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Ernest Owens | Recycling our wasteful addiction

(01/20/12 5:24am)

I had diarrhea. I was dehydrated. My body was covered with mosquito bites, and I wore the same sweaty shirt for three days. I was standing on top of a mountain in Agallpampa, Peru. Although I was given the fancy title of “director of marketing” for the international nonprofit organization Global Development Collaborative, there was nothing grand about my physical state.

Ernest Owens | A campus-wide pledge to change

(11/04/11 3:20am)

It was a cold October night in 2010. While many students were in their dorms staying warm, I was blind-folded and locked into a dark bathroom and ordered to wait in silence. I had just finished doing push-ups and having beer pushed in my face while an array of yelling upperclassmen tormented me. My anxiety was shared by seven other freshmen as we waited for acceptance. The door then opened, and the cheers followed. We had finally made it. Not into a fraternity, but into our elected student government office.

Ernest Owens | Internal racial paranoia at Penn

(10/21/11 5:27am)

I have been called an “Uncle Tom,” an “Oreo” and a “white-wannabe.” People have questioned my blackness based on my student involvement. Recently, a picture of me photoshopped next to an American minstrel was made viral through Facebook. In this picture, I was depicted as having “blackface” — one that is white but is perceived as black. Controversy ensued online, and some even tried to defend it. But you probably did not know about this until now.