ras file petition with National Labor relations b oard after university denies union recognition
The union bid represents the latest development in a yearslong struggle between university administrators and resident assistants, who now seek recognition from the National Labor Relations Board.by Ari Navetta Investigative Writer
Tufts administrators on Wednesday declined to recognize the United Labor of Tufts Resident Assistants (ULTRA), setting back the RAs’ push for benefits like wages, a meal plan and more scheduling flexibility. Within hours, ULTRA responded by filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for an election to become the certified bargaining representative of Tufts RAs.
The university’s decision comes despite pressure from
Tufts Community Union Senate and the city councils of Medford and Somerville, all of which passed resolutions urging Tufts to recognize ULTRA voluntarily.
Tufts RAs’ bid to form a union comes amid a wave of organiz ing efforts among undergradu ate student workers. Since 2016, unions have formed among stu dent workers at Grinnell College, Dartmouth College and Wesleyan University.
The request came a week earli er, on Nov. 9, when resident assis tants walked into Ballou Hall and delivered a letter seeking union
recognition from the universi ty. More than 85% of RAs have signed union authorization cards.
What’s next for ULTRA?
Voluntary recognition from the university would have allowed ULTRA to nominate a bargaining committee and begin negotiating with the university right away.
“There is value in making sure that administrators understand the amount of work that goes into this,” junior David Whittingham, an RA and union organizer, said.
“If Tufts really does stand by and really does believe in civic engagement and active citizen ship … then it would certainly be my hope that they would respect … organizing activities of their students in all forms, including organizing as workers.”
Patrick Collins, executive director of media relations at Tufts, affirmed the university’s support for the RAs to conduct elections through the NLRB.
“We respect our community members’ right to petition the National Labor Relations Board for recognition and to seek an
election to decide for themselves whether unionization is in their best interests,” Collins said. “We think it’s fair that all have the opportunity to fully understand their rights and responsibilities in this process, and to cast a vote regardless of their position on the question, and we will respect the outcome of an election held in accordance with the Board’s procedures for an appropriate bargaining unit of Tufts RAs.”
The Wesleyan Union of Student Employees (WesUSE) became the
Tufts appoints Cigdem Talgar vice provost for educationby Charlotte Chen Assistant News Editor by Daniel Vos Assistant News Editor
After a three-year hia tus, Action for Sexual Assault Prevention continued its tradi tion of holding “Take Back the Night,” a candlelit walk from the Residential Quad to the roof of Tisch Library to show solidarity with survivors on Nov. 15. After the walk, students and speak ers from ASAP, the University Chaplaincy, CARE and Ears for Peers gathered to share a variety of on-campus resources.
Members of the ASAP exec utive board explained in a joint speech at the start of the event how conversations about assault have changed to include a wider variety of experiences.
“Historically, these marches use dichotomies of darkness and light to symbolize the experienc es of survivors of sexual assault or sexual violence,” Emily Karasik, a sophomore and co-leader of ASAP’s survivor safe branch, said. “While widely embraced, the
stranger in a dark alley discourse of assault does not capture the majority of survivors’ experi ences. In reality, many survivors know their perpetrators.”
The leaders emphasized the event’s focus on engaging the community at large and focusing on community care and healing.
“‘Take Back the Night’ is a rec lamation of space. It is a public
example of community account ability,” Nick Hoffner, a junior and co-leader of ASAP’s conver sations on masculinity, said. “It is not a one-time show of visibility. It is a call to action. We want the legacy of ‘Take Back the Night’ to extend beyond this moment we’ve shared together tonight.”
Originally published Nov. 15.
Tufts announced the appoint ment of Cigdem Talgar as the vice provost for education, a new posi tion within the Office of the Provost, in an email to the Tufts community on Nov. 3. Talgar’s official start date is Dec. 1.
Talgar comes to Tufts after serv ing as assistant vice chancellor in the educational innovation division at Northeastern University. Talgar’s background is in psychology.
“Where I am today is a result of merging two different passions, one for advancing research on cogni tion and attention and the other for evidence-based high-impact teach ing and learning,” Talgar wrote in an email to the Daily. “Soon after receiving my doctorate in experi mental psychology (specializing in cognition and attention), I was given the opportunity to integrate my research with work in educa tion and pedagogy that was being advanced by my university’s teach ing and learning center.”
Talgar said her time at Northeastern has taught her valu able strategies for implementing large-scale holistic educational pro grams at a university.
“I have built key skills in col laboration, relationship-building, creative solutioning, integrative, transformative and holistic learn ing, all skills that I believe will help me learn from the Tufts commu nity, collaborate to create new educational opportunities for our students, and build excitement for the work that we will be taking on at Tufts,” Talgar wrote.
Talgar’s position is one among several other vice provost positions that the provost’s office has imple mented over the past few years. Caroline Genco, provost and senior vice president ad interim, explained new different roles.
“I have a new position in my office, the vice provost for innova tion, who is looking at innovation across education and research. … We’ve created a vice provost for DEIJ as well, so I’m building a team of people who are experts in these
‘Take back the Night’ walk shows solidarity with sexual assault survivors, highlights campus resources
ASAP revives candlelit walk event after 3-year hiatus
The statement emphasized the importance of restorative justice and vowed to hold spaces for identities disproportionately affected by sexual violence.
“There is no one kind of sur vivor,” Rowan Hayden, a senior and president of ASAP, said. “We acknowledge the breadth of experiences and identities that survivors claim. We are commit ted to valuing each and every truth that survivors carry.”
University Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger then spoke about the resources the chaplaincy pro vides for anyone affected by sex ual misconduct either directly or indirectly.
“We can talk to you about your options for reporting. We can confidentially ask questions on your behalf as you are think ing about what you might want
to do,” she said. “But first and foremost, we are here to listen and to respond to whatever you might be feeling. Grief, rage, strength, hope and everything in between.”
Emma Cohen, associate pre vention and response special ist and confidential resource at CARE, then spoke about the wide range of students who come in for support.
“Students come in because a friend is going through some thing, because a roommate is going through something, because they’re a leader in a stu dent [organization] or an athletic team … and they need some sup port,” she said.
She also explained that CARE will stand with anyone looking to report misconduct at every step.
“I can talk to OEO on your behalf,” she said. “We can call them on speakerphone without
sharing your name, sitting in my office if you want some questions answered. If there is some inter action with TUPD, I can be on all those calls. I could come to all those meetings.”
Cohen went on to highlight the lack of sexual health educa tion in American high schools, pointing to the work of Tufts Sex Health Reps to respond.
“This year, only 13% of incom ing first years came from states that mandated medically accu rate sex ed,” she said. “That’s a whole lot of people who didn’t get great sex ed, and they arrive on our campus not really know ing about healthy relationships, not understanding necessarily how to ask for consent, and a lot of harm can happen in that way without intention.”
Hoffner spoke to the Daily about the specific programs ASAP runs on gender and violence.
“[We engage with] some one of any identifier to come in and discuss some ways in which masculinity impact ed your life and also some of the intersections[it has with misconduct and violence, but also just talking about rela tionships, friendships, [and] the presence that masculinity can have and how it can affect everyone,” he said.
In an interview with the Daily, Hayden mentioned an ongoing program to help educate organiza tions on sexual assault prevention.
“We have an education out reach branch which hosts work shops for other clubs and groups on campus and the four work shops are consent, bystander intervention, responding to per petration [and] creating a code of conduct, and responding to disclosures of sexual assaults,” Hayden said.
Talgar assumes newly created role focusing on education
PROVOST Continued from page 1
fields. … They’re my senior team of vice provosts who oversee these very specific areas across all our schools,” Genco said.
Genco said the position of vice provost for education was created to “[look] at education from the full spectrum of undergraduates all the way to graduate and pro fessional students [and] coordi nate it so that we have this one Tufts education.”
Talgar described her new role as “a combination of collabora tive vision building and lever aging the community’s expertise and creativity to build inclusive, holistic, interdisciplinary, and transformative learning oppor tunities and pathways at the institution.”
While Talgar has not started her new job yet, she has begun thinking about her first steps of action.
“The most important project for me as I start this position will be to get to know the University and to begin to learn from colleagues and students,” Talgar wrote. “TuftsUNIVERSITY
has a rich history and strong cul ture that centers on impact. This is one of the things that attracted me to the University and this specific position.”
Vice Provost Kevin Dunn, who works primarily in faculty recruit ment and retention, discussed his responsibilities and how they will overlap with Talgar’s.
“I think that the two positions will need to be in constant col laboration,” Dunn wrote in an email to the Daily. “To give an example, CELT, the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, obviously is an educa tional endeavor, but it’s also part of faculty development, and my office has a great deal of interest in the work of the Center.”
Talgar described the challenges she foresees facing with the start of her new job, noting that because the position is newly created, “differ ent individuals might have different understandings about what the per son in this role will be doing.”
“One of the most important parts of my first few months is to build out the role in a way that will best serve
the institution as we position it for the future,” Talgar wrote.
Dunn shared his excitement to begin working with Talgar along side the other vice provosts.
“Dr. Talgar is a highly qualified and collegial person who will be well-positioned to advance our educational efforts across the university,” Dunn wrote. “I’m truly looking forward to working with her.”
Talgar expressed enthusiasm for beginning her new role and joining the Tufts community.
“To be able to collaboratively build and implement a vision for learning, I will want to partner with people across the university to ensure that the vision we devel op represents where we want our [students] to go and the impact that we want them to have on them,” Talgar wrote.
students and professors recap election results, political momentum, key ballot issues in panel discussionby Ava Autry Assistant News Editor
Professor Jeffrey Berry and Associate Professor Kelly Greenhill of the political sci ence department spoke at a panel entitled “What Happens Next? Understanding Election Results” in conjunction with Tufts Democrats and Tufts Republicans on Nov. 14. The panel focused on major winners and losers of election night, the likelihood of bipartisan compro mise in Congress and the local, national and international impli cations of the election results.
Isabella Getgey, a political sci ence and SMFA combined-de gree student, moderated the
panel by directing questions toward the professors as well as the student contributors, Tufts Republicans member Andrew Butcher and Tufts Democrats members Neelan Martin and Mark Lannigan, in a roundtable discussion format.
The discussion opened with each panelist’s summation of the key issues on the ballot this elec tion cycle, and how those issues served as motivating factors for voting.
“For our membership [within Tufts Republicans] and for conser vatives more broadly, one of the number one issues was the econ omy and inflation,” Butcher said.
The panelists represent ing Tufts Democrats pointed to
ideological issues — particularly those challenged in the Supreme Court since the last election — as factors that drove larger than expected voter turnout.
“Democrats … have overper formed expectations,” Lannigan said. “I think that’s largely due to underestimation of the role that reproductive justice has played in the midterms. Reproductive rights are big for Democratic voters, espe cially for Gen Z voters who came out in a really big way for Democrats, especially Gen Z women.”
After the initial conversation about the results, Getgey shift ed the topic to the ‘red wave’ predicted by many pollsters — the idea that the Republicans would take back the house by a
landslide. Berry reflected on why such a wave did not materialize despite the Republican party’s efforts towards this result.
“First of all, the red wave was a mirage,” Berry said. “One thing that Republicans did that was really dumb was that they helped to propagate this idea that there was a red wave coming, and they actually paid for polling firms to do polls to show that the Republicans were going to do better. Usually in politics you want to lowball expectations.”
A few panelists spoke to the lessons learned about the plat forms of the two major parties from this midterm election.
University decision to deny union recognition comes despite pressure from TCU Senate, local city councils
first undergraduate student work er union to win voluntary recog nition this past March, by enter ing into a card-check agreement with the university.
At Barnard, undergraduate student workers were denied voluntary recognition after mov ing to unionize earlier this fall. Barnard students are expected to hold an election through the NLRB Friday.
Employers can contest elec tions through the NLRB. Resident assistants at George Washington University petitioned the NLRB to unionize in December 2016. University officials appealed the decision on the grounds that being an RA is part of students’ academic experience, not an employee position. The NLRB decided George Washington RAs count as employees of the uni versity and would be eligible to unionize. Shortly before a vote was scheduled to occur, however, the labor group representing the RAs withdrew their petition for an election without consulting RAs, citing the scheduled vote’s proximity to final exams.
If ULTRA wins certification, it will become the bargaining rep resentative for all Tufts RAs — including those who are hired in the future, due to Massachusetts law. The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), which represents Tufts RAs, has created a reduced-fees structure for student workers,
where each worker is responsible for $270 per year in union dues. The dues go toward things like legal representation and strike payment. RAs hope to negotiate with administrators to receive much more than $270 in the form of a stipend or paycheck from the university, from which union dues would automatically be taken.
How did ULTRA form?
During one week of RA train ing in late August, summer RAs were expected to work and be on call for as much as 20 hours on some days.
“We would have training from 9 to 5, and then be expected to be making door [decorations] or bulletin boards and preparing for our residents and such, and then they would want us to be on call from nine to nine when training starts at nine,” junior RA Julie Francois said.
The issue, for Francois and other summer RAs, wasn’t only the workload. They’d never agreed to continue their summer jobs concurrent with fall semes ter training, in what Residential Life and Learning Director Christina Alch described in an email to the Daily as an “over sight” on the part of her office. The contract signed by summer RAs had them working from late May until Aug. 12.
“I would say that [being a summer RA] really burned me out with Res Life, and I had a
lot of frustrations with how they were operating,” Francois said.
Francois circulated a Google Form among her coworkers to gauge how they felt about their working conditions. Most of the questions — about workload, pay and training — garnered mixed feedback. Some said it’d be nice to receive more pay and compensation. Others said they were excited to become RAs.
But a question at the bottom of the form gauging interest in forming a union received over whelmingly positive respons es. Whittingham reached out to Francois and offered to help organize the RA workplace. Whittingham has been a long time member of the Tufts Labor Coalition and attended a con ference hosted by LaborNotes, a nonprofit media organization that offers resources to work ers on unionization, during the summer of 2022 where he met a Wesleyan student who had helped organize WesUSE.
During RA training in late August, Whittingham began reaching out to unions. On Aug. 26, after organizing a meeting which about half of the approx imately 145 RAs attended, RAs decided to work with OPEIU Local 153.
An organizing committee of RAs began meeting weekly with Grace Reckers, lead Northeast organizer with OPEIU, who also represents WesUSE and the Barnard RAs. Organizers began having conversations individ
ually with RAs, working to get a majority of the workplace in support of a union. Once this was achieved, the organizers and Reckers held a meeting on Oct. 23 where RAs began to sign union authorization cards. From there, RAs worked to get as much of the workplace to sign authorization cards as they could, with the goal of requesting voluntary recogni tion from the university before Thanksgiving.
RAs cite stressful working con ditions during pandemic, poor communication from ORLL
During the 2020–21 aca demic year, RAs reported an increased workload and con ditions they said threatened their mental and physical health as a result of respon sibilities like enforcing mask mandates and social distanc ing. According to senior RA Lee Romaker, the university’s housing office struggled to fill resident assistant positions during the pandemic since more RAs were quitting, leav ing remaining RAs responsible for more residents than usual.
Alch confirmed RAs were expected to enforce COVID-19 safety policies, and wrote that ORLL communicated about changes the pandemic would bring to the position to RAs during summer 2020, offering RAs the chance to not take the role and still receive housing.
Following RA training for the spring 2021 semester, 48 RAs wrote an email to Josh Hartman, the director of residential life at the time, requesting chang es to the position. One of those requests was increased com pensation, stemming from the belief that RA compensation did not match the responsibilities that were added to the position during the pandemic. Hartman agreed to help push for increased compensation, but said ORLL did not have the budget to fulfill the request at the time.
The RAs’ email did result in the formation of an RA Council, where RAs can voice concerns to the university. However, accord ing to Francois, the RA Council has been ineffective in address ing the concerns of RAs, and meetings are frequently held during times when many RAs are in class, despite requests to meet at more convenient times.
Alch explained that the coun cil meeting rotates between days of the week, in an effort to accommodate different students’ schedules. “Scheduling meetings for larger groups is always a chal lenge, particularly when every one has different schedules and demands,” she wrote.
Frustration over the lack of response from ORLL led some RAs to explore the possibility of unionizing during the spring 2021 semester, but they realized the probability of success was
Solo travel in Trastevere
In London, my phone is used for Google Maps, music and sudoku. My preferred no-service-friendly app to use on flights, on the Tube, in a queue, sudoku is conducive to zoning out and reflecting while I absent-mindedly fill in the dependencies. And, dear reader, I have played a lot of sudoku in the last two months.
I carried this habit over to Rome. The problem is, however, that when you try to fill in every spare moment with stimu lation from your phone, you really don’t experience the world around you. Unlike during group travel, no one is going to point out the cool sight you are passing, no one is going to engage in conversa tion with you during a meal. It’s up to you to put the phone down and not miss out on anything.
There is definitely a social pressure to mind one’s own business by being on one’s phone. As a woman, I feel like there is a social benefit to being on my phone in public. I’m not going to accidentally make eye contact with someone and invite trouble.
One of my fellow Tufts travelers is not afraid to talk to strangers, a trait I genu inely respect. While traveling with him in Venice, he spoke to the man checking tickets for Museo Correr on St. Mark’s Square. The man had jokingly asked to keep the conversation going since his job was boring. And so my friend contin ued to speak to the man, taking museum and restaurant recommendations and getting the perfect sunset point where locals split a bottle of wine. The fol lowing day, we ran into the man at the sunset point.
But I digress and return to Rome: Hostels are an excellent location to meet new people, and I happened to choose a youthful and grungy location in the neighborhood of Trastevere. Doing homework late at night led me into conversation with a Peruvian graphic designer working remotely. One night, my roommate was a French woman completing a “pilgrimage” across Italy, with Rome being her final spot. I woke up on my final morning to a conversa tion with a 35-year-old sales manag er from Brazil doing a five-week, hik ing-focused trip. She kept calling me a badass for spending the night alone in the Ciampino Airport and at some point, I began to believe her.
During lunch, in an attempt to save my phone battery but still entertain myself, I journaled. The waiter began to ask if I was a writer and shared his band name (Reverseage, if anyone was wondering).
Overall, I had a great first experience with solo travel. At some point, it hits you that you aren’t sharing your location with anyone and that to everyone else, you are just “in Rome.” As I plan my trav els over winter break, I will be investing in a better power bank and increasing communication with both the people I run into and the people back home.
Elizabeth Foster is a junior study ing computer science and phys ics. Elizabeth can be reached at Elizabeth.Foster635086@tufts.edu.
what is a
Originally published Nov. 14.
“What I find is that if you give an in-class exam, it actually makes you focus a little bit more, maybe spend a little bit more advanced time preparing,” Proctor said.
What is a midterm assessment at Tufts?
Is it the paper we are given a week to write?
Is it the blue book exam we take in the middle of the semester? Is it the online assessments given periodically throughout the course?
At Tufts, the midterm period seems to typically last from October to the end of the semester. Students often feel that they are caught up in exams and papers for most of the semester. Each professor has their own philosophy and techniques on how they believe students should most successfully be assessed. While some prefer written, sitdown exams, others reject this approach and prefer a more creative project to allow students to demonstrate their mastery of course material.
“[My] exams are meant for them [stu dents] to be able to show off … what they’ve learned, not what they haven’t learned,” David Proctor, distinguished senior lectur er in the history department said.
Proctor believes, in his survey courses, that a written blue book exam is the most effective way to give students the opportu nity to demonstrate their comprehension and mastery.
“The way I organize my survey courses is to basically divide the course up into three sections. So in October, there’s what I call an early exam, in November, there’s a term exam and then there’s the final exam,” Proctor said. “None of these are cumulative in my courses because I don’t actually ped agogically believe that cumulative exams really show anything.”
He explained that he wants his students to use each exam as an opportunity to learn for the next time, which is why there are multiple throughout the semester.
“From my perspective, to wait till we’re halfway through to give the first exam really doesn’t give students a chance to under stand what my expectations are for them to get a sense of what my exams are like. And I don’t like to place so much emphasis on one or two items,” Proctor said.
In his 27 year tenure, Proctor has tried different forms of examination such as a take-home exam; however, he does not see students perform as well on these, averag ing around 8–10 points lower.
In opposition to Proctor’s emphasis on in-person exams, Calvin “Chip” Gidney, associate professor in the Elliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, prefers to give frequent takehome “quizzes” after every two textbook chapters to assess students.
“Maybe 10 years ago I read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, … which talked about research that suggests that the best way to test for retention in classes … is instead of waiting and having four chapters that are tested on, to go every two chapters,” Gidney said. “I even called them quizzes just to make them seem … less frightening to students.”
Gidney leaves his exams open on Canvas for two weeks and allows students to take the quiz as many times as they want. After completing it, students are able to see what they got wrong but cannot view the correct answer.
No two quizzes are the same, and stu dents can deduce from this information if they would like to retake the test. He prefers this method because it has reduced much anxiety and mental health issues that he witnessed students endure when he gave in-person exams.
“Students have told me that they appre ciate that because it allows them to study, it allows them to see how well they know it, and they know what they have to study because you can … study in between taking it. So that’s really cut down on a lot of student men tal health and anxiety problems with respect to my class,” Gidney said.
Gidney has also altered how he tests his students over the years. When he noticed that traditional midterms were not a good fit for the well-being of students, he altered his syllabus.
“When I arrived at Tufts and began giving the intro course, I did very much follow the older, traditional model of, we would have a midterm and we would have a final, and boy, they were stressful events — stressful for students, stressful for TAs having to grade them and deal with the fallout of them,” Gidney said. “It was a lot of information. Students forgot the information. You’re being tested in November, on stuff that you did in September, right. So it just was a lot to hold in mind.”
He explained that although in most of his upper level courses, students are tested through written assessments, in his intro ductory courses, test taking is paramount to gaining the expertise needed to be prepared for success in upper level courses.
“I have to make sure that students have an understanding, at least an introductory understanding to the basic concepts and the fundamental ideas in the field. And that’s why I give that type of exam because it’s very content focused. It’s very — ‘can you rec ognize a definition of it? Can you provide a definition of it,’” Gidney said.
Gidney emphasized that he wants stu dents to walk away feeling positive about the course material and not stress over the exam.
“I want students to experience success, and I want them to experience the joy of learning new things about interesting topics and subjects,” Gidney said. “I feel that espe cially in the intro course, since our goals are to have students understand the fun damentals [and] have them fall in love with our discipline of child study and human development, … the type of testing that I’ve come up with seems to work pretty well.”
Samuel Sommers, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, uses a combination of Proctor and Gidney’s approaches. He organizes his Introduction to Psychology course with three non-cumu lative exams during the semester instead of one midterm and one final. Like Professor Gidney’s, Professor Sommers’ exams are also a take-home format.
“We do the exams now in Psych 1 as online, Canvas exams that are open-book. That was made necessary by the pandemic, but there are certain advantages of doing it that way for various reasons, as long as the exam is structured a certain way,” Sommers said. “Obviously, you do it online and you are worried about academic integrity. So I think you have to give a certain type of ques tions. If it’s a bunch of fill in the blank ques tions, people will just Google those even if you tell them not to, or take the test together. So I think you have to try to avoid those.”
Barbara Wallace Grossman, professor of theatre and performance studies in the Department of Theatre Studies does not give any form of test, opting instead to employ creative projects that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge.
One easy trick to fix our buses (planners hate him!)
Two weeks ago, the MBTA released a revised draft of its Bus Network Redesign, an ambitious plan to design a better bus network for Boston with improved coverage, frequency, equity and connectivi ty. The T’s end goal is to run more buses, more frequently, serving more people (particularly low-in come populations most reliant on transit) and serving more destina tions that riders want.
The last one is particularly salient to anyone who’s experi
enced the frustration of taking the T anywhere that isn’t down town. This is by design — many of Boston’s bus routes follow century-old streetcar routes. These were built at a time when most jobs were located down town. Thus, Boston’s transit network was designed with a wide network of streetcars and buses that would feed into sub way stations like Harvard and Lechmere, from which trains could bring commuters into downtown. The network hasn’t changed much since, so today’s buses are still very good at fun neling riders downtown, but not very good at pretty much anything else. Traveling to, say, Malden, requires you to transfer buses (often adding over half an hour in waiting time) or go all the way into downtown, then all the way back out.
Among other updates, the Bus Network Redesign prom ises to add additional conve nient crosstown connections
that avoid downtown. Perhaps the best example will be seen here on campus, with the rede signed Route 96. Today, the 96 runs from Medford Square to campus to Harvard, every 30 minutes if you’re lucky. But under the redesign, it’ll be extended from Medford Square to Malden Center and rerouted from Harvard to Union Square. What’s more, it’ll be upgrad ed to a big boy high-frequency line, with buses every 15 min utes. Imagine how useful it’ll be to hop on a high-frequency bus from Professors Row directly to Davis, Porter and Union Square, or Medford Square and Malden. No need to transfer or check bus schedules!
Looking at the proposed net work map, the genius of the proposed 96 becomes clear — it cuts a broad arc surround ing inner Boston, allowing genuinely convenient travel between outer Boston commu nities without the congestion of
going via downtown. At either end, it connects with addition al high-frequency crosstown routes to Chelsea and Ruggles, opening up even more jour ney opportunities that don’t force you to endure the tour ists at Park Street or Downtown Crossing.
With that said, a significant amount of ridership still con sists of downtown commuters, and many busy existing feed er routes remain relatively unchanged. And with no bus lanes (insert Megamind pic), simply improving frequency on routes won’t be a cure-all — we need more infrastructure. But the proposed network still significantly strengthens cross town service, promising to slash travel times and downtown transit crowding.
Of course, the proposed bus map does a lot of other equal ly important things right — it significantly improves off-peak and weekend frequency, and
Tufts professors discuss assessments, the meaning of a midterm
MIDTERM continued from page 5
“I can still remember with the shudder at the blue book exams that I took throughout my col lege career, and I loathed them and I’ve always felt that a blue book test is just not the best kind of assessment for my students,” Grossman said.
She has also searched for a way of assessing her students without threatening their mental health.
“I’m looking for a way without compromising my standards and without compromising my goals for the course to make it a humane experience where somebody can be challenged but not overwhelmed,” Grossman said.
This fall for her course, Imagining the Holocaust on Stage and Screen, the midterm was called “Suitcase Sharing.” In this four-part assign ment, students were asked to watch a Holocaust survivor’s testimony
on the USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness website, then imagine themselves as the survivor and pack a suitcase as if they had been asked by the authorities to leave the next day. They then had to write and film a four minute monologue as the survivor to submit to Canvas along with a 1000 word paper.
Grossman explained that she likes this mode of assessing better because it allows each student to have more agency.
“Whenever I create a midterm or final project, I always try to cre ate something that’s structured, and focused and purposeful. But where there’s also flexibility and there are options so that students have agen cy,” Grossman said.
Although Proctor, Gidney, Sommers and Grossman each have unique pedagogical philosophies on what a midterm means and how students will best perform on an assessment, they each have carefully
crucially, dramatically improves service for low-income commu nities that are the most reliant on transit. Overall, it’s a mas sive improvement, and while it’s by no means perfect (grant ed, the T has limited drivers, buses and funds), the MBTA’s planners have been very recep tive to feedback — the pro posed 96 will serve Medford Hillside and Union Square spe cifically because of community feedback in the first round of designs.
The proposed map is post ed on the MBTA’s website, and the MBTA will host a public discussion on Monday, Nov. 14. Whether you’re a prospective or longtime resident, you’ll have the opportunity to participate and watch the future of Boston’s bus network take shape.
Kevin Zhang is a senior studying civil engineer ing. Kevin can be reached at Kevin.Zhang7@tufts.edu.
crafted their courses so that their stu dents will benefit the most. To them, creating a midterm that sets students up for the most success is critical.
“Every faculty member has a slightly different perspective, I think at points. And no one in my mind is necessarily better than the other,” Proctor said. “We each do what we think is going to ben efit our students the most. And I would say at the end of the day, that is what’s important.”
The ethics of true crime televisionby Ava Dettling Contributing Writer
Have you ever wondered what makes a killer tick? Or what exactly went on behind the yel low caution tape? It’s natural; the unthinkable fascinates us. Hollywood knows this, as true crime has become one of the bestselling genres out there. Either created as documentaries or as dramatized representa tions, true crime lauds its pur pose as educational. Whether raising awareness for victims or providing an inside look into the mind of a killer, true crime seems to be relatively harmless. However, when these docudra mas gain as much visibility as they do, what happens when the unthinkable becomes thinkable for a certain viewer? Can true crime sensitively deal with real tragedies?
There has been a curious phe nomenon of serial killer biop ics in recent years. They have raised red flags for many rea sons, including the glorification of the killer, exploitation of the victims’ death, indulgence in vio lence, lack of accuracy and lack of respect for the victims’ fam ilies. There is much risk when dealing with real-life gruesome tragedies, calling into question the ethics of creating this type of media. Moreover, producers can’t control the impact the media has on audiences, especially impres sionable ones.
Many of these harmful effects arise from casting Hollywood heartthrobs as the killers in ques tion. It raises the question: Is that really necessary? Doing so can blur the line between appreciat ing the actor’s performance and simply glorifying the killer. More importantly, it overestimates the viewer’s ability to differentiate between their support for the actor or the character.
It’s more than just a theo ry; scientific studies show this is a common psychological occurrence. In Nurit Tal-Or and Yael Papirman’s paper, “The Fundamental Attribution Error in Attributing Fictional Figures’ Characteristics to the Actors,” they found this struggle prev alent in media-viewing. The fundamental attribution error describes the tendency to think that the behavior of people is influenced by their disposition, not by the situation they’re in. Meaning, an actor is likable because their character is, not because they’re acting.
A similar phenomenon is the halo effect, which allows positive or negative traits to spill over from one area of life to anoth er. A common bias derived from this tendency is the idea that “what is beautiful is also good.” These are all well-documented psychological tendencies that most certainly influence how we consume media and the world around us. It’s relatively harmless
when the biases deal with char acters in lighthearted shows or movies, but what happens when the media handles much heavier topics? How does the halo effect come into play when you’re deal ing with an attractive actor who plays an awful person? If these are ingrained cognitive biases, how can we expect to overcome them when dealing with sensi tive subject matter?
This issue is making a come back with the newly released “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (2022–) on Netflix. It is the second Dahmer biopic to come out in the last five years, setting records as Netflix’s most-watched new series in its debut week. The story follows Dahmer from his pursuit and killing of his 17 victims to his eventual arrest and prosecution. The aim of the show, as professed by creator Ryan Murphy, was to shed light on the individual vic tims’ lives and stories. Whether it was successful at this is up for debate, as the show seemed to raise as much controversy as it did views.
Murphy lauds the series for its educational purposes, yet his approach does not reflect a com mitment to accuracy and respect for the people involved in the tragedy. Many family members of Dahmer’s victims have come out against the series, calling out its inaccuracies. Shirley Hughes, mother of victim Tony Hughes, told the Guardian that “it didn’t happen like that.” She adds, “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.” Rita Isbell, the sister of victim Errol Lindsey, added to Insider that she was never contacted about the making of the show: “They didn’t ask me.
They just did it.” For a show that claims to honor and praise the victims, the victims and their families clearly do not feel very honored or praised.
Eric Perry, cousin of Lindsey, shared similar sentiments and slammed the show for its lack of sensitivity in a tweet on Sept. 22. “It’s retraumatizing over and over again,” Perry tweeted, “and for what? How many movies/shows/ documentaries do we need?” Perry puts it very well: for what? How much does the average American really need to know about this topic? The continuous graphic portrayal of these deaths at the expense of the victims’ families is just beating a dead horse. Murphy would argue that it raises awareness about the vic tims’ stories, yet only 2% of view ers researched the victims after watching the series.
This brings into question the audience’s role in consuming this media. As stated earlier, cogni tive biases like the fundamental attribution error and the halo effect play a large role in how viewers interpret media. These biases are particularly potent in younger, more impressionable age groups. When Murphy was reviving this story for his series, one can wonder if he thought about the kind of effect it would have on younger viewers. Clips from the show are regurgitated on platforms like TikTok, glorify ing the series in ways that deviate from its educational intent.
TikTok is a popular platform for discourse among younger generations. So, it is import ant to consider what kind of conversations will be had concerning real-life tragedies. Unsurprisingly, the series’ “educational” aim didn’t trans
late on the app. There have been countless videos on TikTok minimizing the sever ity of the murders, as creators joke about grabbing drinks with Dahmer or dressing up as the serial killer in an effort to appear attractive. Despite Murphy’s intention to highlight victims’ stories, reactions seem to sidestep this and remain impressed by the lead role.
Casting likable and attractive actors in killer roles opens the door to this kind of reaction. This effect is seen in the other few biopics that came out in recent years, including “My Friend Dahmer” (2017) and “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” (2019). The former follows Dahmer’s origin story, and the latter follows Ted Bundy and his murders. Ross Lynch and Zac Efron play the killers, respective ly. Both of these choices were interesting since these are two notable Disney icons. The two boys who characterized many people’s childhoods are now seen killing animals and brutally murdering women. More than tarnishing the view of the actors, it softens the view of the killers. Viewers have already connotated Efron and Lynch with the fond memories, so they can’t fully connect with the evil portrayed on screen.
Sure, attractive castings could be for historically accurate pur poses. Ted Bundy, for example, famously used his charm and looks to lure women to their deaths. Controversial artistic choices are not inherently bad, but they must be made for a truly good reason. Efron’s cast ing is distasteful even if accurate. Seeing likable actors play roles like these does more harm than
good, especially since you’re dealing with real stories and individuals. Efron, Lynch and Peters already have a fanbase and following that they’re bring ing to these roles, subconsciously training audiences to sympathize with killers over repute them. Not to mention, most view ers didn’t experience the killers in real time. Studies find that the majority of people watch ing true crime are under 34. If viewership is primarily younger demographics, most wouldn’t have been around when these killers were active. They missed the real-world impact and pres ence these people had. These killers end up becoming legends of sorts, their stories distant myths. As the distance between the real event and dramatized representation grows, the role the actor plays won’t hold as much tragic weight as it used to. Thus, it becomes easier for the role to be glorified.
True crime is an undeni able guilty pleasure for many, and perpetually in demand. At its best, it educates the gen eral public and raises visibili ty for the victims involved. At its worst, and most common, it repackages and sensationalizes the tragedy into exactly what it is — entertainment. As long as these tragedies are increasingly commodified, people will inevi tably view them as such. The glo rification not only feeds into the serial killer’s desire for fame and recognition but retraumatizes the victims and their families. If docudramas must be made — and it seems as though they will, considering the profitability of true crime — the representa tion should be as respectful and grounded as possible.
Carlyn Greenwald’s debut adult romcom, “Sizzle Reel,” is a wholly refreshing and heartfelt sapphic fiction novel releasing next year from Penguin Random House. Set
in the not-so-glamorous-asit-seems world of Hollywood, Luna Roth is a Jewish aspir ing cinematographer and tal ent manager’s assistant in her twenties — and she’s just real ized she’s bisexual. Fresh out of a relationship and eager to lose her virginity, she decides to pursue a hookup with one of her manager’s A-list clients, Valeria Sullivan. And when Luna learns the actress just happens to be directing her debut film, she decides to try and score a job on set to fur ther her dream of becoming a cinematographer. But the fur ther she gets entangled with Valeria, the more her other relationships suffer, especially
her friendship with her room mate and best friend since film school, nonbinary lesbian Romy. Feeling more lost than ever, Luna eventually must decide what — and who — she truly wants if she wants the love story and job of her dreams.
Written by a screenwrit er and film school graduate, “Sizzle Reel” is a hilarious and charming read from start to fin ish. The love triangle between Luna, Romy and Valeria is intri cately plotted and written in a way that feels true to each character — and comes to a satisfying conclusion. The set ting and Luna’s passion for cin ematography are beautifully
Tufts Dems, Republicans unpack midterm election results
A mail-in ballot for the 2022 midterm elections is pictured on Oct. 30.
Martin spoke to the increasingly pro gressive officials being elected and how this could represent a shift in the Democratic party. He also pointed to a few newly elected members of Congress that embody these ideals.
“I think that especially in the Democratic Party, now progressives have a real base, and they can win,” Martin said. “You saw Summer Lee, who flipped a seat in Pennsylvania, who is a real pro gressive. There are also a couple more members being added to The Squad in the House, like Maxwell Frost in Florida, who is a Gen Z member.”
Butcher spoke to the impact of inde pendent voters on Republican candi dates’ success.
“When I look at the question about the base, at least in the Republican Party, … what’s interesting to me is what we learned about … people who are independent, and that force of the electorate as a whole,” Butcher noted. “If you look at the candidates who were endorsed by President Trump, they all underperformed. On the whole, these were all not serious people. The American people want serious people in government.”
Getgey then shifted the discussion to the foreign policy implications for
President Biden under a Republicancontrolled House. Greenhill discussed the unclear future of American foreign policy, as well as specific international issues that could receive more or less attention as a result.
“It’s not clear how much it’s going to change on the foreign policy front,” Greenhill said. “The bottom line is, for eign policy is largely the purview of the president … it’s not that Congress couldn’t play a role, I just don’t see many reasons to believe that there’s going to be much sub stantive that happens on foreign policy, other than maybe stalling Biden’s agenda [and] slowing things down.”
Getgey then touched on a topic closer to home: Massachusetts state politics and what members of the panel would like to see from Governor-elect Maura Healey. Berry mentioned the importance of expanding access to public transit, and the outcomes these changes could have for residents of the state.
“You cannot build enough housing in Boston to reduce the cost of housing,” Berry said. “The increase in supply cre ates more demand. … If she really wants to be bold, build a new … MBTA line, … send it down the south coast [to] south east Massachusetts, because there’s a lot of land there. … There are things that the governor can actually do, but it requires imagination.”
written and bring such warmth to the book.
But beyond the romance and the humor is the heart of the story — the messiness that comes with exploring your queer identity for the first time as an adult. So many queer people have their coming-ofage in adulthood rather than in adolescence for a multitude of reasons; the feeling of miss ing out, of being behind your peers, is one many queer adults can relate to. Luna is a deeply flawed character, and over the course of the novel she makes many mistakes while navigat ing her identity, but she’s still able to have a happy ending in spite of her misconceptions
about queerness, virginity and sex. Queer joy is at the center of “Sizzle Reel,” and that theme is made all the more meaningful by Luna’s struggle with com ing into her queerness, which I have no doubt is a story that will resonate with many. It did with me.
“Sizzle Reel” is a must-read for anyone looking for a book about coming out in your twen ties, bisexual disasters and happy endings. The novel is cur rently available for pre-order.
‘Sizzle Reel’ is a sapphic, adult rom-com for late bloomersLayla Noor Landrum is a junior studying engineer ing psychology and English. Layla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Difficulty Level: Coming up with a headline for an Investigative article.
You: caught me dancing alone in the staircase of our dorm. Grinned at me with the cutest smile I’ve ever seen. Me: Half-squeaked, halfcoughed and fled up the stairs in embarrassment. But I can’t stop think ing about your smile. You: Ignoring my DigitalOcean help ticket Me: Trying to save the Daily website
Ty: “Never thought I’d be so happy to see this horrible website.”
Tufts’ actions fall short of its commitment to DEIJby The Editorial Board
The same morning the Supreme Court heard arguments for the case that could end affirmative action in America, Tufts students received an email affirming the university’s commitment to inclusive, holistic admissions.
“At Tufts, we celebrate diversity and recognize its power to enlighten, teach, and bridge differences,” University President Anthony Monaco wrote. “Indeed, it is founda tional to our mission to provide transformative experiences for students, faculty, and staff in an inclusive and collaborative environment.”
These are worthy ideals that the university should aspire to achieve, yet, this semester, multiple inci dents have shown that high rank ing officials within the university’s administration are undermining this objective.
Over the summer, both of Tufts’ chief diversity officers, Joyce Sackey and Rob Mack, unexpect edly stepped down and pursued opportunities at other institu tions. The Tufts Daily documented a rapid change in the reporting structure of the Office of DEIJ as well allegations of “a lack of trans parency in the provost’s office and a culture that runs contrary to the university’s anti-racism princi ples,” per the article.
According to its website, the Office of the Provost is crucially responsible for “setting institu tional and budgetary priorities that advance the university’s mission.”
In the absence of diversity and inclusion leadership at the upper levels of administration, the uni versity must answer the question: With its most influential DEIJrelated positions vacant, how can it fulfill its purported commitment to anti-racism?
The provost’s office is not the only administrative office where alleged actions have contradicted the university’s stated values.
On Nov. 3, the Daily published an investigation detailing what multiple employees alleged to be a hostile work environment created in the Tufts admis sions office under the leader ship of Dean of Admissions JT Duck. Nine current and former admissions employees spoke with the Daily and described a “toxic” workplace culture fea turing “questionable leadership, abrupt departures, retaliation and behavior from the dean that employees characterized as racist, sexist, transphobic and antisemitic.”
Employees allege that Duck both enabled and promoted this environment, ignoring reports of discrimination while using microaggressions.
One admissions employee recalled Duck “misgendering applicants and making jokes about pronouns.” These alleged acts of bias have directly affect ed the integrity of Tufts’ admis sions process, with a former employee recounting that it felt as though Duck and directors of admissions had “less sensitivity to queer, trans and non-binary students.”
At least two employees have lodged formal complaints against Duck with Tufts’ Office of Equal Opportunity, which has hired the law firm McCarter & English to investigate these claims. Patrick Collins, Tufts’s executive director of media relations, maintains the use of an external law firm “is not evi dence of wrongdoing; it is the first step in a fact-finding process.”
We are disappointed that alleged bias within admissions may impact prospective students who applied to Tufts believing in its mission of
fostering an “inclusive and collabo rative environment.”
On their own, these reports detail an allegedly hostile and discrimina tory work culture. Taken together, they are evidence that the upper echelons of Tufts leadership may not reflect the university’s adver tised values.
The university’s rhetorical invo cations of a commitment to equi ty and inclusivity mean nothing if they’re not backed up by the univer sity’s behavior. While we respect the ongoing investigation, the severity of the allegations demands action in the interim, especially given that the admissions office is actively review ing applications.
University leaders must take real steps toward fulfilling their commit ment to diversity and inclusion. In the case of the admissions office, this means placing Duck on leave from his role during this admissions cycle and until the investigation concludes.
China’s communist structure: Culture and the legacy of Confucianism
is, however, conducted through the lens of international relations and political science. The heavily theoretical nature of this approach obscures a more intimate, cultural understanding of China.
For almost its entire existence, China has been an at once fasci nating and grotesque society in the eyes of the Western world. This view has resulted in Western criticism and confusion surrounding the events in China in the 19th century.
In 1912, China’s dynastic structure finally collapsed. Major European countries who abolished their mon archies in the 17th and 18th centu ries might find it almost archaic that China allowed its monarchy to exist into the 20th century.
a century, rather than becoming capitalist.by Yilan Batista Staff Writer
Since the inception of the com munist party, China has had con tentious relationships with major foreign powers, and its political structure has been under the scruti ny of the international community. Academics and politicians across the world have studied China in an attempt to understand its develop ment. Much of the analysis on China
Then, only 37 years after China finally eradicated its monarchic structure, the communist party consolidated its power. Of course, the West opposed China’s commu nist government, a stance which for many was compounded by an inability to comprehend how China’s politics had gotten to this point. By Western historical expe rience, it is strange and chaotic for a country to leap from monarchy to communism in less than half
Yet this is only bizarre if under stood from a Western lens of socie tal development. While seemingly radically different, communism and monarchy in China actually have significant similarities, and commu nism in China can be interpreted as a modern continuation of mon archy. Pre-modern China oper ated on one ideal of the greatest importance: Confucianism. Under Confucianism, all social relations follow a rigid hierarchy. The family represents the larger society, and in the family, the father exists as the pinnacle of the hierarchy while in society, the emperor exists at the top. The emperor must be obeyed at all costs, and this is further bol stered by the notion of the “man date of heaven,” which is a belief that emperors are appointed by the heavens and thus cannot be chal lenged.
Mao Zedong’s authoritarian leadership draws eerie parallels to the Confucian dynastic structure of premodern China. Mao’s reign seems to have essentially been a modern rendition of the ancient emperors. After all, both structures
require power to be concentrated into the hands of one individual that exists at the top of a societal pyramid.
As a total ruler, Mao had to be obeyed unconditionally; hence his ruthless elimination of any rivals or people who simply disagreed with him went unchecked. Most nota bly, the Cultural Revolution exem plifies the way corruption seeped into Mao’s politics. The wanton oppression during the Cultural Revolution was done in the name of purging “bourgeois” and “right ist” elements in Chinese society, yet many of the people who were victimized by this violence were ordinary citizens with no meaning ful institutional power. Mao ratio nalized his policies by arguing that they were striking down any threats to communism, yet it is clear that the true reason for such dogma tism was that it enabled him to oppress the Chinese people. Mao would have no reason to enforce such sweepingly dogmatic vio lence if it didn’t benefit the inher ently Confucian desire to protect power at any cost possible, and to demand unequivocal, constant obedience and respect.
Today, Xi Jinping is also becom ing an increasingly authoritarian leader, suppressing dissence merci lessly and appearing to be on track for remaining in power for life.
From Mao to Xi, Confucianism has certainly informed Chinese gov ernance, and also legitimized it as a valid cultural practice. Of course, the Chinese people have attempt ed to speak up on unjust rule. However, the ability for unjust rulers to rise to power is rooted in the cultural norms of a society. Values of Confucianism and the “mandate of heaven” were instilled into the Chinese people due to its centu ries-long implementation in the nation. For the Chinese, it is natural and logical for one leader to possess immense power. Communism in China is not just a political and eco nomic system, but also a modern continuation of an ancient cultural legacy. In any political situation, cul ture and anthropology are extreme ly important to consider as they have the ability to mold a popula tion’s psychology because they are so deeply intangible and have taken centuries to develop. They define the spirit of a nation rather than just any specific logistical circumstance.
Politics and pastime intersect with the 2022 World Cupby Toby Winick Staff Writer
Originally published Nov. 15.
The wait is over. Despite delays involving the COVID-19 pan demic and unusually hot weath er, the world’s biggest sport is having its most important event. The FIFA World Cup will begin on Nov. 20 in Qatar. In the time lead ing up to the event, sports fans have followed a number of nar ratives surrounding the Cup: the
USA’s return to the event, super stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo chasing their first World Cup victories and France’s title defense amid concerns about early international play. One of the most pressing stories, how ever, doesn’t concern any of the players who will take the field.
There has been a signifi cant amount of backlash raised over FIFA’s decision to grant the responsibility of hosting the World Cup to Qatar. Qatar secured the rights back in 2010, becom
ing the first Arab nation to host the tournament. Many, including competitor USA, accused them of bribing FIFA officials in order to land the spot. Though a FIFA investigation has cleared Qatar from any sanctions, the United States Department of Justice has continued an investigation for years, recently bringing up new evidence in a stream of accu sations against FIFA officials involved in the case.
After the bid was awarded, criticism of Qatar’s hosting took
a new angle, oriented toward social justice. Qatar utilized its vast wealth to demonstrate its capability to create a World Cup, and the construction of stadi ums, housing, airports and other projects has created a bill of over $220 billion that Qatar must foot. For reference, Russia spent $11.6 billion in 2018 and Brazil spent $15 billion in 2014. The prob lem is that these massive projects have been built on the backs of migrant laborers. Qatar’s govern ment reported hiring over 30,000
foreign workers just to build stadiums. Groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized poor living conditions and wages for work ers, calling it “modern slavery.” Influential reporting from The Guardian last summer found that 6,500 foreign workers have died since Qatar was granted the host spot, including 37 direct ly linked to stadium construc tion. Moreover, Qatar has been
Fans protest Qatar as World Cup host
attacked for laws criminalizing homosexuality and minimizing women’s rights.
This isn’t the first time that a global sporting event has come under fire. The 2016 Rio Olympics were attacked for air and water pollution. Formula 1 regularly races in oppressive countries such as Azerbaijan and Bahrain. But the combination of soccer’s global appeal and the multitude of scandals surround ing the event has created a back lash unlike any other. For the casual soccer fan, there is con cern over cheating corrupting the sport, preventing their teams and countries from having a fair shot to play and host. After all,
home-court advantage can be everything. Activists across the world are seeing their work inter sect with soccer’s biggest stage. FIFA telling participating nations to stay away from politics has only added fuel to the fire.
The results have been sig nificant. There are fewer fans traveling to Qatar than in past World Cups, citing prohibitive costs, largely due to how small Qatar, and its capital Doha, are. Many country’s clubs have taken a stand, with European clubs participating in a diversity cam paign supporting LGBTQ rights in Qatar. Even FIFA’s president at the time of the decision, Sepp Blatter, has stated that he regrets allowing Qatar to host, as they are “too small” for such a big event.
As people are pushing for change at an executive, club and individual level, it is important to consider the impact of any deci sion. Though there has yet to be a formal boycott like the Olympics notably saw in the USSR’s 1980 Games, the soccer world is mov ing toward change. FIFA’s current president claimed that five bil lion fans will tune into this year’s games, so it is in FIFA’s best inter est to not jeopardize this incredi ble market share. They are certain ly cognizant of these issues, even if they are currently unresponsive. It is important that fans and play ers alike continue to advocate for the issues that matter. Structural change is hard, particularly in such an impactful sport, but this year shows that many people have
an interest in bettering the institu tions around them.
Many advocate for the separa tion of sport and politics, claiming politics will ruin the sport. In reality
An argument for affirmative actionby Justin Solis Staff Writer
On Oct. 31, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from lawsuits against both Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who are being sued over the legality of affirmative action. A Supreme Court ruling that affir mative action is unconstitutional would prevent institutions like Tufts from cultivating diversity within their student body.
Affirmative action allows col leges and universities to consid er an applicant’s race as one of many factors when reviewing their application. It first originated in a 1965 executive order that requiredKudina ukraine at War
Kherson — the trauma of the liberated City of Sun
In a note accompanying her order, a client of a Ukrainian publishing company wrote, “I am now in occupied Kherson. I want to pre-order the book. [I am] attaching my address; if by the publication of the book we are still under occupation, I will find some one from the free region and change the address for the deliv ery.” After Kherson, a city in the southeast region of Ukraine, was liberated last week, the compa ny posted the screenshot of the anonymous note on Facebook. Someone in the comments
government contractors to “take affirmative action” to ensure equal opportunity within jobs. However, in 1976, affirmative action in uni versity applications was chal lenged in the case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke when UC Davis’ medical school set aside 16 spots for minority students. The Supreme Court ulti mately ruled that racial quotas were illegal under the Civil Rights Act, though the court stipulated that it was constitutional to consider race as a factor in admissions so long as there was no quota. This case set a legal precedent that would remain relatively stable until today.
The recent ideologically con servative leaning decision on
offered to pay for the book, but they were informed that the woman had already paid for it.
Ukrainian publishers are again able to freely send books to Kherson.
The U.S. has called Russia’s withdrawal from the central city of the Belgium-sized prov ince an “extraordinary victo ry” for the Ukrainian army.
Following what the interna tional community generally considered to be a sham ref erendum, Kherson was among the four Ukrainian provinces that Russia claimed to have annexed. The occupier troops’ retreat from the city is gener ally viewed as a very promis ing turn for Ukraine. Yet some experts have different opinions on what exactly this apparent victory means for Ukraine, as some suspect that Russia’s forces may be maneuvering to regroup. While celebrating the turn of the war, however, we must acknowledge the dam
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization undid federal pro tections for abortion. Affirmative action, largely favored by Democratic voters and opposed by Republicans, is now similarly at risk. Though it is important to empha size that Supreme Court justices do not explicitly subscribe to one political party or ideology, a strong argument can be made that the court is currently skewed in favor of conservatives. On the current court, six of the nine current justices were appointed by Republican presidents and hold largely right-leaning views. Due to the composition of the court and the fact that affirmative action has been denounced by many influ ential conservatives such as the unsuccessful 2022 Senate candidate Blake Masters, supporters of affir mative action have strong reason to be concerned that the current con servatively leaning Supreme Court may remove the practice.
Affirmative action is a crucial part of the admissions process for higher education institutions. Currently, 41.5% of universities in the United States consider race in admissions. This number is only accentuated at more competitive universities — 60% of universities
age the Russians left behind, as well as the aid Ukraine needs to recover from it.
Before announcing their retreat from Kherson, the occu pants had transformed the port city of the sun into a living hell. For eight months of occupation, Kherson had been without com munication, access to food and other basic products, as Russia had blocked Ukrainian network providers and the effects of the war had caused skyrocketing inflation for basic products. The week before Russia’s retreat, there had been no running water and electricity. Locals say that life under the occupation was like “living in a concentration camp” not only due to the very limited access to food but also due to the lack of opportunities to connect with the outside world.
Arguably, the most traumat ic aspect of Russian control was the constant risk of becoming another victim as the Russians kidnapped, tortured and killed
that have an acceptance rate of 40% or lower factor in race when evaluating applicants. Affirmative action is critical at these high-lev el institutions that historically have been majority white, as it allows schools to continue to build eth nic and racial diversity. Take, for example, states in which affirmative action has already been banned. In Michigan, race-conscious admis sions in public universities have been banned since 2006. Since then, diversity has decreased rapidly, with enrollment of Black undergraduate students falling from 7% in 2006 to 4% in 2021. This change in enroll ment occurred despite the number of college-aged African Americans in Michigan rising from 16% to 19%.
The predominant argument against affirmative action is rel atively simple — factoring race into college admissions crosses the line into racial discrimination. However, in my mind, affirmative action is best viewed in terms of equality versus equity. Equality is the belief that everyone should be treated the same, while equi ty states that those who need the most help should receive the most aid. In an ideal world without rac ism and underrepresentation, it
many Ukrainian civilians, some times even in front of their chil dren. They also refused to pro vide medication, even for can cer patients, unless they had a Russian passport. With each lib erated area, we learn many more stories about people disappear ing from the streets and soon might be discovering more mass graves without names or dates.
One might think that after the official decision to leave Kherson, Russians would stop committing crimes and simply leave. However, between Wednesday, when the order to retreat was made, and Friday, the day Ukrainian troops entered the city, the occupants blew up the Antonivsky Bridge and the Kakhovka dam’s bridge. They took valuables from the archives of the Kherson Oblast Library. In total, Russians also stole and shipped a total of 15,000 paintings from Kherson Oblast to Simferopol, another area under occupation. Before they left, Russian occupiers had also put
there should be a balance. Staying open-minded and critical of the media you consume creates not just a more just world, but a more enjoyable product on the field.
would make sense for applicants’ ethnicity not to be considered. Yet America’s past, and unfortu nately its present, too, show that discrimination does occur, espe cially for racial and ethnic minori ties. Therefore, affirmative action is an equitable way for minorities to eventually attain parity within the college application process and ultimately use their education to further their position within the social and economic hierarchy.
The court only just heard argu ments for the Harvard and UNC cases — which were consolidated into one joint session — so its deci sion will likely be released in June. Depending on the result, the Class of 2028 and onward will be affected.
Tufts University has filed an amicus brief — further writing that sup plements a court argument — in favor of affirmative action, showing support for Harvard and UNC. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Should the Supreme Court prevent the next generation of underrepre sented minorities from getting a fair shot at higher education, the moral arc of the universe will get a little bit longer.
up billboards in Kherson with messages such as, “Russia is here forever!” in an attempt to demor alize local residents.
Following Russia’s defeat, Ukrainians started putting up the country’s flags even before Ukrainian troops entered the city of Kherson on Friday. Some of the flags were hidden in the ground of backyards; owning national sym bols of Ukraine is enough of a reason for Russians to kill.
“[Russians] everywhere have the same goal: to humili ate people as much as possible. But we will restore everything, believe me,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. The nation of people who pre-order books from temporarily occu pied regions and bury flags to protect it from the enemy agree with him.
Mariia Kudina is a sopho more studying studio art. Mariia can be reached at email@example.com.
Field hockey defeats Castleton, falls to messiah over postseason weekendby Katie Spiropoulos Contributing Writer
After a 12–6 season, Tufts field hockey picked up an NCAA bid and moved quick ly into the Division III National Tournament. The Jumbos opened up their postseason weekend on Nov. 9 at home on Ounijan Field and emerged victorious from the first round, winning 4–1 over Castleton University.
The ’Bos then traveled to Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., to face off against Messiah University in Round 2 of the tournament. In a close score of 2–1, Tufts fell to Messiah, ending its NCAA championship chase.
Junior midfielder Andrea DelGiudice described how she felt about moving into the post season weekend and the oppor tunity to open up the tourna ment at home.
“It felt great! We had a lot of ups and downs this season and we weren’t guaranteed a playoff bet, so it was nice to make the tour nament and to be able to play at home one last time,” DelGiudice wrote in an email to the Daily.
DelGiudice continued to share some notable highlights from the first leg of the weekend.
“The Castleton game was dif ferent because it was the first round of NCAAs, which obvious ly is win and advance, so there was an air of intensity unlike the regular season. It was also our last home game, so it was senti mental,” DelGiudice wrote.
Tina Mattera, head field hock ey coach, also commented on how she felt heading into the NCAA tournament.
“I was actually pretty excited. I felt like the team was starting to click and that the players were excited and we were really ready and you know we had a nice win over Castleton State and then I truly thought that we could beat Messiah but things just didn’t go in our favor,” Mattera said.
“I thought that we really dominated the game and the girls played really well, but we just couldn’t finish with the goal scoring.”
Mattera went on to share spe cific moments from both tour nament games that stood out in her mind.
“I think when Hannah Biccard scored the goal to get it to 2–1, there was like a huge momentum shift, and the energy just lifted and it was really exciting toward the beginning of the fourth quar ter. I thought we really pounded them and put a ton of pressure on them,” Mattera said, referenc ing the game against Messiah.
For the Castleton game, Mattera discussed a similar type of pressure she felt at first to score.
“No, I was a little frustrated with the team to start because I felt like we were dominating in the first quarter and we probably could have scored four or five goals but we only scored one and then I think later we were able to get a few more so that made me happy,” Mattera said.
In addition to this year’s tour nament run, DelGiudice wrote about how the team makeup was a little different from years past.
“We graduated a lot of starters last year, so many people like myself were sud denly a much bigger part of the team than they had been last season. Considering this lack of experience, I think we did pretty well. We also had a really good chemistry this year which I think is the most special part of the team,” DelGiudice wrote.
Mattera agreed, elaborating on what she was looking forward to in seasons to come.
“We were pretty young and inexperienced this year, so I’m really excited to have people returning starters. So last year, we graduated seven senior start ers so it was really important this year to get in some of the under classmen and you know, we had two freshmen starting on and off and then other players that hadn’t started their freshmen year starting as sophomores,” Mattera said. “We’re gonna be returning a good crew of starters. I’m pretty excited about that.”
Mattera later detailed how the offseason works for max imum growth and rule com pliance.
“So the girls normally lift together and they play pickup field hockey, but I’m not allowed to work with them. I know that they will be working really hard in the offseason but, as field hockey coaches, we’re not allowed to be there,” Mattera said.
DelGiudice also shared what she is looking forward to off the turf and returning next year.
“I’m looking forward to everything! I think we’re going to see a lot of improvement from a lot of people over the course of the spring and sum mer and I can’t wait to get going,” DelGiudice wrote.
low. The effort didn’t move for ward at the time.
Part of the frustration that’s resulted in the current union bid stemmed from what RAs char acterized as limited flexibility in the position. The RAs hope to advocate for things like paid sick leave, Whittingham said, and for more control over their own work schedules. In the past, mandato ry attendance at training weeks each year forced some RAs to weigh quitting other jobs that paid, Francois said.
RAs were given about a day to review and sign their contract during training, Whittingham said. Last year, RAs were given the option of which semester to stay past the move-out date for dorm closing, but this year, all RAs are required to stay for both semesters.
“Attempting to close the cam pus with half of our staff members proved to be an extremely ineffi cient process last Spring, which made the need to have all RAs for closing periods more clear,” Alch wrote. “We sent this update regarding our closing expectations to RAs on August 8th and request ed any feedback or concerns from staff. We did not receive any com munication in response at that time. We remain open to exploring this issue.”
At the start of this semester, RAs who oversaw sophomores, juniors and seniors were informed they were responsible for helping with first-year move-in, despite being under a different impression, Romaker said. Alch wrote that RAs have been traditionally expected to help with move-in and pointed to the RA contract, which mandates that RAs be available for training and move-in in both fall and spring.
This summer, RAs assigned to The Court at Professors Row repeatedly asked ORLL for updates on the construction sta tus of the dorms, but received no information until about a week before move-in, when they were told they would have to live in temporary housing until con struction was complete, accord ing to Francois.
In bargaining with the uni versity, the RAs’ highest priority would be to secure some form of monetary compensation, Whittingham said, in addition to the room credit they current ly receive. Other requests may include a meal plan and microf ridges in their rooms.
“It’s not like the RA job lets me pay for groceries,” Romaker said. “Something else is gonna do that, because I don’t have a meal plan. I think the number one thing would be some kind of food or
stipends so people can support themselves off the RA job, not just have less loans later on.”
Undergraduate student worker unions are relatively new, but there is some prece dent for how they function and what working conditions they negotiate for.
RAs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who have been represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2322 since 2002, pay 2% of each biweekly payment they receive in union dues, for example. They also receive a stipend and a waiver for the cost of housing, and $150 in dining dollars each semester which can be used at any retail location on the UMass Amherst campus, similar to JumboCash.
Negotiations are nearing an end between WesUSE and Wesleyan University, according
to Reckers. WesUSE recently won the right to grieve reap pointment, meaning if a qual ified RA applies and is not rehired, they can grieve, or contest, this decision and begin a conversation with the uni versity over why the decision was made. Reckers says she is currently working with six to seven other undergraduate union campaigns in addition to Wesleyan, Barnard and Tufts.
Francois, the RA organizer, hopes a union will create a better future for Tufts RAs.
“I just want to make the job better for generations to come,” she said. “I don’t necessari ly want anybody to go through what we’re going through right now. And I want our voices to be heard. Because I feel like Res Life has been dismissive to a lot of our concerns and requests up until now.”
strong women’s soccer season cut short by william smith in NCaa second roundby Spencer Rosenbaum Staff Writer
“We felt very comfortable, just because they didn’t have too much of a dangerous attacking presence, and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing,” Pero said.
Following a NESCAC tourna ment run that came to a close with a double overtime 1–0 loss to No. 8 Amherst in the semifinals, the women’s soccer team was excited to see just how well it could per form in the NCAA tournament. In Saturday’s first-round match up, the No. 22 Jumbos took down Denison 1–0 in about as comfort able fashion as that score allows, but the squad fell to No. 6 William Smith 1–0 on Sunday despite a valiant effort. Since William Smith was the highest seed in the bracket region, the team hosted in Geneva, N.Y. at Cozzens Field. With the addition of this weekend’s per formances, the Jumbos finished the year with an overall record of 11–6–2, a conference record of 4–4–2, a trip to the NESCAC semifinals and a run to the NCAA second round. Yet, the stories of success in the tournament and the season are not fully understood by those numbers.
In the game against Denison, the Jumbos had control of play and possession from the begin ning. The Jumbos then took the lead in the 15th minute when impressive build-up play in the right corner culminated in a tapin by junior forward Erin Duncan from a ball in from senior mid fielder Maddie Pero. Despite the dominance of the Jumbos, after the goal, the game slowed down, and the energy level dropped. Pero and the rest of the team took notice of this.Singh Final Whistle
Spanish legend Gerard Piqué retires from football
From lifting the World Cup in Johannesburg 12 years ago, to his iconic ‘manita’ wave in the Camp Nou after a 5–0 humiliation of Real Madrid, to form ing the bedrock of a Spanish defense in its greatest era, to playing with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Gerard Piqué has lived the dream. More importantly, he has lived his dream as he power fully explained in his farewell video: “From a young age, I didn’t want to be a football player, I wanted to be a Barça player.”
A product of La Masia, FC Barcelona’s revered acade my, Piqué’s footballing journey spanned more than two decades as he went from an excited young boy running around in an oversized Barça jersey chasing autographs from players like Ronald Koeman,
However, even with this drop in energy level, the Jumbos escaped Saturday with an unblemished win. Everyone knew, though, that if they were going to play with a team much stronger than Denison in William Smith, they would have to perform much better. Fortunately for the team, throughout the sea son, it has shown up in the most important games with great inten sity and level of play, and this game was no different. Pero elaborated on how the Jumbos stepped up in important games.
“How much this team wants to play for each other is the sole rea son that we are able to perform as well as we do in these big games in that everyone wants to work so hard for the girl next to them,” Pero said. “We had to show up for each other if we wanted the sea son to continue and we definitely did that,” she added.
From the very beginning of the game, the intensity was evident. As a result, the team controlled possession in the opening min utes and had the most dangerous chances. Although the momen tum, particularly in terms of con trol of possession, would shift to William Smith, in general, the first half was very back-and-forth.
In the second half, the Jumbos seemed to take control again, hav ing four shots and three corner kicks in the half’s first ten minutes. Nonetheless, even with quality chances, the Jumbos were unable to find the back of the net, which
to walking off to an ovation from 92,000 fans chanting his name in adoration of another local boy turned legend.
“Visça el Barça, siempre,” Catalan for “long live Barça,” were Piqué’s final words as he was subbed off for the last time when Barcelona hosted Almería in La Liga on Nov. 5. A comfortable 2–0 victory, courtesy of goals from Ousmane Dembélé and Frenkie de Jong, who were both 11-year-olds when Piqué made his debut in 2008, extended Barça’s lead at the top of La Liga. But the night was hardly about the two points as the entire team walked out wear ing the Spaniard’s iconic No. 3 jer sey while chants of “Piqué” echoed throughout the game.
During the 82nd minute, Piqué’s name appeared on the big screen as Danish center-back Andreas Christensen prepared to come on. The time had come. Embracing his teammates who gathered around him, including young Ansu Fati and the magical teenage duo of Pedri and Gavi, Piqué handed his arm band to a teary Jordi Alba before heading for the touchline. Emotions ran high for longtime teammate and current manager Xavi, who watched another piece of the his toric Guardiola dynasty bid farewell.
became a theme for the game. As Pero observed, it was not an issue with the chances they were get ting, but instead with their shots.
“[We] had lots of attack ing opportunities, but not that many dangerous shots. … People weren’t hitting shots as quickly as they needed to and put [William Smith] in a dangerous position to score,” Pero said.
Unfortunately, this problem became more desperate for the squad when William Smith coun tered, and forward Julia DiMenna slotted it home into the bottom right corner off of a perfectly placed through ball from forward Seneca Blakely-Armitage.
After the goal, the squad cer tainly did not quit. With this fight until the very last seconds of the match, the Jumbos registered even
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, who spent four years at the Camp Nou, praised Piqué’s big game personality, saying it was an “honour” to be his manager and that he is just the type of player that big clubs need. Xavi, another member of Spain’s 2010 World Cup winning side, reiterated Guardiola’s sentiment, saying that Piqué’s leg acy “goes beyond football.” Piqué’s early potential convinced former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him — the Scottish manager even had dinner with his family to convince them of the move when Piqué was only 17.
Piqué’s career reached its pinna cle between 2009 and 2015 where he dominated for both club and country. A long time partnership with Carles Puyol came to define his legacy in both teams as the contrasting pair merged as one of the greatest defensive duos in history. As a player, Piqué had more of an elegance on the ball, committing calculated tackles and remaining composed under pressure. Puyol was a relentless gladiator, a born leader who put his body on the line each time he played. Their backgrounds differed too: Piqué was brought up in the heart of the city to an
more chances, including perhaps the game’s best when first-year for ward Elsi Aires seemingly had an open shot on net from inside the box. However, when her shot was blocked, it was apparent that she had waited just too long to pull the trigger. In the end, although the squad put up a fight, registering seven corner kicks to the Herons’ five, ten shots to the Herons’ nine and tying them with five shots on goal, it fell short.
With this NCAA tournament being the squad’s ninth appear ance ever, it is undeniable that this was a successful season, especially coming after last year when it had an overall record of just 8–7.
“I think that it’s really mentally hard to have a year like we had last year and come back and do as well as we did,” Pero said. “It felt nice to
affluent family while Puyol came from the small town of Pobla de Segur, 260 kilometers northwest of Barcelona. In the end, these con trasts balanced each other out as both players evolved in ways they wouldn’t have without the other.
Despite his success with Barcelona — which includes eight La Liga and three Champions League titles — his greatest achievement, as would be true for any player, was winning Spain’s first World Cup. In a run that includ ed victories against Portugal and Germany, Spain’s triumph in South Africa marked them as one of the great international sides in history. Piqué would also go on to win the Euros in 2012 and form another strong center-back partnership with Sergio Ramos.
His recent career with Barcelona, however, has not matched the glory of the past. A devastating 8–2 defeat to Bayern Munich, which led to several key departures including childhood friend Lionel Messi and president Joseph Maria Bartomeu, began showing cracks in an aging side. Despite the injection of new blood from the academy, namely the rise of Pedri and Gavi, several Barça players, including Piqué, sim ply aren’t the players they once were.
have a team do well in the NESCAC tournament, and the NCAA tourna ment, and kind of get back onto the same roll we had my freshman year when we did really well,” Pero said.
With the impact that seniors like Pero have had on the program, par ticularly in instilling values such as taking it one game at a time and working hard for each other, it will be in a great place moving forward.
“The girls are really what make [the program] so special, and so they’re why I want to work so hard every day, and they’re why everyone else wants to work so hard every single day, in season and out of sea son. I’m just excited to see them play next year, and it will be so fun to be alumni — when they’re going to do so well — and get to root them on, and know that I was a part of build ing this,” Pero said.
This season, Barcelona couldn’t make it out of their Champions League group, winning just two out of six games and finishing third behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. The Catalan side will now face Manchester United in a Europa League playoff, far from the level both clubs should be competing at. Perhaps a changing of the guard is needed now more than ever at Barcelona. Piqué has undoubtedly been a bridge between Barça’s old and new, but it is time for others to carry for ward the philosophy of the club — a philosophy he has lived by for the last 25 years. At full-time, Piqué was hurled into the air by his teammates before addressing the crowd in an emotional speech. “To love sometimes means having to let go,” translated from Catalan, was a line that best captured his relationship with the club as the veteran defender promised he would return one day. For now, football must celebrate another modern great calling “time” on a legendary career.
Bharat Singh is a sophomore who has not yet declared a major. Bharat can be reached at Bharat.Singh@tufts.edu.