Fall 2012: A semester in review
Published: Monday, December 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 10, 2012 15:12
A film studies major may soon debut at Tufts, due to the efforts of faculty in the Communications and Media Studies program, the Department of Drama and Dance and the International Letters and Visual Studies program. Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences Nancy Bauer aims to hire a tenure-track professor to help jumpstart creation of the major.
Next semester the university will commence the Tufts Effectiveness in Administrative Management project, working with University President Anthony Monaco’s 10-year strategic plan. The project aims to analyze and improve the administrative structure at Tufts.
Monaco this semester initiated a 10-year strategic plan to refresh and redefine the Tufts experience. Along with Provost and Senior Vice President David Harris, Monaco has created committees and working groups to shape the content of the plan.
The Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center opened Sept. 1, completing the first of several phases to overhaul the Medford/Somerville campus’ athletic facilities. The three-story building features over 70 new exercise machines.
Tufts’ School of Medicine announced plans to build a biosafety level 3 laboratory in the existing Arnold Wing of the Biomedical Research and Public Health Building. Students and faculty will use the area specifically for tuberculosis research and the new lab will include state-of-the-art equipment such as an air filtration system and backup generators.
Renovations to Tisch Library will take place after focus groups announce their proposed changes to the building. Suggestions so far include a system to reserve group study rooms, as well as adding more desktop computers.
Cohen Auditorium will undergo renovations this summer, including the installation of a new projector and lectern and more wheelchair accessable seating.
The administration began writing a five-year capital plan to outline future maintenance and construction projects at each school. Plans include upgrading existing athletic facilities and constructing a science building on the Medford/Somerville campus.
Activism on the Hill
The Responsible Endowment Collective, a student group concerned with the university’s endowment investment profile, met with members of the administration to discuss the possibility of ceasing investment in companies on the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s list of 200 publicly traded oil, gas and coal companies. The group has met with difficulty, as the university invests the endowment through fund managers and is unable to name the carbon companies in which it invests.
The Sustainable Action Squad, a branch of the Tufts Sustainability Collective, is submitting a proposal for an Environmental House on campus. If the Office of Residential Life and Learning accepts the proposal, the house will be used to show films and host environmentally themed events.
Hot topics on the Hill
An external attorney was hired by the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) to investigate claims that Tufts students yelled sexist insults during a Sept. 21 women’s volleyball game against Smith College. The OEO opted for an external attorney, given the situation’s gravity and the involvement of another university.
Tufts Christian Fellowship’s (TCF) recognition was temporarily suspended by the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Judiciary in September under the stipulation that TCF change its constitution so as not to exclude students from leadership based on their beliefs. TCF submitted a revised constitution in October, but the Judiciary still found it to be discriminatory and the group lost its recognition. TCF brought the case to the Committee on Student Life (CSL), which this month ruled that TCF will remain “conditionally recognized.” The CSL developed a new policy that allows student religious groups to apply for exemption from the university nondiscrimination policy.
The Board of Trustees revoked Lance Armstrong’s honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in light of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s findings that he had used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. The university awarded Armstrong the degree at Commencement in 2006.
TCU Senate brings new initiatives to the table
Tufts Community Union (TCU) President Wyatt Cadley, a senior, this semester developed a new Community Outreach Liaison position within the Senate to facilitate communication between students living off campus and the local community and city governments.