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Charlotte Zinsser ’21: student spotlight

Charlotte Zinsser

Masked and six feet apart, I sat down with Charlotte Zinsser ‘21 to talk about
Bennington, the pandemic, and defunct parties. “I think, now,” she says, lounging on a couch in
the library’s reading room, “more and more people are just a little less willing to, you know,
leave the comfort of their room,” speaking to the current state that social life in Bennington
seems to have settled into. “It’s been hard to get people to come to things this term more than
ever, especially because looking at a Zoom link is kind of unappetizing… but that’s just the
reality of what it is now. ”

If you see a cool-looking poster for a party or gathering, chances could be that Charlotte’s
the one that made it. A member of the Program and Activity Council, her experience in the
visual arts puts her in a unique position to contribute to the community. Her work is identifiable
even on a crumpled piece of paper, which not only invites but commands attention, gaining the
attention of those who come across it. “A good poster, in my eyes, can really get people to
come,” she says. She tells me that, in previous years, she and PAC used to hang banners from
Commons publicizing campus events such as weekly parties that would bring students together.
Now, posters might be more important than ever to get people to come out of their bubble.
“Our goal is to give people something to do—whether they’re remote or in-person—give
people something to do other than their homework.” In these times, she and the other three
members of PAC not only put together activities they think will be fun, but ones they think
students will never have done before. Established events such as karaoke, Trivia and Roll-O-
Rama have been some major successes of their programming, but a few forays into new things
have shown to be promising—none of which would have been successful had Bennington
students not pitched in and actually showed up.

Something that continues to surprise her is the continuous enthusiasm of the student
community, which has made events like the Silent Disco on Commons Lawn a bigger success
than Charlotte ever anticipated. “I think with the Silent Disco people were excited to go out
again,” she says, commenting on the unexpected number of students who participated.
“Something that is so great about Bennington is that you can have a silent disco and people will
actually dance without shame, you know?”
PAC is thinking of ways to continue these outdoor activities as the weather gets colder,
such as providing heat lamps and semi-covered areas. Charlotte wants to continue providing
students with opportunities to stay active in the school community. “If people show up and have
fun, that’s what we’re really trying to make happen.”
You can check out the events Charlotte helps plan at @pacbennington on Instagram, or
their Facebook page at @pacatbennington.

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