*A guest article by Punch Bowl new member Tsemone Ogbemi*
Penn fraternities are limiting the number of guests to their parties with increasingly convoluted application processes at the door.
One freshman who prefers to remain anonymous was asked to show his resumé before entrance to a party on Saturday. He gave this description of the event: “The guy at the door said it was ‘very poorly written’ even though I had just worked on it with career services that morning.”
Jane Doe, also a freshman, told the Punch Bowl that she was asked to recite her entire common app essay at the entrance of a not-very-lit late-night on Saturday. “There was, like, no one inside. And, when I didn’t remember all of it, they made fun of me, then they recited theirs. One guy, like, had written his common app essay about tearing down social barriers and being welcoming of others. It was really powerful.”
A sophomore called Barry Nice had to stand aside while brothers inspected his shirt for wrinkles before finally being let into a party. He gave this statement: “I was pumped when I got accepted, but then it was just me and three other people. But then it made sense because we’re the only people in our dorms with irons and ironing boards. We were a put-together group.”
Parties like this have upset many people. A group of students have begun voicing complaints about the perceived “unfair advantages” of certain others, a controversy becoming popularly known as Iron Gate. A representative of this group said, “It’s outrageous. Basically, if you don’t have an iron and an ironing board, you can’t get in anywhere.”
In response, one fraternity president said:
“While we do select guests with a mind to cultivating a refined pool of attendees, our core standards remain the same for everyone; if your GPA is lower than 3.95, our door is closed to you.”
Furthermore, as colleges nationwide decrease the number of subject tests that applicants need to submit, or remove the requirement completely, fraternities at the University of Pennsylvania are doubling down. Prospective guests are required to send three subject tests in advance to any fraternity at which they‘d like to attend a party. Freshmen and transfers, used to only submitting two, are finding that they have to revisit SAT test centers before they can get lit.