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

News | Unversity


Annual celebration held in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A celebration in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was held on Jan. 30 by the Tisch College of Civic Life in collaboration with the Africana Center, the President’s Office, the University Chaplaincy and the Provost’s Office. The event, which was held in Breed Memorial Hall, featured keynote speaker Régine Jean-Charles, as well as student voices and a cappella groups. 


Tufts ends bivalent COVID-19 booster and flu vaccination requirements

The bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is no longer required for all university personnel and students, Michael Jordan, university infection control director, announced in a Jan. 5 email to the Tufts community. In addition to dropping the omicron booster mandate, Jordan noted that the influenza vaccine would become optional for all students on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses. 


Seventh bomb threat in 9 days targets Medford/Somerville, Boston campuses

Tufts received its seventh bomb threat in nine days at 7:01 a.m. In addition to naming seven buildings on the Medford/Somerville campus, one building on the Boston campus and the Boston Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the threat also targeted the Greater Boston Health Center branch of Planned Parenthood.


'Pax et Lux: A Multifaith Winter Celebration' brings interfaith holiday cheer to campus

The University Chaplaincy hosted the event “Pax et Lux: A Multifaith Winter Celebration” on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in Goddard Chapel. For the event, Interfaith Ambassadors, student volunteers who work with the chaplaincy, gathered to present holiday rituals and traditions to create a multicultural atmosphere in celebration of peace and light. According to the chaplaincy’s website, the event was meant for chaplains and students from different cultures and faiths to perform dances and songs, and to tell their personal stories about their traditions during the holiday season. Nora Bond, program manager for the University Chaplaincy, wrote in an email that the event was open to anyone of any faith, including community members from Medford and Somerville. The event was also advertised by the Office of Community Relations. “For the event, we collected stories from the Tufts community about how peace and light manifest in their lives in their religious or faith traditions,” Bond wrote. “Tufts students, faculty and other community members will share stories reflecting their traditions.” Stories from Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity were included in the event as well as those from other faiths and practices, Bond explained. Bond also wrote that “religions and faiths are represented to different degrees on Tufts campus, with some religions being more dominant than others.” As a result, Bond noted that the chaplaincy made particular and purposeful decisions regarding the event’s details. “We deliberated on every minute detail, from the choice of flier color to the substance of each performance, to make sure that our event could be the best representation of peace, light, and multi-faith inclusivity,” she wrote. The planners and coordinators for the event spent weeks debating and revisiting each choice, and they sought assistance from community members to ensure an inclusive celebration, according to Bond. “We also reached out to many religious and philosophical student groups on campus, particularly centering those that have not had as many opportunities to share their faith practices at Tufts,” she wrote. Sam Gully, a sophomore who serves as a worship coordinator for Tufts’ Protestant Chaplaincy, told a story from their childhood where they first learned about the duality between peace and war. “It’s the little moments in our childhood that shaped the big decisions we make as adults,” Gully said. “Taking action is an integral part of my duty as a Christian. … That doesn't mean that we’re supposed to spend our lives quietly waiting and hoping that we’re worthy enough to experience God’s purpose even when we die. It means that we should work to bring it out here. In this messy, imperfect, beautiful world.” Other speakers and performers came from groups surrounding Hindu and Buddhist religious cultures and traditions. Members from the Buddhist Mindfulness Sangha spoke about experiences of interconnection with oneself and others as part of Buddhist enlightenment. “I think about my relationship with the Sangha, which is also a word for community, there have been so many of these moments of interconnection,” senior Eli Intriligator said. Senior Zoe Salvato-Cutter added that part of their Buddhist practice incorporates “sending loving kindness to ourselves, to our community and ultimately to everyone in the entire world.” On behalf of Tufts Hillel, sophomore Julia Appel discussed the beginnings of Hanukkah. “The story … is about light,” she said. “[Hanukkah] is about warmth in the cold, and a miracle that illuminates darkness.” Bond noted that religious traditions create a platform for cultural practices, social movements, personal philosophies and even the architecture of Tufts campus. “Attending these events is integral to one’s learning at a higher education institution like Tufts,” she wrote. “Participating in multi faith events allows people to meet across and within religious delineations and form deeper community connections. We’re not aiming to show how everyone is the same, or that we’re all fundamentally different.”


Engineering professors present research on new sociotechnical component of intro course

Desen Özkan and Chelsea Andrews of Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach hosted a discussion on Dec. 2 presenting findings from their ongoing research project “Improving Students’ Sociotechnical Literacy in Engineering.” Özkan is a postdoctoral researcher at the CEEO and the Institute for Research on Learning and Instruction, and Andrews is a research assistant professor. 


TCU Senate approves resolution calling for ASL minor

The TCU Senate approved on Dec. 4 a resolution to add more American Sign Language courses to the Tufts curriculum, which would allow students to minor in the language. During the meeting, the Senate also read the text of two new resolutions and approved 14 supplementary budget requests.


Karen Panetta, graduate engineering dean, honored with engineering service award

Karen Panetta, the Tufts School of Engineering dean of graduate education, was awarded the 2022 Distinguished Service Award from the honor society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN). IEEE-HKN’s Distinguished Service Award is given annually to a member who has made major contributions for the development of the society and its activities, resulting in a significant benefit to all its members. 


New textile, food waste bans to affect Tufts

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection recently added textiles and mattresses to the list of materials banned from waste disposal and further lowered the threshold on banned commercial food waste to include facilities generating more than half a ton per week. Tufts will need to expand its preexisting textile and food waste collection programs in order to adhere to the bans as well as revise its mattress disposal procedures.


'Gender as a Show!' combines drag with deeper reflection

Local drag artists Briar Blush, Rusty Hammer, Arabella LaDessé and Hal Apenyo joined the Tufts community in Curtis Hall on Nov. 29 for “Gender as a Show!,” an afternoon of drag performances followed by a panel on the role of gender in drag. The event was sponsored by the Tufts Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with support from the LGBT Center. WGSS instructor Matisse DuPont moderated the panel in the role of Monstera Délicieux and also offered an introductory performance to start the show. 


BREAKING: Monroe France appointed as DEIJ vice provost

Monroe France will become the inaugural vice provost of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice, as announced in an email to the Tufts community on Dec. 1. France will also receive an appointment as a professor of practice at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life and will start both roles on April 3, 2023.