Letter to Penn Community Regarding COVID-19 Biased-Based Incidents

April 7, 2020

Dear Penn Community Members: We have been alerted to bias-motivated attacks against members of the Asian and/or Asian-American communities in the Philadelphia region that have occurred since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus. We are also aware of other incidents of bias-motivated street harassment that have occurred to members of our community and throughout the nation. Naturally, Penn students, staff and faculty are feeling anxious about these reports. Please know that Penn’s Division of Public Safety is here to support the physical and emotional wellbeing of all Penn communities. Should any member of our community receive any threatening messages or become the victim of a criminal act, or see suspicious activity that should be indicative of a future act of violence, regardless of the location of the occurrence, please call the Division of Public Safety’s Emergency Communications Center immediately at 215-573-3333. We know many Penn community members live in Center City Philadelphia. Know that the Penn Police work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department on all criminal matters, regardless of where they occur in the city of Philadelphia. You can also submit the information to Public Safety through our Online Crime Reporting Form. Public Safety’s Special Services Unit is also available for anyone who has experienced such hate-motivated bias. You may reach them at 215-898-6600. Special Services advocates work very closely with Penn’s many resources for students including the twelve schools as well as resource centers within the Division of the Vice Provost for University Life. We have listed contact information for key partners below:


Student Intervention Services: vpul-sisteam@pobox.upenn.edu

Student Health Service (SHS): 215-746-3535 (24/7)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 215-898-7021 (24/7)

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS): iPenn Login

Pan Asian American Community House (PAACH): paach@lists.upenn.edu

Chaplain’s Office

Penn Diversity: Bias-Based Reporting Form


We understand how difficult and frightening this time might be for you. Know that you remain valued members of our Penn community and Penn resources are here to support you.


Stay Safe and Healthy,

Maureen S. Rush, M.S. CPP

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 20:04