police presence on College Green throughout the evening, including officers from Penn Police’s strike force. 

This is the first time that the encampment has expanded since it began two weeks ago.