Tufts University Social Collective (TUSC), a student-led organization that plans events on campus, has expanded its programming this academic year in order to stimulate social life on campus.
Noah Brown, a junior and member of the executive board of TUSC, explained that the organization hosts over 100 events every semester and has been looking to find new ideas for programming.
“We have our film series events, we have events that go on during the day, we have the big stuff like Winter Ball and so [TUSC is] trying to find more stuff for everyone to do,” he said.
According to Brown and Margaret Van Scoy, a sophomore and TUSC entertainment co-coordinator, the additional events include Late Night FUN, which started last year, and the new Coffeehouse monthy acoustic nights, which began last semester. She explained that Late Night FUN events take place every weekend that has late-night dining and that the Coffeehouse events will take place four times over the course of this semester.
Van Scoy facilitated the Late Night FUN events last semester. She said that the goal of Late Night FUN is to provide an activity for any and every student, a sentiment which Brown shares.
“[TUSC] is always trying to offer different options for anyone who wants to participate,” Brown said.
According to Brown, TUSC has seen an increasing number of students attending Late Night FUN since it began during the 2017–2018 school year.
”I know that numbers are growing for this year compared to last year, and I also see that there’s more brand recognition,” Van Scoy said. “People know what Late Night FUN is and they generally know to expect it upstairs in the CC.”
Van Scoy added that despite the fact that a lot of first-year students end up attending the events due to proximity, Late Night FUN is not necessarily geared towards any group of students in particular.
“[Attendance] depends on what we put on [and] whether it’ll pique people’s interest,” she explained. “Again, it’s both people who are looking for another option and just want to hang out and people who come around 11:30 or 12 from their parties.”
According to Van Scoy, the first Coffeehouse Acoustic Night was The Wolff Sisters last semester.
“We had a pretty good turnout. I think we had around 65 students show up, which is awesome,” she said.
She explained that the idea behind the Coffeehouse concert series is to help students relieve stress by listening to music and enjoying the atmosphere. According to Van Scoy, TUSC hasn’t required an increase in funding to run the Coffeehouse concerts.
“We have a lump sum of money that we use per semester and we allocate that money, which events get which funding,” she said. “We haven’t gone in for supplementary funding.”
Brown mentioned that TUSC is undergoing budget changes.
“We’re restructuring so the budgets are all going to change next year, and so Coffeehouse is going to be under TUSC Concerts,” he said.
According to Brown, TUSC has stepped up to fill a void created by the reduction of Greek life events on campus by hosting social events on a bigger scale.
“We do have programming that is geared towards having that kind of social nightlife both on campus and off campus,” he said. “But it’s hard for us to have the same impact.”
Brown referred to events like Winter Ball as “traditions” that try to fill that role.
For Van Scoy, TUSC has an opportunity to create a new, safer type of social life at Tufts.
“It’s an important transition from Greek life because one of TUSC’s main goals is to provide a space for all students. It’s just inherently a very non-exclusive environment, whereas Greek life could be seen as such.”
Van Scoy also added that TUSC is partnering with Green Dot, the bystander intervention program, to make their events safer.
Brown acknowledged the difficulties TUSC faces in creating viable alternatives to other things happening on campus.
“I think that TUSC’s role in filling that void is limited,” he said. “TUSC is getting TCU [Senate] funding and can’t really provide the social party atmosphere, but it does add to the ‘another option’ movement on campus by having substance-free events.”
Siddarth Jejurikar, a junior who has attended several TUSC events, including Late Night FUN, the Tisch Film Series and daytime campus center events, stated that while the Late Night FUN events are enjoyable, he doesn’t see them functioning as alternatives to other weekend events on campus.
“It’s not really an event,” Jejurikar said. “You spend three minutes and then you get something free out of it. You get things, which is cool, but you don’t get much time enjoyed out of it.”
According to Van Scoy, TUSC events can serve as both another option and a complement to preexisting social life. She cited TUSC Film Series, noting that it is very popular.
Jejurikar exemplified this with his excitement about the series.
“I’ve been to some of the movies,” he said. “They usually pick good things to screen — I saw ‘Eighth Grade.’ They got an early screening of that. That was cool.”
Brown touched on the importance of all of these events, stating that feeling connected to campus can help students feel more comfortable at Tufts.
“TUSC is so important to give everyone something to do on campus and make sure there’s always something going on for people who don’t want to go out or for people who feel that they’re not transitioning well into college.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred to the TUSC Film Series as the Tisch Library Film Series. The article has been updated to reflect the series’ correct name. The Daily regrets this error.