Moving forward, it is imperative that Fletcher is entirely transparent about marketing changes and involves community members in all phases of the decision-making process.
As we grapple with this pandemic and an ever-changing world, 2021 will bring obstacles of its own. In making its own resolutions for the new year, Tufts must learn from the valuable lessons this semester presented to our community and commit to preserving compassion, justice and well-being in all university policies.
Faculty can offer flexible due dates and extensions for assignments, defusing some of the pressure on students who may be dealing with difficult personal circumstances. In addition, professors should give students additional opportunities to improve their grades as the semester closes, such as extra credit assignments. Additionally, professors should work to give students a rough estimate of their grades before Dec. 11.
This includes wearing masks, washing our hands, maintaining a physical distance from all individuals outside of residential cohorts and only leaving places of residence when necessary. The responsibility to protect ourselves and our community falls upon each and every one of us.
Even in normal times, civic engagement in student government elections is essential to enacting real change on campus. Student representatives act as the rapport between the Tufts community and administrators; they voice the change that the student body wants. In addition to its influence on campus, student government also has the potential to influence changes in the surrounding Medford and Somerville communities.
It is understandable that Tufts faces considerable restrictions that may prevent them from expanding on-campus housing, including reserving time to clean residence halls and giving Tufts staff well-deserved time off after working for months to keep our community safe. However, by still decreasing on-campus operations and limiting students to designated residential halls, Tufts can address these restrictions while still allowing more students to remain on campus.
While Biden’s victory may be a step forward, there is still much work to be done; Biden receives a broken nation rife with systemic racism, wealth inequality and political division. Restoration of American trust in democratic institutions will fall upon the upcoming administration.
International students are an irreplaceable part of the Tufts community; their knowledge and relationships undoubtedly better our campus and this country. Not only will the proposed rule result in an incredible loss of opportunity, but it will ultimately fragment communities integral to the growth of this country.
To alleviate student stress in the face of prevailing academic challenges, Tufts must extend its exceptional pass/fail (EP/F) policy to the spring semester in order to continue its trend of empathy and academic flexibility in this time of pervasive uncertainty and volatility.