Popular off-campus housing locations have reduced monthly rent fees and issued special last-minute promotion packages to counteract vacancies caused by a dip in sophomore student tenants.
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Ranging from the CEO of a Latinx coalition to the president of a classical league, The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with newly admitted members of Penn's Class of 2025, who expressed excitement to join the Penn community this fall.
Penn will not move the date of the Class of 2021 commencement, which falls on the Jewish holiday Shavuot, despite a petition that garnered over 1,500 signatures urging the University to do so.
When Wharton senior Gabe Low thinks about commencement, he feels disappointment. For Low, who took two gap years to serve in the Israeli Army, the journey to commencement has been an unconventional one — six years in the making. But because commencement this year is scheduled on Shavuot, a Jewish holiday, Low and other Orthodox Jewish students must grapple with whether or not to attend.
College junior Diana Cruz watched in horror in Long Beach, Calif., as one by one, her family members got sicker and sicker with COVID-19. First, it was her sister, 23, who tested positive on Dec. 30, 2020 and lost her sense of taste. Then it was her mother, Maria Guadalupe Rodriguez, 63, who kept sleeping for longer and longer hours each day, until she could barely walk and eventually became comatose. Finally, her father, 65, and other sister, 27, fell ill.
Every day, a Falk Dining Commons worker serves food to Penn students while thinking about her family at home. She fears bringing COVID-19 back to them — her young child, her elderly parent — which she knows she can't afford to do after she was furloughed by the University for the fall semester. She looks out the window while on the job and sees Penn's COVID-19 testing site, located on the high rise field, just footsteps away.
While Penn undergraduate students living on or off campus enjoyed virtually unlimited access to COVID-19 testing this semester at Houston Hall, health care workers at Penn hospitals — even those who treat COVID-19 patients — continue to jump through hoops simply to get a COVID-19 test.
Being a Penn student in 2020 shattered everyone's expectations of what their college experience would look like, with many forced to attend class from their childhood bedrooms. First years still have yet to attend lectures on campus, and upperclassmen spent the last two months of the spring and the entire fall semester learning remotely.
Every day, Zoom classes are filled with little squares of students clocking in from all corners of the world. Some students have returned to Philadelphia this semester, living on or off-campus, only to embark on a dramatically different living situation and semester from years past.
Following Penn's announcement inviting undergraduate students back to campus this spring, here’s what you need to know about housing and dining.
College sophomore and pre-medical student Poojita Chinmay spent weeks studying for her first chemistry exam this September. When she got her grade back, she was alarmed to see that the class average on the exam was 74%. According to her professor, it was a 20-point bump from the 50% average in years past.
It's 4 a.m. in Bangkok and the city is asleep, the streets of the Thai capital pitch black and empty. Yet one Wharton and Engineering first-year student was wide awake in the dead of the night, finishing synchronous class sessions and getting ready to attend the virtual Student Activities Council Club fair.
Unlike other Ivy League presidents, Penn President Amy Gutmann will not take a pay cut for this academic year, instead opting to take a pay freeze.
Despite promises from Penn to cover costs to ship students’ belongings left in the College Houses back home, many students remain frustrated that they no longer have the option to store items for free until January 2021.
On a typical Rosh Hashanah, Penn Hillel would be bustling with students who commemorate the holiday through communal prayer services and bountiful meals of traditional Jewish foods. This year, however, feasts and services were held virtually or socially distanced outside.
One month ago, Bon Appétit Management Company furloughed Falk Dining Commons chefs Troy Harris and Kareem Wallace without pay for the fall semester. Now, the two co-workers are getting ready to launch their Kosher food truck, Grassroots, in hopes to support West Philadelphia youth education and employment prospects.
Penn will not pay Bon Appétit Management Company dining staff — all of whom are furloughed — for the fall semester, leaving over 100 workers without a steady income and forcing some to file for unemployment.
Penn will no longer offer COVID-19 testing for all asymptomatic individuals beginning Sept. 14, but many students are calling on the University to continue to provide testing for all students for the entire semester.
Following student outcry over the high costs to ship dorm items back to their homes, Penn Residential Services will now subsidize shipping costs for items left in the College Houses from spring 2020.
As students return to Philadelphia for the remote fall semester, those who chose to retrieve their stored dorm items from University-sanctioned moving companies hoped to be reunited with their belongings after five months. Many students, however, were alarmed to find that some of their belongings were either missing or damaged, and demand compensation.