I hope you all enjoyed Prefrosh Weekend! We love having prefrosh on campus for PFW. One of the highlights for me is always the activities fair, where we get to meet prefrosh who might join our clubs and teamsnext year. This was the Feminist Club’s table:
It was a little bittersweet for me, as the outgoing president of the Feminist Club, because I met a ton of amazing, engaged prefrosh who are excited and interested in activism and discussion on campus, but I won’t be here next Fall to hang out with them. That was the bitter part, the sweet part is that I became extremely proud of my Excomm (executive committee) from this year, because we turned a flagging club into a very active one that lots of prefrosh want to join. I’m really glad that this resource will be here for them next year! And I’m very excited to see what next year’s Excomm will do.
The week after PFW, we celebrated Denim Day. Denim Day (April 26th) is recognized worldwide as a day to raise awareness about sexual violence and support its victims. About 18 years ago, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that a rapist could go free, because his victim had been wearing tight jeans and must have had help removing them (and if his victim had helped remove her own jeans, she must have consented to the sex that followed). Every year, we wear denim on Denim Day to remind those around us that sexual violence happens everywhere (even on relatively safe college campuses), that victims should be believed, and that victims have our support. See this site for more info.
The Feminist Club put out a table in front of Chandler Dining Hall on April 26th toremind our campus about Denim Day and to answer any questions the community had about the event. One of the Title IX representatives in Page House, Maria (who is also a UCC, this womanis amazing and does everything) put together a beautiful display inviting Caltech community members to indicate if they knew someone who has been a victim of sexual violence. The visual display is now in the Caltech Center for Diversity, reminding our community that sexual violence is real, that it happens to people we know, and that we should always be there for our friends.
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like: