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Editorial | Dear College: Fix the Sector system

(10/13/15 3:57am)

It’s official: Course selection for next semester has begun. The unusual number of Penn seniors planning to take classes like “Ideas in Mathematics,” “Oceanography,” “Survey of the Universe” and “Sex and Human Nature” might be puzzling to those unfamiliar with Penn’s arcane general education system, or, as it is known officially, the “Sectors of Knowledge.” But, as many students in the College of Arts & Sciences might have found, the sector requirements seem to focus more on Sector VIII: The Navigation of Bureaucracy, rather than on actually giving students a well-rounded liberal arts education.

Editorial: Controversial? Bring it on

(09/10/15 3:52am)

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.

Editorial | Africa ? Africana

(04/27/15 3:58am)

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.

Editorial | When housing is not a home

(04/13/15 4:01am)

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.

Editorial | Building a better government

(03/30/15 4:02am)

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.

Editorial | Counting the costs

(03/16/15 3:52am)

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.

Editorial | Mental health is a collective effort

(03/02/15 4:08am)

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.

Editorial | Lessons from Chapel Hill

(02/26/15 5:33am)

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.