Students face off in Penn Gent Competition
The event aimed to highlight the contributions of Penn's black men to the Philadelphia community
December 11, 2011, 6:59 pm · Updated January 2, 2012, 9:05 pm·
Mariah Clark | DP
What is your best pickup line?
This year, the candidates of the Penn Gent Competition participated in several games, one of which was to think of a pickup line and then recite it to a woman in the audience.
The the Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, a Multicultural Greek Council chapter, organized the event with the aim of highlighting the contributions of Penn’s black men to the Philadelphia community.
Held at the ARCH on Friday evening, the Penn Gent program was this semester’s last Delta Sigma Theta event.
President of the Gamma Chapter and host of the event Sarahjean Kerolle said that the purpose of the event was “to acknowledge all of the accomplishments of the black men on campus because we feel that they are not recognized enough for what they do.”
“We expect to have laughter, some good questions and insight into what makes each one of them a gentleman,” added College senior Jewel Lester, a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, before the event.
According to the hosts, this year’s Mr. Penn Gent will be the man who best embodies the qualities of intelligence, refinement and culture.
The candidates walked the red aisle in three types of wardrobe — casual, lounge wear and formal dress. In addition to walking the runway, the participants also had to answer questions and play some games on stage.
College junior and contestant Meredith Baker said that “aside from intelligence, passion and poise, what makes me a gentleman is that I don’t make excuses.”
The dance group African Rhythms and The Inspiration, a co-ed a cappella group, performed at the event while the candidates prepared for their next tasks.
After deliberation among the judges, Wharton senior Jorell Brooks was crowned Mr. Penn Gent 2011.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Brooks said. “It was a complete surprise.” His favorite part of the event was preparing for the choreographed dances and interacting with the rest of the participants.
College junior Justyn Williams and first runner-up said, “It was a difficult competition, but I think the judges did a good job picking the winner.” The most difficult part for him was “playing the games and coming up with answers right on the spot.
President of the Multicultural Greek Council, College senior and second runner-up Jared Barchus said he enjoyed the event and that “it was a great cause for … the group who organized it.”
The three winners all earned scholarships to use toward school, Williams said.
This story has been updated to clarify that Delta Sigma Theta organized the event.