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Guest columnist Andi Johnson thanks reporters from the Daily Pennsylvanian for their coverage of the encampment. Credit: Chenyao Liu

I often teach capstone research courses and supervise honors theses for the health & societies major. Some of my students use historical methods to answer their research questions. Occasionally, a student asking a historical question will explore The Daily Pennsylvanian's archives. My students have experienced surprise, delight, and sometimes shock when combing through old DP articles and learning about local, national, and international issues important to previous generations of Penn students.

Over the past two weeks, I, like many other Penn faculty members, have deeply appreciated the professionalism and commitment of our student journalists. DP journalists have reported tirelessly about the encampment on our College Green.

I was stunned, therefore, when I got to campus around 7:30 a.m. today, to see that police were not allowing DP reporters inside the barricade to report on the encampment removal. I asked two DP reporters and one DP photographer, who were being blocked by a line of police officers with batons, why they weren’t being allowed in. “They don’t take us seriously,” one reporter replied. Meanwhile, I saw a reporter for a network news channel allowed to head up Locust Walk to College Green.

A Philadelphia Inquirer article reported later today that another DP journalist, who arrived at College Green at 5 a.m. before the dismantling of the encampment began, was “grabbed by two Penn police officers and moved back from the statue. ‘I kept saying I was a student and a member of the press,’ the reporter said. ‘I kept on asking why I wasn’t allowed to be there, and I would get no responses.’”

While I assume that at some point, the police must have allowed some members of the DP inside the barricade, I just want DP student journalists to know that I take you seriously. The faculty I have spoken to about the encampment over the past couple of weeks take you seriously. Historians take you seriously. Generations of future scholars take you seriously. We are indebted to your commitment and professionalism.

ANDI JOHNSON is a senior lecturer in the History & Sociology of Science Department. Her email is