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It seems like every single year there is a new cruel and unusual punishment that our brothers and sisters here at Penn have to endure during their initiation into a lifelong bond of.... tailgating and brunch dates. Because nothing says brotherhood and sisterhood like being hazed, publicly humiliated, having to go through rituals, and more! From swallowing goldfish to getting paddled; from going hours without sleep to waking up in some odd place; from binge drinking to being forced into degrading tasks. Obviously, giving hundreds of dollars to make friends isn’t enough… as you now must earn it.
The Most Northern Pole- Unfortunately, it looks like Christmas may be canceled this year. After years and years of thorough investigation, the governing body UMBC (United Magical Beings Commission) has recognized the charges against Mister Santa Claus for violating workers' rights, labor laws, for creating a toxic work environment, and unethical practices.
You know how it is. You just got home from a dreadful semester. Midterms, finals papers, important presentations, work troubles, anxiety, and more. It seemed like it would never end! For the past weeks, you’ve been holed up in your dorm room just typing away at assignments and rewatching every single lecture video. Your social life is completely non-existent, your dating life has all but disappeared, you haven’t even had a casual hook up since Halloweekend. You head back to your hometown, having all this bent up tension and energy inside of you and you desperately need to release it… but you don’t quite know how yet… until… you get that text.
Ah. Thanksgiving dinner. The one time of year where all your extended family members come together to judge and question the absolute fuck out of each other. For a lot of families, this is the first time everyone gets together in many, many months. I mean, it’s not that you can’t reach out and see them… it’s just like… do you really want to? (Like, it’s not like we are contractually obligated to see our third cousins, twice-removed.)
They say that capitalism breeds innovation. Well, it looks like that innovation is 10-15 seconds of text, image, or video that disappears in 24 hours? Since the social media app, Snapchat added the story option for their users to create short “stories” in 2013, many other platforms have followed. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn (yes, the networking app), and more recently Twitter have all put their own spin on the sharing feature. And it looks like more platforms are joining in… even some that aren’t the typical social giants we are accustomed to.
Celebration time! We did it! We resisted! Time to relax, sleep in, and stop marching and protesting. With savior Joe Biden elected, we can stop discussing racial and wealth inequalities every single day and get back to brunch at White Dog Cafe! (Nice rhyme, huh). Time to go back to mid-afternoon mimosas and pancakes, as the old experts from four years ago are back to run politics again in faraway Washington. Remember that funny scene in ‘Get Out’ where the father says “By the way, I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could”? Well, mission accomplished.
After 3 very long, sleepless days of doomscrolling through social media, it looked like the election was finally over. At approximately 9 AM Friday morning, Joe Biden overtook Donald Trump in Pennsylvania after a huge dump (of votes, not poop) went his way. With a win in the state, Biden would surpass the 270 electoral vote threshold and decisively take the presidency. Election reporting has concluded that the state of Pennsylvania flipped blue largely due to massive amounts of ballots in favor of Biden coming out of Philadelphia.
As the university’s most uh... known?... athletics team, Penn Men’s Basketball always has to stay on the top of their game. Playing at the historic Palestra, it is expected that the team recruits the biggest and brightest stars to pack the stands... with older white alumni. The coaches are always looking for an edge over their Ivy League opponents by consistently recruiting a broad range of talent in a wide array of locations. Most recently, it has been discovered, that one of these recruiting locations is quite famous-- the White House
Halloween is a time for all Quakers to get their spook and spectacular on. For years the holiday has been a time for students to get creative with outfits for the neighborhood Halloweekend parties. There are all sorts of costumes that one could wear for October 31st… the clever, the extraordinaire, the revealing, and the themed and spirited. And this year, Under the Button thinks there’s nothing better than to get into the spirit… the Penn spirit that is.
The Supreme Court has been a hot topic lately for the American public. Since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many questions have been asked pertaining to the vacancy… the most important one being who should fill it? Mitch ‘Murder Turtle’ McConnel, despite previous precedent, has pushed through nominee Amy Coney Barrett. In response to this, Democrats have thrown around the idea of “court-packing”.
Democracy. The Greeks invented it, America perfected it. The United States is a certified expert at democratic principles. We are constantly promoting ‘democracy’ and its great values across the globe. We provoke wars “in the name of democracy”. We’ll stage a coup in another state to set up a new ‘democratic’ system. We even have a history of colonizing and neocolonizing people to spread and uphold this form of government. All in all, we know what we are talking about when it comes to well-functioning governmental processes… and we are not afraid to invade your country to prove it.
The Fracking Industry is here to stay, no matter what those know-it-all scientists say. The Democrat establishment is now siding with Republicans (bipartisanship! whoop!) regarding fracking. Senator Kamala Harris set the tone in the VP Debate when she profusely stated that her administration would not ban fracking (#GirlBoss Alert!). Although the political establishment supports fracking, the large majority of the liberal Democratic base does not. The question that needs to be asked is… how can the fracking industry sway these liberal voters so it can continue to push forward?
For this week’s “student spotlight”, we look closer at one of Penn’s most ambitious third-year undergrad students. This student goes simply by “The Lorax” (W ‘22) and UTB was able to catch up with them to converse about their time at Penn, as well as their future endeavors. Below is a transcript for the interview we did for the spotlight:
Gabriela Glassmann (C ‘24) is a sweet girl from Hicktown, USA who has developed some strong liberal values despite being from a small town that voted 90% Trump in 2016. Since being accepted to Penn, she has been excited to get out of her conservative bubble and enter the liberal atmosphere of Philadelphia. But with COVID, she has been forced to stay at home surrounded by all her MAGA-loving high school classmates.
The First Presidential Debate was certainly one for the ages as Home Alone 2 star Donald Trump debated Joe Biden, who is coincidentally named after the Penn Biden Center. Although debates are just another pointless exercise in ratings-boosting entertainment politics meant to give the masses false hope that they are actually involved in political processes, there are usually still some interesting topics discussed.
Penn students on campus can undertake many activities that bring some pretty neat deals. Some of Penn’s most time-honored traditions are ripe with the opportunity of scoring two (or more) things for the price of a single experience. For instance, if one wants to go SABSing on campus, they are able to see AND be seen.
Popular ‘It-Girl’ Becky (C ‘22) loves to venture through all parts of Philadelphia. Wait, never mind. The “good” parts of Philadelphia. You know, the safe ones… like Penn Park and um Penn’s Landing down by the river and also where the Constitution was signed! Oh, and those nice places that have Restaurant Week specials and the Art Museum! Becky is quite the traveler of the city she’s proud to call “home”. With this info, it would be shocking to find out that our neighborhood explorer Becky would have stumbled across somewhere new and cool close by campus, right? Well, consider yourself shocked.
Every university has a bucket list of zany, niche items students should accomplish before graduation. Penn is no exception. A GSR sleepover, sex under The Button, a public breakdown in Huntsman, a blunt at the biopond, and an intoxicated pee break on Ben Franklin. The last one, pissing on Ben, is one of the most ambitious things a Quaker can do.
Public outcry over Penn's reluctance to pay property taxes, or PILOTs, even during a pandemic, has sent the Board of Trustees into a series of emergency meetings. A statement was released today following the University's latest board meeting. The statement, which seems to have been copy-and-pasted right from the university's response to the Black Lives Matter protests, starts with: "We hear you. We see you. We know where you are coming from. We understand."