March 28, 2024

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Joe Biden to Hunter Biden // Dec. 14, 2018 12:56 p.m.

Had great talk with Guttman... Maisy still in the game for regular acceptance...

[M]ust do well in class this period... We should talk about tutors etc starting tomorrow

Hunter Biden to Maisy Biden // Dec. 15, 2018, 7:07 p.m.

You are in the regular pool of applicants and... will be reviewed with your grades this year.

I also think it would help if you had lax coach talk to their lax coach if you had any interest at all in playing sports there. ...Guttman made clear that in order for her to explain the 11th grade you had to show improvement in 12th.

Joe Biden to Hunter Biden // March 8, 2019, 6:33 a.m.

Spoke with Dean of Admission at PENN yesterday... Results posted Thursday 29th... Didn’t tell me but said I’d probably hear from President Guttman... Let me know if there’s anything I can do on anything

The ‘river of power’: Biden consulted Penn president about grandchild’s application, 2018 texts show

Correspondence from an apparent copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive suggests that Biden consulted administrators about his granddaughter’s application to Penn

President Joe Biden once told friends that the “river of power … flows from the Ivy League.”

By cultivating a relationship with Penn — including a 30-year dynasty of legacy alumni in his family — Biden has perhaps come to embody his own decades-old belief.

In the run-up to his election as president, Biden joined Penn’s faculty, launched a campus think tank led by his eventual secretary of state, and developed a close relationship with the University’s longest-serving president, Amy Gutmann — culminating in her appointment as United States ambassador to Germany.

Biden’s influence at Penn also extended into the University’s admissions processes. Text messages and emails examined by The Daily Pennsylvanian suggest that Biden repeatedly consulted Penn administrators about his granddaughter’s application to the University several years ago.

On at least two separate occasions in December 2018 and March 2019, Biden discussed the status of his granddaughter Maisy’s application to Penn with then-President Gutmann and then-Dean of Admissions Eric Furda, according to text messages and emails viewed by the DP. Three sources said that the correspondences was from a copy of a laptop hard drive belonging to Biden’s son Hunter.

Hunter is the father of Maisy, a 2023 College graduate, and Finnegan, a 2021 College graduate.

The text messages and emails provide an intimate look into one facet of Biden’s relationship with Penn and its longtime former president, Gutmann — a relationship that Republicans have cited to make unverified claims about impropriety and corruption.

The conversations between Biden, Gutmann, and Furda about Maisy’s application have been examined previously in The Washington Free Beacon and

Students allege unfair treatment of Penn Engineering clubs

Five Engineering students described a lack of club space as well as prohibitions on testing and machining laboratory use


The Wall Street Journal — but the DP examined additional, unreported evidence of private communications between administrators and Biden’s relatives, granddaughters, and a family friend.

Elite admissions experts who spoke with the DP assessed the relationship between Biden and Penn as one high-profile example of the many channels that top universities keep open with well-connected individuals, creating a pattern of “favoritism” in the application process — including at this University, with the family of the United States president.

Penn declined a request for comment, while University admissions wrote, “We do not comment on applicants.” Furda and Gutmann did not respond to requests for comment by time of publication.

A ‘great talk with Guttman’ about Maisy Biden’s application

“Had great talk with Guttman,” Biden texted

Members of two of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ largest “build clubs” described inadequate support and unfair treatment from Engineering administrators.

In a series of conversations with The Daily Pennsylvanian, five Engineering students described a lack of club space, as well as prohibitions on testing and machining laboratory use. Those obstacles are not shared by other Engineering clubs, the students said.

Dean of the Engineering School Vijay Kumar wrote in a statement to the DP that while there is a laboratory space shortage, renovations of existing Engineering School buildings as well as the construction of the Vagelos Laboratory for Energy, Science, and Technology and Amy Gutmann Hall “will create new opportunities for student spaces that will alleviate some of the challenges with project space.”

“I am sympathetic to the needs of the Penn Aerospace Club and encourage them to reach out to the [Engineering] School leadership, including the dean’s office and department chairs, as we would be happy to discuss their challenges,”

Hunter Biden on Dec. 14, 2018 – the day after early decision results were released for the Class of 2023. “Maisy still in the game for regular acceptance… But must do well in class this period… It’s real.”

The text messages appear to show that Maisy applied to Penn through the Early Decision Program in fall 2018, but her application was deferred for consideration during Regular Decision.

“Bottom line is that Guttman made clear that in order for her to explain the 11th grade you had to show improvement in 12th,” Hunter wrote in a text message to Maisy on Dec. 15.

Hunter also suggested that Maisy’s lacrosse coach at Sidwell Friends — where Maisy and Finnegan went to high school — speak to Penn’s women’s lacrosse coach. A Penn Athletics spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment by

Penn sophomore Nathaniel Gordon died March 23

At Penn, Gordon was a member of the Pre-First Year Program and was involved with the Makuu: The Black Cultural Center community



Kumar wrote.
about access to club space The Engineering School is home to three large “build clubs”: Penn Aerospace Club, Penn Aerial Robotics, and Penn Electric Racing. The College sophomore Nathaniel Gordon died on March 23 at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Vice Provost for University Life Karu Kozuma and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Sniegowski notified students of Gordon’s death in a Sunday email sent on behalf of Interim Penn President Larry Jameson and Provost John L. Jackson, Jr. “Whenever a student passes away, we feel a wide range of emotions and a deep sense of loss,” the email read. “Please rely on one another, your loved ones, and University offices for support. We grieve alongside you and will be there to support your needs during this time of great sadness.” CHENYAO LIU | SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Penn Engineering’s Moore Building is located at 200 South 33rd Street.
TALK’ See BIDEN, page 7 See ENGINEERING, page 3 See GORDON, page 3
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Penn, in Washington: The numbers behind 200 years of alumni, a liates in Congress

Penn has averaged approximately six alumni and af liates in the legislative branch every Congress since 1789

Penn has been under increasing scrutiny from Congress in recent months amid concerns about antisemitism and free expression on campus. Even after former Penn President Liz Magill’s resignation in December 2023, Penn has been under investigation by two different congressional committees, posing threats to the University’s tax-exempt status and federal funding.

In light of the increased focus placed on Penn by Capitol Hill — and a recent bill to restrict funding introduced by a Penn alumnus — The Daily Pennsylvanian analyzed the prevalence of Penn graduates and affiliates in Congress.

The DP’s analysis showed that Penn alumni or affiliates have served in every Congress since the foundation of the United States. Currently, seven Penn alumni serve in Congress — all in the United States House of Representatives — and Penn has averaged approximately six alumni and affiliates in the legislative branch since 1789.

Since the first Congress, Penn alumni and affiliates have represented 26 states, with a majority representing Pennsylvania. A total of 107 alumni and affiliates have represented the state of Pennsylvania in Congress since the United States’ founding. New Jersey trails at a distant second with 25 Penn affiliates, and Delaware has the third most at 13 affiliates.

Penn alumni have represented almost every state east of the Mississippi River — with a majority concentrated in the mid-Atlantic region — but only five Penn alumni were elected to represent other states. No Penn alumnus has ever represented populous states such as California,

clubs, which are student-run, are recognized by the Engineering School and receive the bulk of their funding from the Student Activities Council.

Penn Aerospace Club and Penn Aerial Robotics leadership described space as the biggest challenge.

Engineering junior and President of Aerial Robotics Xiangyu Chen described having to take apart their 14-foot-wingspan airplane to store it in different club members’ houses.

“I’ve had to carry [heavy aircraft components] all the way back to 40th Street,” he said, adding that Penn Aerial Robotics does not have access to a space to store its aircraft in the rain. Chen described having to wait at the Engineering School until late at night to avoid the plane getting wet.

An Engineering sophomore with knowledge of Penn Aerospace Club’s operations, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation against the club, explained that this is a new issue. Historically, Penn Aerospace Club has been able to store their materials along the wall of a robotics classroom.

According to the sophomore, the club was “kicked out” of the room last spring for renovations, with administrators saying that the the club’s access to the space had always been temporary. He added that other clubs — specifically Penn Electric Racing — have not faced the same storage issues.

“Have you ever been into their room? Oh, it’s all their stuff. They have so much stuff. And it’s spread out all over the room,” he said.

The co-leads of Penn Electric Racing’s operational and mechanical teams did not respond to requests for comment.

Penn Aerospace Club is currently storing their materials in unused senior design project lockers.

“During our build phase, it’s been kind of a struggle,” Engineering sophomore Avaniko Asokkumar, who is the Penn Aerial Robotics treasurer and a member of Penn Aerospace Club, explained. Xiangyu described a meeting that took place in spring 2023 between all three build clubs and Peter Bruno, the Engineering School’s Education Laboratory Coordinator in charge of room B11 in the Towne Building where Penn Electric Racing meets. In that meeting, Chen said that B11 was to become a shared club space.

However, changes to make usage of the space

Texas, and Michigan.

Current Penn alumni in Congress include 1986 University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School graduate Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) and 1969 Wharton graduate Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.).

Examining political affiliation, the DP found that — across all Congresses — the total number of Republican Penn alumni and affiliates exceeds the number of Democratic Penn alumni and affiliates. In the past century, 47 of the Penn alumni and affiliates in Congress have been Republicans, compared to 35 Democrats over the same time period.

Political science professor Marc Meredith said he was not surprised at Penn’s representation in Congress because the University has a strong representation in fields that lead people into politics.

“Common pathways into politics are things like being a lawyer, working in business or

more equitable have yet to materialize, according to an Engineering junior familiar with Penn Aerospace Club, who requested anonymity due to fear of retaliation against the club. She also described her frustration at being told to “start cutting back on the amount of materials that you have.”

According to Xiangyu, Penn Aerial Robotics approached Bruno this fall about using room B11, who told them that Penn Electric Racing would continue to occupy the space. Bruno did not responded to the DP’s request for comment.

Certain clubs are not given access to the Precision Machining Laboratory for unclear reasons

Students involved with Penn Jet Propulsion, a branch of Penn Aerospace Club, expressed frustration with a lack of access to the Engineering School’s Precision Machining Laboratory.

Engineering junior and Penn Jet Propulsion Lead Propulsion Engineer Henry Seiden explained that since mid-February, administrators have restricted club access to the lab.

On March 15, Seiden received an email in response to his request to use the PML. In emails obtained by the DP, Senior Instructional Laboratory Coordinator Jason Pastor wrote that “at this time we are not supporting requests from Penn Jet Propulsion club.”

Three days later, Seiden received an email from Peter Szczesniak, manager of Manufacturing and Fabrication Services at the Engineering School. “The PML & its staff [are] not permitting any manufacturing to take place in our facilities,” he wrote in the email.

Szczesniak did not respond to the DP’s request for comment.

A month earlier, an email was sent to Penn Electric Racing and Machine Lab assistants detailing instructions for PML use.

Penn Jet Propulsion faces testing difficulties ahead of Air Force competition

Penn Jet Propulsion has been unable to test their build, which students say is a major issue.

The club is currently participating in the Air Force’s Aerospace Propulsion Outreach Program. The competition requires students to externally modify an off-the-shelf, model-size jet engine to perform certain tasks.

finance, occasionally working in medicine — these are all things that Penn has a great reputation in training people,” Meredith said. Meredith also noted that Ivy League schools can provide alumni with a strong network of wealthy donors who can contribute to their campaign funding.

“A really important element of any congressional campaign is fundraising,” Meredith said. “And so because of the presence of undergraduate business [with the Wharton School] and the fact that these people [often know] some quite wealthy people, who then become donors to congressional campaigns, I could see that being a small difference [between] people who have a Penn degree compared to other peer institutions.”

College junior Louis Dong — who interned for Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) during his participation in the Penn in Washington program — said

his status as a Penn political science student “carried a certain weight” when applying for his congressional internships. However, he said the number of Penn alumni currently in Congress was “shocking.”

“[Congress] does not pay very well,” Dong said. “Obviously, we [Penn students] have this culture of striving for higher-achieving jobs.”

Meredith said that it was “impressive” that Penn has maintained consistent representation in Congress since the nation’s founding, but noted the proportion of Penn affiliates was only 1% of all members of Congress. He also cited an overrepresentation of congresspeople with graduate degrees.

“I know Congress represents the American population, but [a majority] obviously didn’t come from an Ivy League,” Dong said. “And voters will obviously gravitate more towards [Ivy League graduates].”

A proposal submitted by the University on behalf of Penn Jet Propulsion to support the club’s participation in APOP requests $18,489 to participate in the competition. The proposal references a four-month-long “testing and improving” period, and describes a “containment and testing unit for live engine tests.”

However, multiple students told the DP that Engineering School administration has been unwilling to approve a testing plan.

In response to a request for comment, Kumar pointed out that Penn is a “dense urban campus.”

“While all of us at Penn enjoy the benefits that come with our beautiful campus, we cannot support projects that require tests with jet fuel to be done on campus,” he wrote.

The Engineering junior explained that the club understood these challenges and spent the summer finding an off-campus firm with facilities to test their engine.

Penn Jet Propulsion made sure that the firm selected for testing would cover the club under its insurance, and put together a “really thorough testing plan of how we’re going to run the engine, how we’re going to start it up, shut it down, the kinds of tests that we want to do,” according to the student.

Seiden said that the Piasecki Aircraft Corporation agreed to run the test at their facility near the Philadelphia airport. An agreement was drawn up allowing Penn Jet Propulsion to test for a nominal fee, which was then submitted to Engineering administrators.

According to the Engineering sophomore, Penn Jet Propulsion asked for permission long in advance, understanding that Risk Management, Penn administrators, and Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Departments were involved in the approval process.

He said that when administrators responded, they were told the proposal was not safe enough.

“How are we going to get any safer?” he asked.

The DP obtained the APOP Statement of Work from both of the last two years, which outline rules and instructions for participating teams. It is explicitly mandated, in those documents, that participating teams test the engine prior to arrival at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where the competition is held. Teams who cannot demonstrate a successful test of their design in accordance with a test profile prior to the competition risk “long-term delays, design rejection, and/or cancellation of the contract,” according to this year’s statement of work.

The Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Department did not respond to the DP’s requests for comment.

Administrators’ unwillingness to work with Penn Jet Propulsion might have something to do with the club’s previous leadership, according to Seiden. He said that in the past, “they were more of the mindset of doing things first and asking for forgiveness later.”

All five students who spoke with the DP emphasized the importance of build clubs — both to their Penn experience and professional futures.

Xiangyu said experience in build clubs is important for securing internships, adding that build projects are frequently asked about in interviews.

The Engineering junior emphasized that proper support is essential to keeping members passionate, adding that “people get really excited about PER; and [students] want to do the same thing with PAC and PJP.”

“We want to get to the same level as them, but we’re just not being supported in the same way,” she said. The fear is that if unable to build and test their engines, “The passion for the club might fizzle out,” an Engineering student said.

Gordon was a native of Covington, Ga. and moved to Philadelphia when he was 13 years old, according to the email. He graduated from high school through the Gateway to College Program of the Community College of Philadelphia, which provides academic support to students and helps them earn college credit while in high school. The program is a partnership with the city school district.

According to an article from The Philadelphia Inquirer from 2022, Gordon was the first participant in a Philadelphia School District alternative program to attend an Ivy League university in recent memory. At the time, the Inquirer reported that Gordon would major in economics and urban studies at Penn and wanted to find a way to improve lives.

At Penn, Gordon was a member of the Pre-First Year Program and was involved with the Makuu: The Black Cultural Center community.

Beginning in high school, Gordon was an active member of the Philadelphia community. He interned for State Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), where he volunteered to help people register to vote and provide constituent services. He spearheaded a project on youth civic engagement and volunteered with the CCP’s Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership.

“I’m interested in learning how different systems work, how cities are built, and how this impacts people of color,” Gordon told a news writer for CCP in 2022. The University held an in-person support session Sunday in Houston Hall’s Ben Franklin Room and is working to support Gordon’s friends and family. Staff from the Let’s Talk program at Student Health and Counseling are also available to hold confidential, free drop-in conversations during the week.


The Division of Public Safety’s HELP Line: 215898-HELP (active 24/7)

Student Health and Counseling (if you have a personal or academic concern and want to talk to someone at Penn): 215-898-7021 (active 24/7)

University Chaplain’s Office:

215-898-8456 College of Arts and Sciences Advising Offices: 215898-6341 School of Engineering and Applied Science Advising Offices: 215-898-7246 School of Nursing Advising Offices: 215-898-6687 Wharton Undergraduate Division Advising Offices: 215-898-7608 Student Health and Counseling (if you don’t feel well): 215-746-WELL Student Intervention Services: 215-898-6081
The United States Capitol on Feb. 29.
THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA College sophomore Nathaniel Gordon died on March 23 at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. IPEK OBEK | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
lack of support from Engineering
club activities.
Penn Engineering students expressed concerns about
administrators regarding

From us to you: Our Penn review for the Class of 2028

The Daily Pennsylvanian Editorial Board provides the Class of 2028 with a holistic view and rating of the Penn experience

Dear Class of 2028, Congratulations, and welcome to Penn! Today, March 28, is Ivy Day, possibly one of the most important days of your life (so far). With the release of admissions decisions from all eight Ivy League institutions, you are one step closer to embarking on your college journey and sculpting the path to a future of success.

As prospective students, it is important to evaluate key elements that define the Penn undergraduate experience. Using a scale from one to five, one denoting “poor” and five representing “excellent,” we’ve rated each category to offer a nuanced perspective of our Penn experience to help guide you in making your decision.

Academics: 5/5 Penn is renowned for its rigorous curriculum and distinguished faculty that collectively foster an environment of academic excellence. Penn encourages interdisciplinary studies, offering various opportunities for students to pursue coordinated or accelerated dual degrees, specialized programs, University minors, individualized majors, and even scholar programs where you can take intellectually stimulating classes. These opportunities are a great way of exploring courses across the University’s four undergraduate schools. While this interdisciplinary approach is at times quite challenging to pursue, it does allow you to tailor your academic journey to your interests and career goals.

From Nobel Prize winners to globally known researchers, Penn professors are well known for their contributions to significant advancements in

often struggle to get right is academic writing, and Penn is no exception. So, why, even at a university like Penn, are students still struggling with this fundamental skill? Surprisingly, the issue in the United States does not seem to begin at the college level, but during the all-important school years. “Three-quarters of both 12th and 8th graders lack proficiency in writing,” a 2017 analysis by Dana Goldstein of The New York Times found. The reason this is such a shock is because writing was meant to be a central component of the Common Core State Standards — a model that outlined K–12 student expectations. The standards have been adopted in a majority of states for over a decade but have clearly missed the mark on their intended goal. The national deficiency only seems to be worsening, especially in the post-COVID-19 era. Common Core’s perceived failure is attributed to the fact that it simply lists the expectations of students without providing educators with the means for students to reach them. It also assumes that students of a particular grade level have a uniform command of English and that instructors are prepared to teach writing, neither of which appear to be the case. Consequently, students graduate from high school without being able to write in a way that is neither original nor skilled, a long-standing concern of employers.

While university-mandated writing coursework has slightly improved student outcomes, it has not made a notable dent in the broader issue. And, at an institution like Penn, the matter becomes all the more problematic. From students’ dissatisfaction with the writing requirement to the seemingly never-ending barrage of deadlines to meet, the act of writing becomes a tedious task to deal with in an already

technology and society. This high level of expertise ensures that you receive an education that is closely linked to real-world applications.

If you’ve never done research prior to college, Penn is the perfect place to start. Through initiatives like the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, students have the opportunity to pursue independent projects and work closely with faculty who have spent their entire careers dedicated to research.

Although Penn provides a wide range of opportunities for involvement, they may not always be readily available. In order to succeed in a competitive environment, you must be proactive to seize these opportunities. This serves as a reminder that the opportunities for a fulfilling academic and research journey at Penn are abundant, but they rely heavily on student’s actively seeking these opportunities.

Campus Environment - 4/5

From international students to lifelong Philadelphia residents, Penn is extremely diverse. While it can take anywhere from a semester to a year or more to establish yourself on campus and find friends, patience is key. There are roughly 1,200 student clubs on campus, which range in focus from finance to film creation. While some clubs require applications and tend to be competitive, many welcome all members and are excellent places to meet your future community. The array of options may be overwhelming, but resources are available to help guide you through the student experience, which includes joining, and if need be, dropping various extracurriculars to find your niche. With nearly 20% of the student body involved,

intense pre-professional environment. The deadlines pile up and force students into a race against time, where the intimidation of the blank page turns into fear as midnight fast approaches. The pressure incentivizes students to submit a “passable draft,” and increasingly through questionable means.

The pattern that links these failed attempts is, though educators try to help students become good writers, we do not know or have even questioned what “good” writing is. Ask yourself, “What is good writing?” Then, ask your friend the same. Did you two arrive at the same answer? Significantly different? I wouldn’t know; Siri gave me the cold shoulder.

The disparity is even present among Penn faculty. When asked, Director of the Critical Writing Program at Penn Matthew Osborn replied in an email, “There is a sense in which ‘good writing’ cannot be universalized, for effective prose is adapted to its occasion and audience.” When asked the same, professor Jean-Christophe Cloutier, the undergraduate chair of the English department, referenced a quote by Jack Kerouac, implying that excellent writing expresses “the unspeakable visions of the individual.”

To be able to know and do something, you need to be able to define it. The same principle applies to writing. Using the two assertions of faculty, we can come up with our own definition of “good” writing. A piece of writing may be deemed ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ if it strategically and proficiently employs the writer’s voice for a given argument and audience. With this definition, the quality of a given piece still cannot be absolutely judged. But it marks a starting point for a skill — dare I say a craft — that has been plagued with a lack of standardization by the education system. That is what I am advocating: standardization and clear plans of implementation.

The fact that students have accepted the assumption that graded papers need not have a clear rubric is disheartening. Even when a rubric is provided, many instructors

Greek life is ripe with friendship opportunities. Penn also provides ample resources in its cultural centers: the LGBTQ Center, the Penn Women’s Center, and Greenfield Intercultural Center, among others.

Competitiveness - 2/5

With an admission rate of 5.8%, Penn selects a pool of extremely competitive and qualified students who are high achievers and committed to maintaining the same level of achievement in their new setting.

Penn is widely recognized for its preprofessional culture, which fosters competitiveness within the campus environment. However, this competitiveness has the potential to dampen the passion one might have for a certain field. Many students enter Penn with no previous interest in the world of business, yet with Penn’s culture of elitism and pressures from your peer’s successes, more than 50% of graduates make the trek to Wall Street.

Whether you’re slogging through club applications that feel like college admissions all over again, or struggling to get a spot in a class with only 70 seats, the intense pressure at Penn is impossible to ignore. The so-called “Penn Face” phenomena is one way this pressure shows itself; it’s best described as the facade your peers may put on to appear calm and peaceful while they’re going through a lot.

Penn’s environment offers an opportunity to expand your limits and surpass your own expectations. Through navigating these highs and lows, the true essence of Penn is revealed — a multifaceted blend of ambition, knowledge, and connections that serves as preparation for the real world.


use the general quality of writing to justify point deductions in courses beyond the writing seminar. Not only does this provide evaluators with excessive autonomy when grading, but it disproportionately impacts international students. I say this as someone who learned Arabic as a second language in Saudi Arabia, where my writing proficiency (actually, deficiency) followed me in nearly every academic subject. The writing issue, if left unchecked, will continue to worsen and further exacerbate America’s severe literacy crisis. The role, however, that we can play as students is to improve our own writing and help others do the same (underwhelming, I know, but bear with me).

While some are convinced it starts with students and others with educators, I believe it starts with writing by hand. Students who usually take notes on a laptop tend to perform worse on conceptual questions in a course than those taking handwritten notes, a 2021 study found.

I won’t speak much about practicing, as I know not many have the time or inclination to write papers for the sake of it (hats off to all you language majors out there).

Instead, try to take advantage of the written papers you’re already doing for courses. Rather than checking the grade and quickly skimming the feedback, hone in on it. Dissect what went well and what didn’t. Is there a comment by the grader you don’t agree with? Send an email or meet with them during office hours and ask what went wrong. Consider these assignments as opportunities to improve on your writing while you still have the chance. In doing so, you improve your overall proficiency and thus help reverse the generational decline in writing.

ZAID ALSUBAIEI is a College first year studying economics from Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. His email address is

4 THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2024 | THEDP.COM THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN OPINION Opinion The Land on which the office of The Daily Pennsylvanian stands is a part of the homeland and territory of the LenniLenape people, known to the original Indigenous people as “Lenapehoking.” We affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold The Daily Pennsylvanian and the University of Pennsylvania more accountable to the needs of Native American and Indigenous people. LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ANISH GARIMIDI Deputy Design Editor INSIA HAQUE Deputy Design Editor JANINE NAVALTA Deputy Design Editor EMMI WU Deputy Design Editor GARV MEHDIRATTA Crossword Editor CHENYAO LIU News Photo Editor SYDNEY CURRAN Opinion Photo Editor WEINING DING Sports Photo Editor CATHY LI Deputy Opinion Editor ETHAN YOUNG Photo Associate MOLLY COHEN President ANNA VAZHAEPARAMBIL Executive Editor JARED MITOVICH DP Editor-in-Chief SOPHIA LIU Design Editor WEI-AN JIN Design Editor KATIE BARTLETT News Editor BEN BINDAY News Editor ELLA SOHN Assignments Editor CHARLOTTE BOTT Copy Editor LAURA SHIN Copy Editor ABHIRAM JUVVADI Photo Editor YOMI ABDI Opinion Editor JADA EIBLE HARGRO Social Media Editor WALKER CARNATHAN Sports Editor VIVIAN YAO Sports Editor DEREK WONG Video Editor LIV YUN Podcast Editor SARAH MARCUS Diversity, Inclusion & Standards Director ZAIN QURESHI Business Manager EDWARD LIU Analytics Director IRENE PARK Strategy & Promotions Manager DHRUV GUPTA Innovation Lab Manager SANGEETA QUDDUS Finance & Accounting Manager 140th Year of Publication Have your own opinion? Send your letter to the editor or guest column to Editorials represent the majority view of members of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. Editorial Board, which meets regularly to discuss issues relevant to Penn’s campus. Participants in these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on related topics. LETTER SUBMISSION THIS ISSUE’S TEAM THIS YEAR’S BOARD The education system has failed students in writing THE DISCONNECT | Writing is hard to teach, and the current education system doesn’t make it any easier The college experience teaches you many skills, from how to take notes to pulling off all nighters to surviving on a diet of takeout and microwave noodles. One set of skills, though, that our educational institutions
SYDNEY CURRAN | SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Columnist Zaid Alsubaiei reflects on the national writing crisis, its causes, and what Penn students can do about it. DESIGN BY JANINE NAVALTA

Let’s talk about writing seminars

JACK OUTSIDE THE BOX | The requirement nobody cares about: we all took one, right?

Before students establish their majors and concentrations, each undergraduate begins their degree by fulfilling general education requirements. While the College has its sectors and Wharton has its fundamentals, there is one requirement universal to all four of Penn’s undergraduate schools: the critical writing seminar.

Writing seminars are an integral part of Penn’s first-year experience. While many students on our campus joke that the only point of writing seminar was to experience an awkward ‘situationship,’ these classes are poised to set one up for professional and academic success. They have a duty to prepare students for their time in school and beyond. However, for many members of our campus, the writing seminar is falling short of that goal.

The standardization of all writing seminars solidifies them as a curricular oddity at Penn. With next semester’s topics ranging from biotechnology to reality TV, writing seminars present a broad spectrum of concepts. Yet, all students complete the same Canvas modules and submit the same assignments. The curriculum itself is strong, as it centers two principal writing genres: white paper and op-ed. Each of these styles have immense pre-professional applications. White papers are used broadly in business, marketing, policy, law, and more. As well, op-eds mark a crucial element of journalistic writing that teaches students how to communicate in a conversational style.

That curriculum also includes many valuable lessons, containing everything from detailed instructions for citation methods to a discussion on the significance of languaging. However, students rarely gain remarkable insight or skill development from these exercises. The course is too broad and the assignments don’t delve deep enough into each topic, leading to great topical potential, but meaningless depth. Students aren’t left with much to work with. In fact, many parts of the class are only explored in online modules, never through in-class instruction.

Worse, with the exception of summative submissions like the midterm and final portfolios, almost none of the course’s assignments are evaluated on quality. When nearly every assignment is graded on a scale of completion, not effort, there is no motivation for students to engage with material. These lessons over more niche topics are meaningless when students don’t care to give them the time and attention they deserve. If students are left with little incentive to produce a high quality product, why should we expect writing seminars to be anything but a waste of time?

That’s just the beginning, though. In many ways, Penn has institutionalized a lack of care for the very classes they require us to take. Another example of this neglect rests in the hiring practices for writing seminar professors. Each of them is required to have terminal qualifications in the subject of their class’s research text, not in the discipline of writing. As well, these professors are offered short, one-year contracts and are not eligible for tenure consideration. In practice, Penn allots professors to the critical writing program when they are not being considered to teach in their departments of expertise. As is, the system does not seem to acknowledge the value that writing classes could bring to an educational experience. Yet, Penn has recognized the usefulness of writing skills through its institutionwide mandate of them.

I love to write, but many parts of this course left me unfulfilled. Reflecting on the experience as a whole, the course introduced me to new forms of writing, but I am unsure if it truly enhanced what I am capable of. Thinking back to other composition-related classes that I’ve taken, my Penn writing seminar is not the one that I feel was most formative. In fact, our Critical Writing Program might be outpaced by one of America’s most popular high school courses.

So, how do we fix our writing requirement? While not everything at Penn needs to be excessively

rigorous, a system that actively rewards a lack of effort among students and professors will never be effective. Therefore, I would contend that even the smallest of writing seminar assignments must be graded for quality, not just completion. As well, I would like to see Penn’s Critical Writing Program put forth a stronger effort to hire faculty for their writing acumen, rather than assigning seminar classes.

As the only requirement applicable to all of our university’s undergraduate schools, it’s clear that Penn has identified writing as an essential skill for its students. With an education system already struggling to effectively teach writing, colleges have a responsibility to ensure their students can

confidently produce written content for any professional situation. As it stands, Penn is falling short of that benchmark.

I call on our university to reform the instructional methods of writing seminars. The courses we take should be more than formalities of getting a degree. Writing seminars should be the engaging, memorable, and formative educational experience that they are advertised to be.

JACK LACKIS is a College first year studying Political Science from Kennesaw, Ga. His email is

Is Penn taking racism as seriously as it does other forms of bigotry?

GUEST COLUMN | Hate speech is not free speech: Black and brown students are watching the University’s response to Amy Wax

As a graduating Penn student, I find the institution’s handling of Amy Wax’s abhorrent behavior to be troubling, and a larger symptom of systemic dereliction of duty.

The reality is that Wax has shown, time and time again, a disdain for Black and brown students in a way that puts the institution’s credibility in danger. No Black or brown student aspiring to become a legal professional should have to deal with an institution that harbors individuals who hide their hate speech as free speech. At the risk of feeding into the stereotypes of minority exceptionalism, multiple United States Supreme Court justices and judges at every level of government are and have been Black and brown, showing that the color of one’s skin has little to do with academic ability.

The legal field suffers a huge loss from having a lack of Black and brown lawyers to serve people, especially because at some point, all individuals will need legal assistance that is culturally relevant and in their language. According to a 2022 publication by the American Bar Association, 81% of active lawyers in the 26 states recorded are white, a decrease from 88% in 2012. 5% are Black, the same as in 2012. 5% are Asian, an increase from 2%. 6% are Hispanic, an increase from 3%. These numbers are dismal at best, illustrating that the legal field is lacking a critical portion of the general population.

The practice is based on mastery of the law as a foundation; however, delivering for your client regardless of their background is essential, and adds a much-needed human element to the attorney-client relationship. Often, Black and brown individuals are left with limited options for legal assistance, and institutions who protect hate speech will never remedy this problem. Wax’s behavior is

antithetical to that of a scholar: Using outdated and racist generalizations to characterize people she is tasked with teaching could never lead to a productive learning environment. The world has changed, laws have changed, and if Penn wishes to educate the leaders of tomorrow, Wax can no longer cast her racist shadow on such an illustrious institution.

One person can have an irrefutably negative impact on the University’s reputation because the institution doesn’t have the courage to part ways with them. Penn has chosen a protracted process

where students and potential applicants can be left with a tarnished view of the University that we fought so hard to be accepted into.

In contrast, students and the entire American public witnessed the swift disciplinary actions towards former Penn President Liz Magill for her handling of alleged antisemitism on campus.

While Magill’s response to student and donor grievances regarding protests left concerned parties wanting more accountability, and her congressional performance left her vulnerable to

First years…what do we do this summer?

ASHTI’S AFFIRMATIONS | Most summer internships aren’t targeted towards rising sophomores

Spring is in the air and so is the all-too-familiar grumble about summer internship plans. From Sidechat grievances about rejections to the “I am excited to announce …” LinkedIn posts, lining up a professional opportunity for the summer seems to be an expectation for every Penn student. As a first year, I was warned about the rampant pre-professional culture at Penn and the overall competitiveness surrounding clubs, but it wasn’t until I started hearing the internship talk that I realized all of my peers knew what they were doing this summer, while I was left grasping at straws.

I felt even more behind on the job race that apparently started the second we stepped foot on campus, leaving me with only one prospective summer plan of going home — not to say this isn’t a wonderful chance to spend time with family — but leisure feels guilty when everyone else is already 10 steps ahead.

Our career-centric environment shapes students into a mechanical rhythm that gears us up for recruiting in the coming years but de-emphasizes the importance of exploration of our unique interests. Especially in the first two years when there is a lessened pressure to make long-term

career decisions, academic exploration should be at the forefront. However, this University guides its students away from pursuing an education that does not guarantee an immediate return, leaving many first years frustrated at this tradeoff between professionalism and passion.

Instead of feeling discouraged or behind, it’s important to remember that we still have time to explore our interests without the pressure to allocate to solely transactional opportunities. Recruiting cycles for this summer started up in the year prior, meaning that these internships are not even targeted towards underclassmen.

Moreover, highly sought after investment banking firms like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan announced in 2018 that they would no longer extend summer internship offers to college sophomores, and even outside of these two companies, summer internships generally accept first years and sophomores who have little experience to offer.

This isn’t to say those internships are unattainable. In fact, 50% of the Class of 2022 graduates going into full-time employment reported entering finance or consulting, likely stemming from summer internships in their junior year. But the question remains: What can first years do this summer in the meantime?

Most of our resumes still have lingering experiences from high school, and our professional exposures primarily consist of workshops or presentations through clubs, yet these sought after internships are looking for more. This endless cycle has a way out, I promise.

Instead of vying for a consulting or finance internship, rising sophomores should take advantage of this summer to obtain meaningful but

attack, the University moved quickly at the behest of those wealthy donors who capitalized on a political moment to pressure Magill into action and subsequent resignation.

Black and brown students do not have the institutional power of donor networks nor other means to elevate the case for the dismissal of Wax. Many of them are navigating Penn and universities like it for the first time. They have limited legacy experience and likely spend their time working to maintain the academic rigor and financial burden that comes with obtaining an Ivy League education.

I felt compelled to write this because often, the world of journalism is dominated by people who do not see this case of obvious, tepid discipline against an abhorrently racist faculty member as important to report. I understand that The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Daily Pennsylvanian have covered this at length, but the question still remains: Why is Wax still a Penn employee? Wax must be dismissed from her position as professor for Penn. I call on the student body to speak clearly and let our administration know that hate speech is not free speech, and that Black and brown students bring a value to the Penn community that rips apart the notions of racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia. We are Penn, we wear the red and blue with pride, and no one person on staff can question our academic rigor and spirit.

RAFAEL ÁLVAREZ FEBO is a LPS student studying literature, culture and traditions from Canóvanas, Puerto Rico. His email is rafaelaf@

still professionally valuable opportunities that are tailored to their unique interests.

Programs like the Global Research & Internship Program or the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program offer the possibility for first years to explore specialized fields while being exposed to real professionalism, whether it is through a global internship or a research environment. From studying wine, heritage, and hospitality in Porto, Portugal with GRIP to spending 10 weeks researching diabetes and oral health with PURM, there is a variety of niche experiences where underclassmen can explore their passions.

The career exposure must start somewhere, so instead of getting discouraged thinking we must have already started preparing for the internships that will inevitably be stepping stones to our futures, we should capitalize on the chances we have to learn in these unique settings while there is less pressure. Then, we can use these meaningful connections to build those skills towards the competitive internships when they are finally targeted toward us.

The pressures of the internship search will inevitably come, but in the meantime, we shouldn’t have to trade passion for professionalism, but rather explore the intersection between the two.

ASHTI TIWARI is a College first year studying philosophy, politics, and economics from Corning, N.Y. Her email address is ashti@sas.

DESIGN BY ASHA CHAWLA Columnist Ashti Tiwari reflects upon the internship search for rising sophomores. SYDNEY CURRAN | SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Columnist Jack Lakis calls on Penn to improve the curriculum of the Critical Writing Program. JESSE ZHANG | SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Guest Columnist Rafael Álvarez Febo criticizes Penn’s response to Amy Wax’s treatment of Black and brown students.


Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention at Penn hosted its annual Take Back the Night event in support of survivors of sexual harassment, violence, and abuse on March 21.

Hundreds of students and faculty gathered in the Bodek Lounge of Houston Hall at 5 p.m. in the newest rendition of a tradition that began 30 years ago in 1994. The evening began with a rally featuring remarks from students and administrators and continued with a march across campus, a candlelight vigil, and stories from survivors of sexual abuse.

Take Back the Night is an international campaign dedicated to ending sexual and interpersonal violence. The movement began in response to violence against women in major metropolitan areas, including Philadelphia.

hosted by Penn Violence Prevention, Penn Women’s Center, and other event co-sponsors.

The rally began with a speech by College sophomore and ASAP President Helena Saven recognizing the need for change, citing that over one third of undergraduate women at Penn experience sexual abuse or assault during their time on campus.

“Shatter the silence, stop the violence,” she repeated during the speech.

Interim Penn President Larry Jameson then spoke about the importance of educating people of their rights. He said the highest priority of the event was spreading awareness to prevent incidents of sexual abuse before they happen.

which include fair compensation — with room, a meal plan, and a stipend that does not impact their financial aid — and “good faith bargaining” to complete negotiations by May 14.

A University spokesperson confirmed that Penn has received the charge.

“Penn has been bargaining in good faith and will continue to do so in negotiations with the union,” the spokesperson wrote.

In September of last year, Penn residential advisors and graduate residential advisors overwhelmingly voted to form a union. On Oct. 6, the NLRB certified the election and the RA union was able to begin negotiations with the University.

Negotiations between the RA union and Penn started well, according to Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153 business manager John Edmonds. Recalling the first meeting in December 2023, Edmonds explained that the union “agreed to six articles, which, in context, is huge, like you’d never get that done in that timeframe.”

Much of the stalling, according Edmonds and graduate RA in Gregory College House Meg Gladieux, is related to negotiations over compensation and room and board. The current tentative agreements reached concern definitions and RA duties.

Since then, RAs have noticed a change in negotiating tactics by the university.

“We would see them come into meetings sometimes an hour and hour and a half late,” College senior and RA

Conor Emery said.

At the last meeting on March 14, two more tentative agreements were made, additional negotiation dates were added, and the frequency of negotiations was moved up from every two weeks to every week.

“As of now, we have eight tentative agreements out of about 25 proposals, but it hasn’t been very productive. And that’s been frustrating,” Gladieux said.

Emery recalled an interaction from the meeting with the lawyers representing the University, where he felt insulted by their approach.

“They basically told the RAs present when rewriting a proposal, with different language, to not try and make it sound like a contract … it was insulting our ability to write the contracts,” he said.

Edmonds now believes that the University is “negotiating in bad faith.”

“We can’t have a contract without agreement on the terms of compensation,” Gladieux said.

While the union hopes to finish negotiating by May 14, OPEIU Local 153 organizer Scott Williams previously told The Daily Pennsylvanian that negotiating over summer months is typically more difficult.

The petition, which will be sent to Interim Penn President Larry Jameson and Provost John L. Jackson, Jr., reiterates their demands of “fair compensation” and to finish negotiations by the end of the semester.

In September, RAs overwhelmingly voted to unionize in a 142-22 vote. The vote was a result of a months-long process that began in March of 2023, when a supermajority of RAs and GRAs filed to unionize.

Other institutions like Tufts University, Barnard College, and Fordham University are also engaged in similar negotiations with RAs, and Edmonds — who is involved in negotiations at the schools — says that the challenges at the other schools are similar.

This year was the first time Penn’s Take Back the Night event included a resource fair. The change was implemented after a recent University survey found that 78% of Penn students do not know how to find help in the event of experiencing sexual abuse. The fair aimed to spread awareness of the support lines available to students on campus and featured tables

Hundreds of students and faculty marched down Locust Walk on March 21 for Take Back The Night, an annual event against all forms of sexual violence.

The rally also featured a speech by Jessica Mertz, the inaugural director of PVP and current executive director of the Clery Center — a national organization that advocates for campus safety regulations. Mertz, who received a certificate in nonprofit administration from Penn in 2014, reflected on her decade spent at Penn and the enduring impact that events such as Take Back the Night have on campus.

“You may only be here for a few years, but your legacy is not,” Mertz said. “The work that you do here, the way you raise your voices for each other and for this community, you will bring that beyond these walls.”

Event coordinator and College sophomore Saara Ghani then encouraged the audience to find solace in their peers.

“Tonight, let’s feel,” she said. “Let’s take comfort in the number of people that are here. Let’s let ourselves be not alone.”

After the remarks, Ghani and Saven led hundreds of students on a march on Locust Walk headed by Penn Band. Participants walked with signs and repeated chants condemning interpersonal violence, emphasizing the simplicity of consent and showing support for victims.

College sophomore Anna Bellows, a University Council member speaking on behalf of ASAP, explained the gravity of the importance of coordination between administration and students when it comes to confronting issues of sexual violence.

“Rape culture is everyone’s issue,” Bellows said, adding that Take Back the Night is a space where survivors, allies, and people who simply want to learn more can come together in support of one another.

“This purpose is one that will be unwavering until we achieve our goal, which is to end sexual violence on college campuses,” Saven said. “We’re going to have Take Back the Night this year and every year until that happens.”

6 NEWS THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2024 | THEDP.COM THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN STUDYING LATE? WE’RE OPEN LATE! Domino sTM 215-662-1400 4438 Chestnut St. 215-557-0940 401 N. 21st St. WE MAKE ORDERING EASY! CALL DIRECT OR CHOOSE YOUR ONLINE OR MOBILE DEVICE RECEIVE a FREE! 8 Pcs of Bread Twist (3 options) Use Coupon Code [8149] | Minimum $15 Purchase - Delivery Only WHEN YOU ORDER ONLINE SUN-THURS: 10AM - 2AM • FRI & SAT 10AM - 3AM RA union files complaint against Penn, citing ‘bad faith’ negotiations A petition with almost 400 signatures describes “endless delay tactics and disrespect” during the negotiation process ALEX SLEN Staff Reporter Penn community gathers to ‘Take Back the Night’ with rally against sexual violence
a march across campus, a candlelight vigil, and stories from survivors of sexual abuse JAMIE KIM AND STELLA LEE Staff Reporter and Contributing Reporter The Penn RA union filed a surface bargaining complaint against the University with the National Labor Relations Board on March 11, citing persistent delays and disrespect from Penn’s negotiating team. A petition with almost 400 signatures describes “endless delay tactics and disrespect” during the negotiation process. It calls on Penn to respond to RA demands,
began with a rally and continued with
ABHIRAM JUVVADI | PHOTO EDITOR United RAs at Penn attended a bargaining session on March 14. JEAN PARK | SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER

the time of publication.

In response to requests for comment sent to two employees of Sidwell Friends, the school’s chief communications officer wrote to the DP that “it would be entirely inappropriate, against school policy, and quite possibly a FERPA violation for anyone at the school to share confidential or private information about a student or former student.”

In March 2019, Biden again consulted a top Penn administrator about Maisy’s application. According to the text messages, Biden spoke with Furda on March 7, who appears to have told him that Regular Decision results for the Class of 2023 would be posted on March 29.

“Spoke with Dean of Admission at PENN yesterday,” Biden texted Hunter. “Results posted Thursday 29th… Didn’t tell me but said I’d probably hear from President Guttman… May. Be wrong…But I took that as encouragement.”

Biden then pledged that he would call Hunter “immediately” if he heard from Gutmann before 1 p.m. on March 29. Biden’s talk with Furda came just a week before Furda announced the University would consider revising its recruitment policies amid a nationwide bribery scandal involving admissions procedures at elite institutions.

“Let me know if there’s anything I can do on anything,” Biden wrote to Hunter.

Finnegan Biden’s personal tour of Penn

The DP also viewed email correspondence which allegedly belong to the same laptop hard drive. The emails appear to show that Finnegan Biden received a personal tour of Penn from Furda in fall 2016, months before she applied and was admitted to the Class of 2021.

“Thank you so much for all of your help in answering my questions and showing me around campus!” Finnegan wrote to Furda on Sept. 28, 2016.

Penn was aware of Finnegan — also lacrosse player — as early as her sophomore year of high school, according to one email exchange. The exchange suggests that Finnegan’s mother Kathleen Buhle and Penn Alumni Executive Director Paula Clark met on on Feb. 5, 2015. In one email, Clark told Buhle that Finnegan should attend Penn’s summer lacrosse camp.

“Bottom line: Finnegan is now on the radar here” for lacrosse, Clark wrote to Finnegan on Feb. 12, 2015, adding that Penn’s coach could not speak with Finnegan until her junior year. Clark added, however, that a high school or club coach could contact a potential college coach and let them know if Finnegan was playing somewhere that they could visit.

Two months later — on April 7, 2015, Biden family assistant Katie Dodge wrote in an email that she had spoken with Penn’s lacrosse coach. In 2017, Finnegan enrolled at the University; based on public rosters, it does not appear that Finnegan or Maisy ever played lacrosse at Penn.

Furda left Penn in 2021 and now works at William Penn Charter School. In July of that year, Biden appointed Gutmann as United States ambassador to Germany, a position she has held since February 2022.

A ‘normal’ pathway for high-profile parents, grandparents, and their circles

Outlets like the Free Beacon have cited Biden’s apparent interactions with Gutmann and Furda to allege hypocrisy by a president who has indicated support for reconsidering preferential admissions policies, particularly after the overturn of affirmative action.

To admissions experts, however, the Biden family’s apparent inside understanding of Penn’s application process represents a high-profile example of an ordinary — if not common — pathway that exists between well-connected individuals and elite universities. These experts described a pattern of universities seeking to build influence by courting high-profile parents and grandparents who sought to give their children and grandchildren the best shot possible at acceptance.

“I’m less inclined to blame a parent or a grandparent trying to get their kid into a school than I am to blame the school for allowing nepotism, favoritism, [and] ALDC preferences to exist in the first place,” admissions expert and legacy admissions opponent Evan Mandery said. “It just reflects terribly on Penn I think.”

Mandery described the “real scandal” as “the pathways that exist” in university admissions for well-connected individuals.

“This is all normal behavior,” admissions expert and former Stanford admissions officer Jon Reider said. “And it’s true at every private school. Every school I’ve ever dealt with has this kind of thing.”

Still, Dan Golden, the author of “The Price of Admission,” called the personal conversations between Biden, Gutmann, and Furda “striking” — citing the University not having to take those meetings.

“I question whether Amy Gutmann or Eric Furda should meet with families of applicants during the process, unless they’re making the same opportunity available to the family of every applicant,” Golden said.

Joe Biden’s perceived influence — either as the former vice president or as a confidant of the University — was also apparent to at least one friend of the Biden family. 1991 College graduate Eric Garrard, who was Beau Biden’s sophomore year roommate, emailed Hunter Biden on May 3, 2017 — appearing to ask if “your dad” could contact the University about his son’s application.

“My son is waitlisted as a transfer to engineering school at Penn,” Garrard wrote in an email viewed by the DP. “I have already hesitated to reach out, Do you think your dad might reach out... Any hep would be appreciated.”

Hunter replied: “I will ask hi buddy.”

In an interview with the DP, Garrard said that the May 3, 2017, email sounded familiar to him. He said that he may have asked for a recommendation for his son but did not recall such a recommendation ever happening — noting that his son was

ultimately not accepted to Penn.

“If a call did occur, it didn’t help,” Garrard added. “There was no assistance.”

Garrard also said that he occasionally stayed in contact with Hunter to express support for him and his family. He said he viewed the situation as an instance of him trying to do whatever he could to ensure his son’s acceptance — and did not actually think Biden had the ability to call Penn Admissions or the University president, even though he had just joined Penn’s faculty.

“My intent at that time was to simply kind of throw a kicker into his file,” Garrard said. “[Biden] certainly didn’t have that kind of pull at Penn at that point.”

Penn’s entanglement with Biden’s political fortunes

Biden’s involvement in Penn’s admissions process is just one way in which the University has become entangled in his political fortunes. Over the course of Biden’s presidency, Republicans have repeatedly scrutinized Biden’s Penn ties, from his appointment as a presidential professor of practice to the operations of the Penn Biden Center.

Some in Congress have repeatedly inquired about foreign donations and visitors to the Penn Biden Center. One letter claimed that Penn has received “millions of dollars from anonymous Chinese sources” and that these donations tripled following the announcement of the formation of the Penn Biden Center in 2017. However, the University denied any allegations of foreign influence.

“The Penn Biden Center has never solicited or received any gifts from any Chinese or other foreign entity,” a University spokesperson previously said in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “The University has never solicited any gifts for the Center.”

Chronicle for Higher Education reporter Karin Fischer, who covers international education, said that criticism of the Penn Biden Center is just one part of a larger focus of Republicans in Congress who became keen during Donald Trump’s presidency to investigate universities and employ political rhetoric to allege ties to adversaries. Experts have previously said that Chinese donations to Penn are not atypical.

“What I do see is that the sort of policy responses, or called-for policy responses, especially on the right, I do not think are appropriately calibrated to the threat,” Kyle Long, the senior director of Northwestern University’s Office of Organizational Strategy and Change, said. “It’s a little bit blown out of proportion.”

At the December congressional hearing on antisemitism that sparked former Penn President Liz Magill’s resignation, one congressman asked why Biden was paid almost $1 million by Penn. Magill noted Biden was a professor of practice for over two years and received a salary of $400,000, adding that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush held the same title.

“Biden had a wide variety of obligations” including seminars and interacting with students, Magill said.

Former Annenberg lecturer Howard Fineman, who has identified himself as a longtime friend of Biden, invited Biden to speak at a meeting of his

class “New Media and Politics in the Age of Trump,” according to a Feb. 11, 2018 email. Fineman noted that Biden’s own granddaughter, Finnegan, was one of his 22 students — but told the DP that Biden avoided publicity when he visited and “didn’t favor his granddaughter in any way.”

At the conclusion of his visit to Fineman’s class, while heading out of one of the Annenberg school basement’s ampitheater-style classrooms, Biden turned around and made an unprompted remark to students.

“Look, you’re all very lucky,” Biden told them, according to Fineman’s recollection. “You’re going to an Ivy League school. You’re going to do really well in life. You’re probably going to make a lot of money. You’re probably going to have a lot of clout. But no amount of money or clout or position is going to build a high enough wall for you to escape your responsibility to your society, [and] to your country.”

Fineman said this remark reflected on Biden’s upbringing, where he lacked money or “clout” but recognized he could not resist those circles as a politician, and still had to fulfill his obligations to his country.

To those who knew Biden while he was on campus, allegations of impropriety or foreign influence during his work with the University are baseless.

“The idea that there is something nefarious underlying [the Penn Biden Center] just doesn’t make any any sense to me,” Michael X. Delli Carpini, who was dean of the Annenberg School for Communication when Biden joined the school’s faculty, told the DP in February 2023.

“Everything I know about how the Biden Center is funded, how Penn handles donations from individuals, who are often alumni from other countries, is that it’s completely aboveboard and completely well handled,” Carpini added.

Even still, some critics and reports have zeroed in on Hunter’s relationship with Gutmann, particularly in light of her appointment as ambassador. In addition to speaking about their daughter Finnegan, Buhle maintained in close contact with Clark throughout 2014 and 2015 to host a dinner with major Penn donors, parents of students, and key University figures on behalf of the Penn Parents council.

“I heard back from my colleague and President Amy Gutmann still wants to move forward with the dinner in Washington DC on Tuesday, April 21st,” Clark wrote to Buhle on Feb. 12, 2015 — in the same email where she spoke about Finnegan being “on the radar” for lacrosse.

One attendee of the dinner, which was held at the famous Café Milano in Washington, said there was “nothing out of the ordinary,” describing it as an opportunity for Gutmann to update the most engaged Penn alumni in Washington about ongoing University initiatives.

Four years after the dinner, Finnegan was at Penn. On March 28, 2019, Penn released admissions decisions for the Class of 2023 — and Maisy was accepted. One month later, Biden declared his candidacy for president.


established early dominance with a 49.2 and only 9.8 or higher counting scores. The Quakers were led by sophomore Skyelar Kerico’s 9.875, which was her second-highest score of the season. Junior Emma Davies and senior Sara Kenefick demonstrated their experience with their 1-2 punch to close out the rotation with two 9.825+ scores. Yale’s vault rotation was highlighted by GEC Newcomer of the Year Ella Tajishan’s clean Yurchenko full. West Chester’s clean balance beam lineup put it in second at the end of the rotation.

For the second rotation, the Quakers moved to vault, where first year Jordan Barrow excelled on her Yurchenko full for a 9.825, making it the second-best score of the evening. Sophomore Marissa Lassiter’s experience shined in an impressive save after her hand seemingly missed the vault table, and the team’s consistency overall led to a 48.775 on the event. Sarah Wilson’s 9.9 for the Bulldogs was enough to put them back in the race for second place at the halfway point.

The Quakers were able to count only scores of 9.8+ for the second time on the uneven bars in the third rotation. Freshman Sophia Paris stuck her dismount and earned second place in the event with a careerhigh-tying 9.875. Sophomore Carly Oniki set her season high on the event with a 9.8. Sophomore Skye Kerico’s technique was textbook as always, earning her a 9.85 in the anchor spot and earning the Quakers a season-high 49.175 on the event. Heading into the final rotation, Brown and Yale were tied in second place after a stellar floor rotation for the Bears led by Julia Bedell.

Penn’s final event of the season was the balance beam, where senior Kiersten Belkoff’s rock-solid leadoff routine and 9.775 set up for a stellar event for the Quakers, notching a 49.125, the second-highest score of the season. Belkoff affirmed her confidence on beam, saying “knowing the team and the coaches put you up because they believe in you” helps her mentally prepare before she performs.

There were three sophomores in the team’s beam lineup, starting with Alisha Werlen, who earned her

new season-high score of 9.8. Fellow sophomore Samantha Wu defended her Ivy Classic title with a strong 9.875 in the anchor spot and earned a share of second place overall on beam. However, the event winner was Skye Kerico, whose 9.9 in the No. 5 spot was highlighted by her impeccable form in the air. Another highlight of the final rotation was the Bulldogs’ performance on floor, whose season-high 49.275 was enough to secure their second-place position in the final standings.

However, nothing could touch the Red and Blue’s beginning-to-end confidence. Its 196.275 is the second-best in program history, only to the team’s incredible performance at the GEC Championships in 2022. Penn won vault, bars, beam, and placed third overall on floor, and the evening’s performances on uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise are also now in the top ten scores in program history.

Kerico was named GEC Gymnast of the Year 2024 after the meet. She now holds four of the top five all-around scores in Penn history after scoring a 39.3 and securing wins in both the all-around and balance beam, the first-ever two-time GEC Individual Champion. Senior Sara Kenefick finished fourth in the all-around with a 39.2, her personal best.

Hageman knows how special this win was, especially for the seniors.

“The very last beam routine, we knew that we secured it,” Hageman said. “Samantha Wu is a beam star, and when we knew we secured it, [we were] looking at the seniors, and there wasn’t a dry eye. This senior class has been through it all.”

But for the seniors themselves, it is the moments in between the domination that mean the most.

“My experience is made from the daily practices,” Kenefick said. “And traveling to the meets … the smaller moments.”

What comes next for one of the strongest teams in Penn gymnastics history? Though the team must await the NCAA Championships selection later this week, Belkoff knows that the end goal was never the most important thing.

“It’s really the people that make the experience,” she said. “I’ve been so honored to be on a team with the most amazing girls who have your back through and through.”


Myrthil and Cade Haskins released an open letter.

“We call on other athletes here at Dartmouth, across the Ivy League, and the country to follow this story and join us on the journey to improve the conditions for college athletes everywhere,” the letter concluded.

If the Big Green’s plan is approved, other private institutions, including Penn, would have the opportunity to unionize for the first time in history. This opportunity has piqued the interest of many players who hope for a better quality of treatment.

Football is one of Penn’s major athletic programs, but its athletes have received vastly different treatment than the average Division I program in America. Athletics can, and often do, take up a major part of students’ lives. Across the country, to compensate for this large commitment, D-I football programs provide priority class scheduling, complete nutritional support, and more — all luxuries that are routinely denied to Penn athletes. This disparity in treatment can result in a feeling of dissatisfaction amongst players.

“[T]here’s a bunch of us, and I know it takes a lot of money, but it’ll be nice if the school came to help us out or if they could figure out how to fuel us a little bit better,” another football player said in regards to certain nutritional standards.

Some argue that the lack of funding is the result of a general apathy toward athletics, both from Penn and from the Ivy League as a whole. If football, easily one of Penn’s most popular sports, is unable to get adequate funding, then who is?

“Personally I am all for it,” another football player said about unionization. “I also know football is hardly revenue-making at Penn, and the first thing Penn would do once we get minimum wage is cut the sport, somewhat dishearteningly. … They’re too smart to pay us.”

A mistrust of Penn’s intentions has created a stark separation between the athlete and the school. Additionally, some players argue that the effects of unionization would likely expand further than Franklin Field.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen, but if it were to happen, almost everyone would have to unionize,” senior quarterback Aidan Sayin said. “Because it wouldn’t be


in their respective events. Hu and Guo received second team honors for their remarkable achievements in épée.

In addition, eight Quakers received honorable mentions for their notable performances at the regional tournament, further highlighting the depth of talent within the program.

As the 2024 NCAA Fencing Championships unfolded, the University of Pennsylvania women’s team concluded its season with distinction, securing a 12th-place finish overall. Cho and Hu earned All-America Honorable Mentions for their impressive top-12 finishes, with Cho garnering her second consecutive All-American honor.

Cho concluded her collegiate career on a high note, placing 11th in the foil portion of the championships. Proestakis Ortiz followed closely, securing 14th place with 11 wins. Hu also cemented her status as an emerging talent by


a uniform sports world. There wouldn’t be regulations and stuff, so everyone would have to unionize together.”

Though some players shared pro-unionization sentiments, others were wary of the harm a union could have on the team. Unions can carry negative connotations, including providing a large distraction away from winning.

“Unionization has become such a buzzword,” one player said. “I don’t think anything good will come from it, and it takes away from the sport.”

A bid for a union would likely be seen as a player revolt, and due to the general lack of precedence in American athletics, it is hard to imagine how Penn would respond to such action. Stepping into this unknown inspires trepidation in athletes — a union could either provide marginally better treatment or lead to a downfall of athletic programs across the country.

“I mean, I think [Penn] has done a great job with athletics, especially with the football team,” Sayin said. “You know, we have this new locker room and the whole facility and everything so I don’t know if I could say I’m not grateful for everything we’ve gotten to this point.”

Additionally, if unionization allows players to count as employees, then protections afforded to studentathletes can be taken away. Guarantees that protect the equal payment of men’s and women’s collegiate sports, like Title IX, could be in jeopardy if schools now recognize their students as professionals. If seen as employees, there are also less protections for the existence of non-earning athletic programs.

“I don’t know if [unionization] being successful gives a path towards getting those goals more or attaining goals. Because when you unionize to be employees of a company, the schools might not have the same sort of restrictions now in terms of what they can do with that money,” Sayin said. “So if they feel like a sport isn’t as profitable as another one, maybe they don’t get as many things as they had gotten prior to being employees.”

The result of Dartmouth’s unionization push remains to be seen, but there is no denying the future it may hold.

Should the Big Green successfully unionize, they will pave the way for Penn and other universities to follow suit. There is already budding discussion over whether or not Penn athletes will choose to walk down that path and what it will mean for college athletics when they take the first step.

finishing in the top 10 of épée and earning All-American status in her first ever postseason appearance.

In a historic moment for the Penn men’s team, Louie made headlines by clinching the individual foil title, making him the first Penn fencer to achieve this feat since since 1997. Even if Louie had lost the final bout, that last statement would be true as Louie bested teammate Broszus in the final to become a champion. Louie’s victory, along with commendable performances from Broszus and Wu, earned them All-America honors.

“Earning the award was a surreal experience,” Louie said. “I grew up watching March Madness, so to be doing the fencing equivalent is unreal. Winning this title for the Quakers was a group effort, so this is definitely a team title.”

Penn fencing’s outstanding achievements at the 2024 NCAA Championships underscored its commitment to excellence and solidified its position as one of the nation’s premier fencing programs. With a talented roster and a tradition of success, Penn Fencing continues to inspire and elevate the sport to new heights.

8 THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2024 | THEDP.COM THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN SPORTS Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit 1 to 9.
Level: Solution to Previous Puzzle:
ABHIRAM JUVVADI | PHOTO EDITOR Penn football captains shake hands with Dartmouth’s captains before a game on Sept. 30, 2023. GIULIANA DIBENEDETTO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Penn gymnastics traveled to Yale for the Gymnastics East Championship on March 23.

Penn football started their spring training practices at Franklin

cohesion and staying in shape ahead of the fall.

As the team ran out onto Franklin Field, each position group took to their own personalized drills. At some points, the whole team would come together for stretching and the occasional group huddle, but the real show came with the

Let me coach Penn football

Smith | The highly anticipated EA Sports College Football video game is returning, but the Ivy League got the short end of the stick

CONOR SMITH Sports Associate

As someone who was raised on Xbox Live, I was overcome with joy when I first heard Electronic Arts Sports was developing a new installment of its college football video game series. I vividly remember tearing open my copy of NCAA Football 14 and all of the programs I virtually coached to championships.

It has been over 10 years since the last EA Sports College Football game was released, partially due to a lawsuit surrounding name, image, and likeness rights. Now, however, the emergence of NIL deals has allowed the game to make a triumphant comeback. Well, triumphant for some. The Ivy League has been barred from involvement in the game, meaning fans of the Red and Blue cannot play as their favorite team. I believe that the exclusion of Penn and the Ivy League should be reconsidered.

First, it is important to understand why EA Sports decided not to include the Ivy League conference. Although not directly releasing a statement on this exclusion, it is due to the fact EA Sports decided to only include all eligible Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The Ivy League is contained within the Football Championship Subdivision.

This may seem cut-and-dry at first. If EA Sports included the Ivy League, wouldn’t they have to add all 128 FCS teams as well? No, I do not believe that would be necessary, due to the Ivy League’s inability to participate in the FCS playoffs and the extremely self-contained schedules of Ivy League teams. For example, Penn football is only playing two non-Ivy FCS teams in 2024. When creating the schedule for Penn in the video game, EA Sports can choose to either replace those teams with different Ivy schools or even FBS teams.

FBS teams and FCS teams have a long history of playing each other. Last year, 118 of these games were scheduled. I understand EA Sports’ commitment to schedule accuracy, but I severely doubt fans of the game would mind a few switches to include the Ancient Eight. Additionally, schedule inaccuracies will already be occurring in the game’s final product as many of the present teams play FCS teams throughout their seasons.

So, why should Penn and the rest of the Ivy League be added to the game over other FCS teams? Besides allowing myself to throw dimes

start of one-versus-one and seven-versus-seven drills. In the one-versus-one drills, wide receivers were given the chance to practice deep ball receptions on one side of the field, while defensive backs were given the chance to practice getting interceptions on the other side. These simple drills are usually meant for the quarterbacks, like expected senior starter Aidan Sayin or sophomore backup Devin Page, to practice ball placement downfield. Despite this fact, there was more attention given to a certain receiver than the quarterbacks: Julien “Juice” Stokes. Injured last season and redshirting at this practice, Stokes was celebrated loudly by his teammates for participating in what was likely his first organized football practice in months.

Stokes showed off by catching the ball with only one hand multiple times as his teammates yelled his nickname, “Juice,” as well as phrases like “he’s back” in admiration.

“On offense last year, we had two guys who were great players for us the year before who couldn’t play, Juice Stokes and Justin Cayenne,” Sayin said. “It’ll be great having them back, both of them do things that you can’t replicate so it’ll be fun having them back running around out there.”

Past the one-on-one play, the organized offense-versus-defense reps sparked the most attention as players went out to sharpen their skills. Facing off against their own teammates, each side went out to play for pride and bragging rights.

This play produced a certain amount of highlight plays for players on both sides of the ball. Another receiver, junior Alex Haight, showed off his athleticism on multiple occasions with diving catches down the field. On one particular play, Haight fully extended for a reception, resulting in a touchdown off of a sharp pass from Sayin. The acrobatic finish resulted in the offensive sideline bursting into cheers as they jeered at the defense.

On another impressive play, Page unleashed a perfect pass to the left corner of the endzone towards junior receiver Sage Webb, creating another incredible pass that earned high praise


40 best friends,” Brandt said. “I just want to do well for everyone else because they deserve it. I want the world for this team. I truly believe in every single one so I think this is really testament to our team’s culture and the girls I have out there supporting me.”

Some early and uncharacteristic sloppy play on clears — an aspect of the game that Penn has been exceptional at this year as shown by it being ranked fifth in the nation when it comes to clear percentage heading into the game — gave the Terps several unearned possessions. Gifted such opportunities, Maryland capitalized, jumping out to a 2-1 lead midway through the first quarter.

While the Quaker defensive unit bent, it did not break, and even came up with key turnovers to keep the momentum with the Red and Blue. Down one goal, senior defender Izzy Rohr had a well-placed check that Brandt was able to convert into her second goal of the night off an assist from senior attacker and reigning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week Niki Miles. The Rohr-Brandt-Miles trio that swept the Ivy end-ofseason awards last year showed why they were the first trio in Ivy League history from the program to achieve such honors.

Heading into halftime with Penn up just two, the energy in the stands was palpable. The fans decked out in Maryland gear were eagerly awaiting for the number one team in the country to click together and go on a run. Coming out of the break, the fans got what they wanted, just not from their team.

from the rest of the team.

“One play today in particular, I want to shout out Devin Page throwing to Sage Webb,” Sayin said. “Touchdown left side of the endzone, great throw.”

Despite these highlight-reel finishes, there were also plenty of great plays made by the defense. Seeing a decent amount of turnover with plenty of veteran defensive backs graduating, young players will be forced to step up in practice and the ensuing season. One athlete who filled his role well — and is a name to watch for next season — is sophomore defensive back Devin Malloy. Recording two straight interceptions during open play, Malloy was uniquely impressive. For one interception, he recovered a tipped pass that he forced with physical play, and for the other, he smoothly flipped his hips to get into position. Demonstrating a complete defensive package in practice, Malloy is only one of the young impressive players the Red and Blue are excited to see perform next year. “We lost a ton of seniors, a lot of leaders last year,” senior linebacker Jack Fairman said. “Seeing all the new faces out there making plays is the best thing you can see.”

Besides these highlights, players were given the opportunity to see the field, but were restricted from any form of contact. While this type of play has its limits, the importance of just seeing the field and hearing from coaches is immeasurable.

Stepping back from the offense-versus-defense drills, the real importance of a first practice lies in the preparation. There’s a saying in sports that when you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse. This mentality rings true in football, as coaches focus on keeping players in game shape over the course of a lengthy offseason.

As the spring season moves forward, it’ll be fun to see how the team progress in preparation for the upcoming season. With plenty of starting positions up in the air on both sides of the ball, the Quakers have plenty to learn about themselves before they are ready for competitive play.

with the game. With over 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Leubecker’s fourth goal of the game brought the Terps within two. Despite goals from Smith and freshman midfielder Eden Welch to double the lead, it wasn’t until Penn’s final clear with just seconds left on the clock that the Penn players were able to finally relax and celebrate.

The stifling Penn defense kept one of the nation’s top programs at bay for lengthy periods of time, with the longest scoring drought for the Terps lasting nearly 12 minutes before attacker Libby May was finally able to break through. Although the streak of 15 minute scoreless periods ended tonight, the Quakers weren’t too upset with the notion of holding Maryland to under 10 goals.

“That’s what’s great about this defense because they’re a veteran defense,” coach Karin Corbett said. “We have several different zones. And we decided to stick with that tonight [because it was working].”

While the team played at an incredibly fast pace on defense, on offense, the Red and Blue took a much more methodical and clock-draining approach to the game. Their game plan revolved around settling the ball and only taking the clean, open looks — a strategy that involves all seven players doing their parts in order for it to work. Against Michigan, the team failed to really get the gears grinding. Today, all seven players on offense were able to play their role near perfectly to much success.

“I think the coolest thing about this season is that it’s really been like anyone’s game,” Brandt said. “We said before in the locker room. It’s kind of who just wants it more. And so we took that mentality and tonight was just going to be a battle of … who wanted the win more and I think we showed that tonight.”

with Aidan Sayin, EA Sports should include the Ivy League due to its significance to collegiate athletics. It is impossible to tell the story of college football without including the Ivy League. The entire foundation of the sport is supported by the rich history of the conference and its teams. Princeton faced Rutgers in the first college football game over 150 years ago, and now one of those teams will seemingly not exist in a game that is supposed to be a celebration of the sport. It is a slap in the face to college football to not include the conference.

Additionally, the expansion of the game to include the Ivy League would only further engage fans. I am not going to play dumb — I am fully aware Penn and other Ivy League schools do not have the most loyal fanbases. I can see this first hand when entering Franklin Field to a stadium at 4.2% capacity. For EA Sports, this is an easy metric to point to in defense of erasing the Ivy League’s existence from their game. However, the collaboration between the NCAA and EA Sports is seeking to further engage young people into supporting collegiate athletics. Nowhere needs this support as much as the floundering Ivy League.

If there is even a chance that one kid decides their new favorite football team is the Harvard Crimson because they played as them, the NCAA must push for the inclusion of the conference. I am not arguing that Penn will become the new Alabama because of a video game, but the NCAA must do everything in its power to assist the Ivy League in garnering new fans due to the immense historical value of those teams. With the NCAA’s partnership with EA Sports, Ivy inclusion in College Football 25 can do just that.

The next generation of sports fans will be introduced to college football through this very game just like the many celebrating its return once were. The Ivy League can be added without the inclusion of the other 128 FCS teams due to its uniqueness as a conference. The historic value of the Ancient Eight cannot be overstated, and the NCAA would be remiss to not use this opportunity to bolster its popularity.

Even a downloadable content pack including the Ivy League would be better than the alternative of not having these teams. We all know Penn kids can shell out an extra $5.

The Quakers came out hot with Miles scoring her first goal of the game less than one minute into the third quarter. And despite Miles picking up a yellow card foul that granted Maryland a woman-up opportunity, the Terps were unable to capitalize, opening up the path for Brandt to score her third goal of the game to give Penn a four goal lead. Junior midfielder Gracie Smith added on a goal of her own to give Penn its largest lead of the night.

Much to the Terps credit, they showed why they earned the number one ranking. Attacker Hannah Leubecker recorded four goals on the night for Maryland while goaltender Emily Sterling notched 12 saves. Sterling, who entered the night as the third best goalkeeper in the country, refused to let the Quakers run away

The win ends a 14 game losing streak for the Quakers against the Terps and is Penn’s way of announcing to the rest of the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse programs that the Ivy League should not be overlooked.

“I don’t think that we got a ton of respect for that afterwards with our preseason rankings,” Corbett said. “And so I think it’s been driving the [team]. I think they felt that they could have won last year … they have a chip on their shoulder that we are better than what we think we are and we’re going to show it this year.”

Penn women’s lacrosse will continue its road trip facing off against archrival Princeton on April 3 at 7 p.m. where it will hope to extend its undefeated streak in the Ivy League.

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ERICA MICHALÍKOVÁ | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Field on Mar. 22. ABHIRAM JUVVADI | PHOTO EDITOR Penn football runs out of the tunnel during the game against Cornell on Nov. 4, 2023.

What Dartmouth’s unionization could mean for Penn football

Several Quakers expressed their feelings toward unionization in light of recent developments with Dartmouth men’s basketball SEAN

Nearly a month ago, Dartmouth men’s basketball voted to unionize, a hugely consequential decision that has had ripple effects across college athletics, including Penn. As the option of unionization grows in likelihood, members of Penn football have begun to speculate on the impacts a union might have.

“I think it would completely blow up the market, and the capabilities to come from it could be beneficial,” a member of the football team, who asked to stay anonymous, stated. “I imagine everyone would follow suit if Dartmouth would win. … We will see what comes of it [and] see if we can be compensated for our efforts on and off the field.”

In the fight for fair pay for Penn athletes, unionization has emerged as an encouraging option for several reasons.

For decades, college athletes have served as the backbone for one of the nation’s most lucrative businesses. Despite providing the product upon which investors, television networks, and the NCAA generated revenue, the athletes themselves were not privy to a cut of the cash.

That all changed in late August 2021 when the NCAA adopted a name, image, and likeness policy that would finally allow direct financial compensation for athletes. As this news broke, the collegiate sphere celebrated the newly gained financial freedom of players.

Despite this positive breakthrough in players’ rights, there are many players — and programs — that are left behind. In the Ivy League especially, a league where little money is created through NIL, and athletes are ineligible for athletic scholarships, there is a continuous struggle to receive just compensation.

So, since NIL or scholarships won’t pay the bills, Penn athletes have turned towards unionization as one of their only tools to fight for proper compensation, but unionization hasn’t always been a viable solution.

Dartmouth is only the second team this decade that has attempted to unionize, following the Northwestern football team’s failed bid in 2015. The ongoing debate lies in whether student-athletes are considered school employees.

Months after the team’s initial declaration of intent in September, on Feb. 5, 2024, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that student-athletes are considered school employees and would therefore be granted the right to petition for a union. On March 5, Dartmouth voted 13-2 to unionize.

Following the NLRB’s ruling, Dartmouth College appealed the decision, effectively delaying the process. As the court case rages on, Dartmouth players Romeo


No. 14 women’s lacrosse knocks o No. 1 Maryland for historic win

The Quakers were led on offense by junior mid elder and Maryland-native Anna Brandt who became the 15th player in program history to reach 100 goals

COLLEGE PARK, Md — Fear the Turtle. That mantra has held true for No. 14 Penn women’s lacrosse in the previous 15 times which it faced off against No. 1 Maryland at College Park. Last night, the Quakers made history by toppling the top-ranked program in the nation for the first time ever away from Franklin Field. “It’s incredible. It’s funny because I remember coming and watching games on this exact field as a kid,” junior midfielder Anna Brandt said. “So to have


the opportunity to play one of the best teams in the nation [and win] is a dream come true.”

In the back-and-forth affair, patience on offense and aggressive defense guided the Red and Blue to a 13-9 win. Like the last time the two teams faced off, Penn (8-1, 2-0 Ivy) drew first blood off of Brandt’s stick. The White Hall, Md native is no foreigner when it comes to playing against the Terps (9-2, 2-0 Big 10). Brandt has played against much of the Maryland roster throughout high school and has shown out every time the Quakers have faced off against the Terps.

Penn fencing sent seven fencers to compete in the highly anticipated 2024 NCAA Fencing Championships, which began on Thursday, March 21. This prestigious event brought together top collegiate fencers nationwide to compete for individual and team honors.

In its last competition before the championships, Penn showcased its talent at the Mid-Atlantic/South NCAA Regional hosted at Drake University on March 9. The Quakers had a strong finish by securing eight top-10 finishes, with senior foil Blake Broszus, freshman sabre Gian Dhingra, senior foil Bryce Louie, and junior foil Katina Proestakis Ortiz emerging as standout performers, earning medals in their respective events.

The preparation for the championships was rigorous. “Practices were very, very intense,” Louie said. “We focused on working through five touch-bout strategies and potential situations, like if the opponent is aggressive, for example, which was the best preparation.”

The women’s team, ranked No. 7 nationally, displayed exceptional aptitude, with Proestakis Ortiz leading the charge by securing the bronze in foil, closely followed by her teammate senior foil Sabrina Cho in fourth place. Freshman Grace Hu impressed by clinching sixth place in épée, while senior épée Shirley Guo rounded out the top-10 finishers for the women’s team by securing ninth place.

Meanwhile, the No. 8 ranked men’s team showcased its dominance, particularly in foil events, with Broszus clinching the gold and Louie securing the silver. Junior sabre Nicholas Molina added to the triumph with a commendable 10th-place finish in foil, while Dhingra contributed to the team’s success with a silver medal in sabre.

With their outstanding performances, Broszus, Cho, Dhingra, Hu, Louie, Proestakis Ortiz, and freshman épée Joseph Wu secured their spots to represent the Red and Blue at the NCAA Championships in Columbus.

The Quakers continued to receive recognition for their stellar performances, earning a total of 16 spots in the All-Region honors, with the women’s team claiming nine and the men’s team claiming seven. Notably, Broszus, Cho, Dhingra, Louie, Proestakis Ortiz, and Wu led the charge, earning All-Region first team recognition

See FENCING, page 8

In last season’s match-up, Brandt scored a careerhigh single game total of five goals. This year, she followed up the performance with a four goal performance — the third of which made her just the 15th player in program history to surpass 100 career goals. “It just means so much — being able to do it with my

See LACROSSE, page 9

Undefeated Penn gymnastics program completes GEC championship three-peat

The Quakers won their third straight GEC crown with the second-highest score in program history

The Gymnastics East Conference has a dynasty on its hands.

On Saturday, Penn gymnastics dominated on its way to a GEC championship, culminating in a score of 196.275 — the second-highest score in program history. It was the Quakers’ third consecutive win at the title meet, and gave Penn the elusive “treble”: a clean sweep of the GEC regular season, Ivy Classic, and GEC Championship titles this season.

Assistant coach Cassie Hageman attributes the team’s goal tonight to its winning mindset.

“We just took it one by one. The biggest goal we had was doing it for each other … having everyone’s back from start to finish,” Hageman said.

Penn began the meet on floor, where the team

See GYMNASTICS, page 8

Editor and Contributing Reporter
KAYLI MANN Sports Reporter
senior Bryce Louie makes history at 2024 NCAA Fencing Championships
the rst Quaker since 1997 to win the national individual foil title NINA RAWAL Sports Reporter
YAO Sports Editor Penn fencing
Louie became
WEINING DING | SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Penn fencing traveled to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the NCAA fencing championships from March 21-24.
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