I. Abesamis, S. Ajmal, C. Deguerre, P. Han, O. Khubchandani, J. Kurdusiewicz, R. Morales, A. Morfit, D. Natrajan, R. Patel, R. Sarkar, L. Sarkaria, J. Shah, Z. Shah, S. Shekhar, N. Sirah
Facilitator: M. Hashemi
The Four Shades of Scarlet
24×36 in. Photographic Collage
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program
Honors Colloquium Section H7
In an institution as vast as Rutgers, a “beloved community” often includes discovering a sub-community within an extracurricular, class, or place. Without these smaller groups, it’s easy to feel lost in such a populated community.
The Rutgers bus system, despite its complexity, represents the university’s foundation, connecting individuals that are ordinarily strangers. Whether through awaiting an LX bus or sharing a meal, uncovering our beloved community is sometimes unexpected.
The word ‘niche’ is derived from the French word that means to ‘make a nest’. If we take into consideration the number of parts that comprise Rutgers as a whole, we can find exactly this multitude of nests, recesses in which students find and truly make their own within this beloved community. While it might be unusual to describe a population so multifaceted as a unified community, the following images serve to exemplify the most important aspect of Rutgers, the commonality that exists between all niches and groups which also serves as its greatest strength: its diversity. Through this diversity we founded a community that can allow any given individual to ‘make a nest’, regardless of background or character. Rutgers University truly is a place in which the whole is most certainly greater than the sum of its parts, a large, sturdy tree for the veritable host of nests.
With this being said, we decided to base our image on the diversity Rutgers has, splitting our section into multiple committees, each capturing a different aspect of Rutgers that makes it a community. Our section consisted of an art committee, data collection committee, photography, and label/catalog committee. Through our photography committee, we tried to capture different places around each campus that would resonate with the students of Rutgers when they see these images. Each campus has locations and buildings that are special to the students and Rutgers and we wanted to capture that in our photos. To collect enough data from our peers we decided to pool the people around us about their favorite places to escape on the various Rutgers campuses and how those places made them feel. They sent out a google form with two questions corresponding to these categories and tallied the responses.
Our main findings were that our peers enjoyed places where they felt relaxed and comfortable, part of the Rutgers community, and would thoroughly enjoy their environment. Finally, with help from our art committee, we were able to put everything together into one single medium, and perfect our image. We created a map of the Rutgers bus route, including circles that represent each campus, and created photo bursts in each campus space. We decided to use color overlays on the photos, and to put words on the routes. Everything came together into a large collage of 4 that represent each Rutgers campus, connected in the shape of the Rutgers bus system. Inside the lines that connect the campuses, we put words that people felt represented each campus, or their favorite places on each campus.
Most of our inspiration came from within our very own Rutgers community. The final project theme encouraged our section members to truly appreciate various aspects that come together to give us our identity. We set out to pay more attention to the subtleties of each of the entities portrayed in our image, which raised important conversations about how each of us fits within our community and fosters a sense of belonging. Each of the systems highlighted in our image come together to portray our understanding of the Rutgers community at a macro level.