Nature at La Salle: Spring Flowers


Sean Bradley, Writer

Greetings. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sean Bradley and I’m a student and avid naturalist at La Salle. Throughout my time here, I’ve been documenting the species of plants and animals that call the university’s campus home. In a new series for the Collegian titled “Nature at La Salle,” I will showcase my findings in nature on campus throughout the seasons. For the series’ debut article, we will look at five, early spring flowers that you can find on campus in March and early April. 

1. Daffodil 

The first flower we’ll look at is the bright and cheerful daffodil. These hardy perennials are among the first flowers to bloom every year at the end of winter. Daffodils are members of the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) and grow from underground bulbs that store nutrients for the plants’ stems and flowers. The flowers are easily recognized by their central trumpet-shaped coronas that are surrounded by six floral leaves known as a perianth. Originally native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia and the Mediterranean, daffodils have been cultivated throughout history and are now found throughout the world. Today, there are about 13,000 distinct cultivars, coming in a variety of colors like white, yellow and orange. Here on campus, you can find daffodils blooming on a sunny day in the Hansen Quad. 

2. Hyacinth 

Blooming around the same time as daffodils, hyacinths are another lovely, early spring flower that you can find on campus. Like daffodils, these perennials also grow from underground bulbs. Hyacinths are found in the family Asparagaceae (which includes asparagus), and each year they produce spikes of small, tubular flowers that grow from leafless stems in the center of four to six leaves. Known for their sweet fragrance, the flowers come in many colors, including blue, pink, purple and white, depending on the cultivar. Today, there are about 50 cultivars, which are all derived from the wild species, Hyacinthus orientalis, which is native to southwestern Asia and the Middle East. Here on campus, hyacinths can be found along the pathway towards the baseball field in the flower bed next to the lawn by the Union Building. 

3. Snow Fountain Weeping Cherry 

Another early spring flower that blooms every year on campus is the snow fountain weeping cherry blossom. Often regarded as one of the finest weeping cherry blossoms, these snow-white flowers emerge from pink buds and cover the tree’s bare, cascading branches. The result is a stunning display of white blossoms from gracefully swaying branches that give the tree a lovely, fountain-like appearance. Not only are the flowers visually pleasing to people, but they’re also a source of nectar for pollinators, such as butterflies. Like all cherries, snow fountain weeping cherries are found in the genus Prunus and the family Rosaceae (rose family). The snow fountain weeping cherry is a cultivar of a hybrid cherry tree, Prunus x subhirtella, which is a cross between two Japanese cherry species, P. incisa and P. itosakura. La Salle is fortunate to have two specimens to grace the campus, with one by the entrance next to College Hall and the other in the lawn by Holroyd Hall. 

4. Saucer Magnolia

The saucer magnolia is another tree that produces pretty flowers each spring on campus. Like the snow fountain weeping cherry, the saucer magnolia, or Magnolia ×soulangeana is also a hybrid plant, with it being a cross between two Chinese magnolia species, Magnolia denudata and Magnolia liliiflora. The flowers start as fuzzy, green buds that eventually bloom into large, saucer-shaped flowers that come in shades of pink and white. While pretty, the flowers are also susceptible to late frosts, which unfortunately results in the flowers dying. But, in a good year with warm weather, you can find these beautiful flowers blooming by the benches near the grotto on the Hansen Quad. 

5. Red Maple 

Finally, the last flower that we’ll look at comes from one of our local, native trees, the red maple. While known for their brilliant, red fall foliage, red maples are one of the first native trees to bloom as temperatures warm in late winter and early spring. The flowers consist of tiny, hanging clusters of red blossoms that appear when the leaves form. Most trees bear either exclusively male or female flowers. Male flowers can be identified by their long stamens that extend beyond their petals and yellow pollen that covers the tips of their stamens. On the other hand, female flowers can be identified by their stigmas that extend past their petals to catch pollen from male flowers. Once pollinated, the female flowers produce double samaras, or winged seeds that eventually disperse before the leaves form and germinate into new trees. Red maples are quite common on campus and can be found in good numbers especially in the Hansen Quad and near St. Basil Court. On a sunny day, one can appreciate the bright red blossoms of the tree. 

And that wraps up our look at early spring flowers on La Salle’s campus. As the weather gets warmer, there will be more flowers to find on campus. It’s been a pleasure sharing this article with you as I hope you enjoyed reading it. I look forward to hopefully writing more in the near future. Thank you.

Bagel Reviews with Claire and Luke: Pretzel Edition: Row Home Coffee, Philadelphia, PA


Claire Ortiz and Luke Szyszkiewicz, Staff Writers

via Claire Ortiz

It’s been a while since our last bagel review! We have been swamped with work recently and haven’t been able to travel around much for bagels. However, the other week, we found time to adventure down to Pine Street in Fitler Square, to a place recommended to us some time ago by our friend, Brett. Although what we got wouldn’t be considered a traditional bagel, it falls under the realm of breakfast sandwiches, and for that, we had to try it. 

Everyone we had talked to had seen pictures of this on Instagram, and we had to try it for ourselves: the Philly Pretzel Breakfast Sandwiches. With three different pretzel options (traditional, everything, and cinnamon sugar), and sandwich options (bacon, sausage, or pork roll), all with egg and cheese, we knew we were in for a real treat. Joining us for this trip were Claire’s sister and her husband, Audra and RP. They were jealous about all the bagels we had gotten to try over the last semester and wanted to join us for a trip. 

After making our way down, we each ordered our sandwich. I got a bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything pretzel; Claire got a sausage, egg, and cheese on a cinnamon sugar pretzel; Audra ordered a pork roll, egg, and cheese on a traditional pretzel; and RP ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything pretzel. The first thing we noticed was these were pricier than most traditional sandwiches, running about $10 for the sandwich and then some more for coffee. Our total bill for the two of us came to about $30. Sadly, after receiving our order, we noticed that they had given my sandwich on the wrong pretzel. Instead of an everything, mine was traditional. Not to worry, though, it was still delicious!

The sausage on the sandwich, according to Claire, was slightly over-seasoned. I really enjoyed the bacon on mine. Overall, while it was delicious, the fact that they got my order wrong and some of our food was slightly over-seasoned takes some points off of it for us. It was also overpriced for what we got.  

We’d rate this one a 2.5/5, but an amazing novelty experience and something that we wouldn’t be upset about if we were to get again.

Bagel Reviews with Claire and Luke: Liberty Bagels, Midtown, New York, NY


Claire Ortiz and Luke Szyszkiewicz, Staff Writers

When we began our bagel reviews last semester, our initial idea was to review bagel places in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Over the break, when we took a trip to New York City, we couldn’t resist trying bagels from the known bagel capital of the world. Getting to the city at 6:30 AM, we had ample opportunity to seek out and find the best bagel near Penn Station. Our research took us to Liberty Bagels, where the rainbow bagel craze supposedly began so many years ago. One of their sandwiches was voted one of the best bagels in the city. We thought that was a good enough reason to make it our pick. 

Located on West 35th St, only a five-minute walk from the train station, the place was very small, but PACKED with bagels. Claire ordered a sausage egg and cheese on a poppy seed bagel, as is tradition. I ordered a bacon egg and cheese on an everything. We did break our rule of trying one sandwich and one with cream cheese, but the opportunity for sandwiches was just too tempting. Opening our sandwiches, the first thing we noticed about the sandwiches was the size of them. These were some of the largest bagels we had ever seen. Our only issue was that there was not quite enough filling to sufficiently fill the large bagels. The taste was delicious. Claire went on record saying, “I would take a trip to New York just for these bagels.” Our only complaint was again, the slight lack of filling in the bagel. They were properly seeded, the taste was great, and it wasn’t even that expensive. 

Overall, this might be the best bagel we have had in our days reviewing bagels. We’d give it a 4.5/5 Gritty’s.

via Claire Ortiz

LaSalle’s ADP Program


Nya Griffin, Staff

The LaSalle Academic Discovery Program (ADP) is accelerating, as Teresa McKnight is now the new ADP Director, and Anyae Broomer is the Assistant Director for student success. Their mission in leadership is to make sure they reach every student to help them grow through this process. The Academic Discovery Program is designed to help economically impacted students prosper through their collegiate career.

The Academic Discovery Program is more than just your average collegiate student success program. The faculty and staff are there for when students feel like their backs are up against the wall. McKnight and Broomer help us to see the light at the end of every semester. Sometimes just by being empathetic and telling us to take “one day at a time,” or reassuring students that “everything is going to be alright” is what gets us through those difficult patches in the semester.

Having McKnight and Broomer as a support system and academic cheerleaders throughout our college journey helps us to see the college experience beyond the classroom. Yes, academics are highly important; however, our mental health is just as important. Having a licensed clinical worker like Broomer in our presence to bridge the gap from health disparity to mental health awareness is empowering. Broomer helps us find out our personal social determinants of health to provide us with what we need to succeed mentally, physically, academically as students. The goal of ADP is to provide us with the necessary resources, strategies, and connections that will help propel us into academic success beyond undergraduate education. Sometimes we must remember that everyone has a story and understand that we have the power as college students to change the narrative and exceed our own expectations.

When asked, “What is one word that comes to your mind when you think of ADP?” Broomer said, “perseverance because lots of students have weights but this program is about helping students to attend class and preserve in spite of the circumstances faced.” 

McKnight also replied, “unlimited possibilities since the program is designed for success.”She continued to share that “if you work on your academic success, you’ll have yielded unlimited possibilities.” 

While interviewing McKnight and Broomer, I asked what were their expectations for the program and what will they be implementing to help students continue to excel? McKnight said, “accountability within the students’ culture in making sure they meet requirements for the program as well as bringing back an immense community atmosphere that was prevalent pre-pandemic.” Broomer replied, “engagement and more involvement in campus community.” She said that after listening to students’ feelings and their feedback they hope to expand the active peer mentoring program and strengthen it for years to come.

Overall, La Salle’s Academic Discovery Program is off to a great start with some fresh changes, familiar faces, and eager support. McKnight and Broomer’s goals for the program is to continue to focus on assisting each student in understanding them as an individual and being intentional about getting them to reach some SMART goals. Broomer shared that sometimes behind the scenes work can involve sleepless nights but it’s her passion for changing lives that’s worth it all. McKnight also expressed that stepping into this new role reveals her passion in seeing all students succeed not only in undergrad but help them prepare for graduate and beyond. McKnight concluded that, “although ADP seems to be the well-kept secret, good things do come out of it.”

To the entire La Salle Community, we’d like to give a warm welcome to the new director and assistant director as they are immersed in their new roles in teaching and learning.

Bagel Reviews with Claire and Luke: Spread Bagelry: Philadelphia, PA


Claire Ortiz and Luke Szyszkiewicz, Staff Writers

Long ago in the semester, a friend of ours, Andrew Plunkett, suggested a bagel place that he frequented over the summer due to his work commitments in the city. He told us that we just HAD to try it, and that we wouldn’t regret it. Having taken his advice, Claire and I, along with a large group of friends, made our way down to Rittenhouse Square where one of a few locations of Spread Bagelry exist within city limits. The other two are on South Street and in University City. 

The first thing we noticed about this place on the frigid Saturday morning was just how bustling it was. Other places we had been to have been busy, but none quite like this. When we arrived, there were only a few types of bagels left from the menu, with everything, sesame, and blueberry lemon being the only that had survived the busy morning. Sad news! Claire couldn’t get her poppy seed bagel this week. Not to worry. She ordered a sausage egg and cheese on a sesame bagel, while I ordered a sesame bagel with maple bacon cream cheese. 

The amount of cream cheese on this bagel was delectable. I really enjoyed it. The seeding of the bagel was also quite nice, with enough seeds for everyone to be satisfied. Claire really enjoyed her bagel sandwich this week. Stealing a bite, I could see why. The eggs were perfectly fluffy, even though they were scrambled, the sausage was delicious, and the cheese was melted just right. The coolest thing about this bagel place was its exposed wood fire oven, where we saw the bagels being made in front of our eyes in real time. 

This is unlike any place we had been to before, and really elevated its whole vibe for us. Overall, between the ratings, we would give it a 3.5/5. Some things it could improve on were the bagel selection (not entirely their fault, Saturdays are the busiest day) and in making slightly larger bagels. We did really enjoy it and thank you to Andrew Plunkett for the recommendation!

via Claire Ortiz

PRSSA chapter begins to reestablish reputation


Donald Argoe, Staff 

After two years, La Salle University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is back up and running.

 Like manyany sports and clubs, PRSSA was negatively affected by COVID-19. Starting with a year of online school and another year of safety restrictions, there weren’t enough students to get the club going. On Sept. 22, the group met for the second time to select the new board members best fit to help rebuild.  

         After a long break, the communication students of La Salle are getting back together with hopes to rebuild the chapter back to what it used to be, giving students even more opportunities to succeed. PRSSA Vice President Madeline Geyer said, “COVID-19 took away the opportunity to really congregate as a team last year, it was also difficult to spark student interest.” Then the first year back on campus, students found that they “couldn’t really establish [themselves] in such limiting circumstances,” Geyer said.

         Before the pandemic hit in 2020, Geyer said “Previous La Salle PRSSA chapters were highly successful and feigned a lot of interest with students and took on nationals multiple times, we hope to be just like that.”

         PRSSA, established by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), is a society of over 9,000 college students nationwide who are provided with professional development opportunities to help them in their career path. PRSSA is  designed to help communication students connect with others in their field of interest for a wide variety of learning and career opportunities.

         The group is working hard to become a well-established chapter once again in the national organization. Geyer said that they’re excited to welcome their new Chapter Advisor, former PRSSA President Ryan Wall. With his help Geyer said they “plan on getting involved with lots of off-campus events to help students gain as much experience as possible.”

         Now that the plan is in motion, PRSSA Director of Publicity Keri Marable said she plans to expand the club by “reestablishing ourselves as an official chapter in good standing with PRSA to take part in their various awards and competitions by gaining new members, building a repertoire of chapter newsletters and social media campaigns, and creating new programming on and off campus.”

         Geyer said the group “plans on recruiting new members through word of mouth, and visual flyers from our Director of Publicity.”

         The club’s main student goals are to enhance education on the subject of public relations, expand networks with like-minded professionals, and develop skills to help students become a leader in the field of public relations or communication. In other words, PRSSA’s focus is to help communication majors learn, connect and grow.

         Along with knowledge and connections, PRSSA offers students desired benefits like scholarships, access to internships, becoming a leader, planning events and meetings, and  finding jobs after graduation.

         Now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, Geyer and Marable agree that the PRSSA chapter is ready to start recruiting even more new members from the communication department and rebuild its reputation in the world of public relations.

Bagel Reviews with Luke and Claire: Kismet Bagels: Fishtown, Philadelphia, PA


Claire Ortiz and Luke Szyszkiewicz, Staff Writers

via PhilMyTummy

This week, Claire and I took a train ride down to Fishtown, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city. A popular spot for millennials, Fishtown has coffee shops and bagels aplenty, but I truly think Kismet Bagels takes the cake for the best bagel spot in the neighborhood. Located just minutes from the Girard stop on the Market-Frankford line, we met our guest reviewer (and Luke’s brother) Steve Szyszkiewicz, ’14, to try the most in-demand bagel in town.

Looking at the menu, Claire was immediately disappointed in the lack of sausage options, with the only meat being offered was bacon. What they lacked in meat variety, they made up for in other varieties of spreads, with many different options of cream cheese available as well as some interesting veggie options. The bagels themselves are exquisite: fluffy yet crispy and wonderfully seeded. I ordered “The Egg,” which includes scrambled eggs, Cooper sharp cheese, zhug (a Yemeni hot sauce), I added bacon to it, and of course an everything bagel. Claire ordered a poppy seed bagel with cream cheese, which they call ‘schmear.’ Steve ordered “The Veg,” which includes tomato, cucumbers, red onion, microgreens, veggie schmear, extra virgin olive oil, and salt & pepper on an everything bagel. Although scrambled eggs typically lose points on our rating, they were fluffy and tasty, so they won’t detract here. 

To the ratings; this is personally my favorite. I think it really has everything I could want in a bagel place. The only downside is that the sandwiches are messy and not the easiest to eat. Claire and Steve both said similar things regarding the messiness of the sandwich. For Claire, the downside was the lack of sausage on the menu, although the bagel itself was delicious. For Steve, the messiness was a major portion, as his fell apart toward the end. Overall, we’d give this a 4/5 Gritty’s. Come back next week as we explore another bagel place in Philadelphia! 

Bagel Reviews with Luke and Claire: Fill A Bagel: Jenkintown, PA

Features, Uncategorized

Claire Ortiz and Luke Szyszkiewicz, Staff Writers

via Luke Szyszkiewics

This week, to celebrate Halloweekend and the Phillies in the World Series, Claire and I decided to go somewhere closer to school. Fill A Bagel seemed to be the perfect spot. We had heard so many good things from those around us that we just had to try it. They also had the BEST bagel to celebrate the Phillies: The Phils Bagel, a plain bagel the same color as the red of the Phillies logo. Although neither of us personally ate one, we did bring some home to friends, who all said they were so fun and so very delicious. 

Personally, Claire and I didn’t have the experience we thought we might have had. Claire ordered, as always, a sausage, egg, and cheese on a poppy bagel, while I ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything. The classics. 

One big complaint that Claire had was the choice of egg on the bagel, and I can’t help but agree with her. Some bagel places use scrambled eggs, and Fill A Bagel is one of them. Both of us prefer fried eggs on breakfast sandwiches. This took down their score pretty far for us. I also didn’t think the bagels were truly seasoned enough. Although the everything bagel did have salt in it, one of my favorite things, there just wasn’t enough of the everything else for me. 

Overall, we’d probably rate it a 2.5/5 Gritty’s, or to celebrate the Phillies in the Fall Classic, Phanatics. Join us next week as we take a trip into Fishtown to review Kismet Bagels, as well as hearing reviews from some potential guest reviewers!

Featuring: Reading Terminal Market with CEO and GM interview


Annie Allman shares the history and future plans for Philadelphia’s biggest tourist attraction

Jakob Eiseman, Former Editor-in-Chief

Image courtesy of Jakob Eiseman

The first time I came to the city of Philadelphia, I was tired, stressed, and incredibly overwhelmed. My mother and I wandered the streets of Center City asking for directions, getting heckled by hawkers, and bumped into by drunken Phillies fans when finally, we came upon a lively area with musicians, tour busses, street performers, and a bustling crowd of people all talking and cheering happily to create a low, relaxing murmur. As we approached, we quickly saw the gray, cold Philly we had been seeing come to life with movement and color, and the closer we got, the more we could hear the performances and smell a wonderful plentitude of smells. We finally came upon the Reading Terminal Market and thought, “when in Rome,” before opening the doors and being greeted with a loud boom of voices and a bright flash of liveliness. While I do not quite remember what I did, saw, or ate while I was there, I remember that I wanted to return, and when I committed to La Salle, one of the first things I did after moving in was return to the Reading Terminal, and I have been going back ever since.

For some of our new students or members of the La Salle community reading from across the country, the Reading Terminal Market is a vast open market living inside a National Historic Landmark that was once cooperating as a market and train station. The Terminal is filled with vendors of all types, from produce to meats to prepared foods to jewelry to clothing — anything you are looking for under the Philadelphia sun can be found within, and most of it is the best you will find anywhere in the city. 

Image courtesy of Jakob Eiseman

Dinic’s Roast Beef sports hangers where butchers from the Market’s early days would hang animals to be sold off in pieces.

Located in Center City along North 12th Street, the market spans more than a whole block, running from Filbert Street to Arch Street and nearly reaching back to North 11th. The market is about a five-minute walk from City Hall or a two-minute walk from Jefferson Station. With 2023 set to be the Market’s 130th anniversary, it has carried its roots from the first markets in Philadelphia from the 1600s when purveyors of goods would come to sell and barter to William Penn’s first residents. The formal market first opened in 1892, having over 250 vendors and 100 farmers bringing products regularly to supply local residents and businesses with fresh and quality goods.

Nowadays, the market looks quite different. First and foremost, no trains have run over the top of the market since the 80s, and the vendor spaces have increased significantly, with some even offering their own sit-down dining or walk-in grocer areas. Modernly, the market is still used as a major grocery hub for locals and for those looking to get their hands on some exotic products, but it also has an incredibly popular food culture featuring breakfast through dessert from cultures around the world, including the famous Philly cheesesteak, Amish baked goods, Korean corn dogs, Caribbean classics, Middle Eastern eats, Georgian cheese boats and almost anything else you can imagine. It also has a sizable art scene with linens, jewelry, pottery, souvenirs, and imported works of art from across the globe. You could go to the Reading Terminal every weekend for your entire life and never run out of new things to try or buy.

Image courtesy of Jakob Eiseman

Mountains of fresh produce line the avenues of the Reading Terminal Market.

The market’s CEO Annie Allman was kind enough to sit down with me over the weekend to share with me the history of the Market, their future plans, and some personal stories from the Terminal. Serving as the current leader of the non-profit organization that runs the Market for just over 18 months now, Allman says she has big plans for the market, and has already seen some significant changes go into effect since her taking the position. 

Like myself and many of our readers, Allman found her way to the market during her college education, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. In January of 2021, Allman came to the market hoping to help transition it from its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak in Philadelphia to a new future that celebrated what always made the market special. 

The market never closed through the pandemic, as it is a grocer, but visitors were somewhat infrequent through its peaks, and some vendors suffered financially. “It was a ghost town. It was sad, and I think a lot of people had lost hope,” said Allman. She hoped she could put her experience in tourism and hospitality to work to bring some life back to the market and hope back to the heart of Philadelphia. 

Her team reached out to highly motivated, energized businesses and individuals that they thought could help bring a new vibe and feeling to the market. Now, nearly every vendor area is filled with many new and returning faces to the market, and Allman noted that over 25 percent of merchants are BIPOC, and more than 45 percent of vendors’ businesses are women owned or co-owned. 

Image courtesy of Jakob Eiseman

Sweet T’s bakery, Allman highlighted, “is believed to be the first Black-owned bakery in the market’s history, and that’s really a sign of how much diversity is coming to the market.” Many vendors are first or second-generation immigrants, and almost all merchants found within the market are local Philadelphians, some of whom source all of their materials and ingredients locally. The variety of people working in the Market and attending it is vast, and people from all corners of the city are present.

After just over a year and a half of reorganizing and filling up the market again, Allman says that they are “absolutely ready to shine,” and just seeing the crowds and feeling the electricity in the market on a Friday afternoon, I think they are finally back.

Now that the market has really picked itself back up after its pandemic lull, their next big project is to expand the market, not further into buildings, but out onto Filbert Street, building a large patio and setting up easily convertible blockers so as to allow for outdoors festivals or popup markets to take over the road. Allman says that they are not able to share any plans at this time, but that once the Filbert expansion is ready, Reading Terminal will be sure to take advantage of the space with unique and fun activities and markets that could not exist anywhere else in the city.

“The Market is a great way to experience a true Philadelphia tradition and really be a part of the city and its culture,” says Allman. Not only is it a Philly tradition, but it also has ties to so many parts of the globeand experiencing the traditions and customs of other cultures is truly representative of the melting pot that is the city of Philadelphia. 

In addition to being one of, if not the largest SNAP redemption site in the state, the Reading Terminal Market is operated by a nonprofit that seeks to keep the market accessible to people of all incomes and provide fresh products to residents of Philadelphia that may not have access to food in the same way as others. For the last two years, the Market has won the award for best public market, and Allman attributed their success to the persistence and resilience of small business owners through the pandemic. The Market has always made the support of small, local businesses a priority.

“I love this place because you can truly feel, smell, and taste Philadelphia,” said Allman. “After the pandemic, all of that social unrest in the city, and everything we have been through, coming to the market is a perfect way to enter a magic bubble of culture, experience something new and diverse, meet new people with new ideas and feel comfortable taking in the city in a wonderful organic space,” Allman described with fervor. “It truly is the best of Philly all in one place,” she concluded.

Image courtesy of Jakob Eiseman

If you’ve never made your way down to the Reading Terminal or if this was just the excuse you needed to get back there, I encourage you to check it out. It is truly a place unlike any other, and I hope our audience can see it that way too. Please click here to find a list of all current vendors within the Market.

The Lack of Women Representation in Pennsylvania and Women Running for Election this PA Electoral Season


Keri Marable, Staff

As it gets closer to November, campaigns and election talks ramp up. One conversation that comes up during election season is the representation of women. The disparity between the total population of women compared to how many get elected or appointed has grown smaller in recent years, but when looking at the history of the number of women representatives in the swing state of Pennsylvania, the lack of representation of women in Pennsylvania has been and still is prominent. That could change this election season, with a record number of women running for state office. 

The Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics at Chatham University cites statistics that show despite making up 50.6% of the population in Pennsylvania (US Census Bureau, 2021), women only make up 29.2% of the Pennsylvania General Assembly (PCWP, 2022). Of the 74 women in the General Assembly, 60 are members of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, making up 29.5% of the House. The State Senate has 50 members in total, 14 of which are women, putting the percentage of women in the State Senate at 28%. The percentage of women in the General Assembly has grown from 4% to about 30% in the last 100 years since 1923 (PCWP, 2022).

The Center also notes that of the 13 elective executive office positions in Pennsylvania, just five of these positions have been held by only 11 women since the first woman was elected to a Pennsylvania Executive Office position in 1955 (PCWP, 2022). The first woman elected to an executive office in 1955 held the Secretary of Internal Affairs position and has been the only woman ever to do so. Four women have held the position of State Treasurer since 1961. Two women have held the position of Auditor General since 1965. Only one woman has been elected Lt. Governor before, in 2003. Two women have held the position of Attorney General, the first one elected in 2011 and the second appointed in 2013.

Pennsylvania has never had a female Governor (unless one counts the wife of state founder William Penn, who governed the colony for 14 years, though many discounts her despite her vast contributions), a Chief of Staff to the Governor, Commissioner of Insurance, Public Utility Commission, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Conservation and Resources, Secretary of Education, Labor or State (PCWP, 2022).

The first-time women were appointed to the Governor’s Executive Staff was in 2015. In the 19 Governor’s Executive Staff positions, 12 are currently women. There has only ever been a total of 18 women who have worked in positions of the Governor’s Executive Staff. Only 12 women have ever held a cabinet position, with the first one appointed in 2015. Women currently hold seven of the 22 cabinet positions (PCWP, 2022). 

These numbers go to show that in recent years the representation of women has grown in the Pennsylvania state government, but a representation of women in the state government, in general, didn’t exist until just before the 1950s and some positions have not been held by a woman until just a few years ago. Even now, despite making up half the state population, women only get less than a third of representation in the General Assembly. 

While there are many factors that go into a lack of representation of women in the state government, the first step in getting more women in office is to recognize the women who are running for elected positions. Over 130 women are running for a Pennsylvania state government electoral position this 2022 election season: one woman is running for Lt. Governor; nine women are running for PA representatives in the United States Congress; 20 women are running for Pennsylvania State Senate, and over 100 women are running for a position in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives.

The Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics at Chatham University details all  the women running and their platforms on their website. The center’s mission, according to its website, is “to increase women’s influence and leadership in public life in Pennsylvania and improve the quality of women’s lives by providing them with educational and training opportunities in politics and public policy” (PCWP, 2022). They accomplish this through their different programs, including NEWLeadership, a leadership program for women in college, as well as the ReadytoRun Pennsylvania Campaign Training for women looking to run for election. Some of the women running for office in PA now have gone through the ReadytoRun training at Chatham University. Learn more about  those women and all the other women running for election this electoral season in PA at