A bright orange t-shirt, with the words “What the Freak?” printed on it, hangs on the wall of the Student Activities Council office. Sitting below it is the creator Nora Weiss, flashing a confident smile from behind the cluttered desk. Nora loves her work.
“If I see…an event happen, and people walking away saying ‘this is really cool,’ I know I had a major part in it and I feel really good about myself,” Nora said. “I’ve never been able to be a part of something this big.”
Nora plays a huge role in putting on many MCLA events. As the vice president and public relations chair of SAC, she is getting ready for the Spring Fling week in April. Until then, a trip to see the Lion King is planned, along with more comedians and bingo. For MCLA Presents!, she helped organize the recent Blues and Funk Festival and the upcoming two-day celebration of the writer Samuel Becket, “Becket x2.”
Nora is also an intern for Jonathon Secor at Gallery 51 and works for Bernadette Lupo in the marketing office. Nora helps Lupo by creating and editing press releases to and from the school. At Gallery 51, she helps Secor promote the spring semester by contacting artists, newspapers, and alternative promotions.
“He tells me it’s a lot to do but you can do it,” says Nora. “He makes me work hard… [it’s] tough love but I love it.” On one occasion Nora had to walk to Gallery 51 in the snow when nothing was shoveled, and ruined her shoes. She simply shrugs it off and says “It’s not really a big deal. It’s exercise.”
Nora learned to take this same positive attitude with her in all aspects of her life. Growing up in the middle of Boston, she describes her childhood as being somewhat lonely. Most kids didn’t play with her because she was the only white, Jewish girl. Eventually, she became friends with a rough crowd, many of whom were involved in gangs. She had several unhealthy relationships and dependencies. Still, Nora stayed active in sports and the arts in high school. With MCLA, everything improved.
“Taking a train in the middle of the night isn’t scary for me,” Nora stated, “but being on campus here was terrifying because…I didn’t have anything to relate to.” Nora accounts this experience to being the reason she learned how to market.
“You also have to be able to market yourself to make friends and connections,” she said. “If I wasn’t in college I would be in a terrible position.” For Nora, MCLA has been key in her forward movement. She hopes to someday bring a club to Dorchester that provides opportunities for students in local high schools.
Nora is currently helping orgainize the Dala Girls concert at Gallery 51 on April 13th at 7:30 p.m. Be sure to check them out as well as other shows on the Gallery 51 link on the MCLA website.