The University of Pennsylvania announced it is not rescheduling its commencement ceremony, scheduled for one of the days of Shavuos, despite a petition requesting the change to enable Orthodox Jewish students and their relatives to participate in the event, JNS reported.
The petition to reschedule the commencement was signed by over 1,600 and alumni.
About 40 frum seniors received an email on March 24 informing them of the university’s decision not to move the ceremony, according to the university’s student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, claiming logistical reasons for the decision.
“The details and logistics of executing an event of this scale have been set for well over a year, and it is not feasible to move the ceremony even without other in-person school ceremonies in place,” the university stated in the email.
The university posted on its website that alternative arrangements will be offered for Orthodox students, including enabling students to attend the commencement without being required to carry or use technology; allowing the students to carry out pre-registration and COVID testing ahead of time; and having the campus Hillel facilitate “rabbinic guidance on this topic.”
The undergraduate student population at the university is about 17% Jewish.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)