We all come to the University of Pennsylvania with different backgrounds, interests, goals, and experiences, but there’s one thing we all share about coming here: we want to receive a Penn education. This often means research, access to top professors, a series of challenging but rewarding courses, endless things to study. At the same time, our Penn education can be full of obstacles and disappointments; when we arrive here, we are faced with a million opportunities, but also the fact that everything that was promised to us when we were admitted to our university is not always kept. Criticism and change can be the greatest act of love – we demand change in our community because we want it to be the best it can be.
The Undergraduate Education Student Committee, or SCUE, was the first branch of student government at Penn. Founded in 1965we were created as a result of a merger between male and female student governments, which led to the full integration of Penn’s male and female colleges into 1974. The effort was led by Judith Rodin (C ’66), who was to become president of the University. Today, SCUE serves as the educational policy arm of student government, acting as student advocates and advisors to faculty and administration in revising educational policy.
We have led projects ranging from Take Your Professor to Lunch to the development of Penn Course Reviewand influenced administrative decisions such as the pass/fail extension ranking during the pandemic, overhaul of Penn InTouch at Path@Penn, and the creation of Fall Break. Every year we publish the Roadmap to Pennand have a publication history that encompasses many other aspects of undergraduate education, including our Research roadmap, Well-being luminous paper, Analysis of holistic educationand evaluation of Penn’s Half-Credit Neckcsr offers.
Recently, SCUE has been working on the Bridge to Mathematics Programdeveloping a curriculum for marginalized communities, increasing civic engagement, improving counseling, and creating teacher and teacher welfare training programs, among others.
In addition, every five years, SCUE publishes our white paper, consisting of research on student initiatives, an audit of the current state of undergraduate education at Penn, and proposed solutions and changes to address problems at Penn. It is addressed to the President of the University and is widely circulated among administration and faculty, becoming a point of contact for the development and review of education policy at Penn for the next five years. We published our latest white paper in 2020and are currently planning and conducting preliminary research for our 2025 publication.
Since the pandemic, many EUCS initiatives have been interrupted; with the ever-changing educational landscape in response to the pandemic, change and advocacy have become reactionary rather than progressive. This week, SCUE is relaunching our first Education Week since the fall of 2019 as we as a Penn community emerge from the pandemic and ask ourselves what we want the future of our education to be like. With the inauguration of President Liz Magill at the end of this week, we are entering a new era of education at Penn – it gives us a unique opportunity to demand the changes we want to see and play a vital role in shaping the future of our school.
All of that being said, SCUE cannot advocate for student voice without your input; we want to focus our energies on projects that are important to the student body. If there is anything you want to see changed or improved in your Penn education, We want to hear it. However, it requires speaking up and getting involved – it is up to us as students to take charge of our education at Penn.
While it’s easy to become immersed in extracurricular activities, socializing, networking, pre-professionalism, and all that colors our undergraduate lives at Penn, it’s important to remember that we’re all here. for one reason: cutting-edge education. This week (as well as every week), SCUE asks you to reflect on what undergraduate education means to you and to talk about what you want to see grow and change in your education at Penn.
This week, find SCUE on Locust and tell us about your favorite class you’ve taken here, or the best teacher you’ve had and what they did to make your Penn education special. Or, share your frustrations, the things you want to challenge or see uprooted within undergraduate education. The EUCS website contains a live feedback form where you can contact us about initiatives you would like to see and issues you would like to see addressed in conversations with the directors. You can also find live polls for our various projects to provide direct feedback on your undergraduate study experience. We will also be holding events including a Monday evening study break, a ABCS panel co-hosted by the Netter Center, Wellness Community Conversation, and Bridge to Math Study Hall. You can see the full program here.
Our education at Penn is incredibly valuable, one of the best in the world. But with that comes a demand for accountability for the promise of what our education could be and a plea for what we, as students, think it should be. This week, join SCUE in championing your vision for undergraduate education at Penn.
The Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE) is the educational policy arm of the Penn Student Government whose mission is to improve undergraduate education at Penn. You can contact the SCUE Steering Committee at email@example.com.