This is the heart of the busy season for student activities at Fletcher. The newbies are fully oriented into all phases of student life, yet the academic heat hasn’t reached maximum intensity. This year, I’ve been especially aware of the level of activity, because I finally stopped trying to prevent overfilling of my in-box and signed up to receive email reminders of Fletcher events.

What’s been striking to me is not the usual big-name lectures, but the really interesting talks, panels, meetings, etc., etc., organized by students and student groups. Last Monday, the Latin American Student Group invited Boston-based diplomats from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Spain, and Brazil to discuss challenges their communities face in the New England area, and what their consulates are doing to address them. Also last week, Fletcher’s Human Rights Project hosted a talk with Todd Wassel (Fletcher ’06) on Sri Lanka’s complex internally displaced persons’ situation. Todd (who was a loyal two-year member of the Admissions student staff) is now working for the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.

Less related to the curriculum is the upcoming Asia Night. I see that students are holding regular planning meetings for this annual event. They promise an evening filled with singing and dancing Fletcher students, food, a raffle, and other activities, with proceeds going to the Massachusetts-based Burma Border Project. Asia Night is a long-standing Fletcher tradition, and is one of several student-organized cultural nights each year.

And, demonstrating that Fletcher students don’t lack creativity in the visual arts, there’s a new “Perspectives” exhibit in the Ginn Library, Impressions on My Mind’s Eye: Argentina, Chile, Mexico & Peru,” with photographs taken last year by one of our second-year students.

As I said, I’m not even touching on the lectures that one usually associates with a school like Fletcher. It’s the student and student-group led events that bring home to me the vitality of this place.

Visitors to the School, whether you’re here for an interview or to check out classes, should take a look at the Events Calendar. Nearly all events are open (the exception would be lectures that take place over lunch or dinner) and applicants are welcome to join in.


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