Street: Why did you get involved with Programs in Religion, Interfaith and Spirituality Matters (PRISM)? Allie Fuchs: When I came to Penn, I had the same dream as all girls: to meet a nice Jewish boy with earning potential. But as a non–Jew, it was hard. I decided to take the interfaith route to meet someone… and I was successful.
Street: Wait, actually to meet an NJB (Nice Jewish Boy, duh)? AF: No! Before PRISM, I was chair of the interfaith community service group CHORDS, which I like to say means Christians, Hindus and Other Religions Doing Service. It really doesn’t stand for anything, but it’s a nice acronym.
Street: What’s been the best part about being involved with interfaith student groups? AF: Since I went to an Episcopalian high school, I saw it as a really good way to meet diverse people who I might not interact with otherwise. We had really important, honest conversations—it surprised me how really close friendships could form between different groups through interfaith discussion.
Street: You had a special role in the Clinton rally in November. Tell us about that. AF: My boyfriend Andrew was introducing Bill, but he was on crutches, so I held them on–stage while he spoke. And then I got to talk to Bill for almost a whole minute—which was my life goal.
Street: Wow! What did you talk about? AF: I told him that we had the same birthday and, in his classic Clinton way, he responded, “It looks better on you, dear.” Then he gave me a hug. I think it only goes downhill from there. It could only go up if Hillary ran and I got to sit at their table at the Inaugural Ball and he said I had a nice dress.
Street: How do you feel about graduating in May? AF: I don’t want to leave Penn, but I’m really excited to go to New Orleans, where I’ll be teaching next year through Teach for America. I can’t wait to get in the classroom. I eventually want to teach high school or middle school math.
Street: For real? AF: Oh yeah, I’ve taken math and science classes at Penn that weren’t even fulfilling requirements.
Street: Who’s your alter ego? AF: Probably my ex–co–chair Sean [Nadel]. We were complete opposites, so I think we made a great team. I would stress and he would calm me down. I was Mr. Hyde and he was Dr. Jekyll, I think.
Street: So we have to talk about your grandmother, who goes here. That has to be a first. AF: Yep, Granny May is taking a class on race in America! With a large number of my friends in Phi Psi. She tells them a lot of stories about me and almost half of them are true. She and her friend basically decided they weren’t finished learning.
Street: Please tell us you've taken a class with Granny May. AF: Oh yeah, I took a class with her last year and she would call my mom to tell her if I had participated in class! I missed it once and got a call from everyone in my family freaking out if I was okay. She was Class of ‘53 at Penn, so my first reunion will be her 60th.
Street: There are two types of people at Penn… AF: Those who went to Won's and those who go to Beijing. Unfortunately, Won’s is now closed. Now, it’s more those who mourn and those who don’t. I guess Won’s did what it always did and brought people together…