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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, May 25, 2024

Headlines from the Hill

Ballou Hall is pictured on Sept. 14, 2021.

Tufts aims to purchase former Zeta Psi building at 80 Professors Row

Zeta Psi, which currently owns the more than 150-year-old building, planned to demolish the old fraternity house; however, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission effectively denied the fraternity permission to demolish the house, unanimously deeming it “historically significant” during a March 7 meeting.

The Tufts chapter of Zeta Psi was disbanded in 2021 following several COVID-19 policy violations; however, the national fraternity still owns the house on Professors Row. Rocco DiRico, executive director of government and community relations at Tufts, said during the public meeting that the university now intends to purchase the building.

“Tufts University has been negotiating in good faith with the owners of 80 Professors Row for months,” DiRico said during the commission meeting. “Tufts intends to use this property to provide more on-campus housing for our undergraduate students.”

Tufts Public Safety has a new comfort dog

A highly trained black Labrador puppy will be available as a mental health resource for students through the Tufts Department of Public Safety. She will be able to interact with students who need comfort after experiencing a traumatic event, and she can recognize when students and other members of the community are hesitant to interact with her and will be respectful of their boundaries.

The puppy is a rescue dog trained by Hero Pups, a nonprofit which works to match veterans and first responders with comfort dogs. The puppy and her handler, Officer Rob Moschella, will attend various campus events as representatives of Tufts Department of Public Safety. As part of her introduction, students can vote on the dog’s name on the TDPS website.

Green Exercise Initiative installs energy-producing treadmill

The Green Exercise Initiative installed an energy-producing treadmill in the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center last weekend after four students — juniors Olivia Landau and Aoife Schmitt and seniors Marcus Hardy and Evan Ensslin — proposed the project for an engineering management class.

“And at the end of our class, our professor told us that the project is actually feasible,” Landau, the project leader, said. 

The group was awarded $5,382 by the Green Fund to purchase, ship and install the treadmill at the fitness center. Energy produced by the treadmill will result in a profit of $138 per year, and depending on the success of the pilot project, Tufts Athletics may explore the possibility of replacing all gym equipment with energy-producing equivalents. 

Landau said that the goal of the project is to make students more conscious of their energy usage.

“Hopefully, by using our treadmill, students will realize how much effort it really takes to produce energy,” she said.