BEAST Building Engagement and Access for Students at Tufts

Group photo of Beast members

BEAST is a free, four-day Pre-Orientation program that focuses on the unique social and cultural experiences specific to students who may be the first in their families to attend college, and for students seeking guidance on navigating financial and academic resources at Tufts.

BEAST provides participants support by acquainting them with useful resources, and skills to navigate the sometimes complicated social and academic aspects of college life, all while connecting them to members of our community who are instrumental in helping our students succeed. Additionally, we strive to promote the development of self-awareness and confidence among first years and provide opportunities for leadership development to participants and staff members. This program is aimed to empower students and enhance the student experience for those who are first generation college goers, low income, have undocumented status, or otherwise seek such a program. Our peer leaders will help guide and mentor incoming students, connecting them to the wealth of staff, resources, and communities available to them. Using their personal experience, each leader will share their solutions to overcoming some of the pitfalls common to the first year of college.

Schedule

Program Dates: August 27 - August 30

Our goal for BEAST is to engage students with the resources available to them and the staff and students they can support. As part of this, students will need to understand the structure of Tufts, Boston, and the local community. With that in mind, some events we may partake in include: exploring Boston and its various modes of transport , a financial workshop, and an in-depth discussion with experienced Tufts students sharing insight into their personalized journey as First-Generation/low-income. Although the exact details are subject to change, these activities can help give you a sense of our overall objective: enabling students to be their best selves.

A Typical Day of BEAST

Time Activity
8 - 9 a.m. Breakfast in the dining hall with peer leaders
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Workshop on Tufts Campus / Group event
12 - 1 p.m. Lunch on Tufts Campus with peer leaders
1 - 5 p.m. Social Activity / Off-campus exploration
5 - 6 p.m. Dinner 
7 - 9 p.m. Program Sponsored Activity 
9 - 10:30 p.m. Activity with other BEAST students and Peer Leaders/Reflection

2022 Student Coordinators

Violet Johnson

Violet Johnson, 2024

Violet Johnson is a sophomore studying International Relations and Russian & Eastern European Studies. She is from Madison, Connecticut and has been somehow involved in BEAST since her freshman year of college! She first acted as a participant of BEAST. This last year, she was a BEAST Peer Leader and FIRST Center Peer Leader. At Tufts, Violet is a Student Consultant for 180 Degrees Consulting and Secretary-General of Tufts Model UN. Outside of school, Violet enjoys reading and falling asleep in the library. She is so excited for BEAST and hopes to make it a fulfilling and successful experience for all involved.

Tasha Campbell Parker

Tasha Campbell Parker, 2024

Tasha Campbell Parker was Born in Limon, Costa Rica, has been a Massachusetts resident for most of their life and they identify as AfroLatinx. She is currently a sophomore majoring in Community Health with an interest in minoring in entrepreneurship. As a transfer and commuter student transitioning during COVID19, they are slowly trying to get engaged and involved in on-campus activities. Tasha sought out information from the FIRST Center prior to even getting accepted into Tufts to find out what resources and support were available for students like her, and has stayed connected since. Their interests include baking and cooking when the mood hits (she is a trained chef) as well as playing volleyball, coloring, and traveling. You will likely always find them with a latte/chai tea, protein drink, or with snacks that they are always willing to share.

Staff

Jared Smith

Jared Smith

Director of the FIRST Resource Center, Program Director of BLAST

Contact Us

BEAST
beast@tufts.edu | 617-627-2100

BEAST brought us all together, showed us that there are a lot of us on this campus, and that we have a presence.

Molly Laurencin, Class of 2022

Because of the amazing peer-leaders, coordinators, and administrators that helped BEAST, I was able to comfortably seek out advice and help from them when I needed to.

Rossiel Reyes, Class of 2002

We all had a similar goal because of our background and it gave me comfort knowing that I had a community that would support me.

Daniel Trejo, Class of 2022

I have made so many amazing friends through BEAST, and we I know that they will have my back and can truly understand what I am going through!

Ka Man Hau, Class of 2022