Local residents flock to the Hill for Community Day
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 01:09
The 11th annual Community Day at Tufts, an open event co-sponsored by the Office of Community Relations and the cities of Medford and Somerville, yesterday afternoon attracted thousands of local residents to the Academic Quad.
The event’s attendance this year was the strongest it had been in years, thanks largely to the favorable weather that past Community Days have lacked, according to Director of Community Relations Barbara Rubel.
“It’s the first sunny day we’ve had in three years for this event, and I think it makes a big difference,” she said. “We’ve probably had between 2,500 and 3,000 people in attendance.”
Rubel, who has overseen the event since its inception, said the purpose of Community Day is to attract people from neighboring areas to the Tufts campus, as well as give them the opportunity to enjoy themselves and learn something new about the university.
Rubel also emphasized the high level of interaction among several student organizations throughout the day.
“It’s really Community Day within the university as well,” she said. “It takes people from lots of different departments to make this happen.”
Jamal Halawa, a Somerville resident who attended Community Day with his family for the first time this year, said he appreciated the chance to experience the Tufts campus.
“It’s nice that Tufts opens up its doors and shows people around,” he said. “It’s a beautiful campus, and it’s great to be able to be a part of it for the day.”
The event featured a number of crafts for children at the Kids’ Activity Tent, ranging from pumpkin decorating and simple chemistry experiments to engineering workshops and constructing buildings from marshmallows and spaghetti.
Other booths promoted organizations from Tufts and the greater Boston area, including Fan the Fire, Go Green Medford, the Sharewood Project health care organization and the Somerville Mathematics Fund.
Erica Voolich, president and founder of the Somerville Mathematics Fund, said the day is an opportunity for her organization to connect with members of the community.
“It’s nice to be able to be meet people from the Medford and Somerville communities and to tell them more about the math fund,” she said.
Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) had its own stand, where officers distributed police-themed rulers, stickers and coloring books for children. TUPD Sergeant Duane Weisse said he enjoyed participating in the event for the second straight year.
“The day has been spectacular,” he said. “The weather’s great, people are having a good time and it seems like a lot of people have come out to enjoy the event.”
Twenty student performance groups, including the Tufts Symphony Orchestra, La Salsa and Traveling Treasure Trunk, provided entertainment during the event. The Tufflepuffs, Tufts’ resident Quidditch team, taught children a simplified version of the game, known as “Kidditch.”
Senior Kaveh Veyssi, president of the a cappella group sQ!, said that the day’s performances were the first on-campus gig of the year for the majority of performance groups and believes it was the ideal way to start the semester.
“This gig is by far our favorite of the year,” he said. “There’s nothing we enjoy more than coming out here and performing for all of the smiling people and families. There’s literally nothing better.”