Articles by Dani Blum

05/08/18 10:00am
I loved, and still love, Penn, and I woke up on my plastic twin mattress feeling grateful to be here. But I also saw a campus steeped in classism, bigotry, and sexism.
04/29/15 11:36pm
There are no neat conclusions to draw from a year at Penn. But if I had to assign a label to my freshman year, it would be “sinusoidal.” The past eight months have been a sequence of peaks and troughs, memories and mishaps.
04/22/15 11:18pm
Over the past few days, I’ve tried to explain Fling to my friends back home. “It’s a carnival,” I tried to tell them. “It’s a few days to just relax.” In our work-hard, play-hard environment, Fling means the chance to take a break from Penn, but also to epitomize our dear University.
04/15/15 9:08pm
The high price of college sucks the meaning out of college itself. When we choose our fields of study based on the potential outcomes, we lose the central purpose of selecting a major at all: to narrow down a field we’re truly interested in, and then to push for excellence in that area.
04/09/15 12:00am
I’m the first to prattle about my love for Penn, but there’s a glorification of wealth that permeates this campus.
03/31/15 11:23pm
There are upsides to being held accountable, but we lose something when we self-censor. We miss the goofy sentiments, the random toss-out of ideas to the universe, the fragility of paint splattered against a river bank. Too often we lose sight of what we want to say in fear we’ll say something wrong.
03/18/15 8:58pm
We’ve all heard the urges to get into Center City more, to escape Penn’s boundaries and take advantage of the tourist destination at our fingertips. I love Philadelphia and have made some of my fondest memories this year exploring downtown, but I’m so attached to the environment we create on campus.
03/04/15 10:27pm
Change doesn’t have to come with an official label. It doesn’t need University funding or a DP article to appear valid. Efforts we make on a small scale are just as legitimate. If we want to change Penn — to really alter the things we all dislike about the University — then we need to start at the individual level.
02/26/15 12:34am
As much as I remind myself that this summer won’t define my career, it’s hard to escape the group mentality that permeates out of Huntsman — which was why I was so impressed when my roommate came home one day and announced she wasn’t looking for internships.
02/18/15 10:31pm
The University should work on promoting its Early Decision policies to lower-income communities. Penn should work with organizations like QuestBridge, which works with high-achieving, low-income students, and others that help underserved groups through the college admissions process.
02/12/15 1:21am
We’re embarrassed to admit that we can’t handle our alcohol. No one wants to be the person who can’t go out. Nobody wants to ask for help.
02/05/15 1:14am
Political extremism isn’t news to anyone. The shocking part, at least for me, comes when those statistics translate into cultural consequences.
01/21/15 9:52pm
As I bounce back and forth between different rush events, I’m frustrated that I can’t summarize myself. I can’t articulate some spiffy conclusion from the various odds-and-ends that make up who I am.
01/15/15 12:10pm
I spent three weeks in bed, unsure of what to do with myself. I was used to my Penn state of bouncing from one activity to the next with barely any time in between to eat, let alone reflect on my life.
12/01/14 8:24pm
I found the list scrawled in last summer’s notebook, buried in my desk drawer back home. “To Do at Penn: Don’t get too stressed about grades.
11/23/14 11:42pm
Furthermore, as college students, we’re consumers of a product. Penn’s tuition is $47,668 a year. If the average student takes five courses a semester, that’s $4,766.80 per class. We wouldn’t buy a $4,000 dress without trying it on, and we shouldn’t have to register for courses without testing them out.
11/17/14 8:45pm
I understand where my friend is coming from. Part of my selfish, pre-frosh fantasies about Penn was making something more of myself, of standing out somehow in the massive crowd. I didn’t know how that would manifest or what I would do to achieve that, but I wanted to be different. I think we all did.
11/11/14 9:50pm
For me, that’s the most troubling part of flipped classrooms — the idea that, with all the great faculty Penn has, they don’t spend time teaching. A freshman in an active learning Math 103 course told me that she is required to watch online lectures. Once she is actually in class, her professor puts her into groups and gives them worksheets.
10/27/14 10:52pm
But the ratio does the most damage to the frats themselves. I’ve been amazed by how Penn frats defy the stereotype. I’ve defended fraternities to my friends at small liberal arts colleges who think they’re the epitome of archetypal, dumb college groups. Actually talk to a frat brother, and you’ll find a different story.
10/19/14 10:58pm
It sucks that I have to put off that creative writing course I’m interested in until next year, but I want to become a more educated person. Requirements raise us to a level of competency so we can graduate with the knowledge base we need to take on the world. English majors need rudimentary math skills to survive; Wharton kids need to know how to write. Learning across disciplines allows us to pick up skills we wouldn’t otherwise have, to teach us how to think. If that’s not the purpose of college, I don’t know what is.
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