One of Wesleyan's oldest traditions, STUNT, is being reimagined by current students. In an effort to save this 126-year-old tradition, the 2021-2022 STUNT executive board asked students for ideas to carry the tradition into a new era at Wesleyan.
How did the idea of changing STUNT come about?
Chair, Wendy Mims '22: Having to come to terms with the fact that STUNT is failing was difficult for me. In order to keep this beloved tradition alive, the executive board and I realized that we had to update how it works in order to fit the lives of Wesleyan students today, as opposed to 100 years ago.
Commissions Chair, Grace Walker '22: Over the past several years, but particularly last year and the year before, STUNT participation has been declining. There are several factors that have been contributing to this including the increasing workload of the average student combined with the short amount of time students are currently given to create their STUNT. Since there wasn’t a traditional STUNT last year due to the pandemic, this is the perfect time to reimagine. There is value in the tradition and I believe that it is important to keep Wesleyan traditions alive, however, it is just as important to adjust those traditions to meet the needs of the current student body. Our intention is to create a new version of STUNT that is more inclusive and strengthens siblinghood bonds.
What do you love about the tradition of STUNT?
Co-Chair, Dezrae Lockett '23: I love the sisterhood of it all! From the laughs to the cries throughout STUNT month. I feel like it really brings our class together, and who doesn’t love competitions?
PR/Marketing Chair, Keneisah Jones '22: I love the creativity and bonding with new people. As a creative person, I love to watch something I help create come to life and share my hard work and dedication with others.
Why is it important to keep STUNT alive?
Chair, Wendy Mims '22: Wesleyan is currently going through a huge transitional era. In the process of this transition, we have been losing a lot of our traditions. While some of those traditions do need to be let go of, STUNT is not one of them. Keeping STUNT alive, along with a few other Wesleyan traditions, means keeping the spirit of our school alive as well. Also, it’s one of our oldest traditions!
Commissions Chair, Grace Walker '22: Traditions create a sense of belonging and STUNT reinforces the values of siblinghood that make Wesleyan so special. It brings comfort to many of our students and alumnae, and the consistency is something that we can all look forward to. Traditions are important in every community, but it is important to recognize when change can be beneficial in order for them to survive.
Co-Chair, Dezrae Lockett '23: Being one of the oldest traditions at Wesleyan, I feel like it is important to keep a hold of the older traditions while also creating new ones. We are living in a world of hardships right now. We feel like keeping STUNT will bring happiness and bring our community together, something that is needed in today’s society.
What do you hope to accomplish by updating this Wesleyan tradition?
Chair, Wendy Mims '22: We hope to rejuvenate the tradition of STUNT and introduce it to students who wouldn’t be able to participate as it was structured before. Traditions survive by keeping them updated with the times.
Co-Chair, Dezrae Lockett '23: We hope to accomplish this change by making it more fun and having more participation. We will transform STUNT to work for us and for future generations in order to save the history of the tradition.
Commissions Chair, Grace Walker '22: We hope to reconcile the sense of community that has been feeling fragmented, particularly due to the effects of the pandemic. We hope that these changes to STUNT will resonate with current students and reignite their interest. The STUNT executive board wants to create a tradition that enables students to bring joy and excitement back into the Wesleyan community.