Community Engagement


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Students studying remotely maintain many ways to engage in their community, through signature initiatives such as the Civic House, Netter Center, or Paideia Program.

Local, national, and global engagement opportunities can also be found in many Penn student organizations.

Clubs & Activities


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Penn is home to more than 700 registered student organizations – featured and searchable at the Penn Clubs website. Student groups continue to operate and grow remotely, following the Campus Compact and related guidelines for organizations.

Office of Student Affairs staff is available via email, and an FAQ may answer many student questions about club activity this semester.

Spring Activities Fair
Sept 2, 2021
All questions can be directed to sacfair@sacfunded.net.

Class of 2025


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Class of 2024


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Penn Cares: COVID-19 Testing & Dashboard


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Students who will be on campus for the Fall 2021 semester are required to undergo Gateway Testing. Students can schedule their Gateway Test beginning the week of July 26. New students may be unable to schedule their tests until the week of August 9th.

Financial Aid, Registration, & Student Employment


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Student Registration and Financial Services offers comprehensive information and online resources for students and families navigating the semester. Examples include:

Financial Aid updates
Glossary of frequently used terms in financial aid and registration
A guide to student employment, including how to search for a remote work-study position
Registration, catalog, and calendar to assist with course selection

Summer/Fall 2021 Rules for Student Groups


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

These rules govern in-person activity that can be organized and/or funded by your student organization (for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students) in Summer/Fall 2021.

Guidance is based on current university and city/state policies as communicated to the campus community via email on June 24, 2021. If these policies change during the semester, the guidelines for student organizations may also change.


Student group activities may be held in-person, both on and off-campus

  • While groups are eager to return to pre-pandemic operations, student organizations are encouraged to be mindful that not all members of the Penn community will be comfortable with, or able to engage in fully in-person activity. To that end, organizations are asked to:
    • Normalize the option of wearing a mask at in-person events.
    • Reduce the size of activities when possible.
    • Continue hosting events outdoors when possible.
    • The disease is still most highly transmitted in our community when people eat and drink together. Prioritize pre-packaged meal options whenever possible, promote good hand hygiene and always have hand sanitizer available. Be thoughtful of how food/beverages are served at activities.
    • Consider how hybrid modes of meeting/interacting can be utilized. Virtual activities are very inclusive and afford your members some opportunity for self-care instead of running across campus all day. Decide which standing meetings, activities that regularly conflict with mealtimes, or deliberations that run late into the night might be held virtually.
  • Facilities on campus will have their own rules of operation and may vary from site to site. Groups must follow all rules and expectations set forth by the facilities in which they are hosting activities.
  • Groups are no longer required to submit the event approval form or the food purchase request form before they can begin planning events, however, they must consult their financial coordinator at the beginning of the planning process to ensure compliance with Penn policies and best practices. Student organizations should continue to work with their financial coordinator/financial center early and often during the event planning process to spend money in accordance with the current financial policies.
  • Organizations may resume travel related to the mission of their organization. Public health guidance will vary by country, state, and locality. It is the responsibility of students to be aware of public health guidance wherever they travel.
  • Student groups may host guests on campus. Guidance for guests on campus can be found at the Penn Coronavirus website.
  • There are special considerations for activities that include children 12 and under. If your group typically hosts events with children on or off-campus, please consult with your advisor for guidance.

Student groups may not:

  • Track or ask members to disclose (verbally or written) their vaccination status.
  • Require students to show proof of a negative Covid test before participating in activities.
  • Force people to remove their mask.

Resources to Support Student Organizations

There are resources available to support student organizations in their efforts to host safer activities.

  • Public Health Ambassadors (PHAs) may be available to support events that are at higher risk for Covid transmission. Factors such as the size of an event, being open to the public, or the presence of food/beverage/alcohol may result in the recommended use of a PHA.
  • Individual students will retain access to their Zoom account provided through the University.
    • Additionally, the Office of Student Affairs will maintain licenses for free access to Zoom Webinars and BlueJeans Events, which can host up to 1000 participants at a time. Please be in touch with OSA to request access to these resources on an event-by-event basis.
  • PennOpen Pass is available for reporting symptoms and exposures. While no longer required for building access, group members can utilize this tool and ask members to display red or green passes as needed.

University staff reflect on assisting LGBTQ college students during pandemic


Monday, May 3, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, college students have had to live their lives a little differently than initially planned. This includes taking online classes and not engaging with that same sense of camaraderie they would have felt if they attended college in person. 

Many LGBTQ students, in particular, felt a specific form of isolation. But how did campus staff members assist these students? PGN spoke with representatives from departments specializing in diversity and inclusion at Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania on how students felt, what the staff did to combat these issues, and how they plan to move forward.

Erin Cross, the director for UPenn’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center, noted the impact of financial issues on transgender and gender-nonconforming students. She said there was a huge uptick in students who applied for UPenn’s Townsend Munro Fund, which assists students making gender transitions. She noted that a high number of students applied for it during the pandemic as they now had to pay for food and rent in addition to medical supplies and other things necessary for transition.

“That was something we were pretty shocked by during the first six months of the pandemic in particular. Our trans students were struggling financially a great deal.”
Erin Cross photographed outside on Locust Walk
Erin Cross
Director of UPenn’s LGBT Center

How to engage academic wellness services


Friday, April 16, 2021

I’m here to tap into my full potential,” says Niko Simpkins, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. “That’s the quote that I live by.” Simpkins envisions excellence, which is why he found himself at the Weingarten Center, poring over past exams with STEM learning specialist Gabriel Angrand. Weingarten is Penn’s hub for tutoring, disabilities services, and academic supports for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students across all 12 schools. Weingarten staff collaborate with campus partners including Academic Advising, Athletics, Counseling & Psychological Services, International Student and Scholar Services, and Penn First Plus.

Academic learning isn’t just about attending lectures and taking notes. It’s about engaging with the textbook, reading the syllabus to see what the professor wants, understanding how tests are graded and where students may be losing points, and for some students seeking counseling or a diagnosis for undiagnosed learning disabilities.

Weingarten looks at student wellness comprehensively, says associate vice provost Sharon Smith. “So, if a student is with us in tutoring and it turns out they are struggling with concentration, we have the resources and expertise to help them with that within Weingarten,” she says. The goal, she says, is to provide multidisciplinary case management and connect students directly with the help they need.

Weingarten Center by the Numbers [Fall 2020]

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Students who sought tutoring
0
Total tutoring hours
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Students who sought a total of 1,098 virtual appointments
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Students who attended a total of 156 workshops and programs offered
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Students who sought 623 appointments, resulting in 77 referrals
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Total accommodated disability exams

Students Engage with Philadelphia


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Monday, April 12 had neither course assessments nor asynchronous classes. The University offered self-directed activities that advanced our community, both to engage with Philadelphia for our Year of Civic Engagement and to explore opportunities and faculty expertise at Penn, including asynchronous preceptorials and other events with campus organizations.

Photos from Engagement Day

If you have other images you would like to share with us, email them to smccann@upenn.edu