COLLEGE UNBOUND: Tell me about your project.
LAUREN ROY: I am working on building a zine for teenage girls who have experienced sexual violence. It’s being led by me and 3 other women, with other outside contributors creating content for the zine. We are working to create content for 14 topics total. We want to have it distributed to children’s advocacy centers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, with the larger mission of trying to reframe how we talk about sexual violence and individual trauma.
We’re working really hard to make sure the topics are relatable and are aiming for next year to have a draft out.
COLLEGE UNBOUND: How often would you publish the zine?
Right now, we’re just trying to get the first one done. But we don’t want it to be about volume or frequency. We want to make a larger impact. We want a lot of content and information. Then we can sit back and see how it’s received.
COLLEGE UNBOUND: What are the topics the zine will be tackling/shedding light on?
One topic the zine will touch on is the socialization of boys and girls, how we are raised with an assigned gender, and how that affects the way we interact with each other. Other topics we will be exploring in the zine are setting boundaries for yourself (what it means to know what you want and be able to express that) and how that can shape you as a leader, intersectional feminism, transformative justice, and how the female experience can be different based on your socioeconomic standing, race, and whether you’re cisgender or transgender.
COLLEGE UNBOUND: What are the next steps in your project?
We meet every week to discuss what topic we want to take on next. Every topic has an introduction and personal narrative. So, the next steps are to continue those meetings and get the pieces of the zine together.
COLLEGE UNBOUND: How did your academic career bring you to CU?
I went to The MET High School so I knew [CU Provost] Adam Bush from my time at The MET. After graduating high school, I went to Green Mountain College in VT but a few weeks before orientation I just realized it was too much of a financial burden. I had been financially independent since I was 16 years old. I decided not to go to attend Green Mountain College and started working full-time. I worked for 2 years and saved up enough to put myself through CCRI. I attended CCRI for a year, taking a full-time class load while also working full-time.
I got into an internship with Planned Parenthood that required me to travel to D.C. so I took a semester off from CCRI. During my time as an intern, Adam Bush visited me. I told him about how I took a semester off because of the internship and he told me about College Unbound’s Open House.
I was still wary of CU because they didn’t really have a reputation yet but I loved and supported the alternative education model. Plus, I was growing frustrated with the traditional college course structure. So I attended the Open House, where they talked about the CU Solo Scholarship. It piqued my interest a lot so I applied, had the interview, was accepted, and now I’m part of College Unbound’s first cohort independent of partner institutions. It’s been incredibly transformative for me.
COLLEGE UNBOUND: In the spirit of giving back, is there someone you’d like to spotlight?
Adam Bush. I appreciate that he’s infallible, never loses trust in us and how committed he is to us. I also really connected with John Saltmarsh. His course radicalized my life and really interrupted how I look at research. I had so many epiphanies when I was in that class. It was so radical to unlearn certain things about failure in Jamie Uretsky’s class as well!