Undoubtedly, Penn's donation is a step in the right direction. But it is just that: a step.
Enforcing this deadline so soon places enormous pressure on students to make a housing decision quickly.
It is certainly understandable that many upperclassmen want or need to return to campus, owing to mental health deterioration, unsafe home environments, or being locked into off-campus leases. However, nobody should feel pressured to do so.
Students should not see a Biden victory as a reason to disengage from politics. Rather, they should devote themselves to the many areas where there is still work to be done.
Over the past year, Penn's administration has made a number of hard choices that have faced substantial student backlash. However, its decision to not suspend operations on Election Day ranks among its worst.
Over eight months ago, we endorsed Bernie Sanders for president in the midst of the Democratic primary season. Now, we urge Penn community members to cast their ballot for Joe Biden in the general election.
While much attention has been paid to the presidential race, far less heralded are local issues, including four ballot questions. Here's how The Daily Pennsylvanian Editorial Board recommends handling the questions.
For the sake of its student body and those in the West Philadelphia community, Penn must do everything in its power to fight food insecurity and kick hunger off-campus.
In light of the economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn students must do their part and support local businesses when they can.
For a University that has designated this academic year as the Year of Civic Engagement, there is no better way to support civic participation than by suspending operations on Election Day.
It is necessary that those who can risk exposure and are eligible for poll work do their civic duty and help our election be safe and fair.
To protect the mental health of its student body, while also protecting the physical health of West Philadelphia, Penn should add an additional mini-break of two days to the calendar.
Professors should step in where the University will not. Faculty members should cancel classes and recitations next Thursday and Friday if they are able.
The School of Arts and Sciences must provide more information surrounding its decision to halt Ph.D. admissions and what it means for the graduate student body.
Penn’s decision to limit on-campus housing and instruction is a positive one. However, this does not excuse the lateness of the announcement, which places an undue burden on students.
Penn needs to be honest and transparent with RAGAs, and compensate them commensurate with the invaluable, dangerous work they do.
Peer institutions like Cornell, Emory, and Purdue already made attempts to answer student questions through virtual town halls, giving Penn a blueprint from which to work.
Penn needs to be clear about which criteria it will use to reassess the viability of its hybrid model leading up to and beyond the start of fall semester.
Though the economic downturn is hurting everyone in America, including private institutions like Penn, the burden should not be placed on students to recuperate the University’s money.
To improve clarity of communication, Penn should turn away from vague language and instead release a comprehensive list of all courses with 25 students or fewer and the format in which they will be taught in.