Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

    The Daily article from April 23 entitled “External influences impact TCU election” raises the question: who exactly is “external” to the process of electing the TCU President? The influences discussed in the article are Generic Candidate, the creation of Tufts junior Ben Kurland, and posters made by Tufts senior Evan Moulson. TCU Parliamentarian Brian Tesser was quoted as saying, in reference to Generic Candidate, “I think that it could have kind of swayed votes in a way that they shouldn’t have been swayed. It was coming from something that, in my opinion, wasn’t credible because no one was tying themselves to it.” In the same article, N???±ez’s campaign manager Hannah Deegan referred to Generic Candidate as an “outside force [which] came in and sort of changed” the positive campaigns both candidates were running.
    Everyone must come to his or her own conclusion as to how much credibility to afford anonymous speech, which begs the question: May Generic Candidate’s critique be judged on its merits now that Kurland has taken ownership of it? But how should votes be swayed? Implicit in Tesser and Deegan’s words, and in the article’s headline, is the idea that legitimate discussion of the election must simply weigh the candidates against one another, never questioning the fundamental premises of their campaigns.
    The fact that people involved with TCU Senate, presidential campaigns and the Daily take this attitude only underscores the validity of Moulson’s claim, in his op-ed of April 23, that “the nominating process is designed to stifle dissent and unpopular views.” Moulson and Kurland are current Tufts students; their views should be no more “external” to the campaign process than, for instance, those of a Senator or campaign manager.
    Moulson’s other major point in his op-ed, that “TCU Senate is, for all its bluster, very limited in its power,” also ran through many of Generic Candidate’s strongest pieces of satire. Here I disagree slightly with Moulson’s proposed solution. Rather than investing TCU Senate with the powers held by the Committee on Student Life, I’m inclined to think we should ignore presidential candidates’ promises to take actions that far exceed the scope of their office and instead focus more on elections for the CSL itself. In any case, Moulson’s and Kurland’s criticisms of electoral campaigns at Tufts ought not to be dismissed simply because they are “external” to the messages of sanctioned candidates for office.

Sincerely,
Sam Duncan
Class of 2016

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Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

    This past Friday, Friends of Israel held its second annual end of the year barbecue. This event had no educational goals, had no angle. The group of students who together form Friends of Israel decided to use the upcoming Israeli Independence Day as an excuse to celebrate the end of a successful year, and also to give back to the campus and community that first brought them together. FOI did the same last year, and we hope they will continue to do so next year.
    But this act was simply too much for Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine to accept. They could not let this barbecue go “unanswered.” And so while Friends of Israel prepared to serve food and play music for the campus and the visiting prospective students, SJP donned their keffiyehs, cut out pieces of red felt to symbolize blood and protested their peers as they grilled hamburgers and tie-dyed shirts.
    Is this what it means to be acting in the pursuit of justice for Palestinians? Is the conflict between these two sides such a zero-sum war that one afternoon without confrontation is too much to ask for? Is this truly the face of conscious social action at Tufts?
    No. Theirs is not the pursuit of justice, but of vilification. Theirs is not the face of the necessary and rightful agitation for a Palestinian state, but of continued conflict.
    Tufts SJP has reduced this just cause to the protesting of hotdogs, and we at Tufts are all worse off for it.

Sincerely,
Itai Thaler and Matt Haimowitz
Class of 2014

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

The Daily article from April 23 entitled “External influences impact TCU election” raises the question: who exactly is “external” to the process of electing the TCU President? The influences discussed in the article are Generic Candidate, the creation of Tufts junior Ben Kurland, and posters made by Tufts senior Evan Moulson. TCU Parliamentarian Brian Tesser was quoted as saying, in reference to Generic Candidate, “I think that it could have kind of swayed votes in a way that they shouldn’t have been swayed. It was coming from something that, in my opinion, wasn’t credible because no one was tying themselves to it.” In the same article, N??ez’s campaign manager Hannah Deegan referred to Generic Candidate as an “outside force [which] came in and sort of changed” the positive campaigns both candidates were running.

Everyone must come to his or her own conclusion as to how much credibility to afford anonymous speech, which begs the question: May Generic Candidate’s critique be judged on its merits now that Kurland has taken ownership of it? But how should votes be swayed? Implicit in Tesser and Deegan’s words, and in the article’s headline, is the idea that legitimate discussion of the election must simply weigh the candidates against one another, never questioning the fundamental premises of their campaigns.

The fact that people involved with TCU Senate, presidential campaigns and the Daily take this attitude only underscores the validity of Moulson’s claim, in his op-ed of April 23, that “the nominating process is designed to stifle dissent and unpopular views.” Moulson and Kurland are current Tufts students; their views should be no more “external” to the campaign process than, for instance, those of a Senator or campaign manager.

Moulson’s other major point in his op-ed, that “TCU Senate is, for all its bluster, very limited in its power,” also ran through many of Generic Candidate’s strongest pieces of satire. Here I disagree slightly with Moulson’s proposed solution. Rather than investing TCU Senate with the powers held by the Committee on Student Life, I’m inclined to think we should ignore presidential candidates’ promises to take actions that far exceed the scope of their office and instead focus more on elections for the CSL itself. In any case, Moulson’s and Kurland’s criticisms of electoral campaigns at Tufts ought not to be dismissed simply because they are “external” to the messages of sanctioned candidates for office.

Sincerely,
Sam Duncan
Class of 2016

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

The Daily article from April 23 entitled “External influences impact TCU election” raises the question: who exactly is “external” to the process of electing the TCU President? The influences discussed in the article are Generic Candidate, the creation of Tufts junior Ben Kurland, and posters made by Tufts senior Evan Moulson. TCU Parliamentarian Brian Tesser was quoted as saying, in reference to Generic Candidate, “I think that it could have kind of swayed votes in a way that they shouldn’t have been swayed. It was coming from something that, in my opinion, wasn’t credible because no one was tying themselves to it.” In the same article, N??ez’s campaign manager Hannah Deegan referred to Generic Candidate as an “outside force [which] came in and sort of changed” the positive campaigns both candidates were running.

Everyone must come to his or her own conclusion as to how much credibility to afford anonymous speech, which begs the question: May Generic Candidate’s critique be judged on its merits now that Kurland has taken ownership of it? But how should votes be swayed? Implicit in Tesser and Deegan’s words, and in the article’s headline, is the idea that legitimate discussion of the election must simply weigh the candidates against one another, never questioning the fundamental premises of their campaigns.

The fact that people involved with TCU Senate, presidential campaigns and the Daily take this attitude only underscores the validity of Moulson’s claim, in his op-ed of April 23, that “the nominating process is designed to stifle dissent and unpopular views.” Moulson and Kurland are current Tufts students; their views should be no more “external” to the campaign process than, for instance, those of a Senator or campaign manager.

Moulson’s other major point in his op-ed, that “TCU Senate is, for all its bluster, very limited in its power,” also ran through many of Generic Candidate’s strongest pieces of satire. Here I disagree slightly with Moulson’s proposed solution. Rather than investing TCU Senate with the powers held by the Committee on Student Life, I’m inclined to think we should ignore presidential candidates’ promises to take actions that far exceed the scope of their office and instead focus more on elections for the CSL itself. In any case, Moulson’s and Kurland’s criticisms of electoral campaigns at Tufts ought not to be dismissed simply because they are “external” to the messages of sanctioned candidates for office.

Sincerely,
Sam Duncan
Class of 2016

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