The Tufts Daily - Thursday, September 21, 2023

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T he T uf T s D aily


Political Science Department launches new undergraduate journal

Tufts’ new biannual political science publication, “The Great Wave: A Journal for the Study of Politics and Social Change at Tufts University,” published its inaugural issue this month.

The journal’s editorial board includes Professors Michael Beckley, Fahd Humayun, Meredith McLain and Nimah Mazaheri, with Tufts alumnus Brendan Hartnett (LA’23) serving as Associate Editor for the first issue. Volume 1 of “The Great Wave” features papers by Sophia Costa (LA’23), Frankie Michielli (LA’22) and senior Annie Rubinson.

Mazaheri, chair of the Department of Political Science, explained that the

Somerville hires new superintendent

Originally published Sept. 15.

The Somerville School Committee selected a new superintendent, Dr. Rubén Carmona, in April following a months-long search. This announcement coincides with a series of recent developments for the school district, including the extensive renovation of Somerville High School which opened in 2021.

Carmona began his term as superintendent in July. He described his initial weeks in the position as both challenging and rewarding.

“We have been met with a few crises we have had to manage both over the summer and over the first days of the new school year,” Carmona wrote in an email to the Daily. “However, while some issues have been difficult, I have felt supported throughout the transition process in my role as Superintendent.”

According to Carmona, access to deeper learning and the implementation of

instructional initiatives are the top priorities for Somerville Public Schools.

“We are working to make sure that students are ready for the learning in both … upping the rigor of academics, and implementing fine-tuned initiatives,” Carmona wrote.

Somerville School Committee member Andre Green from Ward 4 described the selection process for the new superintendent.

“A broad-based community Screening Committee Screened 26 applicants, interviewed 10 of them and forwarded 5 names to the School Committee. While one dropped out, we then had 4 site visits and interviews with those 4 candidates,” Green wrote in an email to the Daily last spring. “After getting feedback in a number of ways from key stakeholders, School Committee deliberated and voted 6-3 to appoint Carmona Superintendent of Schools.”

Green added that he anticipates Carmona will work diligently to accomplish the Somerville School Committee’s progressive goals.

see SCHOOLS, page 2


idea for the journal came from students in Tufts’ undergraduate political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha, which funded the first issue.

“Three of our students came up with the idea about two years ago … that would showcase some of the best work that’s being done in the area of political science, but [also] across the social sciences and humanities,” Mazaheri said.

The students envisioned a peer-reviewed journal with high standards for publication, where undergraduates would have a role in every aspect of the process. Faculty and students collaborated to review submissions for the inaugural issue, aiming to publish original and innovative research that students were doing.

see JOURNAL, page 3

Tufts investigating after cannon painted with inflammatory messaging

Originally published Sept. 18.

Derogatory statements were painted on the cannon and tree in front of Goddard Chapel between the night of Sept. 16 and the morning of Sept. 17, prompting an investigation by TUPD and OEO. The identity of the perpetrators is currently unknown.

On Monday evening, Monroe France, Vice Provost for DEIJ, sent an email to the community addressing the incident.

“Though painting over messages on the cannon after an appropriate amount of time has elapsed is part of the tradition, the manner in which the work was destroyed caused harm and outrage among our Black community,” he wrote.

“Additionally, the graffiti that was affixed to the cannon was potentially anti-Asian, causing harm to members of our Asian/Asian American communities.”

The statements, which were painted on the cannon and a nearby tree, included messages such as “Asian invasion” and “f— you.” Tufts facilities has since removed the messaging.

France advised students to refrain from speculating on the identity of those involved and the intent behind their actions.

“There is still much information that we don’t know about the incident. … But regardless of whether there is a formal violation of our policies, there are a number of lessons that we can — and should — take from this incident,” he wrote. “Just because you can say (or, in this case, paint) something, it doesn’t mean you should.”

Tufts Pan-Afrikan Alliance said in a statement on Instagram that attendees of an annual Africana Center retreat painted the cannon on the night of Sept. 16.

“The over-painting of the cannon is unacceptable and very clearly an attack on the Black student body,” PAA wrote. In their statement, the organization also criticized the university’s past responses to race-related incidents.

The Tufts Community Union senate acknowledged the negative impact of the messaging on Black and Asian students as well as other students of color in a statement made on their Instagram account. The TCU Senate executive board also said that they will file a formal report with OEO to “demand further accountability” from the administration.

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sign near the cannon is pictured on Sept. 18. NATALIE BROWNSELL / THE TUFTS DAILY Packard Hall, home of the Tufts Department of Political Science, is pictured on Sept. 25., 2022.

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Dr. Rubén Carmona begins role as superintendent

SCHOOLS continued from page 1

“I firmly believe all the finalists are ready to be … great Superintendents somewhere in the Commonwealth,” Green wrote. “But speaking for myself, Rubén stood out for his holistic vision around how we break new ground towards fixing systemic inequities in Education, for his commitment to servant-leadership, and [for] the history of innovation as expressed by all the people he worked with that I got to speak to.”

Jeff Curley, the interim superintendent for the 2022–23 school year, echoed this sentiment.

“We had a high number of applicants for the role of Superintendent of Schools thanks in large part to our district’s reputation, programs, and policies,” Curley wrote in a statement to the Daily. “Dr. Carmona has the knowledge, skills, and desire to continue to move this district forward in his own way and I look forward to the growth SPS will see under his leadership.”

students’ social and emotional needs with social workers at every SPS school and assisting with transitions for multilingual students through the inclusion of additional ESL specialists.

Carmona’s appointment comes two years after the opening of the newly renovated Somerville High School. The rebuilding project began with planning in 2012 and continued through the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Matthew Rice, the project architect, the new building supports the school’s mission as a comprehensive high school, offering both academic programs and career technical education programs, also known as vocational programs.


Curley also reflected on advancements made during his year as superintendent, including a partnership with Springboard Collaborative to bring literacy support to K–3 students, restorative justice and trauma-sensitive training for staff across the district, support for Somerville

“The problem with the old building [was that] there was a separate vocational wing, and then there was an acade mic wing, [so] there were almost two classes of students in the building,” Rice said. “And so, it did a lot of things that are really unfortunate that happen in society today, [like] if you separated blue collar and white collar workers, … but it was really a two-sided building in terms of a school.”

“The new building was really intended to mesh together those spaces,” he continued.

“So, we essentially took all the CTE shops and labs and put them in proximity to academic programs that they could really

‘cross-pollinate’ with in terms of students having exposure to students that might be on a different track than they are and also allowing the faculty to collaborate more between the CTE side of things and the academic side of things. … So, I think educationally that was the big picture goal that we were after.”

The redesign project also involved sustainability initiatives including a stormwater management system that alleviated flooding issues and a design to harness the embodied carbon within the existing

buildings that underwent renovations.

Rice feels that the project was a rewarding process with a significant impact on the Somerville community for generations to come.

“It’s a really wonderful thing for the city and for the students that go there, just given where they were coming from in terms of … educational experience, but also just sort of the quality of the facility,” Rice said. “ It really elevates what their experiences [are] and, by consequence, what their own personal view of themselves in the world is.”


Tufts agrees to dining workers’ demands in new contract UNIVERSITY

Originally published Sept. 11.

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Tufts Dining workers, represented by the labor union UNITE HERE Local 26, reached a new contract agreement with the university on Aug. 26. The new collective bargaining agreement, which has been under negotiation since March, includes all of the union’s main demands.

“The benefits are substantial,” Jonah VanderMel, a dining services attendant and Tufts University student, said. “This contract is going to carry us through the end of 2027.”

Negotiators focused on four main demands for this new contract, but VanderMel said staff members are most excited about the $9.92 increase to hourly wages to be rolled out over the next 4 ½ years.

“There’s a peace of mind there that people don’t have to worry about this sort of insecurity for a few years,” VanderMel said. “The raise was substantial. It’s going to, we believe, set a precedent for other universities as well … There’s a lot of people that work two jobs, or they’re raising kids, some single parents, just people that really need this money — especially with cost of living increases that have occurred in recent years.”

VanderMel, who works at the Carmichael dining hall location, has been a Tufts Dining employee since 2018. He served on the

contract’s bargaining committee and worked with the Tufts Dining Action Coalition, a Tufts Labor Coalition-organized group of students dedicated to supporting dining workers.

He said that higher wages is the benefit “people are most excited about,” as “it’s going to probably see the most tangible benefits for everybody.”

Patrick Collins, executive director of public relations at Tufts, praised the agreement between the university and dining workers.

“We’re glad that we were able to reach agreement with UNITE HERE Local 26 on a new, fourand-a-half year contract,” Collins wrote in an email to the Daily. “We think the contract is fair for both sides and provides our dining employees with competitive compensation and benefits throughout the entire contract. We look forward to continuing to work productively with the union as we move ahead implementing the new contract terms.”

In addition to increasing hourly wages, Tufts University has agreed to provide summer stipends to non-working dining staff, eliminate the compensatory distinction between legacy and non-legacy workers and improve guidelines around mandatory replacement and overtime, according to TDAC.

Carlos Aramayo is the president of UNITE HERE Local 26, the union that represents Tufts Dining workers along with over 12,000 hospitality workers in the greater Boston area,

including those at other local universities.

“We set a standard at Northeastern that got every single dining service worker … above $30 an hour in the life of a four-and-ahalf year contract, and we needed to match that at Tufts,” he said.

Aramayo and the rest of the union are also happy to have addressed the lack of summer employment for the university’s dining workers.

"[Tufts Dining workers are] not eligible for unemployment [insurance] from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” he said. “And so if someone doesn’t get work, there is now money set aside to give them a stipend over the summer, which is a really big win for people, because [there is] a lot of anxiety every year about getting the summer jobs, and now that’s been lifted.”

UNITE HERE Local 26 provided the dining workers with a professional negotiator to represent them in bargaining meetings.

“I would say it was a challenging negotiation,” Aramayo said. “Obviously, we needed a significant wage increase and benefit protections in the life of the contract. … We all knew it was a big number.”

97% of Tufts dining workers had pledged to go on strike if Tufts refused to accept the terms of the contract, according to TDAC, but VanderMel said workers were “definitely relieved” that they never had to do so.

“Negotiations don’t work unless both sides are ready and

willing to really talk it out and try to figure out how to get it done,” Aramayo said. “I do think the university administration was an honest broker and played a productive role in understanding what our members really needed to feel respected at the job at the university.”

The dining workers’ contract deal comes while other unionized workers around campus, including Tufts resident assistants, SMFA part-time lecturers and graduate students, are currently engaged in contract negotiations with Tufts.

“The university takes into account a host of factors and works to balance them in a way that is fair and equitable for all employees while also responsibly stewarding the university’s resources in order to support its mission, vision and values,” Collins wrote. “In all of its planning, the university must balance both present demands and long-term goals and allocate resources wisely to ensure that it advances the university’s many needs, such as financial aid, facilities, faculty recruitment and retention, the research enterprise, and numerous others.”

Aramayo said he believes student engagement from the Tufts Labor Coalition and TDAC were a “very significant piece” of what helped dining workers win their new contract.

“Students were an extraordinary support, and the victory is shared by the students — no questions asked,” he said.

NEWS 2 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2023 THE TUFTS DAILY Visit P.O. Box 53018, Medford MA, 02155 T he T uf T s D aily Aaron Gruen Editor in Chief Henry Chandonnet Kaitlyn Wells Managing Editors Julia Carpi Caroline Vandis Associate Editors Olivia White Production Director Ryan Sorbi Business Director Daniel Vos Elizabeth Zacks Carl Svahn Julieta Grané Arielle Weinstein Tvisha Goel Chloe Courtney Bohl Julia Shannon-Grillo Nina Zimmerman Chloe Nacson-Schechter Clint Chen Yena Ryoo Avril Lynch Bex Povill Guillem Colom Elizabeth Foster Merry Jiao Marlee Stout Sam Berman Ty Blitstein Max Antonini Meghna Singha Megan Amero Siya Bhanshali Ella Dovey Mike Kourkoulakos Rachel Liu Executive News Editor Executive Features Editor Executive Arts Editor Executive Opinion Editor Executive Sports Editor Executive Science Editor Investigative Editor Executive Editorial Editor Executive Audio Producer Executive Video Editor Executive Photo Editors Executive Graphics Editors Intentionality & Inclusivity Chair Education Chair Social Chairs Alumni Liasons Executive Layout Editors Executive Copy Editors Executive Social Media Managers Executive Newsletter Editor Editorial
CHARLENE TSAI / TUFTS DAILY Somerville High School is pictured on May 1.

‘The Great Wave’ takes political research to new heights


continued from page 1

“I think our inaugural issue … showcases the diversity of research that is being done here,” Mazaheri said.

Rubinson is an international relations major whose paper, “How to Prevent a War without Starting One: Strategies to Counter Chinese Naval Expansion in the Age of Anti-Access & Area Denial,” was published in the journal’s first issue.

“My research question was essentially, ‘How can the U.S. Navy better position itself to maintain the U.S.’ interest in the Asia Pacific region while also not provoking China or …

starting an international conflict?’” she said.

Rubinson hopes that “The Great Wave” will encourage students to do original research. She said that the creation of the journal at Tufts lowered some barriers and was an appealing alternative to submitting her work for publication anywhere else.

Seeing it chosen for the Tufts journal motivated Rubinson to keep researching and writing.

“Having had this first experience, [I’m] emboldened to try it again and start new projects and go back to th e drawing board, even though it’s a lot of work,” Rubinson said.

“It’s just very rewarding to see your ideas presented in this

professional way.”

“Research is very intimidating,” Rubinson acknowledged. However, she explained that working with her professors and fellow students during the peer-review process made research as a field more approachable.

Volume 1 also includes a paper by recent graduate Sophia Costa examining how immigrant patrons engage with ethnic restaurants in their communities, and another by recent graduate Frankie Michielli investigating the root causes of a wave of mass protest in Chile in 2019.

Assistant Professor Humayun lent his insights on the launch of this interdisciplinary and


student-run online journal in an email to the Daily.

“The idea behind the journal was to have a publication that could serve as a place for Tufts students across the social sciences and humanities to publish their original, empirical research,” he wrote. “We are hopeful that the journal, which is currently set to publish issues twice a year, will offer precisely that space to thoughtful and creative research by students at Tufts on questions of political and social relevance.”

“The Great Wave” welcomes written work that covers both domestic and international matters.

“We hope that anyone who is writing on issues broadly related to politics and social change,

whether in the United States or around the world, sends us their original work,” Mazaheri said.

For Rubinson, the journal offers a unique opportunity to connect with fellow Jumbos who share her intellectual interests outside of the traditional classroom environment.

“It’s really special to have a place to engage with your peers that you may not have ever met before, but are interested in the same things,” she said. “Getting to connect with them in that way … is going to be very positive for the community.”

The journal is currently accepting submissions for its spring 2024 issue.

Engineering professor wins grant for neuroscience research and STEM diversity

Originally published Sept. 7.

Dr. Brian Timko, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, received the Faculty Early Career Development Program Award from the National Science Foundation this summer to support his research into the effect of bioelectronic devices embedded in lab-grown brain tissues.

The accolade supports faculty early in their careers who have demonstrated the potential to act as academic role models and facilitate advancements in their respective organizations. With $500,000 in NSF CAREER Award funding, Timko intends to advance the field of neuroscience through bioelectronics and support students from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

The human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons and 1000 times more neural connections, making them extremely difficult to model in a lab setting, Timko told the Daily. Current conventional electrophysiological tools only allow scientists to sample one neuron at a time for fifteen minutes before it eventually dies.

“The broader goal of our lab is to develop systems that can achieve two-way electronic interfaces with these models with the underlying hypothesis that if we have enough of these [bioelectronic] devices … we can decode the information in those neural networks, or embed new information,” Timko said.

Timko aims to use the funds to answer how neuroscience can promote diversity in engineering. He hopes to introduce the field of neuroscience to underrepresented minority high school students by actively engaging them in fun experiments that will inspire them to learn more about engineering or other STEM fields.

“We’re going to develop a one week summer program that will be free for the stu -

dents to attend,” he said. “They’ll measure electrophysiology signals from their muscles or something fairly straightforward, but it’ll be some opportunity for them to do some actual science in the classroom.”

The other half of the program, according to Timko, is an undergraduate research program where students spend half of their time working on a research project and the other half helping facilitate the high school program and connect Tufts with the Medford community.

“You have some benefit on both sides for the students who are in the program and for the students or who are helping to run the program,” Timko said.

“We would, for the students in the [undergraduate] program, give preference to underrepresented students.”

Mafalda Gueta, associate director of diversity and inclusion programs for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was “instrumental in designing the educational plan for this proposal,” Timko said, adding that he is very grateful for Gueta’s input in framing the program.

“I think this serves as an opportunity to provide students in the Medford area with more exposure to specialized areas of STEM in an intentional manner,” Gueta said. “Generally speaking, there are not always the resources available to get students in front of specialized areas of STEM, so students may not be aware of what kinds of careers or research they can pursue when they go to college.”

Dr. Ethan Danahy, research associate professor and leader of the Justice-based Engineering

and Data Science Initiative, also collaborated directly with Timko in a push to include socio-technical concepts in the Introduction to Computing for Engineering course.

“We want our engineers to be thinking about these things critically, and in terms of the so utions that they’re developing, the ways in which computing is being used, because it has huge societal impacts,” Danahy said. “All of us are going through these thoughtful journeys as we re-examine how we teach, how we learn and our impact on society, especially through the lens of a DEIJ perspective.”

Five engineering professors, including Danahy and Timko, have been appointed to teach Introduction to Computing for Engineering, a course integrating socio-technical concepts early in engineering education

at Tufts. This course gives firstyear engineering students the opportunity to recognize and discuss the societal impact of their work, the inequities that exist in the field of engineering and what they can do as students to resolve and combat these challenges.

“We have the data that shows that historically, [minority] folks are dropping out of engineering, nationally, and we see it even internally here at Tufts,” Danahy said. “What we wanted to do is make sure that as we work to change our admissions, we see changes in the demographics of our incoming class, in terms of the number of women, the number of underrepresented minorities, etc. We want to make sure that also our curriculum is recognizing that and changing to be supportive of other perspectives.”

Taylor Escudero Assistant News Editor MICHELLE LI / THE TUFTS DAILY The Science and Engineering Complex is pictured.


Textiles and olive oil: The sister cities of Lowell and Kalamata

Originally published Sept. 19.

If you haven’t spent much time in the city of Kalamata, Greece, you might be surprised that many locals have stories to share about connections to friends or family members 4,700 miles away in Lowell, Mass.

A historical center of Greek immigration, Lowell formalized its relationship with Kalamata by electing to become sister cities. In 2022, Lowell chose to “establish and officially recognize a historical, cultural, and humanitarian link with Kalamata, Greece,” according to the charter that was submitted by the Lowell City Council.

Lowell sits on the Merrimack River about 30 miles north of Tufts’ Medford/Somerville Campus. It is known as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution in America. The city used to be a principal site of textile manufacturing, where long brick factory buildings and smokestacks once lined the banks of the canals.

Kalamata, on the other hand, presses against the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern mainland Greece near Sparta. Black Kalamata olive trees cover the mountains that climb steeply from the shore. Rows of balconies stick out from light yellow apartment buildings and townhouses sit tightly packed along narrow streets.

Dr. George Malaperdas has lived in Kalamata for the past 18 years and works at the University of the Peloponnese in the Department of History, Archaeology and Cultural Resources Management.

“The most amazing thing that I can do is that [when] I finish my work, [I walk] five minutes, I’m at the beach,” Malaperdas said.

Drawn by economic opportunity, many immigrants left the Peloponnese and found a new home in Lowell. Sokhary Chau, current mayor of Lowell, works at the Lowell City Hall, located in the traditionally Greek neighborhood, the Acre.

“The Greek community helped build Lowell,” Mayor Chau said. “I think it’s only fitting in our time now to link back, officially, with the Greeks in Greece.”

Ed Kennedy, Massachusetts state senator representing the First Middlesex District and former Lowell mayor, commented on the large concentration of not only Greek, but specifically Kalamatan residents in Lowell.

“There seems to be a lot of families that, for whatever reason, came to Lowell that were from Kalamata.” Senator Kennedy said.

After months of correspondence between the cities and delays due to COVID-19, Lowell finally welcomed an official del-

egation from Kalamata in April 2022, including Kalamata mayor Athanasios Vasilopoulos.

“I can say this because later on we went to visit and felt the same way,” Chau said. “When they came to visit, they felt like they were at home. They felt such a great welcoming by friends that were almost like families to them.”

The two cities’ meeting demonstrated that both were serious about creating a meaningful, lasting bond.

"[It was] one of the first times that we have a dignitary of that status, and to establish something real, something important, he came to visit,” Mayor Chau said. “Afterward, he invited us to go back to visit his hometown, Kalamata.”

In Sept. 2022, Lowell sent its own delegation to visit Kalamata. The delegation included Chau, Kennedy and Judith Hogan, Middlesex Community College dean. Also visiting were former Lowell Mayor Bill Samaras; Bill Kafkas, president of the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies; Arlene Parquette, UMass Lowell vice chancellor and Dimitrios Mattheos, Federation of Hellenic-American Societies board member.

During their visit to Kalamata, existing ties between the cities came into light. Kennedy recalled meeting with former business owners that had previously resided in Lowell.

“There was a couple [living in Kalamata] that used to own a restaurant in Lowell … [they] closed the restaurant and retired, and they moved to Kalamata,” Kennedy said. “It was almost like a little diner type restaurant … so it was good to see them as well.”

Chau observed how citizens with ties to both Greece and the U.S. have displayed a devotion to political and civic engagement.

“The Greek American citizens are very active, participate and engage with local politics, but they also keep up to date

with what’s going on in Greece, even though some of them have been here multiple generations already,” Chau said. “And, the Greeks in Kalamata … they’re familiar with what’s going on in Lowell, in Massachusetts.”

Both cities are home to large student populations which are an important part of the economy and community. One of the goals of this sister city relationship is an exchange student program.

“We engaged in several workshops and meetings … where part of the discussion was about whether or not we would be able to have the [University of the Peloponnese] form a relationship with both Middlesex Community College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell,” Kennedy said.

Chau expressed how starting exchange programs out of Lowell have the exciting potential to inspire other cities to do the same.

“Middlesex Community College [is] already committed to providing five scholarships to

students from Kalamata to come study at Middlesex Community College,” Chau said. “Imagine if you can do that with other cities and towns.”

Kalamata is not Lowell’s only sister city. In fact, Lowell has formal ties with at least 15 other cities around the world, including cities in Ukraine, Russia and France. Lowell’s penchant for sister cities comes from the wide range of backgrounds of its citizens.

“I think having sister cities with our city really reflects the diversity, because many of us came from different countries. Just like myself, coming from Cambodia to make this [my] home,” Chau said. “It’s very important for us, not just to have a good quality of life here, but for the next generation, the children, to preserve the language, the culture, the customs, the history.”

Additionally, the goal for Lowell’s sister city relationships are not only to bolster ties between its immigrants and their places of origin, but also to foster new dimensions of understanding.

“We want to have education exchange, student exchange, commerce, cultural, so we can understand each other better,” Chau said.

Greek American community efforts played a significant role in the development of Lowell’s sister city relationship with Kalamata.

"[Lowell and Kalamata’s relationship] is more unique, it’s more proactive, because it’s driven by the Greek community themselves … not only just by the Greek Americans in the city of Lowell, it’s by the Greek American community across the Commonwealth,” Chau said. “It’s really become a statewide support for Lowell to have this sister city relationship with Kalamata.”

Kalamata’s vibrant new connection with Lowell has forged an international connection which increases Kalamata’s global engagement. Longterm resident Dr. Malaperdas described Kalamata as a place of growth and potential.

“It is a very fast-growing city,” Malaperdas said. “It has a lot of opportunities for people not only to work here … but [also] because of tourism.”

To Malaperdas, interacting with others is an integral part of Greek culture and lifestyle.

“It’s our culture to go outside, meet with other people, exchange opinions,” Malaperdas said. “It is really nice … it helps you not only in your work, but in your psychology.”

Chau agreed that personal relationships are at the root of the motivation to create sister cities between faraway communities.

“It’s nice that [there is] this international diplomacy, but from city to city … it’s not really [about] the government per se,” Chau said. “The whole idea behind sister cities is really a people-to-people relationship.”

SARAH FIRTH / THE TUFTS DAILY Apartment buildings next to the bus stop on Navarino Street in the valley between the mountains. SARAH FIRTH / THE TUFTS DAILY Older townhouses and narrower streets in the city center of Kalamata.

Revised meal swipe rules feed into students’ frustration

Originally published Sept. 11.

For many Tufts students, the meal plan is a non-negotiable aspect of campus life. Coinciding with the two-year undergraduate residency requirement, both first years and sophomores are mandated to be on a meal plan. In particular, freshmen must be on the 400-swipe plan (dubbed the “Premium Plan”), while sophomores must pay for a minimum of 160 swipes per semester. However, recent revisions to the meal swipe program seem to be cooking up a storm among the student body, with many left hungry for more opportunities to get their meals.

According to the Tufts Dining official website, a maximum of one swipe per meal period can be used at a Tufts retail location that accepts meal swipe equivalency. This does not apply to the two dining halls on campus, where multiple swipes may still be used within a single meal period. This is a shift from last semester’s maximum of two meal swipes per period at any dining location. Now, for students opting to eat at fan-favorite locations such as Kindlevan Café and Hodgdon Food-On-the-Run, double swiping for extra food is no longer a possibility.

Patti Klos, Tufts director of dining and business services, explained the rationale behind the change in an email to the Daily.

“The current swipe policy had been in place for many years and was temporarily lifted during Covid,” Klos wrote. “So, to be clear, we have not changed our policy; we have reverted to our long-standing policy after a brief accommodation that was made due to Covid. Although Covid hasn’t completely left, we need to return to our former practice in order to manage-inventory and production capacity of these cafes, and to make access more equitable for all.”

While Klos says the goal behind the reinstated meal swipe policy is to help retail locations and production run more smoothly, many students have expressed concerns regarding the limitations. For the Class of 2027, these parameters could impact students’ ability to spend all their swipes in the mandated Premium Plan — which runs students over $4,000.

Carmen Bechtel, a sophomore who was able to finish the 400-swipe Premium Plan in her first year, believes that double swiping is a must in terms of maxing out the plan.

“I generally would just double swipe in Kindlevan for breakfast. I’d go to a dining hall and Hodge to get snacks [and] lunch, and then either go to both dining halls or get more Hodge for dinner as well,” Bechtel said.

Asked if she believes it is possible to finish the Premium Plan under the reintroduced meal swipe policy, her response was less than optimistic.

“I definitely wouldn’t be able to do that. I would go use two meal swipes at Kindlevan all the time, because [otherwise] you’re choosing between a smoothie or a panini,” Bechtel said.

The new maximum of one swipe per meal period can be limiting for those who want to purchase larger amounts at these retail locations. Bechtel suspects that this could make Tufts’ two dining halls a more favorable choice among students. She expressed concern regarding the potential crowding that could accumulate in the dining halls due to the updated meal swipe policy.

“I think if everyone had to go to a dining hall for their main meal, it would just get way too congested. And you’re limiting the full meal potential at those retail stores,” Bechtel said.

Senior Amogh Morje expressed a similar sentiment regarding the mandated premium plan for first-years.

“Underclassmen can’t hope to finish 400 meal swipes, especially with only one per period,” Morje said.

Morje added that putting restrictions on the way people can spend meal swipes will reduce dining flexibility, therefore decreasing students’ ability to successfully use all of them.

In addition to this reinstated policy, a modified “guest swipe” policy was also introduced for Tufts meal plan holders. Students with meal plans now have a lim-

ited number of “guest swipes” per semester, with Premium Plan holders granted per semester. For some students, including Morje, swiping in friends is a considerable aspect of social life.

While Morje believes that the 400-swipe plan is excessive, he was able to utilize his extra swipes on his friends throughout previous semesters. This can also be conducive for bonding between underclassmen and upperclassmen.

“I think [the premium meal plan is] a little overkill,” Morje

said. “That being said, though, I think the way historically it’s been balanced out is the fact that [underclassmen in] a lot of clubs … will make friends with upperclassmen.” Morje added that some of his closest friends are people he swiped in at Dewick.

However, with the limited amount of guest swipes per meal plan holder, upperclassmen will no longer be able to rely on their younger peers; instead, they will have to consider purchasing a plan of their own. But for some upperclassmen, the cost is hard to justify.

As of Sept. 2023, the cost of a premium meal plan is $4,019 for a total of 400 swipes and $75 JumboCash, averaging to approximately $9.86 per meal.

However, students on lower meal plans will find themselves spending more per swipe. For example, the 40 swipe meal plan is $699, meaning that one swipe averages to $17.48.

“It’s very clear that it’s not worth buying the meal plan,” Morje said. “You’re not saving that much money on a [lower] meal plan. And if you don’t think you can finish it, then it’s just better to pay by [the] meal.”

Although the fall semester has just begun, some Tufts students are already expressing their frustration with an online petition to “double swipe at Hodge again.” It remains to be seen whether or not this petition will amount to any future changes.

Grace Nelson Features Editor RACHEL LIU / THE TUFTS DAILY Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center is pictured on May 10. MICHELLE LI / THE TUFTS DAILY The front of Carmichael Dining hall is pictured on October 5, 2021.

Declan McKenna, The Beaches, Juice talk Boston Calling and building a sound

Boston Calling, one of the country’s largest metropolitan music festivals, returned for its twelfth edition from May 26-28. The festival, held only a short Red Line ride away from Tufts’ campus at the Harvard Athletic Complex, offered a jam-packed weekend for all music lovers. Headlining the festival were the Foo Fighters, the Lumineers and Paramore. Outside of headliners, a wide array of artists performed from Niall Horan to the Dropkick Murphys to the Flaming Lips to 070 Shake and more.

While attending the festival, the Daily had the opportunity to speak with attending artists Declan McKenna, The Beaches and Juice.

McKenna, the English singer-songwriter who blew up following his self-released debut single, “Brazil” (2015), and performed May 27 at Boston Calling, shared insights into his upcoming third album and songwriting process.

A hallmark of McKenna’s past music, especially his second album “Zeros” (2020), is continuing in the tradition of classic British protest rock.

“I think it was just before recorded music got a little more rigid in the ‘80s,” McKenna said of the era that offered him musical inspiration. ”[Before the ‘80s] it was all about capturing an energy and a feeling and a vibe in a room.”

McKenna, however, never wants to be pigeonholed to one sound as a main influence.

“I don’t know if my music will always kind of reflect those [earlier British rock] influences in the same way,” McKenna said. “But whatever way I’m approaching music I really want to keep that human element.”

His upcoming third album will feature a different approach to music making than “Zeros.”

“When I release the next album, which is kind of almost done now, it’s not really in that style in the same way ‘Zeros’ aesthetically kind of has that vintage influence,” McKenna said. “I just like to start fresh each time, approach the album process differently. I did an album that was very much written and then recorded with a band in a studio in a couple

of weeks. That’s a cool way to approach an album, but this time I’ve kind of captured like a raw energy but just in a different way, a more digital approach. Every step of the process is part of the recording. … There’s a slightly more digital sound, but I’m still kind of trying to retain that looseness to it. The influences are slightly more modern psychedelic music even than the last album.”

McKenna cited artists such as Connan Mockasin, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Dora Jar and Gorillaz as his current influences. That being said, while pushing forward with new influences, McKenna still stays true to his roots.

“There’s stuff that’s more electronic that I have worked on that’s not made the album that feels like maybe a future project,” McKenna said. “But the stuff that’s on the album still wound up quite guitar-based.”

McKenna’s upcoming album is being produced by Luca Buccallati, a composer and producer who has worked with Lana Del Rey, The Marías, Arlo Parks and Biig Piig.

“I really like Luca,” McKenna said. “I went out to L.A. at the start of last year with loads and loads of ideas and things floating around, but not 100% clear

on how I was going to make my album. And then once we started hanging out and working together, it just kind of clicked. … It felt like the stuff that had been floating in the ether for a while was actually making a lot more sense. He just got it and was really into what I was already doing and added his own sort of flavors in a really nice, natural way.”

Performing on the opening day of the festival was the Canadian rock band The Beaches. Formed in Toronto in 2013, the Beaches is composed of Jordan Miller on lead vocals and bass, Kylie Miller on guitar, Leandra Earl on keyboard and guitar and Eliza Enman McDaniel on drums. They spoke with the Daily about their sophomore album, “Blame My Ex” (2023) which was released on Sept. 15.

"[The album] certainly evolved,” Jordan said. “We started writing it around COVID-time and then I went through a breakup. The album evolved obviously with the breakup songs we were writing, because they were just so powerful and earnest and soulful, and also kind of funny. It’s been fairly interesting processing how your writing has changed after a kind of a bummy period after COVID where you’re really bored and going into a period of self discovery and heartbreak.”

A peek into these breakup songs can be seen with their single, “Blame Brett,” (2023) which soon became their most streamed single on Spotify and was one of many highlights of their performance at the festival.

Performing these tracks live can often differ greatly from how they were recorded.

“Specifically, as a singer, when you’re recording vocals, you really want to give the most honest sort of reflection of your voice,” Jordan said. “When you’re on stage, the song is no longer for you or about you, it’s about the audience. So you can put aside any personal qualms you might have with the lyrics, and make it a performance for the audience. But you can’t do that when you’re recording. When you’re recording, it really has to come from inside you.”

With “Blame My Ex”, The Beaches promise the sound that their fans have come to love, while also experimenting with new ideas.

“The record definitely has a couple different feels to it. We’re really excited about that,” Earl said. “We were referenced a lot by like new wave and ‘80s stuff, so it’s a little bit of a departure for us. But we have been a band for a very long time so it’s really important to try and keep it

interesting and shape shift for each record that you do to help keep everything fun.”

The Beaches will soon visit the Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre on Oct. 18.

For the last day of Boston Calling, the band Juice opened the festival. Consisting of Ben Stevens on lead vocals, Christian Rose on violin and vocals, Kamau Burton on acoustic guitar and vocals, Daniel Moss on guitar, Rami El-Abidin on bass and Miles Cylatt on drums, the story of Juice will sound familiar to fans of student bands at Tufts. Formed in 2013 at Boston College, Juice won Boston College’s “Battle of the Bands” and performed regularly in Boston and New York City before releasing a self-titled EP in 2016.

The details of how the band got together bears striking similarities to the formation of Tufts band Fease.

“First, we all got into BC, there was like an accepted students Facebook page and Christian posted a video of himself subtly flexing playing the violin really f—— good, so I DM’d him and I was like, ‘Yo, we should jam at school,’” Cylatt said. “The first session of Juice was just me, Dan and Christian, just jamming. But Dan was my roommate and we met Christian, and then Ben was on our floor. Kamau was in my music class, and Christians orientation group. We all just randomly knew each other around campus.”

For aspiring bands at Tufts, the members of Juice had a few words of advice.

“It’s just a matter of trying things out,” Stevens said. “I think what we’ve been good about, though it’s been hard sometimes, is we allow people to express themselves. That’s sort of a core tenet of our band, is that everyone has equal representation, equal creative input.”

“Do your best to be you and then, obviously, work really hard,” Rose said.

“Make sure everyone in the band is having fun,” Cylatt said. “If everyone’s having fun, then you want to keep doing it. And you got to play shows off-campus. … If you can just get all your friends from college to come to a show off-campus, then booker’s will respect the fact you can sell tickets, and then it snowballs. That’s what we did.”

Matthew Winkler Arts Editor HENRY CHANDONNET / THE TUFTS DAILY The entrance to Boston Calling music festival is pictured.

Is pink the new black or black the new pink? Dissecting the ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon

Whether you consider yourself an avid follower of Greta Gerwig’s quirky, feminist coming-of-age films, an enthusiast of Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending sci-fi epics or perhaps you fall into neither category, there’s a good chance that on July 21, you found yourself in a movie theater.

What began as a meme on X (formerly known as Twitter) quickly spread across social media platforms and became part of the lexicon of popular culture. The term “Barbenheimer,” the merging of “Barbie” (2023) and “Oppenheimer” (2023), was born as a result of the simultaneous release date of the two feature films, bringing two vastly different universes into the spotlight. While many fans regarded this occurrence as an amusing marketing tactic, it has potentially aided the cinema industry, which is currently undergoing challenges posed by a series of strikes, with a staggering total of $300 million in sales from its combined opening.

The two films’ starkly contrasting themes have induced a fascinating marriage between a whimsical, violently pink fantasy-comedy and a somber warera biographical drama. In the wake of this dichotomy, audiences have been faced with the million dollar question: Which movie is better? However, before attempting to find an answer to that question, it is imperative to consider a more fundamental inquiry: Are these movies even comparable? Attempting to compare these two films raises a variety of questions about the nature of cinema, and while it’s tempting to pit them against each other, both films hold their rightful place.

The fun artificiality and uncomplicated plotlines about elemental feminism and existentialism in “Barbie” have spurred thousands of people to wait in line in their pink outfits to watch Margot Robbie embody the tiny Mattel doll that was once a girl’s best friend. Likewise, Nolan’s biopic on the father of the atomic bomb features an incredible cast that brings one of the most pivotal and important events in U.S. history to life. The notion of a doll and a nuclear physicist grappling with existential crises simultaneously has promoted an

Odessa Gaines

The Power of the Pen

Streaming and residuals

If you’ve been paying attention to the world of entertainment over the past several months, you may be familiar with the continuing strikes among film and TV workers. The first domino fell on May 2, when the Writers Guild of America went on strike.

Approximately 11,500 screenwriters all refused to continue work until the union’s demands were met.

For the past several months, the WGA has been demanding that big studios change their policies and renegotiate writers’ contracts to give more and better benefits — continuing the WGA’s long fight for the betterment of the industry.

The WGA originally formed from the union of previous writers guilds in 1954, namely the Authors Guild, founded in 1912, and the Screen Writers Guild, founded in 1933. The WGA is composed of two American labor unions; the Writers Guild of America East and West. Together the unions represent writers in all American film and television media production. Both unions also work together when it comes to strike negotiations and contracts.

astonishing double-feature, marking a truly unprecedented moment in the history of cinema.

Even the enigmatic Mr. Oppenheimer himself, portrayed by the talented Cillian Murphy, expressed his enthusiasm for “Barbie” in a recent interview with IGN: “I mean I’ll be going to see ‘Barbie’ 100%. I can’t wait to see it.” The 47-year-old Irish actor praised the phenomenon of “Barbenheimer” asserting that, “it’s great for the industry and for audiences that we have two amazing films by amazing filmmakers coming out on the same day.” In parallel, Gerwig and Robbie were spotted at movie theaters purchasing tickets to catch “Oppenheimer,” sharing this moment on various social media platforms.

The casts of both films have remarkably alleviated fans’ fears that this surreal cinematic collision would overshadow the distinct virtues of each film. Instead of succumbing to potential competition, both sides have embraced the absurdity of the double-billing and reaped its benefits. “Barbenheimer” is a testament to the entertainment industry’s creativity. It has pushed said industry to embrace the unexpected as well as challenge the confines of the conventional.

So, next time you step into a movie theater, whether you are dressed in Pink or Black, enjoy the richness of choice and just remember you can choose to watch both. After all, once the lights go out, there is no color in the dark.

Prior to 2023, the WGA had eight strikes lasting from a couple weeks to several months. From these strikes, the WGA won many benefits. However, one major point of contention is always residuals — which brings us back to 2023 and the rise of streaming.

The true rise of streaming movies and TV began in the early 2010s when Netflix began their tradition of dropping the full season of a show on their platform all at once. In 2013, both “House of Cards” (2013–18) and “Orange is the New Black” (2013–19) dropped their full seasons on their respective release dates. As such, instead of viewers waiting each week for a new episode, they were able to binge the full season in one sitting. This model allows for viewers to watch what they want anytime, without being hindered by the rules of live programming.

While streaming makes it easier for the average viewer to rewatch their favorite movies and TV shows, writers often receive less pay for their work on these platforms. This is partly due to streaming services typically having short season lengths — and thus less need for writers — and partly to do with how residuals are calculated.

Residuals, for those unaware, are a long-term form of payments given to film and TV workers for a project they did that engages in reruns. With live television, the actors and writers get paid during each re-airing and each physical DVD purchase. With streaming, payments are cut down so significantly that actors have reported making mere pennies on their past projects.

So, while streaming may be convenient for the viewers, its business model hinders writers’ abilities to make a living from their job. As such, the current writers strike is calling for streaming companies and big studios to rethink and rework how they pay their residuals.

Odessa Gaines is a junior studying cognitive brain science. She can be reached at

VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Greta Gerwig, the director of “Barbie,” is pictured. VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
A poster for
“Oppenheimer” is pictured. Isabelle Teubal Staff Writer


Late Night At The Daily

Guillem: “Who is Stevie Nicks? One of those country guys?”


Difficulty Level: Surviving the “hurricane” in Medford.


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Tufts should revert its meal swipe policy — again

Dining halls are one of the most quintessential parts of a college experience. Many first-years especially will be getting their meals through campus dining halls rather than cooking or eating out — a phenomenon more pronounced at Tufts, where first-years are required to purchase the premium meal plan. As a result, the quality and accessibility of student dining is often a significant factor in college decisions, and something that Tufts and other universities appear to actively advertise and pride themselves on.

However, Tufts’ recent change to its dining plans, where only one swipe per meal period can be used at Hodgdon and Kindlevan, has left many students frustrated, especially because half of the undergraduate population is forced to be on a meal plan. First-years are automatically signed up for the 400-swipe-per-semester “Premium Plan,” and sophomores must purchase at least 160 swipes, making the new changes especially bad for underclassmen. Students can no longer “double-swipe” for additional food or drinks and snacks, while Tufts continues selling dining plans for the same rates.

Tufts previously rolled back the temporary ability to use meal swipes at the Commons and Mugar Cafe, but the most recent change occured this year. Patti Klos, director of Tufts Dining, told the Daily that though the state of meal swipes will be a new experience

The University of Pennsylvania will host internationally condemned antisemite Roger Waters during the Jewish High Holidays. Waters, a former member of the rock group Pink Floyd, is scheduled to speak at Penn’s “Palestine Writes Literature Festival.” Celebrations of literature and culture, especially those of marginalized groups, are an important initiative on col-

for most students, the university has not “changed” its meal policy but “reverted” to the policy it had prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, she framed this as a necessary change now that the pandemic is no longer at its peak, in order to manage inventory and production and create accessibility.

Unfortunately, these claims are hard to believe. And as tuition and dining costs only go up, students deserve better.

Even though the former swipe policy was enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than two full academic years have passed since it began — and students were used to the better policy. Tufts posted the latest changes

on their website before the school year, but many students don’t actively check and may not realize the difference until after arriving on campus and picking a meal plan. As things stand, a lack of direct communication could break students’ trust in the administration.

Tufts’ citation of inventory and production concerns would seem to be rooted in a need to protect against overusing dining labor and excessive restocking of packaged items like candy, chips and bottled drinks. While there may be resource constraints now, it is not as if Tufts cannot afford additional labor. This year, Tufts will be paying dining workers at a rate competitive with their peers


at universities like Harvard and Northeastern following union negotiations. Moreover, Tufts just renovated Hodgdon Foodon-the-Run this year, and renovations on the Kindlevan Cafe are currently in progress. Despite the fact that both renovations were touted to alleviate the inefficiency that led to meal plan changes, Tufts hasn’t given these places a chance to potentially improve student experience. By both restricting student access through renovations and revoking dining privileges, students are getting the short end of the stick. Even accepting potential complications, the main drawback for many students about the meal plan

Antisemitism in the Ivy League

lege campuses across the country. But let’s be clear — supporting one community cannot take place while employing violent language against another.

In May, Waters was witnessed wearing Nazi-style attire during a performance in Berlin. Waters has engaged in other antisemitic acts, including putting Jewish symbols, such as the Star of David, on a pigshaped balloon at his concerts. In addition, he openly remarked on similarities between Nazi

Germany and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in a clear case of Holocaust inversion, which is the antisemitic idea that Jews are doing to others what the Nazis did to them. In addition to Waters, Penn also invited Marc Lamont Hill, a scholar whose use of the Hamasassociated phrase “from the river to the sea” resulted in his termination from CNN. For context, this phrase calls for the destruction of the entire state of Israel, which would be an ethnic cleansing of

Jews from Israel-Palestine. More speakers with similar histories of antisemitic rhetoric were also invited. In response to this shocking decision by the school, Penn Hillel released a heartbreaking statement on Instagram, saying in part that “the inclusion of hateful and antisemitic speakers like Waters on our campus … is deeply upsetting, unsettling, and unsafe to many students and members of the Penn community.” The burden of Penn’s hurtful decision

changes has to do with the cost. The premium meal plan costs over $4,000, barring financial aid; even with such a high cost, options are limited for how first-year students can use the hundreds of swipes they’re forced to buy.

Students are paying more, benefitting less and although Tufts is aware, it is undedicated to fixing the situation. Though Tufts could make a change through better hiring or planning practices, they are unwilling to utilize these tactics and instead are limiting the ways students can pay for food. I encourage students to remain educated on the situation and to sign the Tufts Dining Petition to show support for reversing the dining policy.

has fallen on students, yet there is nothing they can do to address it. Even though Penn condemned the event, they are still letting it happen, ultimately fostering a hostile environment for Jewish students on campus.

This is the latest incident of antisemitism happening on a prominent university campus. In the aggregate, antisemitism is a very real issue that requires

see IVY, page 10

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The Dewick Macphie Dining Center is pictured on Sept. 10.

Universities invite anti-Israel speakers to campus events, to the dismay of Jewish communities

IVY continued from page 9

relentless attention from administrators. The Jewish on Campus-Ipsos joint report, “Antisemitism on College Campuses,” clearly illustrates this. For example, the report found that one in six U.S. students found the historical reality or death toll of the Holocaust ‘not very believable,’ ‘not at all believable’ or were unsure. Additionally, one in three U.S. Jewish students surveyed said that they perceive antisemitism to be prevalent within their student body.

Holocaust denial and other antisemitic acts are rampant. However, rather than outright condemning heinous incidents, administrators tend towards inaction when dealing with them. We never get any closure or resolution. Thus, antisemitism and its many forms persist, unwavering in the absence of administrative vilification.

Penn is not the only Ivy League school going down this dangerous path. Princeton is offering a course whose syllabus features “The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability.” The book actively promotes blood libels against Jewish people, accuses the Israeli military of maiming and harvesting organs from Palestinians. This book engages in blood libel, an age-old antisemitic trope accusing Jewish people of having blood on their hands. Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, after further unpacking the data from

the Jewish on Campus-Ipsos report in an article on the Princeton issue, concluded that “our universities have become complicit in the spreading and normalization of anti-Jewish bigotry.” Princeton did not offer an official response, but at a faculty meeting in September, University President Christopher Eisgruber highlighted the importance of free speech, ultimately perpetuating antisemitism and a culture of administrative inaction.

Jewish students should not have to fight against antisemitism alone. To turn a blind eye when students are suffering is shameful. I salute organizations like Jewish on Campus for tackling these issues head on and not backing down in the face of administrative inaction and other forms of backlash. I further want to salute the Biden administration for openly acknowledging that antisemitism on college campuses is widespread, stating in May that, “Jewish students and educators are targeted for derision and exclusion on college campuses … When Jews are targeted because of their beliefs or their identity, when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hatred, that is antisemitism. And that is unacceptable.”

The hard work Jewish on Campus put in to complete and publish “Antisemitism on College Campuses” demonstrates their commitment to not only eliminating antisemitism on college campuses but also waking up school leaders who seem to be asleep

at the wheel. Hate speech should never be tolerated or endorsed. Penn’s actions have been deeply hurtful to the school’s Jewish population. And to whose benefit? Holocaust deniers?

If Ivy League schools like Penn and Princeton are going to continue perpetuating antisemitism, then, in the words of Pink Floyd, I guess “we don’t need no education.”

Living off campus? Check your energy bills ASAP

Massachusetts is one of only around a dozen states that has a market for electricity. Even though there are three electric utilities that control the power grid — Eversource, National Grid and Unitil — state residents can choose who supplies their energy: the electric utility, a municipality or a private company (so-called “competitive suppliers”). This well-intentioned policy was meant to protect consumers by giving them more choices, instead, it has let companies trample consumers’ rights.

Electricity providers further complicated the story by consolidating the two bills ratepayers receive — one from the energy supplier that generates the electricity, and the other from the energy provider that transports the electricity to households. In theory, this makes it easier for consumers to pay their bills. Instead, this has generated more confusion by obfuscating what exactly ratepayers are being charged for and why.

This is far from the market’s only problem. Economic theory tells us that a perfectly competitive market will likely yield lower prices for consumers when compared with monopolistic or oligopolistic markets, so rates here should be lower than in states with utility monopolies, right? Wrong.

Nearby Vermont is the only state in New England with a regulated electricity monopoly instead of a market, yet the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that Vermonters pay less for electricity than residents in every other New England state. Why would more competition for electricity raise energy prices? It doesn’t — at least not directly. The blame lies squarely with competitive suppliers and the state’s inadequate regulatory infrastructure.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities requires a lengthy rate review with public hearings to determine the appropriate rates for electric utilities, but competitive suppliers are bound by no such restrictions. These companies can charge whatever they want while tacking on burdensome termination fees, often in the hundreds of dollars, that make it financially untenable for consumers to end their contracts early. Companies are required to get a ratepayer’s consent to change their plan, but unfortunately, this far too often comes through malpractice or outright deception.

The result? Consumers who use competitive suppliers find themselves paying over $200 more on their electricity bills annually. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office found that these companies are specifically targeting low-income or non-English speaking households. The results are devastating. 29% of low-income households across the state use competitive suppliers, compared to 15% of high-income households. Likewise, low-income households using competitive suppliers paid 14% more for electricity than high-income households. More recently, these companies have turned their attention to vulnerable college students — many of whom have not had experience paying electric bills before.

While lower-income households are largely the ones in these companies’ crosshairs, these predatory practices have negative price effects for everyone. Electric utilities are required by law to pay electricity suppliers the monthly amount in full, even if a ratepayer cannot pay their bill. This, in effect, allows competitive suppliers to rip off the major electric utilities which invariably leads them to raise their rates to compensate for increased costs.

The market for electricity suppliers in Massachusetts makes it easy for consumers to lose out. However, some cities

and towns across the state offer a third choice for electricity supply — municipal aggregation plans. These plans are pre-negotiated with energy companies to have more stable rates over the course of multiple months or years. Electric utilities, on the other hand, get to change their rates biannually.

Many cities, including Tufts’ host communities of Medford, Somerville, Boston and Grafton, have these aggregation plans and students should take note. These plans can often save ratepayers substantial sums. For example, a Somerville resident consuming the state average of 500 kWh/month, the city’s most basic aggregation plan could see savings this year of over $355 compared to what they would’ve paid if enrolled on Eversource’s plan. For students, those kinds of savings could be a lifeline. The university ought to do more to prevent

scams, ensure students are aware of their options and advocate on Beacon Hill for a stronger regulatory apparatus.

A glance at the Tufts Office of Residential Life and Learning’s website shows how little the university has done to prepare students looking to live off campus or actively living off campus for the labyrinth that is Massachusetts’ deregulated utilities market. Utilities are hardly mentioned in ORLL’s official guidelines and resources, which increases the likelihood that students will pay higher rates than necessary or that companies will swoop in to try to scam us.

The university does us all a disservice by not providing us with the proper resources to make informed economic decisions. Take it from a senior: There are few skills you’ll learn in college more important than money management. Tufts, don’t let students find that out the hard way.

VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Roger Waters is pictured at the Newport Film Festival in 2015.
VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Household utilities are pictured in Arlington, Mass. VIEWPOINT

Women’s soccer looks for a change in momentum after 4–1 loss against Amherst

After a 1–0 loss in overtime against Amherst in the NESCAC playoffs last year, the Tufts women’s soccer team continued their rivalry against them with a 4–1 loss on Sunday. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but because of weather concerns, was rescheduled to a nicer, but still windy, Sunday.

Tufts struggled against Amherst, the defending NESCAC champs. Sophomore defender Lena Sugrue explained that the Mammoths’ offensive speed made them difficult to play against.

“They have a lot of pace up top, especially their front three that’s hard to deal with [as a defender],” Sugrue said.

The Jumbos and the Mammoths each made four shots in the first half, but only Amherst was able to follow through on one of these opportunities.

Amherst scored 20 minutes in, yet despite their lead, both teams were evenly matched at halftime in terms of play.

The second half became a much faster moving game, with both teams getting more chances and shooting more. Three minutes into the second half, the Jumbos’ sophomore forward Elsi Aires got the ball near midfield, sprinted down the field and scored with a strong kick into the top left corner, tying the game 1–1. After that, though, the Mammoths began to dominate the scoreboard. Ten minutes after Aires’ goal, Amherst junior forward Patience Kum and first-year midfielder Katie Pederson both scored within six minutes of each other, bringing the game to 3–1.

Then, with less than ten seconds left, Amherst scored one last goal to make the final score 4–1.

Despite the score, the Jumbos spent a lot of time in front of the Amherst goal.

“We had a good amount of chances against [Amherst],”

Sugrue said. “I just think we weren’t able to convert on those.

I had a header on goal that hit the frame; small chances like those make or break the game ... we definitely were able to get behind the defense quite a bit.”

Though the final score of the game may not reflect this sentiment, the number of shots the Jumbos were putting up does.

Tufts had ten shots in the second

Say ‘Shoo!’ to the flu this fall

Originally published Sept. 19.

When someone mentions “fall,” a few things may come to mind, like the changing leaves, a new NFL season or “Gilmore Girls” (2000–07). However, fall is also host to something much more insidious: the start of flu season. The influenza virus infects millions of Americans every year, with tens of thousands dying.

The flu is known for constantly mutating, so scientists are annually working on vaccines to combat new strains. Time Magazine reports in 2023 that twice a year, the World Health Organization collaborates with professionals to evaluate which strains should be combated via vaccine in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Time writes that the initial data is promising: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that shots used during the Southern Hemisphere’s flu

season has decreased the risk of flu hospitalizations by 52%; vaccines used in the Northern Hemisphere during the 2022–23 flu season achieved a similar figure. The efficacy of this year’s flu shots bode well for reducing flu contraction, hospitalization and mortality rates in the North.

What’s more, new flu shot technologies are in the works. CNN recently published an article charting Moderna’s endeavor to formulate a flu vaccine modeled after the mRNA delivery system that its COVID-19 vaccine follows. Essentially, the shot injects people with a genetic code that human cells use to transcribe proteins found on the virus’ surface, inducing antibody production and teaching the body how to fight the disease. This process is significantly more efficient than the most common method of flu vaccine formulation, which consists of growing weak or dead flu strains in chicken eggs.

In a phase 3 study — where a new pharmaceutical treatment

half as compared to Amherst’s seven. Sugrue, specifically, had four shots.

Freshman midfielder Reese Birch had one of those shots after she stole the ball from Amherst.

“I’d say that no matter the score we played well. I think 4–1 wasn’t reflective of the team’s talent comparatively,” Birch said.

Tufts has the skill to get past the defense of a team like Amherst, but the question remains of whether or not they are able to score.

The Jumbos had an especially tough start to the season, having played and lost to the two teams who were in the NESCAC championship game last year. Sugrue

is hopeful that upcoming games will be easier.

“Coming out and playing Amherst, defending [NESCAC] champs, and Wesleyan, [who was] in that NESCAC final last year, we [were] coming out and playing some strong teams at the start,” Sugrue said. “But there’s nothing to say we can’t be where we want to be at the end of the season.”

NESCAC games are more competitive, because playoff seedings are determined based on the standings. Currently, Tufts’ record is 1–2 in conference, and 3–2 overall. There are also many highly skilled teams in the NESCAC, with three teams ranking in the top 25 nationally

for Division III, meaning in-conference play is typically more challenging.

"[In the NESCAC], you don’t play a bad team,” Birch said. “Every game is a battle. The intensity is definitely higher in the NESCAC.”

On Tuesday, the Jumbos were able to reverse their negative momentum from the past two games with a decisive 3–0 victory against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This weekend, the Jumbos have two conference games coming up, and look to continue their winning streak. They will play Hamilton College on Saturday and Trinity College on Sunday.

is compared with one already on the market — the experimental mRNA-1010 shot generated a more noticeable immune response against four flu strains compared to the Fluarix vaccine currently on the market. Further testing still needs to be done before mRNA-1010 becomes

widely available, particularly to reduce common side effects of mRNA vaccines, including excessive fatigue, muscle pain and swelling.

Although younger children and the elderly are more prone to complications from catching the flu, Dr. Cheryl Hug-English at

the University of Nevada strongly advises college students to get their flu shots. College campuses are ideal for virus propagation; close quarters, long days and continual stress can weaken one’s immune system. So, make sure to get your flu shots during these early fall months!

VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS This year's flu shot provides promising effectiveness in combating hospitalizations, mortalities and transmission rates. SCIENCE
COURTESY TUFTS ATHLETICS First-year midfielder Reese Birch pictured against Amherst College on Sept. 17.

Tufts men’s football opens the season with a tough loss against Trinity College

Walking into the sunny but windy Saturday game, the Tufts men’s football team, led by head coach Jay Civetti, looked to start the season off strong, with Civetti ready to take on his alma mater. Notably, the Jumbos walked out of last year’s matchup with the Trinity Bantams with a 26–23 loss. The 2022 game featured a big second-half comeback for Tufts, even though they just fell short. Trinity, looking to repeat their undefeated NESCAC record from last year, came out strong.

“They started fast and they put their foot on the gas and didn’t take it off,” senior wide receiver Jaden Richardson said. The combination of fifth-year quarterback Spencer Fetter and dynamic junior wide receiver Sean Clapp had the Bantams moving in the right direction straight out of the gate. Two rapid touchdowns from sophomore running back Tyler DiNapoli and senior wide receiver Max Roche had the Bantams up 14–0 with three minutes and 20 seconds left in the first quarter. After that, Tufts’ offense started to slowly get the ball rolling. Junior wide receiver Cade Moore had a 27-yard gain to get the Jumbos into Bantam territory for the first time.

The Jumbos’ momentum wasn’t enough to stop the Bantams though, as fifth-year tight end Nicholas Zalanskas caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Fetter, and senior running back Colin McCabe had a three yard score of his own. The score going into halftime was a lopsided 28–0. Fetter had a good day, throwing for a total of 313 yards and two touchdowns, completing 20 out of 38 attempts.

Even with Trinity’s momentum, Tufts defensive players did their best to stop their victory. The combined efforts of senior linebacker EJ Comerford, sophomore linebacker Jeff Xu and senior defensive back Vic Garza provided a stop for the Jumbos, giving the offense back the ball at the start of the third quarter.

Tufts, historically a second-half football team, especially against Trinity, stayed true to their past. An 82-yard catch and run from junior quarterback Michael Berluti to Richardson put the Jumbos on the board.

The remarkable turnaround of the Baltimore Orioles

From 2018–21, the Baltimore Orioles had a combined winning percentage of 34.6%. But after being ranked dead last in the 2022 preseason power rankings by ESPN, Baltimore posted a winning record of 83–79 last season. The Orioles have taken another huge step forward in 2023, as they currently hold the best record in the American League and have already clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2016. But how did the Orioles climb their way out of what seemed to be a bottomless pit in just two seasons, without the resources of a big-market club like the Yankees or the Dodgers?

Sophomore kicker Vaughn Seelicke put it through the uprights, making the score 28–7. The Jumbos continued to find momentum, with Garza stopping a long Bantam pass from going through.

Not to be outdone, Trinity’s DiNapoli made an impressive run to gain ground right at the end of the quarter for the Bantams. DiNapoli was an impact player throughout the game for the Trinity squad, gaining them a combination of 23 receiving yards and 62 rushing yards, averaging 4.4 yards a carry. Fetter continued to find receiver Clapp as well; Clapp caught nine passes for a total of 172 yards with his longest being 41 yards.

Tufts continued to respond and find their second-half wind, with Richardson making a catch over a Trinity defender for a nine yard touchdown to make the score 35–13. A stellar receiving game by Richardson had him catching the ball six times for 146 yards.

McCabe of the Bantams found the endzone again to make the score 44–13 off a 13-yard run, after a very successful drive led by Trinity senior running back Will Kirby. Kirby rushed for 48 yards, averaging six yards a carry. Richardson was not

2018 wasn’t the best time to be an Orioles fan. Baltimore bid farewell to homegrown superstar Manny Machado at the trade deadline, effectively committing to a rebuild, and finished with a woeful 115–47 record. They allowed a league-worst 5.51 runs per game and paid Chris Davis $23 million to hit .168 with a .539 on-base plus slugging. They would pay Davis the same salary to hit .179 in 2019, and again had the worst pitching staff in the league, allowing 6.06 runs per game.

Thankfully for Baltimore, something good did happen in 2019 — they struck gold with their first two draft picks, taking Oregon State University catcher Adley Rutschman and first overall and high school prospect Gunnar Henderson in the second round. Rutschman was rated the No. 2 prospect in baseball prior to last season, and debuted on May 22 of that year, while Henderson was the top prospect heading into this season. Both have made instant impacts for the Orioles — Rutschman was an All-Star this year and has an elite .364 on-base

done yet, with Berluti finding him on a 38-yard pass to put more points on the board for Tufts, making the score 44–19. Berluti had a stellar season last year, throwing for the most yards in the NESCAC with 2,752 and was certainly looking to continue that momentum going into the season. His stat line was exceptional, throwing for 344 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for an additional 23 yards. But his completion rate was well below last year’s completion rate of 69%, as he only completed 23 out of 53 attempts in the game against the Bantams. The final score of the Saturday game was 44–19 to the Bantams. Statistically, it was a decent day for the Tufts defense. Comerford led the Jumbos’ defense, bringing Bantams down all around the field for a total of 13 tackles. Senior defensive back Kristian Rosario had the second most tackles, with a total of eight. Junior defensive back Jameer Alves, senior defensive lineman Javier Rios and Garza had six stops each. Offensively, Moore caught six passes for a total of 103 yards, with a long of 28 yards. Junior wide receiver Henry Fleckner, a former Jumbo baseball player, also made

percentage in his young career, while Henderson is currently a favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year.

Rutschman and Henderson were just the beginning. The Orioles’ farm system has become an absolute machine, producing five preseason top 100 prospects in both 2021 and 2022. They currently boast six top 100 talents, including the No. 1 ranked prospect in baseball — 2022 first overall selection Jackson Holliday. It all adds up to the top-ranked farm system in MLB as ranked by Pipeline. Years of first-rate drafting and player development have produced a litany of top prospects, two of whom have already shown major promise in the big leagues.

Thanks to this, the Orioles are one of the younger teams in baseball, which allows them to be so successful on the third-lowest payroll in the league. As in other sports, young MLB players have very little bargaining power. They must reach three years of service time to qualify for salary arbitration and six years for free agency. As a result, Rutschman and Henderson are each earning around $700,000 for their services this season.

his debut after changing fields, playing for the football team for the first time this season and making three catches for 44 yards.

After the loss, Berluti spoke with the Daily about the Jumbos’ performance.

“Our execution is the biggest thing that we’re going to focus on and we’ll get wired tight on that,” Berluti said. He is optimistic about the future.

“We used our mulligan, but we just have to take it one day and one game at a time and play our brand of football,” Richardson said. Tufts will challenge Bates on Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. for the homecoming game.

“It’s going to be fun being home under the lights, [we have to just] not get too caught up in [the fact that it is homecoming] and understand it’s just another game,” Richardson said.

Last year, Tufts beat Bates 35–7, but two years ago the Bobcats came to the Ellis Oval and surprised the Jumbos, beating them 33–10.

“They’re a good team, they’re gonna come down under the lights to give us their best shot, so we definitely need to be ready for it,” Berluti said.

This club-friendly structure allows smaller-market teams like the Orioles to compete, giving them the ability to pay talented young players little to no money due to their lack of service time. Baltimore has taken advantage of this thanks to their outstanding player development, as they have, for the past two years, churned out elite and big league-ready prospects in their farm system. Because they lack the capital to compete with the big boys in the free agent market, the Orioles have focused instead on drafting and building a young team that they can afford. And it’s working.

The Orioles are showing no signs of slowing down, either. They’re expected to call up three more top 100 prospects next year, including Holliday, who was recently promoted to Triple-A Norfolk. He’s hammered minor league pitching at four different levels this year to the tune of a .942 OPS, and he’s still just 19. Watch out for this team.

Henry Blickenstaff is a junior studying history. He can be reached at BOWIE BELLO / THE TUFTS DAILY The Tufts football team is pictured on Nov. 12, 2022.
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