Simmons students care passionately about the issues they believe in. So far this semester, Simmons students have taken their interests to the next level by working together to take action.
Most recently, Simmons students displayed passion in the annual production of The Vagina Monologues, a play by Eve Ensler. This student-run performance truly combines acting with activism. The play educates, entertains, and enrages the audience about women's issues around the world, while featuring a spotlight organization. Each year, Vagina Monologues directors select a local organization to benefit from the funds raised. New England's first women's shelter, Transition House, is this year's beneficiary from the Simmons ticket sales. I had a total blast being a member of this year's cast, all while raising funds for an important cause!
For some, this semester began with an intensive January course known as Simmons World Challenge. This is a class that is open to sophomores and when I heard how much this year's class enjoyed it I felt nostalgic towards my experience last year in World Challenge. SWC offers unique courses with new topics each year, and students collaborate in small groups to brainstorm, research, explore, create, and present a solution to an issue. This year's program actually had two different topics: one on immigration, and another about the media. One example of a World Challenge outcome this year was an in-depth analysis of how the media portrays violence.
Another example of Simmons-supported activism that recently took place was the annual Like Minds retreat. For this year's retreat, I joined a group of Simmons students to a New Hampshire lakeside campsite. We spent the weekend discussing topics surrounding diversity and inclusion, and how these subjects relate to us as people and specifically as students of Simmons College. The Like Minds retreat was really a microcosm of Simmons values and attitudes, which meant that everyone was respectful, curious, and interested in applying knowledge to real life. So, the retreat ended with action steps about how we the students can make Simmons the most inclusive and accessible college in the country.
Not to be confused with the latter student organization for diversity and inclusion, Like Minds, is the organization Active Minds. Working to destigmatize mental health disorders by promoting open, enlightened discussion of mental health, the Simmons College chapter of Active Minds seeks to educate, enlighten, and empower all young adults to ensure their own mental health. Just recently Active Minds held an event called "Speak Out & Smash a Scale." The group gathered donated weight scales, and smashed them to bits with hammers in the Residence Quad. The idea behind such an event was to symbolically say "no!" to unhealthy beauty standards. Some people spoke out about the importance of having a positive body image and self esteem, and others, like myself, took a hammer and smashed a scale!
Every day, I am inspired by the charitable social-justice action that Simmons students engage in outside of the classroom to make the world a peaceful and just place for everyone.