Political Action Week 2014


Join Penn Political Coalition for Political Action Week 2014 and enjoy five days of speakers, debates, workshops, demonstrations, and more! Nearly 20 political advocacy groups from across campus are participating in Political Action week this year and hosting more than 10 events to spark important political conversations among students.

Engage with our speakers, find out what issues matter to you and how you can get involved in Penn’s vibrant political life.


Activism Through Lobbying Workshop

Activism Through Lobbying will provide the tools Penn students needs to further their goals through the political process. By demonstrating basic principles of lobbying and also real world examples of student groups on campus who activity lobby, we hope to promote another avenue of political activism that can be achieved on campus, at home or in DC.

Hosted by: PIPAC, MEChA,  PEG, SSDP
When: 7 pm
Where: Steiny D 211


Intelligence Squared Debate

Does the American surveillance state keep us safe? Some say that it protects us from external threats. Others think it is the first step on a slippery slope to “Big Brother”. Join the Polybian Society on Monday, October 27th at 6:00 PM as we debate the resolution Spy on Me: I Would Rather Be Safe.

Do you think the NSA is abusing its power? Do you not care if someone collects your metadata? Do you think the extra information even helps counterterrorism efforts? Two teams of two debaters will argue these issues and more. At the beginning of the debate the audience will be asked to vote on the issue, and after the debate there will be another vote with the side showing the highest positive change being declared the “winner”. If you are interested in privacy, security, constitutional law, or simply like watching a good argument, you won’t want to miss this!

Hosted by: GPA
When: 6pm
Where: Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall

Dueling Narratives: Historical Approaches to Occupation

Join J Street UPenn in a provocative and enlightening discussion on the dueling Israeli/Palestinian narratives with regards to occupation in the Holy Land. We will examine each side’s story, looking directly at the histories involved, and evaluate the barriers that remain to pursuing a constructive solution. What is occupation? What does each side call the “start date”? What’s the state of play on the ground today? Snacks will be served!

Hosted by: J Street UPenn
When: 8pm
Where: Hillel Harrison Library (second floor)


Penn Democrats hosting Jared Bernstein

Jared Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team. Today, he is a Senior Fellow at the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities

Join Penn Dems, the Wharton Politics and Business Association, the Undergraduate Economics Society, and SPEC in a conversation about income inequality and what policies we can enact moving forward.

Hosted by: Penn Democrats, UES, WPBA
When: 6pm
Where: Huntsman F85


Discussion with NFL Eagle and Congressman Jon Runyan

Please join the College Republicans and the Penn Political Review in welcoming Congressman Jon Runyan. Before starting his term in 2011, Runyan was an offensive tackle in the NFL and spent most of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles(2000-2008). Whether you are a sports fan or a political junkie, you do not want to miss out on hearing Congressman Runyan speak. Pizza will be served!

Hosted by: College Republicans, Penn Political Review
When: 7pm
Where: Huntsman 240

SSDP Phone Banking Event

Interested in marijuana policy reform? On November 4th, citizens of Florida, Alaska, Oregon and D.C. will vote on legislation supporting medical marijuana (FL), and legalization and/or regulation. Come Join Students for Sensible Drug Policy in Rodin Underground at 7 PM on Tues, 10/28 on our phone-banking campaign to speak to registered voters on the issues that matter to us. Every phone call makes a difference! 

Please bring your friends and a laptop.
Hummus will be served.

Hosted by: Students for Sensible Drug Policy

When: 7 pm
Where: Rodin Underground


Political Action Week Keynote Featuring Andrew Shapiro

Andrew Shapiro is a Penn alum and co-founder and Managing Director of Beacon Global Strategies, an advisory firm specializing in defense, international policy, and intelligence. Prior to founding Beacon, he served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs and the Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton. Mr. Shapiro will also be teaching for the Penn in Washington Semester Program this spring.

Hosted by: Political Coalition, Penn in Washington
When: 6pm
Where: TBD in Huntsman

Behind the Bar: Social Effects of Drug Policy on Incarceration

Join the Penn NAACP and Students for Sensible Drug Policy this Wednesday October 29th for an interactive and lively discussion with notable experts Dr. Gregory Rigeway and Dr. Clemmie Harris!!

Dr. Ridgeway comes to Penn from the National Institute of Justice, where he serves as the Acting Director. Before joining the NIJ, Dr. Ridgeway was Director of Safety and Justice at the RAND Center on Quality Policing. Dr. Ridgeway is also a Fellow of the American Statistics Association and one of the world’s foremost statisticians engaged in Crime Research.

Dr. Clemmie Harris’s unique and accomplished background has spanned both on the ground experience as a narcotics offer as well as a senior policy advisor to former New York Governor David A. Paterson. His leadership helped influence a series of racial, social, and economic reforms including: drug law reform, economic justice initiatives and New York City’s anti-racial profiling policy. Dr. Harris also had the unique experience of He is a former Fellow of the Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism Program, Africana Studies and William Fontaine Society at Penn.

Hosted by: Penn NAACP, SSDP
When: 7pm
Where: TBD in Huntsman


The Legacy of President Obama — A Discussion with the Polybian Society

As midterm elections approach, come evaluate President Obama’s presidency thus far with the Polybian Society , one of the branches of the Government and Politics Association. Topics discussed will include foreign policy, economics, health care, education, and immigration. No prior knowledge needed — just come with an open mind and an eagerness to share your thoughts and beliefs! Food and drink will be provided.

Hosted by: GPA
When: 8:30 pm
Where: 3954 Baltimore Ave

Penn in Washington hosts Colleen Shogan

Dr. Colleen Shogan has taught at George Mason and Georgetown Universities and served as a legislative assistant and defense policy specialist in the United States Senate. She is currently the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service, a legislative agency that provides policy and legal analysis to members of Congress. This semester, she is also a Penn professor, teaching ten students who are in D.C. as a part of the Penn in Washington program.

Join Dr. Shogan as she discusses the age-old question: “Is Congress Broken?” Enjoy a free lunch and the unique insight into our government that only a true Washington insider can provide.

Hosted by: Penn in Washington, Phi Sigma Alpha
When: 12pm
Where: Stiteler Hall’s Silverstein Forum


I am Human Demonstration

Come be apart of a demonstration and expose the issues that matter to you! We will be meeting

in front of Houston Hall and we will march together. Then, we will have the opportunity to share

our thoughts and frustrations with the group. Our posters will state “I Am ______ and HUMAN.”

For example, “I am a Feminist and HUMAN” or “I am Undocumented and HUMAN.”

Hosted by: Penn for Immigrant Rights
When: 3pm
Where: College Green

Movement Restriction in Occupied Palestine Workshop

Israeli occupation and apartheid function to limit Palestinian movement, depending on identity card. Join Penn Students for Justice in Palestine for an informative, interactive, and unsettling workshop to explore what these identity card-based movement restrictions mean for Palestinians.

Hosted by: Penn for Palestine
When: 4:30 pm
Where: Huntsman Room TBD


Homecoming Alumni Brunch

Come meet Penn in Washington alumni during homecoming weekend! Enjoy our first ever homecoming brunch, including light cocktails for those over 21, while learning about living and working in Washington.

We are excited to announce that Steve Ressler, proud Penn alum and founder of GovLoop, will be on hand to give great advice on D.C. internships. Ressler literally wrote the book on advancing your career in Washington.


Hosted by: Penn in Washington
When: 11am-1pm
Where: Fels Courtyard



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