Scotlight on Veda Massanari-Thatcher ’23

Lark Pinney

Features Editor

 

Where are you from?

I am from a small town in Michigan called Tecumseh which is around 30 minutes from the Ohio border and about three hours from Wooster.

How did you settle on Wooster?

My grandpa knew about the school because he was a college professor, so he suggested it to me. I went on a bunch of tours, and when I visited Wooster I just felt like I fit here. It was definitely the people and the energy; I was like, ‘This is it!’ I think I came back one more time and then I only applied here and one other place, and once I got in I was like, ‘Alright, we’ve done it.’

Have you declared a major?

Yes, I’m a double major in philosophy and women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS).

Tell me a little more about your choice to double major.

I came into college thinking I was going to major in political science because I knew I wanted to go to law school, and I had heard that political science or philosophy was the route to go for that. But once I took a philosophy class, I was hooked. I took Intro to WGSS my first semester, and I fell in love. It was everything I wanted to talk about and more, and the professors are wonderful.

Do you still want to go to law school?

Yes, that’s the plan! I would love to do some type of social justice advocacy; I don’t know whether that’s environmental or reproductive rights, but something along those lines. 

You’ve been going to the protests downtown, right? Tell me a little more about that!

I actually didn’t find out about them until I went to the CDI event about racial justice earlier this fall. I attended the breakout room that Professor Désirée Weber was running, and that’s how I found out about the protests. A few friends and I started going a few times a week, and now we’ve gotten to know the people pretty well. It’s a consistent few people who come; there’s normally at least three or four professors who are always there and then about the same number of community members who are also there every day. We don’t really do any official organizing, but if Dr. Weber wants to reach out to students at the College, she’ll ask us to be a liaison. For the Trump parade, she asked us to get input on what the college students would like, so I organized a virtual conversation between the heads of a bunch of clubs, and then a bunch of people from CDI ended up showing up so it was actually a super productive conversation. They decided that counter-protesting wasn’t a good idea. But that’s the extent of any organizing  we’ve done. It’s very much a community-based thing that we’re just going to to support. They’ve been doing it for a long time, so I definitely want to give them all the credit. They’ve been doing it for so long and are so prepared. 

What did the community members think about that one Saturday protest when tons and tons of students showed up?

Yes, the community members loved that. They were pumped that so many people showed up. They were hoping that it would lead to more people coming in the future, which I’m not sure if it has, but more people know about it now. They really want students to get involved. It’s 12-1 p.m. every day downtown. 

What other things are you involved in on campus?

I am in four clubs! I am the social media chair of the Sexual Respect Coalition, I attend Greenhouse, I am co-treasurer of the Environmental Justice Coalition and I’m in Leftists of Wooster. 

What is a fun fact or secret hobby you want to share?

I make earrings! Over quarantine I made an instagram page called @funkydoodads and ended up selling a bunch of earrings and donating some of the profits towards different organizations. 

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