Triple S Show Student Spotlight
Hi everyone! My name is Isha Reddy, and I’m a freshman at Wharton, and a Strategic Planning and Communications intern here at Penn University Life. Working for University Life, I get the unique opportunity to highlight some of the amazing cultural and student life events at Penn, as well as feature the exceptional students behind them through our Student Spotlight series.
A couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to interview sophomore Harley Haas and learn about her experience working with the Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention Club to organize the first in-person Take Back the Night event at Penn since 2019.
Today’s spotlight features Zaria Franklin, a senior in the College who has been actively involved with Greek Life at Penn. Zaria has been part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority since 2019, surrounded by like-minded women with a purpose to serve their communities and build lifelong bonds along the way. Apart from this, Zaria is also the Chairperson of the Step, Stroll, and Salute show, also known as the Triple S Show, which is a competition between several chapters in the Intercultural Greek Council. The Triple S Show aims to highlight the history and significance of stepping, strolling, and saluting in these organizations, which take root from African American Greek life, allowing students of color to share part of their culture with the Penn community.
Given the major incidents of racial discrimination that this country has faced in the recent past, Penn’s multicultural Greek community continues to act as a strong support system for its minority students. The show aims to address the stereotypes surrounding these organizations and educate the wider Penn community on the impact they make on those around them. As the chairperson, Zaria liaises with Janae Tucker, the Intercultural Greek Council (IGC) and Triple S Show Advisor, as well as with her co-chair Jason McCleod to make sure the show runs smoothly. Behind the scenes, she ensures that all teams are well prepared for the show, that enough staff is available on the day, that the event is well marketed, and much more.
It was certainly challenging for Zaria and her team to organize the event after 2 years of facing COVID restrictions and logistical issues, but she is extremely excited to finally bring it back to Penn. New and improved, this year’s show features stepping, strolling, and saluting, unlike previous years’ which only included stepping. Further, the unique theme for this show is sure to make it an exciting and nostalgic one. Each competing team was asked to pick one of their favorite childhood movies as the theme for their act and incorporate it into their performance. If that doesn’t get you excited for the show, I don’t know what will!
This year’s Triple S Show is set to take place on Saturday April 30th, at 7 PM in the Irvine Auditorium. With over 10 teams performing, you can lend your support by purchasing tickets and cheering them on in person. But you don’t have to stop there, make sure to attend their ‘The Block Gives Back’ donation drive and cookout the day before, as well as the free after-party following the show for some delicious food, great music, and a good time.
Until next time,
Triple S Show Questions
How long have you been involved with Greek life and why did you choose to join a sorority?
I have been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated since Fall 2019. I joined to be a part of an organization whose purpose is to serve their communities and build bonds with like-minded women.
What exactly is the Triple S Show?
The Step, Stroll, and Salute show is a competition between chapters in the Intercultural Greek Council. It is important to our chapters given the history and significance of stepping, strolling, and saluting in our organizations.
Why is it important to the Penn and Greek life community?
Given that we attend a predominantly white institution, it is not often that we get a chance to show parts of our culture on a big stage in front of the Penn community, Greek life community, and the greater Philadelphia community as well. We are excited to share something that is important to us.
What does your role as Chairperson of the Triple S Show entail?
As Chairperson, I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work along with Janae Tucker (Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Associate Director of Diversity & Co-Curricular Education) and my co-chair Jason McCleod to make sure the show runs smoothly. We make sure that all competing and exhibition teams are prepared for the show, that the show is properly advertised and marketed, that we have external staff in place for the day of the show, that all teams have a fair chance at winning, etc.
Do you work with a team/other Penn organizations/sponsors to organize this?
Yes! Janae, Jason Mcleod, Luz, and Jenny have all been a big help with this process. I am very appreciative of them.
What challenges did you face when organizing this event?
One of the biggest challenges was the change from just having a step show to a step, stroll, and salute show. In addition to emerging from COVID, there were a lot of things that we had to figure out logistically.
What are you most excited about during this year’s show?
I am most excited about seeing each team’s theme come to life. This year, each competing team was tasked with picking a movie that we watched as kids as the theme for their show. I can’t wait to see the incorporation of these movies.
How can students get involved in the event?
Students can get involved by buying tickets for the event! There is also a can drive taking place and we are donating to a community organization, The Block Gives Back. Students can attend our cookout the day before the show (all proceeds are going to the Block Gives Back). There is also an after-party after the show (free of charge) and food will be served!
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life | Preparing for Recruitment
At Penn, fraternities and sororities provide students myriad opportunities to participate in an already vibrant campus life. Our values-based organizations offer experiences to foster friendship, engage with the community, increase cultural and social competency, and support academic success.
Student culture has evolved over the years, and Fraternity and Sorority Life at Penn can be confusing, even for parents who are alumni members of fraternities or sororities. As you talk with your student about recruitment and intake, please take the time to learn more about the fraternity and sorority community and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, or OFSL.
Penn recognizes chapters in the Intercultural Greek Council, Interfraternity Council, and the Panhellenic Council. All of these chapters are supported and advised by OFSL. Importantly, members interact regularly with inter/national leaders and distinguished alumni. All recognized OFSL chapters are required to follow University health and wellness protocols and responsible event planning mandates.
We strongly encourage all undergraduate students and family members to refer to our How to Join OFSL website.
Joining a fraternity or sorority can be a different process depending on the organization or council; however, Penn has academic requirements which apply to all students. Due to the increased demand on their time and energy, first-year students are prohibited from joining a fraternity/sorority until their second semester, when they have a stronger sense of what it will take to be successful at Penn. All students must have a minimum of 4 completed course units at Penn and a GPA of 2.50 or higher to be eligible to join a fraternity/sorority. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are welcome to join!
What about off-campus groups?
There are some “identified off-campus groups” which operate independently of the University, without advising or regulation. This can be confusing for students and families because they are not Recognized Student Organizations, although some utilize Greek letters or refer to themselves as a fraternity. They recruit members independently, host social events in private off-campus residences, and operate new member processes separately from Penn advisement on risk reduction practices. They often formed after a national fraternity or sorority closed its Penn chapter due to policy violations (sometimes including hazing and alcohol/substances). They do not receive University funding and no longer have the rights and privileges afforded to Recognized Student Organizations. They are not able to verify official academic standards for their members, do not follow the established rules, procedures, or risk management procedures required of recognized social fraternity and sororities, are not covered with general liability insurance, and are not affiliated with a national organization.
Some current identified off-campus groups may include male groups (Apes, Owls, Oz, Phi, Theos) and female groups (OAX, Tabard). They are not Recognized Student Organizations and are not members of the Penn Fraternity & Sorority Life community.
When talking with your student about joining a social fraternity/sorority, please discuss with them the risks associated with joining unrecognized off-campus groups.
Please visit the OFSL Joining Website for a list of recognized fraternities and sororities in our three councils: Intercultural Greek Council, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council.