DIALOGUE DIFFERENCES By Abigail McFee ’17, Admissions Counselor
IN AUGUST, AN E-MAIL ARRIVED IN MY INBOX, SENT BY THE TUFTS Announcements e-list—the kind of e-mail I usually open just to make the notiﬁcation disappear. But the ﬁrst order of business caught my eye: “Bridging Differences.” A hyperlink led me to a website with a minute-long video of Provost David Harris, asking a question: “How [do] we create an environment that’s conducive to working across lines of difference?” Coming nearly a year after the polarizing 2016 presidential election, amidst the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, and less than two weeks following white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, this question is not just the topic of discourse on college campuses, but everywhere. Provost Harris didn’t offer an answer. Instead, the website featured a feedback form, where the community could submit ideas. This was the beginning of the Bridging Differences Initiative, which—in the months since—has brought together a cross-section of students, faculty, and staff from all of Tufts’ campuses, with the goal of addressing that ﬁrst weighty question. Their motivation? If we can bridge differences in politics, race, gender, and religion on our campus, we can give students the tools they need to bridge those differences in society.
JUMBO is the Tufts undergraduate admissions magazine.