Street: What are you involved with on campus?
Spencer Winson: I’m President of SPEC as a whole. SPEC is the Social Planning and Events Committee. It’s one of the six branches of Student Government. I am Stage Manager of Mask & Wig, which means I run the crew so that’s like, tech lighting, stage design, building the set. I am a member of MARS which is Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault. I have been since freshman year. So I’m technically a member of Strictly Funk. I just do their lighting, but I am a member! I work at Career Services. I run their social media. That was the first thing I actually got at Penn.
Street: Who’s been your favorite person that you’ve organized with SPEC?
SW: I got to talk with Caitlyn Jenner for, like, ten minutes. Like, one–on–one, which was incredible… That was, like, definitely the highlight of last year and it only happened ‘cause... so oftentimes in these receptions, like there’s no way I’m gonna get an individual photo. It’s just not appropriate to be like, 'I’m special, just me.' I knew the photographer though, and I was like, 'I have an idea.' Like Caitlyn Jenner was very sweet, like walking into the room, and like... I’ve never met someone more gracious, or like really like, cared about interacting with people who were in this reception which I found to be very endearing.
Street: Do you feel like you get both sides of [production], being President of SPEC and then stage manager of Mask & Wig?
SW: I guess that’s a cool way to think of it. I started behind the scenes everywhere, and I ended up being President of SPEC. I’m so hands off, like, I don’t pick any speakers at this point. I’m, like, much more making sure the organization runs and encouraging the directors who get the agency to do that. But on Mask & Wig, I’m planning out every piece of wood we’re buying, I’m, like, choosing a theme and being much more hands–on... I don’t think it’s often noticed, the detail of the stage crew. Like you have no idea who’s bringing on the set, and like how much effort or planning or thought goes into any of that.
Street: Where are you from?
SW: So I grew up in Minneapolis until eighth grade, and then I moved down to Arizona with my Mom for high school. But then I lived like a snowbird for four years ‘cause I would spend the winters in Arizona and the summers in Minneapolis.
Street: So you’d go to school in Arizona, and spend summers in Minneapolis?
SW: Yeah, with my Dad. And I was a preschool counselor which is still my favorite job I’ve ever had. Preschoolers are the best age, between four and six, ‘cause they don’t lie. They don’t lie, so like they’ll be honest. They’re not mean then. They’ll be like, 'Yeah I peed myself ‘cause I’m having too much fun' and I’m like, 'You know what? I respect that.'
Street: So if that was your favorite job you’ve had so far, what’s the dream?
SW: So, the real dream is I want to be in a record label where I get to go: 'Ariana Grande, you have to wear your ponytail.' I don’t know what position that’s called. But I think it would be great to be able to be like, 'No, your brand is your ponytail, Ariana Grande.' I would love to do that.
Street: You’re very involved in the pop culture zeitgeist, and you’ve met a lot of people. How do you feel about the Kim, Kanye, Taylor Swift drama?
SW: I view it as God’s birthday gift to me. Because it was on my birthday that Kim Kardashian released her Snapchat video... Nothing made me happier than at work, getting to talk and throwing myself into my Magnolia cupcakes, and Taylor Swift/Kim Kardashian drama. I think they’re both incredibly smart women. I think Taylor Swift has a multitude of fans that will all contribute. And I think her talent and music is incredibly great. And I love it. But I think she’s incredibly calculated. And not in a bad way.
Street: While we’re talking about memes, what are some favorites?
SW: My favorite listicle, and this is a valuable listicle: Rihanna leaving restaurants with wine glasses.
Street: What was your first screen name?
SW: Oh, ipodman23, which I feel like is fitting now.
Street: There are two types of people at Penn…
SW: There are people who would go to Chancellor backlot and there are people who wouldn't.
Street: What's your go–to spot?
SW: I had a great time at Smokes' the night before everyone got back. And oh! I’m gonna tell the story. I’m gonna out myself. So I went to Allegro's and it was like 1:45 a.m., so I get a slice of pizza. And I’m walking home like, 'You know what would be great? Fries. I want like Spanish cheese fries from Copa.' But guess what? Copa doesn’t exist, ’cause their kitchen closes at 1 a.m. But there was a lovely basket of, like, third–eaten Spanish cheese fries left at a table outside Copa... I took it. I took it and ran.
Street: What would you be infamous for?
SW: My self–serving phone cases. All my phone cases have constantly featured my face on them and I’m trying to ,like, get past it. It’s just me and celebrities, like pictures I’ve taken at concerts.
Street: What’s one question we forgot to ask you?
SW: You forgot to ask me what’s changed since last year. And I’d like to point out that I now have an adult backpack instead of my Britney Spears backpack.
While you're at it, check out Spencer's personal Spotify playlist.
This interview has been edited and condensed.