Amid the swarm of overeager freshmen, screaming people in vagina costumes, and disgruntled seniors getting caught in the middle of cultural hip hop routines on their way to class, a new club booth at this year’s SAC Fair attracted significant attention from new and returning students alike. The University of Pennsylvania’s first ever Rejection Club made their formal debut with a simple table lacking candy, flyers, or even a poster. Despite their meager set-up consisting only of a laptop and a piece of looseleaf paper with “Rejection Club: Don’t flatter yourself. Join today.” scrawled in permanent marker taped to the table, the club boasted an impressively long, hastily made Excel sign up sheet with over 500 names and email addresses.
When asked to provide a concise pitch for the fledgling club, founder Michael Smith, class of 2020, told us at Punch Bowl, “Rejection Club offers a safe space for students who have been rejected from every other club. We celebrate our inclusivity and diversity while also providing members with arbitrary officer titles to put on their generally unimpressive resumes.”
One interested student, Katie Thompson, told us as she waited in line to sign up, “This is exactly the club I have been looking for at Penn. I have been rejected from 14 clubs over the last three years due solely to Penn’s toxic, competitive culture.” However, it should be noted that reliable sources have disputed this claim, noting that Katie’s rejections may be rooted in her “annoying, undedicated, unprofessional, unreliable, uncooperative” personality.
However, another student who wishes to remain anonymous, gave similar reasons for her interest in Rejection Club, stating, “It’s just so nice to know there is a community of rejects on campus. Last year, I made it to the final round of interviews for a club that volunteers at dog shelters only to be rejected because they said I looked too much like a cat person.”
When asked what Rejection Club actually does, Smith just stared blankly at us for a solid minute and ignored the question in favor of thanking all those who signed up, saying, “All of your support means the world to me. You all will be receiving an email this week in order to set up coffee chats and explain the application and interview process for Rejection Club. We sincerely apologize in advance to those who will unfortunately be rejected from Rejection Club and hope you either find success elsewhere or try to join again next year. And to those who didn’t get a chance to put your name down for consideration yet: better luck next time.”