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The Quad Creates Senior Bucket List

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With graduation just around the corner, there are only a couple of weeks left for seniors to explore Boston and the surrounding area. With that in mind, the Quad, BU’s independent online magazine and blog, has posted a Senior Bucket List of must-do activities.

The list recommends a variety of outings, from the Skywalk Observatory atop the Prudential building to music venues and urban biking adventures. Several of the 10 items on the list are trips to nearby communities, including Salem, Provincetown, and Newburyport. Most of the Quad senior staff members who compiled the list chose their own topics, inspired by favorite hangouts and experiences in Boston, says Lauren Hockenson (COM’11), the publication’s cofounder and publisher.

One of the biggest challenges was getting away from the theme of food. The staff wanted the list to be well-rounded, with something for everyone, not just a litany of restaurants. And they wanted the list to be something that would inspire all students—and alumni—to explore some of the Boston area’s less publicized attractions.

In addition to writing features for the list, the Quad’s staff produced photo and video packages designed to enhance each story. One of the most popular videos was a short film, The Scarlet Jewels, which accompanied the article about Boston’s alternative movie theaters. The writers created a 1950s mystery story about stolen jewelry set among various old theaters in the city. Hockenson says the videos and slideshows gave writers a more visual way to connect with readers.

The response to the Quad’s Senior Bucket List exceeded the staff’s expectations. The article about alternative movie theaters was featured on the front page of the popular Internet Movie Database site, and film critic Roger Ebert tweeted about the article. Hockenson says that feedback on campus from seniors and undergraduates has been positive as well.

The magazine hopes to make the bucket list an annual feature. “We wanted a project that every Commencement class can take part in,” says Hockenson. “We want students next year to embrace the bucket list as well.”

The Quad debuted in October 2009, after Hockenson realized there was no outlet on campus for students interested in magazine journalism. She came up with the online magazine’s title because BU, unlike many colleges, lacks a common quad where students can gather. Hockenson hoped the online magazine would serve that purpose.

“This campus is really big, but I want people to step out of their BU bubble and go places they wouldn’t go otherwise,” she says. “I hope people see the bucket list and are inspired to find their passion in this city.”

Read the Quad’s complete bucket list here.

Allison Thomasseau can be reached at althoma@bu.edu.

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