Dear members of the Tufts community,
As the current executive board of the Tufts University Dance Collective (TDC) we offer this statement as an apology on behalf of all current members of TDC to the Tufts Community for the incidents which occurred during the TDC fall show held on Dec. 7. We are very disappointed in the behavior of some of our group members that evening and ultimately how their behavior caused our signature event of the semester to end. We regret that instead of celebrating and showcasing the hard work that each dance had put into their piece, we are instead recovering from the damage caused. The aftermath from this semester’s show is a poor representation of Tufts and, as a group, we have failed you.
We will be working closely with the Tufts administration, and we are optimistic about the program’s future. We are listening to many sources of input as we reshape TDC’s events. We want to return to our original mission of welcoming everyone to the stage. The Office of Campus Life has helped us greatly as we consider alternative logistics for shows in the time ahead. This cooperation is TDC’s best bet for securing the inclusive mentality that our group is known for while providing a secure and healthy environment. Looking forward, we will continue to work with our peers to bring you more fantastic shows. We will make reparations for the damage and disruption caused, particularly to the Aidekman Arts Complex staff. We appreciate your patience with us and hope that you will be proud of the results our efforts yield.
Sami Bloom, Willy Kite, Steve Lessard, and Ann Yacoubian
Well, it’s been quite the semester, Jumbos! Happy finals week and may the odds be ever in your favor.
IN NEWS: The Daily News Department compiled a “semester in review,” itemizing many of the changes that the campus has seen over the past 12 weeks. Be sure to take a look at this before you start studying!
ALSO IN NEWS: Police shut down TDC on Saturday night. While this isn’t breaking news for anyone, perhaps this will clarify some of the more confused facts that have been spread.
IN FEATURES: In an interview with President Monaco (with video to follow), the Daily was able to talk and inquire about the changes on campus, how it’s progressing or not, housing funding, and other relevant matters to students.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL: The Daily takes on the shenanigans that happened on Saturday night at TDC, laying down the law, and calling for more accountability.
IN ARTS: And who isn’t looking forward to this year’s Oscar season! The Arts sections hedged its bets in some of the season’s top box office winners, but do you agree?
IN SPORTS: Jumbos turned in some of the best races of their careers as the men’s swimming and diving team finished third out of eight at the MIT Winter Invitational this weekend. Tufts totaled 607 points, behind only MIT’s 1,322.5 and Keene State’s 980.5.
Good luck on finals, everyone. Peace, love, and the Daily.
By Denise Amisial
Good luck with all of your work, Jumbos! This too shall pass.
IN NEWS: The university’s faculty health insurance plan will offer new benefits to transgender faculty, including coverage for gender reassignment surgery starting this January. This is a major win for the LGBTQ community at large, in case that needed to be reiterated!
IN ARTS: Check out this Daily exclusive interview with Oscar Issac who talked about his performance as Llewyn Davis in the upcoming Coen Brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” The movie details the life and troubles of Davis, a struggling folk artist living in New York in the 1960s.
IN SPORTS: The women’s swimming and diving team remains winless on the season after suffering its fourth straight loss on Wednesday evening in a dual meet at Wellesley College.
IN NEWS: Tufts’ improv comedy troupe Cheap Sox on Nov. 23 was named champion of the annual New England Regional College Improv Tournament, held this year at Central Square’s ImprovBoston theater. The troupe will travel to Chicago to compete in the final leg of the competition against other regional victors on March 1.
IN FEATURES: Local art studio empowers adults with disabilities and engage in activities focusing on creativity, vocational training and wellness.
IN ARTS: From the successes at CBS, to the ratings woes at NBC, to the triumphs of cable channels like AMC and FX, this year’s fall television season has seen its share of highs and lows. Fall television season ratings are buzzing around.
IN SPORTS: With nearly 20 games gone by, the NBA has put almost a quarter of its season in the books and the early season has been full of surprises.
By Jehan Madhani
Welcome back, Jumbos! It’s going to be quite the week, so let’s keep abreast of what’s happening on campus.
IN NEWS: Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate on Nov. 17 unanimously passed a resolution calling for late-night dining options in the Dewick-MacPhie or Carmichael Dining Hall between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. As a result of the resolution, the Commons Deli and Grill will accept the meal plan on Friday and Saturday evenings as of next semester.
IN FEATURES: On Friday, President Obama paid a visit to activists who have been fasting on the National Mall for weeks in an effort to move progress on an immigration reform overhaul. On the Hill, a new student group called United for Immigrant Justice (UIJ) has sprung into action this semester to reinvigorate the discussion of these issues on campus.
IN ARTS: Simulcast in 94 different countries and in more than 1,500 theaters to millions of viewers around the world, the BBC’s “Doctor Who” 50th Anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” was an absolutely spectacular treat for the show’s dedicated fans. This record-breaking special has certainly earned its place as one of the greatest science fiction episodes of all time.
IN SPORTS: After a successful season opener against BU in mid-November, the Tufts men’s squash team has struggled to find its stride. Prior to Thanksgiving break, the Jumbos played MIT before taking on Bowdoin, Brown and Bryant a few days later on Nov. 23. The Jumbos kept the match close against MIT and Bryant but fell decisively against the rest of the field.
“Western societies have established the confession as one of the main rituals we rely on for the production of truth.” – Foucault, French Philosopher and Social Theorist
Confessions, as Michel Foucault understands them, were the first way people began to speak the seemingly unspeakable: to speak about sex. They turned to priests (as symbols of the church) and to doctors to find out the intangible, to find a way to make sense of their desires. The inherent issue, however, was that the clergy and doctors, in many respects, knew just as little about sex as those behind the veil. Quite figuratively, it was the blind leading the blind. So sex, and moreover desire, became taboo. Desire and questioning became shameful. The one place constructed to negotiate such unknowns was now riddled with guilt.
The influx of psychiatry, psychology, and therapy began to undo some of this constrictive work, but there was still a conflation of shame connected to speaking about physical desire. Without unpacking the stigma around mental health, we still have a problem with confession; with confessing desire. This stigma has taken the form of ridiculing confession in parody and exaggeration. But in doing so, we lose the ability to see the power of real confession. To reference the epigraph, what productions of truth are we gaining from Tufts Confessions? People don’t like certain foods, a cute redhead was spotted in the campus center, but also that we don’t know how to talk about very serious things.
We are all familiar with the Tufts Confessions phenomenon. Seedy and revelatory tales about weekend exploits, taboo desires, and personal quirks seep through our social media consciousness. But what is it to confess? How can we understand the potential power of confession? And what can we learn about ourselves?
It is so easy to disregard Tufts Confessions as a hot bed of trolling and white guilt, or as yet another platform for “bleeding hearts” who fall victim to pejorative distancing and invalidation. But what do even the least controversial posts (“I’ve never tried bacon”) say to us? I’m reading too much into this, I self-referentially reflect. But the curiosity motivates me. Can we conflate a lack of understanding of angry people of color and a distaste for nutella? In short, no, but the attempts to do so problematize our understanding of confession.
Sexuality, as well as race, class, and inequality are somehow taboo on this campus. There is no way to air ignorances, defend injustices, or question intention. At some point, to be the most “liberal,” “diverse,” “globally conscious” school, we have fostered this false idea that we are unable to question ourselves. Though data may suggest we are doing “so much better” than other schools in terms of racial issues, LGBT issues, or sexual violence prevention, we have pushed ignorance to this hyper-stigmatized space where conversations and actual education on these areas falters.
My mentor and professor once told me that sometimes you still have to hear the craziness people say to at least know where they are coming from. This is not saying to not hold problematic language and hate speech accountable for their wrongness, but there are those who do not know where to begin. There are those who have the potential to reevaluate their perspective, but are shamed into silence, letting their ignorance fester. These back and forths on Tufts Confessions show us how far we are from productive conversations.
If you use Tufts Confessions, I only ask that you consider what your confession says about you. What truth about yourself are producing, interrogating, or revealing? I can’t ask the trolls to stop, but I hope people can read through confessions and see their concerns and fears and joys validated, even anonymously. If confessions speak to you, read through the comments, question the discourse, and learn something about yourself. Not all fads are created equal and I think it’s time we use the act of confession to gain some self-awareness.
Though feel free to keep congratulating our talented artists after all our shows. We love that sh*t.