When he’s not sinking at Smoke’s, this Skulls Whartonite is a Management 100 TA and co-founder and co-president of ACTION. He’s also co-founded Penn for Immigrant Rights and is a former Quad RA and chair of the Latino Coalition.
STREET: Tell us about ACTION.
Angel Contrera: Class of 2015 president Ariel Koren came to me because I was on the Latino Coalition and wanted to start a Spanish tutoring program. It stands for Active Cross–Cultural Training in Our Neighborhoods, and we started last semester at Lea Elementary School, so it’s pretty new. We’re still looking for people to get involved and to expand to other West Philly schools.
STREET: What was your tenure as the Latino Coalition’s Chair like?
AC: I loved every minute of my two–year term and realized that pushing initiatives is what I want do long term. Hopefully I end up in D.C. working on policy issues that concern Latinos nationwide.
STREET: What was behind your one-year stint as an RA?
AC: I wanted to hang out with freshmen. (Laughs) Okay, I sound like a pedophile. I really loved my freshman experience, so I wanted to be a part of the process. The kids on my hall liked each other, and they found their group of friends, so in the end that worked. It was a lot harder to be a strict figure-—I felt like I ended up being a lot more of a friend than an RA. I let a lot of things slide.
STREET: What was your low point as an RA?
AC: Awkwardly, it was probably the first night of NSO last year, when I went out and lost the keys to the Quad and had to be let in. I proceeded to cry because I thought I would lose my job in the first week. Struggles!
STREET: Did that trauma contribute to your moving off campus senior year? Or was the whole thing just a nightmare?
AC: God no! I moved off-campus now because I wanted to live with kids in my pledge class – a.k.a. I wanted to spend a lot of time at Smoke’s and going out. Can’t do both! Going out was like a part–time job last semester. For my grand finale, it’s a full–time job. Gotta be at Smoke’s at least five nights a week. And yes, I’m aiming for a plaque in Feb Club. Although, in a way, I’ve already left my mark on Smoke’s. Like when it was my friend’s birthday and we brought a cake and started spreading frosting on random people’s faces.
STREET: You left RA–ing but you still mold young Wharton minds as a TA for MGMT 100. How have your five semesters been?
AC: I wanted to join because my whole lineage in Skulls had TAed it and I’d enjoyed my experience as a student. The TA community is like the secret biggest social group ever. We’re a bunch of party animals. As a sophomore, going out Thursday nights was a terrible idea with my 10 a.m. Friday recitations. They were challenging to get through… I think my students noticed. Ugh, I feel like so many of my stories are because I’m a drunk bitch.
STREET: What’s your guilty pleasure?
AC: Telenovelas are the most ratchet in the world. So much more dramatic than any—I don’t want to say white—than any soap opera. Someone’s always having someone’s baby from someone’s brother who just disappeared and got shot. There’s a poor girl who marries a rich man from Mexico. The plot twists are always the same. Highly recommended.
STREET: What advice would you give to your freshman self?
AC: Get a fake ID.