Reaction of a Student from Tunisia: I Understand
I am from Tunisia. I am part of a group that Trump does not want in this country.
Dear Mr. Trump,
You don’t know me and will likely never agree to meet me, despite my intense desire to sit down and speak with you.
Last Friday, President Amy Gutmann and Vice Provost Vincent Price emailed Penn faculty, students and staff to announce the creation of a new Task Force charged with combating sexual harassment and sexual violence.
In the email sent out at 5:22 p.m. on Friday night, Gutmann and Price explained that the goal of the entity is to focus “collective attention and understanding on how best to promote a respectful and healthy campus environment and to ensure that students and their parents and guardians are aware of the high-risk behaviors – many of which violate University policy and would result in sanctions for a recognized student organization – engaged in by these groups.”
While we commend university efforts, we believe that creating yet another task force, this time to target off-campus organizations, is not the sole answer.
This week Jeremiah Keenan reminded the Penn community of the question on whether people are really born gay or not (he forgot to mention other identities often roped with gayness like the L-B-T-Q-I-A of the queer alphabet). It came to us as a surprise because this issue seemed settled with the release of Lady Gaga’s iconic 2011 single — "Born This Way.” He attacks the central theme of her song, which is that “It doesn't matter if you love him or capital H-I-M ... 'Cause you were born this way, baby."
Over the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with a few organizations in West and South Philly, including Penn for Youth Debate, Urban Tree Connection, and HIAS.
Identity is a word that floats throughout life. It can be a badge of honor for some, something shiny and embossed.
A short preface: Penn, surely, is strengthened by its status as a progressive institution. It is diverse, eclectic, and empowers all to seek the resources and opportunities they deserve.
On Thursday, Sept. 22nd just after 3:00 p.m., I was flipping through my phone while waiting for the exams to be passed out in my Biology class.
As a student once active in minority politics at Penn, I often encountered discussions of micro-aggressions and privilege.
A couple of days ago, I read an opinion piece in the DP by a wonderful, thoughtful student —Titus Adkins — who used his powerful voice to posit some queries to me and to other members of the Penn community.
In November, I urge members of the Penn community to vote for Hillary Clinton as the next president.
“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” - Paul Batalden, M.D.
Let me preface the following discussion by saying that I am not in a fraternity, and do realize that they offer many benefits for their members: life-long friendship, deep alumni networks, and social structure, to name a few.
That being said, as I am sure you are all aware, there has been a vocal conversation on campus after the OZ email flyering that took place on Tuesday.
I live on Locust Walk. Three minutes to class, three minutes to Lyn’s, three minutes to Pottruck – the location alone is fantastic.
As many of you have heard by now, we had a question on our audition form that was completely inappropriate.
By the second week of freshman year, we have all learned to avoid the Compass in the center of Locust Walk.
Welcome to Penn, freshmen and transfer students. Over the next few weeks, you will have a lot of opportunities to start choosing the courses, campus spaces, and student groups that will come to define your experience here.
Insecurity, I have found, is a dangerous force that can subtly permeate various aspects of one’s life.
Voting is a simple act of civic duty, but it is also a transformative one. Each of us joins with millions of individuals across the country to enact something--the democratic choice of our representatives--that none of us can or should do alone. Voting in a constitutional democracy not only expresses our citizenship; it also enables us together to continually re-establish something much mightier than any of us could otherwise be: a democratic republic that aspires to recognize the liberty and equality of all persons.
With graduation almost here, and a farewell to four unforgettable years on Locust Walk, you might already be making plans for graduation trips, time at home and beginning your first full-time job.
In a post-9/11 world, Islamophobia is not uncommon, and many Muslims and non-Muslims can recount instances of undue fear-mongering, ranging from high school bullying to murder.
More recently, we must note that anti-Muslim sentiment has resurged in light of upcoming Presidential elections, with proclamations threatening the sense of belonging for Muslims all over this country.