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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

MisCONceptions: Come to ‘The Spectator’

The NESCACs gain a new outlet for discourse.


Editor’s note: MisCONceptions is a column with four contributors. This article was written by João Ribeiro.

The MisCONceptions column was founded to allow students to articulate positions not generally shared on campus. Since its founding, groups beyond conservatives have struggled to have their freedom of discourse protected. In February — almost as a prelude to what the current campus climate has become — an Israel-Palestine event was disrupted by protestors. Earlier in the fall, derogatory terms towards the Black and Asian communities were painted on the Tufts cannon. And one must not forget the disruptions that occurred during an abortion debate hosted by the Federalist Society this semester. These events are symptoms that are not only present in Medford but also across our region.

While we are used to looking at the Ivy League schools and their issues, our fellow NESCACs, like Bates and Williams, also suffer from similar problems. The reason behind the continued disruptions and lack of dialogue is a topic for a different article. However, I would guess that it has to do with the inaction by these colleges’ administrations in the wake of the stifling of free and healthy discourse on campus. Nonetheless, these many occurrences inhibit students from sharing their full opinions, hosting a debate or learning new ideas that may or may not be rejected.

The absence of genuine dialogue is not only a problem for Jumbos. That is why the solution by the authors of this column goes beyond our previous efforts. We are proposing a new publication for all of the NESCAC schools that will nurture freedom of discourse across the ideological spectrum: The New England Spectator.

We hope to build an outlet for student curiosity and combat the intellectual solitude that results from the fear of being overly criticized for ideas that are still being developed. The author of this article has experienced both the warmth of the Tufts community and the contempt of targeted protests and Sidechat posts. In an ideal world, a student who attends a liberal arts college should not be afraid to explore divergent ideas. However, faced with reality, the least that can be done is to build a community where students can dare to explore what they are interested in — whether it be politics, philosophy, literature, law or even satire. The Spectator can be a home for you. Give it, and yourself, a chance, and show those around you how many misconceptions they genuinely have.