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Aaron Cooper | Activism in Trump's America

(11/15/16 4:20am)

Donald Trump’s election left Penn students angry, empowered and ready to resist. We’ve had some of the largest marches in recent memory in the last week, with loud, powerful voices in the Penn community rejecting the President-elect’s dangerous policies and hateful rhetoric. Penn students want to make a difference, but a lot of us are still wondering what it is we should be marching for.

Aaron Cooper |No Penn, only faces

(10/04/16 3:55am)

For quite some time, I’ve struggled with mental health. That battle has been a personal one, and I’m glad to be in the stable and generally happy position I am now. But as an incoming freshman, the mental health conversation at Penn surprised me. I didn’t even know what “Penn Face” was, but I was already told that I was struggling because of it. What seemed to me to be deeply personal experiences with anxiety and depression, self-image and self-esteem were apparently broad cultural ones that could be painted over with a brush 10,000 students wide.

Aaron Cooper | Butting in = Heaven

(09/20/16 3:58am)

Last Thursday, the two worst preachers in America showed up on Penn’s campus. As far as I could tell, they failed to convert a single student to the word of the Lord. In fact, the vast majority of students in the gathering crowd preferred to openly make fun of them and heckle from the sidelines. Guys draped in pride flags and girls armed with Bible verses got massive rounds of applause from the crowd, while the preachers were repeatedly jeered at and booed.

Aaron Cooper | The interview is dead

(09/06/16 3:29am)

Imagine the following scenario: You’re a club leader organizing a protest. You have an issue you care passionately about, and you’re gathering like-minded students to make a public display complete with rehearsed chants and picket signs. The event is coming up soon, and you have to make an important choice. You’re not going to get anywhere with this social activism unless you make some widespread noise about the event. You have to decide how you’re going to do that.