University of Pennsylvania Boosts Security Measures for Upcoming Commencement

University officials have announced increased security measures for the upcoming commencement ceremony on May 20, in response to the ongoing pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Pennsylvania.

There will be a notable increase in security measures at all Franklin Field gates and on the field inside the stadium. Graduates and guests will be subject to airport-style security screening, which may cause delays when entering the venue.

The gates will open at 8 a.m., and the ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m. Graduates are required to present their Penn ID in order to gain access to the field.

Penn officials want to make it clear that this situation is constantly changing, and safety protocols may be subject to change. Attendees are encouraged to stay informed and plan accordingly.

The encampment has expanded, with protestors displaying increased activity overnight into Thursday morning. Penn police, in collaboration with Philadelphia police, have been present at the site in response to Penn’s request for extra resources from the city.

Despite ongoing efforts to establish order, the situation continues to be fraught with tension. The statue of Ben Franklin underwent some damage, but it has been restored to its original condition. Protestors are calling for Penn to disclose its investments and cut ties with businesses that support Israel.

The encampment has been deemed a violation of university policies and a disruption to campus operations, according to Penn’s interim president. Despite engaging with protestors on two occasions, the university president has firmly urged for the encampment to be disbanded.

The protest at Penn is indicative of a broader movement seen on college campuses throughout the U.S., where students are advocating for the withdrawal of investments from companies associated with Israel. Confrontations between law enforcement and demonstrators have intensified on multiple campuses, resulting in arrests and the removal of encampments.

As the situation continues to develop, Penn officials are closely monitoring the situation and taking necessary steps to prioritise the safety and security of everyone involved in the commencement ceremony.

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