Arriving at Penn in September, eight freshmen identified an opportunity to expand the exchange of ideas on campus. In November, they formed an organization to do just that—Penn Non-Cis focuses on the discussion of gender. Earlier this month, Penn Non-Cis was featured in the New York Times and the Daily Pennsylvanian.
I am not only proud of but inspired by these Class of 2016 representatives. Penn Non-Cis highlights the positive interaction between student ideas and existing campus communities. To an extent, the college community you become a part of consists of your ideas, emboldened. That is a powerful notion.
Bringing this conversation back to the admissions process, I ask that you not see the 5 I’s (Identity, Intellect, Ideas, Interests, and Inspiration) and 4 C’s (Culture, Curriculum, Community, and Conclusions) as discrete—although they do exist on separate webpages—but as interconnected and dynamic. To the sophomores and juniors starting the college search process, mix and match the 5 I’s and 4 C’s as you research, learn, and visit. The culture, curriculum, community, and conclusions on campus look different when put into conversation with student direction and leadership.