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Failed impeachment casts a long shadow

(03/05/14 5:13am)

Instead of holding its originally scheduled budget amendment meeting this past Sunday, the UA met privately in a closed caucus regarding an unsuccessful petition to impeach the UA president. The meeting contributed to a postponement of the annual budget process, leaving other branches of student government without an official budget allocation until March 23.

Moral evil or market reality: UA discusses Penn's tobacco investments

(02/10/14 11:30pm)

At their meeting on Sunday, the Undergraduate Assembly debated whether Penn should divest from its investments in tobacco companies. The University Council in engaged in an ongoing discussion of tobacco divestment. Legal Studies and Business Ethics professor Diana Robertson and philosophy professor Michael Weisberg brought the topic to the floor of the UA, encouraging the members to support the ban on Tobacco divestment. Some peer institutions like Harvard and Stanford have policies against investing in tobacco companies. Penn does not, making it the only one of the top five medical schools in the country to lack a tobacco restriction, Weisberg said. Penn has not divested its assets since 2006, when the University withdrew investments from seven oil companies operating in Sudan in response to the genocide being committed in Darfur. Weisberg said that tobacco companies engineer cigarettes to be more addictive and target children aged 13 to 17 in their advertisements. “The term ‘moral evil’ should be applied here,” Weisberg said. “It is something that conflicts with University values.” Engineering freshman Alex George said that tobacco companies’ actions are not a “moral evil,” but rather natural to an economic market. “By dissociating ourselves, we lose something — mostly financial returns,” George said. University Council will discuss divestment at a meeting next week. The UA also added a new member to its ranks. Following the resignation of College junior Danielle Golub, her seat will be filled by College junior Kyle Webster. Related: "Penn receives $20 million to fund Tobacco Center":