department of Public safety announces new threat communication and assessment planby Katie Spiropoulos Assistant News Editor
Executive Director of Public Safety Yolanda Smith wrote in an all-campus email Tuesday that only “credible” threats would trigger public safety alerts going forward, following a string of bomb threats that rocked campus in December and seemingly began anew earlier this week.
The announcement comes just a day after students shuffling back into their dorm rooms were greeted not only by their peers and a fresh layer of snow but also by a slightly less cheery familiar sight: an urgent public safety message.
“The university has received another threat that may be related to recent events,”
the alert read. It was the Department of Public Safety’s eighth such message since mid-December — and its first of the new year.
While the details of Monday’s threat remain unclear, the alert that it prompted may be the last one for some time. Smith said Tuesday that authorities would only sound the alarm for threats that warrant a “need for action by community members.”
“As has been the case with many of the threats, Tufts was not singled out but rather included in a list of local organizations,” Smith wrote of Monday’s threat.
Smith urged students and other community members not to be concerned if media outlets report additional threats
that the university chose not to publicize.
“Because the perpetrators sometimes copy the news media on these threats, it is possible that you might hear about a threat from traditional or social media outlets unrelated to Tufts,” Smith wrote. “If this occurs, please know that we are aware of the threats and have determined that a community alert is not warranted.”
Smith also explained that the security measures outlined in December will remain in place with increased security patrols as well as collaboration with municipal and state agencies.
“The multi-agency investigation into these threats is continuing, and we remain focused on finding the responsible party or parties,” Smith wrote.
Inside the GLX opening: s enators, mayors, students gather for landmark eventby Aaron Gruen Executive News Editor
The Medford/Tufts branch of the Green Line Extension opened on Dec. 12 at roughly 4:30 a.m. following years of construction and several delays. The extension now connects the Medford/ Somerville campus to East Somerville and Boston.
Dozens of Tufts students flocked to the new Medford/
Tufts station before sunrise, waiting in sub-freezing weather in hopes of catching a ride on the first passenger trolley to leave the station. Then-MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak greeted the crowd before the gate to the station opened, and prospective riders rushed through to the platform.
Among the riders on the first Green Line trip were Katjana Ballantyne and Joseph Curtatone,
the current and former mayor of Somerville, respectively, along with Poftak.
Later in the morning, government leaders gathered with University President Anthony Monaco at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the station. Attendees included Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, then-Massachussets Governor Charlie Baker and U.S. Congresswoman Kathryn Clark, the new House Minority Whip for Democrats.
Following the ribbon-cutting, Markey spoke with the Daily about the significance of the GLX and its role in creating a Green New Deal.
“Today is historic … this is a day when … public transportation is taking a front row seat,” Markey told the Daily. “We have to move away from highways and move more towards transit.”
Local and national government leaders then gathered with Monaco and delivered remarks in the lobby of the Joyce
Tufts ends bivalent COVId -19 booster and flu vaccination requirementsby Katie Spiropoulos Assistant News Editor
The bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is no longer required for all university personnel and students, Michael Jordan, university infection control director, announced in a Jan. 5 email to the Tufts community. In addition to dropping the omicron booster mandate, Jordan noted that the influenza vaccine would become optional for all students on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses.
While the omicron booster is no longer mandated, there are still vaccination requirements in place for every member of the Tufts community.
“All eligible students, faculty, staff, vendors, and affiliates must have received a COVID-19 vaccine primary series (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and at least one booster dose,” Jordan wrote.
Patrick Collins, executive director of media relations, explained that the university’s goal of having as many people as possible vaccinated remains unchanged.
“It became increasingly clear over the fall semester that, after nearly three years of the pandemic, we needed to try a new strategy to achieve this goal,” Collins wrote in an email to the Daily. “Simply put, continuing to mandate the bivalent booster was not having the effect we had hoped it would and, as a result, it increasingly became apparent that fully enforcing a mandate would be impractical.”
However, Collins noted that this does not mean people should be dissuaded from receiving the additional booster or continuing to take precautions against COVID-19.
“While no longer specifically required, the bivalent (Omicron)
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Medford Community Fund announces $230k in grantsby Ella Kamm Deputy News Editor
Medford’s Community Fund announced on Jan. 6 that it awarded over $230,000 in grants to 25 local nonprofits.
“The work being done by these nonprofits is critical to supporting our residents and by providing this funding the awardees will be able to make adjustments and improvements to their operations that will lead to more meaningful and engaging experiences for the community,” Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said in a statement.
Grant recipients include the Federation for Children with
Special Needs, the Medford Farmers Market, TreesMedford and Saint Raphael’s Food Pantry. The application process, which concluded in October, required each organization to demonstrate to the fund’s committee how the grants would allow them to expand their work in Medford.
The Medford Community Fund Committee was originally created as part of the Surrounding Community Agreement between the City of Medford and Encore, a Boston resort and casino. Gaming establishments such as casinos are required by law to submit an agreement between the establishment and surrounding communities that lays out the con-
ditions for a gaming establishment to be located in proximity to other communities. The Medford Community Fund Committee determines the allocation of the annual Community Fund Payments that Medford receives as a term of this agreement.
Arts Collaborative Medford, Inc., a grant recipient, is a new space opening on Mystic Avenue this spring. Their grant funding will be used to cover initial startup costs associated with outfitting the space.
“ACM’s mission is to provide a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive space to create, enjoy, and engage with a diversity of arts and culture experiences,”
Laurel Siegel, president of Arts Collaborative Medford, wrote in an email to the Daily. “We seek to become a long-term anchor and catalyst for the arts in Medford and surrounding communities, and we will welcome a range of creators and audiences to participate in our activities.”
Kesem at Tufts, the university’s chapter of Camp Kesem, a camp for children affected by a parent’s cancer, also received funding, along with the Medford Historical Society & Museum.
MHSM, an independent non-profit that has been in the community since 1896, pres-
s omerville hosts ‘Midterm Ceremonies’ eventby Wevhu Tokwe Staff Writer
The city of Somerville hosted its “Midterm Ceremonies” event on Jan. 3 featuring Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, City Council President Ben Ewen-Campen and School Committee Chair Andre Green. The three officials discussed the progress they made in the past year and their goals for 2023.
Mayor Ballantyne reflected on the time she took office when people were scrambling for healthcare access and small businesses were struggling to survive. Despite this, she saw the predicament as a call to work, she said. She launched weekly vaccination clinics, distributed high-quality masks and testing kits and supported small businesses with more than two million dollars.
Social distancing guidelines during the pandemic have forced emergency shelters to reduce their dependents numbers, leading to more homelessness. As a result, Ballantyne said, she and the city will be opening a new support facility this winter in partnership with Somerville Homeless Coalition.
Ballantyne said she will also push for a Universal Basic Income program this year and spoke about supporting women, especially those of low-income backgrounds.
“Low-income households bear a disproportionate burden and … are overwhelmingly led by women of color,” Ballantyne said. “This isn’t a new crisis; it’s just been disregarded for decades and now it’s even more urgent than ever. It’s time for governments to step up to the plate. When we invest in girls and women, we correct an injustice, and we improve our communities for everyone.”
The city’s Department of Racial and Social Justice is making efforts to combat racial and other social injustices, according to Ballantyne. Amongst other initiatives, it has sought community feedback through community group focus sessions, gathered people’s stories and intends to
host more opportunities to learn and hear from experts.
“We won’t fix centuries of oppression overnight,” Ballantyne said. “It takes time to build inroads, to build trust and to make a difference, but Somerville is staying the course. We are making sustainable progress.”
Ballantyne expressed her concern about rising hate and repressive legislation targeting women and gender minorities. The city council passed her ordinances to protect individuals seeking gender affirming and reproductive healthcare, and she proudly signed them, she said.
Ballantyne praised the Green Line Extension as “a long hardfought dream,” reminding the audience that the development came after three decades of advocacy and hard work.
“As a community we planned for this moment for decades,” Ballantyne said. “We fought for the Green Line Extension because public transit is a public good. It also sets us up to accelerate our community goals through transit-oriented development.”
However, there are still pressing public needs which need to be addressed, according to Ballantyne. To enhance street safety, she said, the community must cooperate.
“I call on the full community to work with us; street by street, driver by driver, and person by person,” Mayor Ballantyne said. “I’m speaking to each of you. Let’s get together to achieve ‘Vision Zero’ by slowing down, staying alert, following the rules and putting life first.”
Ballantyne also acknowledged the ongoing housing crisis, expressing her commitment to fight displacement and gentrification, emphasizing the urgency of retaining the city’s families, small businesses, nonprofits and artistic creativity.
In an effort to fight climate change, Ballantyne said, her team will be launching Clean Green, a program to make energy efficient upgrades for low and moderate income households. Her vision is
to have Somerville become “carbon negative” by 2050.
Ewen-Campen later took the stage and stressed more on the problem of displacement and gentrification.
“It is continuing to push out so many of the people who have made Somerville the amazing place that it is,” Ewen-Campen said. “The crisis [is] not new; it is certainly not unique to Somerville, but it is now intensifying to a degree that we have never seen before.”
Realizing skyrocketing rental charges and continuous unfair treatment of tenants by landlords, Ewen-Campen noted that they expanded the Housing Notification Act, an unprecedented law that safeguards tenants rights. He promised to work with the mayor’s office to bring more affordable housing, citing Clarendon Hill as an example of their budding efforts, and also to create a rental registry to protect tenants from “predatory” landlords.
Ewen-Campen also considered the statistics of people killed by vehicles in the streets as a reflection of the high stakes for public safety. His office hopes to finalize plans to improve pedestrian safety this year.
In concluding, EwenCampen acknowledged the ongoing rat problems and said
they are devising means to get rid of them, including use of predators, rat-proof cans, electrocution boxes and other baiting programs.
Green opened his speech by noting the multiple challenges that children and educators are facing, including pandemic upheavals and an oftentimes uncooperative government.
“Educators across the country have taken it on the chin this year, becoming a political football and a scapegoat for this country’s repeated refusal to adequately invest in its children, particularly its most vulnerable ones,” Green said.
He said they have implemented robust anti-racism training programs and continue to invest in curbing mental health crises in schools.
Despite all they are dealing with, Green expressed a firm resolve to continue supporting children.
“We will continue to develop equity-minded instruction and curriculum, so that every Somerville student has the opportunity to access a worldclass education that equips them not just to thrive in a 21st century economy, but to do so as engaged participants in a pluralist, multicultural democracy,” Green said. “Our agenda is ambitious, because our schools deserve no less.”
In Photo: GLX openingPhoto Credit: Aaron Gruen / The Tufts Daily
Warren, Markey celebrate the long-awaited opening
Cummings Center to celebrate the long-awaited opening.
“Today’s celebration is the result of decades of hard work and collaboration by local officials, community members and the university,” Monaco said in his speech. “In addition to linking our Medford, Somerville, Boston Health Sciences and SMFA campuses to each other, it also connects Tufts to other key institutions in the greater Boston area.
… This Green Line Extension is about education, innovation and collaboration.”
Poftak and Baker then delivered remarks, thanking various government officials for their work in bringing the GLX to fruition. Afterwards, Warren took to the podium to express her elation at the long-awaited opening.
“I’ve just got one word: finally,” Warren said.
Warren used her speech to celebrate the work of community activists but also called for more investment in transportation.
“Extending the Green Line is great, but we need a lot more extensions — and we can’t wait
two decades for every single one of them to come online,” Warren said.
In his speech to attendees, Markey spoke about the project’s role in fighting climate change.
“We share common goals: to make public transit a public good, to reduce congestion on our roads and clean the air we breathe, to allow anyone — regardless of income or geography — to travel safely, reliably, affordably and sustainably,” he said.
The Mass. Department of Transportation anticipates that the GLX’s daily ridership will reach 45,000 per day by 2030,
carrying riders to jobs and key stops like Somerville High School and the CambridgeSide mall near Lechmere.
From the Medford/Tufts station, the GLX passes through Ball Square, Magoun Square, Gilman Square and East Somerville before ending at Lechmere — where riders may choose to continue riding into Boston.
The GLX has also sparked controversy, however, as increasing rents stir fears of gentrification in East Somerville. As government officials walked from the Medford/Tufts station
to the Joyce Cummings Center for the opening celebration, protestors chanted to draw awareness to the displacement of lower-income residents.
Ballantyne addressed these concerns in her speech at the Joyce Cummings Center.
“There’s still more visioning and work to be done for better access to local jobs, for housing as a human right … and we must double down on ongoing efforts to address displacement and gentrification,” Ballantyne said.
Chloe Courtney Bohl contributed reporting to this article.
Tufts receives $20+ million reimbursement for COVID-19 testingBOOSTER continued from page 1
booster is still strongly recommended, and we will continue to remind people to get it if they are eligible,” Collins wrote. “The best way we can protect our students, faculty, staff, and host communities is with a high rate of vaccination.”
Even though the bivalent booster is no longer required, Tufts will continue to track university vaccination.
“We are continuing to ask people to get the bivalent booster if they are eligible and to upload their documentation to help the university track the level of community vaccination,” Collins wrote.
Community members are encouraged to upload their documentation as soon as possible or email SAHA-Imm-Admin@ tufts.edu if they have already received the bivalent booster or influenza vaccination.
Collins added that as the state of the pandemic continues to evolve, the university reserves the right to amend all vaccination policies whenever necessary.
The change to the vaccine policy was not the only COVID19-related news Tufts received recently. FEMA announced in December that it reimbursed Tufts nearly $21 million for its COVID-19 testing program.
Collins outlined what this would mean for the cost of testing and the testing program in general at Tufts.
“FEMA has obligated $20.6 million for the first and largest of several applications Tufts expects to submit for reimbursement of testing costs. This application covered testing costs from the start of the program through February 2022. Tufts has not yet received this payment,” Collins wrote. “Tufts expects to receive reimbursement for most of the costs of the testing program, with some exclusions, through June 30, 2022. There may be additional reimbursement for
Grants announced for 25 Medford organizations
ents a variety of programming and exhibits. This spring, they will use the grant funding to host Erin Kelly, a Tufts philosophy professor, to speak about her biography of artist Winfred Rembert. Rembert passed away in 2021, but his wife, Patsy Rembert, will join Kelly for the event. Kelly’s book, titled “Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South,” was co-authored by the late artist, and both authors won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2022.
“Rembert’s memoir tells a significant and recent part of American history,” Margaret Bowen, chair of the MHSM Program Committee, wrote in an email to the Daily. “The funds will be used to support
Prof. Kelly and Mrs. Rembert’s participation.”
Another grant recipient, the Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility, is an after-school program that will use the awarded funds to run their new summer programing. They aim to teach leadership skills and instill values of social entrepreneurship in students.
With funding from other sources such as the Bloomberg Foundation and the Cummings Foundation, the Center pays teachers in the Medford School District to be advisers for students as they complete yearlong team projects, a method known as project-based learning. They currently have around 500 students in the program.
“[The students are] doing something they want to do,” Richard Trotta, director of the
Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility, said. “And they have to use certain leadership skills. … You have to have communication skills, cooperation skills, planning [and] implementation.”
Now, with the help of the Community Fund, they are planning to expand their offerings into the summer.
“Our program primarily runs through the school year,” Trotta said. “We don’t have that much going on in the summer, so I proposed a summer leadership academy for high school students.”
Carrying over elements from the academic year program, in the summer, students will learn leadership skills and complete a project over two two-week sessions.
Trotta said that while the projects are designed to address
costs beyond that date, though not at 100%.”
The reimbursement from FEMA was not the only support Tufts received to compensate for the testing program and other COVID-19-related expenses.
“While receiving reimbursement for testing is a significant financial benefit to the University, reimbursement from FEMA along with another $20 million we received in federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds and HHS Provider Relief Funds, as well as $1 million in insurance reimbursement, covered about 1/3 of the over $130 million in increased costs and lost revenues Tufts
social needs in the community, the program is equally as transformative for the students involved.
“The students themselves who are doing these projects now have a chance to gain more self confidence,” Trotta said. “Research has shown that
when people do good things for other people, there’s a natural high. Endorphins are actually released in the brain. … Students doing this all the way through school, [it can become] part of their being that they like doing things to help other people.”
Transitioning to college life from a pandemic high school experienceby Ella Sanders Assistant Features Editor
Members of Tufts’ Class of 2026 were high school sophomores when the COVID-19 pandemic left the educational world scrambling to find new ways to teach. The class has just concluded their first semester of college, which for many students also marks the first return to regular school life since the pandemic.
For first-year Kaitlin Aquilino, the transition from high school to college was initially rough.
“During the pandemic, you were given a lot of opportunities to do things over because situations were different for everyone,” Aquilino said. “I think it’s been a little bit harder trying to switch from online to offline again … and get used to quizzes and exams here.”
In high school, Aquilino faced challenges with the virtual learning models that originated from the pandemic.
“There were some lectures where I would just space out completely, and I would not know what was going on,” Aquilino said. “I think [high school teachers] made courses a little bit easier, and the classes more forgiving, [but] that [has] not really transferred [to] college [that] much, … so I think [the pandemic] has impacted learning.”
At Tufts, Kirsten Behling, the associate dean of the Student Accessibility and Academic Resource Center, noticed a significant increase in students’ utilization of the center’s offerings this year.
“Students are accessing these resources throughout the semester, which is a bit different than in the past when we saw our highest utilization of the resources around midterms and finals,” Behling wrote in an email to the Daily. “Broadly, we have seen some students challenged by the return to the in-class experience and in the workload associated with their courses.”
The pandemic challenged colleges to adapt to a new virtual environment and the changing student needs that came along with that. For the StARR Center, these new conditions served as an opportunity to alter their academic support models.
“Based on student need, we have increased our tutoring and study group sessions and added flexibility in the format of appointments (in-person and online),” Behling wrote. “We are supporting many first years as they navigate the demands of attending class in-person, taking an exam, or writing a paper for the first time in more than two years.”
For first-year student and Tufts Community Union Senator Caroline Spahr, the transition to college was unexpected.
“My older high school friends … transitioned [into college] during the pandemic [and] that was really rough for them, so I was kind of expecting a lot worse,” Spahr said. “In comparison to them, it’s been a lot smoother [and] … a lot easier than I thought it would be.”
Spahr attributes her quick adjustment to college to her experience of moving from the suburbs of Pittsburgh to central Pennsylvania in middle school.
“I still remember what it was like to totally move and uproot my life and move it somewhere else,” Spahr said.
Spahr credited the skills she was forced to acquire from this move as what has helped her adapt to college life.
“I was definitely not grateful at the time, but looking back … it definitely was a good experience to have,” Spahr said.
For many students across the country, the pandemic not only altered their physical learning environments, but also placed limits on the content of their classes. Spahr took AP Biology during the pandemic and noted the absence of labs. Missing out on hands-on learning experiences made it more challenging for Spahr to apply and engage with course material.
In addition to academics, Spahr also missed out on her high school’s culture club and the events the club would have typically run throughout the year. Shortly after coming to Tufts, Spahr jumped at the opportunity to become involved with the in-person clubs and activities offered on campus.
“I definitely got more involved in a bunch of different things that I wasn’t involved in [during] high school. I was not a member of any student government [or] treasury … and now that is kind of like my
life here,” Spahr said. “It’s [been] an opportunity to branch out and actually get hands-on experience [with extracurriculars].”
According to Spahr, the TCU Senate is currently working on a couple of projects to aid first-years in their transition to Tufts. TCU Senator Jose Armando is focusing on improving orientation week so students can better connect with each other and begin to develop a sense of belonging on campus. TCU Senator Donovan Sanders is working to improve the pre-major advisor assignments for students after observing that many first-years were matched with pre-major advisors outside of their departments of interested departments.
Amid the impacts of COVID19 on school life, there was also a decline in student mental health levels during the worst of the pandemic. Julie Jampel, the director of training for Tufts Counseling and Mental Health Services, explained that these effects continue to take a toll on student well-being.
“We always have … first-year students who come in because it’s a difficult adjustment,” Jampel said. “I think the pandemic has added a big layer to that. … There’s a very big range [of students seeking CMHS services], but I think it’s safe to say that the pandemic is still there and … still a motivator for seeking mental health treatment.”
During the pandemic, CMHS responded by creating virtual counseling sessions and student support workshops. This year, they are renewing their in-person appointments while keeping their virtual sessions. Jampel believes that virtual sessions allow for more hesitant students to reach out to CMHS while also facilitating access for students who may not feel like leaving their rooms.
“We’ve implemented online scheduling for new appointments, which is something students have been asking for a long time,” Jampel said. “The pandemic has shaped our readiness to do that because a lot was online already. … The priority has always been to try to reach and help as many students as we can; that hasn’t changed. The specifics of how we might do that is what is changed.”
Erin Seaton, the associate chair of Tufts’ education department, teaches two undergraduate courses: School-Based Mental Health as well as Identities in Education. Seaton has observed several common mental health threads that students have generally faced over the pandemic.
“[As] somebody who spends a lot of time thinking about student mental health, other people have joined me in that conversation in ways that never happened,” Seaton said. “I think others have really become attentive to how much mental health and well-being is critical for students’ academic success [and] their experience on a college campus. … I think for students, too, there’s a greater openness to talk about health and well-being.”
During the pandemic, the disparities between students became more apparent with virtual instruction. Students who had other responsibilities at home or did not have a quiet space to learn faced additional challenges when courses suddenly moved into a virtual environment. Moreover, Seaton noted that along with the transition into a global health pandemic, the world experienced a racial injustice pandemic.
“Students struggled through … a global health [crisis] and — in the U.S. — a real kind of racial trauma,” Seaton said. “That’s something to hold on to and pro-
cess and remember … [particularly] what skills and ways students coped and how we paid attention to how important community is. … The simultaneous piece of a racial reckoning in our country weighed heavily on the mental health of students of color. I think that is continuing as a perpetuated harm and not addressed at Tufts with the kind of depth and thought and care that we need to have.”
During the height of the pandemic, Seaton utilized critical spanning groups, which were smaller breakout room groups within the class, as a way to encourage student bonding within a virtual environment.
“There’s something very intimate about being in those spaces together, and so that’s actually something that I’ve continued even though we’re back in person,” Seaton said. “That idea that we really have to work hard to create a sense of community — that’s important to be thinking about.”
As classes recommence normally, schools and universities must make another transition back to in-person learning.
“Particularly in K-12 education, there’s been a push to go back to the way things were, which was never a system or structure that was working to begin with, and [it] was highly inequitable,” Seaton said. “Let’s think more holistically about what students need when they walk into a classroom.”
As the education system continues to cope and evolve with the pandemic, Seaton has observed a renewed sense of desire for connection among Tufts students this year.
“I’ve never been in a space where students were so happy to be together, and that sense of community and what it meant to just be together was such a joyful space,” Seaton said.
Medford to Montauk: a solo road tripby Vedant Modi Assistant Features Editor
A long weekend falling right at the end of midterms seemed like a great opportunity to unwind — perhaps to boot up a video game, watch movies or just sleep in. For this past Veterans Day, though, I had a plan.
Over an intense 40-hour period, I traveled to Montauk Point on Long Island, N.Y., where I visited a historic lighthouse, found a special seltzer water at a grocery store and then squeezed in a few hours in Manhattan.
This trip was designed to be my personal lighthouse tour. Ever since coming to Tufts, I had been fascinated with the idea of lighthouses. They are a stark, magnificent landmark of the typical New England shoreline. I had always loved expansive coasts, and a tower filled with rich history and intricate construction enhanced the appeal.
Wishing to leverage the convenient transportation that is so prevalent in New England, I was eager to take a Zipcar to Montauk and then ride the Amtrak train back to Medford. Driving would enable me to explore freely on the way to Montauk, and the Amtrak would be a relaxing way to return. Moreover, I decided to rent an extremely cheap Airbnb in Queens that would allow me to spend the night in the area then go to Manhattan the next day.
The day started early — at around 5:30 a.m. — when I woke up about an hour before I planned to. My enthusiasm and lack of fatigue were a good sign to me. Each time this mindset emerges, I am assured that the day will be an adventurous one.
The first stop of my trip was The Fresh Market in Avon, Conn. This is where I knew I could find Rambler Sparkling Water, a water brand from my home state of Texas. I had discovered the company this past spring at a grocery store in my hometown, and I had gotten their attention on Instagram by aggressively tagging them in my social media posts. Then in October, I visited their small office in Austin, Texas where I got to meet all the employees. There, the founder told me about a grocery store that supplied Rambler Sparkling Water — The Fresh Market in Avon. It was an hour out of the way on my journey to Montauk
but well worth it. At the store, I found the water immediately and went to buy it. I told the cashier about my story with this water, then we sat and tried it together — the perks of arriving at the store so early.
Then, the long haul drive began, which took five hours, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The drive to Montauk did not feel long at first. I prepared at least six hours of tech podcasts and a 24-hour music playlist, which entertained me until I reached the start of Long Island.
Long Island, it turns out, was a lot longer than I anticipated when making cursory plans the day before. At least 2 ½ hours of the trip involved traversing those 118 miles to the tip of the island. I was very excited by the landmarks, though. Seeing signs for locations I had heard so much about, like the Hamptons, or seeing Manhattan across the East River was so exciting, for I had never been so close to these iconic sites on my own. I found myself feeling accomplished for
having been able to generate the impromptu self-motivation to go on this trip.
Eventually, I reached Montauk. The first thing I did was marvel at the Montauk Point Lighthouse; after all, this was the main attraction that drew me there. As with every vacation I had taken the past year, I took some drone footage of the area.
Afterwards, I went to the museum inside the lighthouse and looked at the artifacts, which displayed the storied past of the Montauk lighthouse, dating back to 1792. I’d be remiss if I didn’t go up to the top as well.
At the top, I met Dan, a member of the Montauk Historical Society, who seemed to treasure introducing visitors to the lighthouse. We talked about the lights in the structure, and he explained to me how the staircase in the lighthouse had to be torn down in order to change the Fresnel lens that directs light out towards the sea. We chatted about my drive from Medford
that morning and the Boston Light, which, in Dan’s opinion, was a lighthouse inferior to this one in Montauk.
Leaving Montauk a little after sunset, I needed dinner, which, once again, involved meeting a new person. I went to a marina in search of food but only found a tackle salesman and his trailer, as the nearby restaurant was closed for the season. He was so curious as to why I was there, since I was his fourth visitor that day and the only one he didn’t know. He recommended a great local diner — The Point — where I had my first real meal of the day, and it was the best Philly cheesesteak I have ever had. Sitting in this diner showed me that “small-town America” felt the same in Texas, my home, and here in New York.
At this point, I had to drive back up Long Island to my Airbnb, during which I planned out the rest of my evening. When I arrived at my Airbnb in Queens, I realized that I was only 45 minutes away from Manhattan by subway, and decided I would be foolish not to
take advantage of this change to be a typical New York City tourist.
I spent the evening in Times Square, went to the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue and visited the Plaza Hotel. At the Plaza Hotel, I asked the security guard if this was the hotel that famously featured in “Home Alone 2” (1992), after which he guided me through all the set pieces from the movie in the lobby. The next day, I worked my way through various museums, parks, monuments and stores of Manhattan before returning to Tufts that evening.
Before this trip, I wasn’t truly aware of the positive impact that one person can have, even in a seemingly insignificant or fleeting interaction. I would have not come to understand this if I had not propelled myself to plan this trip and had the courage to execute it.
By taking a solo trip, I learned that people are usually open to having conversations with strangers and that such positive interactions can brighten their day as well as yours.
adele’s Vegas residency is sensationalby Ryan Fairfield Arts Editor
Adele is a pop superstar with immense vocal talent, charisma and the ability to captivate an audience with her profound performances. After almost a year of delays, Adele finally began her Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which she had postponed only 24 hours before the first show. The shows were initially scheduled to occur between January 2022 and April 2022 but were delayed until November 2022 through March 2023, with Adele claiming the show was not ready because it had “no soul in it” and felt disconnected. The artist claimed that postponing the shows was the right decision, and anyone who was lucky enough to attend one of her stellar performances at the Colosseum will likely agree with that statement.
With a 15,700-square-foot stage and more than 4,300 seats, the Colosseum feels large yet intimate, which is a feature Adele worked to take advantage of. Prior to the start of the show, the stage feels small, with just a white piano and LED screens blocking the majority of the stage to create the shape of an “A.”
Adele explained early in her show that as she moves through the setlist, the stage grows and the minimalist setup turns into an immersive spectacle.
To the surprise of no one, Adele chose to open with her Grammy-winning hit, “Hello” (2015). As the piano began to play, the 34-year-old artist took the stage, illuminated by the lights behind her. When she belted the first chorus, the black screens across the stage suddenly illuminated, and the venue was greeted with crystal-clear footage of Adele. There was a sense of pride and joy plastered on her face and an enchanting energy that left the audience cheering for many minutes after the conclusion of the first song.
Sticking with the simplicity of piano ballads, Adele continued with “Easy on Me” (2021). She stood in the center of the stage with a simple green backdrop courtesy of the massive screens; her voice was enthralling, with every note sounding better than the last. After the lead singles from “25” (2015) and “30” (2021), she chose to return to her youth with two songs from “21” (2011): “Turning Tables” and “Take it All.”
The bridge of “Turning Tables” left the audience speechless, before they erupted in applause and cheers as she tackled the final chorus, all while the screens allowed the audience to see every ounce of emotion on her face.
“Take it All” marked the introduction of Adele’s three backup singers who perfectly complemented her vocals throughout the show and helped elevate each performance they accompanied.
Returning to “30,” Adele’s performance of “I Drink Wine” was the first time the stage began to grow, with some of the screens receding and a chandelier made of wine glasses descending from the ceiling. It was at that moment that the show became a spectacle.
Those who have watched interviews with Adele or who have had the pleasure of attending one of her concerts know that the Tottenham-born singer is known for her fiery, comedic persona, which she brought out at Caesar’s. From cracking jokes, swearing in her iconic accent and little personal anecdotes, Adele connected with the audience, making them cry, laugh and everything in between.
Adele is aware that a majority of her songs have to do with heartbreak and made it a point to include a couple of her upbeat songs to get the audience on their feet. Before moving into the upbeat trifecta of “Water Under the Bridge” (2015), “Send My Love to Your New Lover” (2015) and “Oh My God” (2021), Adele spoke to the crowd and said, “This may be a seated theater, but this is not a seated show. So, if you want to get up now and dance, now’s your chance.” The audience instantly rose from their seats dancing and clapping alongside Adele, with many younger audience members and Adele herself mimicking the Megan Thee Stallion “Body” dance, which someone made a viral trend after they synched it up to “Water Under the Bridge.” With “Oh My God,” the screens played the music video alongside Adele’s performance, making it feel like you were watching an IMAX version of the video.
After about 12 minutes of dancing to her lively, cheerful songs, Adele moved into a remarkable performance of “One and Only” (2011) accompanied by a full band and her incredible backup singers before taking a break to chat with the audience and give out some gifts. With a T-shirt gun in hand, Adele began firing shirts up into the highest mezzanine of the venue. Each shirt was signed, had a handwritten note with it, and 50 dollars to — in the words of Adele herself — “get a Christmas drink on [her.]” The moment was wholesome and proved just how much love Adele has for her fans.
The laughter after the T-shirt gun tangent soon subsided as Adele sat down on the edge of the stage to sing “Don’t You Remember” (2011). The entire performance of this song was breathtaking, with Adele belting every note and capturing the raw pain and anger the song is all about. Doing a complete 180, Adele brought the audience to their feet once again with “Rumour Has It” (2011), a performance that was filled with sass and the best kind of diva energy.
One of the benefits of seeing a show at the Colosseum is that the roughly 110-foot-wide and 34-foot-tall screens make the experience immersive on a level not seen at many other shows. Adele used these to her advantage and her attention to detail and use of the screens were most notable during “Skyfall” (2012), her Oscar-winning song for the James Bond film of the same name, and “Hometown Glory” (2008).
During “Skyfall,” which was the best performance of the night vocally, the screens played clips from the opening credits of the film and clips of Adele herself. As she approached the first chorus, a clip of a dragon setting fire to the screen at the back of the stage played before engulfing the whole screen in fiery images. As the fire blazed on the screen, the screen rose up revealing a full orchestra that was previously hidden behind it. It was a dramatic, sensational moment and perhaps the second-best moment of her residency. “Hometown Glory” similarly featured aesthetic clips of London projected over the orchestra, creating yet another immersive experience.
Without a doubt, the best performance of Adele’s residency was “Set Fire to the Rain” (2011). The song began with the screens completely covering the stage while a video of a raging storm played on them. As the song progressed, the screens retreated to show water falling like rain behind Adele and her white piano. When the song reached the second verse, the piano began to catch on fire, starting small at first before engulfing the piano entirely and spreading to the stage behind her, creating a wall of fire. While belting the last chorus, Adele sang “I set fire to the rain,” perfectly synchronized to bursts of flames behind her.
The intense performance was the most memorable, not just because of the flames, but the power of Adele’s voice.
The remainder of the show featured many of Adele’s most popular songs and the most intricate set designs. While singing “When
We Were Young” (2015), Adele walked through the crowd before confetti of Polaroids of herself at various ages in her life rained from the ceiling. During “Hold On” (2021), lanterns descended over the crowd and pulsed in sync with the music. “Someone Like You” (2011) featured the screens displaying live footage of the crowd, likely Adele’s way of thanking her audience and saying that she will,“never find someone like” her fans. The second to last song, “Rumour Has It,” once again had the audience up from their seats and dancing, with a surprise twist of the piano coming apart in a cloud of smoke while white confetti, meant to resemble dust, spewed at the audience.
Concluding with her full band, orchestra, pianist and backup singers, Adele performed “Love Is A Game” (2021), the final track on her most recent album, “30.” The performance had the perfect ending, especially when it was paired with the artist disappearing in a cloud of pink confetti at the end of the song.
There is no denying Adele is a once-in-a-lifetime vocalist, but her Colosseum residency proves that she is also an exemplary performer. Her residency is not a concert or promotional tool for her latest albumw but rather a spectacle that tells the story of her life as an artist, featuring songs from all of her albums. Adele is graceful and witty, inspiring and candid, magnificent and unmatched. With a crowd ranging from age 9 to over 70, it is clear her music has touched the lives of a wide range of people — a true testament to her talent.
‘The Banshees of Inisherin’: a darkly comic tale of feuding friendsby Nate Hall Arts Editor
The setting: the remote Irish island of Inisherin. The year: 1923, near the end of the Irish Civil War. This may not seem like the most exciting backdrop for a film. But Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin” (2022) is more than meets the eye and certainly worth a watch.
McDonagh began his career as a playwright but has proven himself to be a skilled film director and screenwriter as well. He entered the filmmaking world with “In Bruges” (2008) and struck gold with “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017); he reunited with the stars of his first film, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, for his latest project. His works are known for their witty dialogue, down-to-earth characters and dark comedy, and “Banshees” is no exception.
The island of Inisherin is fictional — you won’t find it on a map — but McDonagh’s craftsmanship and attention to detail make it feel so real. Life in Inisherin is rural and undemanding; some residents don’t even pay attention to the war that’s happening on the mainland. Instead, the central conflict of the story is the relationship between its main characters, Colm (Gleeson) and Pádraic (Farrell), who spend every afternoon drinking together at the
local pub. One day, Colm suddenly decides to end their friendship, telling Pádraic “I just don’t like you no more.” Colm is eager for a change of pace and would rather compose music on his fiddle than waste his hours away with his tiresome friend.
Colm gives Pádraic an unusual ultimatum: every time Pádraic tries to speak to him, Colm will cut off one of his own fingers. Despite Colm’s warnings, Pádraic just can’t stay away from his lifelong friend, and Colm eventually follows through on his promise, hurling a severed finger at Pádraic’s cottage door. As his relationship with Colm deteriorates, Pádraic confides in his sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon), hapless local boy Dominic (Barry Keoghan) and his beloved pet donkey Jenny.
Before Colm gives his dire ultimatum, “Banshees” feels like a comedy with compelling characters and sharp dialogue. Remarkably, the film’s underlying humor doesn’t get lost even as the story takes several dark turns. Farrell gives one of his best performances in this film as the over-eager Pádraic, desperate to find meaning in his life after being shunned by his best friend. Gleeson’s Colm is more of a mystery, a melancholy artist who says just as much in his silences as he does with his words. Condon gives a quietly brilliant performance as Pádraic’s sister Siobhan, who
dreams of leaving Inisherin, and Keoghan’s Dominic, an outcast who befriends Pádraic, has some of the funniest lines in the film. A small but crucial role, the titular “banshee” is Mrs. McCormick (Sheila Flitton), a shadowy local widow who foresees death on the idyllic island.
McDonagh’s direction and writing elevate the cast’s performances, making a story that would otherwise seem ridiculous feel so grounded in reality. The beauty of “Banshees” is that it tells a universal story about friendship and loneliness that could exist in any time or place (albeit without the severed fingers). What makes the story so unique is the way it candidly explores toxic masculinity and
male friendship: Colm doesn’t see the damage he’s doing to himself or his friend, and Pádraic is willing to go to great lengths to maintain their relationship, even if it means putting others at risk.
Although the film’s leisurely pace and thick Irish accents may not entertain everyone, it’s hard not to appreciate the world McDonagh has created in “Banshees.” The stunning backdrop of Inisherin is enhanced by excellent costumes and production design, and composer Carter Burwell, a frequent collaborator of McDonagh’s, transports audiences to another world with a plucky, unmistakably Irish score.
“Banshees,” which came out in theaters in October, made its streaming debut on HBO Max last
month. The film won Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, Best Actor — Musical or Comedy (for Farrell) and Best Screenplay at last week’s Golden Globe Awards, and is gaining steam as awards season continues.
In one of the film’s best scenes, Pádraic confronts Colm at the pub, telling him, “You used to be nice.” In response, Colm says nice people don’t stand the test of time the way artists and musicians do; he wants to accomplish something that people will remember him for decades later. Although there’s no way of knowing whether Colm’s music had the lasting impact he hoped for, McDonagh’s “Banshees” is sure to be remembered for years to come.
s easonal smash: Christmas songs rewrite spotify and Billboard recordsby Jack Clohisy Arts Editor
As Billboard has loosened the reins on its rules over recurrent songs on its Hot 100 list over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of Christmas music dominating the charts. In addition, as the magazine started counting streaming services toward chart points in 2012, older music, specifically holiday hits, has seen great success because of such chart modifications.
Though released back in 1994, it wasn’t until 2019 that Mariah
Carey’s hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” went to No. 1. Every holiday season since, the hit has regained its No. 1 status, spending a combined 12 weeks at the top of the charts. However, Carey is not the only artist to reap the rewards of chart rule adjustments over the past 10 years. Other seasonal hits have been experiencing a renaissance of chart power, and with the added impact of streaming services such as Spotify, songs that are nearly 70 years old are taking up top spots in the United States and breaking records on Spotify. As of now, the 20 songs
that received the most single-day streaming totals on Spotify comprise nearly every decade from the 1950s to the 2020s (excluding just the 1970s and 2000s), mostly thanks to Christmas music:
• 1950s: “Jingle Bell Rock” (1957), “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (1958)
• 1960s: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (1963)
• 1980s: “Last Christmas” (1984)
• 1990s: “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (1994)
• 2010s: Michael Buble’s “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like
Christmas” (2011), “Santa Tell Me” (2014)
• 2020s: “drivers license” (2021), “good 4 u” (2021), “Girls Want Girls” (2021), “Easy on Me” (2021), “As It Was” (2022), “Anti-Hero” (2022), “Lavender Haze” (2022), “Snow on the Beach” (2022), “Maroon” (2022), “You’re On Your Own, Kid” (2022), “Midnight Rain” (2022), “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” (2023), “Flowers” (2023)
As expected, Carey holds the record for the most single-day streams, as her holiday staple amassed over 21 million streams on Dec. 24, 2022. Adele ranks at No. 2 overall with the highest-ranking non-holiday song “Easy on Me” (2021), which achieved over 20 million streams.
Fourteen artists account for these 20 songs, highlighting the sheer range of artists present on the list. Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo are the only two artists with multiple songs in the top 20 with six and two, respectively. It’s notable to mention that the oldest seven tracks in the top 20 are holiday hits, cementing their seasonal recurrence.
So, what does this all mean?
It is unusual for non-holiday tracks to reenter the Hot 100, with the most common exceptions being the death of prominent artists (e.g. Whitney Houston, Prince) and Super Bowl performances (e.g. Lady Gaga). With
the seasonal recurrence of holiday hits, there is the potential for major and long-standing chart records to fall. As we move further into the streaming era that started in the early to mid-2010s, the dominance of platforms like Apple Music and Spotify translates to the charts.
Since Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has averaged roughly three weeks at No. 1 each season since 2019, she could break the record for most weeks at the summit, which is currently held by Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (2019) featuring Billy Ray Cyrus at 19 cumulative weeks. Carey is no stranger to this record, however, as her duet with Boyz II Men, “One Sweet Day” (1995), held the record for 23 years at 16 weeks (it was tied in 2017 by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber). That would be an incredible feat by the veteran artist, and for her to achieve it, she would need just eight more weeks at the top. In addition, Carey’s grand total of weeks at the top of the Hot 100 across all of her hits would increase to 99, the most for any artist.
As the holiday seasons come and go, it will be interesting to see which hits withstand the test of time and which ones will fade off. If one thing’s for certain, it’s that Mariah Carey will soon reclaim a record no one ever thought she would, and that speaks to her ability to craft timeless classics.
You: have a particular fascination with a 3-initial president. Me: enjoys listening to biographies read out loud. When: Winter break. Where: up north
Megan: “Songstress is a word.” Alex: “What is it?” Megan: “A female songster.”
You: the most elusive character in my life — sleep. Me: wonders on a Daily basis how I’ve let you slip away after all these years. Please come back. The semester hasn’t even started yet. I’m too young to be this tired. When: Now. Where: Your dreams
Dear Tufts community, Welcome back to Medford/ Somerville, and welcome back to your beloved source of campus and local news, the Daily. My name is Julia ShannonGrillo, and as the Daily’s 87th editor in chief, it is my duty to commemorate the new semester by sharing what I hope the Daily can provide for you this spring. I’ll also do my best to impart a few bits of wisdom here and there — please take them with a grain of salt. Next week, the managing board will share a more detailed description of the Daily’s production process and a content overview for the semester. For now, lend me your ears (and your eyes).
If you’re reading this, thank you. In order to facilitate vibrant community discussion, the Daily needs you and so does Tufts. Your kind showing of sup-by Justin Solis Opinion Editor
After a surprise exit by Brazil (ranked as the best international team by FIFA in October before the World Cup commenced) and the appearance of two underdog teams in the third place match, Croatia (ranked No. 12) and Morocco (ranked No. 22), one could almost feel the entire culture of soccer shift. Analysts and casual viewers alike were left scrambling for answers. How were these teams, who were not even considered likely to make a late run in the tournament, much less compete for the third place trophy, able to perform at such a high level against all odds? The answer is less exciting than one would expect, and it involves the death of the most engaging parts of soccer.
Starting in the 1930s, players from Brazil were rapidly developing a dramatic new way to play soccer. Called “samba soccer” or “ginga,” the name literally means swing or sway.LETTER FROM THE EDITOR IN CHIEF
Welcome back to the Hill
port as Tufts faced a surge of bomb threats at the end of last semester gave me hope for the revitalization of local reporting. During that time, the Daily was uniquely positioned to provide its audience with information critical to making educated decisions about travel plans, living situations and academic schedules. You all recognized that, tuned in, and in doing so, enabled the Daily to do its job of informing the public. As local journalism falters and public outcry tends to remain silent until stories hit the national news, the Daily aims to contribute meaningfully beyond the boundaries of Tufts.
The Daily’s purpose is twofold: to inform the Tufts community and to supplement professional learning for students who are interested in pursuing journalism as a career. Within that first pillar, we want to ease engagement between Tufts and
its host cities by reporting on a diverse array of local activity.
A student can view college as their final years of freedom before being bound by a corporate workforce, they can view college as practice for the ‘real world’ or they can view college as a place to apply what they’re learning to the communities in which they live. Whether you have just one semester or 3 ½ years left, treat your time at Tufts as the latter. Tufts is not unique in its separation from its host communities, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Last semester, the Daily placed a renewed focus on covering Medford and Somerville. Today, I am making the promise that those efforts will continue this spring, but we need your help to do it.
If you’re not sure where to engage, start with the Daily. Submit an op-ed about something that matters to you, respond to our coverage with
a Letter to the Editor (email firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask the Daily to investigate something by sending us an anonymous tip. Our communities thrive and our towns are stronger when we — the students who make up a significant percentage of those towns — participate in civic discussions. Are you an avid supporter or opponent of a city council ordinance that’s coming down the pike? Tell us! Did we miss a critical perspective in our feature of a contentious issue? Tell us! Are you seriously annoyed by Somerville’s parking permit process? Tell us! (I’ll admit, that one’s personal.)
News can feel negative because so much of the news that gains notoriety is. But I hope that immersing yourself in local journalism, even for a few minutes each day, can reduce the emotional burden of knowledge. There is so much good
that happens among our communities, and there are so many opportunities for students to participate. That participation is often self-serving, aiding the development of an identity that stays with you when you leave the Hill.
In return for your attention, the Daily commits to relevant coverage — an idea that requires a more diverse set of perspectives than we’ve historically held. Whether you’re a student, professor, alum, parent or resident of a host community, we need your voice in order to produce a newspaper that is truly valuable to you. I hope you’ll consider joining us as staff or as an invested audience member, and I look forward to forging a stronger connection with you all in the months ahead.
Pax et Lux, Julia Shannon-Grillo Editor in Chief, Spring 2023
The death of The Beautiful Game
Brazilian players such as Pele, Ronaldo Nazário, Ronaldinho and Neymar are famous for playing in this Brazilian style which emphasizes individual skill and ability, originally arising from street games. This individualistic style of playing is not only limited to Brazil with countries throughout South America also traditionally focusing on flashy tricks and individual talent.
From samba soccer, techniques like “no-look passes” and the “elastico” arose, dazzling audiences. Yet in today’s version of the game, skills like these are increasingly discouraged.
Though teams such as Morocco and Croatia have extremely talented players, they were not carried to success on the back of a single star and their individual talent pales in comparison to teams such as Brazil or Spain. Yet both teams have very cohesive defensive backlines full of solid players who are masters at conceding few goals.
During the World Cup, Croatia only conceded seven goals over
seven games, remarkable considering that an average of 2.69 goals were scored per match. Morocco only conceded five goals, which remains impressive considering the fact that they played against impressive offensive teams such as Spain, Portugal and France.
The Moroccan and Croatian teams relied heavily on defensive play throughout the world cup, hoping to obtain a narrow win or delay the game to penalty shootouts. For Morocco, whose players largely paled in comparison to many teams in the world cup, this meant being willing to sacrifice possession. Walid Regragui, the manager of the Moroccan team, knew he would not be able to dominate possession in the match against Spain. Instead, he prioritized solid defense and managed to draw the game to penalties where they ultimately upset the Spanish side.
Relying heavily on defensive play certainly has appreciable impacts on the game itself. Like
Morocco in the World Cup, teams who use this strategy at any level of the game rely more on defensive consistency whilst focusing on denying chances rather than flashy skill moves and tricks led by star players. This leads to less engaging moves; instead, these teams have found a way to maximize their performance in an underwhelming way from a visual standpoint.
The defensive prowess both Morocco and Croatia exhibited led to both teams drawing the games out to penalties. Croatia defeated Japan and Brazil in the first two knockout rounds while Morocco defeated Spain in the round of 16, all due to penalties. In the Brazil and Spain game, two teams projected to go far were stunned by the unpredictability and high-stress atmosphere of shootouts. While shootouts may be entertaining during the moment, they are not worth the combined 120 minutes plus added time required to get there. These minutes, with a defensive-minded team,
especially in the case of teams like Morocco and Croatia, are often low scoring and relatively monotonous, as this World Cup has shown.
After a long, in-depth analysis of the 2022 World Cup, managers for the 2026 World Cup will likely reflect on how these two underdog teams were able to pull out major upsets and keep on winning thanks to uninspiring but effective defense and a willingness to draw the game out to risky penalty shootouts. Despite the flashy appeal of teams like Brazil, most other countries do not realistically have a chance of cultivating such talent in their national teams. Instead, they will play to their strengths and choose a more reliable style of play, thus irreversibly changing the landscape of the game forever. This World Cup has signaled the beginning of the end for the once-beautiful game. Individualism and flair will now return to their street ball origins and teams will prioritize maximizing their chances of victory at the cost of entertainment.
3 bullet points for incoming President Kumar’s agendaby Kevin Golub
The departure of University President Anthony Monaco following this academic year will certainly be emotional for the Tufts student body. Serving as president for over a decade, President Monaco demonstrated his resolute leadership while navigating the university through a challenging pandemic and the subsequent rebound to in-person learning. Although he has received backlash from students on certain issues, he nevertheless remained an open book and did his best to respect and address their concerns.
When his successor, Sunil Kumar, inherits Tufts come July 1, 2023, he should be aware of the numerous issues that need his attention. The most obvious issue for Kumar to address is Tufts’ housing. The increase in the number of temporary housing units demonstrates an overflow of the student population. While construction will soon begin on a new dorm located in what is currently the Hill Hall and Hillsides parking lot, this project is intended solely for upperclassmen. Given that first-years and sophomores are the only members of the undergraduate population that are mandated to live on campus, Kumar should put “increase underclassmen housing” as the first bullet point on his to-do list. The first-year temporary housing is not a permanent solution. First-year students should not begin their undergraduate education worrying that they might end up in a building assembled on tennis courts or a hotel in Medford for which the only cheap form of transportation is an unreliable shuttle.
Even in the existing permanent dorms, students should not have to live in a triple that was clearly designed as a double. Kumar should immediately look into any and all dorm expansion options: initiating conversations with the towns of Medford and Somerville, assessing vacant space on campus as potential real estate for new dorms and working with students to understand the issues with existing dorms. Finding solutions for the housing crisis is not an easy task, but it would be in Kumar’s best interest to try to make progress on this front in order to begin building a rapport with the students. Housing has to be No. 1.
Another key agenda item that Kumar needs to focus on is on-campus antisemitism. This is not just a Tufts issue
by any means, though Tufts has recently seen a sharp rise in the number of antisemitic incidents. The relaxed responses from the university to these incidents have communicated to students that antisemitic behavior is tolerated. Responding only by sending an email outlining what happened and joining the Campus Climate Initiative does not have a sufficient impact. This cannot stand. Hate against any minority is fundamentally wrong on every level. Tufts’ leadership needs to have a more active role in club and organization events that are even slightly political in nature in order to ensure that hurtful situations do not arise. Bullet point two: thoughtful reform of administrative response to acts of antisemitism and other forms
of hate on campus and in the broader community.
Finally, speaking from my experience and those of my friends, course enrollment is an incredibly stressful process. SIS is outdated, too many classes that I have looked into are taught at 10:30 a.m. and myself and my friends have struggled to get spots in classes we need for graduation and for our majors. Kumar needs to commit major capital, both financial and human, to working on improving SIS, from its aesthetic to its ease of use. In addition, Kumar should work with the deans of the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering on finding solutions to allow more students to enroll without increased stress and struggle, whether that means more TAs or more professors. Class selection at the college level should be about exploring and trying new
things, not worrying whether you will get into a class you need to graduate.
These three points are just the beginning. Kumar needs to apply pressure to the Hill’s open wounds. He certainly cannot do it alone, and no one should expect him to. He needs to incorporate student, faculty and, most importantly, alumni and administrative input. The student experience at Tufts is in jeopardy and improving it will encourage more frequent and larger contributions towards the endowment from alumni and engagement from students. Collaborating with all members of the Tufts community, students and faculty alike, will be the key to Kumar’s success while in office.
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Ice hockey sees solid winter break, finishes with 2-3 record
sports and society
Believing in Damar Hamlinby Arielle Weinstein Executive Sports Editor
The Tufts ice hockey team played a solid stint of games over break. They played five games, three out of conference and two in conference, and came out with a record of 2–3. Entering the winter break period, the team had a record of 3–5–1 overall and a 2–3–1 NESCAC record.
The first game the Jumbos played was a part of the Codfish Bowl Tournament, which consisted of four teams competing in a two game set to determine a winner. The Tufts Jumbos faced the Albertus Magnus Falcons in their opening game.
The Falcons scored three goals in the first period to put the Jumbos down, but Tufts stayed resilient and was able to mount a comeback. Senior forward Mason Kohn scored twice in the second period to cut the Falcons’ lead to one goal. On the first goal, first-year defender Philippe Lamarre sent a pass to first-year forward Max Resnick, who put a shot on goal. The puck rebounded, and Kohn was able to tap it in. On the second goal, junior defender Jack Hughes sent a pass to Kohn at the blue line. Kohn got a shot past the Falcons’ goalie to make it 3–2.
In the third period, the Jumbos added one more goal on the power play. Sophomore forward Tyler Sedlak sent a pass to junior defender Sam Miller who slotted it home to tie the game. The score stayed knotted at three goals apiece until the end of regulation, and the teams went into a three on three overtime period. Unfortunately for the Jumbos, the Falcons were able to score with just 46 seconds remaining on the clock to win 4–3.
“[We] definitely could just work on our composure. Not getting down on ourselves when things don’t go our way during games, no matter what the circumstances are,” sophomore forward Brennan Horn wrote in a message to the Daily.
This loss meant that the Jumbos played in a consolation matchup against Fitchburg State the following day. They came out very strong and shut out the Fitchburg Falcons 6–0. Junior goalkeeper Peyton Durand recorded his first career shutout with 48 saves on the day. Two goals were scored by first-year forward Brendan Fennell, two were scored by sophomore forward Harrison Bazianos, one was scored by junior defenseman Cam Newton and one was scored by fellow junior defender Andrew Gunlock.
The Jumbos got a little bit of a break over the holiday period, as their next game wasn’t until Jan. 10. They once again faced Fitchburg State in a non-conference contest. This game proved to be closer, as Tufts only won 5–3, rather than their previous, more dominant performance.
Tufts’ Horn opened up the scoring in the first period, but Fitchburg State was able to tie it a few minutes later. Fennell scored to take the lead, and then Kohn tacked on another goal on a three-ontwo breakaway. The Falcons responded once more to make the score 3–2 until Miller added another to keep the game out of reach. Fitchburg State made it close once more, but an empty net goal at the end of the game set the final score at 5–3. This win put the Jumbos at a record of 5–2–1 in their last eight matchups.
This set a good tone for the team to enter conference play. They will play the rest of their games this season against NESCAC opponents. Their first game on Jan. 13 was against the Amherst Mammoths. The Mammoths sat atop the conference standings with a record of 6–1–0. The Jumbos had lost six out of their last seven games facing Amherst.
The game started out slow with no goals in the first period. Quickly into the second however, Amherst scored a tap-in goal on a pass from behind the net to take the lead 1–0. Tufts didn’t
waste time striking back as Bazianos chased a loose puck down the ice and then sent a cross to Miller, who finished it off to tie the game at one. A few minutes later, the Jumbos were on the power play as a result of a Mammoth penalty, and a good passing sequence resulted in a goal for Kohn to take the lead.
In the third period, Amherst had a power play of their own and capitalized, tying the game at two. Just 20 seconds afterwards, Tufts was called for another penalty and Amherst once again went on the power play. They didn’t waste their chance and scored the eventual winning goal with seven minutes remaining. The score ended 3–2 in favor of the Mammoths.
“On the penalty kill we’ve gotta be willing to buy into the system and take away passing and shot lanes,” Horn wrote.
The next day, the Tufts Jumbos faced the Hamilton Continentals who sat in second place in the conference, making it a tough series for the Jumbos. Hamilton’s conference record was 5–3–0 entering the game. Tufts had lost its last seven matchups to Hamilton.
The Continentals scored three times in the first period to put the Jumbos in an early hole that they never climbed out of. They came close in the second period with two goals, one from Miller and one from Sedlak, to make it 3–2, but Hamilton pulled away right at the end of the second period with a goal of their own to make it 4–2. They would add one more in the third to make the final score 5–2.
Tufts’ overall record now sits at 5–8–1; it is ranked No. 7 in the conference with a record of 2–5–1.
“[We want to] obviously get as many points as possible in the second half here. Climb the standings and make a good push down the home stretch,” Horn wrote.
Tufts will face Trinity and Wesleyan at home on Jan. 13 and 14 respectively to continue their chase for a playoff spot.
Faith. Family. Football.” Sincerely, Skylar Thompson’s Twitter bio. These three words — potentially the least controversial bio a professional football player could concoct — are positively loaded. Thompson’s football life has never been more exciting. As the emergency stand-in quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and facing impossibly long odds against the Buffalo Bills, he nearly pulled off a miracle on Sunday, only narrowly falling short in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
But Thompson’s family life has never been easy. He lost his mother to breast cancer when he was only six years old, and his father, Brad — who traveled 15 hours to Buffalo to watch his son leave everything he had on the field — sacrificed everything for him and his career.
And then there is Thompson’s faith. However important it was during his Christian upbringing, it most recently manifested — as it did for the whole NFL community — in prayers for Damar Hamlin, a safety and wonderful young man on the Bills who collapsed from cardiac arrest during Monday Night Football in Week 17.
Between then and Thompson’s Sunday showdown with the Bills, the outpouring of prayer from the football universe has been unmistakable. Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s first public statement after Hamlin’s collapse read only, “Please pray for our brother.” A tsunami of signs and t-shirts reading simply, “Prayers for Damar,” swept over the league’s Week 18 slate. The outcry of support was immense, and the unity that came from a terrifying moment in NFL history was something truly special.
Hamlin’s subsequent recovery was just that. He eventually returned to Buffalo and then returned home. Back on the field, Nyheim Hines returned the opening kickoff of the Bills’ Week 18 game, their first play since Hamlin’s collapse. Josh Allen — watching in disbelief with his hands above his head — came to only one conclusion: It was an act of God.
To be sure, Hamlin’s recovery was not a God-ordained miracle. It was a clinic in emergency medical response. The stadium and team medical staff managed to revive him on the field despite having little to no information about what had transpired. Whatever credit any sort of God deserves, they deserve it tenfold.
But science exists alongside religion, not as a substitute for it. While the incredible crisis execution from medical staff may be evident now, in the emotions of the moment, nobody — particularly the players on the field — could be expected to have a rational and scientifically informed reaction. They were scared for their friend, and even if only for a brief moment, many of them inserted faith into that void of uncertainty.
Though the mechanism of Hamlin’s injury was not inherent to football — the exact condition itself is incredibly rare — recent revelations about the long term risks of concussions and the generally violent nature of football have shown players that their game is a matter of life and death. And as billions of people do every day, NFL players placed their belief in a higher power at the center of their fear.
Oliver Fox is a sophomore studying history. Oliver can be reached at oliver.fox@ tufts.edu.
Women’s basketball builds on strong preseason form leading into nes CaC playby Bharat Singh Deputy Sports Editor
After an impressive preseason, the Tufts women’s basketball team has had a strong start to their NESCAC campaign. The Tufts Jumbos began their season with a 55–38 home win against the Connecticut College Camels with standout performances from sophomore guard Sofia Gonzalez and junior forward Maggie Russell. Gonzalez led the scoring charts with 11 points and three assists while Russell’s 8 points and incredible 12 rebounds kept the Jumbos in control. A strong defensive effort in the first half kept the visitors to just 12 points with the Camels shooting a low 13% from the field in the first quarter as the Jumbos shot 33% and piled on the pressure.
The Jumbos’ bench contributed 27 points on the night compared to the Camels’ 8 while also outperforming the visitors in points in the paint and second chance points, 22–12 and 14–3 respectively.
In an email to the Daily, Gonzalez emphasized the team’s unity on the night.
“[Our win] allowed us to start the NESCAC off strong and allowed us to feel more united as a team as we go into NESCAC play,” Gonzalez wrote. “I thought we played extremely well, and we were not selfish and that showed in the score.”
Before taking on No. 21 Amherst in its second NESCAC game, Tufts hosted No. 14 Babson in a tightly contested home friendly, finishing 78–76 to the Beavers. The Jumbos started off strong, leading 40–35 in the first half. The Beavers fought back in the third quarter, shooting 44% from the field and out-scoring the Jumbos 22–14 and setting up a thrilling final quarter as the Jumbos trailed by just 3 points. In the final 15
seconds, Gonzalez tied the score with a clutch 3-pointer but the Beavers managed to convert a quick layup and held on for the victory. Russell led the scoring with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Gonzalez led the 3-point shooting with 13 points and three assists. First-year forward Sarah Crossett racked up 9 points and three assists while junior guard Hannah Kelly scored 10 and set up one.
Despite the result, Gonzalez believed the defeat was a great learning opportunity for the team.
“I think it was a loss we needed to make us stronger due to the close nature of the game. The main takeaway from this game was that in order to win, we cannot take our foot off the gas pedal if we are getting tired or frustrated,” Gonzalez wrote. She added that compared to last year, this team has a better understand-
made a splash by signing starter Carlos Rodón to a six-year deal, adding to their already stacked rotation. Furthermore, re-signing first baseman Anthony Rizzo keeps a power bat in the lineup.
ing of everyone’s roles and that the roster continues to grow from every experience.
Up next was Amherst, the side that eliminated Tufts from the NCAA Sweet 16 last year. After strong first quarters from both teams, in which the Jumbos led by 12–4 at early doors, the Mammoths established a 4-point lead going into the break up 34–30 as Jumbos shot 31.3% from the field in the second quarter. The visitors fought back in the third, winning the quarter 14–12 with the score poised at 46–44 against the home side going into the fourth. After a few lead changes, the Jumbos’ resilient defense was able to force a shot clock violation with just over 30 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Gonzalez and Russell combined for a backdoor cut as the sophomore lost her marker and put the visitors up 56–54. Tufts held on for
pen, re-signing Edwin Díaz and Adam Ottavino and bringing in veteran David Robertson.
the final seconds to earn a hardfought win against one of their biggest NESCAC rivals. Gonzalez registered a career-high 22 points and eight rebounds while Russell matched her Babson tally of 12 rebounds and also slotted in 14 points and four assists. Kelly put up 7 points as did Crossett, who also managed seven rebounds. Overall, the Jumbos continued their strong bench contribution (13–2) and presence in the paint, outscoring the Mammoths 28–16.
Gonzalez echoed the fighting spirit on display against the Mammoths.
“The Amherst win was such an amazing one because it really showed the team’s ability to persevere through adversity. … We brought some of our best basketball and I was proud of how we were able to battle in such an intense game for the entire 40 min -
make them a scary team — if this were 2017.
utes. Also, who doesn’t love a good backdoor cut?” In its third NESCAC game of the season, Tufts faced Hamilton College. A slow start saw the home side take an 8–0 lead, which set the tone for what would be a tiring game of catch-up for the Jumbos. Scoring just 5 points in the second quarter, the visitors went into the break trailing 24–13. Struggling in the paint and shooting just 25% from the floor, the Jumbos couldn’t match the intensity they showed against the Mammoths. Crossett led the team, scoring 13 points while junior guard Callie O’Brien scored 9 off the bench. With an overall record of 11–5, currently 2–1 in the NESCAC, the Jumbos will look to build on their strong start as they host the Bates College Bobcats this Saturday.
With nearly all of this year’s big-name free agents off the board, here are the teams that won (and lost) free agency in 2022.
New York Yankees: Despite facing fierce competition from the Giants, the Yankees managed to re-sign Aaron Judge to a mammoth nine-year $360 million contract and promptly made him the 16th team captain in franchise history. They also
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies got arguably the best shortstop on the board in Trea Turner, signing him to an 11-year deal worth $300 million to replace Bryson Stott, a weakness in their infield. They also boosted their rotation by signing former Met Taijuan Walker to a four-year contract, and Matt Strahm is a solid addition to the bullpen.
New York Mets: Even though the Mets lost three of their starting pitchers, they managed to find solid replacements in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and José Quintana. The Mets also brought back center fielder Brandon Nimmo and bolstered their bull-
Chicago Cubs: Losing Willson Contreras stings, but the Cubs’ top priority this offseason was always a shortstop, and they found their man in Dansby Swanson, signing him to a seven-year $177 million deal. Jameson Taillon is a boost to their rotation, and Chicago also signed Cody Bellinger, Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini, adding solid depth.
Boston Red Sox: Rafael Devers’ extension aside, this offseason has to be counted as a failure for the Red Sox. They lost key contributors in Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi and J.D. Martinez, and their biggest acquisitions were Justin Turner, Corey Kluber and Kenley Jansen, which would
San Francisco Giants: The Giants did make a couple of additions, namely Mitch Haniger, Michael Confort and Sean Manaea, but their offseason will be remembered for the guys they missed out on: Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa. The Yankees got Judge in spite of heavy speculation that he’d head to the Bay Area, and a problem in Correa’s physical killed a reported 13-year $350 million deal between the two sides, leaving the Giants without a superstar.
Baltimore Orioles: After a surprising 83–79 season on the league’s lowest payroll, the Orioles talked a big game about spending this offseason to support their young core, but so far, nothing has really materialized. Their biggest signing has been Adam Frazier who struggled last
year in Seattle. Not quite the offseason they were looking for but maybe the trade market will yield something.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers weren’t necessarily inactive in free agency, but they did watch a lot of guys walk. Trea Turner was their biggest loss, and LA also saw Tyler Anderson, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner, among others, leave town. They did manage to re-sign Clayton Kershaw and bring in Noah Syndergaard and J.D. Martinez but ultimately failed in finding a replacement for Trea Turner. They’ll still be among the league’s elite teams next year, but they probably won’t win 111 games again.
Henry Blickenstaff is a sophomore studying history. Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.