Open Forum Format and Guidelines

Any member of the University community who wishes to do so may attend the Council meeting (a PennCard is required for entry). PennCard holders who want to be assured of speaking at Open Forum must submit a request to the Office of the University Secretary ( by the applicable published deadline, briefly indicating the subject of their intended remarks. Speakers’ statements are limited to three minutes and should be framed to present topics of general University interest and be directed to University Council as a body through the moderator, and not to an individual.

The moderator of University Council has discretion to interrupt statements that are directed against individuals and otherwise to maintain respectful engagement and productive dialogue during the meeting.

Penn is a community committed to respecting one another even when- and particularly when- one disagrees.

Penn is dedicated to a plurality of voices and different opinions. This is fundamental to the Penn community.

Those who have not submitted a timely request to the Office of the University Secretary will be permitted to speak at the discretion of the moderator of University Council if time remains after the registered speakers.

Following the deadline for speakers to sign up in the Office of the University Secretary will structure the Open Forum session in terms of subject matter themes, speakers, and times, and publicize the order of registered speakers in advance. In the event that there is not enough time available at the meeting to provide for all those who have requested to speak, selections may be made to accommodate the broadest array of issues having important implications for Council's work and represent the breadth of Council's constituencies. The resulting order of the Open Forum topics will be made available no later than the Tuesday before the meeting, to be published on the Office of the University Secretary website and, if deadline constraints allow, in Almanac.

Actions taken and responses to topics raised during Open Forum are reported to Council at the following meeting.

Order of Speakers for Open Forum

  1. Supporting Cross-School Collaborations in Psychedelic Research, Victor Pablo Acero, GR’24
  2. Genocide & Peace (Original Poem), Nakisha Jones, LPS’24
  3. Significance of the Open Expression Guidelines, Lily Brenner, ENG’26
  4. Student Disciplinary Processes, Mira Sydow, C’25
  5. Opposing Violent Threats, Hilah Kohen, GR’30
  6. The University’s Response to the Israel-Hamas War, Iman Tednga, C’26
  7. Impact of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Regulations, Lucas Lee, C’25, ENG’25
  8. Support for Open Expression, Evie Klein, C’24


Next Open Forum

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

4:00 p.m.
Hall of Flags, Houston Hall
(PennCard required for entry)

Email the University Council
Houston Hall, Pen


Office of the University Secretary 
1 College Hall, Room 211
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303

Phone (215) 898-7005
Fax (215) 898-0103

Campus Map