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Editorial | Greek life gives students a social outlet. Penn's clubs should learn from this

(01/15/20 2:25am)

Many first-year and sophomore women arrived early on campus this week to begin sorority recruitment, and their male counterparts will soon begin official fraternity rush. More than 25% of Penn’s undergraduate body is involved in Greek life, with many seeing it as a close-knit peer group. But what does this mean for the other 75%? 

Editorial | International and LPS students deserve need-blind admissions

(12/11/19 12:32am)

International undergraduate applicants and applicants to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies at Penn face a major disadvantage. Unlike other undergraduate applicants, their financial need affects their chances of admission to the University. Penn touts its "need-blind" application process, which means that degree of financial need does not affect admissions decisions. But this policy only extends to undergraduate applicants from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. All other international students “must apply for aid when they apply for admission," according to the Penn Admissions website.

Editorial | Penn security guards are not paid $15 per hour. It's time to raise their wages.

(12/09/19 4:25am)

Under a new Philadelphia law, security guards working at institutions like Penn had their wages raised to $15 per hour. Although Penn has had months to comply with the new rule, security guards are currently not receiving the pay they deserve. Penn must pay workers the living wage they deserve and that is now mandated by the city.

Editorial | Penn students must boycott McKinsey in light of its work with ICE

(12/05/19 7:49am)

On Tuesday, new reports surfaced that McKinsey & Company helped the Trump administration clamp down on illegal immigration. McKinsey specifically advocated for cuts in spending on food, medical care, and supervision for migrants, as well as helping ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants. According to ProPublica and The New York Times' joint investigation, some of the spending cuts were so drastic that they even made some Immigration and Customs Enforcement staff uncomfortable.

Editorial | Penn students, donate unwanted items this holiday season

(12/02/19 3:41am)

The period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year is one associated with giving: We give thanks, we give cheer, and we give gifts. There’s nothing wrong with giving or receiving material items — the tradition itself is meant to demonstrate to the people who matter to us that we appreciate them. 

Editorial | Penn should add an extra day to Thanksgiving break

(11/25/19 5:06am)

Penn students don’t get a lot of time off. In the 2017-2018 school year, we had the fewest amount of days off out of any Ivy League school, receiving almost 27 fewer days off than Princeton University students. Penn students are yet again reminded of this reality this week, with only two days off for the Thanksgiving break, with the first day off being the holiday itself. To promote student well-being and allow students greater travel flexibility, Penn must expand this break by adding the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 

Editorial | Faculty have a responsibility to support student activism

(11/18/19 1:54am)

Members of Fossil Free Penn have voiced concerns to the University over the past several years, but administrators have failed to take action. This past week, a group of Penn faculty members has joined the movement by signing a letter in support of student climate change action, particularly insisting that the University finally divest from fossil fuels. This is a laudable act by the signatories and is a model for how tenured faculty members must use their security to influence change at Penn. 

Editorial | Listen to student voices. Make midterm evaluations mandatory.

(11/14/19 4:04am)

In many classes, end-of-semester course evaluations represent the only formalized avenue for students to give instructors feedback. While some professors and teaching assistants opt to solicit student feedback in the middle of the course, this is far from standard practice. To better support students and promote educational practices that work for everyone, Penn should mandate that professors and TAs be evaluated in the middle of the term as well.

Editorial | Renaming Penn Law exemplifies disregard for transparency and student voices

(11/11/19 3:37am)

Penn’s law school set a record by accepting the largest donation ever gifted to a law school, when it received $125 million from the W. P. Carey Foundation. In return, the formerly named University of Pennsylvania Law School will now be referred to as the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School – Carey Law for short – a decision that highlights another instance of Penn’s failure to be transparent with the student and faculty body. Penn should have consulted with students and stakeholders before taking this action, and must do so when making decisions in the future.

Editorial | Penn must implement safeguards against recruiting and admissions fraud

(10/28/19 3:10am)

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.

Editorial | Penn must recognize that a graduate student union will benefit everyone

(10/24/19 3:43am)

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.

Editorial | Academic exploration loses out under Penn's lackluster 'One University' policy

(10/21/19 2:59am)

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.

Editorial | It's not enough to be 'troubled.' Penn must step up to address sexual assault.

(10/17/19 4:05am)

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.

Editorial | Penn wants more students living on campus. Lowering rent is the way to do it.

(10/14/19 1:37am)

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.

Editorial | Let Penn students take sector courses pass/fail

(10/14/19 1:03am)

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.

Editorial | Penn's squash court fees are elitist, hurting students and the sport itself

(10/07/19 1:32am)

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.