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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

Julieta Grané


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University

TCU Senate passes 3 of 4 resolutions seeking university accountability for ties to Israel

In the early hours of Monday, the Tufts Community Union Senate voted to approve three out of four resolutions formally calling on University President Sunil Kumar to recognize genocide in Gaza, for the university to divest from Israeli companies and for it to cease selling Sabra products in dining halls. It did not, however, pass a resolution calling on the university to end approval for study abroad programs at universities in Israel.

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A Super Bowl commercial’s window to medical privilege

Super Bowl LVII prompted a wide range of emotions. Rihanna’s spectacular halftime show sparked joy and amazement, from her fantastic backup dancers to her low-key pregnancy announcement. The Chiefs’ turn-around victory in the fourth quarter enthused some and crushed others. For me, one of the Super Bowl commercials caused confusion. From headlines like “Diabetes Patients at Risk From Rising Insulin Prices,” I have learned about crises the diabetic community face. Access to insulin is scarce, expensive and often not adequately covered by insurance. Stories of people rationing their insulin have often ended in grave illness and even death. Yet a Dexcom commercial featuring Nick Jonas highlighted a wildly different diabetic reality. By promoting technology that makes life simple for those living with the condition while neglecting to acknowledge the grim reality of so many with limited insulin access, the ad was an affront to marginalized communities and a gross display of medical privilege.

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … weather balloon?

The recent polar vortex left many of us indoors, glued to our screens and inevitably following a bizarre news story developing in the midwest. One headline read, “Suspected Chinese spy balloon spotted over Montana,” which then evolved when Mao Ning, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, claimed that the flying object was a “civilian balloon” rather than a surveillance balloon; this claim is largely disproven by the technical features of the flying platform such as motors, propellers and a much larger diameter than a weather balloon that would fly at such high altitude. Most recently, an unidentified object was spotted flying over Alaska and another balloon over parts of Central and Latin America, with Ning admitting that the balloon flying over Central and Latin America was a “civilian airship.” The object flying over the coast of Alaska was shot down much more quickly than the first spy balloon; the U.S. military was made aware of its presence in the airspace on Thursday evening, and it was shot down midday on Friday. The spy balloon, which was first detected on Jan. 28, was shot down off the coast of South Carolina at the order of President Biden on Saturday. Will this lead to bullet holes permanently tattering U.S.-China relationships?

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Classified documents: An unnecessary scandal

On Nov. 2 2022, President Joe Biden’s legal team found classified documents at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. The approximately 10 documents contained material marked as sensitive from the president’s tenure as Obama’s vice president and prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate the president’s handling of the classified documents. Biden and his personal lawyers have been “cooperating fully” with the Department of Justice’s investigation. On Jan. 16, about a week after the appointment of the special counsel, another series of classified documents were discovered at former Vice President Mike Pence’s home in Carmel, Ind. As of the writing of this article, a special counsel has not been assigned to investigate Pence’s classified materials; however, he publicly claimed “full responsibility” for the misplacing of the documents. A third investigation of classified documents in a public official’s personal residence predates the former two and involves former President Donald Trump. This situation is unique in that the response from Trump’s legal time was hostile and uncooperative: Trump spent 18 months obstructing and hindering the DOJ’s investigation. 

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The importance of the new disability community senator

The Tufts Community Union Senate announced on Jan. 19 that a special election will be held to fill six vacant positions, among them a new disability community senator. An announcement from the disability justice club ABLE encourages “a member of the disability community … [who] want[s] to change the lack of accessibility, education and representation on campus” to apply. 

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The dark side of the lottery

Many Tufts students may have opened their e-bill and wished the lottery ticket in their pocket would win them a few hundred thousand dollars; however, digging into the origins of the lottery and the aftermath for the rare few who actually win often exposes the dark underbelly of an institution that falsely promises a shot at the American Dream. 

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COVID-19 mitigation measures could stop a terrible flu season in its tracks

Every winter season, the world experiences a months-long intensification of influenza outbreaks, commonly known as the flu season, that usually starts when the weather gets cold and lasts until the start of spring. The Southern Hemisphere typically experiences winter from June through September which allows countries like Argentina and Australia to serve as guides for what the Northern Hemisphere flu season will look like. Australia’s alarmingly severe 2022 flu season has caused concern for American epidemiologists heading into the start of flu season. 

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Stop voting for celebrities

What do lawyers, soldiers, peanut farmers and movie actors have in common? They are all former professions of U.S. presidents. While the first two seem like a better fit to the presidency title, the different professions of politicians influence the way they serve constituents in different ways. The benefit of public officials with a background in law is that they tend to comprehensively understand systems of government; soldiers have experience serving their country; farmers understand the food and agriculture industry that feeds the nation. However, celebrities’ benefit to their constituents seems more ambiguous. 

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PHOTO

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Packard Hall, home to the departments of political science and international relations, is pictured on Feb. 11, 2023.

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