Awarded organizations back, ready for the new year
Student Organization Awards recognize groups on campus for commitment, passion
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 07:09
Strong groups of passionate students across campus reflect the variety of interests that can be found at Tufts. Tufts has more than 300 student groups, most of which will be showcased at the Student Organizations Fair on Sept. 11.
Last April, the Office of Campus Life (OCL) bestowed the 2012 Student Organization Awards to nine of these groups. Director of the OCL Joe Golia was especially proud of the nomination process and excited to spotlight the hard work of Tufts students.
“There’s a committee that’s put together including TCUJ [Tufts Community Union Judiciary] students and staff,” Golia said. “Anybody has an opportunity to nominate a group for a specific award.”
The Tufts Quidditch Team, the Tufflepuffs, was presented the New Organization of the Year Award. The award was especially thrilling for the team considering their newly recognized status.
“It was our first-ever award,” co-manager Howie Levine, a senior, said. “We were hoping for it, but we were shocked. We had been around since 2009 unofficially, so we were pretty excited to get some recognition for all the hard work that we’ve been doing.”
The Tufflepuffs’ official designation as a student organization – as opposed to a club sport – has come with more than one perk, including the opportunity to utilize space to which club sports do not typically have access.
“At the end of last year, we practiced on the President’s Lawn right behind [President Monaco’s] house,” Levine said. “He came out and watched the game. His kids sold concessions, and people sat on the hill to watch.”
In addition, the group hopes to both carry on old traditions and add new ones this coming semester.
“We have Saturday practices where our whole team comes together,” co-manager Tori Manogue, a sophomore, said. “We also want to reach out to other colleges.”
According to Levine, the team is looking to get more students playing through the intramural league.
“We’re totally changing intramurals this year and the way they work,” Levine said. “They are really becoming the backbone of the Quidditch program, and we hope to get people to start their own intramural teams as well. This will also be the first year [that] we have players from all four years.”
Levine and Manogue believe this new arrangement will accommodate the group’s growth. It will also cater to both those who want to be more competitive and those who just want to play for fun. The Tournament Team, for example, will train for the Quidditch World Cup – a two-day, international tournament involving 100 teams – at which the Tufflepuffs placed second in 2010.
The Tufflepuffs also work with local children at the Boys & Girls Club in Medford on a weekly basis.
“Last year, it was our first semester of Quidditch,” Levine said. “I think it’s the first program of its kind in the world … Kids that don’t really like sports can still enjoy Quidditch, and it ties in [well] with getting kids to read.”
The team is always open to welcoming interested students.
“We love new people and we’re all about having fun,” Levine said. “Everyone’s free to come to our Saturday practices at noon on the Res Quad.”
The Leonard Carmichael Society (LCS) is similarly ready to offer a variety of new experiences for Tufts students this fall. They were awarded the Jumbo Award – also known as the Campus Community Award – last spring, which recognized their numerous contributions as a service group.
“We provide a connection to others and help put people together with similar passions and interests,” Co-President Zachary Michel, a junior, said. “Our program is a reflection of a Tufts student’s interests and community needs.”
With 30 different programs under their umbrella, LCS works to address a variety of areas of community service.
“We just added four new programs this summer,” Co-President Shayna Schor, a junior, said. “And, we have five different subcommittees [for the programs] of Health Issues, Hunger and Homelessness, Literacy and Education, Special Needs and Youth Mentoring.”