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Spencer Swanson | Banning hard liquor at frat parties is 2018 Prohibition

(09/17/18 12:49am)

I’ve heard a lot of discussion the last few weeks dealing with the recent decision to ban hard liquor at fraternity parties. As usual, when it comes to issues surrounding Greek Life, outsiders tend to approach problems with preconceived notions. As a member of a fraternity, I could perhaps provide some insight into how the community has reacted thus far.


Spencer Swanson | Don't boo. Vote.

(08/27/18 11:57pm)

Whether you’re an incoming freshman navigating Penn’s campus for the first time or an upperclassman looking forward to reconnecting with friends, you’re more focused on sorting out your fall semester and settling into West Philadelphia than the upcoming elections. But with three months to go until the Nov. 6 midterm elections, each and every American citizen should take a moment to make sure their voter registration is in order.  


Spencer Swanson | Trump’s golden reunion is not worth celebrating

(04/02/18 2:54am)

May Alumni Weekend is just around the corner. West Philadelphia will soon welcome back alumni from landmark years to an action-packed weekend of carefully orchestrated nostalgia, camaraderie, and fundraising. Thousands of members of Penn classes from 1943 to 2013 have already signed up to celebrate reunions ranging from their fifth to their 75th. But according to 1968 Class Vice President and 50th Reunion Liaison Elsie Sterling Howard, 1968 Wharton graduate President Donald Trump’s plans are still unknown. Informal consensus is that his attendance remains unlikely. Even if Trump seems to have an outsize pride in his Penn education, and “has cited his academic credentials more frequently and more assertively than any of his presidential predecessors” it seems he would have little motivation to join.


Spencer Swanson | Gone with the Wynn: Why Penn must tread lightly with the legacies of controversial alumni

(02/15/18 2:19am)

In 1995, former Penn trustee Steve Wynn donated $7.5 million for the building of the Perelman Quadrangle. The common area outside Houston Hall was named Wynn Commons in his honor. Twenty years later, Wynn gave the same amount — this time to a manicurist he allegedly forced to have sex with him.





Spencer Swanson | Why Penn graduate students are missing out in Trump’s 'great' tax cuts

(12/05/17 10:23pm)

Although most of us here in West Philadelphia are laser-focused on finals prep and holiday travel plans, it’s hard to ignore that early Saturday morning, Republicans in the Senate passed “a sweeping overhaul of the [United States] tax code, the largest change since Ronald Reagan's presidency.”






Spencer Swanson | In defense of Early Decision

(10/23/17 11:10pm)

While the upcoming Nov. 1 deadline for early decision candidates may no longer be relevant to most of us personally, it is still worth continuing to discuss Penn’s application process. Although the trend of admitting over 50 percent of each freshman class in Early Decision has its drawbacks, it is ultimately the best system for admitting the most committed Penn class.



Spencer Swanson | Reasons for random rooming

(10/09/17 11:47pm)

While brief, this past long weekend provided a welcome break from the routine I’d settled into well since late August. I was, however, also very happy to board my train back down to Philadelphia on Sunday night. After all, I truly enjoy the already comfortable rhythm of attending my classes, studying at Van Pelt Library, playing a bit of tennis and, most of all, spending time with my friends.


Spencer Swanson | Might Merkel matter?

(09/26/17 10:16pm)

It’s 3:47 a.m. on a Monday morning. It has been a great weekend – sweltering for late September — especially in my non air-conditioned Kings Court English College House dorm room, but like most of my fellow Penn students, I spent my weekend well, as we all enjoyed the summer-like feel of Locust Walk, some time on a tennis court or football pitch or along the banks of the Schuylkill River. A presentation for my 10 a.m. was left till much too late, but is now prepped and printed, and I’m finally ready to put some polish on my bi-weekly opinion piece for Tuesday publication.