On April 18, The Daily Pennsylvanian published an investigative report detailing the alleged mistreatment that members of the Penn volleyball team experienced under coach Iain Braddak.
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Last week, undergraduate students at Georgetown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of creating a fund to benefit descendants of 272 enslaved men, women, and children who were sold in 1838 to save the university’s finances.
The Penn Book Center recently announced that it would close its doors in May due to financial hardship. This stems from the rise in online book sales and competitors like Amazon. For nearly 60 years, the Penn Book Center has served as a literary hub on campus catering to professors, students, and the greater Philadelphia community. It also has started to bring in prominent speakers like Rebecca Traister, Imani Perry, Feminista Jones, and Helen Zia. The University must help save the Penn Book Center so that Penn does not lose a major resource for its academic and literary community.
For many Penn students, Spring Fling is an important opportunity to decompress, usually through some combination of live music, sunshine, and excessive drinking. While Fling is an important release for a student body that’s often overstressed and overworked, it’s also a reminder of the benefits of mixing in healthier forms of stress relief in between blowouts like Fling.
Miguel, this year’s Spring Fling concert headliner, was accused of forcibly grabbing the breast of University of New Mexico student Xian Bass and removing it from her shirt without her consent in 2017. While he denied the allegation, students have organized a Facebook event, titled “Stand Against Miguel at Fling,” encouraging students to walk out of the concert early or skip it entirely to “protest his predatory behavior.”
In February 2018, the University announced that it would rename Wynn Commons and rescind former Penn trustee Steve Wynn and Bill Cosby’s honorary degrees after they were both accused of sexual misconduct. On March 21, similar allegations surfaced against the philanthropist, Wharton graduate, and Penn Hillel building namesake Michael Steinhardt. Six women told ProPublica and the New York Times that Steinhardt made sexual requests to them. He also allegedly made comments to women about their bodies and fertility.
On Thursday, March 28, regular decision admits will be hearing “The Red and the Blue” as they open their acceptance letters to the University of Pennsylvania. If you’re among that select group, congratulations! Those of us at The Daily Pennsylvanian recall when we got into Penn, and the excitement and relief that followed.
Over the course of the past two weeks, details surrounding one of the biggest nationwide college admissions scandals have surfaced, and the admissions practices of elite universities have been under scrutiny. After it was revealed that the parents of college applicants fabricated athletic credentials, grades, and scores on entrance exams, many have started to ask how experts in the admissions offices of top-tier schools didn’t notice. Previously, Penn admissions has stated that they generally don’t have time to fact-check applications. But in light of Operation Varsity Blues, it is clear that Penn and other Universities need to hire fact-checkers to verify the credentials of admitted students, as well as a system to verify the decisions of coaches in athletic recruitment.
Advanced registration began on Monday, and the availability of CIS classes continues to be a hot-button topic among students.
Former Penn men’s basketball star and coach Jerome Allen pleaded guilty to bribery in October 2018 and recently testified in federal court that he received approximately $300,000 in bribes from Philip Esformes, the father of a current Wharton senior, in order to help Esformes’ son get into Penn as a recruited athlete. This testimony came just days before the national college admissions scandal, which has called into question the values and practices of elite universities.
On March 12, court documents were unsealed, charging 50 people in one of the biggest admissions schemes in history. This has stimulated conversation about the state of the college admissions process, and the value of an elite education.
Each year, tens of thousands of students apply for coveted spots as undergraduates at Penn. Less than nine percent of the applicant pool was accepted last year. It is no secret that certain groups have advantages in college admissions: legacies, students who come from wealthy families that can afford to hire college counselors or make hefty donations to Penn, and recruited athletes.
Despite previous consideration, Penn will not reclassify economics as a STEM major. In doing so, the University has missed an opportunity to make it easier for its international students to remain in the United States after graduation. While most student visas are valid up to a year after graduation, students who obtain STEM degrees can apply to extend the Optional Practice Training period for an additional two years. The University should prioritize the needs of international students by reclassifying economics as a STEM major.
For nearly a century, student activism has been a hallmark of the college experience for many — and Penn’s campus is no exception.
On-campus housing at Penn means a lot of different things to different people. At varying times the dorms are a place to call home, to eat, to party, and everything else that comes with one’s first year at Penn. With this, of course, comes a litany of complaints with which every Penn student should be familiar. For some students, who are resident advisors, the dorms are a workplace, which presents a unique set of challenges.
Former Vice President and Penn Presidential Professor of Practice Joe Biden is expected to announce his plans for the 2020 presidential election in the coming weeks. When he visited Penn this Tuesday, Biden did not directly address whether he is going to run for president. Still, with more than four decades of political experience, Biden says he is “the most qualified person in the country to be president.” But his track record is flawed, and the Democratic party needs a new face to rally behind. We urge Joe Biden not to declare his candidacy for president.
Penn routinely ranks among the lowest in the Ivy League for the number of days dedicated to breaks. Given Penn’s reputation for having an unusually hypercompetitive campus culture, we should have more time off. Penn must make Presidents Day a University holiday to give students additional time to relax or catch up on schoolwork.
Many students part ways with their meal plans after freshman year, for countless reasons: meal plans are expensive, there are limited options for those with dietary restrictions, and the operating hours often conflict with students’ schedules, to name a few.
Textbooks present a financial burden to students. Penn estimates that students will spend $1,318 on academic materials this academic year. But this dollar amount varies greatly per student, and even with financial aid, this is often a heavy cost to bear, particularly for first-generation, low-income students. The University offers a textbook library for FGLI students at the Greenfield Intercultural Center in order to cut costs. But due to a recent surge in demand, the library needs increased staffing, space, and funding. Penn needs to step up and provide more resources to the FGLI textbook library.
The spaces that appear prominently on Penn's campus speak to its values as an institution. Yet, on Locust Walk, the historic fraternity houses far overshadow other groups. La Casa Latina, Makuu, and the Pan-Asian American Community House are confined to a basement in the ARCH building.