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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

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The Setonian
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Dining Services works to maintain quality, prices

    This article is the third in a four-part series about how the recession has affected different parts of the university.     As the economic situation remains gloomy, students are buying fewer high-end food products, utilizing the dining halls more and spending less on food in general. But Dining Services is trying to ensure that empty pockets do not result in empty stomachs.     The recession impacted campus food services noticeably "across the board," influencing customers, employees and vendors, and Dining Services has made cuts to try to keep prices down while ensuring food quality, according to Associate Director of Dining Services Ralph Perrotto.     "It certainly impacts the way our customers choose to spend money," Perrotto said. "Since we're customer-focused, we need to do a lot of adapting."     While food prices in general have been increasing for nearly a year, prices on campus have remained unchanged. In fact, Dining Services has begun to offer lower-cost options in the campus center, including a ten-item value menu in the Commons, with the hope of appealing to more customers.     But even though Dining Services has worked to keep food prices on campus consistent, campus eateries like Brown and Brew, Tower Café and those located in the Mayer Campus Center have all experienced decreases in business, according to Perrotto.     Brown and Brew has been hit the hardest, he said, explaining that a combination of causes, including the eatery's location and uncooperative weather have impacted revenue. Perrotto added that the effects are compounded by "the fact folks are spending less to begin with."     Students have begun decreasing their use of JumboCash, especially toward the purchase of more expensive, luxury food products. Sales of higher-end goods — such as sushi, Odwalla products and all-natural vegetarian meals available at a number of eateries — have declined. On the other hand, the number of students enrolling in meal plans this semester has increased, Perrotto said.     He could not say, however, whether this change was a result of the economic downturn or of this year's changes to the meal plan structure.     To combat the decrease in business, Dining Services has followed multiple strategies, including looking carefully at decisions regarding which products it should buy, reigning in costs by suspending certain services and making staff adjustments.     A food cart in the Tufts building at 80 George Street and a small lunchroom in the Tufts Administration Building were closed over break. In addition, the faculty and staff luncheon buffet service in the Chase Center in Carmichael Hall was suspended this month.     Dining Services has not laid off any of its employees, but the department has made changes to employees' hours and locations. "We may have employees who typically work in one operation on campus working in other operations depending on where the customer flow is at that time," Perrotto said.     The recession's reach is not limited to dining on campus though; student business at several restaurants that are part of the Merchant Off-Campus Partners (MOPs) system has declined as well.     At Andrea's House of Pizza in Watertown, business in general has slowed down almost 30 percent due to the economic downturn, according to owner Bob Iliopoulos. Business from Tufts students is down by about 15 percent from last year, he told the Daily, attributing the smaller decline to the fact that Tufts students continue to make purchases using JumboCash.     Zeynep Sutlu, a manager at Wing Works in Somerville, has seen an even greater decrease in student business. "There's definitely probably like a 40 to 50 percent difference in the sales totals from last year to this year from Tufts students," he told the Daily.



The Setonian
News

TuftsLife launches revamped site

When students launched their Web browsers Monday night, something unexpected greeted them: "TuftsLife 2.1," the newly revamped version of Tufts' popular informational Web site.


The Setonian
News

Visiting the Hill

WEDNESDAY "Beyond Politics: Voices from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" Details: A panel of students will speak about their personal experiences living amidst conflict in the Middle East, and an open discussion will follow. This is the third installment in a collaborative effort among student groups following the conflict in the Gaza Strip in southern Israel. When and Where: 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Crane Room, Paige Hall Sponsors: The New Initiative for Middle East Peace, Arab Student Association, Pathways, Tufts Friends of Israel, Muslim Student Association, and Tufts Hillel "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Celebration" Details: A celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work and legacy will include a presentation by Wayne Budd, a former U.S. associate attorney general. When and Where: 5:15 p.m.; Goddard Chapel Sponsors: Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Office of Institutional Diversity, the Africana Center, the Office of the University Chaplains, the Protestant Chaplaincy, the Catholic Center, Tufts Hillel, Peace and Justice Studies department, Office of Equal Opportunity THURSDAY "EPIIC Film Series: WALL·e" Details: The first installment of a film series preceding the upcoming 2009 EPIIC International Symposium on Global Cities. The popular movie "WALL·E" will be shown. When and Where: 7:30 p.m.; Braker 001 Sponsors: EPIIC: Global Cities, the Institute for Global Leadership


The Setonian
News

Limitations of communications and media studies program cause problems for students interested in a future in business

This is the first article in a two-part series that will examine the increasingly popular communications and media studies minor at Tufts. The first installment will focus on the dissatisfaction that some students have with the program's lack of marketing-related classes, while the second part, to run in tomorrow's issue, will take a look at the role of the ExCollege and internships in the minor, as well as some of its limitations the program has as a résumé builder for students' futures.


The Setonian
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Ambassador discusses U.S.-European relations

French Ambassador to the United States Pierre Vimont spoke yesterday of the importance of American and European relations in combating the challenges of a changing world in a lecture at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.



The Setonian
News

IGL weathers recession storm

This article is the second in a four-part series about how the recession has affected different parts of the university.


The Setonian
News

Will Ehrenfeld | Stuff Tufts People Like

As the semester -- and this column -- gets started up, I hope you'll enjoy reading. This column will focus on the Tufts community and things that students really enjoy.


The Setonian
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Pickard lists fiscal priorities for budget in semesterly State of Senate address

Tufts Community Union (TCU) President Duncan Pickard began the Senate's spring term on Sunday with a focus on how the body should adapt to the deteriorating financial climate. Pickard specifically highlighted the need to reevaluate campus-wide expenses and to preserve the student body's socioeconomic and cultural diversity.




The Setonian
News

Planned Parenthood president speaks at Tufts

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, shared her hopes for the future of women's reproductive health care in the new Obama administration in a speech in Cabot Auditorium on Friday.


The Setonian
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Visiting the Hill

MONDAY "Superheroes in a Globally-Connected World" Details: Naif al-Mutawa (LA '94), who created the most popular comic book series in the Middle East, "The 99," will discuss how children learn about ethnicity in media in a panel discussion. Associate Professor of Child Development Calvin "Chip" Gidney and graduate student Neil Cohn will also sit on the panel. When and Where:  10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.; Tisch 304 Sponsors: Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and the Communications and Media Studies Program "Relay for Life 2009 Kick-Off Extravaganza" Details: A kick-off event for the annual Tufts Relay For Life, to take place in a couple months. Pizza and drinks will be available for students who register in advance. The event will include performances from various student groups, including B.E.A.T.S, and presentations by speakers who have had personal experience with cancer or who have participated in the relay in the past. When and Where:  6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Mayer Campus Center Sponsor: Relay for Life 2009 TUESDAY "Leonard Carmichael Society Blood Drive" Details: Donate blood as part of the Leonard Carmichael Society's regular blood drive with the Red Cross. Donors will receive free Dunkin' Donuts coffee and other free refreshments and giveaways. Register online at TuftsLife.com. When and Where: Tuesday 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Wednesday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursday 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Friday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Hodgdon Hall lounge Sponsor: Leonard Carmichael Society


The Setonian
News

Living in conflict: Students in Israel speak out

    This is the first article in a two-part series that will explore the conflicts in Israel and its effects on students. This installment will focus on students who are either from Israel or who are currently studying in Israel and their lives amidst war; the second piece, which will run later this week, will discuss how the events in Israel affect students at Tufts.     When the stars began to appear, marking the end of the Sabbath on December 27, Boston University freshman Amy Woogmaster was preparing to board her plane to Israel; Bat Yam Yeshiva student Jonathan Ganzarski was on Jerusalem's famous bar-filled Ben-Yehuda Street; Rochester University junior Bat-Hen Sayag was in her Jerusalem apartment watching television. Aside from the 130 Qassam rockets firing into southern Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces' military operation launching in the Gaza Strip, it was an average Saturday night.     Sayag explained that although Israelis have not become callous to the violence that threatens their everyday lives, there are only so many ways in which one can take precaution when the danger zone is at home. Stay away from Sderot and other frequently bombed territories, keep out of the old city in case of rioting, change your bus routes, avoid public transportation — these are all warnings that Israeli residents and visitors hear regularly and frequently choose to take into account. But at some point, daily life must — and does — go on.     "Honestly, I don't feel like I'm living through a war," said Sayag, who lives in Jerusalem and is relatively remote from the recent attacks. "Two years ago when we were at war with Lebanon, I felt it. But now it's far away from me."     But for those who live in the south, home to Israel's border with Gaza and the target of over 3,000 Qassam rocket and mortar shell attacks over the past year, life has been more significantly altered. People live under the highest warnings and know that the sound of a siren indicates that they have 15 seconds to run to the nearest bomb shelter before a predicted attack.     And the sirens are not an unfamiliar sound.     "Life in the south is almost non-existent — they spend half the time there in shelters," David Kashi, a student at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya said.     Kashi, whose cousins are students at the Ben-Gurion University in the southern city of Be'er-Sheva, explained that life in that territory has been put on hold for college students. "The university there is closed, and my cousins are home, waiting to go back to school and finish the semester," he said.     Sarah Belfer, an American student at Barnard College, visited Israel over her winter break despite the rapid breakdown of the six-month cease-fire and the declaration of war. While she remained in Jerusalem for the duration of her trip, Belfer's friends and family in Yavneh were much closer to the conflict.     "One of the times the siren went off [in Yavneh], my friend was in her car on the way to a doctor appointment," Belfer said. "She said she had no idea what to do, as she really didn't know where the closest shelter was. She just got out and lay beneath the car on the ground — waiting."     Israel is a relatively small country, and if students like Belfer and Kashi are not directly affected by the fighting, then friends, family or acquaintances typically are. And in many cases, even areas that were once deemed safe from attack no longer guarantee that kind of invulnerability.     Still, those in Israel breathe in and move on.     "As the missile range grew, my area of restriction grew," Ganzarski said. "But my day-to-day life is completely the same."     As they have shown, those who wish to visit Israel from abroad will not let the bloodshed stop them. For non-Jewish foreigners, however, the decision is potentially more difficult since their tie to the land is less potent and the danger no less severe. Belfer was faced with this dilemma in her layover in Rome.     "There was a family behind me [in] line, and I heard the mother say to the rest of the family, ‘I met a guy on the flight who is going from Rome to Israel!' I thought to myself, is this crazy?" she said.     Hesitations aside, Belfer made it to Jerusalem confident that in spite of all the violence, now is the time to visit. "It's really important to go to Israel during challenging times in order to show solidarity," she said.     Woogmaster, who also spent her break in Israel, agreed. "It is important to be in Israel and to stand side by side with the Israelis who have to be there," she said. "I landed in Israel the day after the war broke out, and all I felt was happy — happy that I would be there during this crisis."


The Setonian
News

Historic day draws crowds

Barack Obama took the oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States yesterday, pledging to millions in Washington, D.C. and around the world  that America would emerge triumphant over its formidable challenges and remake itself in the years to come.


The Setonian
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Inauguration | By the numbers

2 million: people at the National Mall 1861: year in which Lincoln was sworn in, with the same Bible Obama used 15: number of times Obama used the word nation in his address 72: percent of Americans that say the country will be better off in four years 34: percent approval rating for George W. Bush 8,000: police officers present 10,000: National Guard troops present 1,000: FBI personnel present 200: guests who attended the inaugural luncheon 67: percent of Americans that said they planned to watch the ceremony 710: days since Obama announced his bid for the presidency 27: degrees outside in Washington, D.C. 10: number of official inaugural balls throughout the night —compiled from CNN.com, USAtoday.com, Gallop and the Pew Research Center by Sarah Butrymowicz


The Setonian
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Speech gets high marks

    After delivering a speech that drew heavily on America's past, Barack Obama yesterday assumed a post whose occupants are best judged by history. But at least for his first few minutes in office, the jury at Tufts is already in.     "I thought it was a really powerful speech," Dan Carol, a Tufts parent who served as the Obama campaign's issues and content director, said of yesterday's inaugural address.     "I thought his message about reaching out to other countries and using America's power responsibly … was really a well-stated reason about how important his election is to America's place in the world," he told the Daily.     Obama's speech, laden with metaphors, promised a break with his predecessor's policies, a bipartisan approach and an aggressive response to America's foreign policy challenges. And it found a receptive audience on the Tufts campus.     In a not-so-veiled swing at George W. Bush, Obama argued that the Constitution need not compete against national security.     "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals," he said. "Our founding fathers … faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."     Obama's camp as far back as November indicated that the then-President-elect would make closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center one of his first priorities, and his rhetoric yesterday lent credence to that promise.     "He's already talking about the fact that he's going to close Guantanamo, that torture will no longer be an acceptable instrument of American power … that adhering to the Constitution does not in any way weaken us," Tufts trustee and political fundraiser Alan Solomont told the Daily. "In fact, I think he would say it strengthens us."     Hinting at his willingness to reach across the aisle, Obama articulated a philosophy of government based not on size, but rather on effectiveness.     "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified," he said. "Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end."     This pledge comes amidst constant calls from the left for additional regulation, with much of Obama's party clamoring for a reversal of Reagan-era concepts of limited government. Still, Obama indicated that he sees little value in big government across the board and for its own sake.     "He reflects a new generation of people who don't care if government moves to the left or the right. They only care if the government gets things done," Solomont, who headed up Obama's New England fundraising effort, said. "It's much more pragmatic and practical and much less ideological."     But even as Obama looked forward to future results, he framed his speech with triumphs and values plucked from the nation's past. In particular, he summoned up the words George Washington used to rally his troops in a moment of wintry despair.     "I thought it was an interesting combination of the bedrock principles of his camp and the bedrock principles of the country," Carol said.     Michael Goldman, a Democratic strategist and an affiliate of Tufts' political science department, said that Obama's backward-looking approach was strategically wise, noting that the new president focused primarily on fixing existing problems.      "I was struck by the fact that he didn't get caught up in making promises he couldn't keep," Goldman told the Daily. "There was no talk of new programs, only talk of how we are going to deal with the current … crises."     But even when talking about ongoing problems, Obama shied away from specifics. "You don't talk about policies in inaugural addresses," Solomont said. "What he did is he articulated his vision for what he wants … America to do."     Obama also avoided harping on the historical significance of becoming the nation's first black president, referring in passing to slavery and touching only briefly on the segregation experienced by his father's generation.     "He's never claimed to be an African-American candidate or an African-American president," Solomont said. "He acknowledged the amazing progress that this represents, but he has never projected himself as the African-American president."     Carol said that Obama did not need to hammer home the self-evident to get his point across. "I think the significance of [his election] is just pretty obvious," he said.     Students also appear to have appreciated Obama's inaugural address. "I believe, as a departure from his former speeches, which were more idealistic, this was more practical and actually address[ed] the real concerns we're going to be facing in the next few years," junior Beata Bujalska, a member of Tufts Students for Obama, said.     Junior Ben Silver, a member of the same group, said he was impressed by Obama's forcefully articulated foreign policy stance.     While Obama did offer help to those adversaries willing to unclench their fists, he issued a solemn warning to enemies who reject diplomatic solutions.     "We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you," he said.     "I was pleasantly surprised with the force with which he said that if people were to strike out at our freedom and attempt to harm us, that we would strike back with full force," Silver said.     Tufts Democrats President Doug Helman, a sophomore, said that Obama's speech was above all memorable.     "Regardless of your political persuasion, this is a moment [which] decades from now, you'll remember exactly where you were and what you were doing," he said.     Meanwhile, Obama acknowledged at the start of his speech that he is assuming power at a turbulent time, and most insiders expect him to take quick action, especially on the economic front, to turn back the tides.     In addition to tackling the economic crisis and closing Guantanamo in the near future, Solomont predicted Obama may also work on funding stem cell research and reducing limitations on foreign aid for countries that support family planning.     "This is going to be an active presidency," he said.     Tessa Gellerson and Nina Ford contributed reporting to this article.



The Setonian
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Ted Kennedy rushed to hospital during luncheon

    Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) collapsed from a seizure during a celebratory luncheon yesterday at the U.S. Capitol.     The Bay State politician, who is reported to have recovered well, suffers from a brain tumor and had a similar episode in May.     While close friends said that Kennedy was in good spirits, the seizure still had a draining effect. "It took a lot out of him," Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said, according to the Associated Press. "Seizures are exhausting."     After Kennedy fell ill at the luncheon, paramedics rushed to the scene and raced him to the Washington Hospital Center, where he remained last night for observation.     His sudden removal from the event on a stretcher caused widespread concern among his colleagues, who have feared for his health since his diagnosis last year.     Tufts trustee Alan Solomont was not at the luncheon but was sitting near members of the Kennedy family during the inauguration.     "It's just awful news," Solomont told the Daily yesterday afternoon as Kennedy's status remained unclear. "We hope and pray that he's OK and that he can continue to do the work he's so determined to get done."     Kennedy, who has served in the Senate since 1962, endorsed Barack Obama for president last January. "I think as much as anybody in the United States Congress, he [is] looking forward to working with Barack Obama," Solomont said.    


The Setonian
News

Jumbos pack Hotung to view inauguration

    For students unable to make the trek to Washington, D.C. to see yesterday's inauguration in person, a viewing party in the campus center was the next best option.     The event, a toned-down version of on-campus programming on election night, drew a packed crowd. It was sponsored by the Experimental College.     Leading up to the inauguration, student enthusiasm reached a level not seen since Nov. 4. Despite the presence of a large projector in Hotung to reduce crowding around the television screens, the café was at full capacity by the time Reverend Rick Warren delivered the invocation.     For many college students, watching the inauguration was a fitting end to a hard-fought effort to get the new president elected.     "It's really a great thing … all the work that Students for Obama put in last semester," junior Ben Silver, a member of Tufts Students for Obama and a frequent campaign volunteer, said. "It's great to see it all culminate today in Barack Obama's inauguration."     Experimental College Dir-ector Robyn Gittleman, who said that the idea to sponsor the event surfaced only recently, noted the historical significance of the inauguration.     "Everybody that watched the civil rights movement unfold can hardly believe it, but this is great. He's the right person for the right time," she said.     Students shared similar sentiments, saying the event had both political and social implications. "I think it's really exciting … I was thinking about how it's going to affect all our lives that there's the first black president. I think it's going to change the way Americans view the world and the way the world views America," junior Alex Blum said.     "A lot of people see it as a new future since Bush is gone, and a lot of people are hopeful for Obama and hoping the nation will go in a new direction," senior Heather Wick said.     The crowd in the campus center went silent when Obama took the podium after his oath of office. "It was great with the speech that he addressed all the points I wanted to hear, and it was really inspiring," sophomore Sophie Lyons said.     The campus center began to empty out after the speech as students returned to their daily schedules after witnessing a moment that will go down in the history books.     "I think it's a great time to be in college, because [Obama's inauguration is] one of the most momentous things that will happen in my lifetime or that has happened yet, and it's really exciting to be surrounded by a bunch of young people all going through the same thing," sophomore Elinor Cannon said.


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