The housing system on campus and its various issues have long been a source of frustration for students. However, the effects of COVID-19 have only exacerbated the problems students have experienced with the system. The pandemic introduced barriers to building friendships and expanding social connections, placing unique pressures on the housing process for rising sophomores. The level of anxiety and frustration students have toward the system will not change unless Tufts actively makes strides to improve the housing process.
It would be a disservice to both of these territories to view their potential shifts toward statehood in a monolithic way. Distinct local issues in D.C. and Puerto Rico affect both the merits of attaining statehood and the respective populations’ general consensuses on what should be done. Ultimately, in order to promote each of these territories’ self-determination, we have to understand the complex motivating factors surrounding each bid for statehood in their differing contexts.
The quality of education a student has access to depends largely on their location and socioeconomic background; thus, admissions processes can often serve to institutionalize privilege and reinforce class structures. And even when schools try to take this inequity into account, families with higher incomes often have greater access to the “soft skills” valued in the college process. Having the means to pay for expensive niche sports, private college counselors and other extracurricular pursuits amount to other ways one student can have an unfair advantage over another.