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Fall 2012: A semester in review

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 10, 2012 15:12

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Virginia Bledsoe / The Tufts Daily

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the new Africana studies major. The resolution includes a series of recommendations for the development of the major, including an introduction course and additional funding. 

The body passed a resolution that recommends additional safety measures at the intersection of Packard Avenue and Powderhouse Boulevard after a student was hit by a motor vehicle at the intersection in November. 

The Senate also unanimously passed a resolution in support of need-blind admissions, although acknowledging that prospects for such a policy are low at this time.

 

Cage Rage held, cancels WinterFest

The indie-rock band Cold War Kids headlined the third annual Cage Rage Concert on Saturday, with Guards performing as the opening act. 

WinterFest, which was held for the first time last year as a replacement for Naked Quad Run (NQR), did not take place due to a lack of student interest. WinterFest last year featured inflatable attractions and food trucks, with $24,000 of funding allocated toward the weekend-long event.

 

Going digital on the Hill, new plans for SIS

 

The Integrated Student Information System (iSIS) Project, which will replace the current SIS, entered its second of three phases this February. 

The new system is slated for completion in time for course registration next fall. It is indended to feature a more modern interface.

The university made the switch from paper to online course evaluations this semester, a process that has been in the works since the 2009-2010 academic year. 

Although the online evaluations contain the same questions as the paper evaluations, the move is expected to increase the efficiency of processing and accessing of data.

Emphasis on safety

 

This semester marked the debut of a revamped safety escort service on the Medford/Somerville campus. The Department of Public and Environmental Safety introduced GoSafe, an updated version of the former Safe Ride, to focus on students concerned about their safety between destinations, rather than students seeking alternative transportation.

Public Safety made public its plans to install a video security system on all three Tufts campuses, beginning in January 2013. The cameras, to be installed in plain sight, are aimed at crime deterrence. Community meetings held by DPES revealed some students’ opposition to the system’s implementation for privacy reasons.

This September, a Tufts student was sexually assaulted upon exiting the Jackson Photo Lab in the Aidekman Arts Center at a late hour. Tufts University Police Department officers that night apprehended the assailant in South Hall. The Somerville resident, unaffiliated with the university, was charged with indecent assault and battery and trespassing by Somerville Police. The incident brought renewed community focus on sexual assault prevention.

Hurricane Sandy caused minor wind and flood damage to the Tufts campuses because of administrative preparedness and abated storm conditions upon arrival in the region. The university canceled classes for one day due to unsafe weather conditions. The Grafton campus lost power for two days, but the Medford/Somerville campus only experienced minor electricity loss and a number of fallen tree limbs.

There was increased attention to pedestrian safety on and around campus after a student was struck by a car and hospitalized on Nov. 8 at the intersection of Powderhouse Boulevard and Packard Avenue. The City of Somerville, with input from Tufts Public Safety, responded to the accident by placing a speed radar sign, pedestrian crossing signs and a new LED traffic light at the intersection. The incident was the most recent of several pedestrian accidents at the intersection over the past several years.

Policy revisions

 

The university this summer revised the Sexual Misconduct Adjudication Process and created a new Sexual Misconduct Policy. The new policy uses gender-neutral and sexual orientation-neutral language and includes definitions of stalking, relationship violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The Department of Public and Environmental Safety updated its disaster preparedness guidelines, creating protocols for dealing with hurricanes, extreme heat and winter storms. The new guidelines devote an entire section to power outages, rather than counting them with other natural disasters.

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