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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

Opinion | Viewpoint


Social media’s dangerous role in the Israel-Hamas conflict

If you’ve been on social media lately, there’s a good chance your feed has become flooded by posts surrounding the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Whether it be a flashy infographic or images of gut-wrenching violence, social media platforms have once again become a stage for people to vocalize their rage and feelings. But amongst the posts, tweets and footage that have proliferated, misinformation has created murky waters, making it increasingly difficult for users to discern what is real and what is fake.


The US needs to improve foreign language education

Only 10% of people in the U.S. speak a foreign language proficiently. In comparison, in Europe, 65% of people can speak a second language other than their native tongue. Although the difference is drastic, these numbers should not come as a surprise. For many years, American public schools have been completely lacking when it comes to language education. For a country that used to hail itself as a cultural melting pot, the U.S.’ foreign language education programs are greatly impaired. Foreign language education has been shown to be beneficial in enhancing memory, problem-solving and even aptitude in other subjects. In addition, foreign language increases a student’s knowledge of the world, allowing them to be informed about different cultures. It goes without saying, therefore, that American foreign language education needs improvement.


Biden’s hypocrisy is enabling war crimes

On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine. Though the reasons for Russia’s invasion were complex, the offensive constituted an illegal attack on a sovereign nation. The U.S. government immediately and strongly condemned the invasion and began sending billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, with President Joe Biden stating, “If we abandon the core principles of the United States to appease an aggressor, can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected?” 


The tragedy of Kevin McCarthy

Hyper-partisan politics have become very strongly entrenched in our nation’s political system. Still, some events manage to display just how shockingly fractured party loyalties are. The most recent example is the removal of Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House of Representatives. McCarthy was ousted as speaker by far-right members of his party after McCarthy negotiated with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown. For McCarthy, it was only a matter of time until he was removed as speaker, given that to appease the so-called “Freedom Caucus” enough to win the position in the first place, he reinstated a House rule that would require only one member to call for a vote for the speaker’s removal.


When the crisis on the border moves past the border

When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent busloads of asylum seekers up to New York last April, I doubt even he could have predicted how his plan would have unfolded. Since 2014, more and more migrants have crossed the U.S.’ southern border, seeking entry and a better life. It has become evident that this nation’s judicial and welfare systems can no longer handle the massive amounts of undocumented immigrants migrating into the nation every year.


It’s Tufts’ turn to catch up; Tufts should offer students more than loans

Tufts University is an expensive place to get your college degree — the fifth most expensive in the U.S. as of August 2022. Tuition is set at just over $66,000. After including the fees and expenses of being a student here, the estimated cost of attendance is a little over $88,000, becoming more than $90,000 for students in their third and following years. Tufts offers its students financial aid and states that in “making education affordable for exceptional students from all backgrounds, Tufts meets 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted undergraduates.” Tufts’ aid includes grants and loans, federal grants and loans and work-study awards.


Not-so uncharted waters: The frontline battle for the South China Sea

In 1942, General Douglas McArthur uttered the famous quote, “I shall return.” With that line, he left the Philippines. Following the U.S. retreat, the Philippines continued to resist the Japanese during the first half of World War II. This came at the cost of one of the least discussed, yet bloodiest prisoner-of-war events in history: the Bataan Death March. An estimated 20,000 Filipinos were killed in a brutal forced march of about 62 miles. The U.S. government waited almost two years to criticize the Bataan Death March, quickly referencing it in rousing propaganda. The repercussions of this decision are still felt today. Unless they are particularly interested in Filipino history, talking about the March to my peers often results in blank stares.


The Great American culture war

A blue-haired socialist with a giant septum piercing. A goateed right-winger donning a sleeveless tank and an American flag tattoo. Highly exaggerated and yet eerily similar. Despite thedivisive media coverage that paints America as ‘MAGA red’ versus ‘AOC blue’ and the popular acceptance of these divisions, the political climate is a morenuanced purple. 


The dangers of ignoring Ukraine’s neo-Nazis

The name “Azov Brigade” should be recognizable to anyone who follows the conflict in Ukraine. To Ukraine, it is a key military unit composed of motivated fighters who have resisted Russian aggression. To Russia, the Azov Brigade is a neo-Nazi terrorist formation. Both of these ...


So your closest grocery store is closing. What now?

Due to poor revenue, bfresh in Davis Square is slated to close at6 p.m. on Thursday. This marks the closure of the only full-service grocery store in Davis Square and the closest one for many Tufts students. The store’s closure raises the question of grocery accessibility and affordability.


College rankings aren’t just a number — they’re worse

When U.S. News first began publishing its Best Colleges list in 1983, the number of young Americans enrolling in college was in the midst of an upgrowth, adding almost 10 million students before its 2010 peak. With these new prospective students looking for guidance on where to apply for college, the U.S. News rankings became a very influential way to determine where their tuition would best be spent.


Don’t blame third party candidates, blame our political system

Since announcing his run for president in April, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has drawn criticism from the very party his family once dominated. His anti-vaccine stances, claims Democrats are censoring him and the praise he has garnered from right-wing pundits such as Steve Bannon and Tucker Carlson have earned him the title of “Conservatives’ favorite democrat”. Perhaps it’s no surprise that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries referred to Mr. Kennedy as a “living, breathing, false flag operation.” Kennedy has ignored the majority of the Democrat base, opting instead to play to conservatives with appearances on Joe Rogan’s podcast and double down on his belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

A Republican debate stage is pictured.

What the Roman Empire can tell us about the GOP primary

As Republicans vie to earn their party’s presidential nomination in 2024, the lack of an incumbent president means there is a wide-open field with many candidates trying to assert their superiority. In this campaign cycle, Republicans are turning to new avenues to relate to voters and gain national appeal.


The Biden administration finally acknowledges the border crisis

On Oct. 5, the Biden administration finally acknowledged a problem it has long denied and made the strategic decision to construct 20 miles of border wall in and near Starr County, Texas. According to the report written by Alejandro Mayorkas, United States secretary of homeland security, announcing this initiative, the “Rio Grande Valley Sector is an area of ‘high illegal entry.’” In fiscal year 2023, the Border Patrol encountered more than 245,000 entrants attempting to cross the border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. Already, though, there is a disjointed message coming from the White House about the motivation behind this construction: Mayorkas says that the wall is necessary while Biden has claimed that the money cannot be reappropriated.

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.

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.