By Sarah Senese ’23
Although COVID-19 has made life on campus quite complicated this semester, activities and projects are still powering through. The Masculinity Project and its subsequent discussion group supported by the Butler Center have still been meeting through Zoom and creating connections.
The CC Masculinity Project and discussion group are comprised of masculine-identifying students, staff, and faculty who meet blockly to discuss masculinity in the context of the CC community, their own lives, and the greater world. The goal of the discussion group is to extend the conversation about masculinity with those who identify as such, and how they can make CC a more comfortable place for all. The Masculinity Project also hosts guest speakers and film screenings related to topics of masculinity. Although this is a student-led group and project, the Butler Center provides the advisory support needed for a program as big and as important as this one.
Clay Pierce ’21, a senior this year, founded the CC Masculinity Project discussion group along with three other CC students. His hope is to “spark meaningful dialogue about masculinity in the CC community, as well as exemplify what conversations about positive masculinity can look like.” Pierce hopes to change the dialogue within the entire CC community, even if it only begins with the discussion group. He also hopes that the discussion group can integrate into other departments and programs to implement these conversations among many groups of male-identifying students, whether that be in a club, a sports team, or a friend group. He has high hopes for what the Masculinity Project and discussion group can achieve, even if they never get to meet in person this school year.
Although COVID has put an obstacle in the way of the Masculinity Project’s work, these students’ dedication to the project does not go unnoticed — they still continue to meet via Zoom to discuss, reach out, and extend the dialogue, although Pierce misses the personal connection of meeting in person.
Samuel Schavoir ’19, another co-founder of the group, is excited that the group is still having discussions and continuing the important dialogue throughout this strange year. For Schavoir, a former fraternity member and rugby player, “the mission was to have a space where young men could talk to their peers about any kind of topic surrounding sexuality,” in the context of male-dominated spaces. He began the group with the hope of not only beginning a dialogue, but also making CC a safer and more comfortable place for all — starting with dismantling the idea of masculinity among those who identify as masculine. Although Schavoir started the group with the knowledge that it needed to evolve and grow with each year, he is thrilled with the progress and traction it’s gained.
Although the Masculinity Project must adapt to the new COVID circumstances, they continue to hold productive conversations. Pierce notes that, whether it be with the Masculinity Project or not, “everyone can find a community at the Butler Center,” which is now available for online projects, activities, and events. Find out how you can get involved in the Masculinity Project.