Weingarten Center receives visionary gift
The University of Pennsylvania today announced a $2.6 million gift from the Moh Foundation that will be used to enhance academic support, disability services, and tutoring at the Weingarten Center.
The Moh Foundation Integrated Learning Care Initiative gift will directly impact Penn students by providing support for innovative, cross-campus collaborations; state-of-the-art space for accommodations and learning; and reimagined services that benefit every student on campus.
This landmark gift from the Moh Foundation will provide new resources that will enable the Weingarten Center to better support the academic experience of every Penn scholar, especially those with unique learning needs.
“With a shared interest in promoting equity and inclusion, our foundation was committed to funding Penn’s most urgent priorities around accessibility and support services for students with disabilities,” says Peggy Moh, president of the Moh Foundation, proud Penn parent, and member of the Weingarten Advisory Board. “By providing resources for programmatic experimentation, new technology and capital enhancements, we hoped to help solidify the Center’s position as the leader of student support services in the country.”
A new testing center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022 in Penn Libraries’ Biotech Commons. The space will provide an accessible, quiet exam site for students requiring testing accommodations. Previously, students who needed extra time, specific lighting, or other exam requirements used assigned spaces scattered across Penn’s campus. With this centralized testing location, a wide variety of accommodations will be offered in one space including services for students with visual and/or audial impairments. “This is a truly transformative gift,” says Jane Holahan, executive director of the Weingarten Center. “We are destigmatizing disability and empowering all of our students through an integrated learning model.”
A hub for academic support services outside the classroom, the Weingarten Center is an important element of student achievement. The Moh Foundation’s gift will allow Penn to pilot a case management approach designed to increase student success. By offering personalized academic support, the Center enables all students to be fully supported throughout their Penn journey through holistic, accessible, and equitable disability services and learning resources. “This gift highlights the importance of the Weingarten Center as a destination for all students who seek academic support to optimize their success,” says Sharon Smith, Associate Vice Provost for University Life.
Technology and new programming are also part of the gift that will enhance the student experience. “Student feedback is a key part of this gift,” Smith adds. “We are interested in continually evaluating our initiatives, experimenting, and offering what’s most urgent for our student population.”
Hey Day 2021
Messages from Vice Provost Dr. Mamta Motwani Accapadi
What a journey it has been! By now, you are settling into your living communities, among new and old friends, and ready for the upcoming school year. Spending time with many of you during move-in, I have been so moved by your stories of sacrifice and triumph, and our community is that much more precious because you are a part of it.
As we begin the school year, I want to share some hopes with you.
I hope you care fiercely for one another. Everyone around us is emerging from the past 18 months with some dimension of grief, loss, and hope. Our circumstances may have been different, and our collective commitment to one another will be a great source of healing and inspiration as we co-create a caring community together. We may not know one another’s stories, so let’s be present, with compassion and empathy.
I hope you embrace your magic and offer gratitude to those who have supported you along the way. Take a moment to thank your family, friends, teachers, and mentors. They are going through a transition too. Take a moment to thank our facilities, housekeeping, and dining partners who readied all of our spaces and nourished us. To our first-year students and those in the college houses, thank your RAs, GRAs, house managers, and PHINS – they created a caring and welcoming experience for all of us. Take a moment to thank the countless faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly to prepare for your arrival back to campus. Finally, take a moment to thank our health care providers who continue to nimbly support the collective health and well-being of our community as we emerge through the pandemic.
I hope you ask for help. All of us are here for you. We are an interconnected community ready to support your thriving at Penn. Go to office hours and meet your faculty. Talk to your academic advisors. If you live in the college houses, get to know the house directors and faculty directors. Connect with educators to learn about new strategies for studying and learning, and seek out tutoring support. Meet the counselors and health care providers in our Wellness Center. Asking for help is a sign of strength and courage.
I hope you share the gift of community. We are a residential community on purpose. Embrace the purposeful collisions of life stories in your residential communities. Get involved on campus through the breadth of student organizations, cultural communities, spiritual groups, performing arts groups, and recreational sports. Get involved beyond campus through our civic engagement and community partnerships. Join me at our athletics events! Be a source of joy for one another.
I hope you nourish your curiosity. We are so fortunate to have resources that allow us to explore and unfold into our passions. Consider engaging in mentored research with faculty. Talk to an advisor in career services to learn more about internships, graduate school readiness, and your life beyond Penn. Try something different!
I send you so much love and hope before we begin classes tomorrow. When the sun rises tomorrow, let it be a reminder of the shining light within each of you.
As part of the University’s community care efforts, all student groups must register events they would like to host on campus, at an off-campus residence, or at a third-party venue. This includes all events where alcohol will be served as well as dry events. All Penn community members are expected to review The University Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.
Registering events with alcohol
All members of the Penn student community, undergraduate, graduate, or professional, are expected to follow University policies and local, state, and federal laws at all times. These expectations extend to all event hosting, whether in on-campus spaces (such as fraternity houses or Houston Hall), off-campus residences, or third-party venues (such as clubs).
All student organizations are required to register social events with alcohol, regardless of where the event will be held. Registration helps student groups manage risk, since registered events require hosts to provide bartenders and security. Student group leaders should submit the registration materials and await response from University Life and/or an advisor (if applicable). Student groups should not publicize any event until they have received formal approval from University Life.
Drinking contests or games of any sort are expressly prohibited.
Many University undergraduate student organizations are subject to policies regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol imposed by a parent organization. If the policies governing an individual organization impose more restrictive regulations regarding alcohol possession and consumption it will be necessary for that organization to follow its parent organization’s policies or risk sanctions. If, however, the parent organization permits the possession or consumption of alcohol where otherwise prohibited by University policy, the organization must comply with the University’s policy, notwithstanding its parent organization’s rules.
Costs associated with hosting events with alcohol
Student groups hosting events where alcohol is served must have professional bartenders serving at the bar and professional security checking IDs at the front door. Funding is available to all undergraduate and graduate student groups to assist with the cost of these services. All student groups will have these costs automatically subsidized for up to four (4) events per semester. There is no separate application process to receive funds; University Life will automatically book and pay for these services upon approval of registration forms. After those four events, student groups are responsible for the costs of bartenders and security where applicable. Please contact Emily Giffin, Program Coordinator for Community Care, with any questions.
Registering events without alcohol
Student organizations wishing to hold events without alcohol are required to register with University Life, regardless of whether the event will be held in an on-campus fraternity house, off-campus residence, or third-party venue. Registration of these events helps Event Observers and Penn Police identify and differentiate between activity each weekend. Student group leaders should submit the registration materials and await response from University Life and/or an advisor (if applicable). Student groups should not publicize any event until they have received formal approval from University Life.
Keep in mind…
- No registered events may be held in basements, whether in on-campus or off-campus residences. Organizations may hold chapter-based activities and internal house gatherings in basement spaces, but for safety concerns, events must be held on the first floor if a larger group made up of non-members are attending.
- Organizations such as athletic teams or performing arts groups may be subject to additional expectations by coaches, advisors, or sponsors.
- Organizations that live in, and host events at, private off-campus residences are subject to additional expectations set forth in rental agreements/leases and in personal communications with landlords.
- Social fraternities at Penn belong to the IGC and IFC Councils. All NIC (North American Interfraternity Conference) and/or IFC-member fraternities follow the NIC Standard Operating Procedures to enhance safety measures at events. Some of these include:
- The presence of alcohol products above 15% alcohol by volume (ABV) (“hard alcohol”) is prohibited on any chapter/organization premises or at any event, except served by a licensed and insured third-party venue
- Events with alcohol are limited to a 3:1 maximum guest-to-member ratio, meaning the total attendance must not be greater than three times the chapter’s total active membership. For all events, attendance must not exceed the local fire or building code capacity of the host venue.
- Attendance by non-members at any event where alcohol is present must be by invitation only, and the organization must utilize a guest list system.
Register your event
If alcohol will be served at your event, please fill out the appropriate form based upon where your event will be held (on/off-campus or at a third-party venue). If alcohol will not be served at your event, please complete the dry events form. Please complete the form(s) using your Penn email address.
Penn announces plans for new student performing arts center
Penn President Amy Gutmann today announced that the University has begun the planning process to build a new student performing arts center at 33rd Street and Woodland Walk, adjacent to Lauder and Hill College Houses and proximate to King’s Court English College House. The University has issued a request for a proposal for a feasibility study for the proposed $31-million, 36,000-square-foot center, a project which Gutmann said has been in high demand by the collective undergraduate student body.
Founder of Penn LGBT Center Bob Schoenberg dies at 76
Founder and long-time Director of the Penn LGBT Center Bob Schoenberg died suddenly on Monday from cancer.
Schoenberg — who received a master of social work and a doctor of social work from the School of Social Policy & Practice in 1968 and 1989, respectively — founded the LGBT Center in 1982 after witnessing a Penn sophomore being severely beaten and targeted on Locust Walk for being gay. He served as the LGBT Center’s director for 35 years until retiring in 2017.
Schoenberg was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1944 and died at a residential hospice in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, according to his obituary.
According to the LGBT Center website, while Schoenberg was a doctoral student at Penn, he was hired to work three days per week as a “point person for lesbian and gay student concerns.” He was the second person in the country to have such responsibilities at a college or university, his obituary reads.
Local, national, and global engagement opportunities can also be found in many Penn student organizations.
Clubs & Activities
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 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.