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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, March 2, 2024


Overpopulation, conceptual illustration

The dangerous myth of overpopulation

Last November, the world’s population reached eight billion. This milestone was accompanied by a renewed interest in the concept of overpopulation — the idea that Earth has too many humans on it. Articles entitled “Eight Billion People in the World Is a Crisis, Not an Achievement” and “Planet Earth: 8 billion humans and dwindling resources” have become widespread. However, overpopulation is not a serious issue — the idea of overpopulation excuses capitalism’s worst excesses. To make matters worse, the far-right is weaponizing the idea of overpopulation for its own nefarious aims. In order to actually end world hunger, we must move towards socialism.


Tufts tuition, high interest rates and student loans

College students in the U.S. have certainly had an interesting education experience: Many current students attended school through a global pandemic, navigating virtual classes and adjusting to a new version of socialization. The U.S. took drastic actions to combat the economic impact of the pandemic. The country is now starting to feel a series of economic aftershocks, particularly affecting students, which I believe is due to actions of both the Trump and Biden administrations.


Ramaswamy and the young Republican vote

Watching Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy perform Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” (2002) in Iowa was a sight to be seen. Opinions on it varied. To outsiders, it might be seen as a candidate trying to fit in. To Eminem, it was the first and last time he wanted to see Ramaswamy performing his song. To me, Ramaswamy’s “shady” performance was an attempt at capturing a unicorn of sorts — that is, the young vote for the GOP.

Graphic by Charlene Tsai

The Policy Perspective: The pathway to affordable housing

As sophomores settle in at Tufts, many are already thinking about off-campus housing for next year. This happens for a reason: Housing in the Medford and Somerville area has gotten increasingly expensive, while still being difficult to find. There is no doubt that Tufts University and its students play some role in this, but this trend isn’t just occurring in Medford and Somerville — it’s occurring in many cities across the country.

City of Derna, Libya, is pictured.

Collapse of two Libyan dams should be a major conversation in America

Early on Sept. 11, two dams built 50 years ago in Libya broke due to large amounts of rainfall from Storm Daniel. One of them, the Derna dam, held 4.76 billion gallons of water. Much of Derna was positioned within the water’s path of destruction, leaving as much as a third of the city destroyed. This catastrophic event has led to the deaths of over 11,300 and left more missing. Many Libyans are now left completely stranded without food, water and shelter.


The need to codify Title IX

​Earlier this year, the Connecticut Supreme Court passed down its ruling concerning the immunity of rape victims in Title IX cases on campus. Title IX is the law that governs how sexual assault cases are supposed to be handled on college campuses. In a 7–0 vote, the court concluded that due to certain lacks of fairness, full immunity could not be extended to a Title IX victim of rape at Yale, and that a defamation case against her could continue.


The Atlanta Police are attacking democracy. It’s time to fight back.

On Jan. 18, 2023, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, an environmental activist named Manuel Terán, known to most as Tortuguita, was shot 57 times by police officers. Police claimed that Tortuguita, who died on the scene, had shot and injured an officer immediately before his death. However, a subsequent autopsy showed that Tortuiguita had likely died sitting cross-legged, with his hands (which contained no gunpowder residue) in the air. Additionally, police body cam footage contained audio of an officer saying that the injured police officer was wounded by friendly fire, not Tortuguita.


Why do a comedian’s lies feel like a betrayal?

Last week, reporter Clare Malone published a New Yorker article that exposed the lies that litter comedian Hasan Minhaj’s popular Netflix specials. At first glance, this appears to be a nonissue. Why should we expect truth from comedians? In fact, comedy idol Jerry Seinfeld has said that all his jokes are made up. Comedians are not journalists, activists or educators. And yet, Minhaj has fashioned himself as all three.


Is nuclear proliferation back on the negotiating table?

It’s not that hard to build a nuclear bomb. Get your hands on some uranium and materials for enrichment, and you’re golden. While that’s a gross oversimplification, I was able to learn the steps to build a nuclear warhead by spending two hours with a YouTube lecture; and in 1999, two University of Chicago students built a working nuclear reactor in their dorm room. For a weapon with unimaginable consequences, that’s a frightening statement to be able to make. In fact, the U.S. has spent the last 78 years tailoring its international security policy to ensure that other countries can’t take advantage of widely available information on how to construct a nuclear bomb. Specifically, the U.S. has focused on keeping nuclear weapons out of high-tension areas, including the Middle East.

Ukraine at war Column Graphic

Ukraine at War: Navigating daily challenges and massive disasters

To better introduce intricate software as a solution tool, one of my professors asked the class to name a problem we encounter in our daily lives. My first thought was, “There is a war in my country.” I stayed silent for that part of the class, as a simple solution for this kind of problem does not exist. We talked about ways to free up space on iPhones and moved on to learning the program further.


Pushing the borders: What Jordan’s retrenchment of free speech means for them and us

In Jordan, the satire page “Al-Hudood,” which literally translates to “borders” or “limits” in Arabic, did what almost every political comedy group has done at one point — they released cartoons poking fun at the grossly rich. Al-Hudood’s cartoons and articles centered on the recent Jordanian royal wedding, a display of opulence in a country pervaded by wealth inequality. One comic replayed the dynamics of the wedding but in the context of Jordanian social division whereby the wedding guests, clad in rags, threw their last pieces of bread to the new couple. But it seems the only people who found it funny were the Jordanian public. Unsurprisingly, the rich and powerful friends of the newlyweds looked askance at this humor. Within days, “Al-Hudood” was shut down and journalists were arrested.

The Setonian

Drifting between China and the U.S. to find a middle ground

In media reports on China’s political and economic matters, we can observe a growing fear and animosity toward the nation as its power expands to create an increasingly bipolar world. In my experience, this has created an emotional atmosphere for discussions surrounding U.S.-China relations, where deviations from this mainstream view on China are often taken as an existential threat to American liberalism, democracy, national security and prosperity.


Tufts should revert its meal swipe policy — again

Dining halls are one of the most quintessential parts of a college experience. Many first-years especially will be getting their meals through campus dining halls rather than cooking or eating out — a phenomenon more pronounced at Tufts, where first-years are required to purchase the premium meal plan. As a result, the quality and accessibility of student dining is often a significant factor in college decisions, and something that Tufts and other universities appear to actively advertise and pride themselves on.


Antisemitism in the Ivy League

The University of Pennsylvania will host internationally condemned antisemite Roger Waters during the Jewish High Holidays. Waters, a former member of the rock group Pink Floyd, is scheduled to speak at Penn’s “Palestine Writes Literature Festival.” Celebrations of literature and culture, especially those of marginalized groups, are an important initiative on college campuses across the country. But let’s be clear — supporting one community cannot take place while employing violent language against another.

Household utilities are pictured in Arlington, Mass.

Living off campus? Check your energy bills ASAP

Massachusetts is one of only around a dozen states that has a market for electricity. Even though there are three electric utilities that control the power grid — Eversource, National Grid and Unitil — state residents can choose who supplies their energy: the electric utility, a municipality or a private company (so-called “competitive suppliers”). This well-intentioned policy was meant to protect consumers by giving them more choices, instead, it has let companies trample consumers’ rights.


Spanish women’s soccer controversy: unmasking gender inequality

On Aug. 20, when the Spanish women’s national soccer team won the World Cup final against England, the nation should have been celebrating with triumphant spirit. However, the spotlight shifted dramatically from a prideful national victory to Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Joe Biden.jpeg

While the DNC may want Biden in 2024, the American people don’t

Joe Biden has not exactly excelled in his role as President of the United States over the past couple of months. Most recently came Biden’s “no comment” from Delaware, where he appeared to brush off questions about the death toll of the tragic wildfires in Maui. Once he finally made it to Hawaii, he compared the devastation to a bizarre and self-centered story about an insignificant kitchen fire, later departing after spending a mere six hours assessing the damage.