“What makes Tufts a community for you?”
When I think about my answer to this question, my mind immediately goes back to about a year ago, when members of Tufts and its surrounding neighbors came together to gather on the Academic Quad for our annual Tufts Community Day. I remember watching a variety of our talented student groups perform, taking pictures with Jumbo to send to my mom and talking to dining workers I recognized who came out to celebrate our Tufts community.
My dad had traveled to spend the weekend with me, and as we sat down to find a table to eat our delicious Dewick-style burgers, we started talking to a couple who was living in the Medford area.
The couple told us about how when they moved to Medford over 40 years ago, Tufts was tiny. In the years that followed, they saw an enormous growth of both the landscape and the community of the school. As they told their stories, I understood that the Tufts community extends far past the boundaries of our campus. Locally, nationally and globally, the impact that Jumbos have is expressed through our countless stories and experiences.
In this issue, we tell just a few of the many stories of how members of the Jumbo family have found community at Tufts. By no means are the stories told in this issue meant to be all-encompassing — everyone at Tufts has a unique experience, and it is the duty of any student newspaper to capture these stories today and every day. Rather, this issue is an invitation to reflect upon how we can continue to foster community even when we can’t see each other face to face. Thoughtful inclusivity is particularly crucial for our first-years, transfer students and students studying remotely.
With this in mind, for the rest of the semester, the Daily invites our readers to submit a Letter to the Editor answering the following prompt: “What makes Tufts a community for you?”
Letters to the Editor, which are traditionally 150–300 words long, are a great way to use your voice to openly respond to content in the Daily. Our hope is that with your responses to the prompt, not only will we get to capture community in a unique way, but someone who may be searching for community at Tufts may be able to find it too.
As for me, I’ve found a caring and supportive community at the Daily. Coming into college, I barely understood what a newspaper was comprised of, thinking even less that I’d ever be a part of one. So when one of the members of the managing board warmly welcomed me to the Daily and asked which section I’d like to be a part of, I committed to the first section that came into my head: “Sports!”
Looking back at it, my spur-of-the-moment decision to join the Sports (or as we like to call it, “Sprots”) section was one of the best ones I could have made as a first-year. I have my executive sports editor at the time, YJ Chee, to thank for that. He accompanied me to my first interviews, giving me notes afterward, and some of my favorite memories at Tufts involve going to women’s basketball games together.
To this day, I still have a copy of every paper I’ve written in for Sports, and the Sports section Rookie of the Semester Award that I received during cocktails of my first year hangs proudly on my wall.
As time has gone by, the Daily has been a place where I’ve found community time and time again from a variety of people. From watching 49ers games in the basement of Curtis Hall to celebrating our 40th anniversary with our network of devoted alumni, the support I’ve received from the Daily has empowered me and inspired me with memories I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. For that, I am grateful, and I welcome anybody who would like to find community at the Daily to reach out at any time.
Finally, if you’re someone who’s looking for community on campus, I suggest reaching out to any of the leaders of our 300+ clubs. The great thing about Tufts is that no matter what, there’s always a place for you, and the people you’ll meet here are eager to welcome you home.