Senior societies. Have you heard of them? Sphinx, Friars, Hex, Omega…. most people have heard the names but have no idea what they represent or what it takes to get into them. All of them (usually) consist of leaders in their specific fields: the College, Greek life, Wharton, Engineering, but one stands out from the rest. It's Penn's performing arts senior society: Osiris. It consists of some swaggy people in theatre, dance, a cappella... you name it. We sat down with a member of the society, Emily Lipka '16, to give you low down on what’s good in Osiris.
How would you describe Osiris?
Emily Lipka: A haven for the weird art kids who sat together at high school lunch. (laughs) But actually, it's like a social and performing outlet for people in all different niches and social scenes at Penn who are united by loving some facet of the performing arts. Every social get–together definitely ends in belting singing or some sort of dance–esque talent show. You also get to see discounted shows of other people in the group, and we put on a showcase at the end of the year.
What kind of people would you find in the society?
EL: Honestly, everyone. I'd say the only common thread is liking the performing arts and having at least spent a small portion of college in Platt (Ed. note: Platt is the performing arts practice space next to the quad, for all you performing arts plebes out there). There are singers, business staff of groups, tech members, dancers, actors, comedians... and I'm definitely forgetting some, but you get the picture. There are Greek, non–Greek, transfer students, people in other senior societies, engineers, people who want to do their art for their career and future doctors. It's a mixed bag of lovable weirdos!
What makes you guys different than any other senior society on Penn's campus?
EL: We're relatively new, only in our fourth year, so we're still figuring this whole thing out. We also are bound by a pretty specific niche, unlike some of the more blanket senior societies that span all of Penn's campus groups and just attract people in leadership or sports or some other more broad area. Once again, we end basically any night with a talent portion essentially.
If you had to describe Osiris as an alcohol, what would it be?
EL: Fireball, for sure. It's spicy, can mix with a lot of different things or be taken standalone. I've actually never met a fireball I don't like—and I think I've had it before every Osiris event yet, and it's never left me devoid of a good time.
Why the name "Osiris"? Or is that secret?
EL: Okay, so to be honest, I need to look this up on Wikipedia...even though i've been told it probably ten times, and I'm sorry to my fateful leaders. (looks it up) It's believed that Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead/underworld/etc. traveled all around teaching and meeting people, and that he united the nine Greek muses who spread the oral traditions of music and poetry to society. So, homie brought them together to strengthen their artistic breadth of knowledge, and this group unites our artists!
What's the best thing about being in Osiris, so far?
EL: Seeing all the different shows. Because of the discount we get, there's really no incentive not to see a random show you'd never heard of or you never considered going to before. Like, I'm an incredibly bad dancer, so going to see a Strictly Funk and Arts House and Penn Dance show in one semester makes me feel like...one: I need to stretch more and two: is really eye-opening to the broad array of talent and incredible beauty of dance.
We saw someone carrying a mini harp. Was that you guys?
EL: Yeah, that's Lyra. She's a lyre and a real homie. She gets pretty well acquainted with all of the members. They take her under their wing and apprentice her to learn the ways of the arts.
Do you guys have a showcase of the people in your society?
EL: Yeah! May 1st in Houston's class of '49. Check it.