Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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4 College Junior

Campus Quality: All types of events are frequently happening on campus. The events range from student run promotions, to campus ran events.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: There are many campus traditions that students participate in such as Hey Day, Tossing the Toast, etc. Student activities are abundant and very visible, especially on Locust Walk.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Lots of historical architecture and a lot of need LEED buildings also. Athletic center is really nice.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: For the most part, facilities are wonderful and are always being updated.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: It's a school implanted in West Philly - not the best place to be. Typically students are too busy to take advantage of "student activities" anyways.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Penn facilities make it convenient for students to exercise, plan a vacation, grab a bite to eat, play a game of pool, or simply round up a study group. Construction is constant on campus. The renovation of the high-rises, a new Hillel building, and a beautified Hill Field (soon to be called Hill Square) are the newest improvements on campus. The buildings range from ugly to collegiately beautiful. Huntsman Hall is one of the most technologically-advanced buildings in the world, while the music building is a dilapidated mess. There definitely is a range of quality in the facilities, but the newest and best-maintained buildings can be absolutely breathtaking.

Construction is a blessing and a curse on campus. If the building you live in is being worked on, the noise can be quite a headache, but construction is part of every city, and the finished product only contributes to the already impressive scenery. Again, the best facilities on campus (i.e., Pottruck Fitness Center, Huntsman Hall, and Houston Hall) beg little improvement while others need a facelift desperately. Perhaps eventually, every building will be updated satisfactorily, but until then, what these buildings lack in quality, the school tries to make up in quantity by providing more than enough to keep every student busy.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
269 acres
Student Centers
Houston Hall
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
  • Fisher Fine Arts Library
  • Huntsman Hall
  • Van Pelt Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • High Rise Green
  • Houston Hall
  • University Square
Bar on Campus
  • Blarney Stone
  • Copa Banana
  • La Terrasse
  • Mad Mex
  • New Deck Tavern
  • Smokey Joe's
  • White Dog Cafe
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Cosi in University Square
  • Java City Café at the Penn Book Store
  • Memorial Tower Café in Ware College House
  • Starbucks
Movie Theater on Campus
  • Cinemagic
  • The Bridge
School Slang
  • Baby Quad: A small section of Spruce college house in lower quad including the south courtyard and the rooms surrounding it.
  • Bloody Tampons: A huge, red sculpture arching over Locust Walk near the high-rises.
  • The Bridge: Either the bridge on Locust Walk between Huntsman Hall and 1920 Commons or the Bridge Cinema on Walnut Street.
  • The Button: A sculpture of a split button in front of the Van Pelt Library. The rumor is that every Penn student is supposed to have sex under the button before they graduate.
  • The Castle: Psi Upsilon Fraternity.
  • The Compass: The circle pointing you in the right direction in the middle of Locust Walk. It serves as a common place to meet friends coming from different directions.
  • Downtown: Party thrown at a club in downtown Philadelphia, usually thrown by fraternities or sororities.
  • DP: The Daily Pennsylvanian, the official newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Friars, Mortarboard, Sphinx: Exclusive senior societies that students are initiated into at the end of their junior years.
  • Fro-Gro: A nick name for Fresh Grocer.
  • Fro-Yo: What Penn students call frozen yogurt at the Hill dining hall.
  • Ghetto-Magic: The Cinemagic theater.
  • M&T: Management and Technology, an undergraduate program combining Engineering and Wharton.
  • The Nipple: The western-most point of the upper Quad, part of the Fisher-Hassenfeld dorm.
  • The River: The Schuylkill River located next to Franklin Field.
  • Smoke's: Smokey Joe's bar on 40th Street.
  • Theos, Owls, OZ, Tabard: Off-campus societies
  • The Wa or Wa Squared: Nicknames for Wawa.
  • Whartonite: Nickname for a typical Wharton student. Connotates a business-like, conservative, and wealthy student.
  • Ahhhh!: Econ Scream: Economics 001 is one of the most common classes for freshmen to take at Penn. On the eve of the course's first midterm, stressed students gather in the Quad at midnight and release some frustration by collectively screaming. Feel free to streak across the courtyard if you so desire.
  • Here's A Toast!: Toast Throwing: During football games, Quaker fans sing the traditional school song "Drink a Highball" and toss toast onto the field. Bonus points if you can hit the cheerleaders. If you can't get your hands on toast, bagels, donuts, or French bread work just as well.
  • Styrofoam Hats Are Sexy: Hey Day: In April, as seniors begin to prepare for graduation, lowly juniors prepare to step up into their senior year. This tradition has been around since 1865, and has endured until this day. Since 1949, juniors celebrate by donning Hey Day T-shirts, Styrofoam hats, and canes, and march through campus taking bites out of each other's hats. At the end of the procession, students greet the University President who makes a speech and officially declares that the juniors have become seniors.
  • That's One Long, Hard . . . Track Meet: Penn Relays: If you are a track fan, even a tiny little bit, you have heard of the Penn Relays, the biggest track meet in the world. This yearly event draws visitors and athletes from all over the world to Penn's campus to watch the best high school, college, and professional athletes of the day compete.
  • What's That Floating In the River?: Goal Post Tossing: When the Quaker football team wins the Ivy League championship, frenzied fans (attempt) to tear down the goal post and hurl it into the Schuylkill River, which is right next door to Franklin Field.
  • You Sexy Fling: Spring Fling: Considered to be the best weekend of the year at Penn by most students and the best spring festival in the country by some, Spring Fling is an incredible three days of vendors, bands, performances, and all out partying. Previous acts at the annual Spring Fling Concert were Busta Rhymes, The Donnas, Jurassic 5, and OK Go.
Urban Legends
  • Everyone has sex under the Button before they graduate.
  • If you walk on the compass before your first midterm freshman year, you're doomed to fail the test.
  • People seem to believe that Playboy ranked the boys at UPenn #4 in the nation, and the girls #352.
Favorite Things To Do
Houston Hall, the student center, is a great place to hang out. There is a food court, a game room, a great creperie, and lots of room to study or spend time with friends. Another popular thing to do is to see a speaker hosted by the Student Planning and Events Committee. Usually tickets are sold by lottery. When the weather is pleasant, students can often be found lounging on the grass in front of Van Pelt Library, in between the high-rises, and within the Quadrangle. Participate in poetry readings at the Kelly Writers House ( Or, if you’d like to hear anyone from Rudy Giuliani to Judah Friedlander to Bill Clinton speak, stop by an event at the Irvine Auditorium. When a friend is starring in a new production, check it out at the Iron Gate Theater. Start a club and hold meetings at Houston Hall. Enjoy a jazz concert at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts ( If you’re a sports buff, watch a football game at Franklin Field or the big Penn vs. Princeton basketball game at the famed Palestra. Or, if you’re just in the mood to sweat out some pent up stress, climb the rock climbing wall, run on a treadmill, or just grab a smoothie at the Pottruck fitness center.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
  • College Hall is rumored to have been the inspiration for Alumnus Charles Adams's Addams Family mansion.
  • Houston Hall was the first student union in the United States.
  • Irving Auditorium houses an 11,000-pipe Curtis Organ, the only early 20th-century civic pipe organ that remains in original condition.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 69 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 30 responses

  • 27% Spring Fling
  • 26% New Student Orientation
  • 13% Here's A Toast!
  • 8% You Sexy Fling
  • 6% That's One Long, Hard . . . Track Meet
  • 6% Styrofoam Hats Are Sexy
  • 5% Penn Relays
  • 2% What's That Floating In the River?
  • 2% Copa margs
  • 1% Ahhhh!
  • 1% Candy Shop
  • 1% Feb Club

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 37 responses

  • 19% Walk around the pretty campus
  • 15% Hanging with Friends
  • 12% See student group performances
  • 10% I like going to the Bio Pond
  • 10% Explore Philly
  • 9% Participate in extracurriculars
  • 8% Try new restaurants
  • 6% Browse in used bookstores
  • 5% Play sports
  • 3% Play tennis
  • 2% Games

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 39 responses

  • 46% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 41% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 10% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 3% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 67 responses

  • 37% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 60% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 0% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 3% I hate my school and have no school spirit.


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