University Shield on the university seal


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.

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