We spoke with Makayla Reynolds about the underrepresented at Penn
‘I want to be able to show people that it is OK to speak out’
Makayla Reynolds has been elected president of the 2018 class – the first black female to ever be selected for the role. She spoke to us about her goal of standing for the underrepresented at Penn – minority and low income groups, as well as those who have dealt with mental health issues and sexual abuse.
Makayla described Penn as a very diverse place, and mentioned minority communities sometimes seem “set-apart.”
“You have African American clubs over here, and then you have Latino clubs over here and Asian American clubs over here…” she said. “But I think it would be great if we could all come together and showcase what everyone else is doing instead of doing everything so separately. I think a lot of people don’t even know what some of the black clubs are.”
Makayla also wants to stand for those who have dealt with mental health issues and sexual abuse, calling these issues “so prevalent on campus and very overlooked.”
“Mental health is huge for me,” she said. “I personally have really battled some major mental health issues…I want to be able to show people that it is OK to speak out and that mental illness shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of.”
According to Makayla, it is critical that leaders on campus can relate to these issues and be able to stand with those communities.
“Class board kind of creates the culture,” she said.