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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Setonian
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Tufts students, both past and present, attend inauguration

    While many Jumbos remained on the Hill yesterday, flooding the campus center to watch inauguration speeches and grumpily sitting through classes, hoping to be released early, some Tufts students braved the snowy highways and traveled to Washington, D.C., to witness President Barack Obama's acceptance speech and absorb the atmosphere of the historic day.     And Tufts students certainly weren't the only enthusiastic Obama supporters to skip school and make the trip. College students from across the country made their way to Washington to help make up the crowd of an estimated 2 million people, according to CNN.com.     Despite inauspicious weather conditions and other obstacles, many students explained that going to the ceremony was worth the effort, to say the least.     "The weather was terrible from Boston. There was snow and fog and traffic everywhere," sophomore Julia Stimeck said. "I think everyone is just so pumped to be here that no one is being rude or pushy. It's a great scene ... [and] it'll be something that I can say I've done for years to come."     Freshman Tim Lesinski agreed that going to Washington was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.     "I decided it would be too important of an event to miss and to just watch from TV because I feel that it will eventually become a timely moment in our generation," he said. "I wouldn't just want to sit home and watch."     Many students who were first-time voters in the last election said that watching the inauguration felt like a personal victory.     "I went up to New Hampshire almost every weekend and made ... calls for Obama," Lesinski said. "It gave me a stake in his election."     Sophomore Julie Bloch shared Lesinski's sentiments. "I've always wanted to go to the inauguration of the first person I vote for, and I also really really like Obama. I've read his books, and I've been following his political career for quite some time now," she said. "I think that if it had been a Republican [that had been elected] I wouldn't have gone."     Although many students attended the ceremony for similar reasons, their experiences varied, especially among those who had tickets to the event and those who did not.     Tufts alumni Liz Yates (LA '08) and Bruce Hamilton (LA '08), who now live in the D.C. area and did not have tickets to the event, said that they enjoyed the atmosphere of the huge non-ticketed crowd. "I think it [would have been] really cool to actually be able to look and see Barack Obama's face the moment he [became] the 44th president ... but I also think that being in the crowd is cool in some ways, because there are so many people who came from so far away who care so much, and there are so many families with kids — from Oklahoma, from South Carolina — and most of those people don't get tickets," Yates said.     "I think that part of what makes this whole thing so cool anyway is that there are so many millions of people coming from everywhere, and the idea of opening up the mall really does sort of hold up the ideal that this is something for everybody," Hamilton added. "[On Monday], our friend was in the VIP section and he was really close and saw a lot of stuff, but he said that his section was really subdued. So he [could] see them, but he wasn't living the energy of our section, which was just jumping up and down, screaming and chanting, waving flags — I mean, that is really cool."     Sophomore Casey Burrows, who is also a copy editor for the Daily, said her experience as a ticketed audience member was hectic but exciting. "It was amazing," Burrows said. "It was stressful getting in, because they had opened the gates before they said they would, so ... we found out we had to sprint four blocks and cut the line, but we ended up getting amazing spots.     "It was a little more stressful than I was expecting," she continued. "But it was overall one of the best experiences of my life. The people were just so genuine and so nice and everyone was just wanting to talk to everyone else and hear each other's stories."     Bloch said that although the day as a whole was remarkable, there were some aspects of the ceremony that she didn't enjoy.     "I didn't really like the religious sermon," Bloch said. "To me that's not what we should be focusing on. But I also understand that it's a tradition in our country ... There was ... a man booing at that point, and I thought that was going a little bit far.     The majority of scheduled classes were still held yesterday — despite low attendance in some — but most professors didn't seem to blame students for missing school to attend the event.     "I told all my teachers [that I would not be in class], and nobody had a problem with it," Bloch said. "I think everyone was so excited about it that they wouldn't fault anyone for going."     Yates said that if anything, she would feel guilty about not going herself. "I think I definitely would have come if I lived in Boston or some place close by," she said. "It's events like this that serve as a sort of reminder that the basic issues of race and social change are ongoing. ... When you're in college, you're talking about it all the time ... but it's events like these that inspire you to keep thinking about it, keep discussing it, and keep making it a part of your character."


The Setonian
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Former Dean of Engineering Nelson passes away at 76

    Former Dean of Engin-eering Frederick Nelson, remembered by his colleagues for his passion and sense of humor, died last week of melanoma. He was 76.     "He was a wonderful human being and we're going to miss him. He had a wonderful sense of humor — very dry. He loved to tell stories," current Dean of Engineering Linda Abriola told the Daily.     Nelson, who served as Dean from 1980 to 1994, officially retired from Tufts in 2007. He was finishing a textbook entitled "An Introduction to Rotordynamics," which is expected to be published later this year. He had been coming into his office every day up until November to put the finishing touches on the book, Abriola said, pointing out the tendency of former faculty to return to do work or research at the university.     Though she is not his direct successor, Abriola knew Nelson during his years as a professor.     "I was close to him because he was sort of my history; he was able to give me background and history whenever I needed it," she said. "He was one of the people I turned to for advice and knowledge."     Nelson graduated from what was then the Tufts College of Engineering in 1954 and went on to receive his Ph.D. from Harvard in applied mechanics in 1961. He wrote more than 50 articles related to his interests in acoustics, vibrations, shock mechanics and rotordynamics, the study of rotating structures.     Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Provost Vincent Manno said that Nelson was "such an outstanding student" at Tufts that he was asked to remain as an instructor even while pursuing his Ph.D. at Harvard.     Nelson did consulting work for several groups, the most notable of which is Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, one of the primary contributors to the Apollo space missions.     "[Draper Laboratory is] basically the place where practical gyroscopes were developed," Manno said, noting that this was one of Nelson's areas of expertise.     Nelson also received many awards, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Centennial Medal, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology's King Sejong Medal and Tufts' Distinguished Service Medal.     A proud modesty, however, prevented many from knowing how accomplished Nelson was. "What was really remarkable about him … was basically the even nature of his demeanor," Manno said. "He was fair, funny, in many ways humble. He achieved great things, but he was the type of person where you would never know it."     According to Manno, many of his colleagues described Nelson as avuncular. He was "the wise person in your family that you go to for sage advice and always has an even keel," he said.     Nelson never lost his temper or raised his voice, Manno continued. He was always fair and kind, but firm, he said, adding that Nelson was "not a pushover."     At his core, Nelson was a teacher. "He loved to teach. His students were number one on his list," Manno said.     Manno added that he and his colleagues were shocked by Nelson's sudden passing.      "We're all sort of stunned at his loss; he wasn't terribly old by modern standards. It's a real shame," he said.     "He was, as far as we knew, very healthy. He was still here even though he had retired," Abriola said.     Nelson's son Richard died of cystic fibrosis in 2001. He leaves behind his wife, three children and four grandchildren.


The Setonian
News

Brr!

Frigid temperatures gripped the Hill yesterday, with students bundling up in layers upon layers. Temperatures were forecast to drop to 4 degrees last night, with wind chill values below zero. Resilient souls braved the cold to go sledding on the President's Lawn and to create a snowman, above, on the Academic Quad. The campus is bracing for yet another snowstorm over Martin Luther King weekend.


The Setonian
News

Senators work to implement recovered funds decision

As the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate moves to establish a student activities endowment in accordance with its recent vote on the disbursement of $687,780 in recovered funds, senators are investigating the various options open to them.


The Setonian
News

Library roof: unfinished

The Tisch Library rooftop remains unfinished over four months after its initial targeted completion date: the beginning of fall semester. The opening of the renovated roof, which will feature a new artistic design, outdoor seating areas and additional lighting, was pushed back to December barring any serious weather problems. Yesterday, some progress over last month could be seen, but fencing still blocked entry.


The Setonian
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Visiting the Hill this week

MONDAY "Economics Department and Fletcher School Seminar Series" Details: Daniel Mejia, an assistant professor of economics at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia will talk about the production and trafficking of narcotics. The presentation is part of the 2008-2009 Seminar Series sponsored by the economics department and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. When and Where: 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.; Braker Hall 001 Sponsors: economics department, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy "Tufts Mathematics Colloquium" Details: Bridget Tenner, an assistant professor of mathematics at DePaul University, will give a lecture entitled "Coxeter groups and Bruhat order: algebraic and topological structure" as part of the Tufts Mathematics Colloquia. Tea will be served at 3:30 p.m. When and Where: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Bromfield-Pearson 101 Sponsor: mathematics department TUESDAY "Seminar in Systems Engineering" Details: Sangtae Kim, a professor of mechanical and chemical engineering at Purdue University, will give a special seminar on "The Evolution of the Pharmaceutical R&D Business Model." The lecture is part of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Fall 2008 Seminar Series. When and Where: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; Crane Room, Paige Hall Sponsor: chemical and biological engineering department FRIDAY "Department of Biology Seminar Series" Details: Karen Vasquez, a doctor of medicine at the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, Houston, will talk as part of the biology department's Fall 2008 Seminar Series. Refreshments will be available in the lobby of Barnum Hall at 3:45 p.m. When and Where: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Barnum Hall 104 Sponsor: biology department




The Setonian
News

It's no wonder we're all so unhealthy

Days of class left: one. Outside temperature: 16 degrees. Number of laps to run around the quad: undetermined. Number of pages to write before next Friday: 46. Number of flashcards to memorize before final exam: 92. Number of holiday parties to attend: seven. Average number of hours slept per night last week: four.


The Setonian
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Michael Goetzman | Spotlight

This semester, Ben Anshutz is a name that has been tossed around quite a bit as his songs have spread like butter across the Internet. The sophomore's mission is simple: "I'm bringing my folk-fried, jazz-dipped, pop rock to the streets of California, Boston and everywhere in between. Spread the madness," he says on his Web site. And since adopting his simpler stage name, "Ben Crane," it seems that the troubadour, poet and astronomy expert has been doing just that -- spreading the proverbial madness.


The Setonian
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Students juggle jury duty with academics

In addition to building houses with Habitat for Humanity or tutoring elementary school children through groups like the Leonard Carmichael Society, many students must engage in a less conventional form of community service. In Massachusetts, those who inhabit the state for at least six months out of the year -- including students who attend college in Massachusetts but reside in other states -- may be asked to serve jury duty.


The Setonian
News

Senate reaches decision on recovered funds

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate voted last night to save some of the $687,780 in recovered funds and put the rest toward student activities. The decision ended a nearly three-month-long process that saw the body work to determine how to dispense of money allegedly embezzled by two former administrators.




The Setonian
News

Most Jumbos immune to senioritis plague

As the end of the Class of 2009's time at Tufts approaches, senioritis, commonly associated with the onset of academic apathy, is working its way into the study habits of soon-to-be graduates, though some students feel the pain more than others.


The Setonian
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Faculty efforts, Web tools thwart plagiarism

Despite the fact that teachers, parents and administrators have hammered it into students' heads since elementary school that plagiarizing and cheating will inevitably lead to punishment and dishonor in the academic community, many still decide to partake in such activities. During the chaos of finals, the desire to plagiarize can be greater than ever.



The Setonian
News

Getting serious about Syria

Fletcher School Professor Vali Nasr, Associate Professor of International Relations Malik Mufti and Institute for Global Leadership Director Sherman Teichman offered insights on Syria's evolving role in Middle East politics yesterday in the Crane Room. Sophomore Khaled Al-Sharikh and juniors David Mou and Vicki Gilbert presented their research findings from a trip to Syria they took last winter with the New Initiative for Middle East Peace, a Tufts organization that also sponsored last night's panel discussion.




The Setonian
News

Students weigh in on donations, services in survey

Seniors say they are more willing to donate to Tufts than alumni giving statistics might imply, and students strongly support expanding Health Service's hours, according to the Tufts Community Union Senate's semesterly survey.