Important Message from the Provost for Penn Families

March 14, 2020

Dear Parents,

We write again today to seek your partnership during a time of unprecedented challenge.

In a matter of days, we have moved to depopulate a sprawling urban campus of nearly 50,000 students, faculty, and employees. We need your help ensuring that your student follows these directives to leave Penn and return home immediately.

We instructed all residents of University housing to leave by Tuesday March 17 and expect off-campus students to vacate their residences by the same time. We have communicated Penn’s position to local landlords and asked them to work with their tenants to support this public health necessity.

Spring Break has been extended by a week to facilitate the transition to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. Some students are taking this extension as a cue to have parties, socialize, and frequent local restaurants or clubs – violating medical guidance to practice social distancing. We cannot overemphasize the importance of changing personal behavior at this time.

Below are two articles that speak to the importance of social distancing:

We are including below the email that was sent to students yesterday. We implore you to talk candidly as a family and to take this situation seriously. All members of the Penn community must participate in thoughtful prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

We appreciate everything you are doing to help all of us stay safe and healthy during this crisis. We will continue to update you as events move forward.

Wendell Pritchett, Provost



March 14, 2020

Dear Students,

The University has made several difficult decisions in the past week in the interest of our community’s health and well-being. Included in these decisions was a notice to all students to immediately practice low-density medical standard social distancing.

This included a clear mandate to cease all student group activities, on or off campus. No parties. No events.

Do not jeopardize your health or that of your fellow classmates. Any failure to follow medical precautions exposes our police and medical first responders to unnecessary risk that can flood the emergency response system in the middle of a global health crisis.

To that end, any student, student organization, or group of students found to be congregating on campus, or off campus, will face immediate intervention by Penn Police. Students and organizations violating this directive may face additional consequences, including referrals to the Office of Student Conduct.

This is an unprecedented situation, for our campus and the world. Please join us in ensuring that the health and safety of this community remains our top priority. Do not risk your health or your academic standing with poor decision making at this critical time.

Wendell Pritchett, Provost

Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Vice Provost for University Life

Last Updated 03/01/2020 - 14:08