Letter from the Editor in Chief: Looking back and looking forward

Welcome back students, faculty and staff! My name is Megan Szostak, and I am the Editor in Chief of The Tufts Daily this spring. Like those of you returning to campus, I have spent the last several days in arrival quarantine, basking in the final moments of winter break and getting ready to don a pair of blue-light glasses for the Zoom-filled months to come. I would like to use this letter both as a means to formally introduce myself and to inform you of how our paper will be reporting on our community and serving you this semester. Through efforts being made across all of our Editorial, Production and Business departments, we remain committed to producing quality, daily content despite any obstacles that might come our way.

Last semester, the Daily was able to continue with our — albeit often virtual — cycle of daily production, and we served our community as best we could. Our fall semester was set against one of the most turbulent backdrops in recent history, and many of us were deeply affected. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread and affected the Tufts community, we reported on the university’s efforts to keep the community safe, while also addressing what needed to change through Op-eds and Editorials. In November, this country saw Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala D. Harris emerge democratically victorious in the 59th U.S. Presidential Election; many Tufts students engaged with this election through voting, poll working and phone banking. Movements for racial justice in the United States, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, have played prominent roles in this country and in public and political discourse over the past several months. Reporters at the Daily had the opportunity to cover several Tufts groups — such as Tufts Action Group and Another Tufts is Possible — that engaged in advocacy last semester and identified both the university’s successes and shortfalls in its response to racial injustice. 

This spring, our commitment to covering timely, essential and poignant issues affecting our community will not waver. We strive to be inclusive of all members of our community in our reporting, to rely greatly on our readers for feedback on how we can improve in our reporting and management and to consider both inclusivity and intentionality to be of the utmost importance in our publication and operation. If there is something that you believe we can improve upon, we encourage you to contact us directly; if you would like to directly respond to any of our published content, we encourage you to submit a Letter to the Editor. 

As for our Editorial department, in a continuation of an initiative pioneered by last semester’s Managing Board, you will see the return of special editions of the Daily, which, providing public health guidelines permit, will be printed and distributed to a number of on-campus locations. 

Our first special edition of the semester will be released on Feb. 25 and will celebrate the Daily’s 41st anniversary. “Daily Week” has traditionally been a celebratory week at our newspaper, where we look back to our past and celebrate our progress, and look to the future and make plans of action to improve our reporting and management. 

Coming up next will be an edition reflecting on the year since students were first sent home last March. While this year has not been easy, “COVID-19 at Tufts: The Year in Review” will highlight the remarkable resilience of our community and recognize the innumerous groups and individuals on our campus that have acted as “lights on our Hill” during this time. 

In April, we will celebrate those who were accepted to Tufts as a part of the Class of 2025 in a “Jumbo Month” special edition — a variation on the annual “Jumbo Days” which, in a typical year, are held in April to welcome the newest class to our campus. This edition of the Daily will shine a spotlight on the Class of 2025 and feature Tufts-related content to inform incoming first-years about our university. Our semester and our special edition series will conclude with our annual Commencement issue, which will honor the Class of 2021. 

As for our operations, the Daily will continue to run in a manner modified to strictly adhere to COVID-19 guidelines given to us by the university and by the state. Our printing schedule and distribution practices have been adapted accordingly, and our production process will, for the time being, be conducted virtually on our Discord server. 

I am immensely proud of and grateful to all who have worked so hard to keep the Daily running during this tumultuous time. To our entire staff: thank you for your commitment to upholding our role of being “where you read it first” for all things Tufts — I revel in the opportunity to spend this semester with you.

Pax et Lux,

Megan Szostak

Editor in Chief, Spring 2021