Spring 2012: A semester in review
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 08:04
Active citizenship on the Hill
The KONY 2012 campaign hit the Hill this semester as it did across the country, with Tufts’ chapter of Invisible Children organizing a lecture by a survivor of Joseph Kony’s regime who spoke about his experience.
Two Tufts student organizations, Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Tufts Friends of Israel (FOI), were the source of frequent debate on campus. Each group hosted a weeklong series of events, called Israeli Apartheid Week and Israel Peace Week, respectively. The groups throughout the semester also organized and sponsored various other events and lectures.
Members of SJP confronted several Tufts Community Union (TCU) senators about an advertisement in the Daily in early March featuring several TCU senators pledging their support for the U.S.-Israel relationship, which SJP members said violated a Senate bylaw forbidding senators from using the Senate’s name to promote causes not approved by the body as a whole. However, the TCU Judiciary ruled at a hearing later in the month that no bylaws had been breached.
SJP members walked out of a lecture by Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren while wearing red tape across their mouths. Protest participants said they were carrying out an act of “civil disobedience” rather than walking away from dialogue.
The Tufts Occupiers continued their efforts from last semester, including organizing a kiss-in protest in Boston with other members of Students Occupy Boston to protest student loan debt.
Most recently, at the Karl Rove lecture sponsored by the Tufts Republicans, students protested by staging a waterboarding re-enactment. They said they took fault with Rove’s involvement in torture under the Bush administration.
Distinguished individuals visit the Hill
Well-known scholar, activist and advocate for global and domestic civil rights Cornel West spoke about the need for democratic and social reform as part of the Faculty Progressive Caucus’ American Democracy in Crisis Series.
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren visited the Hill to discuss the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party John Walsh visited the Hill to participate in the College Democrats of Massachusetts’ annual Winter Summit, hosted by Tufts Democrats.
Father Patrick Desbois spoke about his search for unidentified mass graves from the Holocaust.
Lois Gibbs, an environmental activist that spearheaded the Love Canal campaign, spoke about the intersection between environmental activism and the media.
President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson visited the Hill for a two-day dialogue concerning government, business and media leaders from the eight Arctic Council countries.
After the Tufts Republicans announced that Herman Cain had canceled his appearance set for earlier this month, the group booked Karl Rove, former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, who last week spoke about his White House career.
NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Brian Williams discussed his career, entertainment journalism and the upcoming elections last week for the seventh annual Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues in Journalism.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will give a lecture tonight on immigration reform at 8:00 p.m. in Cohen Auditorium as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Merrin Distinguished Lecture Series.
More administrative changes on the Hill
David Harris, senior associate dean at Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, beginning this summer will assume the position of university provost and senior vice president. The position was vacated last summer by Jamshed Bharucha and is currently filled on an interim basis by Vice Provost Peggy Newell.
Eric Johnson, former executive director of development, assumed the position of vice president for university advancement this month. He had previously held the position on an interim basis after former Senior Vice President for University Advancement Brian Lee left to fulfill a position at California Institute of Technology in March.