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UPenn Bans Tent Encampments in New Protest Guidelines

By    |   Thursday, 06 June 2024 01:44 PM EDT

The University of Pennsylvania released new temporary guidelines for campus protests Thursday that ban encampments and overnight demonstrations.

The new guidelines were sent out to the university community in an email Thursday morning that was signed by Interim Penn President Larry Jameson, Provost John Jackson, Senior Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli, and deans from all 12 Penn undergraduate and graduate schools, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported.

The new guidelines explicitly ban encampments and come after a tumultuous semester at the Ivy League school that was marked by pro-Palestinian protests and heightened tensions on campus. The encampment on College Green lasted 16 days before police in riot gear cleared it May 10.

"To ensure the safety of the Penn community and to protect the health and property of individuals, encampments and overnight demonstrations are not permitted in any University location, regardless of space [indoor or outdoor]," the guidelines read. "Unauthorized overnight activities will be considered trespassing and addressed."

Under the new guidelines, all events at Penn are "presumed to be private" and require the organizers of "non-academic" outdoor events to make a reservation two weeks in advance. Events must also be held during "stated business hours" unless prior permission was received.

"Amplified sound" on College Green is restricted to 5 to 10 p.m., and is "not permitted" at all during reading days and final exams, according to the guidelines.

Use of "non-water soluble, semi-permanent, and permanent substances, including spray-chalk" is prohibited on any university surface, including "vertical surfaces," and light projections onto any university buildings or structures without permission are also banned.

According to the Pennsylvanian, pro-Palestinian groups Penn Students Against the Occupation of Palestine and the Philly Palestine Coalition posted photos on their Instagram stories of several messages projected onto Penn buildings in the fall.

The messages included phrases such as "Let Gaza live," "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," "Zionism is racism," and "Penn funds Palestinian genocide."

University sculptures and statues are also protected under the new guidelines.

"To preserve these structures and to reduce the risk of injury, University statues and sculptures may not be climbed on or covered with any material," the guidelines state.

Protesters who set up the school's Gaza Solidarity Encampment used chalk to write messages on the pavement around College Green, projected movies on university buildings and could often be seen climbing and chalking a Benjamin Franklin statue on campus.

The temporary guidelines also address the presence of non-Penn students at campus protests.

"Non-University affiliated persons may have less expansive rights of open expression in University locations than those who are members of the Penn community," the guidelines state.

Of the 33 protesters who were arrested when police disbanded the encampment, only nine were Penn students, the Pennsylvanian reported.

Additionally, live-streaming of events in spaces that are managed by "University Life Space and Events Management" is not permitted "except in limited circumstances where reaching a wider audience is appropriate" and approved by the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL).

Lastly, the right of Penn public safety officers and VPUL delegates to request Penn IDs on campus is upheld by the temporary guidelines, which stress that requesting ID does not "ordinarily" involve making a record of the information for disciplinary purposes.

"Penn Public Safety or VPUL delegates who request ID information for purposes of a possible disciplinary action must give notice of this intention to any Penn ID holders at the time of making such a request," the guidelines read.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The University of Pennsylvania released new temporary guidelines for campus protests Thursday that ban encampments and overnight demonstrations.
university, pennsylvania, tent, encampments, college, protests, antisemitism
Thursday, 06 June 2024 01:44 PM
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