Read, Thoughts on Recent Events

Thoughts on Recent Events

Walking down Locust Walk and observing the multitude of identities, interests, beliefs, points of view, and experiences represented on our campus is one of the greatest gifts of my career as an admissions professional and an educator. So during this time, when strong feelings are reverberating across our country on all sides, I thought it was important to share Penn President Amy Gutmann’s initial statement from after the election last week, the full text of which can be found here. President Gutmann’s message reminds us all to remain ever more committed to the ideals of inclusion, civic engagement, and constructive dialogue that are – and will continue to be – the heart of this community.

As some of you may have seen in the headlines last week, it was then especially horrifying that some of our Penn students were targeted by a hate crime. An ongoing investigation has now identified that this racism emanated from individuals who are not part of Penn’s community.

President Gutmann has issued a series of updates on the steps Penn has taken with the FBI and with the University of Oklahoma – where at least one U of O student seems to have been involved in the creation of the messages. Those updates can be read below, and will be revised as new information becomes available:

Statement 1 – Acknowledging the incident, November 11
Statement 2 – An update on the University of Oklahoma’s statement, November 12
Statement 3 – Announcing that no Penn Students were associated with the creation of the messages, November 13

Statement 4 – An update on the investigation, November 15

However, the shock, anger, and sadness felt on our campus as a result of this tragedy will take time to heal. Fortunately, Penn has recognized the need for many spaces on our campus to listen to, and draw strength from, one another. The faculty and staff in these resource centers are to be commended for all of their tireless support of our students and broader community.

Now more than ever, I am proud to be part of a community so dedicated to bringing brilliant young people from all over the country, and the world, to our campus. As these students meet, challenge, and inspire one another, they are participating in some of the most important work of our time. Penn’s commitment to making sure that all of our students are safe and supported as they take on this work, will not waver.

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