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Penn offers a diverse range of activities and student groups targeted to various student audiences, including performing arts groups such as Bloomers.

Looking to make friends, build experience and have a good time? Look no further than Penn’s wealth of student groups.

At the beginning of every semester the Student Activities Council hosts an activities fair — a chance to get to know the different clubs that Penn has to offer. This year, the Fall Activities Fair will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

It might be tempting to sign up for every activity that sounds interesting, but beware of signing up for too many listservs and letting clubs inundate your inbox with emails. Instead, take the flyers to check out the websites and Facebook pages of the clubs, or only put your email address down for clubs you know you want to join.

The application process for student clubs and activities varies. Some are open to all students, while others require a rigorous process. Don’t be afraid to apply for a group that seems competitive, but be wary of signing up for too many commitments. A maximum of two or three activities for the first semester ensures that you won’t get overwhelmed.

Most groups will start having General Body Meetings, also known as GBMs, within the month of September, which are great opportunities to meet members and learn about the clubs.

But you don’t have to wait until then — here’s a run-down of some of the student activities Penn has to offer.

Women’s Center

The Penn Women’s Center runs a number of groups that all genders can join, such as Penn Association for Gender Equality, Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention, the Vagina Monologues and more.

Civic House

Civic House is the hub for all community service and advocacy-related groups. There you can check out clubs like Colleges Against Cancer, City Step and the co-ed community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.


Penn has active branches of both major parties, the Penn Democrats and College Republicans, as well as groups supporting specific political candidates. You can also get involved with Mock Trial, Speech and Debate, and the International Affairs Association (the Model United Nations group on campus).


In addition to the DP, 34th Street Magazine and Under the Button, students interested in writing and journalism can get involved in publications that cater to specific themes. Stamped is a travel writing magazine, IMPACT focuses on social justice, Penn Appetit is foodie-focused and The Walk is Penn’s fashion magazine.

Minority Organizations

There are multiple groups on campus aimed toward minority and cultural groups. The five main coalitions are the Lambda Alliance for LGBT students, UMOJA for students of the African Diaspora, the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, the Latino Coalition and the United Minorities Council. These groups make up what is known as the 5B. The ARCH building houses the Pan-Asian American Community House, Makuu: The Black Cultural Center and The Center for Hispanic Excellence: La Casa Latina. The LGBT Center is located near Harrison College House.


Penn’s Performing Arts Council is the overarching group that oversees all of the arts groups at Penn. PAC is responsible for all groups involved in dance, theatre, music, a cappella and comedy. Most groups will hold several rounds of auditions within the first week of September.

Greek Life

The Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council and Multicultural Greek Council do not start official recruitment for freshmen until the spring, but many organizations hold open houses during the fall.

Student Government

Penn Student Government has six branches: the Undergraduate Assembly, the Class Boards, The Social Planning and Events Committee, the Nominations and Elections Committee, the Student Activities Council and the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education. These branches act on behalf of students in all aspects of University life. Some branches involve an application process, while others require campaigning before a student election.

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