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

Opinion

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Viewpoint

When an A+ means nothing

The U.S. public education system has long been one of the country’s proudest institutions, yet that same system is now on the edge of collapse. It is well established that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating to American learning, but the underlying problems have been lurking in the background for many years. From staff shortages to absenteeism to a lack of federal funding, it seems that the public education system has become dysfunctional for everyday Americans, leaving students less prepared for higher education. One of the key symptoms of this broken system is the phenomenon known as grade inflation.


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Viewpoint

The best nap room is a concert hall

I was lucky that my mom was a big opponent of attending the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s weekly concert with my dad. His job as a musicologist at the University of Hong Kong got him two free tickets to every concert, and I had the honor of filling the second seat — or more frequently dozing in it. 


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Viewpoint

On the nature of daylight

I absolutely hate waking up early. This semester, I am taking a grand total of one class before 10:30 a.m. — the first of my college career. The entire day before class, I dread the thought of having to wake up at such an ungodly hour. Coming from Los Angeles, I am quite used to having a plethora of sunny days throughout the year.


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Viewpoint

A response to Tufts Climate Action

A note to Tufts Climate Action and its members: After reading your recent Op-ed, I am perplexed and disappointed. Though I applaud your continued persistence to goad Tufts into divesting from fossil fuels, an action which would have virtually no effect on either the climate or the financial success of applicable corporations, I remain disappointed that you have not worked towards a better understanding of financial markets to improve your dialogue with Tufts.


The Setonian
Guest

Op-ed: Tufts’ campus climate is unsustainable for Jewish and pro-Israel students

On Oct. 7, the worst terror attack in the history of the State of Israel occurred. What took place on this day was devastating and horrific. This indescribable massacre affected so many — innocent women, children and elderly civilians. If we truly value moral clarity, humanity and decency, condemning these attacks should not be controversial. Calling out these attacks for what they were — barbaric and atrocious — is a must. As of Thursday, there were still over 240 innocent Israelis being held hostage by Hamas terrorists, about 30 of whom are children. We are praying for their safe return.    


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Viewpoint

We must all be patriots to the cause of a just America

American patriotism is a fraught concept. It often evokes images of the stars and stripes, which, in recent years, have become tied to people such as the so-called “QAnon Shaman” who sported red, white and blue face paint while storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Meanwhile, “patriotic education,” which is in actuality a white-washing of American history, has been pushed by conservatives in response to the long overdue acknowledgment of the impact of slavery and systemic racism in public school education. As for what is considered unpatriotic, star quarterback Colin Kaepernick was effectively blacklisted from the NFL — a uniquely American institution — for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against Black Americans.



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Viewpoint

For California’s sake, Gavin Newsom needs to stifle his presidential fantasies

On Oct. 23, California Governor Gavin Newsom became the first state governor to visit China in over four years. Despite mostly receiving attention for crashing into a Chinese elementary school student during a pickup basketball game, he framed the week-long trip as a way to discuss climate change and other issues with Chinese President Xi Jinping, even as U.S.-China relations continue to sour. This visit is also an indication of Newsom’s presidential aspirations, since hopefuls without experience in the field often begin their campaigns by building a foreign policy repertoire. While he has explicitly ruled out running in 2024, the Democratic field is wide open for 2028. Newsom’s recent fundraising spree, coupled with his upcoming debate with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, clearly indicate his aspirations for a higher office. However, Newsom’s ambitions are causing him to leave the interests of his constituent Californians behind.


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Opinion

Whatever happened to Pax et Lux?

On the day of Tufts’s career fair last September, I was struck by the vast disparity in interest between the tables of groups like the Charles River Associates or Fidelity versus those of more civically-minded companies and government agencies. Why weren’t more people looking for public sector jobs? Tufts has a long history of civic excellence. One needs to look no further than Tisch College’s different initiatives to see how Tufts postures itself as a national leader in civic life and education. It’s this spirit that drew many students here and animates Tufts’ proud history of sending graduates into national service programs like Teach for America and the Peace Corps.


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Column

The Policy Perspective: Evaluating Bidenomics

Over the past year, the Biden administration has repeatedly been leaning on a new term in their messaging, Bidenomics, to describe President Biden’s economic policies. The Biden administration promotes Bidenomics as growing the middle class and the economy as a whole.


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Viewpoint

Understanding the geopolitics of the 2023 Levant

The events that began on Oct. 7 will reverberate through Middle Eastern history. For most of us, the Middle East has already looked like hellfire for the past decades. But the most despicable thing one could do is let this moment become lost in a larger history of brutality that ties together every tragedy of the Middle East into one nebulous, and seemingly unsolvable, geopolitical disaster. What this world cannot afford, at this moment, is to underestimate the gravity of Oct. 7. To understand the full extent of this conflict, it’s important to parse out critical elements of the 2023 Levant.


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Column

The Budget Line: Late nights without Late Nights

It’s that time of year again — the part of the semester defined by whiplash between midterms and your Halloweekend plans. No matter what those may be, on Fridays and Saturdays we can all count on Late Night at Commons to be the cherry on top of a raucous night out or for a midnight snack.


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Viewpoint

We need to stop equating people’s politics with their humanity

In today’s polarized political environment, opinions have become markers of not just ideology, but morality and humanity. Online discourse attacks people for holding certain ideas, and people are compelled to speak on issues they know little about just to appear morally acceptable to their social circle. Instead of hearing bad opinions, we see bad people.


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Viewpoint

Green is the new black: How we’ve demoted sustainability to a passing trend

Do you own a metal straw? Maybe you do and maybe you take it everywhere with you. Maybe you do but you’ve forgotten about it and it’s lying somewhere unused, collecting dust. Can you remember why you bought it? For the planet, right? That’s what one would expect. As is commonly known, plastic straws are bad for marine ecosystems. But why did you truly buy the metal straw? Was it really to reduce your plastic consumption for the sake of turtles, or was it to participate in the larger trend that gave merit to this concept of “saving the turtles?”


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Viewpoint

House Democrats have swapped a rival for someone much worse

When Kevin McCarthy was ousted as the U.S. House of Representatives speaker on Oct. 3, many of my Democratic friends laughed and celebrated while the Republican Party entered meltdown mode. Vote after vote, the Republicans in the House desperately attempted to elevate one of their own to the House speakership but failed spectacularly each time. The far-right wing and the moderate wing of the party battled for the top job of the House while the government stood at a standstill. Finally, on Oct. 25, this utter chaos on the House floor came to an end as Republicans chose Rep. Mike Johnson as House speaker.


The Setonian
Guest

Op-ed: An uphill battle in the fight for fossil fuel divestment at Tufts

For over a decade, the Tufts community has called for the university’s divestment from fossil fuels. For over a decade, we have met with administrators, hosted sit-ins and rallies and unanimously voted for a TCU Senate resolution calling for divestment. But even today, an estimated $90+ million of our tuition still lines the pockets of fossil fuel billionaires. All the while, Tufts prides itself on its standing as a progressive institution that prioritizes students’ voices and our ability to ask bold questions. It highlights its work in “creating a sustainable path to a brighter future.” Today, we ask this bold question: How is that possible while Tufts actively funds the destruction of our planet, fueling ecological disasters and massive injustice? Sometimes, this work feels like pedaling a bike we didn’t realize was bolted to the ground.


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Viewpoint

Elite universities don’t condemn hate speech and face the financial consequences

In the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel, tensions have been rising on U.S. college campuses. At Tulane, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protestors, who were initially peaceful, devolved into violence and threw punches just a few days ago. An Israeli student was allegedly assaulted at Columbia where, days later, many students staged a walkout in support of Palestine and against Israel’s so-called genocide. Similar walkouts occurred at Harvard, Princeton and NYU, as well as here at Tufts. 


The Setonian
Guest

Op-ed: Russian Program at Tufts needs to be decolonized

Let’s imagine a hypothetical world where I was a Tufts freshman aspiring to become a diplomat and save the world. I immediately enrolled in classes offered by the Chinese Program in the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies on Chinese language, culture and history. I believed that knowledge of Chinese language and culture would help me to one day secure a dream job at the state department.


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Column

Antisemitism Unpacked: A Jewish face of power

When we envision racism, many processes come to mind: impoverishment; underrepresentation in government; theft of land and resources; mass incarceration. These are all insidious methods of oppression enforced by the settler-colonial, white supremacist system that characterizes the modern-day U.S. But ...


The Setonian
Guest

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor, I was deeply disturbed reading Professor Emeritus Gary Leupp’s recent letter to the Daily. It is astounding that a professor of history could either be so ignorant to the real and legitimate fears of Jewish students on campus, or so callous that he does not care. Leupp claims that ...


The Setonian
Guest

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor, On Oct. 25, The Tufts Daily published my letter to the editor in which I asserted that an op-ed by the “Revolutionary Marxist Students,” submitted in response to the recent Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, violated Tufts’ standards on free expression and constituted prohibited ...