Author: Lynn Carroll, C’93
Penn has more student groups than you can shake a stick at. A quick glance at the Penn Registered Student Groups site showed 629 groups, listing everything from the Alexander Hamilton Society to Zymurgists of Penn Dental (link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/201638156576351). If you put two Penn students in a room for 2 minutes, they’ll form a group and start fighting over who gets to be president.
Despite the fleeting nature of student activities, some groups have stood the test of time, like Mask and Wig or the Penn Band.
Alas, most student groups don’t have such long legacies. In a salute to all the groups whose presidents, mission/vision/values statements, and bylaws have faded from memory, I thought I would highlight a few that we miss oh, so fondly. They are presented in roughly chronological order; feel free to add your own elegies in the comments.
Zelosophic Society: Looked like a hip, happening group of fellows back in 1904, I bet they were the cat’s pajamas! I wonder what happened?
Students for a Democratic Society: An anti-war student activist group that made a significant impact nationally by organizing the 1965 March on Washington.
Save Open Space: This group protested the building of hideous Meyerson Hall at 34th and Walnut in the ’60s, now (ironically) home to the School of Design. Unfortunately for them (and for the architectural beauty of campus), they were unsuccessful.
Albino Squirrel Preservation Society: And I quote… “We, the members of the University of Pennsylvania chapter of the international Albino Squirrel Preservation Society network, affirm our dedication to the constant pursuit of squirrel equality.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.