SLN: The Student Leader Network

The Student Leader Network (SLN) is a community of connectors from different campuses who take full advantage of being a college student in the Philadelphia region. This city is primed for spectacular talent and is ready to meet those who capitalize on the innumerable opportunities available.

Being a connector who is engaged, passionate, inclusive, and proactive are the keys to success in this city, and meeting other student leaders who embrace these habits is why SLN exists. Student leaders from almost every college in this region not only have the city at their fingertips but other likeminded students as well! So why join? Because you are a leader on your campus and want to connect with other inspired, motivated, and engaged students. You want to discover every opportunity available and have a fun time doing it!

You may be thinking, “I have so much on my plate already, there’s no way I can fit more.” Have no fear; your involvement is what you make of it. If you want to shadow a professional in your field, we got you. If you want to find other organizations from different schools and collaborate, we got you. If you need a pep talk and practice for a huge interview, we got you. If you want to be that friend who knows what to do and where to go for fun, we got you.

If you’d like to see what all the hype is about sign-up here and join us for our next SLN meetup. I’m also available if you have any questions at 215-988-1707 or

Until then, peace!


“Go Big or Go Home” with Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region

Looking for a meaningful way to give back to the community this month, spend fun, quality time with your classmates, AND have an opportunity to win prizes like Live Nation concert tickets and a year supply of TastyKakes?  Consider supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region through their Go Big or Go Home campaign.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  Their Go Big or Go Home campaign aims to raise awareness and funds to remove children from their long waiting list and match them with mentors.

I’m Jenna Lee, a Temple University junior (Go Owls!), Big Sister, and President of the Temple University Student Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region. I am participating in this campaign because the relationship I have with my Little is so important to me, and I know that through fundraising, I will help by giving other college students the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with a mentee of their own.

For three years, I’ve been matched to my Little, and I can confidently say that the experience with her has been one of the best throughout my time at Temple. I remember the first day we met and how she wasn’t ready to open up to GoBigOrGoHomeLogome, but now our relationship has developed into something I never would have imagined.

An incredible experience we had together was being selected by Big Brothers Big Sisters and celebrity, Michael B. Jordan, through a partnership with Warner Bros. to win a special day together of our choosing. We chose to visit The American Girl Doll store in NYC, which has become my favorite memory with my Little. On the train ride to the city, we were having a casual conversation, and she told me she felt so lucky to have me as a Big Sister, and that even though we met through the program, she felt like I was actually her real Big Sister! This moment was so important to me because it proved just how meaningful it is for me to take one hour a week to go and see her.

The impact I have on her life is as great as the impact she has on mine. I made the decision to fundraise for the Go Big or Go Home campaign because I want more college students to feel the satisfaction and love I get from seeing my Little.

I encourage you to learn more about the campaign, form a team online with a group of friends, fundraise for a few weeks, and join me and dozens of other college students from the Philadelphia area at the culminating bowling tournament on April 3rd. You’ll help Big Brothers Big Sisters match kids on their long waiting list with their own mentor, and you’ll have the chance to win great prizes like Urban Outfitters gift cards, an iPad, or Saxbys Coffee gift cards.

Be a #SeflieRanger at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show!

#SeflieRangers Volunteer Training

This year’s theme is Explore America! Celebrating 100 Years of America’s National Parks.

Student volunteers will act as #SelfieRangers, a part of a social media squad on a mission to bridge the tech gap with guests of the Philadelphia Flower Show, help capture moments that will last a lifetime, and share them with friends, family, and the world beyond the borders of the Show floor!

At the Show students will have unchartered access to one of the world’s largest indoor Flower Show’s, and a behind the scenes look at how this massive production comes to life.

As a Campus Philly student volunteer, you will be helping to make this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show the “most social media friendly show EVER.”

Date: Saturday,  March 5 at 8 am

Where: PA Convention Center, 1101 Arch St.

Volunteer Registration: Noelle Wheatley,; no phone calls please.

Lead by: Noelle Wheatley, Digital Content Manger PHS and Matt Ray, co-founder and Creative Director of Chatterblast Media who has designed, and currently teaches, two social media marketing classes at the University of the Arts and Temple University.


Budding PHL-anthropists, this one’s for you

It’s really cool to support a project at its beginning stages and see it through to its ribbon cutting. If you’re looking to have that experience, the Rail Park initiative is a good place to start.

The Friends of the Rail Park are doing something truly transformational to the city’s landscape. Below you’ll find their mission statement, and a 2-minute video that brings their mission to life.

Friends of the Rail Park is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to cultivate visions and advocate for a continuous three-mile linear park and recreation path in Philadelphia, connecting many neighborhoods and cultural institutions to Fairmount Park along the historic elevated Reading Viaduct and City Branch rail cut of the former Philadelphia and Reading Railroad.

Want to start supporting?  How about kicking off your philanthropy with playing a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon and being one degree away from him and his brother, aka The Bacon Brothers, as they play a benefit concert for Rail Park at Union Transfer? Well, you can do just that on Thursday, February 4th. This event is all ages, and proceeds from the concert support the efforts of the Center City District Foundation and Friends of the Rail Park to construct and maintain the Viaduct Rail Park – Phase I.

Feature: Run with Your Pack

It’s so much easier to get motivated about doing anything fitness related when you have a friend by your side. We all have those days when you just don’t want to workout but your bud is counting on you, so off you go. You love-hate this person, but mostly love because you feel and look 💯.

(We realize the article graphic is of a biker, but…)For our first fitness feature, we’ll be covering running. If you want to run any spring or summer races or just get into running, here are some* Philadelphia-based groups that can be your friendly motivator:

City Fit Girls
City Fit Girls was created to connect  women with health & fitness resources and inspiration to live healthy lifestyles at home, school and in the workplace.

Fishtown Beer Runners
The Fishtown Beer Runners® combine responsible running and consumption in the interest of science. We gather once a week to run three to five miles, and conclude each run at a pub for a beer or two.

honeygrow Run Club
On the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., they gather at Philadelphia Runner’s 16th and Sansom location to set off on a three-to-five-mile out-and-back fun run. After the run, you’re invited to head over to Honeygrow and make use of a 25 percent off discount on your post-run dinner. 

Run 215
Run 215 is all about community, and advancing the positive culture of  running in Philadelphia. P.S. They’re super active on Facebook. Even if you don’t participate in their group runs, they’re a great online motivator.

TEAM PHILLY Race Training
TEAM PHILLY Race Training was created to support the Philadelphia area’s beginner to intermediate runners in their aspirations of improving their running and living healthier lives.

West Philly Runners
Every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm, we meet at 45th and Locust (in front of Abyssinia) for a group run. We run a new set of 2, 4 and 6 mile routes each week. All three distances start together and end at the same place.

*We gave you a short list of groups we at Campus Philly are familiar with, and we know there are many more! For more, see Philadelphia Runner’s extensive running group list.

If you decide to join one of these groups, share your experience with us by sending a little blurb to or tagging @CampusPhilly with #meetphilly.


Meet the Interns: Abby, Kristen, Logan & Ryan!

Abby Zweigle | La Salle University ’16

Abby is working as the Communications intern at Campus Philly. Fresh off the Semester at Sea ship, traveling the world, she’s back on land and has just started her last semester at La Salle University. She will graduate in May with a degree in Marketing and minor in Communications.

In her college career, she’s been very proactive with gaining professional experiences early on, landing 5 internships working with companies in multiple fields such as event planning, public relations, online marketing and even a local startup.

“I take advantage of Philadelphia and all it is able to offer to me professionally.”

She’s thrilled to be working with a company that has direct access to the city and it’s events, and most importantly, the students. Being a student, Abby is excited to offer her outlook and ideas to the Campus Philly team and to make opportunities more exciting and purposeful for you! She hopes to learn how to better serve our city through social and professional events, opportunities offered for internships and jobs, being an outlet for colleges and universities, and of course, learning ins and outs of Philadelphia along the way.

Abby’s perfect Philly day: “Breakfast at King Oaks, head on Kelly Drive for a afternoon walk, visit Reading Terminal Market, and finish my day off at Morgan’s Pier for some nice weather and views!”

Kristen Willie | Temple University ’18

Kristen is a sophomore Advertising major with a concentration in Research and Strategy from Temple University. She have two minors in dance and general business studies, not to mention she’s in the process of applying to study abroad in Rome in Fall 2016!

Kristen is a Philadelphia native who says, “there is no place I love more than the City of Brotherly Love!”

At Campus Philly, Kristen will be working as the Open Arts Events and Marketing Intern. She will have a chance to work on many different marketing projects and have opportunities to attend events for Campus Philly. She’s already been able to apply some of her research background to help Campus Philly better connect and reach our Open Arts members!

During her time here, she hopes to learn how to plan and organize events, as well as, learn how to effectively market to students through Campus Philly.

Kristen’s perfect Philly day:  “When I am not studying, my perfect day in the city would include eating Franklin Fountain ice cream in Olde City, shopping in Eye’s Gallery on South Street, and taking photos to upload to Instagram.”

Logan Beck | Temple University ’17

Logan is acting as the Online Promotions Intern for Campus Philly’s Open Arts program. She’s a junior Journalism major at Temple University (go Owls!), and she couldn’t be more excited to help connect my classmates and fellow college students to all of the sights and sounds Philly has to offer!

In true millennial fashion, Logan loves social media, and she can’t wait to have a hands on experience with our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

Logan’s perfect Philly day: “My perfect day in the city would involve sunshine, and reading a classic novel in Rittenhouse with macarons from Miel Pattiserie in hand.”

Ryan Murray | Temple University ’15

Ryan is a creative mind that likes to be unorthodox in his design methods.  As a recent Temple University graduate with an Advertising degree, he hopes to become an Art Director. In Ryan’s spare time, you can find him playing guitar, watching Philadelphia sports, playing Xbox with friends, or hanging out with his Corgi.

“Philly is my city and I hope to stay here for a long time. That’s why I’m glad to be working at Campus Philly where I can help others see all that Philadelphia has to offer.”

Ryan’s perfect Philly day: “A warm, early-summer day that starts off with a bike ride to Spruce Street Harbor to get lunch and hang out in the hammocks with a view of the waterfront. When dinner comes around, my friends and I would head over to the Brazilian Steakhouse, Fogo de Chao and get our fill of all they have to offer. Finally, to wind down and relax we would all head over to Frankford Hall for drink specials before heading back to my apartment at Temple University to end the day hanging out together.


The How and Why of Student
Sustainability Across Campuses

I get by with a little help from my friends – The Beatles

“A couple of us were interested in holding a conference with other students from Philly-area schools and that’s how the idea to connect with other students arose. We realized there was no platform or network for students who were working on sustainability initiatives, so that’s when I got the idea to create that network.”

This was the plight that Sara Allan, the cofounder of Sustainable Philadelphia Alliance of Regional Campuses, faced in 2013. She and a few others on campus realized that “power in numbers” definitely applied to students working in sustainability in Philadelphia. But when they wanted to organize a conference, they realized that there was no way to even know which students were interested and how to contact them. Thus, the idea for SPARC was created.

But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves in the story.

As Allan herself puts it, “I’ve been interested in sustainability for a really long time — I was involved in high school environmental groups and the Green Schools Alliance, so I came to college knowing I wanted to volunteer and work with student groups.”  While this story is fairly par for the course for many students who become very involved in sustainability and environmentalism, there are definitely “some students who dabbled a little bit in environmental issues in high school and want to learn more, and then some people who are just exposed to it for the first time in college,” explains Allan.

When she started at Penn, she become involved first as an Eco-Rep and later through the Student Sustainability Association at Penn, the umbrella organization for the twenty or so green groups on Penn’s campus. It was through her work at SSAP that she realized “the power of collaboration between the groups that could improve communications with the administration. When pooling resources and working together, even more can be done.”

Thus, the idea for a conference was born, resulting in the realization that there was no way to even know where to begin in contacting students across regional campuses.

“It was like ‘Wow, okay, we want to host a conference and there’s not even a way to get in touch with all of these people, even though a lot of us do want to get in touch with each other. There must be a lot of interest from other schools,'” says Allan.

SPARC was launched in January 2014 to promote collaboration among student sustainability groups from Philadelphia-area colleges and universities. The governance structure of the group is two-fold: student fellows and advisory board members.

“The idea is that we have student fellows, who are the main drivers of the organization. We want it to be student-led so students have even more professional opportunities — they get to really guide this organization, but because there’s a lot of turnover because a lot of the students who are getting involved are either juniors or seniors in college and they’re going to be potentially leaving, we also need an advisory board, which would lend us professional advice and access to their networks as well,” explains Allan.

Lindsay Bushong, a current student fellow from Drexel University, says that working with SPARC has been an empowering experience for everyone involved.

“My main responsibility is engaging students at my campus to be more involved in either citywide events and organizing or SPARC events and brainstorming sessions. I also help those student groups by providing the different resources that SPARC puts together or answering questions about issues such as starting their divestment campaign,” says Bushong.

It was after their first brainstorming session that Bushong saw students really beginning to understand the power of a student sustainability network.

“We had representatives from all over the area come together and it was really powerful. I think that’s when students started to realize ‘If I talk to the kids at Temple who are doing this instead of just envying their project or their garden, we could have the same thing and we can have an even bigger impact.’”

Successes for SPARC over the past year and a half have included SPARC Sustainable Food Week, partnering with sustainable organizations across Philadelphia ranging from CityCoHo to the Sustainable Business Network, and filing to become a nonprofit.

Interested in becoming a student fellow for SPARC? The applications are right here. There are also six working groups that you can join (focused on the topics of food, energy, waste, transportation, publications, and curriculum integration) that seek to expand the resources that students across campuses have access to. Just want to keep up on news? Check out their blog.

Making a Difference: Becoming
Civically and Politically Engaged

While the view outside may still scream “winter,” it’s time to get in a spring state of mind, and that means getting ready to rock the vote with this year’s primary elections. The elections will take place on May 19, 2015, and that means that anyone who is registered to vote can use their powers for good and nominate local Philadelphia candidates for Mayor, City Council, City Commission, and Sheriff as well as other official state positions. While it is often all too easy to get swept up and swept away in the promises, campaign rhetoric, and frenzy that can surround politics, it is important to keep the emphasis on the issues and the people who are affected by them.

That’s where organizations like the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization, come in. Established in 1904 to combat corruption in Philadelphia, the organization now functions as a good government group that aims to inform citizens and to fight for transparent government.

Committee of Seventy’s Senior Policy Analyst, Patrick Christmas, shared some insight into his work with the organization and their mission.

Christmas is unique in that his transition into the political sphere was an unexpected one. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2008, he worked as a science teacher at Fels High School in Northeast Philadelphia for five years. How did he make the leap from classroom to politics?

“During my time there, it seemed to me that politics and the way our government functions is as significant an impediment to our schools doing well as anything else…I wound up studying government in grad school and through my graduate studies found out about the Committee of Seventy and the work that it does,” said Christmas.

After interning at the Committee of Seventy in the summer of 2012, Christmas went on to snag the position of Senior Policy Analyst, where a typical workday consists of “checking up on the news” and “getting up to speed, because for any of our work to be impactful, we have to know what’s happening out there in the world,” said Christmas.

The organization strives to keep citizens up-to-date about upcoming elections and voting, as well as implementing initiatives that fight for fair elections and ethical politics. Some of these initiatives have included getting political candidates to be more detailed in their solutions to the city and state education crises and leading a coalition of 185 groups to educate voters on how to be prepared for voter ID laws. In one sentence, the mission of the organization is to “work for better and more honest government.”

As college students, many of us are just beginning to realize the great impact that our voting and voice can have in shaping and positively influencing the political landscape on both a local and national level, but sometimes the demands of being a college student and a millennial can eclipse our engagement with politics.

As a self-professed former “casual observer” of politics, Christmas says that in regards to this, college students “are so in tune with what is happening with your classes and on your own campus…there’s so many distractions going on…that you may not be paying attention to government politics on the local, state or federal level.”

College students definitely inhabit their own bubbles that are filled with millennial priorities, and younger audiences may feel that politics are a part of a world that is too adult to really grasp, but organizations like Committee of Seventy provide opportunities to get young adults involved and active as agents of social change.

Students can work with their Election Program, which “recruits volunteers to get out there on election day and visit polls.” These volunteers are educated on voter laws and registration information so that can help answer voters’ questions at the polls or through a hotline.

Christmas’ parting advice for understanding and engaging in politics? “To keep it simple, I would just urge young folks to pay attention…to get involved because you can have real power in what happens in our community.”