It’s recruitment season for Hexagon, a senior society for Engineering students founded in 1910 — and the current members are ready to welcome the next class into their close-knit group.
While senior societies at Penn may seem relatively obscure to many underclassmen, for second semester juniors and seniors, they become more prevalent when the “tapping” season begins. Each of the 37 current members of Hexagon chose two Engineering students to be recruited.
The society has already tapped its potential members, and its first recruitment event, called "a smoker," was held on Wednesday night. Within a week, Hexagon will welcome their newest group of members.
Hexagon is one of many senior societies at Penn, though it fills a specific niche in targeting only Engineering students. Other societies include Omega, Friars, Nightingale for nurses and Lantern for Wharton students. Some were founded as long ago as 1900.
According to Hexagon's website, the goal of the group is to foster unity among prominent members of the senior class across majors in the Engineering school.
“As you get higher in Engineering classes you end up only taking classes with people in your major,” Engineering senior and Hexagon rush chair Alejandra Garcia said. “[As a member of the Hexagon Society], I can meet people outside of my major as well as girls in different sororities.”
Since all of the members are 21 years of age and older, members pay dues that are used partially to fund drinking events like open bars and pregames. In addition, the society sponsors group outings to bowling lanes and mini golf.
“Senior year is a lot like freshman year in that things start to break down and matter less,” Engineering senior Valerie Cohen said. “This is one activity that allows for that.”
Each member pays around $150 in dues per semester. But unlike a sorority or fraternity, the members don’t have to pay money to any larger organization or national chapter because Hexagon exists only at Penn.
However, this senior society is not just for drinking and fun. Members are chosen based on personality, with emphasis on outgoingness. One senior Hexagon member must give a tour of the Engineering facilities to prospective students every day at 3:30 p.m.
“They look for people who can hold their own in front of a large group,” Engineering senior Samantha Hernan said. “They rely on you to be the face of the Engineering school.”
This close group of seniors also provides networking benefits for its members, which is especially helpful in applying to certain tech jobs at larger companies in Silicon Valley, where applicant pools are becoming increasingly competitive.
“There are people during OCR that I can reach out to and it is less formal than other networking groups,” Hernan said. “It’s nice to have an older network that can help with jobs.”
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