Feature

Behind Closed Doors: What the DSDI is (or is not) saying about Palestine

ART BY CHEYANNE ATOLE Editor’s Note: Emara Saez is an intern at the Latinx Center for the 2023-2024 academic year. For International Women’s Day on

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Feature

Who bears the burden? The Non-professionals Supporting Mental Health on Campus

ART BY RUBY LUBAND At the beginning of the 2023 fall semester, while anxious freshmen hauled heavy boxes up and down residential quad, the Tufts

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Feature

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: Institutional Rhetoric at Tufts

The pen is mightier than the sword.” And, perhaps, so are emails. As the war in Palestine rages on, students at Tufts have been constantly inundated with statements, messages, alerts, and emails from the Office of the President, Tufts Student Life, and seemingly any administrative source that can reach student inboxes. Most recently, Tufts President Sunil Kumar provided an address urging students to “embrace diversity of viewpoints… beyond our own intellectual, political, or social understandings” and “engage in more conversation, not less.”

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Feature

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: Institutional Rhetoric at Tufts

The pen is mightier than the sword.” And, perhaps, so are emails. As the war in Palestine rages on, students at Tufts have been constantly inundated with statements, messages, alerts, and emails from the Office of the President, Tufts Student Life, and seemingly any administrative source that can reach student inboxes. Most recently, Tufts President Sunil Kumar provided an address urging students to “embrace diversity of viewpoints… beyond our own intellectual, political, or social understandings” and “engage in more conversation, not less.”

Leditor

Letter From The Editor

Last month, I cried in Cohen Auditorium two nights in a row. The first was at a talk by Ocean Vuong, the brilliant, queer, Vietnamese author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. The second was at “Drag Me to Tufts,” the beautiful, joyful drag show celebrating Trans Day of Visibility.

Opinion

“We need to talk”: How the culture of the White, wealthy Northeast hides from confrontation behind politeness

Anxiously watching my phone for a text, I hoped for the best; still, despite my repeated efforts to talk through a recent scuffle with a friend, I couldn’t get so much as a “k.” As a Cuban-American who grew up in Miami, Fla., I really struggled when I came to Tufts to adapt to the student body’s dominant culture surrounding confrontation and conflict. All my life, my Latin American heritage heavily influenced how I handled interpersonal conflict and confrontation.

Voices

Beyond Translation

I have always been pretty mediocre at speaking Tamil. Although I am South Indian and Tamil is central to my family’s cultural heritage, I have never been as fluent as I would have liked. Our family’s annual trips to Mumbai only exposed the limits of my knowledge from a young age.

Voices

We Should Feast.

The secret to a good salad is to finely chop mint, basil, or any herbs you can get your hands on to use as lettuce greens. Adding a bitter leaf such as radish or carrot greens can do wonders in an oily vinaigrette. Kale can be made edible by ribboning it and soaking it in lemon juice or another acid and giving it a good olive oil massage.

Voices

Sleep Is the Monster on My Bed

I was a poor sleeper from the start. Until I was seven years old, I slept in the same room as my parents and younger sister, not for lack of space, but because I wanted to. I recall waking often, excluded from the scene of a room that was snoring in harmonious tension with its own silence, disappointed in myself for failing to comply with such an ordinary task.

Leditor

Letter from the Editor

I’m supposed to write this about conversation, which is funny because sometimes I think I am most at ease when I am not speaking at all. With Tufts over-enrolling so many students each year, I have routinely felt like our campus is devoid of spaces draped with thick, insulating silence into which to settle in.

Leditor

Letter from the Editor

When I was just 20 weeks old, dancing in my mom’s swollen belly, an ultrasound at Secaucus Meadowlands Hospital revealed my five tiny fingers outstretched for light, waving at my nervous parents. I like to think that from the very beginning, I have been eager to reach out, to converse, and, in those early moments, my little hand became the alphabet and vocabulary I didn’t know yet.

Poetry & Prose

Consolations

Diligently, we hope
Chemo, radiation, immunotherapy, ablation, etc.
Yet always, the exhaustion returns.
Impatient to find the place and formula
We wait for revelations
Instead, the repose of IV lines.
Received again: Hospitals, hygienic diversions,
Hell is all pillows
This time, hospice; by now you are half-bald.

Poetry & Prose

A Plain Black Coffee

A stone-faced old man strode confidently into the busy little coffee shop, his entrance barely noticed amid the tired chatter of all the white-collar clientele preparing for the work week. He asked for a black coffee. His lanky frame cast a sort of shadow over the barista, the type that’s invisible to the untrained eye. “I would like a plain black coffee,” he enunciated

Poetry & Prose

Who Was J. Scrib, Forgotten Thinker of the New Age?

Dismissing language as an imperfect medium is now an acceptable and even fashionable excuse for linguistic laziness. Dinner parties crawl with so-called artists and cultural critics who twist their tongues into labyrinths in an attempt to impress; when unable to produce anything more than a sloppy reproduction of a greater mind’s musings, these same intellectuals readily conclude that words could never convey the essence of their high thought.

Poetry & Prose

rob (robert on peace street)

hi my name is hami and today a man came up to me asking me if i was mixed. already some things are lost in translation but no, i’m not, i was born here. he tells me he’s cherokee and a bit more about race. after a minute he comes back around the bus stop and tells me he served in vietnam, showing me his military id, my name’s robert. oh, i’m vietnamese!

Campus

Politicizing Queerness: An Examination of the Current Drag Scene at Tufts

A beloved class returned to Tufts last fall for the first time since spring 2018: Critical Drag. Professor Kareem Khubchandani—also known as their drag persona LaWhore Vagistan—taught this course under the Theatre and Performance Studies Department, culminating in an end-of-semester showcase. The course’s description noted that it offered students the chance to create individual drag personas and performances that consider the “intersections of gender, nationality, race, class, and disability to understand the implications of putting gender on the body, on stage, and in everyday life.” The course has inspired an enthusiastic interest in drag for many students, as well as the creation of the newly-formed Jumbo Drag Collective.

News

Tremors Felt Across the World: The Kahramanmaras Earthquakes and Their Aftermath

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake known as the Kahramanmaras Earthquake hit northwestern Syria and southeastern Turkey on February 6. After the deadliest earthquake since the 2011 earthquake in Fukushima, Japan, 10 provinces in Turkey are under a state of emergency for the next three months. The Hatay, Kahramanmaras, and Gaziantep provinces were hit the hardest. As of February 23, the death toll has surpassed 49,000; while Turkish authorities have reported more than 43,000 deaths and UN reports have estimated 5,500 deaths in Syria, casualties are expected to rise in coming weeks.

Opinion

Beyond Sticky Note Solidarity: Building Student-Staff Relations at Tufts

Every semester, poster boards go up across all Tufts dining locations encouraging students to write messages of appreciation for the dining staff. From Hodgdon to Carmichael, these boards are filled with eager sticky notes thanking the staff and proclaiming students’ love and gratitude. In my experience having worked at five Tufts Dining locations, this gratitude isn’t limited to “appreciation weeks”—the majority of Tufts students are outwardly patient and make sure to enthusiastically thank the staff, albeit more so when operations are running smoothly.

Opinion

Nobody Owes You a Coming Out: Unpacking the Internet’s Fixation With “Queerbaiting”

Online discourse is overrun with suspicions of sexuality and accusations of “queerbaiting.” But, like many terms thrown around online, its meaning has become diluted and convoluted. While the exact origins of the term “queerbaiting” are not easily defined, it was previously primarily used to describe fictional characters who are teased as queer but are never explicitly or canonically queer, thus creating a false promise of representation that is never delivered. In this way, queerbaiting is a manipulative marketing strategy to bring in queer audiences without actually providing genuine representation. Some well-known examples of queerbaiting in popular media include TV shows Sherlock and Supernatural, as well as JK Rowling’s claims that Dumbledore is gay—even though this is not actively present in any Harry Potter content.

Poetry & Prose

Call me your child

My mother and father have known about my queerness for about a year now. I wrote a letter to my mom about a girl I was seeing at the time: her soft, lilac hair, auburn at the roots; the melodic breeze of her voice as she sang compliments in German to her runt of a tabby cat;

Voices

Miss Blacklisted SMFA

It was the afternoon of October 18, 2022, five months after I had graduated from the Masters of Fine Arts program at the School at the Museum of Fine Arts. It was my day off from work, so I wasn’t expecting anyone to come to my house, yet someone knocked at my apartment door. I opened it to find two Tufts University Police Department officers wearing regular black suits. They served me a “No Trespass Order.” It states that I am “forbidden to enter any property owned by or under the control of Tufts University”—otherwise I will be arrested.

Poetry & Prose

Aquarelle

Foam-lipped bivalves weave byssus threads        Like calloused hands oysters deposit                Decked in velvet coolness,                    Tongue curls back to robe the mouth             Squeezing from shrouded sands                Sickle bending, enameled eddying                    Nocturnal