What do you think of when you hear the word "posse"? I think of movies about the wild west. "Round up a posse and we'll bring that varmint to justice!" Posses have a generally negative connotation. Check out these formal definitions:

1. A group of people summoned by a sheriff to aid in law enforcement.
2. A search party.
3. A gang involved in crimes such as running guns and illegal narcotics trafficking.
4. Slang A group of friends or associates.
For the purposes of this discussion, however, we'll stick to #4, mainly "a group of friends."
USA Today published an AP wire story about a different kind of posse at Bryn Mawr College. Here's an excerpt:
When Sharhea Wade arrived at Bryn Mawr College from a big-city high school, it seemed as if every other student on the quiet, leafy campus had graduated from an exclusive private school. "I felt intimidated by them," recalled Wade. "Bryn Mawr is a different world."

Yet whenever she felt like a fish out of water, Wade could turn to her "posse" — nine other girls who, like her, had been recruited from struggling Boston-area school districts and sent on full merit scholarship to the elite women's college.

Keep reading Show less