Since I am in my last semester Lesley, I must say that time spent at this school surely has been an unforgettable experience. I was able to take unique classes pertaining to my major; I made life long friendships; and I got to live in one of the most well known college towns in the United States. During my time at Lesley I was fortunate enough to be a part of both school communities: CLAS and LUCAD.
But I’ve also realized that there is a massive divide between the art school and the college of liberal arts. It is quite rare to find liberal arts and arts student interacting with each other. I can honestly say that it is heartbreaking to see such a unique and creative school suffer from a situation that could be described as a type of segregation. It is taking away from our school’s strength, and the result is we all fail to support one another. At such a diverse and accepting school, one would think that curiosity and ambition would drive students to interact with the other– though based on what I have seen, this is not the case. It is in Lesley’s best interest to mend this divide in order to strengthen our community.
In order to gain outside input, I talked to some students about the well known divide. I interviewed Claire Roche who is a 4th year photography student at LUCAD, and asked her what could be the cause of the division? She replied: “I think it’s because the art school is literally blocks away and is not condensed somewhere on the main campus, Doble. If I don’t have a reason to go to Doble, I won’t go.” During her interview she also expressed that she was used to being surrounded by art students as they have their own campus, and liberal art students have their own campus.
I also interviewed David Fay who is a senior as well, and takes courses at both schools. David responded: “I am a business major and a photo minor so I find that I get stuck in the divide of both schools. I only get emails about liberal arts events and I have never got an email regarding LUCAD events, I usually hear about LUCAD events from art students. I wish there were more social events and clubs that were cross social and invited both groups of students to participate in common interest or activity.”
It is quite clear that students who feel divided are actually being divided from each other. There are certainly instances in which students may not have an interests to interact with the other school, which is completely okay. But for those who wish to have a larger school community and become more active within it, they are not being provided that opportunity, and it is unfair. As David mentioned though he is a part of both schools, he himself suffers from the divide, as it is a struggle to feel apart of two wholes. David also made a great point that even though he studies at the art school, he is registered at CLAS as his major; so, he does not get notified of LUCAD events– almost like he is being excluded from the invitations.
As Claire previously mentioned, she simply does not see the need to go to Doble campus unless she absolutely has to since the schools are so far apart from each other. This not only makes traveling inconvenient, but it also contributes to the divide since the schools are physically separated. The fact that students such as Claire never have an opportunity to be on Doble campus, takes away from their opportunity of being a part of campus events that are put on by the student activities board.
In order for students of both schools to become more confident in Lesley’s community and want to be more involved in it, Lesley must work towards making both schools unite as one. In the circumstances Lesley faces, it is nearly impossible to physically unite both schools together. It is a blessing that the arts school was fortunate enough to move from Boston to Porter square, which has helped somewhat, but obstacles remain. A ten minute walk down Mass Ave. should be no barrier in uniting both schools, and yet it seems to be. Cross-social events and clubs would provide opportunity for students to interact and get to know each other. Making these events and clubs a priority at Lesley will mend the divide and strengthen our school spirit, confidence, and relationships with one another!