Written by Benji Cohen, A11 and Summer Graduate Intern
The Background: Borrowing the event name Agora from the Greek for â€śgathering place,â€ť the Experimental College held an open event on the library roof for students and faculty to talk to ExCollege instructors, learn about a variety of student organizations, and watch artistic performances.
The Event: The Tufts Observer opened their comments on the event by noting that the ExCollege â€śagora, probably the first in American history, was held on Wessell Library roof last Sunday evening.â€ť For two hours, ExCollege course leaders dialogued with the over 300 visitors, while the Beelzebubs sang a capella and a modern dance troupe preformed. In addition, students groups like Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), and the Christian Fellowship used the agora as a marketplace, selling literature and dialoguing with their peers and professors. According to the Observer two â€ścraftsmen peddled peace pipes.â€ť
The Fight: The agora was â€śthrown open,â€ť according to the Observer, by a â€śmemorable verbal fray between members of YSA and SDS.â€ť In the middle of the already chaotic event, student representatives from both groups tossed verbal jabs at each other attempting to one-up the other in front of the large student crowd. The Observer editorialized that the fight â€śadded spice to it all.â€ť When the fight finally died down, the Observerâ€™s unofficial poll showed that â€śSDS appeared to win more popular supportâ€ť than YSA. The reporter speculated, however, that the SDS victory may have been a result of the â€śweenies and home-made cakes and cookiesâ€ť rather than their political ideology.