Tufts University Disorientation Guide 2017

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Title

Tufts University Disorientation Guide 2017

Date

2017

Place

Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Source

https://issuu.com/tuftsdisorientation/docs/disorientaiton_final

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TUFTS UNIVERSITY

2017

About the Disorientation Guide
While this is the 2017 Disorientation Guide, much of the content
that follows appeared in the 2015 Guide. Facts, names, and general
info have been updated , but keep in mind that in the past two years
many things have changed on campus, so more specific advice
should be taken with a grain of salt .
We want to make something very clear:
This guide does not cover everything. There are narratives missing
here-this does not negate the existince, validity, and strength of
those narratives and the people on campus who live them. There
is nothing in this guide specifically addressing trans students,
undocumented students, experiences with Health Services, SMFA
students, workers at Tufts (janitors , facilities, dining workers, etc.),
or the state of Greek Life at Tufts-just to name a few. We know that
these omissions are glaring, and hope to include even more pieces
next year.
So, here is what we have. Far from exhaustive, but still rich with
institutional knowledge, words of encouragement, and narratives
that you will not hear from the Tufts Administration during 0-week .
If you would like to write something to add to future disorientation
guides, please email tuftsdisorientationguide@gmail.com

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Table of Contents
Radical Histories of Tufts
Recent Student Activism
Tufts in Medford and Somerville
Financial Aid
Tips for Staying Loved as a Money-Poor Person on Campus
Resources: The ARC and the Deans
Accessibility
Group of Six
Where to begin? Being Black and queer on Campus...
Professors and Departments
The Politics of Leaming Arabic at Tufts
Advice from a Fellow Transfer
Study Abroad
Studying Abroad and Mental Illness
Being First Generation
Experience as an Indian on Campus with Radical Politics
Spiritual Life
Mental Health and Counsel ing
Taking Time off from Tufts
Sexual Violence Resources

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26
34
35
41
49
55
75
79
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87
89
92
95
97
101
104

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Radical Histories of Tufts
It's likely you have some understanding of
Tufts' history. Maybe you've browsed the
Tufts website and learned that Tufts was
founded by a Universalist church in 1852,
Jackson College (the women's school) was
founded in 1910, and that celebrities like Tracy Chapman and Elaine from
Seinfeld are Tufts alumni. While historical snippets such as these are fun to
peruse, there's a lot they're leaving out . The purpose of this article is to dive
deeper into Tufts' history, beyond institutional memory and the digestible
facts published by Tufts Admissions, to examine the land on which Tufts was
built and the labor that went into crafting the campus you see today . Here
we want to tell the history of those who lived on and altered the physical
landscape before Tufts was founded as well as those who have since then;
the history of those whose blood, sweat, and tears mingle with our campus'
dirt; the history of those who gave parts of themselves in the hopes of
productively transforming Tufts according to a more just vision.

History of the Land: Colonialism and Genocide
Colonialism is fundamental to the contemporary geopolitical order. The
borders that separate the U.S. from Canada, Mexico from Guatemala, and
the Dominican Republic from Haiti represent the interests of the European
settlers who stole the land rather than those of the vibrant communities they
pillaged it from. As a structure, rather than distant historical event,
colonialism has shaped our ecology
since 1492, when Columbus set off
for India, and continues to today.
The colonial history of Tufts' land is
not isolated from the worldwide
mass displacement and genocide of
millions of indigenous peoples. The
indigenous claims to our current
landscape are uncontestable-the
name Massachusetts is derived from
the language of the Wampanoag
Indians and means "at the great hill:'
The Wampanoag tribes (including
4

the Massachusett, Nauset, Nantucket, Pennacook, Pokanoket, and Pocasset
tribes) lived throughout what is now known as the Massachusetts Baytoday the Wampanoag tribe has land in Plymouth County, yet still lay claim
to the stolen land we now stand on at Tufts.
Furthermore, as the Wampanoag tribes were cordoned off onto smaller and
smaller portions of land, millions of slaves were brutally imported from the
Central and Western parts of the African continent to the Western Hemisphere. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize human bondage and
Tufts is built on top of the ruins of an old slave plantation. Ten Hills Farm
was a six-hundred-acre plantation owned by Isaac Royall. Today you can
take the 96 bus from Davis square to 15 George St. in Medford and tour the
old Royall house and slave quarters , now a museum.
Slave labor shaped the landscape; slave owners ' profit laid Tufts' foundation.
According to a 2010 Tufts Observer article, the Tufts family owned slaves
up until the late l 700's. Less than a century later this money helped found
the institution that would cater to a mostly white, male student body until
the second half of the 20th century . It wasn't until after 1965, with both the
passage of the Higher Education Act and the fight for civil rights, that Tufts'
demographic changed and more students of color as well as women were
granted admission.

Establishment of the Cultural Centers
The year 1968 saw student protests at institutions of higher education across
the country. The movement , spurred by student strikes at San Francisco State
University, demanded equal access to higher education, more senior faculty
of color and a new curriculum that would represent the history , culture,
and knowledges of students of color/ethnic minorities and women. In 1969
Tufts students spoke out as well, sparked by outrage that a company with
discriminatory hiring policies would be building the new dorm on campus,
now Lewis Hall. When the administration largely ignored the concerns
voiced by members of the then Afro-American Society, students organized
protests at the construction site and faced off against Somerville police
outfitted in riot gear. The protest against the construction company escalated
quickly. Students organized a sit in at Ballou Hall, the main administrative
building, and incorporated demands for the institution of an African
American Studies and Women's Studies Departments into their call for equal
employment opportunity.
5

According to the Tufts Civil Rights archival site, «The Afro-American
Society of Tufts University took the lead in applying this pressure in
November 1969, communicating demands for equal employment
opportunity at the construction site directly to President Hallowell's office:'
Tufts conceded by agreeing to only hire companies that complied with
federal law in equal opportunity hiring, and the University eventually sued
the construction company for its non-compliance. The administration
faltered at establishing new majors of study, but agreed to establish the
Africana Center in 1969, thanks to the Afro-American Society's members'
simultaneous call for the experiences, safety and identities of students of
color to be recognized, respected, and celebrated. The Center continues
to provide a space devoted to the needs and concerns of students of color
isolated because of the various forms of oppression intrinsic to an institution
whose student body is majority white and upper/middle class.
The opening of the Africana Center spurred the founding of the Women's
Center in 1972, the Asian American Center in 1983, the Latino Center in
1993, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Resource Center (now LGBT Center)
in 1992. It also set a precedent for students to speak up and out against the
administration . A few weeks before the Stonewall Uprising in NYC, a Tufts
undergraduate came out during the commencement Senior Dinner when
he was supposed to recite a poem for his graduating class. Rather than
reciting scripted verse, the class poet stood at the podium and declared,
«I AM A HOMOSEXUAL:' The microphone immediately went dead and
he was forced off stage, yet his defiance made waves in the student body.
During the commencement ceremony, a student stopped at the microphone
after receiving his degree and proclaimed, «The only really sincere thing I've
heard all day was said earlier by the official class poet:' A 1969 Tufts Daily
article reported that students had taken off their robes during graduation in
protest to the poet's enforced censorship and the administration's decision to
give an honorary degree to President Nixon's Chief Science Adviser, Lee A.
DuBridge.

Anti-War Protests

E:,
Tufts students have engaged in anti-war protests for decades. Starting in
1965, students rejected the university's support for the Vietnam war and
held rallies and protests that escalated over the next five years. After the
Kent State shooting in 1970, Tufts students held a massive strike, creating an
effectual shut-down of the university and a cancellation of final exams . That
year, students refused to attend graduation in light of the university's
continued support for the war and the presence of recruiters on campus.
Even the cannon has a radical history underneath the layers of Zeta Psi
pledges' spray paint . During the l 960's and 70's the administration feared it
would be sabotaged during the swelling protests against the war in Vietnam
and it was removed from Tufts. After the cannons return in 1977 students
painted it to speak out against the U.S.-backed military dictators of the
Philippines, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, who regularly contributed
to the Tufts endowment and were to receive an honorary degree during
commencement . When the couple visited campus the same year 1,000
people protested the administrations warm welcome . 80 Tufts faculty signed
a letter opposing Tufts' acceptance of a $1.5 million dollar donation from
the Marcos. The canon continued to be painted with protests against the
close relationship between the school and the dictators, yet these messages
were quickly covered up by counter-protesters. While Tufts eventually broke
off the intimate relationship, the painting and repainting of the cannon had
been a fixture of student tradition ever since.
The l 980's and 90's heralded a new rush of successful student movements .
The anti-nuclear movement on campus, led by the Tufts Political Action
Committee (TPAC), helped pass a resolution with Student-Faculty Advisory
Committee for Social Responsibility declaring Tufts University a "NuclearFree Zone:' TPAC also asked the Board of Trustees that Tufts divest entirely
from nuclear development and programs and put pressure on the Fletcher
School to reevaluate the cold-war rhetoric it espoused.
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.,, .

Student Activism of the 80s and 90s

In 1985 Tufts students put pressure on the Trustees to divest the Tufts
endowment from its holdings with the Apartheid government of South
Africa. To build public pressure against the administration, students built an
apartheid-style shanty town on "The Green, and organized an occupation
of Ballou Hall. The action got local media coverage, although Tufts waited
until the certain fall of the Apartheid regime in 1989 to fully divest the
endowment,s holdings.
During th e 80,s and 90,s students also spoke out against Tufts' ongoing
gentrification of Somerville/Medford, which has rendered working class
neighborhoods overwhelmingly full of white young professionals as the
campus, student body and administrative buildings continue to expand .
At the same time Tufts, Medical Center and Dental School's expansion
into Chinatown also yielded citywide protests. Organizers in Chinatown
successfully prevented two 10-story garages being built in place of a
playground, preschool and community green-space. Yet with the Tufts
Dental School and Medical Center's presence, the area is increasingly
gentrified and threatened year by year.
In the late 90's Tufts outsourced its janitorial services to contracting
companies and in that process fired all undocumented employees, made
110 layoffs (the remaining staff is only near 200), reduced wages 25 to
30%, and scraped the benefits employees had previously been guaranteed,
such as reduced tuition for their children, sick days, vacation, and pension
plans. The union rep at the time did not advocate for the Tufts janitors'
best interests and cut a deal with Tufts rather than fighting for the workers.
When some janitors could no longer keep their jobs at Tufts because of
the university decisions, those that tried to pass out leaflets to inform the
community of what was happening to them were arrested and charged with
trespassing. These changes were met with escalated resistance from students,
custodians, professors, Medford and Somerville residents and officials,
senators, and congressmen, parents, sympathetic trustees, and alumni
working towards the custodians being rehired. This resistance manifested
in weekly and daily picketing, a graduation protest, fundraising and food
collection set up by this community, legal action against the university,
letters and petitions circulated and delivered to administrators, and open
forums .
8

The Fight for Ethnic Studies
2011 also saw the culmination of a renewed push for an Africana Studies
major. While students had been calling for ethnic studies majors since
the 1969 occupation of Ballou, during the 42 years of organizing the
administration had not followed the suit of so many of its peer institutions
to provide a Black, Asian American, or Latino Studies major. A facultystudent recommendation in 1972 went unimplemented until Tufts partially
conceded in 1980 and introduced an Africa in the New World minor. Yet
the minor fell short of academic stan dards-according to a faculty task force
it had difficulty "creating a coherent curricular experience,, for students .
The panel cited a lack of core faculty assigned to the minor, insufficient
coursework on the other African diasporas in the Western hemisphere,
and minimal resources (an annual budget of $1,000). In 2009, led by the
Pan-African Alliance, students started petitioning the Tufts administration
anew for an Africana Studies major, later holding campus rallies. In a move
to escalate pressure 40 students strolled around campus during 2011 April
Open House, what immediately changed to Jumbo Days to avoid prospective
students seeing media coverage, wearing t-shirts that read "ask me about
white privilege at Tufts,, or "ask me about being a student of color at Tufts:'
In the fall of 2011 the Pan-African Alliance organized a sit-in at Ballou
Hall-about 80 students occupied the office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences
until administrators agreed to enter negotiations with students . After 2 and
a half hours the administrators agreed to a partial version of the student's
demands. Invaluable gains were made thanks to the radical commitment
of the students involved with the organizing at the time as well as over the
previous 40+ years by earlier generations of students of color. Today, we
have an Africana Studies major and an Asian American Studies minor (the
demands called for a major, but were not met) united under the Consortium
of Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora as well as more tenured professors of
color who specialize in diaspora and critical race/ ethnicity studies.

9

Recent Student Activism: 2011-2015
Tufts Occupiers
Activism continues to the present day. In 2011, with the Occupy movement
spreading from Wall Street across the country and globe, Boston was one
of the first cities to establish an encampment. Several Tufts students were
involved with the encampment and organized themselves under the name
Tufts Occupiers to provide a space for students to meet others involved with
the movement and collaborate on organizing against various issues on Tufts
campus . During the school year, TO organized support for actions carried
out by other groups including a labor rally supporting janitors at Tufts
organized by their union and the Jumbo Janitors Alliance.

Coalition Against Religious Exclusion
In 2012-13, activists campaigned against a threat to the non-discrimination
policy at Tufts. In the Spring of 2000, a leader of the Tufts Christian
Fellowship (TCF), the campus chapter of Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship
(IVCF), was forced to step down because of her open acceptance of being
bisexual. After a year of activism and a 35-hour sit-in by members of
Tufts Students Against Discrimination, the administration reaffirmed that
the school's nondiscrimination policy covers self-acceptance of sexual
orientation, and TCF was re- recognized under these new terms . However,
by the fall of 2012, an interfaith
group of students organized
as the Coalition Against
Religious Exclusion ( CARE)
raised concerns that TCF 's
requirement that leaders
adhere to a "Basis of Faith"

IO

10

was being used as a loophole to exclude queer students from leadership
positions on the basis of their "faith" instead of explicitly on the basis of their
identity. These concerns led the TCUJ to derecognize TCF as violating the
non-discrimination policy, but the Committee of Student Life (CSL), the
appeal board for such cases, created a new policy whereby student religious
groups could apply for a "justified departure" from the non-discrimination
policy on doctrinal grounds. In the following year, CARE and an interfaith
coalition of student religious groups organized and pursued a strategy of
administrative lobbying, elections of CARE members to the CSL, and public
protest. Although student religious groups themselves opposed the policy,
faculty leaders on the CSL and other administrators insisted that the policy,
which mirrored those being instituted at other schools and in state and
local policy at the time, was needed to protect "religious liberty ,: Outside
pressures from organizations such as the national IVCF and the Foundation
for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) added to this intransigence.
Finally, in early 2014, the work of CARE and others led to the repeal of
the policy and the re-institution of the non-discrimination policy with no
exceptions .

Fossil Fuels
In the fall of 2012 students formed Tufts Divest (renamed Tufts Climate
Action in 2014), beginning the campaign for fossil fuel divestment at
Tufts. In February of 2014, President Monaco released a statement saying
that the University will not divest Tufts from fossil fuels "at this time ;,
despite support from 74% of the entire student body, 45 faculty, and 200
alumni. This past spring 33 students, alumni , and local organizers staged
a three day sit in in Monaco,s office demanding Tufts divest from the fossil
fuel industry. This action was part of a coordinated escalation of fossil
fuel divestment campaigns on college campuses all over the country. Tufts
Prison Divestment Coalition organized a rally at Ballou Hall supporting
the students inside and demanded that Tufts reflect its stated values in
its investments. Speakers from community organizations, alumni, Tufts
students, and students from other colleges also organized and spoke at
another rally outside Ballou. While the sit-in and rallies did not result in the
administration agreeing to divest immediately, they have agreed to further
investigate divestment as a future possibility. The action built on-campus
power for the campaign, garnered a significant amount of media attention
and brought in more faculty involvement to the campaign. However, a
number of students involved in the sit-in are currently facing disciplinary
action.
11

Tufts Adjunct Faculty Organizing
Adjunct organizing kicked off in Spring 2013 when Service Employees
International Union (SEIU) hosted a Boston-wide Adjunct Action
conference at UMass Boston. About 10 Tufts professors and Labor Coalition
members attended and committed to building a fighting union on campus.
After a summer of intense organizing by professors and students, Tufts
adjuncts won their fall 2013 union vote in a landslide victory . Tufts adjuncts
proceeded to win an amazing contract after almost a year of intense contract
negotiations and student organizing . Adjunct organizing helped build
student-worker-professor power at Tufts as adjuncts have stood beside the
janitors in their numerous labor struggles in the past few years, offering
support from attending rallies to speaking up in town hall meetings .

Survivor Activism
Tufts University has a history of failing and gaslighting survivors of sexual
assault. In 2008, student Wagatwe Wanjuki began the blog Raped at Tufts
about her experiences as a survivor of intimate partner violence perpetrated
by another student. She was then expelled before graduating by current
Dean Glaser. During these years SAFER, Students Active for Ending Rape,
was incredibly active and worked to transform Tufts' policies on sexual
violence from a few sentences to many pages. They were named the Best
Campaign of the Year by the Campus Progress National Conference in 2010.
Following this a full-time Title IX coordinator was hired.
Dean (now emeritus) Bruce Reitman was at the time responsible for
enforcing these policies, alongside Veronica Carter. During a 10 year
period, Tufts had five Title IX complaints filed by survivors with the federal
government for failing to fully support them.
In Spring 2013, a group of students drew from the experiences and frustrations of several years of activism to publish an 11-page open letter, which
was signed by over 350 Tufts community members. President Monaco
launched a Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Prevention in response, in
which some policy changes were instituted and resources were added,
but which continued to be largely intransigent . A year of activism led by
survivors culminated in the reportedly largest rally at Tufts since the 1980s,
12

and Tufts was one of the first schools to be found out of compliance with the
federal law Title IX. National news coverage of Tufts was widespread and
overwhelmingly (and rightfully) negative. Two new positions were hired in
the following summer, importantly Nandi Bynoe as the Sexual Misconduct
Resource Specialist. Since then Reitman and Carter were removed of all
power and forced to retire. The policy in its current state is much improved,
as are the people enforcing them.
However they are FAR from perfect or even good. Survivors are still not
supported . Complacency is unacceptable. More information about the policy
and resources on sexual violence at Tufts can be found in Survivor Resources
in this guide, and activism to hold Tufts accountable continues through the
groups: Consent Culture Network and Action for Sexual Assault Prevention
(ASAP).
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Israeli Apartheid Week
During March of 2014 Students for Justice in Palestine held the third annual
Israeli Apartheid Week since the founding of the Tufts chapter of SJP in
2012. The week of events focused on understanding solidarity between the
Palestinian struggle and that of Black, Brown, and indigenous movements
as well as unpacking the connections between capitalism, racism, and
militarization in the US and Israel. Students staged a multi-part direct
action that week in which they, dressed as soldiers from the fictional land of
Uphill, conducted a mock-colonization of the lower Campus Center patio .
The action was preceded by a night of flyering all dorms on campus-uphill
residents were given brochures advertising a «Birthright" trip, and downhill
residents were given mock eviction notices, symbolizing some of the ways
in which people living under occupation are discriminated against. Though
Tufts students do not face the same conditions as those in occupied
Palestine, our institutions (the University, Hillel, and student groups on
campus) are set up to support Israel and the occupation . As a response
to Zionist groups like Hillel, a Palestinian student created Students for
Justice in Palestine and in the past year many Jewish students have created
alternative Jewish communities on campus to celebrate their Judaism while
remaining critical of Zionism and Israel - you can read more about these
communities on the Students for Justice in Palestine and Alternative Jewish
Communities pages.
13

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Activism 2014-2015
Last year was an energetic time for the activist community at Tufts with
students responding to administrative decisions, as well as national
events . During the fall, janitors heard rumors of impending layoffs by the
contracting company DTZ scheduled for January. Students and custodians
organized a number of rallies, meetings with administrators, teach-ins,
actions, and protests to prevent the impending cuts. Before winter break the
students staged a 33 hour sit-in in Ballou Hall that ended in an agreement
being reached with the cuts being stalled until spring 2015.
In response to Israeli Defence Force Lt. Col Dr. Eran Shamir-Borer speaking
at the Fletcher School, students created a petition signed by 1600, staged a
die-in during the speech, and held a vigil for the 2000+ Palestinians killed in
Operation Protective Edge.
On the day nationally called Columbus Day, a rally was held by students
to change the name of the day officially to Indigenous Peoples Day at the
school. The resolution was passed by the student senate and went before the
administration in March: where it was rejected.
In the push for gender neutral resources, students put gender neutral signs
on all the single gendered bathrooms on campus.
The night of Darren Wilson's non-indictment, students came together in
the middle of the night and planned under the name Indict Tufts. Students
chalked and flyered the campus, did a dorm-storm, and painted the cannon.
Throughout this night TUPD surveilled students and the administration
sent campus facilities workers to power wash away all the chalk and take
down all the flyers before the other students woke up. The group held vigils
every 28 hours for black people murdered by police , held direct actions in
the dining halls, library, and administrative building: Dowling. They also
organized a protest march from through Somerville, cambridge, and Boston
with 4 and a half minute die-ins, to symbolize the 4 and a half hours that
Michael Brown was left in the street at each square with over 1000 people.

14

During the winter, students found out that Hillel was inviting Trayvon
Martin's parents to speak on campus about "gun violence;' as a way to "open
up" the conversation about race among "their" community of students.
Hillel is a Zionist space at Tufts, equating anti-Zionism with terrorism and
not allowing anti-Zionist students to join the charter. Hillel is committed
to upholding the legitimacy of Israeli occupation. Students were outraged
that Hillel, an organization that promotes a white supremacist state, were
bringing Trayvon's parents to exploit black voices for their own pro- Israel
agenda. PAA wrote a statement regarding the event . Students from BSU
and PAA came together to host an open Town Hall meeting about how to
proceed . After Hillel met with opposed students, they proceeded to ignore
Black students who spoke out against their actions.
Students noticed the cashiers at Hodgdon To-Go's chairs had been abruptly
removed by management; this change caused high levels of fatigue and
medical issues for the cashiers. Students coordinated throughout the
semester to ultimately get a verbal promise from an Admin in Tufts Dining
Services to agree that the chairs would be back in the fall of 2015.
In November 2014, the Tufts Senate, in response to an appeal from United
for Immigrant Justice, unanimously passed a UIJ resolution written by
UIJ urging Tufts to change its admissions and financial aid policies to
become more friendly toward undocumented students. UIJ met many
times throughout the year with faculty members , other student groups, the
Student Immigrant Movement in Boston, Dean of Admissions, Lee Coffin,
Dean of Student Affairs, Mary Pat McMahon, and Senior Vice President for
University Relations and General Counsel, Mary Jeka, to envision what this
change could look like. The Tufts Daily, faculty and staff, and many other
student groups joined student activists in asking also (called on) President
Monaco and the administration to implement the resolution . After countless
meetings, support from SIM, and continuous pressure on the administration
we were able to join over thirty other schools on April 7th in National
Institutions Coming Out Day in support of undocumented education equity.
With Lee Coffin, the Dean of Admissions, we announced together the policy
changes that we had begun working on two years ago.

15

In the spring of 2015 efforts with the janitors continued to escalate. Students
met biweekly with administrators and organized a public forum with
alumni, professors, janitors, city council members, community members,
administrators, students, and the contracting company DTZ. Janitors,
students, and Service Employees International Union 32bj (SEIU 32bj)
held protests, rallies, and marches with over 500 people. They also held
direct actions at all university alumni events including the unveiling of
the new Jumbo statute, held phone banks, sent emails, snuck inserts into
the alumni mail, and engaged in civil disobedience that culminated in the
SEIU local's president and students being arrested. During this time Tufts
installed TUPD-monitored cameras around the academic quad without
notifying students. Action around the janitorial cuts continued into finals
period with a six day student hunger strike and tent occupation of land
next to Ballou Hall (TUPD fenced the occupation in and put a cop at the
entrance for the entirety of the 6 days), daily protests by the janitors, and
a graduation protest. Administrators Linda Snyder and Patricia Campbell
met with students to discuss the demands, and SEIU met with DTZ for
the same reason. These talks yielded no agreements made between janitors
and the administrators. As a result of the demands by janitors, union
members, and students, gradual layoffs plan was established, meaning
that the layoffs would take place in waves to give workers time to make
arrangements and find other places to employment so that they could land
on their feet. Additionally, Janitors among the three shifts organized to
have higher seniority janitors take summer layoffs, so that those with less
seniority would not be forced into layoffs in June. Two janitors lost their jobs
in June despite these efforts. During June, organizing continued: professors
met with administrators and President Monaco; professors, janitors, and
students protested the President's summer picnic for the Tufts community.
Tufts announced during this time that they would be expanding the campus
275,000 square feet and not hiring any new janitors or retaining those slated
for layoffs to compensate for this new cleaning space. Four more custodians
were slated for layoffs in the third week of August as the administration
wanted to make sure all the layoffs were done before students returned to
campus . It remains unclear how many janitors the university plans on laying
off. Their current numbers and plans differ from reports by DTZ, janitors,
and SEIU 32bj so stay alert for updated information this fall.

16

Today, unofficial histories of the landscape shape
the campus you stand on. While the work put
in by previous generations has led to radical
improvements in Tufts' curriculum, campus life,
and faculty/student body make-up, the work
is far from complete. Battles on this campus
are ongoing and It's up to you to carry on the
tradition of challenging and shaping the campus
and administration to see tangible, creative and
constructive change with the communities you
find. It's up to you to remember the histories that
aren't found in your textbook and pass them on as
inspiration and empowerment to the generations
that come. Check out the clubs and spaces section
of the guide to learn about many of the groups
referenced in this document.

17

Tufts In Medford and Somerville
If you're considering moving off campus, read this Observer article titled
"The True Cost of Off Campus Housing ":
http :/ /tuftsobserver.org /the-true-cost-of-off-campus-housing /
If you're wondering about how Tufts fits (itself) into surrounding
communities, read this , titled "The Shadow of Our Light: Tufts' Expansion
into Chinatown, Medford, & Somerville."
http :/ /tuftsobserver.org /the-shadow-of-our-light /
Visit the Tufts website and the history page "Get to Know Tufts" will tell
you that the Universalist Church founded Tufts in the 1840s with a gift of
20 acres of land from Boston businessman Charles Tufts. Tufts' land was
located on one of the highest hills in the Boston area, Walnut Hill, between
Medford and Somerville . As local lore goes, when a relative asked Tufts what
he would do with "that bleak hill over in Medford; ' Tufts replied, "I will put a
light on it:'
First, in Boston's Chinatown, land is being gradually consumed by Tufts
University Medical School and New England Medical Center, also known
as Tufts Medical Center . Together, the institutions occupy over one third of
Chinatown's land. In the 1990s, community members, activists, and organizers prote sted New England Medical Center's decision to build an eight-story,
455 car garage that would displace a local community center and preschool
and create health and safety concerns for the local neighborhood. After a
decade-long struggle,
local organizers halted
the development project
and instead built
residential units as well
as community space on
that land parcel. However,
Chinatown's fight against
gentrification and
displacement continues,
due in part to the dental
school and medical
center's heavy presence ,

influx of students, and need for facility expansion .
The tension between residents and Tufts students isn't
unique to the Chinatown campus. In September of last
year, Medford resident Kim Costa addressed Boston
students in a video that later went viral : "Real quick reminder to all the college students coming back to Boston
to continue their higher education . .. nobody likes you,
you're a visitor here; an interloper:' In a later interview,
Costa comments, "I meant it. I grew up near Tufts, I
worked in Davis Square for 10 years-these kids suck .
They don't tip, and they're the ones flipping cars during
the fucking World Series:' Judging by the 4,000 times the
video has been shared and the many supportive com ments from people in other college towns and touristy
areas, it is clear that college students can be perceived as
outsiders and invaders to their host communities . Many
students are unaware of their impact on local residents
and view them as "townie'' outsiders, which demonstrates
the elitist attitude Tufts students have about the people
whose neighborhoods we occupy and enjoy.
As Tufts extends its unofficial borders into our surrounding neighborhoods, local residents and businesses are
concurrently being pushed out of their long-time communities . In Medford, and Somerville, Tufts students are
living in local housing units, taking up the housing stock,
and contributing to rising rent prices. Rents in Somerville
and Medford have consistently increased over the past
few years, and are expected to continue rising with the
MBTA's Green Line Extension (GLX) to College Avenue.
Currently at the forefront of Tufts' development, the GLX
project will extend the T into Medford and reach Tufts'
campus by the year 2020. The GLX stop in Ball Square is
slated to force two long-time Medford businesses to aban don their current location because they are in the way of
construction. While the GLX is relocating local businesses, driving up rent prices, and displacing long-time residents, Tufts stands to benefit from the GLX's convenient
T stop on campus at College Avenue.
19

Historically, new transit stops are associated with increasing rent prices .
According to a 2014 report by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council
(MAPC), "Dimensions of Displacement:' rents within a half-mile walking
distance of the College Avenue stop could rise by nearly $300. The creation
of the Red Line's stop in Davis Square demonstrates this phenomenon .
Before the extension of the Red Line to Davis in the mid-1980s, the area was
largely working class, but today it is has some of the highest rents in the city.
The GLX is just one example of how Tufts benefits from local resources in
Medford and Somerville. Tufts does not have the housing stock necessary
to house its undergraduate population. As a result, almost one third of
Tufts undergraduates live off-campus and benefit from local housing. As
previously mentioned, these students both suffer from, and contribute to,
rising rents in the area. They are desperate to find off-campus apartments,
leading many to sign leases that start in June as early as September and
October . Landlords are able to take advantage of students' urgency and
ability to pay, seeing as many Tufts students living off-campus come from
privileged class backgrounds .

€i

In response to these circumstances, a shock to
the local housing market may be in the near
future. Due to a proposed Somerville law, Tufts
may soon have to provide the city with the addresses of students living off-campus . This law is
part of an effort by the city to enforce a zoning
ordinance that allows no more than four unrelated people to live together in a single apartment.
Medford has a similar law with a maximum of
three unrelated people per dwelling. If this law
goes into effect, it could increase the demand for four and three-person
apartments, and subsequently increase rent prices for those units. Additionally, the law increases pressure on the university to provide more on-campus
housing options for students. Tufts has indicated a desire to provide more
on-campus housing; however, it must make sure it does so in a responsible
way that doesn't negatively impact the Somerville and Medford communities. Tufts should try to utilize its existing property and work with the city if
property purchases seem necessary, in order to diminish its negative impact
on the surrounding communities .
Within the past two years, Tufts has also made multiple efforts to expand
20

its campus and purchase properties in Somerville . First, in August 2013, it
was announced that Tufts had been selected to develop the Powder House
Community School on Broadway at the intersection of Packard Avenue. The
site is particularly valuable to Tufts because it is adjacent to the existing Tufts
Administrative Building (TAB) on Holland Avenue. According to a March
2014 article from The Somerville Journal, the university had hoped to purchase the property for $2.7 million dollars so it could demolish the existing
building and construct an office complex and a small residential building. In
March 2014, after some planning sessions, Tufts and the City of Somerville
ended negotiations
because they failed
to agree on a project
timeline-Tufts was
not planning on developing the property
for about 15 years . According to a university
official quoted in the
·
Journal article, the
inability to meet a reasonable timeline was
due to other expenses.
More recently, it was
made public that Tufts
considered buying a 41-unit apartment building at 119 College Avenue in
Powder House Square. As demand for housing and rents rise in Somerville, there has been more pressure for Tufts to provide affordable housing
for its students and faculty. This move, however, was unknown to the City
of Somerville and subsequently angered some aldermen- members of the
city's legislative branch, with one alderman for each ward and four at largewho feared that if Tufts were to acquire the building, it would exacerbate the
existing shortage of affordable housing for Somerville residents. Tufts has
since canceled plans to purchase the building because it failed to match up
with the city's housing goals.
These expansion attempts, especially the 119 College Avenue apartment
building, have resulted in pushback from some elected officials in the City
of Somerville . Most notably, Alderman Vice President Katjana Bellantyne of
Ward 7-the westernmost ward of Somerville, close to Tufts-was angered
21

by the move, causing her to call into question the relationship between the
city and the university. As a result , the Board of Aldermen is considering a
law that would require Tufts to provide the city with a master plan describing all future plans for expansion. Bellantyne believes that the university's
actions in recent years demonstrate a lack of partnership and difference in
values.
If Tufts wants to be a less invasive force in the local community, it should
consider more avenues for collaboration with and contribution to the city.
In addition to the Aldermen's consideration of a Tufts master plan, local
legislators have also fought for increasing Tufts' payments to the city. Tufts is
considered a non-profit, which means that instead of paying real estate taxes
on its property, it pays a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). Interestingly,
Tufts does not call its payment a PILOT and there is no record of the term
on Tufts' websites. In general, a PILOT is justified because the city provides
street cleaning, snow removal, police protection, firefighters, and other services that the university uses but does not pay property taxes for.
There is no standard formula for how much a non-profit must pay toward
its PILOT. In the past, Somerville representatives have tried to make PILOTs
mandatory for all institutions of private education, but the bill did not pass.
According to Somerville Neighborhood News (SNN)-a Somerville Community Access Television (SCATV) production-Tufts owns about $286 million dollars of tax-exempt property in Somerville, and if it had to pay taxes,
it would owe the City $5.8 million dollars in 2014. In 2013, Tufts announced
a new five-year agreement with the city of Somerville under which it will
pay the city $275,000 per year, which is $100,000 more than 2012. While this
may seem like a huge increase, it is less than five percent of what Tufts would
owe if it paid property taxes. In Boston, a task force determined how much a
non-profit should pay the cities in which it operates. This task force recommended that all non- profits should pay 25 percent of what they would pay if
they were property taxable, which includes services provided by the institutions into that percentage . If Tufts paid this full 25 percent , it would have
paid the city of Somerville $1.4 million dollars in 2014.
While Tufts benefits from city services, the GLX, local housing stock, and
other community resources, it is coming up short in contributing back to its
host neighborhoods . It does provide local benefits like library access, fields
for community use, community service projects, and reduced application
fees for Somerville High School students. However, its primary objective of
22

educating students and producing innovative research has wide effects not
limited to the local community. It is the local community that must shoulder
the cost of the would-be property taxes of Tufts' occupation.
Since our university's founding, our establishment and borders have been
defined by a history of colonization, slavery, and exploitation. Today, our
borders continue to extend into our host communities of Chinatown, Medford, and Somerville as our institutions grow larger and require more space.
As Tufts expands, the people who are outside of and excluded from our borders are negatively affected by our growth and are at risk of being displaced.
Tufts is buying local property, forcing students to take up local housing
stock, and refusing to pay recommended taxes to the city. Though one could
argue that an institution as historically and systematically advantaged as ours
can never actually integrate with or benefit our surrounding communities,
the least we can do is cause less harm and be less invasive. We as students,
and Tufts as an institution, have a shared responsibility to acknowledge our
privileged position and work to counteract the negative effects our expansion inevitably creates.

23

Financial Aid,
(lack of) SocioeconomicDiversity,
and Tuition (Hikes)
According to a recent study by the New York Times, 19% of Tufts students
come from a family whose income puts them in the 1%, and 50% are from
families in the top 5%. Less than 40% of Tufts students receive any kind of
need-based financial aid. These statistics translate into an overall campus
culture of assumed wealth, and this can make life for those of us on financial
aid difficult both practically and emotionally. The piece Staying Loved as a
Money-Poor Person at Tufts (PAGE#) discusses how to practice self love in
an atmosphere like Tufts.
Additionally, here is a list of tips for saving money at Tufts and beyond!
http://galantino.pw/ resources/ on_a_budget.html
The financial aid office can be found here (https://students.tufts.edu/
financial-services/financial-aid), but often the best way to get your questions
about aid at Tufts answered is go go into the office (located in Dowling Hall)
in person. Each student is assigned a financial aid officer based on last name,
and they can help you with general financial aid questions.
Open drop-in hours at the financial
aid office are Mondays 12-2 and
Thursdays 2-5.

Tuition at Tufts is HIKING . The university tries its best to make this seem
like a normal and necessary occurrence, but it is critical that we as a student
body continue to push back against tuition hikes. Last year, Tufts Student
Action (TSA) was formed in order to approach the issue of tuition hikes
as an accessibility issue entangled with socioeconomic, racial, and gender
justice . An op-ed written by members of TSA calling for a halt to tuition
hikes can be found here: http:/ /bit .ly/2xssjwR

24

10 Facts About Tuition at Tufts
1. In 2000, Tufts tuition was $25,714 (Inflation Adjusted: 35,363) without
room and board. In 2016, tuition is $52,430.
2. If the current trend continues of a 3.6% increase in tuition each year, Class
of 2020 seniors will pay $73,383.
3. The classes of2011 and 2012 were admitted under a need-blind
admissions policy. Our peer institutions Georgetown, Vassar, Amherst ,
Boston College, Wesleyan, Wellesley, and Hamilton are all need-blind.
4. Tufts, since 2011-12, has stayed no lower than the 6th most expensive
tuition in its comparison group.
5. Increases in instructional costs, which Tufts cites as the biggest expense,
have been on a downward trend (7.1 % increase in 2012, 9.1 % increase in
2013, 3.0% increase in 2014, 4.3% increase in 2015).
6. Any Tufts' student's tuition can increase every year. In contrast, George
Washington University (endowment of $1.6 billion) offers a tuition freeze
after freshman year and over 60% of the student body receives financial aid .
Tufts and GWU have the same size endowment, but GWU has twice the
student body.
7. In the New York Times College Access Index, which considers Pell Grants
shares, Tufts is ranked 123rd out of 178 top colleges . Pell grant at Tufts
remains stagnant, with 11-12% of its student body receiving Pell Grants ,
which are federal grants only awarded to low income students, the third
lowest percentage among its peer institutions. Vassar college has 23%.
8. Of its non-NESCAC peer institutions, Tufts has the lowest percentage of
students on financial aid-at 36% for the class of 2020 .
9. Brown , in 2012, paid their president $648,000. Incredibly elite institutions,
with a larger endowment, are paying their administrators less and are
offering more financial aid. President Monaco 's salary is $879,045.
10. The email sent on April 12, 2016, titled «2016-2017 Tuition Update; ' was
addressed only to students, although it reads «we are aware that you and
your parents have made sacrifices so that you may attend Tufts:' Students
should not be responsible for updating their guardians for the rising cost of
tuition.
25

Tips for Staying Loved as a MoneyPoor Person on Campus
tips to survive the white supremacist-capitalist orgy that is tufts university

or
how to lose your money in 9 months

or
the best brands of tupperware for stocking up from dewick
Welcome to Tufts. Less than 40% of Tufts students receive ANY kind of
need-based financial aid. This means that more than 60% of Tufts' students
come from families that can afford to pay nearly $300,000 for their college
education . Yes. This is not a drill . But you're here now, and you're going
to survive this wild ride of classism, rich ridiculousness and the perks
and pains that come with it just fine-- we promise. It won't be easy, but
with patience, self-love, and friends that get it, things should be just fine.
This section has been written by money-poor students (students that live
below the poverty line and receive full tuition in the form of federal aid,
institutional grants and outside aid to attend Tufts without loans). While we
are rich in love, intelligence, character , humor and are cute as hell, the truth
is that our bank accounts are just scraping by and it's been like that for a
while. Full disclosure: we also happen to be Black people.
26

Some of us attended preppy, private pressure-cooker boarding schools
like Deerfield, Cranbrook, Exeter, Hotchkiss, etc. Much like Tufts these
schools were created by and cater to the White and the wealthy descendants
of college-educated, wealthy Whites. This often meant enduring years of
classism, racism, and overall apathy towards our experiences as moneypoor people, especially as money-poor people of color. Granted, not every
student/teacher/faculty was like this , but many were. These experiences
have the capacity to build tough skin-- as one of us said, now, «I know
where I come from and I am proud of it now. I was used to hearing people
talk about their mansions, their expensive cars, and their luxury vacations,
and ignoring everything else outside of their bubbles long before attending
Tufts:, Thus, arriving to the hill wasn,t as much a shock to the system as it is
for others .
Some of us come from majority-minority, rural, and urban public and
private schools that were filled with students that looked like us and shared
most, or at least many, of our socioeconomic and cultural experiences. Our
classmates knew what poverty was because they lived it, as we did, and lived
to tell about it. Now we are at Tufts, surrounded by students that commodify,
fetishize and pity our poverty in a variety of complex and nonchalant ways.
It could be a sly remark about how sad they are that you had to suffer at a
«ghetto,, school or their shock upon finding out that your family survives
thanks to food stamps. money-poor students are often the butt of jokes
delivered to the face at the hands of wealthy, middle class, and other moneypoor students, incapable of engaging with class and wealth in ways that are
brutally honest and call into question the economic and racial hierarchies
in America and the world that Tufts is a symbolic microcosm of. Unlike
race, gender, and sexuality, class is often the elephant in the room that the
vast majority of Tufts students would prefer not to engage with seriously
because it calls into question so many assumptions about an individual and
their moral and monetary worth . So get used to it, fellow broke fam! You are
definitely in for a wild, albeit bearable, ride.
Yes, you will likely have a friend or two that loses their $2,000 Canada Goose
down jacket at a frat party and you'll scratch your head in amazement at how
someone so wealthy could be so careless. But it's okay. And yes, you'll meet
people that travel to Italy during a 3-day weekend to visit their girlfriend's
parents' winery without batting a lash . But it's okay. At times, you may feel
a unique mix of rage, sadness, envy, fear, and confusion. But it's okay, and
hopefully , our little guide helps everyone out there who does not have guap
27

feel like Fetty Wap on a Friday. It may be a hard transition but hopefully
it becomes something that does not cloud and muddle YOUR experience.
You,ve made it this far, broke and beautiful as you are-- nothing can stop you
now.

Being First Gen
First of all, to all the first generation college peeps, congratulations! Be as
proud of yourself as your friends and loved ones are of you. It is a big feat
to be first gen. But trust, the battle is far from over. There are times when
being first gen sucks; many times, we cannot ask our parents and family for
advice because they simply cannot understand the problems that we face,
no matter how much love they have for us. Especially if you come from
a state this isn,t on the East Coast, much of this work will be done by you
and you alone. Things will be hard at times. However, there is a large First
Gen Council at Tufts and it sponsors events for first gen folks to meet one
another.Be sure to utilize your academic dean and if you dorit like them, flat
out, go see Dean Mack. Dean Mack is one of the "alpha, deans and also leads
BLAST, the Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts summer bridge program,
largely comprised of first generation lower-income students-- he,s without a
doubt one of the most well-loved and under-appreciated facets of the Tufts
administration and cares deeply about all students, particularly those of
marginalized experiences .
Additionally, beginning Fall 2017, the TCU Senate will have a firstgeneration community senator (http://bit .ly/2iD lkO h).

Financial Aid
While a very small percentage of Tufts receives significant financial aid from
the university, this does not mean that the office is efficient and helpful in
addressing the needs of money-poor students. In fact, the opposite is true.
Many officers dorit understand how difficult financial survival can be on a
28

college campus for money-poor students and their lack of communication
and consideration often highlights this. Don't let up. If a number looks off,
send an e-mail. If they don't respond, send it again . Don't be afraid to contact superiors and schedule an appointment with them face-to-face-- it helps
having an in-person relationship with them, afterall, they are holding the
purse strings to your education. DO . NOT. LET. UP. There are many stories of students that caught wildly discrepant tuition bills before they were
processed and saved themselves money that they should never have been
asked to pay in the first place. Same goes for refunds-- if you know you are
owed money, let your financial aid officer know that you want your money. AGAIN: DO. NOT. BE. SHY. It's their job is to attend to the needs of all
students and being money-poor should not prevent you from holding them
accountable.

Feeling Indebted
We did not ask to be poor, nor did we attend Tufts in isolation of our financial realities . We knew things would be hard but we chose to come anyway
because we felt passionately about the university and the opportunities it
offers. Do not feel indebted to this university . AGAIN: Never, ever, ever, feel
indebted to Tufts, regardless of that big-ass Tufts grant that allows you to
send money home to help with bills, that C+ you get in a class one semester,
or that week you couldn't find the energy to study, never feel indebted to
this university. You are more capable, creative, and valuable than a capitalist,
for-profit institution will ever give you credit for. The academic-industrial
complex needs you to bend to its will and offer yourself up as fodder for
the machine that is academe-- don't give in. The only person you owe anything to is yourself. It has been hard for some of us to remind ourselves of
this once the year begins, not having seen many people ever make it to and
through higher education, let alone a privilege-palace like Tufts. Remember :
FUCK the logic the blames the victim for circumstances and systems that
were never meant to embrace the historically underserved. REMEMBER this
when there is a cause that you believe and you wish to act but that action pits
29

you against the university. Many of us have come to see the university not as
an ardent foe and definitely not as a trustworthy ally, but rather as a tool we
are using to make change for our communities and empower and educate
ourselves. REMEMBER Education should be for everyone - if it is not accessible to the money-poor it is not revolutionary. More so, if it is not accessible to the money-poor and is only for the rich, then fuck IT (this applies to
many of the extracurricular and Greek organizations at Tufts). YOU have
every right to be here and express yourself just as much as any other student
does. Don't let the guap in another student's pockets deride your own talents
and waste your time.
Now for quick tips:

PRINTING
Don 't ever pay for printing-- the costs will add up after awhile. The Group of
Six each has free printing stations open to all students, just be sure you print
from 9-5 or have access to the center after hours, which is obtainable by
speaking to the center's director.

EATING
If you're as broke as we are, eating during the school year should never be a
problem-- you'll likely choose to stay on the unlimited plan your whole time
at Tufts. NOTE: If you can make it without using unlimited after your first
year, DO IT: the 220 and 160 plans offer more than enough meals to make
it through a semester, especially if you're the kind of person that rarely eats
breakfast or sometimes only eats twice a day. The plus side to sizing-down
your plan is that your refund will be larger. During Thanksgiving and Spring
break, food on campus will be tight-- the dining halls close and you'll want
to stock up on food well in-advance. We don't need to tell you what to buy
because broke people know how to make shit stretch BUT be sure to checkout the Group of Six and club meetings /events THROUGHOUT the year
for free food. Always keep a small tupperware container in your backpack--

30

you'll thank us later.

STAYING HEALTHY
The stress of the transition to Tufts on top of the stress that being moneypoor brings can be downright debilitating. Take time for yourself often. Even
if it means unplugging from what's happening at home and on-campus.
Health looks different for all of us-- all we can say is know what works for
you and be aware of this may change throughout the year. Be okay with this- you are changing, too. We can't tell you not to worry because we know how
hard it is for us to take a deep breath sometimes, but we can tell you to seek
other poor folks out when you're feeling stressed about cash-- sometimes it
really, really helps to laugh and cry about being broke together . For many of
us, our poor friends are the only people we can talk to honestly about how
money and our lack of lots of it is impacting our studies, well-being, and
relationships.

EXPLORING BOSTON
Adventuring in Boston on a budget gets easier with practice .
DO:
Always use a Charlie Card-- Charlie tickets waste so so so much money.
Only take Ubers with friends-- otherwise, you'll be dishing out more dough.
Have picnics often in the fall-- who needs to buy food when you
tupperware?
Get familiar with the bus schedule-- they run on time and one-ride is 50
cents cheaper than a T-ride.
When you go out to eat, get the largest group of friends together possible.
Tipping is no joke .
Use coupons-- but you know this already.
Indulge once in a while-- it's just capitalism, after all.
Take advantage of all the resources of the university-- free fitness classes, free
tutoring , career advising, etc.

31

DONT:
Feel like you have to front wealth for your wealthy friends. Some people and
their expensive taste is hella contagious and hella poisonous. If you cannot
afford that $70 lobster seafood platter, bruh.
Waste that refund check! If you're one of the chosen few to get one , then
please do not waste on splurge habits. Save it! It will come in handy I promise!
Do not forget to ask around for shit. Used bikes (Tufts also allows students to
get bikes from the library so why pay for it?). Books and furniture too!
Don 't tackle salons as the first option for your hair stuff. If you just need a
cut, buzz , or trim , there are cheaper places for it homies!
Don 't forget to do your research! If you are bored with campus and feel like
nothing is happening, hop on almighty google and look up "Free shit to do
in Boston: ' There are tons of free movie screenings and shops that will not
cost you an arm , leg, nor a liver.

TRAVELING & RESEARCHING
If you find an interesting conference or program you'd like to attend, or are
interested in conducting independent research, know that there 's always
funding lying around the university waiting to be claimed. Consult the Tufts
Student Fund, Group of Six, and Tisch College for funding opportunities.
Tisch College and the Tufts Internship Fund also financially support students (many of whom are poor) to undertake unpaid summer internships,
so be sure to apply if that interests you. As far as study abroad is concerned,
unless you want to accumulate debt (which you probably have and want very
little of ) you'll want to do study abroad through Tufts rather than an outside
program. Sometimes you'll study a language (i.e. Arabic) for which there is
no corresponding Tufts program to study abroad through. What many of
us end up doing is going to one of the English-language programs ( Ghana,
London , or Hong Kong) OR finding outside aid to fund an outside study
abroad program of our choice. Again, this can be risky as you will find it
difficult to secure funding due to how competitive most special study abroad
scholarship programs are (i.e. Fulbright , Middlebury , etc.) but consider all
factors and make the decision that 's right for you. Remember: you're young
and this is not necessarily the only time in your life that you'll have the opportunity to travel abroad. Weigh the pros and cons of loans very carefully.

MAKING MONEY
Use Tufts JobX to find jobs on campus and off. If you're mad broke like some
of us, your work-study may have been replaced with grant aid. This is awe32

some, but if you,re in need of money beyond your refund ( especially after
your first year) finding a job on campus is a breeze. In addition to having a
steady part-time, one of the best benefits of going to school in Boston-- plenty of universities, plenty of research studies. One of us has made over $200 in
research studies-- especially during the summer, this is an excellent way to
make extra cash . Use Craigslist and Tufts JobX to find studies-- search "research studies,, and look in the volunteer and "ETC,, sections of Craigslist to
find opportunities. They generally only take a few hours and you can make
tons of easy money.

DATING
IF PEOPLE CARE ABOUT YOU, MONEY SHOULDN,T MATTER.
JUST REMEMBER, POOR PEOPLE DO IT BETTER.

There you have it-- a brief yet expansive assemblage of advice, experiences,
and warm wishes.
You can and will make this experience your own and we'll be there to support you along the way.

-BrokeFolksStayTogether

33

Resources: The ARC and the Deans
The ins and outs of Dowling Hall (where the academic
deans, Academic Resource Center, Student Services,
and Study Abroad offices are located) are complex and
at times impenetrable, even to students who have been
here for a few years. A few very quick tips before some
more detailed info:
- The websites for undergrad education, student
services, etc. are really shitty and difficult to navigate. if
you have the time, it>sprobably easier to go to Dowling
Hall and get the info you need in-person. Or, ask
upperclassmen who may have had the same questions
you>re having!
- For general academic questions/issues with classes
and requirements that your pre-major advisor can>t
solve, contact your Alpha Dean. ( «alpha» because it>s
organized alphabetically).
- To make an appointment with a dean, call Student
Services at 617-627-2000.
Here is an article done in Spring 2016 about the Deans
of Undergraduate Education, complete with video
interviews, contact info, and tips! http://tuftsobserver.
org!multimedia/ deans!
Since this article was published, there has been a LOT
of turnover in this department. Info about the new
deans can be found here: http:/ /bit.ly/2iDoXnn . Still
relevant in this article are student opinions about
interactions with deans, as well as some explanation of
the role of alpha deans in general.
The Academic Resource Center is also located in
Dowling hall, and its website can be found here: http://
bit.ly/2xHOUEX.
34

\

._____
..
....
i1'1
». ~
Accessibility

at Tufts

Being disabled at Tufts is hard . It's not always awful or impossible, and there
are people here who can make it easier, but the nature of Tufts bureaucracy
can make it a lot more difficult than it should be to get the accommodations
you need.
Here's some information about accessibility at Tufts and what
accommodations are available, followed by some general advice.
Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of information about what it's like to be
blind/visually impaired, D/deaf, or hard of hearing at Tufts (please contact
the Disorientation Guide if you do!). All I know is that that Student
Accessibility Services (SAS) offers software for reading/writing while visually
impaired and can pair you with a student to take notes for you in class.
So, here's what I do know. Please note that this information is subjective and
far from exhaustive!

Mental illness, and learning, developmental, and intellectual disabilities
If you had an IEP in high school, it should be relatively easy to get similar
accommodations to what's on your IEP from SAS in college. They offer
about what you'd expect: extra time on tests, quiet rooms to take them
in, that kind of thing . If you didn't have an IEP but do have an idea of
what accommodations you think you'll need in college, start looking
for a professional who can document your disability ASAP. You'll need
35

documentation to apply for those accommodations through SAS.
Tufts Counseling and Mental Health Services is not great; some of the
therapists are flaky or cancel appointments, others don't take other aspects of
your identity into consideration, etc. If you're trans, they are really not great.
Tufts does not offer long-term counseling or therapy. If that's something you
need, your best bet is to get a referral to an outside therapist from CMHS
or the social worker at Health Service. Seriously, just go once, tell them
what you need help with, get a referral, and get the fuck out of there. Most
insurance companies also have a list of who's in-network, so you should be
able to find therapy and psychiatry options that are covered without having
to talk to an actual human! The medical system is not always on your side,
but there are decent people tucked away in there if you can find them.
If you're hospitalized for mental health reasons, Tufts will likely put you on
an involuntary medical leave of absence and you won't be able to return to
on-campus housing if you lived there . Please still talk to someone if you're
in crisis -- that shit does not just go away. On the other end of the housing
spectrum, I have definitely met people who got their hands on a medical
single for depression and a personality disorder, so leverage your diagnoses
carefully if you have them.
Some good news: there are tons of neuroatypical, mentally ill, and learningdisabled students on campus. It's hard to tell sometimes because it's so often
safer to pretend to be One of Those Normal People Having a Great Time at
College, but we're out there. Look for us. Talk to us. You're not alone here.
If it's between 7pm and 7am and you need someone to talk to, you can
anonymously call (617-627-3888), text, (617-394-1954) or AIM Ears
for Peers, which is a Tufts-specific support hotline. Coalition for
Autism Support at Tufts is an awesome group run by autistic
students to support and advocate for each other. We've also
got a Tufts chapter of Active Minds, an organization
fighting to destigmatize mental illness.

Physical disabilities, chronic pain & illness
If you have a well-managed chronic illness,
your life at Tufts should be similar to your
healthy peers. However, if you have
a mobility, pain, or fatigue related

disability, your experience may be less pleasant.
An accessibility map of the Medford/Somerville campus is available at
campusmaps.tufts.edu/docs/medford-accessibilitymap.pdf
. What that map
doesn't show is the giant hill and how circuitous the routes to wheelchairaccessible ramps are. Even if you don't use a wheelchair, the Tufts campus
can be very hard on your body . If you have chronic fatigue, joint problems,
or anything else that makes exerting yourself difficult, try to avoid
scheduling classes back-to-back so that you don't have to rush up or down
the hill between buildings and so you have time to wait for the shuttle to
take up/ downhill.
Most buildings do not have elevators . Here's a list of the buildings that do.
Any building listed has elevator access to all floors unless otherwise noted.
Tisch Library - Access to all floors, but need to go between two elevators to
get to subbasement
Campus Center
Psychology Building
574 Boston Ave
South Hall - Facilities shuts the elevator off off two weeks after everyone
moves in, but it is there and I've heard SAS can get you a key if you need to
keep using it after that.
Sophia Gordon
Science and Technology Center
Dowling Hall - This elevator is really handy if you need help getting up the
Tufts Hill from Boston Ave .. .instead of walking or wheeling up the steep
hill, just take the Dowling elevator and cross the bridge to the academic
quad.
Cabot/Fletcher
Ballou
The gym: There are a couple of elevators scattered through the building, but
the building is also a giant, horrible maze, so your best bet is to ask the folks
at the front desk for help.
Aidekman Arts Center
Halligan Hall
Olin
The SMFA main building has an elevator and wheelchair-accessible
37

entrance. I don't currently have information about housing for SMFA
students.
Doctors: Health Service is pretty good if you already have a diagnosis,
know what you need from them, and are assertive about your needs.
They're still decent if you're seeking a diagnosis , but will often settle on
what they think is the easiest solution (<<y
ou just need to stay hydrated /
lose weight/rest more /t ake multivitamins /start eating meat again''). Push
for a referral to a specialist or find yourself a local GP if you feel like you
want a second opinion. For physical therapy, Bay State Physical Therapy is
in-network on Tufts student health insurance and is excellent. In Boston
proper, Fenway Health and its youth-focused offshoot Sidney Borum offer
LGBT/queer, sex-positive friendly healthcare, but tend not to have very
knowledgeable doctors, so while they are good for getting birth control,
hormone replacement therapy, STI testing, etc., they're not as good for
getting diagnosed with a chronic illness unless you already know what you
have and just need medical confirmation to get treatment / convince SAS you
need accommodations. The Borum tends to fuck up blood work and their
phlebotomist has unsteady hands, so get bloodwork done through Health
Service or Mount Auburn Hospital instead.
There are not currently any chronic pain, chronic illness , or physical
disability student organizations.
General advice
Be really, really, really patient with and kind to yourself. Seriously. It's
frustrating to feel like you can't do as much as your peers because of your
disability when you're surrounded by «driven'' people, overachievers, and
people who seem to balance good grades and social status with impossible
grace. It's okay if you can't meet the standards your peers set for themselves.
If it puts your health at risk to be in multiple student organizations, take
five classes, double major, major in CS or bio, etc., don't do it. Your wellbeing is orders of magnitude more important than a 4.0 or being everyone's
favorite person. It sounds corny, but please listen to your body and mind
and honor them if they're telling you that you're doing too much. It's so, so
hard to accept that you're not going to have a «normal " college experience,
but the sooner you do, the sooner you can set yourself up to have the college
experience that will be the best and most fun for you personally.
Figure out which classes you can skip early in the semester. Ken Lang is
38

boring as fuck, but his astronomy classes are great for filling your science
requirements. He doesn't require attendance and his lectures are just the
textbooks, but out loud. If you can't get out of bed most days but can read
a textbook periodically (or are a good crammer), you can pass a Ken Lang
class.
Lie about why you can't come to things with impunity. If you don't want to
talk about your disability, you don't have to. You don't owe that information
to anyone. That said, please ask for help and accommodations as early as
possible, even if you're not sure you'll use them. SAS can't always give you
what you need, but you can still try to work things out with your professors/
TAs or get help from your friends (without breaking plagiarism rules,
obviously). At the beginning of the semester, I like to go to all my professors'
office hours and tell them that I'm having a rough time with my health and
that I might be late to class or need to ask for an extension as a result.
Most of the professors I've talked to have been sympathetic, and
they appreciated knowing in advance that I might need extra
slack . There 's usually no need to go into specifics. Sometimes
it's more effective to imply that a mental illness is a physical
one if you think a professor will take you more seriously that
way. Listen to your gut about who to disclose particularly
personal information to . Make sure you know whether
the person you're talking to is a mandatory reporter and
that you're aware of what might happen if you disclose
information about suicidal thoughts, sexual assault,
or violence. That said, finding an understanding
professor can be the difference between a terrible
college experience and a great one.
The bureaucracy of disability, health, and
mental health services inside and
outside Tufts can be absolute
garbage to navigate
if you're not used to
it. If you don't know
how, adults in your
life from home
can advise
you on dealing
with insurance,
39

doctors, and therapists . Having an on-campus advocate can be huge too.
Even if you haven't made any friends yet, you can use your class year
Facebook page or word of mouth to find someone willing to help you
strategize or to come with you during appointments with SAS or doctors. If
you're worried about going with a stranger, ask your RA or peer advisor, if
you have one, to come with .
Finding community off-campus can be helpful, especially for physical
disabilities. If you're looking for folks to talk to or in-person groups to
join if you're alone in your disability on campus, can't find an advocate at
Tufts, or want suggestions for specialists near Tufts, there are some great
identity-specific groups on Facebook that can help. A few of them: Disability
Exchange Boston, Queer Exchange Boston (kind of a shitshow as of Aug
2017 but still has some good people in it, proceed with caution), Queer and
Trans POC Exchange: Boston, Boston Queers for Mutual Aid, and Boston
Area Fatties Meetup Group.
Making friends in college is harder when you're disabled, I won't lie. Talking
to people and spending time with them is hard if you're exhausted, hurting,
or constantly fighting your own brain. Sometimes you'll feel horrible because
you can't do things other students can, are holding a lot of unpleasant
feelings inside you, or just don't do or think about things the same way they
do. It can seem like all the other first-years are forming social groups before
you, but not all of them are. It's not too late for you if you don't make your
new best friends during orientation, during your first semester, during your
first year. Friends are out there, the kind who truly understand you and
will not dismiss or gloss over your disability. You will find them. It's totally
normal if you don't find them right away.

40

Group of Six
The Group of 6 are six affinity-related centers on Tufts' campus intended to
be spaces where students with those identities can rest, feel welcome, and
use for related community organizations . Keep in mind that these centers
are institutions of the university and they operate in that capacity. The
structure and directors of each center are very different, which means there
is a range of how welcome students feel at the centers that pertain to their
identities, or in general. These centers are not exclusive, but students do
strive to make them intentional spaces. The 6 are: the Womens Center, the
Asian American Center, the Africana Center, the LGBT Center, the Latino
Center, and the International Center. Check them out and see if they are
good spaces for you!

Women's Center
55 Talbot Avenue (the white house near the Lower Campus Center)

Brief, brief history : Founded in 1970, open to all genders and identities!
There are continuing discussions about potential name changes for the
center in order to better reflect the gender diversity that the center seeks to
support.
What we do:
The Womens Center is NOT a space for White feminism and is NOT a
space only for cis women. The center IS a space where critical, intersectional
learning and action are priorities. K Martinez began their time as director
of the center this summer! K and the students engaged with the Womens
Center actively focus on the intersectionality of systems of power (ie.
patriarchy and cissexism are deeply entwined with White supremacy,
heteronormativity and more). Folks at the center find it important to
acknowledge that we are all still learning (and always will be), so individuals
at any point in their learning are encouraged to join our community of
critical, compassionate learners.
The center has a rad library full of intersectional feminist books that you
can borrow for free. They also have movies you can rent and a humble but
41

impressively comprehensive library (upstairs) of books on sexual violence .
There are usually a few people studying at the Women's Center on a given
weeknight (the center is open for late-night study Mon- Wed from 7-11 ), so
come join!
Related organizations:
VOX (students for reproductive justice)
SAGE (students acting for gender equality) has weekly meetings; mostly a
discussion and critical learning space; 3 other groups branch off of SAGE
SAGE Advice ➔ a first-year peer mentor program which pairs an upperclass
student with a first-year student - email womenscenter@tufts.edu to find out
more and pair up with a mentor!
SAGE Peer-Ed ➔ womens center peer leaders offer and facilitate workshops
on gender and intentional space for interested student groups
SAGE Action (in the works) ➔ student-governed group that recently formed
to focus on activism. This may mean participating in and supporting other
student-led activism, or taking on projects of our own. This group actively
recognizes that gender justice is inherently tied to racial justice, queer
liberation, and the destruction of all oppressive systems of power. Hence, we
consider the many struggles happening on this campus our responsibility .
Email (SAGEactiontufts@gmail.com) to find out more!
Tips -- Keurig you can use for free, full kitchen, the most comfy couches
around, Dinner and a Movie, Study Hours, free printing during late night
study, writing tutor Wed nights, candy and condoms, and more!

Africana Center
The Africana Center, originally the African-American Center, was founded
in 1969 after long-term, consistent efforts by African-American students.
These students demanded a residence hall to build a community of strength,
love, and resistance to the racism they faced as undergraduates at Tufts.
Over time, the African -American Center gradually grew from a residence
hall for Black students into a cultural center that hosts events and speakers
and funds Black-Affinity clubs. In 1977 the center officially changed
its name to the Africana Center to incorporate and center the multitude
42

of identities that make up the African Diaspora at Tufts - from Africans
and African-Americans, to Afro-Caribbeans, Afro- and Black-Latinos, and
mixed- race individuals.
Currently, the center is a residence hall and a cultural house located on the
corner of Professor's Row and College Ave in Capen House (often referred
to simply as "Capen"). The top two floors have housing for sophomores and
beyond. The first floor has a living room, study room, kitchen, bathroom,
small art gallery that highlights the work of students on campus, and
the offices of the director, Katrina Moore, and the program manager,
Domonique Johnson.
Some of the community building/programming
following:

at the center include the

-Peer Advisor Program: Returning students are assigned to work with
first-year students throughout the year, beginning Orientation Week. By
sharing their experiences and insights, peer advisors play a significant role in
helping new students adjust to Tufts and college in general
-Annual Orientation Retreat: a forum for first-year, Black students to
address questions and concerns about life at Tufts. The retreat also provides
opportunities to begin making friends with your peers and laying the
foundation for a productive first year of college
-Black Women's Collective and Black Men's Group: respective groups
that meet weekly to discuss issues related to racial, cultural, sexual, and other
identities, as well as the formation and maintenance of healthy relationships
Year to year and semester to semester, the culture at the center varies
depending on many factors. At its best, it consistently provides students
of the Diaspora a space to center Blackness and Black culture, uncommon
at the predominantly white institution (PWI) that is Tufts. Using Black
identities as a starting point through which to explore a multitude of other
identities - sexual orientation, gender, class, and ethnicities - undergraduate
and graduate Black students make use of the center by studying there
individually or in groups, hanging out, watching TV show premieres and
sports games (like Scandal and the Super Bowl), holding club meetings, or
simply utilizing the free printing between classes. The house serves different
functions for different people, but is frequently thought of as a safe space for
students on a campus that can be overwhelming for many Black students .
43

As with all the other Group of Six centers, it is an institution funded by
Tufts, and therefore has all the limitations of an umbrulla'd space. However,
it hosts many student organizations that have more agency to operate with
autonomy than the center itself, including the Pan-African Alliance (PAA),
African Student Organization (ASO), Caribbean Student Organization
(CSO), and Black Student Union (BSU). These are some of the largest Blackoriented groups on campus, but groups with interests that intersect with
Blackness on campus aren't limited to these four organizations. For more
information on student groups feel free to visit the Black Jumbos group on
Facebook, the Africana Center website, or reach out to your Peer Advisor
who has been trained to help direct you to the right resources on campus .
Now, if you don't remember anything else from this blurb, please remember
the following. There is no one Black experience at Tufts (or anywhere,
really)! Black students at Tufts come from all across the African Diaspora,
which means we all come here with our respective beliefs, experiences, and
more. So, on the one hand , there are some Black students who choose to
visit the Africana Center for varying reasons: fellowship, a place to study, or
a place simply to «just be': On the other hand, there are some Black students
who choose not to visit the Center (again, for varying reasons). That said,
we encourage you to visit the Africana Center and participate in the Center's
programming/utilize its resources. And feel free to reach out to returning
Black students about their experiences with the Center. However, we
encourage you to experience the space for yourself to formulate your own
opinion(s) on it.

~
Latino Center
Many Latinxs at Tufts encounter drastically different and often equally,
if not more, strenuous realities than those at home. Entering, navigating,
and resisting Tufts' elite, white spaces threatens our physical, mental, and
spiritual well-being. Our narratives of loving, resistance, and perseverance
to challenge and defy structural racism, classism, and privilege often go
silenced, dismissed, or unacknowledged by Tufts' predominantly white,
«liberal, » color-blind demographic. Since grappling with this aggressive
change can be overwhelming, painstaking, and alienating, the Latino Center
44

at Tufts was founded in 1993 to provide an intentional space for Latinxs
to come together to examine and nurture intersecting identities, celebrate
Latinidad, and grow through constant questioning , sharing, reflection, and
laughter.
Community is primarily built through student organizations and social
events offered by the Latino Center. ALAS (Alliance of Latin American
Students) and SOLES (Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists) regularly
meet throughout the year to offer academic, social, and personal support
to their members. The Latino Center also organizes La Casa, a residential
space that further promotes and celebrates Latinxs pride. These varying
student- run organizations and / or opportunities provide Latinxs at Tufts with
formal spaces to grow intellectually and socially, with continuous affirmation
from fellow students of color.
Before proceeding, it is important to establish: there does not exist one
dominant Latinx narrative. Rather, there are many unique and varied
experiences and identities within Latinidad, each with its its own
manifestation and social repercussion . At Tufts, all students come from
unique backgrounds that influence their perspectives, access to resources,
and more. With that said, the Latino Center, generally, tends to be a space
for those students seeking to contemplate and better understand their multifaceted, intersecting identities with supportive peers, all while exploring and
grappling with what it means to navigate (or feel trapped within) multiple
worlds.
While some Latinx -identifying students actively choose not to utilize these
resources or inhabit these spaces for varying reasons, others find in them
safety, care, and friendship that is denied elsewhere at Tufts. We encourage
all to check out the Latino Center and its organizations, learn more about
Latinx histories , and come together in love and celebration . Above all,
though, hold the Center accountable to its purpose, and if necessary,
reshape the reality to provide the most affirming , empowering, and joyous
experience possible.
Tips: ask Ruben for the swipe access and alarm code

45

~
Asian American Center
The Asian American Center was founded in 1983 following a racist bias
incident on March 12, 1982, where pledges of a Tufts fraternity were
instructed to line up and yell racist remarks such as 'Nuke the Gooks' at
Start House. At the time, Start House was a residence for Asian American
students. Now, it is both a residence and Asian American Center for our
community. The Center coordinates educational programs on the Asian
experience, and tries to serve students' needs. Discover Asian America
is one of the most poignant events that the center does , so be sure to
check it out! The door is always locked so be sure to ring the doorbell and
knock! It is the support system for the Pan-Asian Council, whic h is the
umbrella organization for our many Asian culture groups and our single
Asian American political-oriented student organization, TASC, Tufts
Asian Student Coalition. We encourage you to participate in the Center's
programming, while also reaching out to returning Asian American
students about their experiences with the center. Students have a range of
interactions with the center and Linell, the center director. Check it out and
see for yourself if the students and other resources can provide some aspect
of community you might be looking for! It's the white house with a raised
porch across from the bookstore.


Ii)

LGBT Center
The LGBT Center (first called the LGB center, without the "T" for trans) was
founded in 1992, although recorded queer student groups/activism date s
back to 1969, when a gay man came out on stage at graduation. Throughout
the last 40+ years, queer students groups have raised awareness and protested queerphobia specifically at Tufts and at large (anti-queer graffiti, assault,
administrative policy, etc.). In 1998, the first LGBT hou sing (Rainbow
House ) was established, and still exists today in Hillside Apartments.
46

Hope Freeman began her time as LGBT center director this past spring!
The first recognized group specifically addressing race in Tufts' queer community formed in 2003 - Queer Students of Color and Allies ( QSOCA)
- open to students of any race. This group, now called LOQSOCA (Loving
Ourselves as Queer Students of Color in Action) provides a space where "the
multi-faceted identities of students who are queer and express all gender
identities of COLOR at Tufts University are free from attack':
The LGBT center is above the Latino Center in Bolles House. There is a great
library full of queer books on the third floor of the house. Students' experiences with the LGBT center vary enormously depending on intersecting
identities of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability, so definitely reach out
to students involved with any or all of the centers to talk about their experience with the LGBT center . Also, come check out the center for yourself! If
this seems intimidating, I've found the discussion groups to be a good place
to begin meeting queer students and forming community on Tufts campus.
Groups run out of the LGBT center:
-Ace Space (for asexual-spectrum/questioning folks)
-LOQSOCA (Loving Ourselves as Queer Students of Color in Action) email the facilitators at: tuftsloqsoca@gmail.com.
-Queer Women's Group
-Bisexual/Pansexual Students Group (known more casually as "bi/pan' '
group - not really just for bi/pan-identified students. This group is in the
process of being renamed ... )
-T-Time (for trans folks) - To find out more about T-Time, email : tuftsTtime@gmail.com
-Questioning and/or Coming Out Group - For more information, email
Hope (hope.freeman@tufts.edu)
To find out more about any of these groups, visit the center's website, or call
or email the center: (617.627.3770), lgbt@tufts.edu

47

~
:-....,

~~
·....,.

International Center
I-Center is really the administrative body for the International (I) Club, the
Global Orientation (G.O., formerly known as International Orientation)
Program, and I-House. Officially, the Center provides "individual counseling, immigration advising and visa documents for students, faculty, and
scholars:' Bear in mind that the I-Center comprises permanent staff members who are overwhelmingly White American. While well-intentioned and
seemingly helpful , they are unfamiliar with a lot of key information and
processes, knowledge that is crucial for international students to live, study
and work in the U.S. legally. They don't know what you don't know, so older
international students are often a much better resource -- when it comes to
filing taxes, renewing international financial aid, figuring out OPT/C PT and
such . Beyond administrative functions, the I-Center staff can often be hugely
insensitive towards international student needs and our complex identities, using a savior-like approach in celebrating the "diversity" of tokenized
students who the university is "so generously" helping and welcoming. Some
of the students who start their time at Tufts through G.O. funnel through the
I-Center programs and are active within the community. Unofficially, one
of the main community spaces for international students is the I-House on
the weekend. We turn up. However, because this community has historically
been upper/middle class international students who attended international
(instead of local public) schools, it can feel like a whole mess of upperclass
privilege. Also, the partying , alcohol, drugs and a large part of 'J\me rican
college culture" (and more specifically Western youth culture), which can
be alienating for international students who did not attend Western-centric
international schools, are of lower-income backgrounds, and/or come from
cultures where these practices are not the norm and seen as negative.

48

~~
....,

Where to begin? Being Black and
queer on Campus...
when you black and queer and ain >t nobody got time for that: tipsguide
So ... you're Black and your sexuality and/or gender identity does not fit into
the confines of White-ass, heterosexual, cisgender norms of intimacy, love,
fucking, being, breathing. And now you're at Tufts. A congratulations is in
order. Do you know your strength? How brilliant your survival is? Do you
know how much you love yourself/how much we love you? It won't be easy-chances are, up to now it hasn't been easy, either. But you are loved, always,
and this essay has been crafted with an abundant care for you, whoever you
are reading, as a crash course of sorts. Everyone's experience differs, and we
don't write this as a guide or prescription for the complexities and decisions
that will arise during your time on the hill , but simply as a few Black Queer
students that have come together to write you a love letter ... an introduction
to what our experiences have been here at Tufts and beyond. Not only to
welcome you to our communities, but to encourage, empower, and reassure
you that your existence, on this campus and outside of it, does not have to be
one of constant intrapersonal conflict. It can and should be one of immense
transformation, self-discovery, and even healing. We hope it helps.

,

on terminology

What does Queer mean? It means something different for everyone, but
that's the beauty of the word- it is often used (especially at Tufts) as an
umbrella term for people whose genders, sexualities and attractions or
lack thereof are not considered traditional in modern American society
(i.e. people that are not attracted to an "opposite gender" and/or don't
identify strictly or at all with the gender they were assigned at birth) but its
individual meaning depends on the person identifying. NOTE: Language
can be empowering but it can also be overwhelming-- take charge of the
conversation you have with your body and self by using and demanding
language that respects your experience as unique and important. It's highly
likely you have already found that being Black has impacted the way you
experience, understand, and articulate your gender, your
body, your desires, and your attraction to others, and selfidentification is no different. Feel emboldened to create
language when you find that there is none to accurately
express yourself. There exists tons of words in existence
created by Black people for Black people to describe
sexualities and genders that are exclusively borne from
Black experiences in the U.S and abroad-- revel in the
rhetorical options you have to explore yourself!
on pronouns and name

The classroom is one of the many unfortunate places where you may find
yourself anxious and invisible, silenced and violated. It is very important
to allow yourself to be respected. Pronouns are just as important as one>s
name. And just to get it out of the way so Tufts doesn>t graduate another
band of ignorant folk, don't forget it: they are your «pronouns» NOT
«preferred pronouns». It is OKAY to make sure that you are acknowledged
as who you are and not just as what or who others assume you to be. Get it?
Got it? Good. It is unacceptable for others to misgender you (using a word
or other form of address that does not reflect how someone identifies) or use
the wrong pronouns. If it happens and you feel safe, approach and correct.
However, if you are not comfortable or feel like you cannot approach and
correct then seek out someone in LOQSOCA. You are never alone. Ever. You
will feel alone at times .... this is an undeniable fact but know that you are not
alone .
• • • • • • • • • • • •• •• • • •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• • • •• •• • • •• • • • • • • • • • • • •• • • • • •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• •• • • •• •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

50

on not knowing, from one of us
This is for the folks who simply do not know - who are far from
understanding - what their sexuality is and what it means to them. First and
foremost , understand that it is okay not to know and not to understand .
Besides, from media to just plain living, many of us have so much to
unlearn about sexual identities. Myself included, I have no idea how I
wish to identify. I went through stages of
understanding and perhaps for most of us, that
is the case. I would say the most important
thing is being most honest to yourself - think
less and feel more when it comes to trying
to understand yourself. If none of the ideas
presented about sexuality fit you, then you as
the individual have the right to identify as you
please. Your individual sexuality should never
be policed!

on visibility at Tufts
While Tufts is known for being largely
accepting ofLGBTQ people, like any
campus community, your decision to let
your sexualities and genders be known to
others is first and foremost a personal choice.
Don't feel pressured to name something you
are still discovering for the sake of others
comprehension of you. Many, though not all of us come from communities
where free expression of our sexualities and genders has been in the past
limited and heavily compromised-- some by self, some by violence .. .
others by families or faith communities. While for some, Tufts may
indeed be a solace away from these conflicts, it is by no means an alternate
dimension . Your mental health will continue to be impacted by your holistic
relationships with friends, family, and communities at and away from Tufts.
Thus, don't feel pressured to «become" the person you've been planning on
«becoming"at Tufts by October . This. Is. A. Journey. Take your time and give
yourself room to breathe without regard to performing for others-- watch
some Netflix, read a book for fun, go explore Downtown Boston . You will
find that this time can be essentialto not getting lost in the fray.

51

on Queer community at Tufts while Black
Tufts is a PWI (predo minately White institution ) and consequently,
most Queer people at Tufts are White. According to Tufts, 23% of the
undergraduate student body are Asian-American, Black/African-American,
Hispanic /Latino, and Native American students. Other than Native peoples,
Blacks constitute the smallest population of POC (people of color) on
campus-- around 240. Consequently, even of non-White Queer folks on
campus, we are technically (given estimates) the smallest Queer clique de
resistance. But we are mighty and we are one of the most organized groups
of Queer POC on campus. Queer POC tend to know one another and
socialize/bond/love across racial lines. Most spaces designated as "queer ,, on
campus will be extraordinarily White, cis-male, including the LGBT Center
(although the new LGBT Center director as of 2015, Nino Testa , remains
adamant about changing this culture and centering race and gender in
community conversations).

on healthcare
Fenway Health is a great healthcare provider in Boston that specialized in
LG BT-accessible care. They offer free STD testing if you're not interested in
shelling out mone y at Health Services. Accessing Mental Health Services can
be challenging for Black students at Tufts (there are no Black psychiatrists on
campus) but this shouldn't prevent you from accessing resources if you need
them.

1,

QUICK SELF-CARE TIPS:

"Everything you need to handle in whatever situation you may find yourself
in already exists inside of you,, -words from a soulful friend.
Self love is one of the hardest things to grasp because you are tricked to believe you do not have time for it . Do not lose yourself in that damn lie.
Self care will often seem like it is not important or out of reach like self-love.
Do not lose yourself.
You want things and it might hurt at times but you will get there!
You will learn a lot about yourself and even question yourself. Do not be
discouraged .
As much as the world acknowledges all things negative do not forget that it
is okay to acknowledge positives. Why? Because you cannot lose yourself in
this shit whole of a world and also because good times still matter and are
important.
52

on LOQSOCA & Black Queer Magic
LOQSOCA (Loving Ourselves as Queer
Students of Color in Action), formerly
known as Queer Students of Color & Allies,
meets weekly in the LGBT Center. The group's
mission is "to provide a space, both physical
and communal, where the multi-faceted identities of students of color who are queer and express
all gender at Tufts are free from attack. We aim to
create a community that values the self-celebration,
self-care, affirmation, and love of these individuals, within
their own communities and throughout the Tufts community . Beyond toleration, we seek meaningful inclusion,
equal opportunity, heightened awareness and enrichment
of the QTPOC community and safety throughout campus.
We aim to be united in supporting the social equality and
liberation of people of color from oppression and discrimination based on
sexual orientation , gender identity , and race: ' When we gather, we checkin with one another, listen to music, laugh, cry, eat, plot , act a fool, etc.
We move away from the conversations White people have about sexuality,
gender, and identity and center ourselves to learn and explore our histories,
our communities, and our role in liberation as QTPOC. We aim to embrace
QTPOC (Queer and Trans people of color) as an open and welcoming family and we ensure that White folks and non-QTPOC honor our wishes to not
be present during any meeting.
#BlackQueerMagic began at the end of the Spring semester 2015, as a
pop- up gathering of Queer men following a meeting of the Kofi Collective,
a group of Black men on campus. In Fall 2015, we hope this space will grow
into a social space, turnup troupe and homie-healing-circle specifically for
non-straight, non-cis Black folks, regardless of gender identity.
Both of these spaces constitute a Black Queer community on campus that
you can be apart of and look to for support when you need to take care of
and love yourself.

53

Deleted scenes: on PWI lovin'

One more time, say it with me now! "Tufts is a PWI and consequently, most
queer people at Tufts are White:' That being said, when it comes time to
get your freak on at place like Tufts, more often than not, you'll be sharing
that moment with someone who has had little access to Black queerness,
physically or socially, let alone intimately. Yet, because pop queer culture is
flooded with harmful images/ stereotypes of Black queer folks, we can often find ourselves fetishized and forced to fit into the hyper-sexualized and
dominant/aggressive characterizations that queer culture reduces us to. Even
among the most "socially conscious': a basic level of human respect flies
right out the bedroom window, as your race becomes their sexual pleasure.
To them, you become a magical Black unicorn (we are magical though!)
that must be tried like the 31 Baskin Robbins flavors, or captured like the
150 original Pokemon. Take our word for it: no quickie is worth your dignity.
Don't allow people to force you to trade your humanity for sex.
So boom, barn, you've done it! You've been pre-oriented to the wild world of
being Black and Queer at Tufts. We'll see you on the other side of the vanilla
hill;)
-your family

**Edit added Fall 2017: Hope Freeman, a Black queer woman, has been
hired as LGBT Center director. She can be reached in the center or at
hope.freeman@tufts .edu

Professors and Departments
This section includes information and experiences from students around the
following departments:

American Studies
Anthropology
Child Study and Human Development
Community Health
History
International Relations and Political Science
Japanese
Peace and Justice Studies
Psychology

American Studies
Established at Tufts in 1980, American Studies is an interdisciplinary program included in the Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and
Diaspora (RCD)--alongside Africana, Asian American, Colonialism, and
Latino Studies. American Studies majors critically examine constructions
and structures of power that shape lives affected by the U.S., both within and
beyond its borders. The interdisciplinary curriculum contextualizes racism,
settler colonialism, imperialism, slavery, labor, capitalism, immigration, and
war while looking at the intersecting dynamics of race, class, religion, region,
gender, and sexuality. American Studies gives students the tools to unpack
how structures of power and oppression function in our own lives. Through
this discipline, we enable ourselves to name and work to resist forms of
racism, classism, sexism, and heteropatriarchy. Looking past the academic
jargon, the program has most importantly provided a support network for
social justice oriented students . Students are encouraged to place their own
bodies and truths into their studies and are given the independence to tailor
the major to their specific interests

55

Anthropology
It's easy to let the study of anthropology be all about that saviour complex,
and Tufts is no different. You'll have students in class discussing societies
(mostly Third World) and making racist parallels to other experiences they
may have had/are in the West, or just really infuriating, insensitive students
who use terms like «weird" and «strange" for practices that are unknown to
them . Also, a lot of your classmates, professors, mentors, and people whose
work you study may plan to or currently profit off of «studying down"-doing research and otherwise building a career around speaking for and about
marginalized groups (e.g. women in X Global South country, incarcerated
Black Americans, indigenous communities). Then there are those fantastic
students and professors who call these people and practices out and really
challenge people to explain what they meant and unpack their motivations.
This is what we love about this department.
If you want to learn about the nuances of different communities in conjunction with their intersections of gender, kinship, age, religion and so on, and
how different people have completely different beliefs of liberation, faith,
community and way of life (which we all rather forget in the West), then anthropology might be for you. Just be aware of the dynamics of your privilege
when studying this subject, because it can be really invasive-and, often,
power (including race) evasive).

PROFESSORS:
Fantastic in very different ways:
Sarah Pinto (global feminisms, South Asia, gender and sexuality, dance, Hinduism, medical anthropology) .
Alex Blanchette (industrial agriculture, animal and environmental studies,
labor and capitalism, United States) . *ON SABBATICAL
Amahl Bishara (media and the state, Palestine , human rights , journalism,
ethnographies of place).
Mixed reviews:
Stephen Bailey (who teaches most courses that fulfill the biological anthropology requirement) can be creepy, plus he does and presents to students
a lot of research by White Western academics on the physical qualities of
different non-White bodies. But the field is very interesting-and so are his
classes, often.
Cathy Stanton is supposed to be good as well.
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Child Study and Human Development
The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development
(formerly known as The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development)
Located past the gym on College Ave, Eliot-Pearson (the building that most
CSHD classes will be held in)
The Eliot- Pearson School began as the Ruggles Street School in 1922. At the
time, it was one of the leading programs in child care. In 1951, Eliot- Pearson and Tufts merged. Then, in 1964, the Eliot- Pearson Department of
Child Study formally became a department at Tufts University. Recently,
the department updated its name to better match its focus and became the
Eliot- Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development.
The most well-known classes in the CSHD department are often education
based, although the department itself is much more interdisciplinary. While
classes may not be cross-listed, the concepts taught in the classes (after the
introduction course) extend far beyond traditional child development. The
department offers classes that focus on aspects of CSHD that students often
overlook; classes can be taken that focus on health, policy, arts, technology,
media, language and literacy, and atypical development.
Many of the classes are heavy on theory and will require a fair amount of
reading. The theorists that are read about in the earlier classes are prominently white or Euro-centric .. As research and work continues on in this
fairly new and constantly developing field, theorists and researchers come
from diverse backgrounds. The department itself is also diverse, coming
from many racial backgrounds . This diversity allows the professors and class
to be more inclusive - as theory and non-theory based work often times
leaves out those who do not identify as money-rich/white/cisgender .
In my experience, professors will work to "unpack the backpack» - or to
work towards unlearning biases, especially in an education-based class.
While unlearning biases, students are urged to be open and willing to understand that they will have biases - it will be uncomfortable to realize these
things. However, recognizing a bias is the first step in unlearning and res?

learning. The relearning process is up to the students, as professors try not to
assert any of their own biases on students. Biases can include biases against
race, gender, age, class .. . The list continues. Unpacking backpacks have
made learning in this department more accessible and comfortable. It has
allowed me, personally, to see the issues in my own education - what in the
system works better for one group of students versus another . Realizing this
issue, and knowing that professors and other students are also conscious of
it, allows for more work to be done in making the CSHD field a more equal
playing field for many groups that are discriminated against.

Professors of Note:
Mary Anton Oldenburg (CD 130) - She discusses race/power/privilege in
every class in depth throughout the semester. She is one of the professors
that really understands the need to discuss these topics and how to go about
doing so - she get it. She is interested in mentoring students, especially students of color.
Bruce Johnson - First professor that I've come across that really discusses
unpacking the backpack - super important. He makes his students really
think, without ever having a lull in discussion.

Community Health
As a recent grad, reflecting on the CH department brings up a mixed bag of
feelings. The department as a whole definitely needs work (I mean we are at
Tufts). But there are several professors (Allen, Rubin, Tendulkar) who are
helping it go in the right direction (slowly, but definitely faster than most departments). As a rising second year, I thought CH would give me the tools
to address the health inequities in the country that I always see, but I haven't
found those tools in the department yet.
Without the support from Prof. Sprague-Martinez (no longer a prof), Tendulkar, Allen and Rubin, I am not sure I would have finished up at Tufts.
They were key to validating my experiences in the classroom. Despite their
busy schedules, I always knew I could stop into their office and they would
be willing to talk about literally anything from careers to self-care. (This was
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a complete opposite from the psych department, which you can read about
in that section). They were also super hospitable whenever I wanted to meet- offering tea or asking if I ate that day. Retweet that about professor Rubin
and Tendulkar. They were like my home away from home.
Despite all of this, there were many, many times in the classroom where I
felt silenced and invalidated . I am not sure if there was a single class where
something problematic did not happen. The department is still on shaky
ground because of all the change happening to it, but they find it IMPOSSIBLE to be coherent and talk about race in a meaningful way. It irks me because race is so deeply intertwined with every single thing relating to health,
but they don't even know how to address these issues because, I think, they
just do not want to make people uncomfortable . There were times where I
just stopped going to class for a couple of weeks because I could not bear
to sit there and listen. Some times it was the professor (Roelofs), but most
of the time it was student comments that weren't addressed . It was kind of
disgusting to see the number of people who graduated with me, who did not
learn ANYTHING during their four years *sigh*.
Like said earlier, I do genuinely believe Jen Allen is trying to push it in the
right direction. Something we talked about was making sure people who did
internships in communities of color were fully aware of the power dynamics
and their privilege. Will this eventually turn into something? Who knows ...
but the fact that she was willing to sit and listen to my ideas and concerns
without being defensive meant a lot. This was more than I expected, which is
kind of sad when you think about it . ..
This experience below is not uncommon for students of color in CH classes, but also this is experience is also not uncommon for students of color in
most classes.
I went to one of the Community Health lunches that were offered in Spring
2015. I saw this as a way to get closer to the other CH professors (particularly with Dr. Allen). I was disappointed because Dr. Allen asked how the
department could "do better to address problems of race/open up the discussion about race:' I was the only POC attending the meeting - I felt like she
and the two other White people were waiting for me to tell them what to do,
how race should be talked about, etc.
There was a point in Spring 2015 where I really started to lose faith in the
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Community Health department . During one of the last classes for CH02
(Health Care in America), we had presentations on problems in Health
Care in America. The last presentation (by a White male senior) was about
"High Medical School Costs" and he rattled off lots of statistics about the
cost (prefacing his presentation by saying he had just applied to medical
school) . Reasonably , he cited statistics for the Tufts Medical school, and one
of the things he said was that, "Rent in rising in Chinatown, and so THAT is
another cost medical students have to worry about:'
I was stunned by this comment because of Chinatowns current state of
being immensely gentrified. Chinatown is now limited to basically a single
block of space, with residents being forced to move out of their homes that
they've been in FOR YEARS because luxury housing units are being built.
I was shocked by the neglect and ignorance that this message had - he did
not even mention the current state of Chinatown residents. At the time of
this comment, I was much too shocked to say anything, and I actually was
hoping that Professor Roelofs would say something. But, nothing was done
and the comment went on unaddressed.
I went to Professor Roelofs to talk about this situation and she assured me
that I could make people aware of what was going on in Chinatown by "writing a blogpost for the class:' The class requires that students write a blogpost
about something to do with healthcare and it is submitted for a grade. I told
her that would not be sufficient to reach people, and I was hoping that I
could just blast a message to everybody with the widget on the Trunk website (messages). She advised me not to do so, somewhat implying that if I
were to follow through with my actions , she would penalize me on my grade.
I was so angry, so within that week I went to the other CH professors - Allen
and Tendulkar - to see if I could get just SOMEBODY to back me up. I spoke
with Professor Allen and she was empathetic about the situation, but did
mention her agreement with Roelof 's advice for me to not say anything so
that my grade is not damaged. The real support I had was with Tendulkar she pushed me to send that message and really wants to learn how to establish some way to talk about race in her classes, as she has suffered in similar
ways as a POC.
If I had to make a list of take-aways from the past 4 years they would be ...

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Avoid Glickman-Simon's course unless you have previous knowledge of
anatomy/physiology and have parents/friends who are doctors. The class is a
total crap shoot ...
Do not assume that the BA/MPH program is any less problematic than the
CH department. It is basically the same thing, but with adults/renown faculty saying problematic shit .
Just because a professor does research on communities of color doesn't mean
they «get it" (Key word : on). Look into CBPR (community-based participatory research)
I liked urban health and community planning with Prof Rubin in the fall.
I cannot think of a class where I gained concrete skills ( except for maybe
Health Communications). If you want to gain these skills, your best bet is
doing an internship. Not that the theory stuff isn't important (things like
social determinants can help you do the concrete stuff better/think more
critically), but the «real world" experience is where you gain these skills.
At least once at Tufts, you WILL have to make a decision between keeping
quiet to protect your grade and pushing back and risk a lower grade/no
recommendation. Everyone comes in to Tufts at a different place and I was
by no means confidently able to push back until my senior year. Honestly,
I do not regret ever doing it (GPA really doesn't matter, but that's another
story). Did my grades drop? Possibly? But I was able to learn something that
no reading/paper could have taught me-- how to tell an authority figure that
they are being problematic and the impact of their actions (trust me this will
come up in real life -_ -) . There were some prof .s who changed their curriculums or apologized in class because they had no idea how much they fucked
up (small win) . The burden is still placed on you to do something about
it, but I like to think that maybe some student who is too quiet/anxious/
grade- focused will secretly thank you for saying something they wish they
could. It's hard to find support in the CH community that makes you feel
like you are actually being heard and are not just being pushed aside, but you
REALLY have to look on your own.

Computer Science
The computer science department is full of great people and also full of not
so great people. The major has ballooned in the past couple years, surpassing
IR as the most popular major at Tufts and drastically shifting the dynam61

ics within the department . Some really great things about the department
are the rigor of the major, the marketability of the degree in the workforce,
the web of connections through Tufts to the tech world in Cambridge and
beyond , some really good professors (mentioned below ), some great staff
running things behind the scenes, the guidance and care of TAs, the amazing grad students, free printing and 24 access to a well-resourced building, a
very large cohort to find your friends, the ability to get a high paying job and
pay off loans straight out of undergrad (unfortunately the top priority for
many low-income students), and a community of people pushing the major
to be the best it can be. Some not really great things about the department
are the prevalence ofbrogrammers (bro programmers), the overcrowding of
classes (making them very hard to get into) and lack of resources to accommodate the size of the major, some professors who make you feel stupid for
asking questions, the extreme difficulty and workload of higher level classes
(40, 105) after easy and fun lower level classes (11, 15), the emphasis on
how to use the degree in the corporate world, the fetishization of big name
internships (google, facebook, Microsoft), the hierarchies of white masculinity and constant posturing around intelligence, dedication , and success,
the large amount of research funding coming from the military, the denial of
tenure of the most loved professor of all time at Tufts (look up Ben Hescott),
the forced sacrifice of mental health, friendships, and hobbies , the lack of
windows in the computer science building, and the absence of conversations
regarding social implications of computer science (and the feeling that you
are alone if you want to have those conversations).
Professors I had good experiences with who are still around:
Laney Strange (teaches intro courses, amazing woman in tech)
Lenore Cowen (great advisor and mentor)
Kathleen Fisher (incredibly smart and invested in your learning)

History
S: The History department, like the other humanities , is small and closeknit . Courses in the History department often double count for the IR program and other interdisciplinary majors. Because the major requirements
are pretty flexible, (i.e. classes can double count, a concentration within the
major is very broadly defined) you can create your own critically engaged
62

field of study.At first glance, the History department seems saturated with
dry survey courses and dryer professors, but I,ve found it,s well worth it to
take the time to seek out the best the department has to offer, as there are
truly wonderful and engaging courses/professors. In addition, the small size
of the department means that you become very close with your professors.
D: Though the history department can be a frustrating place, it can wonderful if you use the courses offered as a platform to create your own field of
study. I often feel like I have to fish to find good classes/professors, but once
I do, I can work very closely with them as the department is relatively small.
Take advantage of how small the dept. is, how kind most of the profs are,
and make the major your own!

Classes and Professors We Recommend!
D and S: Ayesha Jalal
D: Should be required for all Tufts students tbh
S: This woman is rigorous, a tough grader and deliver s incredibly dense
lectures . However they are very engaging and she is very helpful during
office hours PROVIDED YOU DO NOT BULLSHIT HER. She will see right
through it and has little patience for it. She is at the forefront of decolonizing
South Asian history and scholarship and a lot can be learned from her and
her incredible classes.
S: Elizabeth Foster -- Fill the Euro requirement or your Foundation Seminar
in the History major with her! She's brilliant, funny and a very fair grader.
She specializes in French history and teaches it really well.
David Proctor -- Thi s professor has quite the cult following at Tufts, with
good reason: he is a brilliant professor, a Trekkie and an amateur botanist
with impeccable style (as in, three piece suits every day) with a heart of gold.
He teaches Euro and Byzantine history , neither of which I've ever been interested in but both of which I loved with him. He is the best!
Hugh Roberts -- Prof. Roberts teaches Middle East, North Africa and Islam-related History courses. BE WARNED: his lecture style is quite dry
and he definitely gives off an ~o ld academia~ vibe, but stick with it! He is a
brilliant expert in his field, a fair grader, and is really good about presenting
information about controversial, topical issues (e.g. Israel /Palest ine , Iraq) in
an even-handed way that allows you to make your own informed decision. I
have learned so much from him!
D:Kris Manjapra -- An incredible and generous professor who will invest as
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much time and energy as possible in you and your studies. He also brings
theory to bear on all his classes, which are transnational, decolonial, and
amazing. Particularly look for: Comparative Anti-Colonialism, decolonization and postcolonial thought, and south Asian urban history. (Also he has
the best sense of style and is extremely attractive, so ...)
Kendra Field -- A recent hire, Prof. Field is quietly brilliant and willing to
challenge students to rethink their conceptions of history and what it means
to 'do history: Look for her classes on slavery, the Civil War, and the American family (it will blow your mind).
Jeanne Penvenne -- One of the kindest, most candid, and self-aware profs in
the history dept . She treats her students with respect and will always make
time to answer questions and chat about almost anything at office hours. She
has lived a fascinating life and she will share pictures of her adorable grandson with you. Look for her classes on race and class in Southern Africa and
Angola & Mozambique.

International Relations and Political Science
If you are reading this page, chances are you care about 1) politics 2) "saving
the world" and/or 3) the fact that Tufts' IR department is "highly reputable:'
We hope we can make you question and really evaluate your decision to
pursue this course of study-and help clarify some ways to make it through ,
should you decide to stick with the major.

WHY WE DID (OR DIDN'T) STAY IN IR
Like many incoming freshmen, I came to Tufts for the IR major with every
intention of pursuing it. In the end, the IR program did not offer me the flex ibility I wanted, so I switched to a Political Science major. This allowed me to
take many fabulous IR classes without committing to one core . All this to say
if you want to shop around, you absolutely can!

- PoliticalScience '16
The Security concentration examines conflict primarily from the eyes of a
future State Department /Pentagon analyst. Even when the discussion does
not focus on the "most pragmatic approach for the United States to deal with
-- recent New York Times World News Feature; ' the theories of violence
and conflict are just that : theories . Because of my unwillingness to partici64

pate in the dehumanization of my friends and family, my peers didn't respect
me. The phrase «Asa foreigner ... " characterized most of my comments in
class.
- Ideologies '16, switched out of International Security
I chose IR my sophomore year because I had already fulfilled many requirements for the Environmental concentration, and I felt (regrettably) like I
needed an IR major to substantiate other classes I wanted to take. The major
pushes dominant narratives surrounding socioeconomic development and
the eradication of poverty. But in other departments, I have found more
subversive lines of thought : development as a tool of colonialism, the links
between environmental exploitation and ruin, capitalist expansion, etc.
-Global Health, Nutrition, and the Environment '17
Here's the thing: Because of my career interests in structural violence and
health (I plan on applying to health sciences graduate programs), I found
that most classes I wanted to take happened to fulfill the Global Health
concentration. That being said, I'm sure-depending
on your angle and
interests-you could explore similar themes in other departments, such as
the American Studies cluster in Health, Environment and Society. IR may be
a good fit for you if you don't feel drawn to any particular department over
another (or feel drawn to several) and want to be able to shop around and
draw from them all.
-Global Health, Nutrition, and the Environment '16
My choice to do IR was purely a strategic move. IR gave me flexibility. As
opposed to sticking to one department, I could tailor my curriculum to the
content I wanted to learn in Sociology, Poli Sci, Anthropology, PJS, American Studies, etc.
- Ideologies '16, switched out of International Development
Economics and Empires/Colonialism/Globalization

TIPS
- Consider Tufts' graduate-level classes . Take advantage of your ability to
enroll in classes at Friedman (the nutrition grad school) or Fletcher (the IR
grad school) that are less simplistic and more conscious of power structures .
- Get out of your comfort zone. The IR major is not 100% comprehensive
and will not completely prepare you to engage with global politics. Take
classes in American Studies or Sociology or Anthropology (or many other
departments) that make you feel uncomfortable and question International
65

Relations (both at Tufts and as a field) and yourself. Learning happens at
those critical intersections. Do visit the Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora-those three words are KEY to understanding the
violent history of «international relations:'
- Less is more. Instead of focusing on getting a double major in IR and Econ
or Community Health or whatever you think is the done/easy thing, stick
with IR alone so you have more room and headspace for critical classes that
do not necessarily count for your IR major.
- The Core sucks. Don't think that all «good" IR majors enjoy it and if you
don't, there's something wrong with you. Intro IR (PS 61) is not actually
focused on students' learning and supposedly meant to be a «weeder" class
to get rid of half the people who are interested in the major. Neither students
nor professor (who seems like a nice person otherwise) care about International Economics (EC 60). DO NOT TAKE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (HIST 11) WITH EKBLADH.
- Pay attention to class names. Example: History of Globalization versus
Metaphors of Globalization-the course names may be similar, but trust us,
the approaches and readings are totally different.
- Take charge of your learning: Read outside the syllabus, courtesy of your
Tufts login-for example, feminist and/or leftist economic journals such
as the New L.eft Review. Learn from other students by joining Students for
Justice in Palestine, United for Immigrant Justice, Students Against Mass
Incarceration, etc. If you find a topic missing in the curriculum, create an
independent study: a course where you create your own syllabus and meet
one-on-one with a professor. It may seem intimidating but professors will
support you in this (use their office hours to help you create it). Tisch library doesn't have a book? Use iLLIAD. There isn't even a book in the whole
academic world written about your topic? Type up a research proposal, apply
for a grant (through the IR program, the Institute for Global Leadership or
the Undergraduate Research Fund), and do your research.
- Power is everywhere. This is specifically directed at Global Health, Nutrition, and the Environment concentrators: You are not exempt from asking
yourself and your field the hard questions, just because your concentration
isn't in security or economics or a region with a political history. Learn about
the White/Western savior complex and how it connects to the existence of
this concentration, as well as what you and your peers are taught about these
topics, as well as your ambitions.
- Everything counts for something. The IR office (especially Kathleen Devigne) will help you figure out what classes you need to take, petition classes
outside of the IR curriculum to count for IR requirements, and raise your
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confidence that you will somehow in four years finish the 1 million IR requirements while also being able to take other classes that interest you.
- Make non-IR friends . Just because they haven't gone through the program
doesn't mean you don't have a lot to learn from their perspectives on globalization, global White supremacy, capitalism, occupation, etc.
LOOK UP AND LEARN ABOUT THESE TERMS: hegemony, imperialism
and neoimperialism, savior-industrial complex, nonprofit-industrial complex, colonialism and decolonization, global
apartheid, diaspora, structural violence, capitalism and its critiques, voluntourism .

RECOMMENDED PROFESSORS:
- Thomas Abowd
- David Art : "The man makes political economy
really fun! Being randomly called on in class
can be really daunting at first, but he's very likeable and also very helpful during office hours.
N*l TIP : Pay attention to grammar! The guy is a stickler for it. His TAs are
also really nice and helpful so definitely talk to them (and him!). Also, GO
TO CLASS - he unpacks the often dense readings in class so lecture notes are
pretty crucial especially if you 're having trouble grasping the material (like I
did):'
- Nancy Bauer
- Amahl Bishara
- Alex Blanchette: "Not in the department but his classes have really aided
my development of a nuanced yet critical lens:'
- Consuelo Cruz: "She is an incredibly understanding and reasonable prof essor. She has been very patient with me and has allowed for any accommodation I needed. Consuelo is also not only knowledgeable on Latin America,
but more generally on more general sociology, political philosophy, and
structural theories. We have had discussions on Latin American history
and politics, and she has always respected my thoughts, even when we don't
agree:'
- Ioannis Evrigenis: "Take Ethics and IR! It's a super interesting,
thought-provoking class and if you don't have a mind for theory but want to
get the skills to parse through it, take a class with him! N' 1 TIP : GO to office
hours! He's intimidating at first but will explain things to you 1000 times and
is a kind person:'
- Kelly Greenhill : "She teaches about ethnic conflict and civil wars so warn67

ing that the material is tough, but she,s an amazing lecturer with tons of
extraordinary experiences she,ll talk about in class . N, 1 TIP: Have a group to
split readings with and DO THEM: ,
- Ayesha Jalal
- Lisa Lowe
- Kris Manjapra (on sabbatical this year): "I loved Decolonization and he was
an immense pleasure to work with outside of class on extracurricular projects. He is an intensely brilliant but also empathetic educator:,
- Natalie Masuoka: "A wonderful and kind professor who does incredibly
interesting work! N,l TIP: She,s much better in a small classroom setting
than in a big lecture hall, so try to gear your classes with her that way. Take
PS106: Racial and Ethnic Politics if you,ve ever wondered about how voting
behavior and districting shapes government policy, how race shapes civic
behavior, or about PoC politics in the U.S. in general!
- Sarah Pinto
- Kamran Rastegar
- Hugh Roberts
- Pearl Robinson
- Peter Winn
- Adriana Zavala: "Not in the department but her classes have really aided
my development of a nuanced yet critical lens:,

Japanese
A Personal Narrative about the Japanese Depar tment at Tufts:
Upon stepping foot at Tufts, I was excited to attend a school that takes pride
in the various language departments it offers. Perhaps it was the several
study abroad pamphlets Tufts sent me in high school that made me think
these languages would pave my way toward a new place where I could expand my academics. For me , I knew that I wanted to enroll in the Japanese
department early on . I took some Japanese language classes in high school
but , when taking the placement tests during orientation week, was more
interested in ensuring my solid understanding of the basic concepts than
testing into the highest level possible. Thus, I ended up taking Japanese 1 my
freshman fall.
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As Japanese American, I had many personal reasons for taking Japanese
language. My father is conversant in Japanese thanks to exposure from his
parents from an early age. I grew up listening in on phone calls between my
father and my grandmother and wished that I could understand what they
were speaking about. Because I was not taught the language or enrolled in
Japanese school as a kid when it is much easier to pick up a second language,
I was determined to take Japanese at some point. While I leaned strongly
toward American Studies and Asian American Studies in my freshman year,
I took Japanese classes in case I decided to pursue Japanese as a major or
minor later.
On the first day of Japanese 001 (JPN 001), I walked into the classroom
in Olin and realized that I was the only Japanese American student in the
classroom. When asked why we wanted to learn the language, my reasons
were unlike those of the other students in the room. Many were fascinated
by Japanese pop culture and wanted to understand what was being said in
anime. Others had taken Chinese language classes, in which the characters
in writing are similar to kanji (Japanese characters). For much of my first
semester in this course, I felt different from the rest. Because I look the part
of someone who should be fluent in Japanese, I sensed a certain pressure
to consistently know everything. I was familiar with some materials taught
in this class because I had been introduced to them before. Ultimately, the
grades turned out well and I felt very confident that I had a grasp on the
concerts . However, I saw many of the other students bonding -- perhaps because they formed study groups outside of class or because they shared some
interests that I could not relate to.
Much of the aforementioned sentiment continued into my second semester
of Tufts as I took Japanese 2 (JPN 002). I had the same teacher as the first semester and I felt that she knew me well as a student. I had similar standards
to maintain comparable grades, though I was aware that this course would
require more time and effort. At the same time, I decided to take Introduction to Japanese Culture (JPN 061), a course that falls under the 'culture' half
of the language requirement and is also a core class of the Japanese major/
minor. In the class, the professor canvassed the core themes and events in
Japanese history, stating in the first week that his lectures were "an interpretation, and not the interpretation" of Japanese culture. Throughout the
semester, we analyzed early Japanese poetry, read texts of famed Japanese
authors, and watched Japanese films. Each week's assignment was called an
essay, but in fact entailed a haiku rich in emotion yet simple in form, a draw69

ing of an important illustration , and a response to the materials of that week.
Overall, the assignments outside of class were pretty straight forward and as
the weeks progressed, I found that I was producing haikus and analyzing the
works of art in the fashion the professor wanted. As a results, I received high
grades on these weekly assignments by the end of the semester (my essays
started from Bs and ended at As).
What bothered me most about Introduction to Japanese Culture was how
incredibly fixed the professor is in his teachings and, further, his beliefs.
Halfway through the semester, we learned about the way of the samurai
and at the beginning of one class, the professor played a clip from Saturday
Night Live from the 70s where John Belushi, a white man, plays an archetypal samurai in a deli shop. The actor mumbles in pretend Japanese and
uses his katana to make customers sandwiches. We saw that he slices tomatoes in the air, the sandwich in half, etc. At the end, the customer receives
a sandwich he did not order and in reaction Belushi reaches to his sword
as if he were to commit suicide, a samurai ritual , before the customer stops
him. Perhaps seen as appropriate decades ago, this video was unsettling
and I was confused about why the professor chose to show it to the class.
He did not preface the video and made no comment about the problematic
yellowface, when a white actor dresses up to appear Asian, that occurred in
the video. What about pictures of actual samurais? Modern day interpretations of samurais? My friend, who is also Japanese American, and I talked
to the professor after this class and questioned him about his intentions. We
stated that there are repercussions when showing such an insensitive, racist
video as it perpetuates stereotypes about Japanese people . In response , this
professor actually laughed at the two of us, defending the video with "It's
funny!,, He said that we were "taking it too seriously,, and minimized any
discomfort we and other fellow students may have had during the video . We
left the classroom in complete shock that a professor had made us feel so
little and humiliated. Even if he did not agree with what we brought up, the
professor did not attempt to be receptive to our concerns. For non Japanese
/ American students, if an Asian American teacher condones and laughs at
Asian-targeted jokes, he or she endorses it, as though these jokes are acceptable and racism against Asian Americans is not a problem.
Throughout the remainder of the semester, there were many other instances
where I believe the professor essentialized Japanese culture. In other words,
he seemed to be saying that all Japanese acted in one way or another . I found
myself trying to speak up about certain things, but mostly staying silent in
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my seat. To take attendance for each class, the professor asks each student a
question -- sometimes silly, sometimes serious. During one particular class,
the professor prompted his lecture with "Is American a good country-- yes
or no?" My friend sitting next to me was called on and answered "No': The
professor responded to her, and only to her out of the other forty responses
in the room, with "No? It's those American Studies classes, huh? " He seemed
to imply that the classes that my friend and I were taking in the American
Studies department had influenced her to think pessimistically about this
country. This interaction was one where I clearly saw this professor attempting to make himself seem more authoritative and powerful. He embarrassed
my friend and devalued "inferior" departments with this response . It felt
so wrong for a professor to be dissing another program, especially when he
knew that some of his students were in the program. What I learned in this
classroom and in the presence of this professor was that I could not create a
community or environment of care. I didn't feel like my values were respected. If I were too critical of what the professor was preaching, I would be shut
down and silenced. In this space, there was no attempt to intersect Japanese
studies with Asian American politics. I felt that, instead, the professor taught
for a primarily white audience. As I walk into my sophomore year, I will
continue to take Japanese language classes for my own purposes. I want to
speak with my dad, grandma, and Japanese friends. I no longer have any
desire to declare Japanese as a major or minor at Tufts as these spaces were
not created for me.

Peace and Justice Studies
Peace and Justice Studies (PJS) doesn't have much of a reputation on Tufts
campus. When the major is even discussed it is often with an air of condescension in which the department and all affiliated are often reduced to
lazy hippies and easy courses. But, Peace and Justice Studies has been such
a meaningful, eye-opening, and integral part of my Tufts (and more importantly, life) experience and it saddens me to know that many look down
upon the major because they do not take the time to see what they can make
out of it. If you have any interest in the contextual studies of war, violence,
peace, conflict, conflict resolution, mediation , alternative justice outlets,
revolution, overthrows, or governing institutions, I ask that you give a class
from the department a try before you sign yourself away to International Relations. Put simply, Peace and Justice Studies seeks to explore the intricacies
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and complexities of human conflict . The major emphasizes the necessity of
studying through context and, unlike IR or poli sci, refrains from strict, theory-based thought. Instead , PJS courses seek to explore histories and roots
from differing perspectives , and encourages holistic analyses of conflicts.
Peace and Justice Studies is exactly what you choose to make out of it. The
structure of the major is beneficial to those who favor an interdisciplinary
approach to learning, while still having the agency to take three elective
courses completely independent of the major (out of the 11 credits to graduate, 3 must be selected from other departments and have a common focus).
I know PJS majors who are focusing on colonialism, global health, feminist
thought, and education, just to name a few. The classes offered each semester
are unique in their variety and in their focus , and many are cross listed with
other departments. I personally have taken seminars on post-conflict Bosnia the Arab Spring, environmental justice, and peace education. Peers have
taken philosophy courses on morality, anthropology classes on alternative
forms of justice, and community health classes on healthcare institutions.
I include this list of courses to show the exceptional combination of both
breadth and specificity that the major has to offer through its courses alone .
The complexities of conflict, violence, peace, and, (in my opinion, the most
complex of all), justice, are no joke. PJS is a major that pushes beyond theory
and instead, truly and deeply analyzes human conflicts (while noting their
extraordinary differences , - something IR and political science don't always do). Reducing it to something simple, easy, and (what boils my blood
most) lazy, couldn't be more off the mark. Literally dozens (upon dozens,
upon dozens) of books, discussions, and papers later, I am still baffled by
the complexities of the questions PJS seeks to address, and the only thing
I am certain about is that there is absolutely no easy answer, if even one at
all. That's the other thing I love ... This is a major about hope , about moving
forward, about recognizing and then rethinking problems . Does the major
seek to critique the status quo? Every goddamn day. But my professors, advisors, courses, materials, readings, and peers have asked me- , even required
me-, to not stop there, but to go further, to create positive alternatives,
and hopeful spaces. If you see conflict as inevitable or black-and-white then
Peace and Justice Studies is not for you (though it may be exactly what you
need ). But if you see the geo-political conflicts that abound in our world as
deeply rooted, complex issues involving systems, history, culture, policy, institutions, and philosophy that can be addressed, changed, and even healed
then I think this is the best fit you will get here at Tufts. At the end of the day,
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I realize that I am studying, learning (and unlearning) about humanity and
truth . I know that sounds like some hippie bullshit right there, but it's actually (in my opinion ) the only way to head towards justice. The understanding
of why we live in a world absent of any positive peace is not just important ,
but absolutely necessary, to even begin trying to move forward , in any direction you find yourself heading , but forward nonetheless.

Warnings:
Some classes are very superficial, and some teachers will rub you the wrong
way, the beautiful thing is that everything is so discussion-based and personal that you can use the readings and your thoughts to be an alternative voice
in the room . I have had poor professors and problematic discussions, but
they have only helped me as a student who is constantly learning from all
perspectives, as well as how to respond to these viewpoints .
Pros:
Never felt like I could not express my opinion. Never felt like I did not learn
from my courses. Absolutely (cannot cannot cannot exaggerate this enough)
loved every reading that has come my way.

Psychology
Clinical Psychology:
Options for major advisors are very limited,, especially if you are interested
in clinical care over research. The best of the four professors (used to be
three, but a new professor was hired this past spring) is probably Shin. She is
the only one who is organized and actually cares about her students, but she
is also super busy running the department /research. If you cannot get her
as your advisor, you still have options ... Prof . Kuperberg is ok, but is VERY
scatterbrained. She doesn 't know much about requirements because she is a
graduate instructor /researcher. Prof. Harder will do the basics in giving you
the greenlight for taking courses, but do not rely on him for anything else.
He is not the person to go to for career/ graduate school advice. I would also
avoid his courses. He is very problematic , teaches very outdated material ,
and treats his seminars like big lecture courses. I recommend taking PSY
106 with Greenwald (Harder's wife). She is definitely not perfect, but is more
willing to have dialogues in class.
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I strongly recommend pairing Clinical Psych with another major due to
the lack of support from professors in the department (this was especially
true as a woman of color) . Child development and Community Health are
common combinations because they have great faculty who are interested in
mentoring students.
If you are interested in «multicultural " therapy or «culturally sensitive care;'
you will not find that here . Most classes, especially in the upper level seminars , are taught implying only middle class, white people have mental
illnesses/ get treatment. This was very frustrating for me , so I tried to bring
it up in class. If I got a dollar every time a professor said that they could not
due it justice in the limited time or that it was a «specialty topic;' I would be
able to pay my tuition bill ...twice. This department is the definition of race
evasive. One thing I really learned is that if you want to learn about this topic, you have to take the initiative to do outside work. Our professor suggested that we have a guest lecturer come in to talk about «culturally sensitive"
care because the topic kept coming up in class. I knew she wasn't going to
find someone (and if she did they would probably be very problematic ). So,
I reached out to professors in the Community Health department and got a
great contact. I was also able to scan copies of the Voices book (listed below)
and facilitate two class dialogues on racial identity development /privilege/
power /racism and how that can impact the therapeutic alliance between a
client and clinician. We also talked about how not acknowledging your privilege/power can lead to unethical care. It definitely opened up some people
to how their identity can impact how they relate/ communicate with another
person, even the professor! But the department still has LIGHTYEARS to go
(like how to work with LGBTQ people , etc)
Not until senior year/after graduation did I find TONS of books in Tisch
library on «culturally sensitive" care. I made a list of the good ones below.
Note: some of these are slightly outdated and you can tell by the use of certain words or phrases (like minority /c ulturally diverse instead of POC) . The
content is still pretty good, you just have to bear with the vocab ...

Extra Resources:
Voices of Color: First-Person Accounts of Ethnic Minority Therapists 1st
Edition

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~

The Politics of Learning Arabic at
Tufts
Welcome to Tufts, where we are expected to take 8 semesters of a language.
You're either excited about this, or you hate it, or you tested out but still want
to pick up a new skill - either way, you are looking over your options in the
course catalog. Wow look at all the choices!
Arabic , now there 's a cool one. They definitely had Spanish, French , and
German at your high school , and your school 's rival had Mandarin classes
too. But no one offered Arabic .
Perhaps you have plans to 'fix the Middle East: Perhaps you think yourself
more enlightened than that, and are going to take Arabic because you 'just
really like languages ' and consider yourself 'a citizen of the world :
Newsflash: whomever you are, and whatever your reason for taking it, you
are going to be implicated in what we are about to say. We are writing this as
students with 3 and 4 years, respectively, in the Tufts Arabic Program . And
let us spoil the surprise: it's a GREAT program.
Totally separate from how cool the department is, we want to share some
things we wish someone had told us before we started. No, this is not going
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to be an inspiring lecture about how yeah Arabic is really difficult to learn
but stick with it! because a) anyone can tell you that and b) we think you,
young first-year, are more resilient than that. We are here to offer some
insights of critical thinking.
First: the Middle East, the Arab World, and
Arab, African, and Berber populations -- to
name only a few -- do not need your help.
They do not need you to 'fix' their countries,
bring them democracy, or 'enlighten them:
Learning Arabic will not magically make
you more qualified than people with years
of experience, deep working knowledge of
the local environment, or both.
Second: especially if you are going to be an
IR major, be wary of people who encourage
you to take Arabic by way of reference to
"those people" and "those places:' People,
places, and regions should not be treated as interesting test cases, nor should
they be referred to at such a distance like they're somehow less worthy of
your time.
Third: the textbook you will learn from, Al-Kitab fi Ta'aluum al-Arabiya or
just Al-Kitab for short, is a project of the US government. As "The Stanford
Daily" put it just last year, " [the] Arabic language's 'moment' is being funded
in a joint effort by the Departments of Defense, State and Education, which
have established various federal programs aimed at teaching college students
Arabic and other critical languages:' However, the main virtue of this
textbook is its monopoly on the market for good Arabic textbooks -- it is
unapologetically a project of the US government to have students groomed
into diplomacy, foreign service, and intelligence agencies. And you will
notice this immediately-- Al-Kitab curriculum focuses first on teaching
technical language and vocabularly that revolves around economics or
politics, undervaluing cultural learning and leaving students unable to have
even basic conversations with native speakers . in the very first lesson you
will learn the term for the United Nations, but two or three years later, if you
go on study abroad, you>11likely find yourself unable to understand most
adjectives to describe feelings or experiences.
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Fourth: you will probably gain social and economic capital for speaking
Arabic even halfway decently. Meanwhile, your peers who are native
(bilingual ) speakers will not get the same kind of accolades or rewards,
and may actually face negative consequences for speaking Arabic in
public. While you would be seen as more marketable , more competent and
impressive, your peer may be discriminated against in a linguistically- and
racially-driven prejudice against Arabs and
Arabic. No, you would not be rewarded
because you «worked harder " to get to your
proficiency level, but because you as a non Arab make the Arabic language palatable to
the average United States resident. Let that
sink in.
Fifth: Arabic has become deeply politicized
as a language since the events of 9/ 11, and
there is no escaping that. One of us authors
used to think that because we just 'really
liked languages : that meant we somehow
got to not think about where we fit into the
Arabic language learning community. Not
true! No matter how many places you've been to, no matter how pure and
innocent your desire to learn might be, you are still in the same pickle as
the rest of us . Broadly speaking, you'll run into people in college who think
they can be apolitical about certain things. We respectfully disagree, because
nothing is apolitical . Make your choices in full knowledge of this, because it
makes you think deeper and harder about tough calls.

There you have it, your food for thought . "But wait;' you ask, "does this mean
I can't take Arabic? " Of course it doesn't mean that! We are both taking
Arabic, and it's been one of the best parts of the entire Tufts experience.
Each teacher that we have had has shaped our understanding not only of
the language , but also of the culture. The Arabic Department is -- and we
say this knowing weo get nods all around if it was in an Arabic Department
event full of current students -- the best that there is. Across Tufts, and
across the country, they are a group of remarkable teachers. The Arabic
Department will always be there for you, if you let them; neither of us has
ever met a department full of such dedicated professors invested in each step
of their students' journeys.
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What the department has to teach is affected by a number of constraints
-- and even in the face of those constraints, they manage to make a varied
curriculum and balance as best they can the politicized curriculum available
in mainstream courses. As one of our very own professors put it, «In my
experience, people who are trying to learn the language without trying to
grasp the culture plateau at a fairly low level of linguistic competence [...] To
reach advanced proficiency, you have to make a genuine effort to appreciate
the cultural differences and similarities, so that you more deeply understand
the perspective of your interlocutors. »
But you have no such constraints. And you are not an empty vessel waiting
to have the language poured into you; you have a decision to make. How
do you consider and reflect upon how you will use that language? How do
you think about your view of that language and its native speakers? How
you approach the privileges you may gain from learning that language? Take
Arabic, take every class the department offers, major in it, study abroad.
Please, we recommend it. But this rich experience does not, and should not,
be divorced from deep consideration of where you fit into this larger and
more politicized picture.

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Advice from a Fellow Transfer
If your transfer orientation experience is anything like my year's was, you're
probably feeling a little lost right now. Tufts does little work to incorporate
transfer students into the student body, essentially treating them as first
years who just happen to be a little bit bigger. This isn't necessarily a bad
thing, but it can prove hard to relate to people who are actually going into
college for the first time when you already have a year or more of it under
your belt, especially over the course of the first couple weeks of adjustment.
Better or for worse, this leaves the onus on you to put the effort into finding
your niche. Go to club meetings (frats don't count), talk to people in your
classes, get out into Somerville/Cambridge/Boston, all that jazz that people
tell you to do to meet people that's sort of hard to actually put into action .
It's easy to feel like all the social circles have already formed, but remember
that nothing 's static. If anything, use those to your advantage. People like you
have been flocking to one another since before you started at Tufts - all you
have to do is find them.
On an academic note , getting credit for classes you've taken at other
institutions can be an uphill battle. It's in Tufts' financial interest to
mislead you as to how far those credits will go before you matriculate.
The bureaucracy is not impenetrable. If at first you don't succeed, email
someone higher up. Try reaching out directly to the relevant faculty in each
department. Professors can actually be your friends in this regard . Don't let
them bully you into taking English 1 as a junior.

'

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Study Abroad
Tufts study abroad website :
https: // students. tufts.edu / study-abroad
for appointments for both Tufts and non- Tufts
programs: 617 -62 7 -6385
Office Hours for Tufts Programs (Melanie Armstrong): Tuesday 11:00-1:00, Thursday 1:00-3:oo
Office Hours for non-Tufts Programs (Stephen Hall): Tuesday 2:00-4:00,
Thursday 10:00-12 :00
" All abroad offices located in Dowling Hall

Tufts Programs***
Tufts in Chile
I participated in the Tufts in Chile program during the fall of 2015, and despite a few problems I experienced throughout my year, cannot recommend
the entire experience highly enough! Based in Santiago, Chile, the program
typically begins in early July and ends in either December (for semester
students) or the following June. Santiago, despite some prohibitive literature given out by the Study Abroad office, is fantastic and tolerant city that
offers so much in terms of art, music, and design. Chile, however, is one of
the most economically stratified nations on the planet, so the social spheres
Tufts will recommend students inhabit are generally those of Chile's most
affluent residents. This is something prospective students should very much
be aware of. For example, Tufts students generally attend Chile's most "prestigious" private university (due to ongoing student strikes throughout the
country) though are given the option to take classes at the public university.
The orientation program makes an excellent effort to give students an understanding of the complicated, post-dictatorship political and social landscape,
and make students aware of the extreme income disparity, though not always
in the best way: at its most inconsiderate the orientation program includes
a "social geography tour" that involves driving from Santiago 's wealthiest to
poorest neighborhood in an expensive rented bus.

Tufts in Ghana
Are you a White Savior looking to give back to people in need? Are you
looking to have an 'authentic' African experience? Do you want to flood
your Instagram with powerful photos of a developing country? If so, DO
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..
'

.
,

NOT apply to Tufts-In-Ghana. If you're interested surrounding yourself by
a variety of farm animals, including but not limited to chickens, goats, and
stray dogs, engaging in daily debates to fine tune your bargaining skills, and
taking sandy sweat showers when you run out of water, then PLEASE DO
apply to the Tufts-In-Ghana Program.
Studying abroad in Ghana, will undoubtedly be one of the most challenging
experiences of your college career and for me, it ended up being one of the
most rewarding. You are thrown into the middle of a society who's social,
economic, and political systems are in many ways different and even contradictory to life in the United States.
Every day can basically be summed up with the Mr . Krabs meme from
Spongebob. You are forced, to make adjustments to your daily routine from
the minute you wake up. What do I do when the power is off and none of my
electronics are charged? How do I get from class to class on the massive University of Ghana campus? How much fresh fruit can I eat before it messes up
my digestive system?
As long as you pack your bug spray and malaria pills your time in the TIG
program will be, if nothing else, a valuable learning experience, but for most
people including many of the Black Women from TIG 2015, the time spent
in Ghana is truly, wonderfully, life changing.

Tufts in China
Tufts-in-China is a unique experience with many benefits and a few things
to keep in mind when considering. China is an amazing country to visit,
and being able to study in China while still receiving a full semester of Tufts
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credits and taking classes that arent more difficult than
Tufts but end up on your GPA is a great bonus. The Tufts
resident director is a great resource, looks out for you, and
is very helpful.

,,

~

Speaking the language and interacting with people with
different backgrounds than your own is a great way to learn.
One thing to keep in mind is that Tufts-in-China does not
have a language pledge policy and you will be living in a
dormitory that houses hundreds of international students
from all over the world. Motivated students will be able to
live mostly in Chinese and theoretically learn faster, but
there is no one holding you accountable other than yourself
if you talk in English the majority of your time outside of
class.
China is not perfect by any means, and in your day to day
life you will encounter many inconveniences or uncomfortable experiences due to the cultural differences or the way
things are conducted; China isnt always efficient and it isnt
always pretty. Things aren,t always available when you need
them, and life might not follow the logic you,re used to.
Pollution and cleanliness concerns are definitely valid, but I
have never felt very unsafe in China .
Try to figure out your flight plans before you leave, as Tufts
makes it very difficult to change your ticket once they purchase it and they aren,t very easy to work with. Always, if
you want to travel within Asia before the semester, handle
your own visa as students who had Tufts take care of their
visas. ended up with single-entry visas.
When in China you will travel a lot through the program
and there is time and support for you to coordinate your
own travel . You will have experiences that amaze you, bewilder you, frustrate you, and make you laugh uncontrollably all in the same day.

Tufts in Paris
Before I say anything else, I should say I can only speak to
one of Tufts, ten or so programs, Tufts in Paris, and cant exs2

I

'1

.....

.J.

trapolate to the others with much certainty, though my sentiments have been
echoed by friends on programs other than my own. Tufts' abroad programs
are maybe one of the school's most explicitly commercial endeavors. Time
and again you'll be subtly- or overtly- discouraged from going on «nonTufts" programs. Seeing as Tufts programs generally cost full Tufts tuition,
board, and fees for programs at schools with vastly smaller tuition (sometimes, none), you can see their vested interest here. Some of this money
goes to enjoyable but decidedly frivolous weekend trips or cultural outings,
some of it goes back into your wallet in the form of monthly stipends, a large
amount goes to your host family should you have one, the rest is anyone's
guess . These perks can, to be clear, be pretty great, but there are countless
non-Tufts programs out there that cost a fraction of what a Tufts program
would cost even with a considerable amount of financial aid, which would
leave you in charge of figuring out whether and how you want to budget
your time and money for travel, museums, so on and so forth. Don't take
Tufts at their word . Do the math beforehand and see if it makes sense .
Host families, required by most of the major Tufts programs, can be a mixed
bag. I was very fortunate to have a family that was friendly, unobtrusive,
not vocally racist or homophobic, and genuinely excited at having a student
in the house. This was not the case for the majority of the students on my
program, ranging from being a little aloof to loudly advocating for traditional marriage at the dinner table to worse. Our program did the absolute bare
minimum to accommodate students who found themselves in hostile living
situations, with palpably taxing results for the mental health of the students
in question. (For what it's worth, I've been told this lack of accountability
is anecdotal to Tufts in Paris, but it's something to take into account for
students - especially queer students and/or students of color - considering
going on one of Tufts' programs or living with a host family in general.)

Recommendation: Autonomous University of Social Movements
program
I went to Mexico with the Autonomous University of Social Movements and
cannot recommend the program highly enough. AUSM's goal is to support
the next generation of US leftists in learning from autonomous social movements in Mexico, living with and studying from the Zapatistas in Chiapas,
anti-NAFTA organizers in Tlaxcala, and cooperative housing movements
in Mexico City. AUSM has long-term relationships with these movements,
and students learn about solidarity both theoretically and by being a part of
AUSM. AUSM is based in Chicago, where they run an autonomous com83

munity center inspired by these movements, and after a semester in Mexico,
students have the opportunity to work in Chicago, learning how to implement these ideas in a US context. Classes are small and reading-heavy, but
interspersed with workshops and presentations by organizers. It is really
helpful to speak and understand Spanish, but no specific level of Spanish is
required . AUSM also offers semester programs in Cuba and a summer program in Brazil! Check them out!!

So should I study abroad?
Do it. Please. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the world around you and introduce you to people and ideas that
will change your life. Sounds great , right? Unfortunately, just like everything
else at Tufts, study abroad programs can be extremely expensive and elitist.
One potential way to overcome this is to take advantage of the Tufts Study
Abroad Programs. Tufts University offers programs in Chile, China, Hong
Kong, Ghana, London , Paris, Japan, Germany, Madrid / Alcala, and Oxford.
While this may seem like a wide variety of places that could accommodate
most people , it is important to recognize that not every program is created
equal. Some will be better suited for students with more money and resources, while others are better for people who want to see the world, but are on a
tight budget. With that in mind, I have split this up into two sections, broke
and not broke. If you are in-between, read both.
Added note: the experience of studying abroad as a college student does not
exist in a vacuum outside of global structures of Western imperialism , White
supremacy, and histories of colonialism past and present. Tufts students,
especially White students, should consider this when making the decision
to study abroad. This article discusses the ethical implications of studying
abroad in Middle East and North African regions.

Read is this if you're broke:
Accessibility
Financial aid transfers to Tufts abroad programs, and the program includes
a weekly stipend of a bit under $100 USD for spending money, as well as
large travel , research , and book funds. The resident director of the program
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is fantastic, and will go out of her way to help most students out. She is a
fantastic resource. Santiago can be a bit expensive in comparison with other
Latin American capitals, though it is decidedly cheaper than Boston. Santiago offers plenty of queer spaces and has a robust culture of activism, though
legislation, especially regarding reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, lag behind other countries in the Southern Cone.

Tufts Study Abroad Programs
Most of the information you need about the cost of each program is available
on the Tufts website. The great thing about Tufts study abroad that makes it
stand out from some other universities is that your financial aid applies to
your study abroad program. In other words, if you are paying $5000 a year
for Tufts, you can pay somewhere around the same amount to go Tufts-inLondon, but there are some other costs to factor in. It is important to think
about the stipend for each program, how long you will be there, how the
local currency compares to the US dollar (if you are American), and whether
or not visa costs/round-trip airfare are covered by your Tufts tuition. For example, if you are studying in London, you must pay for your visa and health
care surcharge (can be 600+), your plane ticket ( 1000+ depending on where
you live), and have any extra money you need . Tufts programs offer stipends
(I think most of them do), but money will go a lot further in Ghana than
Paris. Also, travel outside of what the program provides is all out of pocket.
A piece of advice is to save early and be creative when trying to fund your
study abroad .

Non-Tufts Study Abroad Programs
If you decide you want to go somewhere that Tufts doesn't have a program,
that's fine, but it's a little trickier to be thrifty . Because you are broke, you
have financial aid, so doing a Tufts program is to your advantage. Non-tufts
programs will most likely not give you any aid, but instead ask for a large
check (see Rihanna BBHMM). This is where saving and fundraising come
into play. Call your aunts, uncles, and grandparents; maybe they can spare
a few dollars . But seriously, if you wanna go to Iceland to study abroad, you
can find a program and make it happen, it just takes a lot of planning. Start
as a freshman.

Read this if you're not broke :
You have more options when it comes to study abroad. Since you don't have
to worry about money, you should try and choose a program based on what
will provide the most enriching experience. You can explore Tufts programs

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and Non-Tufts programs and choose what is best for you . Think about what
climates you prefer, what your hobbies are, what languages you speak, where
will you learn the most (but not at the expense of the native peoples), etc.,
etc., etc.

Everybody
I want this to be short and sweet so I will end with a few important details .
So far we have discussed only money, because it is the most important factor
for a lot of students. Now to end I'll just list some important info for you to
know.
- Know the requirements: if you haven't taken any French, you can't go to
Tufts in Paris.
- Know your GPA: If you don't have a 3.7 (or maybe even higher), you can't
go to Oxford.
- Know how much money you have: if you have 3 dollars, a non- Tufts program in Sweden is probably not gonna work.
- Know your resources: find out ways to make money, boost your GPA, etc.
- Schedule your classes properly : Most people study abroad in their junior
year, that means when they return their senior year everything must be in
place for them to graduate. Don't screw up .
- Know your major: It's way easier for a history major to study abroad than

an engineer.
- Know how homesick you will get: if you get homesick, maybe only go for
one semester instead of a year.
- Respect other people's culture. Just do it. You are there to learn.
HAVE FUN it will be the highlight of your University career: seriously, your
friends will hate you when you get back because you won't ever stop talking
about how amazing it was .
GO TO THE STUDY ABROAD OFFICE EARLY AND OFTEN. IF YOU
DON'T ASK, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW TALK TO UPPERCLASSMEN.
BE PROACTIVE .

*** HUGE DISCLAIMER: These are individual experiences and narratives!
No study abroad experience is the same, and these narratives are not representative of all abroad experiences.
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Studying Abroad and Mental Illness
Hey, I really appreciate you asking me about my study abroad experience.
Assuming you actually care (which I'm sure you do!), I know such questions
come out of a place of love and a desire to hear my story. I also understand
how difficult it is to jump right into a conversation after such a break in our
relationship and how shitty questions can sometimes be the only way to get
the rough part over with.
I've decided that I want to be honest about my experience so I don't feel like
I have to hide the truth to anyone (including myself) . I also want to make
it so that others get an accurate depiction of what it means to pursue an
experience like mine and what might be difficult.
So, with all that being sad, I was utterly miserable for most of my time
abroad. As you might know, I have been dealing with pretty intense
depression the past couple of years (the resurfacing of something that goes
all the way back to my childhood). I have found amazing support and love
at home, but that doesn't take away much from the difficulties of living with
such a reality and what that means for things such as travelling.
I decided to go abroad in part because I wanted to run away from all of
the pain and hurt here at Tufts and in the US. I recognized that at the time
and was totally ok with it; I felt like it was something I needed to do. In
hindsight, I should not have left. But also I don't regret it. I needed to put
myself out there and see the true extent of what is broken inside of me to
understand what I need to do here to heal.
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After a month or so of a honey moon experience, everything pretty much
went downhill and I was back where I had been before I left, if not worse . I
was able to hold on and make it through, but it took all I could muster just
to keep my head up. So I didn't travel that much. I didn't have any major
life changing experiences. I didn't party, I didn't engage with my classes that
much, and I didn't go on any amazing, really fun to tell adventures.
What I did do was live a bit in moments . I made some amazing friendships
that I will cherish forever. I was able to listen to my emotions in a more
truthful and vulnerable way than I have ever done before. I was able to reach
out for help in a place where help was really hard to find. I was able to dig
myself out of some pretty big ditches . I started regularly eating foods that
weren't yellow for the first time in my life. I wrote some music that I will
probably never share (or finish, for that matter) but that is really important
to me. I survived. I started swimming after a year and counting of not being
able to exercise in ways I knew how to because of an injury. I did alright in
classes and did some work I'm proud of and learned a surprising amount for
my mental state. I saved a ton of money during the semester to visit some
really important people to me in Europe . I wrote a lot in a journal through
my bad times .
And I think I found the courage at some point to be honest with you about
where I was at and where I am at now. I think if someone had told me that
people with mental illnesses can have an experience like mine I might have
done what was best and not go.
If you would like to hear more or have any questions, I'd love to talk,
but know that I won't sugarcoat anything. This is my truth and I think
it's important to own it. Again, I really appreciate you asking about my
experience and I hope this gives a bit of insight .

\

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Being First Generation
Congratulations! You've been accepted to Tufts University. You've
seen the Tufts campus and got an idea of where you'll be
spending the majority of your life for the next four years.
Wonderful. Now your parents might have just helped you
move almost every single item you'll ever possibly need into
your room, and now you're hugging and
saying goodbye . They wish you luck, and
they're off. What now?
As a first-gen student at Tufts, you start
off on your own - at square one . There
are no parents to guide you through your
experiences, or to help you with the various bureaucratic nonsense (e.g. financial
aid, forms , tuition payments, etc.), or
even to advise you on how to proceed.
Furthermore, it's common for first-gen
students to be from a lower socioeconomic status, to be persons of color, or
. . , ·'
I
to be born to immigrant families, among
other special and unique circumstances . You see, the challenge of being
first-generation lies not only in the fact that you're alone, but that you likely
have a host of other challenges to deal with as well (speaking for myself, I'm
all of the above) .
So your parents have left, and you're sitting in your room, what now? The
question remains the same. Perhaps the most difficult thing for first-gen
students is direction. Coming from a background in which no prior experience has been passed on to you, it's difficult to know what to do next - and
whether or not to do something. While your high school counselor may
have helped you with the admissions process in lieu of your parents, there
won't be a dedicated person to lead you through college. So the most important thing to do first is to find people you can trust, that you can ask for
help and direction when you need it.

Finding Support
For most students, the most immediate form of emotional and mental sup89

port are friends. When it comes to dealing with situations more unique to
your situation, consider seeking advice from people familiar with the firstgen experience. The First Gen Student Council is a student group comprised
of first generation students that can be a great resource . They 're older, wiser,
and have probably gone through the same bullshit you're experiencing, so
don't hesitate to ask (or join). For more specific academic , bureaucratic, or
"life" questions that require an adult, your academic dean or your advisor
would be the first option, but Dean Mack (Dowling Hall) , Dr . Kristin Finch
(Anderson Hall), and Dr. Darryl Williams (Anderson Hall) have extensive
experience working with first-gen students so feel free to talk to them as
well . Dean Mack leads the BLAST program, a bridge program for first-gen
students, and Dr. Finch and Dr. Williams lead the Center for STEM Diversity, which run programs designed specifically for STEM students.
For those of you lucky enough to get into BLAST, BEST, or PRISE, and are
familiar with the above resources: my advice is to cherish that support and
maintain those relationships, because they will be invaluable during your
four years here.

Wading through Bullshit and Finding Resources
Being first-generation has the added challenge of parents not knowing how
to do anything regarding college. This means they are likely to not know
how to fill out the FAFSA, the CSS Profile, or the other various forms or
obligations that you will come to know during college . The problem is, you
might not know how to fill these out either. Don 't worry - for all forms and
bureaucratic nonsense , your best bet is to call the Student Services Desk at
Dowling to ask for help. The financial aid office, the academic resource center, and career services are all located within Dowling. Call Student Services
and they will direct you to someone that knows how to help you with the
situation. No matter how much you hate going through your parents ' tax
forms, ALWAYSFILL OUT THE FAFSA AND CSS PROFILE BEFORE THE
DEADLINE (MAY FOR RETURNING STUDENTS). This is essential for
you to receive your full financial aid package .
Another major problem for first-generation students is that we often don't
know what is available to us. Don't hesitate to use or ask about the universi~'s resources - after all, you're paying (theoretically, but probably not ) over

$60,000 to come here. For starters, if you're struggling with classes, Tufts
offers free academic tutoring through the academic resource center (ARC),
which can be booked via WebCenter (located in SIS). If you need to find a
job or internship, the career services center offers resume critiques, workshops, and networking opportunities. If you have work study, a portion of
your earnings is subsidized by the government which makes some employers prefer work study students. This also offers students a great way to get
involved with off-campus jobs in nonprofit organizations like Jumpstart or
Lift, you'll just need to seek approval of the organization from the student
employment office. And remember to make an effort to at least go to some
office hours with professors, because they can be a great resource (especially if you're considering graduate school or a position that requires letters
of recommendation). Mental health resources are also available if shit gets
rough (and trust me, it will). Call the mental health counseling center to
schedule an appointment. (see the counseling services portion of the guide)

Find Your Place
The biggest challenge of being first-generation is the identity crisis that
comes with it. You are essentially torn between two worlds - your home life,
with parents that don't understand college and the responsibilities that come
with it, and your college life, with peers that don't understand the context in
which you grew up. Some of the shit you are likely to deal with are:
Culture shock - being asked questions from parents like "Why are you getting Bs and Cs?" and trying to explain that Tufts has a rigorous curriculum
that is probably far more difficult than high school; being asked questions
from friends like "What do your parents do?" and getting blank stares when
you say something that isn't along the lines of "highly educated white-collar
professional"
Not fitting in - about 10% of Tufts students are first-generation. Chances
are, your friends are likely not going to understand that first-gen struggle.
Friends are good for most things (e.g. venting about relationships, drinking,
whatever), but if you have specific first-gen problems, refer to the resources
mentioned earlier, or your friends in the 10%.
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Lack of understanding - you're coming into Tufts knowing nothing about
college life, or what you need to get done here in four years. It's hard to figure it out by yourself. Use the resources available to you to understand what
is important. At the end of the day, college isn't just about the degree - think
about the relationships you're building here (students, professors, staff, etc.)
and the opportunities that are presented to you. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
WHAT IS BEING GIVEN . Be proactive. Do your research. Being first-gen
also means working harder to get on even footing, because no one else is
going to do it for you. Be proud of being first-generation. You're in unknown
territory. But getting here isn't the real challenge - it's surviving. While you
might be accustomed to doing things solo, DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK
FOR HELP. It's there. Use it. Don't make college any harder than it has to be .

Experience as an Indian on Campus
with Radical Politics
I suppose I should begin by telling you that I am a brown Third World
feminist, born upper-caste Hindu but wanted to convert to Islam and am
an international student from India. At Tufts, the most jarring attack that I
felt immediately was in response to my nationality, and in a broader sense,
race. I didn't know how to behave around Americans, didn't know much of
the stuff they talked about, thought I didn't have anything in common with
them. In my experience, when some people here think about India (and
many other places), so many typify the identity associated with it, they do
not contextualise experiences, they melt them into stereotypes they have
learnt - they see underdevelopment, divisiveness, poverty - and then talk
about all this essentialising nonsense to you as if they know. And when
asked to <tellpeople about India', I used to make up some glib answer to try
to have something to talk about. Tell people about an entire country? Yep,
that's possible.

In this vein, when I first arrived at Tufts I found that my identity, or
identities I should say, were either demonised or romanticised. There were
certain racist standards to which I was held, and early on in my experience
at Tufts, I fulfilled them to try to fit in. People exoticised the way I presented
- be it clothes, my accent, or back then, my long black hair - was something
I'd never had to deal with before. Someone said that my colour was perfect
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- what does that even mean? - not dark/black enough
to be threatening in a white, liberal setting but unique
enough to fetishise? In a number of gut-wrenching ways,
I self-exoticised aspects of my identity while toning down
other's , in order to be someone else's image. In talking
to some other international students, I realised that
many others felt this as well. My accent became more
pronounced because people said it was cool, but I stopped
wearing north-Indian clothes because I stood out too
much. I never tied my long hair because people said it
was beautiful (read:exotic) but wore «ethnic,, earrings to
throw a splash of my culture in for people to admire. This
really may not seem like much, but it was so painful every
time I did something that eroded my own sense of self in
order to be a part of a microcosm of the white, straight,
«perfect,, America that we grew up believing back home.
But for the longest time, I couldn't voice that pain for fear
of ridicule, for fear of being alienated further, for fear of
being attacked. So I silenced myself.

In my dorm , when people surrounding me discussed
feminist or queer issues, I acted too meek to say what I
really wanted to. When everyone talked about the article
that generalized that short hair was sign of defiance and
liberation for women, I agreed, not talking about how
so many women over various communities back home
had long or matted hair as a form of power. You see, I
felt that as a radical brown woman, I had little space in
this sort of white feminism, as well as «LGBT pride ': The
issues I faced within these identities were rarely talked
about in the mainstream. In constantly policing and
accommodating myself, I had erased my queer, feminist
and race politics.
Perhaps worst of all, I let everyone, particularly white
students and even faculty, run wild with their ideas about
where I was from and who I was, who then tokenized my
body and culture at every intersection. My body was an
racialised object that justified how great the appropriation
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of yoga was, how hilarious Iggy Azalias video that showed «indian culture»
was, how dangerous India (in particular) is for women, how great it was that
so-and-so went on a gap year to India and built some homes for the poor,
how fun those «indian pants» were from Urban Outfitters, how dangerous
religion was in my country or how everyone loves «chicken tikka masala '
(something that doesn't actually exist in India), or Bollywood. It was funny
how people were so ready to draw conclusions about my identity for their
own amusement or to buttress their own privileged identities. It never
occurred to anyone (not even me back at the start of coming to the U.S) that
if a white body wore those appropriative «indian clothes» it would be seen as
«cool» and they would be perfectly safe walking down the street, but if I wore
them there was always this constant fear - of being exoticised, or fetishised
by some sort of male gaze, of being raced as Muslim or «other » and attacked
in some Islamaphobic way - through words or action, of having people
asking violent «but well meaning» questions about where I'm from.
And then, I do not know when exactly it happened, but I began finding
community and real friends. Some choices I made were intentional, some
were just unconscious and arose out of a severe need to get out of the spaces
I was in. I befriended some amazing people from different countries (not
all were easy to be around), met some powerful, radical people of colour in
various classes I took, people in the womens centre who were engaged in
critiquing their own race, class and other privileges, friends from various
social justice student groups, students who wanted to fuck up the status
quo and create some sort of social change and just other really great
people.
It is these people who really broke my bubble of wanting
to «fit in: These are the spaces which reaffirmed the fact
that I cannot negate one identity for another. Made me
reimagine how to be from a certain background and
be queer, and love one's own ethnicity, and race,
and religion, and experiences . I came to Tufts
in a certain kind of warped bubble of how
college life should be, but it is only after it
broke did I grow and build community.
To be able to deal at Tufts, find
people who you can relate to
and learn to affirm your body
and experiences instead
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of distorting them to fit the standard of others. It's as simple as that .
International students don't all have the same experience of course because
we're from such different places and backgrounds but whatever it is you're
interested in, gravitate towards that space. Don't try needlessly to 'fit in
because even if you manage to, you're not going to be happy having to fake
who you are most of the time. It's tiring . It's taxing . And it's just not worth it.

Spiritual Life
College is scary stuff. You're thrown into a
campus with a few thousand other strangers,
and if you're anything like me, a lot of them
have never met a creature like you before.
So then you have to explain and explain and
explain yourself and that's never a lot of fun. If you're kind of religious and
all your new found friends are like "Yay science and logic and religion is for
dumb fanatics" it seems easier to just pretend that you're not one of those
and you're normal just like everybody else. But that's not a lot of fun either.
Whether or not religion is a big part of your life, squashing that part of you
isn't healthy. Maybe you just want to be able to kick back with people who
get that part of you. Maybe it reminds you of home. Or maybe you feel really
really really lost and being in religious spaces helps you. In any case, you
might want to find that community on campus.
The first thing you should do is check out the chaplaincy. If you're privileged
enough to have a chaplain, get to know them! Get to know the other
chaplains too . The chaplains provides counseling and connections to other
services and are great people to talk to whenever you're feeling like you
might need guidance, whether it's related to religion or not .
If you find that a Tufts policy or procedure gets
in the way of you practicing the way you feel
comfortable, talk to your chaplain if you have
one or the University Chaplain, Greg Mcgonigle
about getting it changed. If you have classes or an
exam when there is a religious holiday, email your
professor explaining the situation and seeing if
you can get the notes or get a deadline postponed.
If you get push back from your professor, contact
your dean. Your professor legally needs to respect

95

your religious rights. And if
your dean isn't helpful, reach
out to the University Chaplain.
There are also about twenty religious
and philosophical organizations on campus,
anywhere from the Non-denominational Christian
Fellowship to the Baha'i Students Association, in
addition to several that focus on interfaith work such as CAFE.
However, that's nowhere near enough to cover the vast number of
faith backgrounds in the student body. Even within an organization that
is meant to represent your faith group, you may find certain voices and
views expressed louder than others. While these organizations try to be
as welcoming and open as possible , they often don't succeed when their
membership is dominated by certain demographics. People might expect
you to be the expert on your faith group - you don't have to put up with that.
Check out the GIMs of those organizations that you relate to - at the very
least, the students may be able to direct you to resources that will help you
practice. But if none of them are what you're looking for, then you may have
to find that community elsewhere. In this case, off-campus is the best place
to look. There are some centers and organizations in the surrounding area
that cater to those faiths that Tufts doesn't try to represent.
If you have dietary restrictions, Tufts does provide accommodations. The
kosher deli, Pax et Lox, is a great place for lunch and dinner, regardless of
whether or not you keep kosher, and you can use a meal swipe and swipe
again into a dining hall or Hodgdon in the same meal period. Dewick
provides halal steak for dinner on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, if you
go to the meat section and specifically ask for it. On any day of the week you
can ask to get halal burgers and hot dogs specifically grilled for you during
lunch and dinner. They will even use aluminum foil so that it doesn't touch
the grill if you ask.

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Mental Health and Counseling
CMHS location: 120 Curtis St. Somerville, MA 02144
Tufts can be brutal . Without periodic support/ self-care (which can take
many forms) it can drain you physically, mentally, and spiritually. This type
of support/self-care can be gathered from different places. It really depends
on who you are and what you need.
Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS) and/or therapy off-campus
are some of the spaces that provide you the care to stay healthy. Here are
some tips/info on advocating for and getting the care you deserve.
If you need to speak to someone immediately, there is a Tufts counselor on
call from 5pm to 9am .
Counselor on Call: (617) 627-3030.
There is also the National Suicide Prevention Hotline that you can call at
1-(800)-273-825
Alternatively, you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting START to
741-741.

* On-Campus Care
Counseling and Mental Health Services Website
If you are looking for more "short term' care going to Counseling and
Mental Health Services (120 Curtis Street, Somerville, MA, 02155) is a good
place to start.
You can request to meet with a therapist of a specific gender/racial/other
identity while making an appointment. Do not wait for the receptionist to
ask for your preferences, because they might forget. You can see the staff
members and their specialties on the CMHS staff page . Remember that you
are not guaranteed to get your preference because there are a limited number
of therapists with available times.
You can switch to another counselor at any time. Give the counselor a couple
sessions to determine if you work well together or not . If you experience
microaggressions or if there are uncomfortable power dynamics, be sure to
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switch to someone who will provide a safer space.
Due to a limited number of counselors for all Tufts' students, CMHS
will typically advocate for off-campus therapy after a semester worth of
counseling (if more is needed). Some people have been able to work with
a specific counselor for more than one semester though so make sure to
communicate with your counselor if you have any questions. There is NO
total number of appointments you can have during your time at Tufts. This
means if you went to CMHS freshman year, you can come back again Junior
year.
If you know that you would like to continue getting care after working with
a Tufts' therapist, make sure you use the last session or two to discuss this
with your therapist. They can help you find someone to work with next and
make sure you have a smooth transition. This does not always happen so
be prepared to advocate for what you need. Read below to learn about offcampus care.
If you aren't into individual therapy or would like to supplement it, there
are many specific support groups and group therapy sessions that happen
at counseling services. Groups can be found on the CMHS website. You can
also call the front desk for more information.

*

Other On-Campus Resources

Walker Bristol- Humanist Chaplain (CONFIDENTIAL)
http:/ /chaplaincy.tufts.edu/walker-bristol-humanist-in-residence/
Walker.Bristol@tufts.edu
617-627-0544
Alexandra Donovan - Sexual Misconduct Prevention Specialist
(CONFIDENTIAL)
Alexandra.Donovan@tufts.edu
617-627-5140
Nandi Bynoe - Sexual Misconduct Resource Specialist (CONFIDENTIAL)
Nandi.Bynoe@tufts.edu
617-627-0765
Ears 4 Peers -An anonymous, student-run support hotline, open 7pm-7am
every day of the week. (CONFIDENTIAL) 617-627-388
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*

Off-Campus Care

If you have been seeing a counselor at CMHS for a while or know that you
will need more than a semester of care, an off-campus therapist is probably
your best bet. You can also meet with a counselor on campus to discuss
therapists in the area that they recommend.
There are a lot of therapists and psychiatrists in the area. Try to determine
what characteristics of a therapist are important to you (e.g. gender/racial/
language). DO NOT be afraid to stop therapy with someone if something
doesn't feel right. Try and give a therapist two or three sessions before
making any decisions. If you don't feel comfortable with them, definitely
look elsewhere.
NOTE: Coming in September/October, a new service called Zencare
(not Tufts affiliated) will be launched. Zencare is a website that allows
you to search through therapists in the Boston area and filter by specialty,
profession , accepted insurance, approach, and availability. It also
provides information about transportation, therapist availability AND
recommendations, mostly from other college students in the area!
(Off-campus) therapy is usually expensive. That's just the state of the mental
health care system in this country. Luckily, most insurances cover some
type of psychiatric care. Be sure to ask if a therapist takes your insurance
before you begin seeing them . When searching for therapists online, you can
usually filter the search by insurance company. If you are on you parents '
insurance, be aware that the therapist is billing them and therefore they are
capable of seeing that you are seeking counseling . If you are on the student
insurance, the bills come to you. Ask your therapist ahead of time to use
your address to send billing statements if you so desire.

* Confidentiality
CMHS counselors are completely confidential. They cannot give any
information about your contact with CMHS to anyone out of Health
Services without your explicit verbal/written permission. This includes Tufts
faculty, family, off-campus therapists, etc.
NOTE: Therapists are legally obligated to breach confidentiality if they
believe you either pose a risk of serious harm to yourself or to others (e.g.
suicide, abuse of others, etc.).
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Off-campus therapists operate very similarly to CMHS counselors . They
cannot give out any information to external bodies (e.g. Tufts therapists,
family, etc.) unless there is a serious threat to either your own safety or the
safety of others.
NOTE: Counseling not covered in Tufts tuition such as a CMHS psychiatric
evaluation or any off-campus therapy will be billed to your primary
guardian. Knowing this ahead of time can help you be proactive in having
that conversation with your guardian (if you want to have it at all)

* Medication

To get medication through CMHS, you have to be going to counseling with
them and then can have a psychiatric evaluation to see if medication would
be helpful. Unlike counseling, psychiatric services are not included in tuition
(though insurance may cover them). There is a list of prescribing staff with
whom you can meet on the CMHS staff page.
Medication is a very personal decision . Some people respond well to
medication and some don't. Some drugs take around a month before
benefits can be observed. Initial side effects are sometimes hard to tolerate
(e.g. drowsiness, nausea), but often become less severe within the first month
of taking it. Several people have to go through a couple drugs before finding
one that works for them, so don't give up too quickly!

There are so many resources available on campus , so take advantage of
those! On top of getting care yourself, you can join clubs that work towards
bettering the health of students:
Active Minds - mental health advocacy club that works towards eliminating
stigma attached to mental health issues. Hold events such as PostSecret,
Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and the Mental Health Monologues .
Balance Your Life - a club devoted to improving the overall well-being of
Tufts students. This involves educating students about healthy eating habits,
fitness programs, and stress reduction.

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Mental Health and Taking Time Off
from Tufts
I want to talk about my experience with mental health at Tufts. Tufts is an
ableist institution: we live in an ableist world. Theres no getting around
either of those facts. Tufts as an institution doesn't care about me as an
individual. Unfortunately, I truly believe that . To Tufts, I'm a number . I'm
a statistic. My impressive high school GPA contributed to the high average
GPA of the Class of 2018. Tufts is a business, and Tufts «cared" about me
because I was convenient to them.
I haven't finished a semester at Tufts since Fall 2015. I was on personal leave
for two semesters, and last semester I was on a medical leave of absence.
All my leaves from Tufts have been for mental health reasons. I have
Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder . I have been
admitted to a psychiatric hospital four times in the past three years.
So, I entered Tufts with the Class of 2018, but I will certainly not graduate
with them . Oops, I'm not convenient to Tufts anymore. I'm lowering the
percentage of students who graduate in four years, which, for the record, is
freakishly high.
That is the first thing I wish someone had told me when I began Tufts:
college is not a race. It's okay not to graduate in four years. Repeat: it's okay
not to graduate in four years .
Seriously though, why is taking a semester or a year or more off so taboo?
Personally I think most students would benefit from time off, but especially
for folks struggling with mental illness, taking time off is the greatest thing
I could have done for myself. However, I can only speak from my own
experience, and I have to say that I do not know how taking time off affects
students who receive financial aid.
When I told people around me of my plans to take a personal leave, many
pretended to understand, but I could tell most were confused or concerned.
I felt ashamed. I felt like I was «derailing" myself, like I was somehow now
«off track:' When I told my therapist how bad I was feeling about myself, she
said, «what are you derailing yourself from?"
When I thought about it, she was right. In reality, I was «derailing" myself
from my own misery, and the forest beside the railroad tracks was so much
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more beautiful and valuable to me than the tracks themselves. During my
time off, I've spent time on a commune in the Israeli desert. I've volunteered
at a youth hostel. I've worked as a hostess at a pizza place and a teacher
at a preschool. I have missed Tufts sometimes: I have missed my friends
frequently. But I've been so much happier, although that is not to say I
haven't had rough patches. That's my advice to you : do what actually makes
you happy, not what you think makes you happy, or what others say will
make you happy. And if you don't know what makes you happy, then do
some searching. And don't stop searching, because you deserve happiness.
Life is not a race, it's a journey, and college is just one facet of the manyfaceted journey that is life. Taking a break from college is probably not going
to cure you of your mental illness, but it might help.
I know what it's like to take both a personal leave and a medical leave of
absence. A medical leave of absence is much harder to come back from.
Technically, as someone on medical leave, I am not allowed to step foot on
the Tufts campus.
Recently, when I thought I wanted to return to Tufts in Spring 2018, I
emailed my dean. I was very excited. Her response was unfriendly. She didn't
tell me she was thrilled I wanted to return, or pleased I was feeling physically
and mentally ready to return. She told me the process to return is "extensive;'
and sent me a link. I was pretty crushed. I was also pretty annoyed, because
the process of returning from medical leave requires a personal statement
explaining why you feel you are ready to return to Tufts and what steps you
have taken to prepare for return. In my case, I felt like this was code for:
convince us you are now cured of your depression and assure us you will not
commit suicide on campus. Anybody who suffers from mental illness knows
you can never be fully "cured;' and I know multiple people whose petitions
were denied.
If a full course load seems like too much , but taking a whole semester off
also seems like too much , a part-time option would be great, wouldn't it?
But Tufts doesn't have a part-time option for undergraduate students, which
I consider to be both ableist and classist. Tufts does offer something called
Reduced Course Load (RCL), but you have to petition for it through Student
Accessibility Services (SAS), which involves an application that must be
filled out by both you and your clinician.
For my fourth semester at Tufts (which I did not end up finishing), I
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petitioned for RCL and it was granted. When I petitioned I was completely
unaware of whether RCL was available for students suffering from mental
illness, and I was afraid that it was not, so I petitioned for RCL on the
basis of my Crohn's Disease. However, later, when I wrote an article in the
Observer about ableism in the Tufts administration, the director of SAS told
me that RCL would in fact be granted for mentally ill students if SAS felt
RCL was warranted as an accommodation in that case. I found that odd,
since it literally took me ten minutes of digging on the Tufts website to find
the page about RCL. To say the least, it is not well publicized as an option.
So this is my attempt to publicize RCL, and to recommend it if you feel that
taking fewer classes for one or more semesters could be beneficial for your
mental health.
Last piece of advice : find the people that work at Tufts who actually care
about you and are willing to give you the time of day you deserve. Those
people might be professors, secretaries, janitors, chaplains, dining hall staff,
or social workers or psychiatrists at Counseling and Mental Health Services.
They might even be administrators, although I haven't had much luck with
them .
For me, those people have been Rabbi Jordan from Hillel, Chanie from
the Chabad House, and Professor Foster from the History department
( unfortunately I think Professor Foster is still on Sabbatical . See! Even
professors need a break) . All three of those people know about my visits to
the hospital. I barely consider myself a Tufts student anymore, and they still
care about me, and I know they will continue to care even if/when I decide
to drop out or transfer. Find the people who love you because you're a
good person, not because you're a good Tufts student . I promise they
exist.
I struggle with self-loathing, so I'd like to end with this
quote from Louise Hay: "I am worth loving . I do
not have to earn love. I am lovable because
I exist:' Being at Tufts might make you
feel unworthy, or not smart enough,
or not good enough. From me
to you, you are perfect the
way you are.



:,

...•

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Sexual Misconduct at Tufts:
History and Resources
History
CONTENT WARNING (discusses sexual harassment , sexual violence)

While Tufts is often described as a progressive, safe campus,
Tufts has not always prioritized the well-being of some of
its students. In Spring 2013, organizers within the Tufts
community were so frustrated about the current state of
sexual misconduct policy that they wrote an open letter to
Anthony Monaco. This letter condemned the university's
failure to provide a comprehensive sexual misconduct policy
in accordance with Title IX. In response to this , President
Monaco founded the Task Force for Sexual Misconduct
Prevention and Education . A year later, Tufts was found
non-compliant with Title IX for both past and current
practices in April of 2014, and actually «revoked" its signature
from their voluntary resolution agreement, saying that the
administrators did not agree to the Office of Civil Right's
findings. In response, students rallied together to stand with
survivors and succeeded in making changes. This student
Task force disbanded in Spring 2016. After two years, the Task
Force made major revisions to the Sexual Misconduct Policy,
and hired both a Sexual Misconduct Resource Specialist and
a Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Education Specialist.
Additionally , all orientation trainings and subsequent
trainings were revised, and trainings were enforced for all
students. When the Task force closed, President Anthony
Monaco opened a Steering Committee for Sexual Misconduct
Prevention and Education to continue «oversight:' Finally,
after Tufts' Sexual Misconduct task force was disbanded , a comprehensive
student survey was administered and reviewed. This report, titled Tufts
Attitudes about Sexual Conduct (TASCS) can be viewed at http: / /oeo.
tufts .edu/wp-content/uploads/TASCS- Report .pdf . However, while the
improvements made were significant, there is always more to do.
Importantly, Tufts University's use of the term «sexual misconduct " speaks
volumes to how Tufts prioritizes its reputation over the health and safety of
survivors, as the term misconduct-as opposed to sexual violence, assault, or
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harassment-appears dismissive. At Tufts, when someone
is found responsible of rape, harassment, stalking, or
sexual assault, there are a myriad of possible disciplinary
consequences, ranging from probation, suspension or
expulsion, depending on the nature of the offense. By
contrast, punishments for plagiarism and cheating can be
more serious than those given to people found responsible
for sexual assault. Sexual violence is not misconduct or
misbehavior or a mistake; it is violence. Treating these
offenses as misconduct instead of violence can trivialize
and invalidate people's lived experiences.
Tufts' policy and rhetoric are improving, and many
people leave the adjudication process feeling more
empowered and safer on Campus. Starting Fall 2016, the
term «misconduct" has appeared less frequently in oncampus trainings, pamphlets, and so on. Further, Tufts
has attempted to be more sensitive to students' needs
by placing content warnings before timely notice emails
sent campus wide. Of course, non-compliance with Title
IX is upsetting, but it also means that Tufts was publicly
shamed into getting its shit together. Below weve included
information about Tufts policy and reporting to best
inform YOUR decision to do what is right FOR YOU. We
also have listed several on and off campus resources, which
are both confidential and non-confidential. There are so many people who
are eager and able to help you, to provide resources, and to be active listeners
- let them if you need or want it.

Resources for Survivors of Sexual Violence at Tufts University
Sexual violence affects all of us, not only personally, but culturally as well.
Weo like to encourage you all to reach out to all of the amazing resources
that exist for you, both on campus and in the Boston area.

On Campus Resources
Confidential
Nandi Bynoe is the Sexual Misconduct Resource Specialist and can help you
change housing, get academic accommodations, and navigate the reporting
process . Location : Dowling . nandi .bynoe@tufts.edu, 617-627-0765, http ://
oeo. tufts.edu/ sexualmisconduct/
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Alexandra Donovan is the Sexual Misconduct Prevention Specialist.
Location : Health Services . alexandra .donovan@tufts.edu, 617-627-5140
Tufts Counseling and Mental Health Services is a confidential resource that
offers free counseling. Locaton: Curtis Street just past Health Services, 617627-3360, http://ase.tufts.edu/counseling/
Tufts Health Services offers STI testing and emergency contraception during
hours and will provide students with taxi vouchers to go to the hospital.
Location : Pro Road, 617-627-3350 http://ase.tufts.edu/healthservice/
Tufts University Chaplaincy is a confidential resource at Tufts that is open to
people of all religious or spiritual denominations. Location : Interfaith Center
http ://chaplaincy.tufts .edu/
Ears for Peers is Tufts' confidential peer support hotline, available from 7 PM
to 7 AM daily. They can help to provide you with resources about the sexual
misconduct policy, or act as active listeners in times of need .

Non-Confidential
Note: all faculty members (besides those listed in the section above) at Tufts
are technically mandated reporters . This means that if you disclose to any
faculty members, advisors, or student faculty members in a position of
authority (i.e. your RA) about an instance of sexual misconduct on the Tufts
Campus or by a Tufts Student, they must report that instance to the Office of
Equal Opportunity (OEO). However, having a report filed is NOT the same
thing as beginning an open investigation .
Tufts Office of Equal Opportunity handles all of the sexual misconduct
investigations and adjudication processes. Location: 200 Boston Ave, 61762 7 -3 298 http://oeo.tufts.edu/
Tufts University Police Department can connect you to the Counselor on
call and the Chaplain on call (confidential). TUPD can also provide you with
taxi vouchers to and from hospitals and help you enforce stay away requests
and no contact orders. Emergency: 617-627-6911, Non-Emergency: 617106

627-3030 http:/ /publicsafety.tufts.edu/police/
Tufts University Deans Office can assist in reporting sexual misconduct,
getting academic accommodations and grant stay-away requests and no
contact orders.http://uss.tufts.edu/ studentaffairs/

Off Campus Resources
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) is a confidential resource that has
a free 24 hour hotline, legal aid, medical advocacy and counseling groups for
survivors in the Boston Area. 1-800-841-8371
Beth-Israel Hospital is a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) site, and is
the hospital that Tufts recommends for survivors of sexual violence.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Boston: Planned Parenthood is a safe,
confidential, and affordable option for survivors of sexual assault (of any
gender identity) . Planned Parenthood offers STI and Rapid HIV testing,
pregnancy testing, contraception and emergency contraception, abortion,
and other services survivors of assault may require.
-Victims Rights Law Center provides legal advice and representation to
survivors. 617-399-6720 xl9
-Fenway Health offers medical resources for LGBTQ individuals in the
Boston Area.
-Cambridge Health Alliance Victims of Violence Program offers support and
resources to people with experiences of sexual trauma. 617-665-2992

National Organizations
-Rape Abuse and Incest National Network offers a free 24-hour online
hotline .
-Stalking Resource Center provides information about stalking
-National Domestic Violence Hotline is a Hotline for survivors of domestic
violence. 1-800-799-7233 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's phone number is 1-800-273-8255.
They also operate an online hotline.
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Trans Lifeline is a hotline staffed by trans people for trans people . (877) 5658860.
Know Your IX is an organization that educates students about their Title IX
rights.

On-Campus Student Groups
ASAP (Action for Sexual Assault Prevention ) is a student group that works
to prevent and educate about consent and sexual violence through campus
campaigns. Many members also work directly with administrators in order
to ensure that survivors are empowered with knowledge and supported
throughout their college careers.
CCN (Consent Culture Network) is a survivor-centric student group that
works closely with ASAP, and collectively hosts It Happens Here , a yearly
event at which survivors' stories are confidentially shared. Some of CCN's
members engage with Tufts administration in various ways, in order to make
the campus a more accountable and helpful place when preventing sexual
violence and providing resources for survivors.

Definitions of
Consent within Tufts' Sexual Misconduct Policy
These are some of the most basic details of the misconduct policy. The policy
itself has specific examples of these acts, and explains them in other words. If
you have any questions, please go to
http :// oeo .tufts .edu/wp-content/uploads/SEXUAL-MISCONDU
CTPOLICY.060816. pdf (Begins on Page 8)
Consent is an informed, knowing , and voluntary decision to engage in
mutually acceptable sexual activity. Consent is conscious and informed.
Consent is active, not passive . Signals of consent must be part of a mutual
and ongoing process, offered freely and knowingly. Consent can be given
by words or actions as long as those words or actions create mutually
understandable permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity. It is
the responsibility of the person or people who want to engage in the sexual
activity to make sure that they have consent from any other individuals
involved.
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Silence, by itself, cannot constitute consent. Consent to one sexual act does
not constitute or imply consent to a different sexual act. Previous consent
cannot imply consent to future sexual acts. Consent is required regardless of
the parties ' relationship status or sexual history together. A verbal "no ;' even
if it may sound indecisive or insincere, always indicates a lack of consent
Consent can be revoked at any time during sexual activity. If sexual activity
continues after consent is revoked, such activity is considered assault.
Consent Can Never Be Given By:
Someone who is incapacitated. A person can be incapacitated through the
use of drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance, or when they are
unconscious or asleep. It is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy (and
Massachusetts law) to engage in sexual activity with someone you know or
should know is incapacitated.
Someone under the legal age of consent. The legal age of consent in
Massachusetts is sixteen (16). It is a per se violation of the Sexual
Misconduct Policy (and Massachusetts law) to engage in sexual activity
with a person who is under the age of consent, regardless of whether the
person was a willing participant in the conduct.
Someone who is mentally disabled. Certain mental disabilities can cause a
person to be unable to knowingly consent to sexual activity. It is a violation
of the Sexual Misconduct Policy to engage in sexual activity with a person
whose mental disability renders them incapable of giving consent and
the disability is known or should have been known to the non-disabled
sexual partner. Under these circumstances, the conduct is non-consensual
regardless of whether the person appeared to be a willing participant.

A person who has consumed alcohol and /or drugs still has a responsibility
to obtain ongoing consent for any sexual activity with another person.
The use of alcohol or other drugs by the person initiating sexual
activity will never be accepted as an excuse for failing to obtain consent.

,-r-

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