One common struggle, among the myriad that RAs have faced this year, has been social isolation. In the fall, RAs were unique among students on campus in that they were typically considered "cohorts of one" rather than members of larger residential cohorts like most students; the end of the cohort system before the spring semester, however, did not spell the end of the social toll that comes with being an RA during a pandemic.
It is particularly important that our community play an active role in combating this crisis because Tufts itself benefited from the profits made by Purdue Pharma. As the Sackler family faced criticism for its marketing tactics, its members tried to build more positive reputations as patrons of museums and universities, including Tufts, which has received roughly $15 million from the family since 1980.
These acts of violence and hate are unacceptable, as are the ways in which Asian Americans have faced social and legal discrimination for over 150 years. Moving forward, it is urgent that Tufts evaluate how it, as an institution, can better serve the Asian American communities on and off campus. Furthermore, as members of the Tufts community, it is our responsibility to combat anti-Asian racism and foster an inclusive, safe environment.
With every day that goes by, it seems less likely that we will ever “return to normal” — any post-pandemic world will be radically different than the one we left behind a year ago. So as we reflect on all that we’ve lost in the past year, we should also take a moment to think about what kind of new “normal” we want to create for the years ahead.
Tufts' workstream report fails to offer guidance on the status of arming TUPD officers, only recommending the creation of a new working group to revisit the issue. Pushing this off to yet another working group represents an excessive delay, as every day that goes by with armed officers present on campus brings risk of violent escalation in TUPD-student interactions. In light of this, it matters that Tufts take swifter action to create a gun-free campus, and, hopefully, engage in a broader reevaluation of what service TUPD should actually provide.
Each time the state enters a new phase, Tufts should directly reach out to the most vulnerable of its eligible students and employees before resorting to a first-come, first-served basis among all who are eligible.
This latest act from the university is laudable, but even it does not do justice to the scale of climate change as a threat. Echoing the long-standing demands of student activists, we urge the administration to go further and pursue complete divestment from all direct and indirect holdings in the fossil fuel industry.
If we as Tufts students are to live up to the principles of active citizenship that our university so frequently espouses, it is our responsibility to learn about the history infused into the land of our community. Taking part in these activities is a powerful way to study that history.
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.