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Like some of the best things in life, Emma Van Zandt’s (C ‘22) journey at Penn began entirely by accident: The now–visual studies major from Annandale, Va. was looking for a place to eat in University City after sitting in on a class at Drexel University. At the time, she was sure that her college experience would be spent at a studio art institution, and her interest in Drexel’s design school brought her to Philadelphia in November of her senior year, “way past all the ED deadlines.”
Name: Nathaniel Hess
In 2020, Merriam–Webster dictionary chose “pandemic” as its word of the year, and it’s hard to argue with that. In fact, given the way that it's followed us around relentlessly for the last few years, one could argue that it’s more the word of an era. Or, if you ask Max Strickberger (C ‘22) and Alan Jinich (C ‘22), the word of a generation.
Sundays, I’ve come to realize, are a polarizing day. Some might say it’s the scariest day of the week, when all the impending responsibilities you’ve spent the past 48 hours tastefully dodging to make room for the pursuit of the finer things in life come back like ghosts of weekdays past to haunt you. Especially here, on a college campus that's essentially a petri dish for the ubiquitous Sunday scaries, Sundays are regarded with a certain kind of wary disdain.
Dr. Brian Peterson first set foot on Penn's campus in 1989 as an undergraduate student looking to study engineering. More than 30 years later, after earning a master's and Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Education, Peterson is still here. Now the director of Makuu: The Black Cultural Center on campus, as well as a lecturer in the Africana and Urban Studies departments, Peterson reflects on his path with the ever–present realities of race dynamics of our society in mind. In a conversation that began on the tail end of Black History Month but remains perennially relevant, Peterson sheds light on Makuu, Penn's impact on the greater Philadelphia community, and how we as a university reflect difficult truths about our nation.
Tyson Bee's Street Food (Franklin Field)
Name: Sam Braffman
Ask pretty much anybody what they’re most excited for when they go home for break, and you’ll hear the same few things: showering without shoes (something we’ve all come to realize is an indispensable luxury), their own bed (so long, egg–crate mattress pad—you’ll definitely not be missed), and the food.
At Williams Cafe, the student–run coffee shop that dominates the first floor of Williams Hall, the coffee is strong, the chatter is incessant, and the energy is buzzing. It’s really one of those places that people tend to stumble into one day and never look back.
“Love conquers all.” “All you need is love.” “Love wins.”
Name: Jordyn Kaplan
Name: Amiel Orbach
If you were able to nudge through the crowd of thousands of glitter–covered festivalgoers who convened in the Hamptons last summer to attend the first–ever edition of Kygo's Palm Tree Music Festival series, you would have found yourself face–to–face with Will Sass, the College sophomore hailed as “dance music's next crossover star” by Gotham Magazine. Will hardly needs an introduction—his figure is dwarfed by his own name splashed across the screen behind him in huge fluorescent letters. Switch out the Hamptons heat for a North Carolina speedway, a hazy New York nightclub, or an exclusive Los Angeles pool party—wherever Will Sass goes, the good vibes follow.
The sun has set on Penn football’s 2021 season. With our team's last game behind us, we have to bid adieu to the electrifying highs (like the Halloweekend romping of Brown) and demoralizing lows (like us handing Cornell their first Ivy League win of the season on Homecoming weekend) that have kept us on our toes throughout the fall. Now we're trading in Franklin Field’s soaring arches for the statuesque Palestra as the student body transitions to basketball.
Name: JJ Kampf
The weather this October has been a dream—some days, the vibrant sun setting in mid–afternoon is the only indication that it’s not August. The chilly bite of fall is just starting to set in as we head into November. You know what that means: getting more use out of your favorite summer clothes, eking out a few more sun–soaked lunches outside, and letting the jacket that you bought for blustery winter days collect dust in the closet for just a little longer.
At the beginning of the year, it wasn’t uncommon to see people standing still on Locust, marveling at dipping, twirling figures dancing to vibrant salsa music at all times of the day. To passersby, the performance was a gravity–defying whirlwind. For Jazmín Estevez–Rosas (C '22) and Jadel Contreras (C '22), it was just another day as part of Penn's premier Latinx dance group: the student–run, internationally recognized Onda Latina.
Name: Sneha Sharma