Photo by Joy Lee / The Daily Pennsylvanian
Walking around campus this past week, sorority rush stood out like a sore thumb. Droves of freshman and sophomore women were standing outside in the cold, waiting to be let into the sorority houses with the possibility of one day becoming a sister. The range of reasons as to what had brought each Ivy League student to the rain covered steps of these sorority houses varied greatly. For some it was the hopes of finding a bigger group of friends, for some it was the appeal of parties and a bigger social life, but for Abby Gallagher (C '21), it was small talk. Abby is obsessed with small talk.
In an interview with Gallagher’s roommate Tara Carter (E '21), she made it clear Abby did not want to be part of a sorority. When we asked why, Tara emphasized she not only did she not know, but also, after three months of living with her, knew next to nothing about Abby as a human being.
“I don’t know, we don’t really get around to talking about deep things very often. Every conversation we’ve had since I got to school, she’s asked me what my hobbies are,” Tara said. “One time I asked her what her feelings on North Korea were, and she just responded, ‘haha totally.’”
After a 15 minute interview with Abby outside of Sigma Kappa sorority, it was clear Abby was prepared to thrive in the environment of sorority rush. When asked about what life experiences either within her family or in the wider American culture had led her to understand the nuances of small talk, Abby responded, “Yes I totally love Penn…there are ups and downs but all around it's a good time…Ya so I’m trying to do pre-med but we’ll see how that works out haha yikes…Oh my god you’ve been to Israel too?!”
During another check-in with Abby on Sunday, we learned that in an unprecedented and probably illegal feat, Abby had received a bid from every sorority on campus. We asked to see if Abby had one she wanted to pledge, but we never found out—she wouldn’t stop talking about how chilly it was outside.