A dance performance event at Tufts University was shut down over the weekend after several people in the audience required medical help for alcohol intoxication, campus officials said.
Student leadership of the Tufts Dance Collective, which organized the event, is now working with administrators to find ways “to improve the way these events will be managed in the future,” university spokeswoman Kimberly Thurler said in an email.
She said university public safety officials on Saturday night received about a half dozen calls for medical assistance due to alcohol intoxication prompting the event to be shut down “for reasons of health and safety.”
Thurler said there is no indication that any drugs other than alcohol were used by people at the event.
The Tufts Daily student newspaper first reported on the event being shut down.
More than 150 students from 10 Boston-area colleges rallied over the weekend calling for their schools to divest from the fossil fuel industry and vowing to hold more actions until campus leaders commit to divestment, according to organizers of the protest.
The group included students from Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Tufts, Brandeis, Lesley and Northeastern universities, Wellesley and Olin colleges and MIT.
The protestors met Sunday afternoon on the Weeks Footbridge to unfurl a large banner over the Charles River that read “Divest from climate crisis.”
Some students, including from Tufts and BC, then traveled to the homes of their campus presidents’ to sing “divestment-themed holiday carols” to deliver letters announcing the students’ intentions to escalate their campaign calling for fossil fuel divestment. At Harvard, students delivered a letter to the president’s office.
“These actions mark a turning point in our movement and our campaigns are going to escalate,” said a statement from Brandeis senior Rohan Bhatia. “Schools that have received direct and indirect rejections know that we need to increase pressure on our administrators to stand with their students rather than the fossil fuel industry.”
A growing number of students at higher education institutions across the country have been calling for fossil fuel divestment in recent months. Leaders of a handful of schools with relatively small endowments have committed to some form of divestment.
But, colleges and universities with wealthier endowments, like Harvard, have rejected the idea of divesting from fossil fuel companies, while others have not yet announced a decision.
“The lives and livelihoods of billions of people, present and future, will be devastated by the climate crisis unless we put our foot down now and work together to craft a livable future,” said a statement from Canyon Woodward, a Harvard junior who helped coordinate the events. “Fossil fuel divestment is about taking responsibility for our future and refusing to be passive participants in our own destruction.”
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Tufts University plans to establish a new program to hire, over the next five years, as many as 10 “bridge professors,” senior-level faculty who will work to build relationships across traditional disciplines, connecting at least two academic departments or schools at the university.
Campus officials said the effort, a component of Tufts 10-year strategic plan, will bolster the university’s approach to interdisciplinary education.
Schools and departments on all three of Tufts’ campuses working to develop and submit proposals for “Bridge Professorships.”
The program is "a mechanism to incentivize us to seek out and hire those scholars and researchers whose work resonates deeply with more than one school, department or discipline," David Harris, Tufts provost and senior vice president, said in a statement.
"And the program acknowledges what we already know—that many of the challenges we are pursuing as an institution do not align solely with one department or one school," he added.
Bridge professors will be either associate or full professors and will be tenured in schools that offer tenure, university officials said The provost’s office will cover one-third of the compensation, benefits and start-up costs over the first five years of each position.
Tufts expects to begin a search for the first two bridge professors in the spring with the hope of having them start their work with the university by the fall of 2014.
"This initiative helps provide a bridge that will take Tufts where a university of this caliber needs to go," Harris said.
(Alonso Nichols / Tufts University)
The newest member of Tufts University’s men’s lacrosse team is by far its smallest and youngest, but his toughness is unmatched.
Jacob Beranger, a 7-year-old from Woburn, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer three days after his third birthday. He has since withstood lengthy surgeries, a bone marrow transplant, a medically-induced coma and relearning how to eat, sit up and walk.
He continues to battle through regular MRIs and blood transfusions, but his cancer is now in remission.
Jacob was healthy enough this fall to attend his first grade classes, and the Tufts lacrosse team last week found him fit enough to draft.
His new collegiate teammates, coaches and the school’s Jumbo the elephant mascot picked him up from school on Friday and escorted him to the university’s athletic center, where he was welcomed with balloons and banners.
The youngster held a press conference, signed autographs, tried on his No. 52 jersey and checked out his own official, name-plated locker.
Of course, the celebration also featured a pizza party and a cake decorated with a Spiderman action figure.
Jacob had been recruited by the squad in the days leading up to his official signing. Lacrosse players went trick-or-treating with Jacob on Halloween and had him visit campus to help him with homework, play video games in the film room or to just hang out.
“This is one tough kid,” coach Mike Daly said in a statement. “We are so happy, humbled and grateful to be a part of Jacob’s life.”
The team connected with Jacob through Team IMPACT, which stands for “Inspire, Motivate and Play Against Challenges Together.”
The program aims to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through team-based support networks. The initiative was founded and funded by a group of friends and colleagues, many of whom attended Tufts together, played sports in college and have had business dealings with each other.
To see more photos from Jacob's introduction as the team's newest member, click here.
In wake of Philippines typhoon, Brandeis, Tufts students to fast to urge more be done to stop climate change
More than 20 students from Tufts and Brandeis universities plan to fast this week as part of a broader campaign urging for more to be done to stop climate change in the wake of typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines.
Climate activists say the typhoon is a wake-up call for why change is needed.
“It is shocking to me that this crisis has gotten so little attention, that the connection has not been explicitly linked to climate change,” said a statement from Tufts student Ben Weilerstein, who plans to fast for five days.
The fasting movement began with Naderev Yeb Saño, the Philippines’ climate change commissioner and head of the Philippines climate delegation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, sometimes referred to as the “COP 19” summit, in Poland.
On Nov. 11, three days after the typhoon, he announced at the conference that he will not eat food “until a meaningful outcome is in sight.”
“We can fix this,” he said, according to a prepared statement. “We can stop this madness. Right now.”
Weilerstein and others said they are fasting to show solidarity with the Philippines official.
“I feel compelled to support Minister Saño,” he said. “I feel the need to give of myself to raise awareness to this crisis. It pains me to see the destruction in the Philippines, and disturbs me deeply to witness the inaction of our government at the COP conferences”
Nearly 800 people have said on a Facebook event page that they will fast this week.
The Tufts and Brandeis students said they plan to host other events this week to raise awareness of their cause, including sitting with empty plates at lunchtime and holding a candlelight vigil in Harvard Square Monday from 5 to 7 p.m.
The students also posted online an open letter to the State Department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern and the department’s negotiator Trigg Talley.
Many college presidents across the country are negotiating huge exit packages when they step down. Schools and public records say:
Lawrence S. Bacow, president emeritus of Tufts, received $1.7 million in 2011 for “end of service compensation.” At Harvard, president Lawrence Summers kept his presidential salary of $580,000 for several years after he stepped down in 2006. And Wellesley College had two former presidents on its payroll in the last six years, including one who received $430,000 a year for two years after she retired and her duties ended.
Former Brandeis president Jehuda Reinharz has received at least $1.2 million more from Brandeis since his 2010 retirement and is in line to receive hundreds of thousands more in coming years.
Globe subscribers can read the entire story here.
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