Photo by Lisa Abitbol
On a snowy Saturday in early December, 849 eagerly awaited friends came to campus. But there was no worry about COVID-19: The arrivals were stuffed animals. Originally conceived by Dean Sheilah Shaw Horton’s Student Advisory Committee on Student Life, the “Fluffy Friends” program was funded and carried out by College Government. Students chose a bunny, a bear, a penguin, or a sloth (like Dijon, pictured here with Kira Hamilton ’21) to build, and there was also a competition for a T-shirt design for the friends (won by Andy Arrangoiz-Arriola ’22).
The program was a rousing success. “Students flooded both my inbox and public social media platforms with adorable pictures, witty jokes, and hilarious memes (one student, Riya Balachandran ’24, even made a Spotify podcast episode about the event!) about their own Fluffy Friends and the event in general,” says College Government President Tatiana Ivy Moise ’21. “I think especially in a pandemic that forced all of us to physically distance, having something soft and cuddly to hug and hold close was the perfect idea.”