Kaylee Slusser never thought she would join Greek Life. Now, she's the President of the leadership for all sororities at Penn. And it's not her presidential debut, formerly serving as the President of Mock Trial. You can catch this Anna Kendrick wannabe at Copa when she isn't at the OFSL office.
Hometown: Mocanaqua, PA
Major: PPE and Art History
Activities: Penn Panhellenic President, Former President of Mock Trial, Omega Senior Society
34 Street Magazine: How did you get involved with Greek Life?
Kaylee Slusser: It was definitely a low to a high. I think I was actually the last person to sign up for recruitment. And then I went through and on the second day I was like “This is too much, I don't want to do this,” and I dropped out of recruitment. But then SK had a snap bid and my best friend down the hall, who’s in SK, thought I should do it. I thought I would try it and just loved being a part of it. Then I became the Panhellenic Delegate, because I wanted to learn more about other chapters in Greek life and how to make my chapter better. I really got the Panhel mindset of seeing how great the community can be. Then I joined Omega, which really developed a community feeling between Panhel, IFC and IGC members. That made me want to be Panhel president. I was also just so interested in being a female leader of other really empowered females. It’s been a beautiful, great experience.
Street: So what are some of the things that you've been working on as Panhel president?
KS: Our main goals this year were unity with IFC and IGC, because there's always been a little bit of disconnect between all three councils, and to implement diversity and wellness initiatives. I absolutely loved working with Reggie and Rio last semester and Jill this semester. It's been really interesting to see what we can do when we come together to tackle this 30% of the Penn population. Mackenzie Lukas is our VP of Health and Wellness (the first one!) which is a really cool initiative and I think it’s going to be great for the future. Alexis Broussard has done an absolutely outstanding job with diversity. There's going to be a “Minority Voices” video that will let people, who you might not think would be in Panhel sororities, share their story. She's also developing a diversity curriculum so there will be a bunch of different programs for different types of diversity and intersectionality.
Street: Why did you decide to change the role of VP of Standards to VP of Health and Wellness?
KS: The VP of Standards last year started the Wellness Week initiative, and that was such an important thing to our community: when we started evaluating what the position was doing, it was just health and wellness, and calling it VP of Standards really limited what the role could do. Renaming the position shifted the role from “we have one or two mediations a year” to “how can we now help this wonderful community we live in support each other, and how can we as Panhel integrate that into all the chapters?” What we're hoping to do is what we've been doing with the VP of Diversity: every sorority now has a diversity chair that works with Alexis. Hopefully the next council will have a wellness chair in every chapter.
Street: More on your own personal Greek experience: what is your favorite part of being in SK?
KS: I really loved it and it’s something that I never really saw my Penn experience being at all. I think the biggest thing is that my lin is absolutely amazing. I love all of them. It's such a cool thing to have people that graduated two, three years ago asking to stay over for homecoming and being just as close with them then as I am now, and having people to look up to. I think there's so many things on campus that I wouldn't have done if I hadn't been in SK. At the end of freshman year I really wanted to run for UA, but was way too scared. But I still ran, because the SK community was so strong and so supportive, which is really refreshing at Penn. I think that was just a great community to be a part of.
Street: Reflecting on your life at Penn, what have been some of the things that have really stood out to you?
KS: Wow, so many things. I feel like every semester I've lived a completely different life, and I never know what's going to happen. And it's always interesting to see how we kind of fall into patterns, but I think something that stands out to me as being different from high school is that I haven't been afraid to let go of things and try new things. So like I said, I was on the UA for a very hot second. I tried it, loved it, and then was like, “Oh, I don't think this is necessarily for me. Let me try something else.” I think that ability to switch and that flexibility that we really have at Penn has been very irreplaceable to my experience here.
Street: If you could choose one story to define your Penn experience, what would it be?
KS: I guess I would say my house last year, just like being in my house. Mock Trial has been a really big part of my Penn experience and everyone in the program is a character. In my house last year, everyone was so incredibly different. We had people that were in Greek life, not in Greek life, people that were in Wharton, in the College. Just the fact that so many different people that really never should have crossed paths were all living under the same roof...it was just really representative of my Penn experience, being around such different people that are all loving and amazing.
What fictional character would you be?
Any character Anna Kendrick is in any movie.
Bucket list item for your last year at Penn?
Last year at Penn—what have I not done... I would say, oh, I've haven’t been to New College House yet.
There are two types of people at Penn...
I feel like I have to say it: people in Greek life and people not in Greek life.
What is the best place to eat on campus?
Tap House for their hummus.
If you could recommend one class or one professor what/who would it be?
Professor Shaw. Art history. Absolutely amazing. Her class has every time changed my life.
What is the weirdest thing you've ever seen while at Copa?
I think just Copa at 10 p.m. I had no clue that it just went from Copa to like a nightclub. It just turned 10 p.m. and Cardi B started blaring and I was like, I am really into this, but I never knew this existed half a block away from me.