UPenn Ben Franklin Statue Urinated On, Outraging International Student

Image: UPenn Ben Franklin Statue Urinated On, Outraging International Student

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 04:25 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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An international student at the University of Pennsylvania was horrified to witness a drunk student urinating on the school’s statue of Benjamin Franklin, and wrote an editorial about the disrespectful act.

“This Saturday night, I was confronted with an image of appalling proportion,” wrote Stefan Ivanofski, from the Republic of Macedonia, in the Daily Pennsylvanian student newspaper. “I was shocked to see a drunk, American college-aged male urinating on Benjamin Franklin’s statue … When I asked him what he was doing, he just told me to ‘shake it off,’ and he continued about his business. I was outraged, so I immediately phoned public safety to report the incident.”

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Ivanofski said the spectacle was particularly appalling to him because of the disrespect shown to Franklin, who is a man he wants to emulate in his country. He is getting a master’s in city planning and community and economic development.

He hopes to take those skills home to make life better in Macedonia where, he wrote, “the unemployment and poverty rates have been over 30 percent for the past two decades.”

Ivanofski’s column drew some debate in the comments on Franklin’s good qualities – from his slave ownership that developed into a more far-reaching attitude that resulted in his freeing the slaves and becoming an abolitionist – and on the possible identity of the urinating student. A general identity, that is, otherwise known by one commenter as a “frat bro.”

“Welcome to America, my friend,” the commenter wrote. “You see in this country we have a subspecies of humanity who we refer to as the ‘frat bro.’ The frat bro is a subhuman who will spend his meaningless life toiling away in a sweatshop on Wall Street. But like the dog who also pisses on statues and humps every b— he sees, we should take pity on this pathetic creature.”

A little internet research brings up the fact that peeing on Franklin’s statue is apparently not that unusual at UPenn. In 2007, the Ivy Gate blog wrote about the same issue, citing a Pennsylvanian story. They quoted the statue’s artist, George Lundeen, who said, “It’s embarrassing to me as an artist to have that happen, and it should be embarrassing to anyone at the University of Pennsylvania to have that happen.”

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