Editorial: 2019–20 in review

As the 2019–20 academic year comes to a close, we recognize the change, passion and advocacy of our community’s responses. The Daily seeks to reflect this spirit throughout its pages and specifically within the Opinion section. We aim to capture the vibrant conversations and important issues on our campus, painting a comprehensive picture of how life on the Hill should be.

In pursuit of this goal, we addressed the disheartening events on and around the Tufts campus this year. After multiple discriminatory acts of white nationalism, antisemitism, homophobia and anti-black racism occurred in our community, we condemned this trend as discriminatory and ignorant, calling on the university to address and prevent this hate within our community. Similarly, we emphasized the importance of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and continued support for sexual assault survivors in the face of harmful Title IX amendments and threat to DACA.

This pursuit of student safety transferred to other editorial points such as those considering student health. We urged Tufts to designate more funding and resources to its SafeRide service, which provides those who feel unsafe walking alone at night with a reliable transportation option. We argued that Tufts must foster wellness by expanding the hours and resources of Health Service and Counseling and Mental Health Services, improving gym facilities and increasing options for fitness classes. Ultimately, ensuring student safety means preserving community health.

A large part of preserving this wellness lies in fostering an equitable institution as a whole. The Editorial Board addressed the harmful financial inequities entrenched within the university, discussing unreasonable textbook fees, laundry costs and tiered housing. However, equity proves important for all community members, not only the student body. This ideal fueled our discussion of gender parity pay and respecting our Medford/Somerville community.

Issues of academic fairness span throughout our campus as well, leading to our coverage of the inequity within the Semester Hour Unit, drop deadline, distribution requirement and credit-transfer systems. Similar problems also lie within the very structures of our university; the juxtaposition of the crumbling Eaton Hall and stunning Science and Engineering Complex draws attention to the need for equity within all academic disciplines.

Editorial coverage also surrounded principal decisions made by the university. Given its action regarding environmental issues, we emphasized the need for the Joyce Cummings Center to be LEED certified, and we voiced our support for university action on fossil fuel divestment with the creation of the Responsible Investment Advisory Group. We gave additional praise to the university for its decision to cut ties with the Sackler family, given its link to the opioid crisis.

However, not all action of the Tufts administration warranted positive response. The lawsuit presented by Tufts University School of Medicine faculty highlighted the need for preserving academic and financial freedom within the university’s compensation plan and research space allocation guidelines. The Editorial Board emphasized the need to restore the previous compensation plan to uphold values of trust, transparency and academic freedom.

This content reflects our goals listening to community voices, pursuing engaged citizenship and creating widespread discussion about the issues important to our campus. Even in the face of unprecedented adversity, we remained committed to drawing attention to the way the crisis affects all students and how our university can support us in the face of these issues. Our coverage during these trying times acts as a testament to our everlasting commitment to the Tufts community, no matter the circumstances. Although the future remains uncertain, our content does not. We are fully bound to the mission of lifting up voices and creating an atmosphere of hope, discussion and unfaltering dedication to our community — one of strength, advocacy and resilience that we have the honor of being a part of.