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

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Grassley suspects conflict of interest

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has accused Tufts Medical Center heart specialist Marvin Konstam of ignoring conflicts of interest while working for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


The Setonian
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Visiting the Hill

MONDAY "Professor van Hoven from Eco-Life Expeditions" Details: The founder of Eco-Life Expeditions, Professor Wouter van Hoven of Pretoria University, will be showing a film and answering questions about his work and study program. When & Where: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Pearson 106 Sponsor: Pre-Veterinary Society "Free Dinner, Movie and Interview with Errol Morris" Details: "Standard Operating Procedure,"(2008) a film that examines the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, will be shown. Food will be served and the film will be followed by a live discussion with filmmaker Errol Morris via Web cast. When & Where: 6:30 p.m.; Cabot 205 Sponsor: PANGEA "Ask a Sexpert" Details: Sexologist Logan Levkoff, an expert on college relationships, will speak to students. When & Where: 8:00 p.m.; Pearson 104 Sponsor: Hillel "Marketing for Social Change: ‘Getting People to Stop Smoking'" Details: Lori Fresina of M&R Strategic Services will be leading a discussion on getting people to stop smoking. When & Where: 6:00 p.m.; Braker 202 Sponsor: Communications and Media Studies Program TUESDAY "Self-Assembling AY-Peptide Nanotubes: A New Approach to Functionalized Nanotubes" Details: Professor Juan Granja of the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela will lecture on nanotubes. When & Where: 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Pearson 106 Sponsor: Chemistry Department "Jewish Artist and Black Africans in Renaissance Art" Details: Paul Kaplan, professor of art history at SUNY, Purchase, will discuss the role of Jewish and black Africans in Renaissance art. Kaplan has published many articles, and he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the portrayal of black Africans in European art. When & Where: 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m; 155 Granoff Music Center Sponsors: Department of Art and Art History and the Africa in the New World Minor WEDNESDAY "Peace and Diplomacy in the Middle East" Details: Former Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Council Chief of Staff Mara Rudman will discuss diplomatic relations in the Middle East as part of a speaker series this fall on U.S. foreign policy hosted by Professor John Shattuck, former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor and former ambassador to the Czech Republic. When & Where: 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.; Tisch Library, Austin Conference Room Sponsor: Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service "Human Factors: Engineering and Design of the ‘Reach' Toothbrush" Details: John Kreifeldt, a former Tufts professor, will discuss the design and development of the Reach Toothbrush. Kreifeldt and Percy H. Hill designed the toothbrush in 1972 and sold it to Johnson & Johnson. When & Where: 3:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.; Barnum 008 Sponsor: Tufts Human Factors & Ergonomics Society "Making Space for Asian American Artists" Details: Giles Li and Eugene Shih will talk about their arts organization and its role in supporting Asian Pacific American artistic expression. The lecture will be followed by a dinner reception at the Start House.  When & Where: 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.; 155 Granoff Music Center Sponsor: Asian American Center "Reflections on the Middle East in World Affairs" Details: Stanley Hoffman, the Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser university professor at Harvard University, will discuss the Middle East as part of the fall 2008 Fares Lecture Series. When & Where: 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Cabot 702 Sponsor: Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies THURSDAY "Computer Science Seminar" Details: Jim Waldo of Sun Microsystems Labs will discuss computer science and virtual worlds. When & Where: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 111A Halligan Hall Sponsor: Norman Ramsey FRIDAY "Decision '08: Brown Bag Lunch with Simon Rosenberg" Details: President and New Democrat Network Founder Simon Rosenberg (A '85) will discuss the 2008 election. R.S.V.P. is required. Fruit salad and drinks will be provided. When & Where: 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.; Lincoln Filene Center, Rabb Room Sponsor: Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service "Racial Bias in the Police Decision to Shoot" Details: Joshua Correll, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, will discuss the impact of complexity and control in the police decision to shoot as part of this year's Diversity and Cognition Lecture Series. When & Where: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m; Anderson 306 Sponsor: Diversity and Cognition Lecture Series


The Setonian
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Expansion of new JumboCash in the works

Tufts' administrators and members of student government are always looking for ways to simplify students' lives, be it through providing the Joey for easy access to Davis Square, or allowing them to register for classes from their dorm rooms through the online SIS system.



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CORRECTION

Yesterday's news article "Students from Boston area to work with Harvard professor on polling program" was factually inaccurate. It failed to distinguish between student pollsters and student poll workers. A corrected version has replaced the original article online. The errors were committed during the editorial process. The author's reporting and writing were entirely accurate. The Daily apologizes for the mistakes.


The Setonian
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Boston Public Health Commission suggests strict smoking regulations

    Boston may implement one of the nation's most restrictive smoking bans as early as next year, if the city adopts the new restrictions on smoking approved last month by its health agency.     The plan has the potential to knock out all hookah bars in Beantown within five years.     The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) on Sept. 4 gave an initial endorsement to restrictions on the use and sale of tobacco within city limits. The regulations also target smoking bars, which, if the policy goes through, would be required to close or significantly alter their operations within five years.     The BPHC's ruling would restrict where people can smoke in public, adding to a set of limitations implemented in 2003 that banned smoking in restaurants and bars. The new constraints would almost universally prohibit smoking in hotel rooms, cigar and hookah bars and all workplaces — including any outside areas adjacent to such locations. The BPHC said the plan aims to make workplaces healthier.     "What we focus on is the protection of workers," Roger Swartz, director of the BPHC's Community Initiatives Borough, told the Daily. "We've been successful in reducing the prevalence of tobacco use. We are [now] exploring what might be some options to reducing access to tobacco."     No new smoking permits would be issued to businesses, and those that are being retained would be allowed to expire within the five years after final approval, Swartz said.     Cigar Masters, a cigar café and lounge on Boylston Street, would be significantly impacted by the proposed rules.     Founder and co-owner Brandon Salomon told the Daily he was concerned about the potential ban's effect on his business. For an establishment to qualify as a smoking bar, 60 percent of its sales must consist of tobacco products.     If the regulations are implemented, Cigar Masters will have to become a club with private membership in order to continue its operations, Salomon said. He explained that the BPHC's stated goal of protecting workers was not relevant to his employees, many of whom are cigar aficionados themselves.     "My employees all sign waivers," Salomon said. "They all love working here."     Many hotels, which are also affected by the proposed changes, have been "taking a hit" recently as they become increasingly smoke-free, said Jerry Good, a concierge at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.     Good said the Sheraton Hotel has made all of its rooms non-smoking in the last three to six months. Since then, he has personally noticed a shift in European clientele to the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers, an establishment that still allows smoking.     The other major regulation change supported by the BPHC places limitations on where tobacco can be sold within city limits, with the goal of decreasing tobacco use among youths.     Tobacco sales would be outlawed at retailers on college campuses and at health-care institutions, including pharmacies. Swartz said that this change is meant to limit access in general and to send a message supporting healthy behavior.     The regulation also aims specifically to ban the sale of blunt wraps, inexpensive tobacco-rolling papers commonly used to smoke marijuana. In its ruling, the commission claimed that the wraps are "heavily marketed to the youth and often used as drug paraphernalia."     Freshman Andrew Brinson said he has been to several hookah bars in Boston. "If I'm going to a shisha bar, it's just about a hobby," Brinson said, using a common term for hookah. "When I go in, I'm forfeiting my right to avoid a non-smoking environment."     Brinson also noted that he does not disagree with the 2003 limitations on smoking. In terms of blunt wraps, Brinson said he understands why they have been targeted, as he believes they are primarily used as drug paraphernalia.     Freshman Tatyana Korshunova said that she opposed extending the city's ban to include smoking establishments.     "I do understand that smoke can affect a non-smoking section [at a restaurant], but a hookah bar is designed for that kind of activity," she said.     The regulations would increase the fine for a first-time violation from $100 to $200. Second-time violations would increase from $500 to $700.     With its ruling, the BPHC opened a 60-day period for hearing public comments and has already scheduled two public hearings.



The Setonian
News

Charlotte Steinway | SOS

Dear SOS,     Now that midterm season has officially begun, I've been spending a lot more of my nighttime hours in the library. On one of the few evenings I opted against staying for late night at Club Tisch, I started packing up all my belongings, when all of the sudden, all of the lights in the library shut off. I made it out in time, but that whole experience got me thinking — what would really happen if I had been locked in the lib? How would I pass the time until the 8 a.m. morning rush of students arrived?         Sincerely,     Trapped in Tisch Dear Trapped in Tisch,     Funny that you bring this up, because intentionally getting stuck in the library overnight has been one of my collegiate goals since freshman year (it's right up with eating all three meals at Dewick on one card swipe). And I have yet to do it because I'm still trying to figure out how to stay for those critical last minutes before they lock up without having to hear the dreaded new voice recording, which, I might add, plays three minutes before it actually should.     But this doesn't mean my ideas on the matter aren't plentiful. First, you're going to want to stake out a sleeping destination as soon as possible because otherwise, the Tisch Bigfoot may wake you. (In case you didn't know about this elusive creature, you should be forewarned of his existence. Resembling his more famed cousin, normal Bigfoot, the Tisch Bigfoot exists only in our library, rather than in remote forests and on the pages of the National Enquirer. Think I'm kidding? Last time I was studying at the library, I was greeted by a large, footprint-esque splotch of water on my table — looked like someone had gone for a little swim.)     As much as I would suggest a comfy cubicle desk perfect for snuggling up in the fetal position, I would recommend going to the third floor for sleeping arrangements. That way you're out of sight of the windows (you wouldn't want to end up in the Police Blotter for your corrupt campout), and even better, you can use the cinema room, fully equipped with sleep-conducive chairs — trust me, I snoozed in those for an entire semester last year!     Next, be sure to stock up on non-perishable nourishment at the Tower. Now that no one is around, you can finally be as loud as you want about eating those pita chips — oh yeah, and grab a cup, because it's unlimited refills night at the Tower, baby! Curl up with the Public Journal (my new favorite piece of literature … it should be required reading on every class syllabus), fashion a blanket out of newspapers from the periodicals section and take it easy. You're in for a long night.     In the mood to do something active? How about playing dominos with the book stacks, James Bond style! Or play Jenga with library chairs in the quiet room! Interested in burning off some of that Tower Café nosh? Why not run up and down the stairs a couple of times for a little cardio, then head to the oversized books section to grab enough weight for some bicep reps. If you're looking for a little more of an arm workout, give those manually rolling book stacks in the basement a spin.     Once you've decided it's time to hit the hay, you can retreat back upstairs with the excitement of knowing that you have a whole library of DVDs at your fingertips. But even if a movie can't put you to sleep, grab a bedtime story from one of the, uh, 700,000 books around you. Something like Lena Johnson's "Tajikistan In The New Central Asia: Geopolitics, Great Power Rivalry and Radical Islam," sounds like a fun end to your evening!


The Setonian
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The Microblog | How do you feel about the new Facebook?

    Since its launch in 2004, Facebook.com has become a social epidemic. People spend hours a day reading wall-to-wall posts, "Facebook stalking" the cute soccer player in Economics 5 and looking through his 1,435 tagged photos.     Recently, however, Facebook has changed things up a bit and redesigned its interface with the introduction of "Facebook Beta." The most notable difference in this new setup is the combining of the old Facebook's "wall posts" and "mini-feeds" into one section, which has given the typical profile page a fresh look.     Since its launch, the site's virtual renovation has caused a wave of controversy among users. Some people are adamantly against the switch, spawning groups with titles such as "I Hate the New Facebook" and  "Petition Against the New Facebook."     Others believe that the current version just takes some getting used to, and that its interface is more organized and user-friendly. In this microblog, the Daily talks to Tufts students to gauge their reactions to the social networking site's changes. How do you feel about the new Facebook?



The Setonian
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Free Hugs' campaign underscores importance of social connectedness on the Hill

    Late last month, the Daily reported on recent initiatives taken by Health Service to detect depression among students at Tufts. With the percentage of college students suffering from depression steadily climbing, the Health Service office has been screening students to catch mental health problems, even if their symptoms are strictly physical. In this article, the Daily looks at a campus group whose goal is to use a physical gesture — a hug — to brighten the days of a demographic whose mental health is a critical concern.     A small but growing group of Tufts students have gathered on street corners and outside Tisch Library with bold signs and outstretched arms in recent weeks to offer free hugs to any passersby.     For one hugger, Sam, the gesture is a means of expressing social connection on a campus that she describes as being "standardized and digitalized to the point of dehumanization."     The members of "Free Hugs" were adamant that their identities remain anonymous, as they see their actions as more of an open movement, rather than a social group made up of individuals. As such, the names in this article have been changed.     "Hugs are perhaps the simplest and most appreciated gift you can give," Sam said. "Even the offer of a hug is a way of bringing someone back to the present, a way of making him or her stop and think for a moment, a way of changing someone's mental modality."     Students who have encountered the huggers have had mixed reactions: Some begin walking at a faster pace so as to avoid the interaction entirely; others avoid eye contact and politely decline. And some chose to welcome the embrace.     Sophomore Caitlin Kauffman declined a hug but stopped to inquire as to the huggers' motivations. "We're just spreading the love," Kauffman was told.     "I didn't accept a hug because free love isn't necessarily wanted love," Kauffman said. "I would prefer love spreading through less tactile means … at least when it's with a complete stranger."     While it remains to be seen whether the hugging initiative helps with social connectedness on campus, students, professors and other health professionals are studying the issue of social isolation with hopes to discover more long-term solutions.     Shawn Achor serves as the head teaching fellow for "Positive Psychology," one of Harvard University's most popular courses, and said that strong personal relationships are integral to maintaining mental and social well-being.     "Positive Psychology" aims to explore the psychological aspects of leading a happy and satisfying life. According to Achor, the quality of social interactions is of utmost importance.     "Social support predicts our happiness perhaps more than anything else in life," Achor said. "In a study of the top 10 percent of the happiest people, researchers found that the only characteristic that differentiated them from everyone else was the strength of their social relationships."     For some, however, social integration is a difficult hurdle to overcome. Sophomore Sean Smith described Tufts as having a wealth of academic and social opportunities, but feels that for many students, joining a club or engaging in a sport is a challenge in and of itself.     Sophomore Emily Ringer echoed Smith's sentiments.      "When I was a freshman, at first I was intimidated to go to meetings and try new things," she said. "Initially I had trouble reaching out to make new friends. Plus, with all the academic stress, it's easy to let go of things like clubs or socializing, things that are actually really crucial to meeting more people."     In Achor's psychology class, he conducts an exercise to help students translate their desires into habits that stimulate social connection. For 21 days, he asks his students to think of a positive action they would like to incorporate into their daily routines and then to start doing it once a day.     "Changing up your routines helps expand your social network," Achor said. "When you go to a party, try to talk to three people you normally wouldn't have spoken with. Start more conversations with random people. Four out of five might end quickly, but the fifth might be a great new connection."     Dr. Julie Jampel, the supervising clinician at the Tufts Counseling and Mental Health Center, agreed that loneliness and depression are inextricably linked.     "Basically, relationships are a huge part of being well adjusted and happy," she said. "On the other hand, people who are isolated are often depressed."     In the spring of 2006, the University of Texas at Austin's National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Education found that over half of 26,000 college students from over 70 national colleges and universities had displayed suicidal thoughts at some point during their lifetime, according to a comprehensive online survey.     And, according to a study by the American College Health Association, the level of depression on the college campus is rising: The rate of students reporting official diagnosis of depression increased 56 percent between 2000 and 2005, jumping from 10 percent to 16 percent.     Dr. Jampel supports the practice of psychological screenings as a tool to catch cases of depression that may otherwise have gone untreated.     "For people who are depressed and lonely, there are several reasons why it's hard for them to speak up," she said. "Oftentimes they don't want to be a burden to their friends by expressing their feelings, [and sometimes], the depression can cause them to withdraw further from social interaction."


The Setonian
News

New poll confirms generational shift, strong support for Obama among young voters

With a fresh poll conducted by Rock the Vote showing that potential voters between the ages of 18 and 29 favor Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) 56 to 29 percent, the proof is in the pudding: Obama continues to cash in big-time on young people, dominating the demographic in a way that is largely unprecedented.


The Setonian
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Obama vs. McCain: The college issues

As absentee ballot deadlines draw near, voter registration groups are targeting college students in an effort to increase turnout. And polling groups, conscious of the stakes at play, are working to ascertain the preferences of college-age voters. For this feature, the Daily sat down with campus figures to break down the basics of three issues that are of great concern among students: the economy, education and the Iraq war.


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Senate approves bailout bill, adds in tax breaks

The U.S. Senate late last night passed a massive Wall Street bailout bill supplemented with $110 billion in specifically designated tax breaks, turning the nation's focus back to the House of Representatives, which vetoed an earlier version of the bill on Monday.


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Tufts students to conduct Election Day exit polls

Students from Tufts and other Boston area universities will work to gauge the effectiveness of an innovative poll-worker program this November. Students working in a program run by James Greiner, an assistant professor at Harvard Law School, will interview voters fresh out of the booth, hoping to measure voter response to the performance of other students, working as poll workers. It will also tackle typical exit polling questions, such as racial background, age and candidate preference.



The Setonian
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Tufts educates UAE security officials

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy recently graduated 10 United Arab Emirates officials from a summer program in international relations preparing them to hold leadership roles in the country's new security organization.




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Residences and their reps

The following is a list of the Tufts Community Union (TCU) senators who will be assigned to represent specific residence halls, according to tentative plans produced by the TCU Senate's Student Outreach Committee. Carmichael Hall – Molly Moulton Houston Hall – Danielle Cotter, Elliott McCarthy Miller Hall – Jimmy Zuniga, Elliott McCarthy Hill Hall – Aaron Bartel Haskell Hall – Kate de Klerk South Hall – Chas Morrison, Shabazz Stuart Bush and Tilton Halls – Joel Greenberg Metcalf Hall – Dan Pasternack Hodgon Hall – Manuel Guzman Lewis Hall – Edward Chao Wren Hall – Sam Wallis West Hall – Katy Simon Hillside Apartments – Ryan Pallathra


The Setonian
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TCU senators may get assigned 'districts'

In an effort to open communication with the student body, the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate may start to test a "district system," in which senators represent the residents of specific dormitories, as soon as Monday.