Lexi Boccuzzi | Why I resigned from The Daily Pennsylvanian.

By Lexi Boccuzzi

Photo credit: Design by Lexi Boccuzzi

To The Daily Pennsylvanian’s 140th Executive Board: 

Over the last four years, I have written more than 40 columns for The Daily Pennsylvanian under the title “Lexi’s Take.” My column has grown to be inextricably linked with my identity on campus. I am very proud of the work I have done as a columnist and editor, and I feel lucky to have had fierce support from many former leaders of the Opinion department. 

When I wrote my first pieces critiquing the University’s COVID-19 policies and the politicization of science amidst the pandemic, executive leadership tried to prevent their publication. They requested the removal of cited facts that did not fit their political narrative. During the controversy surrounding Lia Thomas’ competing on the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team, the DP failed to cover the gag order issued against Thomas’ teammates. However, when an anonymous op-ed by one of those swimmers was published criticizing NCAA guidelines—not Thomas’ gender identity—the piece was promptly removed post-publication after being denounced as “vile” and “disturbing” by those on staff. Disagreement should be welcomed and encouraged. However, it profoundly jeopardized our journalistic integrity to pull a piece post-publication.

Nevertheless, I stayed. Student journalism is crucial to cultivating a campus that fosters constructive discourse and challenges ideas. I believed that the institution was experiencing the stressors of timidness and intolerance in a culture that had raised our generation to be censorial. This substantively changed following October 7th, 2023. The DP did not include important details of on-campus protests. Marc Rowan’s letter to the University was rejected by the DP on grounds of “incendiary” language. However, then-Chairman of the Board of Trustees Scott Bok’s response to that very letter was quickly published. Guest columns were restrictively edited, sent through sensitivity readings, and often rejected. Students, faculty, and DP alumni contacted me expressing their alarm at the paper’s lack of adequate representation of on-campus events. Despite my efforts to bring these concerns to leadership, most went unaddressed or even ignored. 

The University of Pennsylvania is now a place where people shy away from ideas that frustrate them rather than challenge them head-on. The Daily Pennsylvanian has become a place where that problem is exacerbated. As a result, I have decided to help start a new publication called The Pennsylvania Post to foster discourse from all enclaves of campus. We believe that speech without freedom is useless, and will remain committed to publishing all substantive viewpoints. It is with an eye to the future that I, therefore, resign from The Daily Pennsylvanian. I hope that the introduction of journalistic competition to campus will help us all recommit ourselves to the honest pursuit of the truth.


Lexi Boccuzzi 

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