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.
With its extensive preventative measures and realistic risk evaluation, Tufts provides a clear example that a community can effectively control the pandemic. This standard of diligence is possible and must extend beyond Tufts’ campus to other universities in the Boston Area.
We urge the Tufts community to comply with the state mandate and get vaccinated as soon as possible. We owe it not only to university health officials who have worked diligently to keep those of us on campus safe, but to the surrounding Medford and Somerville communities as well.
Holding classes on Nov. 3 seems out of character for a university that prides itself on civic and political engagement and poses significant barriers to participate in the presidential election for Tufts students and staff.
First-year and transfer students are vital to Tufts; they offer essential perspectives to the growth of our community. It is crucial that we make an active effort to support these students as they navigate both the adversity and excitement of uncovering what the Hill has to offer, now and for years to come.
Dining hall workers are essential and valued members of our community, and they are entitled to safe and fair working conditions. As Tufts Dining adapts to the conditions of the pandemic, it must also prioritize the health and well-being of its workers. As members of the Tufts community, we must continue to stand in solidarity with dining staff members and urge administrators to meet their concerns and needs.
We must start with a community-wide re-evaluation of the role that TUPD has on our campus. Tufts must defund TUPD and significantly downsize police operations. Furthermore, TUPD needs to reform its protocol for responding to nonviolent incidents and prioritize de-escalation strategies that do not subject individuals to unfair questioning techniques.