Four years of being on the Undergraduate Assembly has made Michael Krone the perfect spokesperson on how to better improve student life at Penn. He always sees the cup half full and is passionate about empowering student groups on campus. And although he knows anything and everything about student life at this school, he still hasn't been to the Philo Halls (anyone want to show him around?). He told Street about his experience with the UA, his agenda for the upcoming year, and his experience at Penn.
Name: Michael Krone
Hometown: Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania
Major: Political Science and Economics, minor in American Public Policy
Activities: The Undergraduate Assembly Student Body President, Student Activities Council, Penn Shabbatones, Mock Trial, Kite and Key, PENNacle Pre–Orientation Program
34th Street Magazine: What have you been working on lately?
Michael Krone: I’m really excited for this year to help lead the undergraduate assembly, to just be as productive as possible, and to really make change for the student body in a positive way. We totally redid our committee structure within the undergraduate assembly, going from four to five committees, to place a greater focus on community involvement as well as a greater specificity to each of the committees that we had before. We’re also focusing a lot on prioritizing student wellness. On the first day of classes this past Tuesday, we gave out wellness guides, which were just little half sheets that contained a lot of really awesome resources for students to reach out to in a time of need.
Street: Any other wellness initiatives?
MK: We are looking at the way that clubs recruit new members and making sure that they’re doing it in a responsible, comforting way. There’s a fun tool that we came up with that’s going to be launched today. Emily Su, the SAC vice chair, Elena Hoffman, who is the communications director, and I developed an app called Get Involved at Penn. It’s a club recruitment tool where you can took up any sort of category of clubs, any interest in the community, and public service groups. We just want to make sure that those kinds of stressors are being mitigated in any way possible.
Street: Why did you initially decide to run for UA?
MK: Coming into freshman year, I did the PENNacle pre–orientation program and was able to meet a lot of student leaders who were involved in student government. For example, Jane Meyer, who was UA president at the time, had mentioned her experience and what she wanted to do as president. I wanted to be exactly like Jane when I grew up. Now I’m in her position and it’s kind of funny to see how that worked out. I ran for UA freshman fall and lost. I came in 17th place and the top 8 got spots. It was a good experience because it taught me that if I wanted to get involved, it would be up to me to take the initiative to do so.
Street: Has your life become much busier after becoming the UA Student Body President?
MK: No one tells you how many emails you get. It’s a lot and I try to respond as quickly as possible. It’s been a lot of emails and a lot of meetings which is fun because I come out of those meetings with a really good sense of, “this is something that we’re doing and it’s something that’s tangible.” It’s a lot to keep up with. I have specific folders for the emails and developed a very convoluted system that I think only works for me.
Street: What’s a typical day in your life now?
MK: I wake up at around 8:30 to 9. I will check in on emails to see if there’s anything I need to respond to. I read the DP pretty much every morning, not in print but usually online. I’ll then have classes. Then, I have my work study job at the Office of Student Affairs. There’s no real typical day, but that’s generally the flow. Apple Watch has been the best and worst thing for me. It keeps me organized but also makes me glued to it. I try to view everything that I do in the structure that this is something that I get to do rather than something that I have to do. I get to have a meeting with UA cabinet, with President Gutmann, and that’s super cool. I get to go to rehearsal and sing Hebrew music with 16 of my best friends. Focusing on the getting to do things rather than having to do things is a good way to keep you going.
Street: Tell us about something that you wish to change at Penn.
MK: I want the students groups to have little to no stress at all when it comes to reserving space for where they need to meet. Prioritizing the needs of student groups is really important because that’s where students find their communities, passions, and best friends. Working to increase the availability of space and reduce the cost associated is an impact that I’d like to have over the next year.
Street: Any future plans after Penn?
MK: I had a really good opportunity last summer to intern with McKinsey & Company. I will be working as a business analyst with them in Philly.
Street: Anything you want to say to the freshmen?
MK: You’ll always want more time at Penn, so make the most of what you have.
What was your Common App essay about?
My dad passed away in junior year of high school. My Common App essay was about taking that loss, which was obviously very powerful and tough to deal with, and turning that into something productive. This meant throwing myself into my extracurricular involvement at school, whether that was the theater, music, performing arts, or student government back then.
There are two types of people at Penn…
The people that read my school emails and the people that send them right to the trash.
#1 item on your Penn Bucket list?
I’d love to go to the Philomathean Halls on the 4th floor of College Hall.
Favorite Spot on campus?
The Office of Student Affairs.
Give your freshman self one piece of advice.
Live every moment to the fullest and stop counting down to breaks and exams because it’s not productive.