Although Fletcher is its own unit of Tufts University, it can also be seen as the graduate program for the University’s International Relations department. IR is one of the most commonly chosen majors for Tufts undergraduates and, because the major involves a relatively large number of requirements, the undergrad IR folks are pretty serious people.
Despite the occasional (o.k., annual) griping over undergraduates in Ginn Library, Fletcher students are genuinely supportive of their younger peers. Here are two examples.
Last night, the Ralph Bunche Society (RBS) at Fletcher invited undergrads to learn about their experiences in the IR field. RBS seeks to shine a light on the contributions that minorities and people of color have made in the field of international relations, and also to encourage students of color to consider educational and career opportunities in international affairs, which means this event was tied directly tied to the RBS mission. The RBS Facebook page provides some nice descriptions of the presenters, who sought through their comments to pave the way for the undergraduates to follow in their footsteps.
On an ongoing basis, Fletcher students also guide undergraduates via the “Fletcher Mentors” program. The program matches IR majors with Fletcher students who share similar academic or career objectives, in order to help the undergraduates develop their interests. They might have one-on-one meetings, or attend group networking events, and there is an online discussion group.
Of course, having a robust undergraduate IR program also opens opportunities for Fletcher students to work as teaching or research assistants, and to attend relevant events sponsored by other units of the University.