A year in review: top stories of 2013-2014

Students take in the fireworks at the first ever Fall Gala in 2013. Nicholas Pfosi / Tufts University

Last year, the Tufts community saw a number of changes and developments on the Hill, ranging from revisions of its sexual assault policy to the replacement of Fall Ball with Fall Gala. Below are some of the biggest stories from the 2013-2014 academic year.

The university revised its drug and alcohol policy with the addition of a Good Samaritan policy and an Amnesty clause that took effect at the beginning of the academic year. Under the Good Samaritan policy, students seeking assistance for themselves or their peers will not face disciplinary action. Under the Amnesty clause, students will not face judicial sanctions for up to two emergency medical interventions in response to substance abuse.

Tufts Programming Board replaced Fall Ball with Fall Gala after logistical concerns in planning the event. Fall Gala, which was held outside on the Academic Quad, featured live entertainment, a photo booth and food. The restructured event was considered a success and will be repeated this year.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia came to campus to deliver the 17th and final lecture in the Richard E. Snyder President’s Lecture Series. The event was marked by student protests outside of the Gantcher Center over the selection of Scalia as a speaker.

The university waived its $70 application fee for Somerville High School and Medford High School students in an effort to increase accessibility to Tufts for members of the local community. The school also committed $1.375 million to both communities over the next five years.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions announced its decision to accept the Universal College Application in addition to the Common Application (Common App) and extend its Early Decision I deadline in response to technical issues last year with the Common App.

The Board of Trustees approved the 45-page T10 Strategic Plan, which creates a framework of the university’s goals over the next 10 years. The plan, which was announced in October 2012, focuses on improving the student experience, providing the necessary resources for faculty, renewing the schools’ commitment to active citizenship, enhancing financial aid and establishing more cross-departmental collaboration through Bridge Professorships.

Tufts’ new kosher deli, later named Pax et Lox Kosher Deli, opened its doors to the Tufts community.

Tufts Dance Collective restructured its performance schedule following a December show that was stopped prematurely after the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) responded to numerous medical emergency calls.

Tufts Dining Services offered new late-night dining options beginning last semester. The Commons Deli and Grill began accepting late-night meal swipes from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., but later changed the closing time to 1 a.m. after reports of rowdy behavior.

Associate Provost and Professor of Medicine Mary Lee officially stepped down from her post after 27 years at Tufts to accept a position at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Medicine.

The Committee on Student Life announced that it was reversing its December 2012 “justified departure” policy and was now requiring all student organizations to comply with the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Judiciary’s non-discrimination policy.

The university’s student health insurance plan announced its intended expansion to cover gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatments starting this academic year.

Arianna Huffington delivered a speech on modern media for the ninth annual Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues in Journalism.

Robert Joseph was elected the next TCU President on a platform of continued improvement of campus sexual assault policy, reforms to policies in the Office of Residential Life and Learning and improved student access to public transportation. He defeated opponent Andrew Núñez with 65 percent of the vote after a more than 12-hour delay in the release of final results due to technical issues with the voting system.

President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame spoke on the Hill to share his reflections on the 20th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsis.

Changes to the university’s sexual assault policy took effect at the end of the academic year, in response to notification from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) that Tufts’ sexual assault policy was not in compliance with Title IX. The OCR’s notification prompted a campus protest in which more than 100 students marched outside the Medford/Somerville campus’ administrative offices in Ballou Hall. University President Anthony Monaco announced that he made 22 changes to Tufts’ policy, including sexual assault training for all students, faculty and staff on all three of the university’s campuses and the hiring of both a confidential coordinator and an education specialist.

Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Joanne Berger-Sweeney officially left Tufts this summer to become the 22nd President of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. Former Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of Arts and Sciences James Glaser will serve as dean ad interim of the School of Arts and Sciences as the search for a new dean continues into the academic year.