Seneca Hill, President of Opulence
Tell us about your organization:
Opulence is the first ever drag based club at Penn State! We started the club in the fall of 2017 in response to a spike in popularity towards the local drag scene/student drag shows. We realized we needed a more profound space for it on campus. It’s a place where anyone who either does drag or just likes/supports the art can come together and share tips and tricks and celebrate drag in a safe and supportive environment.
Why do you think your organization is important and meaningful on campus?
We seek to support local drag artists by holding regular drag shows and workshops as well as giving new performers a platform. We think that as more people get exposed to a queer-centric art such as drag, the more conversations will be had about societal gender norms and the work that still needs to be done with uplifting our trans siblings and breaking down some of those barriers. It’s also really important to us to provide a safe, welcoming space here because a school this big can be really overwhelming if you don’t fit the ‘norm’.
How did you decide to take on your role as director of your club?
I was on the first executive board of Opulence when we created the club in 2017, so it means a lot to me! I began as the secretary, but I decided to run for president because I felt so motivated to build the drag scene on campus. Seeing that I don’t really perform myself, I thought I was a perfect candidate to oversee events and shows and take some of that weight off of the performers.
How does your work with Opulence give you the opportunity to use your gifts and passions?
I’m not sure I really have any ‘gifts’ to be exhibited through my work with Opulence, other than maybe organization skills. However, it is something I am extremely passionate about. Being the President of Opulence is probably going to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. Surprisingly, I didn’t even learn about drag until spring semester of my freshman year in 2017. Honestly, my adjustment to college wasn’t very easy in the beginning, and I spent time with a lot of people who were really bad for me and felt like I didn’t fit in with the whole greek life scene (because I didn’t). When I found the drag community I immediately found a family and felt welcomed. Keeping this family-like community strong is so, so important and it’s something I believe everyone deserves to have. Being president of Opulence allows me to meet people with diverse backgrounds, talents, and passions and maintain a space for them to express and embrace their identity and art.
Anything to say for students who might want to join this club?
If you’re even just thinking about joining, you have to stop by! This means that you’re in some way interested about drag and that means this club is for you! Even if you don’t know anything about drag, makeup, or have any interest in performing– join! In fact, most of our members do not do drag, but joined to keep up with drag events and support the drag community. We like to have fun, and not take things too seriously, because drag is supposed to be fun after all!