The Editorial Board | Why we started The Pennsylvania Post.

By The Editorial Board

Photo credit: Design by Lexi Boccuzzi

Over the last few months, we have learned a lot about our university. We have learned that there are political issues on which the student body, alumni, and faculty all disagree fiercely. We have learned that donors have a significant influence on campus leadership. Most importantly, we have learned that our institution lacks a commitment to free expression and civil discourse. Without this foundation, we’ve crumbled under public pressure and internal division.

Instead of learning these lessons, the Penn community has retreated into greater censorship and centralization. Our new president has been unable to resist the bully pulpit he now occupies to make political proclamations. Our campus publications have implemented increasingly restrictive speech guidelines and functionally censored opinions of critical interest to the student body. Alumni and faculty alike claim commitment to free speech while endorsing restrictions on their opposition antithetical to these values.

The age of hard-hitting journalism on our campus is dead. The job of the student journalist is to provide the sunlight that disinfects our institution’s illness, instead, they have let it fester. Picking up a student publication today tells you more about the risk avoidance endemic at elite institutions than it does about topics they cover. Self-censorship runs rampant among writers afraid of academic, social, or professional repercussions. Editors are more concerned with upsetting their readers or staff than publishing newsworthy content. 

We are depriving ourselves of the education that dialogue with a diversity of viewpoints promises, in order to protect a future high-earning career. Paradoxically, the lack of exposure to different perspectives has caused students’ worldviews to harden, threatening the reputation of our institution and thus, the prestigious positions many students desire. The quality of our education, and with it our future, is withering because of our culture of shackled speech. 

We dissent.

At The Pennsylvania Post, we believe in a campus characterized by free expression—where students and faculty can share their beliefs and debate their merits without judgment. We believe speech without freedom is useless. We believe democracy dies when dissent does. 

In practice, that means we will publish things that will make both our editors and our readers angry. We are students with varying perspectives. We are nonpartisan and seek out those with unique ideas. We welcome disagreement with pieces written by our columnists, and we will publish your response if you send it to us. We will encourage thoughtful, insightful, and critical engagement with our content and the events of our campus. 

The Pennsylvania Post is the home of heretics, the bastion of radicals, and the instrument for discourse at the University of Pennsylvania; because our education and our lives depend on it.

Join us.

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