Dining hall workers and students celebrate the winning vote for the unionization of dining hall workers at Chase Center on April 24. Christine Lee / The Tufts Daily

News roundup: Top stories from this year

The 2017–2018 academic year was an eventful one at Tufts. The following is a rundown of the biggest stories on the Hill this year.

September

Tufts’ first-ever Blue and Brown Pass Down sale during move-in gave students moving in discounted prices on donations from students moving out the previous year.

The Tufts Disorientation Guide was removed from the official Tufts University Class of 2020 and 2021 Facebook pages by Tufts administration officials in response to complaints received by the administration about the content of the guide.

Students gathered to protest the current presidential administration’s cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Following months of study on the Greek life system and undergraduate student life, the Student Life Review Committee released its exhaustive final report.

October

Delta Tau Delta (DTD), Pi Rho Omega, Alpha Phi and Chi Omega recruited new members for the first time since fall 2016 after the university lifted cease and desist orders on the organizations.

Tufts Center for Awareness, Resources and Education (CARE) introduced a new program, Sex Health Reps, with the goal to provide peer-to-peer sex health education.

November

Carter Banker, a second-year Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) candidate at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, started a petition to remove former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (LA ’86) from The Fletcher School’s Board of Advisors.

Stephanie Burke was re-elected mayor of Medford and Joseph Curtatone was re-elected mayor of Somerville.

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate passed a resolution pressuring the university to provide more gender-neutral bathrooms.

Scaramucci resigned from his position on the Fletcher School Board of Advisors.

December

The Budget Overview for 2017 revealed that the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering (AS&E) had to pay off $10 million in outstanding debt in fiscal year 2018 against a total of $161 million in outstanding debt.

University administrators held a Budget Transparency Town Hall during which they fielded questions about the university budget and current debt.

January

The Medford Zoning Board of Appeals approved plans for Community Housing (CoHo), a cluster of houses owned by Tufts that will be available as housing options for juniors and seniors starting in the fall.

The Office of Residential Life and Learning (ResLife) designated the house occupied by the former AOII Delta chapter as transfer student housing for the 2018–2019 academic year. This decision followed the AOII national Executive Board’s withdrawal of the charter for Tufts’ AOII chapter in December. 

February

Prompted by a TCU Senate resolution submitted by Class of 2021 Senator Sharif Hamidi, the faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering voted to extend the pass/fail deadline to 10 weeks into the semester for sophomores, juniors and seniors on Feb. 7.

Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate passed a resolution calling for the separation of the Asian American House and the Asian American Center. Starting in the fall, Asian American identity-based housing will be separate from the center.

Former Vice President Al Gore visited Tufts in an event hosted by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series. Gore warned attendees about climate change and discussed steps individuals can take to mitigate its consequences.

The Office for Student Success and Advising (OSSA) worked with student communities to implement two new resources for low-income, undocumented and first-generation students: a first-generation center, called the F1rst Center, and BEAST (Building Engagement and Access for Students at Tufts), a new pre-orientation program.

Provost and Senior Vice President David Harris announced that he will be leaving Tufts to become the president of Union College in July 2018.

The Board of Trustees officially approved a new data science major in the School of Engineering, to become available next fall. According to Dean of the School of Engineering Jianmin Qu, this new major results from recent initiatives for progressive data science research and education.

March

Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center began opening half an hour earlier Mondays through Fridays to accommodate School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts (SMFA) students’ schedules.

The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy hosted former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin for this year’s Issam M. Fares Lecture. De Villepin spoke about the viability of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tufts Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) tabled in Mayer Campus Center on March 28, encouraging Jewish students not to go on Birthright trips to Israel. The tabling is part of the JVP national organization’s #ReturnTheBirthright campaign.

April

On April 4, several hundred dining workers and Tufts students rallied in support of dining workers’ attempts to unionize with UNITE HERE Local 26, a union that represents hospitality workers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Dining Service workers voted to unionize three weeks later.

Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine hosted its annual “Israeli Apartheid Week,” and Tufts Students for Two States hosted its inaugural “Two States Week,” continuing campus dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The admissions office received 21,502 applications, a record-high number, for the Class of 2022, and offered spots to 3,140 applicants. 

Dean of Arts and Sciences James Glaser and Dean of the School of Engineering Jianmin Qu announced that tuition is expected to rise to $70,941 for next year. Tufts Student Action responded with a rally. The tuition hike, coupled with new data released by the Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation (OIRE), sparked continued discourse on Tufts’ socioeconomic climate.

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