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Editorial | Upperclassmen shouldn't feel pressured to return to campus in the Spring

(11/12/20 5:06am)

A few weeks ago, Penn announced plans to host a hybrid format for the spring. Although most classes will still be online, students have been formally invited back to Philadelphia, a modified version of the on-campus housing experience will be available, and a number of campus spaces will reopen. 

Editorial | Penn students must support this week's Scholar Strike

(11/03/20 3:20am)

This Tuesday, Penn students, faculty, and employees, along with tens of millions of other Americans, will cast their votes in what is arguably the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. Despite this monumental civic moment, Penn has refused to suspend University operations, despite widespread calls to do so. 

Editorial | In light of Acme's opening, Penn must do more to address food insecurity

(10/22/20 7:37pm)

This Friday at 6 a.m, Acme Markets will open at 40th and Walnut, replacing The Fresh Grocer after a six month transitionary period. The opening of an additional culinary option on campus will likely come to the relief of many in the Penn community, who have lacked easy access to a grocery store for months on end.

Editorial | Penn students should do more to support local businesses

(10/16/20 6:18pm)

The news that longtime campus staple Magic Carpet Foods has been forced to rely on donations for survival may come as a disappointment for many in the Penn community. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily surprising — the COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial financial challenges, with small businesses losing 20% of their revenue and many being forced to close down entirely. 

Editorial | Polling places need volunteers. Penn students, it’s time to step up.

(10/08/20 12:39am)

In an unprecedented election year, with critical contests up and down the ballot, preserving our democracy’s integrity is more important than ever. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, municipalities across the country are facing a poll worker shortage. Many regular poll workers, who tend to be older than the population at large – a majority being over the age of 60 – are choosing to sit this election out due to their added risk for complications from COVID-19. 

Editorial | Instead of one long spring break, Penn should have two short ones

(10/05/20 1:51am)

This past Thursday, the University announced major changes to the spring 2021 calendar, postponing the start of the semester and reducing spring break to a two day, mid-week break to reduce student travel. Many students slammed Penn’s decision in the immediate aftermath, with over 100 students signing a petition urging Penn to reconsider. The petition cited concerns surrounding both mental and physical health as reasons to reinstate a full spring break.

Editorial | Professors, give students the break that Penn won’t. Cancel class next week.

(09/30/20 2:52am)

This semester, Penn students are facing a learning experience which is far from typical. One of the larger changes is the lack of a fall break, typically held in early October. After Penn's announcement that the fall semester would be conducted remotely, more than 700 students signed a petition calling on the University to reinstate fall break, which had previously been canceled in June. Penn, however, has stood by its decision, citing a desire to limit student travel and a possible resulting spread of COVID-19. 

Editorial | Grad students need transparency on what the Ph.D. admissions freeze means

(09/24/20 2:48am)

The School of Arts and Sciences announced last week that it would temporarily pause admissions for Ph.D. programs funded by the school. This decision was met with immediate surprise and confusion from members of the Penn community. Moreover, there is little cohesion between different departments. Some departments, such as the Department of Chemistry, will continue to admit new students next year, while many others will not be able to.

Editorial | Penn’s abrupt shift to a remote fall places a financial burden on students

(08/21/20 1:47am)

The University announced on August 11 that it will not be offering on-campus housing for the vast majority of students this fall, and almost all classes will be held online. This was a reversal from its earlier announcement in June, which promised a hybrid academic model and guaranteed on-campus housing for first years, sophomores, and transfer students. 

Editorial | RAs and GAs deserve respect and a fair contract. Penn is offering neither.

(08/07/20 12:17am)

In the coming weeks, the thousands of Penn students who will come to campus from around the world globe face a unique set of challenges as they adjust to a hybrid semester. These hurdles will be faced most intensely by residential advisors and graduate associates, who are students that work for the University and are integral to dorm life.

Editorial | As questions arise about the fall, Penn should host a community-wide town hall

(07/24/20 12:04am)

As the start of the academic year approaches, students, faculty, and families alike continue to worry about exactly what the fall semester will look like. The University announced its plan for a hybrid semester in late June, with all students invited back to campus but most learning taking place remotely. Penn’s announcement also included a Student Campus Compact which stated that all community members must agree to wear facial coverings in public, avoid large gatherings of all types, and follow other health-related guidelines. Still, many questions about social life and safety remain. 

Editorial | What if COVID-19 continues to worsen? Students must know how Penn will respond.

(07/09/20 2:48pm)

Since Penn announced its decision to pursue a hybrid model for the upcoming semester, students are trying to decide whether or not to return to campus this fall. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Philadelphia and elsewhere, it is not unlikely that quarantine restrictions will be reinstated and University operations will need to be adjusted. The University’s June 25 announcement of the hybrid model acknowledges that “some plans could change, depending upon the progression of the virus and/or applicable state and local government guidance,” and Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé reaffirmed that the University’s plan to bring students back to campus is “not immutable.”

Editorial | The fall semester will be mostly online. Tuition and fees should reflect that.

(07/02/20 4:19pm)

Although Penn announced that students can return to campus for the fall 2020 semester, the experience will be very different from what students are used to. Among other changes, all classes with 25 or more students will be conducted online, on-campus housing will be less dense, and all in-person activities will conclude before Thanksgiving break.