In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University suspended dean's list awards to keep academic policies consistent with the previous year, in which Penn also adopted an extended pass/fail grading system.
The search will occur during the 2021-2022 academic year in an effort to have the new faculty join SAS in the 2022-2023 academic year, according to an announcement by School of Arts and Sciences Dean Steven Fluharty.
A primary concern shared by students was feeling a lack of community while taking virtual classes. Some students also said that grappling with feelings of inadequacy and impostor syndrome as FGLI students has been a struggle.
University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy did not respond to a request for comment about whether the University is aware of the petition and if it is considering moving the date of commencement, which coincides with Shavuot.
In an email sent an email to faculty on Monday morning, top University administrators cited the increasing availability of vaccines and Biden's recent promise to make every adult in the United States eligible for vaccination by May 1 as reason to be hopeful about a nearing end to the pandemic.
Only seniors who have participated in Penn's asymptomatic testing program this semester and who have not had housing or access to campus revoked because of a Campus Compact violation will be eligible to participate.