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Apr 20, 2020

QuaranTuck Initiative Connects Tuck Community Around the World

Lauren Farrar TP’21, pictured above, has been sewing masks for health care workers, family, and friends. The masks were donated to Dartmouth-Hitchcock and made according to their guidelines.

By Nicole Ferraro T'20

There’s no hiding that things are a little bit different these days, which is a tough pill to swallow when our time at Tuck is already so short. I remember in the fall hearing about how second year will fly by, and we’ll be at Investiture before we know it. Now time seems to be passing by at a snail’s pace as my self-quarantined days consist of Zoom classrooms, socially distant walks, wasting hours figuring out TikTok, and jumping around my house doing online workouts.

I long for the days of working in Stell Hall, being physically near my impressive classmates, ordering lunch from theBOX, dancing the night away at a band party, and grabbing drinks with friends at Murphy’s. Tuck thrives on its community and the experiences we have here. As a member of the Student Board and a social co-chair, I am constantly thinking about how to uphold Tuck traditions while working with my classmates to make our experience even better.  

In the last month, we’ve faced a new challenge: how can we maintain the special Tuck connection we all share when things aren’t exactly normal? While I am still grieving the loss of time spent physically with my classmates this spring term, I have found great joy in working with fellow student leaders to make the most out of this pandemic through the QuaranTuck Initiative (QTI).

The QuaranTuck Initiative

QTI was created in response to social distancing guidelines which have uprooted our everyday life, including our Tuck life. As student leaders, we wanted to figure out how to continue to strengthen the Tuck Fabric and keep the Tuck community connected in our new virtual world.  At the beginning of this effort, we connected with student leaders across various business schools to learn about their solutions. While we typically like to poke fun at each other’s schools, this crisis has given us the opportunity to work together to bring the best programming to our respective schools. That’s really exciting!

At Tuck, we are creating a calendar of various types of events that people can join via Zoom. We have called upon the Tuckie and TP community to bring the events to life, sharing their talents and passions with the entire school. What is so great about these virtual events is I get to learn new things and meet new people, which may have never happened if things were “normal.” For example, T’20 Suzy Wang taught us how to make her mom’s traditional Chinese dumplings. While we’re close friends, I am not so sure we would have ever done that together. Since I have been quarantining at my parents’ house in Texas, I was even able to share the dumpling making experience with my family. They tasted better than they looked!

I have done group workouts, yoga, drank martinis, and cooked with my fellow classmates all through the power of Zoom. One of my favorite QTI events is trivia night hosted by Tuck Games Club every Friday. Over 100 Tuck students participate in this! QTI events are bringing current Tuckies together no matter where they are in the world. Tuckies are teaching others how to cook their favorite meal, make their favorite cocktail, meditate, develop a stand-up routine, and craft together. We have even maintained the tradition of TuckTails through a weekly virtual event.

No matter the event, QTI has created an amazing opportunity for current Tuckies to continue to connect and be in community with each other. Here’s a look at some of the ways we’ve been staying connected:

  • Teo Gonzalez T’21 and Corine Alvarez T’20 taught us how to make a traditional Puerto Rican dish, mofongo.
  • Mixed up some martinis to enjoy a “Quaran-tini” Night together.
  • T’20s came together for a Zoom brunch. 
  • The Croatia pre-Tuck trip group hosted their weekly ReZOOMion
  • Jessie Chen T’21 hosted a surprise birthday bash on Zoom for his wife Kari Chen TP’21 (pictured, below)

Our initiative continues to grow and adapt week-to-week. We send out a weekly wrap-up email that includes screenshots of silly things that happen in Zoom classes. We recently created an Instagram (@quarantuck) for people to stay updated on what everyone’s up to. We implemented “Theme Day” every Wednesday where you are encouraged to dress-up or set your virtual background for class according to the week’s theme. We kicked it off with “rep your undergrad.” We are starting to develop some photo challenges, which includes the Tuck Travel Photo Competition where you’re asked to recreate a photo from any trip while at Tuck using whatever you have in your place of quarantine.

Community Service

In addition to the efforts of QTI to foster our special Tuck community, Tuckies have been giving back to the Upper Valley community we are so fortunate to live in. A group of Tuckies put together a guide that outlines ways to help in the Upper Valley by taking actions like donating money, volunteering at food pantries, sewing masks, and shopping locally. Natalie Triedman T’20 has created Hanover Helpers to coordinate weekly grocery shopping and delivery for seniors and vulnerable individuals living in the Upper Valley, which many students have gotten involved with. To help Murphy’s with paying their employees while they’re temporarily shut down, Chris Banks T’21 reached out to the class requesting donations. Lauren Farrar TP’21 (photo, top) has been sewing masks for health care workers, family, and friends. The list could go on and on, but it is clear that Tuck “nice” is something we take seriously!

It is easy to dwell on the negatives of the COVID-19 pandemic, but being connected to such a strong, caring community has helped me persevere. I’m impressed with the resilience that the entire Tuck community has exhibited. The QuaranTuck Initiative has helped keep our community together through this crisis and the positive spirit of Tuckies from all walks of life reaffirms the strength of this network. Today may not look at all like what we had imagined just before going off for spring break, but we are learning to make the most of “these unprecedented times.”

 


Nicole Ferraro is a T'20 from Dallas, TX and serves on the Student Board as a Social Chair and a member of the QuaranTuck Initiative Council. After Tuck, she will be in Los Angeles working for Deloitte.