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.
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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.
Penn students are already exploring their residential options for the next school year. Price is a critically important factor for students in deciding where to live, including in whether or not to move off campus. Some students even cite the relatively low prices of off-campus houses and apartments as a primary reason for moving off campus. There are myriad ways for Penn to make on-campus housing an attractive option for students. The simplest and most important one is to lower on-campus housing costs.
The week before fall break saw the drop period come to a close, although the option to change a graded class to pass/fail will be open until the ninth week of the semester. One thing that was surely on the minds of students debating whether to stay in their classes was the need to fulfill general education requirements in order to graduate.
The newly renovated Ringe Squash Courts, set to open on Nov. 9, will now charge fees, a measure that will effectively prohibit some squash enthusiasts from making use of the new facilities. In order to continue to work towards a community that provides equal opportunities for all students and endeavors to better engage with the Philadelphia community, Penn must reverse this decision and open up the renovated squash courts without fees, as they have operated for years.
Penn has been a part of the city of Philadelphia for several centuries. The University has played a fundamental role in the growth and evolution of the city, both because of the longevity of its existence and the outsize role that Penn’s money and prestige allows it to play in the community. But Penn’s actions have hurt the rest of Philadelphia, particularly through rampant gentrification.
Penn Dean of Admissions Eric Furda went viral for his impassioned screaming at a nationally televised Eagles game last weekend. Furda’s enthusiasm stimulated a lot of conversation on and off Penn’s campus. In addition to the mass quantity of memes circulating the internet, the video of Furda was featured on Stephen Colbert’s late-night show. But there is something beyond poking fun at Furda that we can glean from his wild zeal.
The Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are approaching, and scheduling examinations on days of religious or secular observance is explicitly prohibited by Penn policy. But that policy is not always enforced, leading some professors to schedule examinations and major assignments on days when observant students will not be present.
Marches took place in 150 countries to demand immediate action regarding climate change this past Friday.
On-campus Greek houses will not be open to sophomores under Penn's new housing policy requiring second-year students to live on campus. While the University claims this decision was made to foster a sense of community and create a support system for second-year students, it is disrupting Greek communities that already strive to achieve these goals and putting the future of the Greek community at risk. Penn ought to reconsider its decision to bar sophomores from living in on-campus Greek houses.
Administrators recently decided to move Penn Violence Prevention from its office on Locust Walk to Market Street. Since 2016, PVP’s Locust Walk office has been a hub for PVP staff and student groups, such as Penn Anti-Violence Educators and Men Against Rape & Sexual Assault.
On Sept. 9, the Penn community was notified of the death of Gregory Eells, the executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services. Eells, who had previously held the same position at Cornell University, started his term at Penn in March.
Last week, New College House was renamed Lauder College House at a ceremony featuring Penn President Amy Gutmann and members of the Lauder family. The family, which contains generations of Penn students and alumni and includes Estée Lauder of the popular cosmetic brand, is a large and frequent contributor to the University. Several members of the Lauder family have been trustees, and the family’s name is attached to the Lauder Institute along with the building which houses it.
Keeping up appearances is a big part of student life at Penn. It often seem as though both Penn’s administration and large swaths of the student body would rather keep those struggling at Penn hidden, so as not to disrupt the perfect, brochure-ready facade presented by this Ivy League institution. The fact remains that Penn students suffer from many of the same issues the rest of society does, including substance abuse and addiction to opiates.
Students living on campus have been displeased by the noise from New College House West’s construction in recent weeks. They cite problems including being woken up due to early start times, the sounds from the unloading of equipment, and the fact that they may have to close their windows to deal with the noise outside. The needs of Penn students shouldn't come before those of the wider Philadelphia community — particularly the people who work long hours and are integral to the functioning of the University, like construction workers. This also risks the further labelling of the community as entitled and out of touch to the rest of the city.
In the next few weeks, many Penn students will be boarding planes and setting off for a semester or more at a university in another country. While study abroad offers students a unique opportunity to live in new parts of the world, students who are leaving soon for unfamiliar places should make sure that they take advantage of the chance to engage with the people that live in these countries, rather than only sticking with fellow Penn students.