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.
Without ways to gather outside in the colder months, students and community members will turn to socializing and eating indoors. To sustain recent progress with containing the spread of COVID-19, Tufts must provide students with more options to socialize as winter nears.
In addition to a long-term, structural review of computer science curriculum, the task force should also conduct a more immediate, semester-long investigation of the computer science workload caused by the pandemic.
Before the start of next semester, the university must clearly communicate cohort lists to both residents and RAs. Additionally, the Office of Residential Life and Learning should offer more resources and support to RAs in the process of training and adapting to cohorts. This could include hiring alternative university employees who are responsible for enforcing cohort systems and social distancing within dorms.
Sacrificing a longer spring break will negatively affect the mental health and academic performance of Tufts students. Tufts should reassess breaks within the spring semester schedule in order to provide students with sufficient time off and mediate community stress.