Becky Weisberg and Mikayla Golub | Penn must divest from Penn
April 4, 2021 at 11:44 pm
As Penn students, we deserve more from our university.
Penn Anthropology professor Robert Schuyler said "sieg heil" during the annual Society for Historical Archaeology conference. He was not fired following this event. This incident occurred a year and a half after Penn Law professor Amy Wax infamously stated, "our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites" at the National Conservatism Conference.
The University canceled housing and dining for thousands of students two weeks before the fall semester started, leaving many in a panic. Penn also did not offer a tuition cut from the previous semester.
Penn planned commencement on a major Jewish holiday, preventing observant Jews and their families from participating in the celebration.
Penn has not sufficiently dealt with any critical matter — such as diversity and inclusion, climate change, sexual assault on campus, mental health, and gentrification and community responsibility — relying on mass emails instead of instituting physical change.
However, these are just the wrongdoings that we can see happening on campus. Most of Penn's influence extends beyond University City in ways that are harder to track: money.
The University of Pennsylvania has a $14.9 billion endowment. Yet, the Penn Office of Investments is less than transparent about the specifics of their portfolio, hiding behind words such as "endowment" and "investments."
However, despite attempts to hide the true causes that Penn supports, the internet's availability inhibits secrets from staying hidden forever. We now know that over the years, Penn has invested in human trafficking, 9/11, 7-Eleven, post-modern Nazism, Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring, arms dealing, the creation of Lyme disease, middle-class culture, America's meat-industrial complex, women that can't sing, the invention of waterboarding, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, fast fashion, hunger, obesity, falling down staircases, the Vietnam War, depression, the Santa Barbara oil spill, the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair, hot girl erasure, bad waiters, targeted advertisements, the anti-abortion rights movement, the dissolving of the nuclear family, the extinction of dinosaurs, accidental reply-alls, sinkholes in populated areas, the opioid epidemic, crying on prom night, all of the California wildfires, and identity theft.
As if that's not bad enough, Penn invests 15% of its endowment in itself. However, given the University's portfolio, allowing this policy to continue would be immoral, and as members of this community, we must demand more from our administration. This is why Penn MUST divest from Penn. We must divest the 15% that Penn invests in itself.
Some may argue that Penn is a good investment and that the endowment's purpose is to maximize its earnings. A larger endowment provides increased opportunities for students and faculties. However, while investing 15% into Penn may seem wise, associating with an organization like Penn ultimately hurts the reputation and prestige of the University of Pennsylvania. The time is coming to an end for unethical organizations, such as Penn. The University's crumbling moral compass will prove that this policy is a mistake.
We cannot even imagine the depth and breadth of Penn's sphere of influence. There's the saying "money makes the world go 'round," but I think the more apt expression is: "money makes the world burn, especially if it's Penn's money." It's time that the University of Pennsylvania divests from the University of Pennsylvania.
MIKAYLA GOLUB is a sexy piece of ass from your worst nightmare studying history and creative writing. BECKY WEISBERG is from New York (if we had to guess from her name) and she is majoring in biology and minoring in psychoanalysis of all the Penn guys she's ever hooked up with.