They call it the Sophomore Slump, that feeling of detachment from what once excited you about campus life. Characterized by your lack of attendance to the kind of events that made you want to come to Tufts, the Sophomore Slump affects us all at some point or another. Recently, however, I have been trying to connect back to what made me so excited to attend this school, as I realize that I will be going abroad next semester I can’t help that I’m already feeling the nostalgia.
I would say that one of the major themes of discussion of the school year that resonated deeply with me has been issues surrounding sexual assault and how they relates to female identity and campus culture. In light of events that occurred last year with Tufts’s violation of Title IX of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act there has been a noticeable push for the expansion of resources. As a member of Tufts’s Greek community, I can honestly say that my organization is working to make changes and promote dialogue across the entire Tufts community. In October, the Tufts Inter-Greek Council formed the Greek Life Anti-Sexual Assault Initiative Task Force. The aim of this independent task force is to have each member of Greek life sign a letter of intent to complete educational anti-sexual assault workshops.
Though we are far from fixing a myriad of issues within the Tufts Greek system, it’s refreshing to see some action being taken. Escaping my aforementioned Sophomore Slump, I attended “It Happens Here” this past February where 30 sexual assault survivors shared their experiences to a packed Cohen Auditorium for the second year. The event was significant for both speakers and the audience; it served as a reminder that our campus culture has many faults and events like this are necessary for fostering dialogue and bringing about positive changes.
In addition to “It Happens Here” I also had the pleasure of attending “Not Your Mother’s Monologues” a revamping of Eve Ensler’s production ‘The Vagina Monologues.” This new production aimed to extend inclusivity to groups that were underrepresented in the original monologues. The monologues covered many topics associated with the female identity. I was impressed by the originality of the production, and how it pushed the boundaries established by the original monologues. Most of all, it reminded me that our campus goes to great lengths to lend a stage for unique and important forms of expression.
What do these events have to do with communications and media? I for one, heard about these events exclusively online, whether it was through Facebook events or the Daily’s website. It’s interesting to think about how much of an impact the Internet has on the attendance and knowledge of what’s going on on campus. As I prepare myself for my journey away from Tufts this coming Fall, I know that I’ll be connected to campus even just through logging onto Facebook, and when I return, I hope to see more and soak it all in.
-Shivani Shendye, A’17