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

Opinion | Viewpoint


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A profile of the Opinion section, via its seniors

At the end of this year, I decided to sit down with the Opinion section’s three departing seniors to profile each in a single article — condensed to save time, I thought. While I learned a lot about each senior, their time at Tufts and the Daily in our group interview, what happened in between our lines of questioning was ultimately much more valuable.


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Four years, one home

When I arrived at Tufts in September 2020, I was alone, attempting to get my two large suitcases from Gantcher Field House to Tilton Hall. I didn’t recognize campus — when I toured in February 2019, a layer of barren, snow-covered trees created an entirely different landscape than the one I’d just arrived in.


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How to make history when you can’t even read it

What’s in a name? I was never taught Taiwanese, but I’ve known how to write my family name, 洪, since my mom taught it to me for a second grade art project. A few years later I finally learned what it meant: flood. Beyond that, I had never engaged with my family’s history. That changed this year.


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Final meditations from the Opinion section's conservative

My journey at Tufts these past four years has had an outstanding impact on my life: I met people in Miller Hall on day one who I know will be my lifelong friends; I took unique and insightful courses with amazing professors whom I can confidently call mentors; and I was able to study two vastly different academic subjects — economics and Latin. Now that four years have passed, it is time to say goodbye. I’d like to offer some final thoughts to close this chapter of my life.


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Paying for Tufts needs to be easier to navigate

For the 2024–25 academic year, Tufts’ undergraduate tuition will increase, making the estimated cost of attendance a staggering $92,167. Although 38% of the class that matriculated in the fall of 2023 doesn’t pay that full ‘sticker price,’ the cost itself is shocking. Even so, over 60% of students pay that full sticker price; over the course of a four-year degree, that sums to over $350,000.


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It’s time to level the playing field between athletics and academics

Undoubtedly, the American college experience is unique compared to other countries. Besides crippling student loan debt, frat parties and wearing shower shoes, perhaps the most distinctive element of attending college in America is the country’s unwavering love for collegiate sports. Between the 9.86 million viewers of March Madness and the $7.67 billion of revenue collegiate sports merchandise brings in, it’s clear that America cherishes college athletics. But hidden by our jerseys and bustling stadiums is a ugly problem: From admissions to finances, athletics has made college an unfair game.



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Unions are on stage at Tufts and SMFA

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts saw negotiation between SMFA’s part-time lecturers and the university this past fall. The Professors of the Practice, SMFA’s full-time faculty, are now beginning bargaining sessions for a set of contract improvements through posters and a banner draped on Bessie, the rhinoceros mascot of SMFA.


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Stop denying women their bodily autonomy

I want to write this piece to express my disappointment in the regressive state of laws regarding women in the U.S. Three weeks ago, on April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated a Civil War-era near-total abortion ban that makes the procedure illegal except when the mother’s life is in danger.


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Climate change in the Middle East: The spoiler of plans and planets

Summer in Qatar is unbearable; most days reach a high of at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The air feels void of vapor, the land is arid and cracked, but most of all, the heat from the sun is unforgiving. Every summer, I remember accompanying my mom to the nearest auto repair shop to replace our leather car seats, which melted from the scorching heat of the metallic seatbelts. It was quite an inconvenient endeavor. When the temperature is high enough to irritate your skin, there isn’t much to do during the day, unless your idea of fun is visiting the same handful of indoor malls the country has to offer.


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We need to move beyond the terms ‘pro-Palestine’ and ‘pro-Israel’

While engagement with the Israel-Palestine conflict has increased dramatically since the Israel-Hamas war started on Oct. 7, 2023, it is far from a new topic at Tufts University. The Daily’s website includes articles on the subject dating back to 2000, and I am sure that many more exist in the physical archives of the Daily and other Tufts publications. Since at least 2000, the terms “pro-Palestine” and “pro-Israel” have graced the pages of the Daily and existed within the discourse on our campus.


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Carm should allow gluten a seat at the table

I lived in Carmichael Hall during my first year at Tufts, so naturally I would frequent Fresh at Carmichael Dining Center. Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center, Hodgdon Food-on-the-Run, Pax et Lox Glatt Kosher Deli and Kindlevan Café were all wonderful options; however, they required a trek downhill and back up again. While all of these locations were admittedly less than a 15-minute walk from my dorm, that journey wasn’t one I was willing to make most of the time, especially not after a long day of classes or on a cold winter night. I was thus stuck with going to Carmichael Dining Center (dubbed “Carm” by many), the only uphill dining option. Unfortunately for me, Carm is entirely gluten-free.


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Why you should stop using social media

Throughout college, I’ve often had to explain to people that I do not, indeed, have an Instagram account. In fact, I’ve been social media-free for most of my life, which has often felt like both a social detriment and a personal benefit. People are quick to point out the cons of going offline: It is more difficult to meet people, exchange contact information and keep up with (or keep tabs on) your high school friends you don’t talk to anymore.


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The issue with celebrity worship

If the #MeToo movement didn’t expose the dark and twisted side of stardom for you, the past month certainly should have. When Kate Middleton went missing, conspiracy theories flooded TikTok accounts, claiming that the Princess of Wales was killed in a Diana-esque incident, had a mental breakdown or even had a Brazilian butt lift.


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Trump, the Bible salesman

Perhaps the most notable oddity of former President Donald Trump’s business career is the diversity of his ventures. Besides real estate, the former president has sold NFTs, wine and golden “Never Surrender” high-top sneakers. Most recently, Trump has embarked on his newest scheme: Bibles. For $59.99, the “God Bless the USA” Bible, which holds the King James translation, the Pledge of Allegiance, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, can now be purchased online. While the “God Bless the USA” Bible is another laughable odyssey of Trump’s business career, it’s more importantly emblematic of his dangerous codependent relationship with Christian nationalism.


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Progressives attack — education suffers

American progressives have long derided the right for its attacks on education and schools; however, it is long past time for the American left to look at itself in the mirror and realize its own hubris. This is not to let the hard right off the hook when it comes to education, but it is necessary for the left not to lose sight of its own failures.


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Uri Berliner’s departure from NPR should be a wake-up call to everyone

National Public Radio, previously one of America’s most trustworthy news sources, had a major lapse in judgment. Uri Berliner, formerly an NPR senior business editor, recently authored an eloquent piece in The Free Press, where he detailed his career at NPR and the media outlet’s prolonged ideological decline. He discussed how NPR gradually became more liberal throughout his 25-year-long career at the business desk.


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The April Fools’ email was a call to action — and it was funny

On April 1, Tufts students and staff woke up to an email from a seemingly official Tufts announcements address with the subject, “Very Sad News.” The email announced the tragic, unexpected death of University President Sunil Kumar. After revealing the news, the email offered a standard list of support resources, including Ears for Peers, Counseling and Mental Health Services and the Student Support team. At the very bottom of the list, there was a message to Tufts Technology Services that called out their failure to prevent email scraping, explained how said failure has led to countless spam and phishing emails and suggested that TTS implement CAPTCHA services in the Tufts directory to prevent scraping and further spam. The email simply ended with “April Fools.”


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The current economic frenzy and its political implications

Last week, the Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index, a common measure for inflation, rose 3.5% in March compared to last year. This comes as traders have grown more conservative about how many interest rate cuts they anticipate for fiscal year 2024. When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, many forms of debt, including student loans and mortgages, become more costly for consumers. For context, inflation for February was 3.2%. The 0.3% increase has called into question whether the Federal Reserve is in a position to cut interest rates at all, especially since doing so could cause an economic slowdown if inflation were to rise. Furthermore, this inflation report marks the third straight month of hotter-than-expected inflation rates, which erodes any chance of the Fed cutting rates in the near term. Regarding the economy, the Fed appears just as confused as consumers.



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A senior’s guide to Tufts’ best study spots

Congratulations on your acceptance to Tufts! I will always remember the feeling of joy I experienced when I opened my Tufts acceptance letter. Getting into Tufts is an amazing achievement and you should be extremely proud. Tufts is filled with hard-working, bright students. We study a wide variety of subjects and are members of over 350 clubs. We do work all over campus, everywhere from our dorms to the library. If you decide to attend Tufts, you will need to know the best study spots on campus. As a second-semester senior, I have spent my time studying in many locations, and I hope to provide insight into my favorite spots so you can be prepared for your arrival in Medford.