For the past few months, the Coalition Against Fraternity and Sexual Assault has argued against the presence of fraternity houses on Locust Walk. These efforts reached new heights last week when four members disclosed their identities at a public town hall. The CAFSA affiliates said they shed their anonymity to promote support and solidarity.
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Many Penn students on dining plans, particularly first-year and transfer students who are required to join a plan, find they have leftover meal swipes at the end of each semester. Students can end up losing a significant amount of money in end-of-semester swipe conversions – a period during which students may exchange a limited number of swipes for dining dollars at a rate well below their value – in an attempt to remedy their situation. This is why many students choose not to sign up for dining plans after their first year.
Many Penn students may be embarrassed that Donald Trump, the only Penn graduate ever elected to the presidency, was impeached last month. Instead of passively lamenting Trump’s Penn affiliation, students should use impeachment as an opportunity to fight for policies they believe in.
Many first-year and sophomore women arrived early on campus this week to begin sorority recruitment, and their male counterparts will soon begin official fraternity rush. More than 25% of Penn’s undergraduate body is involved in Greek life, with many seeing it as a close-knit peer group. But what does this mean for the other 75%?
International undergraduate applicants and applicants to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies at Penn face a major disadvantage. Unlike other undergraduate applicants, their financial need affects their chances of admission to the University. Penn touts its "need-blind" application process, which means that degree of financial need does not affect admissions decisions. But this policy only extends to undergraduate applicants from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. All other international students “must apply for aid when they apply for admission," according to the Penn Admissions website.
Under a new Philadelphia law, security guards working at institutions like Penn had their wages raised to $15 per hour. Although Penn has had months to comply with the new rule, security guards are currently not receiving the pay they deserve. Penn must pay workers the living wage they deserve and that is now mandated by the city.
On Tuesday, new reports surfaced that McKinsey & Company helped the Trump administration clamp down on illegal immigration. McKinsey specifically advocated for cuts in spending on food, medical care, and supervision for migrants, as well as helping ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants. According to ProPublica and The New York Times' joint investigation, some of the spending cuts were so drastic that they even made some Immigration and Customs Enforcement staff uncomfortable.
The period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year is one associated with giving: We give thanks, we give cheer, and we give gifts. There’s nothing wrong with giving or receiving material items — the tradition itself is meant to demonstrate to the people who matter to us that we appreciate them.
Penn students don’t get a lot of time off. In the 2017-2018 school year, we had the fewest amount of days off out of any Ivy League school, receiving almost 27 fewer days off than Princeton University students. Penn students are yet again reminded of this reality this week, with only two days off for the Thanksgiving break, with the first day off being the holiday itself. To promote student well-being and allow students greater travel flexibility, Penn must expand this break by adding the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
‘Penn football blown out in season finale as Princeton claims outright Ivy title.’
Members of Fossil Free Penn have voiced concerns to the University over the past several years, but administrators have failed to take action. This past week, a group of Penn faculty members has joined the movement by signing a letter in support of student climate change action, particularly insisting that the University finally divest from fossil fuels. This is a laudable act by the signatories and is a model for how tenured faculty members must use their security to influence change at Penn.
In many classes, end-of-semester course evaluations represent the only formalized avenue for students to give instructors feedback. While some professors and teaching assistants opt to solicit student feedback in the middle of the course, this is far from standard practice. To better support students and promote educational practices that work for everyone, Penn should mandate that professors and TAs be evaluated in the middle of the term as well.
Penn’s law school set a record by accepting the largest donation ever gifted to a law school, when it received $125 million from the W. P. Carey Foundation. In return, the formerly named University of Pennsylvania Law School will now be referred to as the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School – Carey Law for short – a decision that highlights another instance of Penn’s failure to be transparent with the student and faculty body. Penn should have consulted with students and stakeholders before taking this action, and must do so when making decisions in the future.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect Penn Admissions' decision to reach out to students directly rather than publicly make an announcement.
Women athletes are paid far less than men in many sports, sports journalists are far less likely to be women than men, and women are still a relative rarity in athletics administrations. Penn, and the rest of the Ivy League, must work harder to achieve equality in hiring for their sports programs.
Philadelphia will hold its general elections for its City Council on Nov. 5. Over 237,000 votes were cast in the May primary elections, a turnout that surpassed that of the primary elections in both 2017 and 2018 and the general election in 2017.
As the Nov. 1 early decision deadline approaches, Penn's Office of Admissions is likely flooded with applications from students across the country, including many of the future stars of Penn Athletics. In response to last year’s nationwide admissions scandal and one involving fraud in Harvard University’s athletic recruiting, Harvard announced that its Athletics Department would be implementing two new policies to thwart fraud in the admissions process. Despite the revelation of a similar scandal at Penn, unlike Harvard, Penn has failed to announce any such reforms.
Graduate students make up half the student body, yet they are often ignored and their concerns are often disregarded. This was demonstrated once again this week, when Penn finally responded to graduate student complaints that have existed for at least the past year about the living conditions in Sansom Place East. Graduate students aren’t just students — they’re also workers, and they deserve a better, more direct way to complain to their employer. Graduate students need a union, and letting them organize will make Penn a stronger learning environment and home for scholarship for everyone. Penn should recognize the union voluntarily when elections are eventually held.
In the 1973 report “Institutional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania,” then-Penn President Martin Meyerson implemented the One University policy, which allows students to take courses at other schools across the University. Penn boasts to prospective and current students about the opportunity to take classes across its many schools. The One University policy, as outlined in 1973, was originally intended to provide students with the chance to be well-rounded, and not to shy away from learning outside their respective fields of study. Now, credit requirements restrict the actual ability of students to make use of this policy. Penn must embrace academic freedom and encourage students to pursue education across the University, rather than restrict the courses outside of students' respective schools that can be counted toward electives and requirements.
The Association of American Universities released the results of the 2019 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct on Tuesday. In 2019, 25.9% of female undergraduate students and 7.3% of male undergraduates reported that they experienced unwanted sexual contact since entering college at Penn, a rate that has not changed in a statistically significant way since the last time the survey was conducted in 2015.