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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

Opinion



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Guest

Op-ed: The importance and virtue of reserving judgment

A story last fall in the Daily reported on anonymous allegations about the admissions office and its leadership, including allegations of a “toxic” admissions workplace and questions of alleged bias and discrimination. The story also disclosed the existence of an investigation into the complaints. The story was deeply troubling to our community and to us as deans. And it was especially devastating to JT Duck, dean of admissions and enrollment management for the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, with whom we share a commitment to making Tufts a diverse and welcoming community for all — as evidenced by the admission under his leadership of the most diverse classes in the university’s history. 




The Setonian
Viewpoint

Is there a future for Tufts?

The world has changed a lot in the last four years. Over the course of the Class of 2023’s tenure at Tufts, the state of the undergraduate experience changed tremendously. Tufts is in a unique position due to the issues that have arisen from its character and quality as a university.



The Setonian
Column

Ukraine at War: At Boston Marathon, Ukrainian athletes show resilience in midst of war

As Ukrainian military forces are preparing for the awaited counteroffensive, Russia continues to shell the country daily. Despite the constant attacks, Ukrainians try to live their lives, coping, in part, by collecting large sums of donations for the army and presenting the strength of the country not only on the battlefield but also in international sports competitions such as the Boston Marathon. 


The Setonian
Column

The Strike Zone: China’s role in the Russia-Ukraine war

During the first year following the Feb. 24, 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, China maintained a neutral stance, as Beijing attempted to undercut democracy without provoking Western economic sanctions. However, China’s true stance in the war was put on full display in March of this year when President Xi Jinping visited President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and the two leaders signed an agreement that promised a stronger relationship and condemned American hegemony. Worryingly, Beijing has allegedly considered further expanding its trading repertoire with Moscow by selling weapons — including artillery shells and attack drones — to Russia. Arming Russia would officially end any pretense of Chinese neutrality and undoubtedly provoke a series of Western sanctions against Beijing. Instead, China should work to broker a realistic peace treaty with Russia and Ukraine, asserting itself as the world’s foremost diplomatic leader at a time when geopolitical tides are turning in favor of the developing world and the Global South.



arielle
Guest

Op-ed: Arielle Galinsky for TCU President

As the ballots open for Tufts Community Union Senate president, it is time to consider who will best support you and the Tufts community during the 2023–24 school year. One candidate in particular stands out: Arielle Galinsky, who has the experience, dedication and passion needed to be an excellent leader for Tufts. 


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Guest

Op-ed: Tufts graduate workers need a just contract

On April 10, over 100 graduate workers filed into the Alumnae Lounge to meet with Tufts administrators and lawyers. As members of the SEIU 509 Tufts University Graduate Workers Union, it is our right to negotiate with Tufts Management over a new collective bargaining agreement — the contract that sets the terms of our working conditions. Our proposal is grounded in essential principles: We deserve fair compensation and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We need a just contract with wages, benefits and workplace protections that meet our basic needs.




The Setonian
Column

Around the Corner: The Case for an AI Ban

2023 is the year of AI. Tools like Chat-GPT, Midjourney and others have become ubiquitous in our society and popular culture; from South Park to Snapchat, AI has captured discourse like never before. The rapid advancement of technology has opened the door to possibilities that were once restricted to science fiction. AI’s recent developments have also suggested that it may overtake us sooner than was previously thought. A survey of 356 AI experts in 2022 found that half of those experts believed that a human-level AI would be developed before 2061. The vast majority — 90% — thought it would be developed within the century. While the same experts also caution against fear-mongering, there is a possibility we will confront artificial life with equivalent or greater intelligence than us within our (for my readers in college) lifetime. 


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Guest

Op-ed: It's time democratic governments fight for all political prisoners

Last week, Russian authorities unlawfully sentenced dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison. Kara-Murza has been incredibly brave in the name of freedom, and his arbitrary detainment should be widely condemned. The news of his arrest made it to the front page of the Financial Times and several other well-respected news sources. Considering this media spotlight on Kara-Murza, I think it’s time we bring attention to the millions of other political prisoners around the world. 


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Viewpoint

Why politics and policy are important

For many Americans, politics aren’t that interesting. A 2021 poll found that only 36% of Americans aged 18–29 consider themselves politically engaged, while only around 45% of eligible voters voted in the 2022 midterm elections. It’s understandable that this is the case: With politics as divided as they are today, many might see politics as an unproductive screaming match. Others might be disillusioned at the amount of lying that occurs in politics. In many cases, politics are simply sidelined in comparison to other responsibilities. All of these are sensible reasons, so much so that even I myself didn’t follow politics until a few years ago. Now, however, I would like to make the case that unfashionable as it may be, we should care about politics, at least a little bit.


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Guest

Op-ed: Dear EPA, keep your paws off Americans’ cars

In 2022, electric cars made up 7% of all new car sales in the United States. Furthermore, the average new electric vehicle costs nearly $59,000 in March 2023, about $11,000 more than the industry average, according to Kelley Blue Book. Yet, despite these low numbers, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to tell you and your family what type of car to buy — and it’s not one from the 93%. Just a few days ago, the EPA announced new regulations for a massive reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks sold after 2027, effectively mandating that over half of all new vehicles in 2032 be electric. The announcement has leading automakers putting pedal to the metal to shift their vehicle portfolios to electric. What does all of this show? Just how radical Biden’s environmental, social and governance agenda really is.


The Setonian
Column

The End of the World Has Just Begun: Western Europe goes under

President Donald Trump’s actions towards the United States’ Western European allies, such as his mocking of German energy policy at the U.N., left relations strained, with a lasting impact even under President Joe Biden, but this may have been because of a structural reason that no one saw. Namely, Western Europe’s place and significance in the international system has declined since the beginning of the 20th century, leaving not only its future relationship with America, but also its future as a whole, ambiguous.


The Setonian
Viewpoint

US college rankings: Do they measure what matters?

If you’ve been through a college application cycle, then you’ve surely heard of the U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings report, which prides itself on having “expert advice, rankings and data to help you navigate your education journey and find the best college for you.” But how accurate is this ranking? How heavily should we rely on its advice? The U.S. News ranking uses 17 “measures of academic quality” such as class size, faculty salary and graduation rate, which are then weighted on a 100-point scale. These factors do impact a student’s college experience. However, the report's focus misses critical aspects of what makes a school a good fit for its students, such as successful job placement in a field relevant to a student’s major, student happiness and a feeling of belonging on campus.


The Setonian
Guest

Letter to the Editor: Data can help us talk about gun violence

I applaud The Tufts Daily Editorial Board for calling on the university to establish a Center for the Study of Gun Violence in its April 6 editorial, “Tufts should step up to fill the gun violence research gap.” The board raises excellent questions detailing our lack of understanding about gun ownership and our culture, as well as mental health and access to firearms, and how we can collectively work toward gun safety that can’t fall prey to the trappings of politics — by looking at data.