On Sept. 18, Penn administrators met with students pushing for mental health changes on campus. And, encouragingly, the University seemed receptive to the proposed changes.
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Last February, after a publicized string of suicides on campus, the Penn administration finally took public notice of the terrible state of mental health on campus, and President Amy Gutmann created a mental health task force to examine the psychological well-being of students.
How much does a Penn education cost? For enrolled students, it’s over $60,000 per year. But for other students, Penn courses don’t even cost a cent.
The day before classes started, Provost Vincent Price sent an email to all undergraduates about the recently launched “Campaign for Community.” An ambitious project, its goal is to help the Penn community “discuss and confront issues that are often avoided because they may seem ‘controversial’ or intractable.” To that effect, Price also encouraged faculty and staff to consider serving as Open Expression Monitors — observers sent to potentially fraught events or programs to ensure that the rights of the “meeting or demonstration participants to express their opinions in non-disruptive ways” are upheld.
When Penn administrators welcomed the Class of 2018 last year, their message to students was to engage the world.
Ask yourself this: Do you know all of the candidates in the running for the upcoming Philadelphia mayoral election? Or even one?
The University should not look at the Africa Center, the only space exclusively devoted to Africa at Penn, as a space that can be shut down. Following cuts of federal funding, the University recently announced both the closure of the Africa Center and the merging of the African studies major with the Africana Studies Department, decisions that sparked anger and dissatisfaction among students. On April 13, in a protest led by African studies majors, the Penn African Students Association and Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation, students took to College Green to display their disapproval of the decision to close the center and the injustice of the conflation of Africana and African studies.
The College of Liberal and Professional Studies within the School of Arts and Sciences has been receiving a fair amount of attention recently. While there are some issues with the college, overall it continues to offer successful — if sometimes unknown — programs for nontraditional students.
With the New College House set to open next year, we wanted to question the role of housing in fostering culture at Penn. Though often taken for granted, housing at Penn plays a substantive role in shaping students’ unique experiences at college. As freshmen, we’re sorted into vastly different living arrangements. Many are lucky enough to be placed in the Quad, which instills a sense of collegiate community. Others are placed in dorms like Mayer, which most students have never heard of. Some are assigned houses like Kings Court or Hill, which form their own bubbles.
The turnout for the recent Undergraduate Assembly elections was just 39 percent, down from last year’s 54 percent. This means that our president elect, Jane Meyer, was chosen by a small sliver of the undergraduate population that she now represents. The vast majority of that population was — and probably remains — indifferent.
This past week, parts of the undergraduate body were busy talking about the Undergraduate Assembly elections. Major student organizations endorsed candidates, The Daily Pennsylvanian among them. Our own endorsement was based, at least in part, on the reality that the UA’s ability to successfully advocate to the administration on behalf of students is so low that it is best to support the person who might best unite the spirits of the undergraduate body.
What does the Undergraduate Assembly do?
On Feb. 26, the University announced another tuition increase for undergraduate programs. This marks the sixth consecutive year that the tuition has been raised by 3.9 percent. However, if one looks at the past 10 years, there is a consistent upward trend among all the Ivies — except for 2009 when tuition went down — which doesn’t look as if it will change anytime soon.
With the release of the Task Force on Student Psychological Health and Welfare‘s recommendations, many are left feeling dissatisfied with the efforts made to improve quality of life for students. Although the task force and its goal of assessing and improving resources for students is well-intended, the recommendations lack the sense of urgency and priority that we would like to see considering the gravity of the issue.
On Feb. 10, three students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill were shot dead. While some believe the deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were the result of a parking dispute, many see the killings as a hate crime. Around the world, people have called the events religiously-charged executions that exemplify the enormous stigma faced by Muslims in Western countries, especially the United States.
Do you hate the environment? The answer is probably “no.”
On Monday, Jan. 26, President Amy Gutmann emailed the undergraduate student body, announcing the University’s new protocols regarding sexual violence. As part of a “comprehensive review,” the University considered and revised its own reporting and punitive processes, consulting the Department of Education, along with peer institutions.
With the federal review of colleges suspected of mishandling sexual assault cases underway, campuses across the nation have recently been addressing the issue of alcohol. Dartmouth announced a complete ban on hard liquor following several reforms on its fraternities and sororities, while Brown has prohibited alcohol from all its residences, including Greek houses. It seems that while the degree of action being taken varies by institution, one thing is clear: Universities are focusing on Greek life as the center of alcohol abuse and sexual assault.
Amidst the controversy and emotional appeal, many have taken strong stances on the issue of whether Penn should pay PILOTs — payments to the City of Philadelphia in lieu of property taxes, from which the University is exempt because of its non-profit status.
Welcome to the DP's Housing Guide 2014!