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Published by: Tufts Daily on Feb 09, 2009
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Today\u2019s Sections
Inside this issue
Tuesday, OcTOber 21, 2008

American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar and CBS News analyst Norman Ornstein spoke


the Coolidge R o o m last night a b o u t the 2008 presiden- tial elec- tion,


race that he said represents a \u201cpublic desire for change\u201d but is strikingly simi- lar to the 1980 campaign.

Ornstein began his talk, \u201cAn Election of Change: How Much, What Kind, What Consequences?\u201d by outlining the current politi- cal landscape, which has seen Democratic presidential nomi- nee Barack Obama jolt ahead of Republican rival John McCain in the polls amid the recent eco- nomic downturn.

Ornstein explained that with Americans\u2019 economic \u201csafety net\u201d having been torn apart by the financial collapse, voters now feel an even more urgent need to put the country back on track.

\u201cThe public desire for change was vivid,\u201d he said. \u201cThis was an election of change. If, a year ago, we had been able to have a ref-

erendum allowing the country to TiVo through the coming year \u2014 just push that button and be done with the Bush administration, be done with the Congress, move on \u2014 I think it would have gotten a 98-percent vote to move on and get off to the next chapter in our lives and in our country\u2019s future.\u201d

While the concept of \u201cchange\u201d has become a rallying cry on both sides of the presidential race, Ornstein said the general election field is a blast from the past, so to speak, resembling the 1980 cam- paign in which then-Gov. Ronald

Reagan (R-Calif.) ran against Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter.

\u201cIn 1980, we had another elec- tion of change, [with a] public that had had its fill of Jimmy Carter\u2019s presidency by the time we had moved into the final stretches of that campaign,\u201d he said.

In the current race, the polls have remained strikingly stable since each major candidate chose his nominee, with the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) as

see FEATURES, page 3

Some universities team up with tanning beds despite health risks.

Daily photographers had their cameras out at the Head of the Charles.

see CAPTURED, page 8

State handicap accessibility regulations have tripped up a would-be revamping of West Hall\u2019s plumbing system.

Tufts truncated the project this summer amid concerns that its plans were not in line with the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board\u2019s (MAAB) regulations.

The MAAB regulates construction projects in Massachusetts to ensure that buildings provide handicapped people with \u201cfull and free use of buildings and facilities,\u201d according to its Web site. The MAAB claims authority over \u201cany construction, renovation, remodel- ing, or alteration of a public building or facil- ity.\u201dAlthough the university planned to replace

West\u2019s entire plumbing system, this renova-

tion would have been so comprehensive that it would have forced the administration to bring the entire building into compliance with accessibility rules.

Tufts was not financially prepared to do so. \u201cThere wasn\u2019t a plan budgeting for com- plete accessibility,\u201d Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman told the Daily.

Building inspectors from the City of Medford oversee and enforce compliance with all regulations, including accessibility requirements, on projects taking place with- in city limits. West Hall lies on the Medford side of campus, and falls within their over- sight.

As Tufts began the process of securing a building permit for the West project in the early spring of this year, the inspectors \u201cgave

Tufts\u2019 Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) received two grants totaling close to $700,000 last month to conduct research on the political partici- pation of different demographics and promote online civic activ- ism.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the largest federal organization dedicated to supporting service and volunteerism with grants, provided CIRCLE with the funds.

CIRCLE, a civic-participation research group housed in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, received $128,000, to be put toward measuring civic participa- tion levels within certain demo- graphics and $570,000 to build a social networking application that will connect civically engaged people.

CIRCLE will analyze data from the U.S. Census and surveys from various non-profit and for-profit organizations to compare levels of civic engagement between social groups.

The study is still in its plan- ning phases, but it may examine factors including race, age, immi- gration status and education in

analyzing fluctuations in politi- cal participation, according to Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE and director of research at Tisch College.

\u201cWe are very interested in inequality,\u201d he said. \u201cPeople who, for example, go to college are more likely to participate [civi- cally]. That\u2019s mostly a reflection of social class.\u201d

CIRCLE will also use the grant to build an interactive Web appli- cation for examining U.S. Census data on civic participation, although the center will subcon- tract the actual construction of the application.

Levine said that the govern- ment, membership organizations and volunteering college students could all use this information to figure out whom to target when encouraging voter turnout.

\u201cThe voting rate among Tufts students is going to be pretty high, and among Medford stu- dents, it\u2019s going to be very low,\u201d he said. \u201cTufts students should be trying to increase voting rate off- campus.\u201d

He added, \u201cThat\u2019s the reason for this research, so that you understand the problem and guide your action.\u201d

The project reflects Tufts\u2019
emphasis on students becoming
PM Showers
VOLuMe LVI, NuMber 32
Arts | Living
Editorial | Letters
Where You
Read It First
Est. 1980
Rebekah Sokol/tuftS daily
y\ue00a\ue00c\ue009g P\ue00c\ue008\ue006\ue00bz\ue003r Pr\ue006z\ue003-w\ue006\ue009\ue009\ue006\ue009g \ue000\ue00c\ue00b\ue005\ue00ar J\ue00c\ue009\ue00a\ue00b d\u00ed\ue000z \ue002\ue006sc\ue00css\ue003\ue002 \ue006mm\ue006gr\ue000\ue00b\ue006\ue00a\ue009 \ue000\ue009\ue002 \ue00b\ue005\ue003 \ue000r\ue00b\ue006s\ue00b\ue006c pr\ue00ac\ue003ss.

Writer Junot D\u00edaz yesterday read excerpts from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, \u201cThe Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao,\u201d and delivered a talk that sprawled across the top- ics of writing, Latino history, translation and gender issues.

Speaking to an engaged crowd in Pearson Hall, D\u00edaz described his debut novel as \u201ca love story ... about an individual, a family and a country.\u201d \u201cOscar Wao\u201d (2007) tells the story of a young Dominican-American man growing up in New Jersey.

D\u00edaz, 39, said he drew upon the Fantastic
Four and \u201cDune,\u201d the famed science fiction
novel, when writing his book.

He was inspired by \u201cDune\u201d because the messianic status of the protagonist in this classic work rests in his ability to channel the histories of both his maternal and paternal ancestors. To D\u00edaz, that is something every individual should be able to do. \u201cA human being is someone who can integrate both the male and female histories of their lives. You only become human when both your gender histories are on the table,\u201d he said.

D\u00edaz also gave four of the main charac- ters in the novel characteristics that cor- respond to the Fantastic Four. He said that because one of the main characters, Yunior,

D\u00edaz speaks about \ue000irst novel
Daily Editorial Board
see D\u00cdAZ, page 2
Mass. accessibility regulations
hinder West Hall renovation
Daily Editorial Board
daily file Photo
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CIRCLE recieves grants from CNCS
Contributing Writer
see CIRCLE, page 2
Ornstein travels back 28 years, draws elections parallels
Daily Editorial Board
see ORNSTEIN, page 2
delPhine thieRRy/tuftS daily
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The TufTs Daily
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Harvard Law School will aban- don traditional letter grades and move to a broad pass-fail sys- tem next fall, in an attempt to expand intellectual curiosity and improve student learning.

The new method will classify students as \u201cHonors Pass,\u201d for- merly A+ to A-; \u201cPass,\u201d B+ to B; \u201cLow Pass,\u201d B- to D; and \u201cFail,\u201d Law School Dean Elena Kagan announced on Sept. 26 in an e-mail to students.

According to the Harvard Crimson, the law school\u2019s faculty developed the idea for such a sys- tem in the spring and chartered a special committee, formed over the summer. In part, the system is intended to encourage intel- lectual curiosity. Students are more likely to explore academi- cally, the reasoning goes, if they do not fear the effect it will have on their GPAs.

\u201c[Pass-fail] is a good option for a course in an area that\u2019s really unfamiliar to you. You might think it would be too hard and you\u2019re scared, but you really want to learn something,\u201d said Robert Sternberg, Tufts\u2019 dean of arts and sciences.

The move may also curb com- petition in one of the most cut- throat learning environments in the nation.

\u201cIf grades are a scarce resource
and people are competing for

them, then it fosters a very indi- vidualistic approach to learning because someone else\u2019s success limits your access to success,\u201d Tufts Education Lecturer Laura Rogers said. \u201cBut when grades aren\u2019t rationed, then the success of others doesn\u2019t impinge [on yours]. Instead, it enhances your own learning opportunities.\u201d

Pass-fail classes also augment learning by allowing students to challenge professors and more thoroughly develop unique thoughts. The Harvard Crimson Staff said in an editorial about the law school\u2019s decision that letter grades pressure students \u201cto tailor their comments and papers to satisfy the whims of their evaluators more so than their own intellectual leanings.\u201d

Harvard\u2019s grading system will now mirror those of peer law schools at Stanford University and Yale University. Some fear that the setup will not work as effectively at Harvard because of the school\u2019s significantly larger size. In Harvard\u2019s case, this may lead to a widely undifferentiated student body in which it is hard- er for employers to distinguish between applicants.

But some say this will simply force students to find other ways to bolster their academic port- folios. \u201cThere are lots of ways for people to express their areas of competence, their learning, without having to translate it into a grading system that is defined

to differentiate students from each other. Students are going to have to find some other way to characterize their strengths. But then it will be more authentic,\u201d Rogers said.

Others argue that the depar- ture from a traditional grading system may reduce student moti- vation. The Harvard Crimson editorial mentioned that grades \u201cprovide a clear motivation to attend class, do the readings, and engage with the material.\u201d But Rogers disagrees. \u201cA lot of times people who are teaching will say that there are multiple purposes of grades, and one of them is to motivate students. But when you really look into that notion, it often falls apart,\u201d she said.

In a school as prestigious as Harvard Law, students are pre- sumed to have enough self- motivation to succeed without the pressures of letter grades, according to Sternberg. \u201cAt the undergraduate level, [a man- datory pass-fail curriculum] is hurtful to students. But you\u2019re talking about graduate school. You\u2019re talking about Harvard,\u201d he said.

Students and faculty members alike are waiting to see what the change will mean for the school. In the meantime, Rogers said the bold move is worth the risk. \u201cIf there are any unintended con- sequences, they\u2019ll find out. You have to be willing to make those moves,\u201d she said.

Harvard Law adopts pass-fail system
Contributing Writer

involved in the political process, according to Nancy Wilson, direc- tor and associate dean of Tisch College.

\u201cMuch of their research isn\u2019t done because the faculty needs it but because the world needs it,\u201d Wilson said. \u201c[CIRCLE\u2019s research] reinforces this image of Tufts of being a place of youth civic engagement and trying to under- stand it.\u201d

Wilson said that CIRCLE\u2019s research could help Tisch attract people who attribute their par- ticipation in a campaign to an issue but do not continue engag- ing civically for that issue after an election.

The influx of cash with the two CNCS grants supports part of CIRCLE\u2019s overarching project, Wilson said.

\u201cThere\u2019s a lot of work in this field of participation in terms of demographics,\u201d Levine said. \u201cWe at CIRCLE do these things all the time. [This grant project] is an incremental step for us.\u201d

He added, \u201cI\u2019d be more excited if I could tell you it was ground- breaking, but it\u2019s another piece of the puzzle.\u201d

With the $570,000 grant, CIRCLE plans to lead a project to build a social networking Web application that would build diagrams showing connections between people and local issues based on input from of the appli- cation\u2019s users.

Levine said the project would build a user interface for Facebook.com and MySpace.com using software called YouthMap.

YouthMap allows users to sub-
mit data on civic activists and the

issues they are involved in, and generates networking diagrams from this input. The diagram\u2019s icons represent people; clicking on one shows a description of the person, with contact informa- tion.

Levine said this application will allow volunteers or activists working on a local issue to \u201cfind people who might be ready to work on it, who are well involved in the networks, or to find people at a [specific other] college for an issue.\u201d

\u201cTufts students are already working on a lot of really amazing initiatives with similar goals,\u201d said senior Danielle Damm, a scholar at Tisch College, and this soft- ware\u2019s coordinating capacity is \u201callowing people to be more effi- cient in their resources.\u201d

CIRCLE\u2019s Web application will be accessible to all people in the Boston area \u2014 people from Cambridge College, MIT, Bunker Hill, you name it,\u201d Levine said.

Damm said that she and CIRCLE would hold \u201cinformation sessions and one-on-one meet- ings on the use of the applica- tion\u201d with students and groups on campus, starting at the beginning of next semester.

\u201cA big priority on launching the software is going to be making sure there\u2019s a diversity of students using it,\u201d she said.

The decision to make a YouthMap interface for Facebook and MySpace, rather than to engi- neer a new networking site, was based on the idea that \u201cnetworks are more valuable the more peo- ple on them already,\u201d Levine said. \u201cWe have no interest in compet- ing with large existing networks. We\u2019d rather just plug in.\u201d

CIRCLE to do social networking
c\ue002ntinu\ue001d fr\ue002m P\ue000g\ue001 1

does not relate to anyone in the comic series turned Hollywood hit, the book has yet another level of meaning.

These elements came togeth- er with others in D\u00edaz\u2019s attempt to target a broad audience and speak directly to the reader with \u201cOscar Wao.\u201d

\u201cAudience is fundamental, and I think about it a lot,\u201d he said. \u201cYou got to remember that the audience is a very dynamic part of being a writer.\u201d

He noted that in a structur- al sense, the novel is extremely complicated. \u201cI had a sense that I wanted to write a book that only progresses by digging deeper into the past,\u201d he said.

D\u00edaz said that it took 11 years for him to write the book, explain- ing that art cannot be scheduled. \u201cGuys, the weirdest thing about writing a piece of art is that you cannot pencil that s--t the f--k in,\u201d he said jokingly. \u201cIt resists us. I picked a book that wanted to resist me every step of the f--king way.\u201d

Another reason for the pro- tracted process was that \u201cthe book needed compassion,\u201d some- thing D\u00edaz feels he did not have enough of. \u201cIt\u2019s like when you date someone and you aren\u2019t human enough for them,\u201d he said. \u201cWhat keeps us from creating is that we haven\u2019t become the person to cre- ate that art.\u201d

D\u00edaz noted that his \u201ctypical, typical, working, poor, immigrant background\u201d forced him to learn how to work. \u201cI work like a f--king beast,\u201d he said. \u201cI went to Cornell grad school and worked three jobs.\u201d

He said that this aspect of his personality can conflict with his artistic side since it forces him to hurry things. \u201cIf I don\u2019t work, I can\u2019t afford medical insurance [or] pay my mother\u2019s rent. I\u2019ve got other concerns other than my

own,\u201d he said. \u201cBut as an artist, you want nothing more than time to work on your art.\u201d

But D\u00edaz also concluded that there are limits to the amount of art one can produce. He asked the audience members whether they really wanted their favorite authors to write a new book each year. \u201cDo we even have that many readers? I think we should limit authors to one book a decade,\u201d he said.

Although students were eager to ask him questions, after his talk D\u00edaz told the Daily, \u201cYoung people don\u2019t need any words from me.\u201d According to D\u00edaz, \u201cAdults spend all their time giving f--king advice [to young people]. I have some advice for adults: to spend more time with young people.\u201d

Ruben Salinas-Stern, director of the Latino Center, which co- sponsored the event, said D\u00edaz is a great role model for all students, but especially for Latino males and for \u201cfolks who have had to deal with being the smart ones in their community.\u201d He also noted that not many Latinos have had the honor of winning the Pulitzer, which D\u00edaz earned this year.

Salinas-Stern said D\u00edaz's book is \u201cwonderful.\u201d The author \u201creally speaks to experiences [about] identity and masculinity, be it the immigrant experience [or] mov- ing from a poor, working-class background to the university,\u201d he said. According to Salinas-Stern, \u201cIf you\u2019re Latino at Tufts, it\u2019s diffi- cult to find professors, courses or books that focus on your experi- ence.\u201d

The event had a number of sponsors, including the Department of American Studies, the Arts, Sciences and Engineering Diversity Fund, the Latino Studies Minor, the Africana Center, the Women\u2019s Center, the Association of Latin American Students and the Latino Men\u2019s Group. It was part of the Latino Center\u2019s Latino Heritage Month programming.

D\u00edaz: Art cannot be rushed
c\ue002ntinu\ue001d fr\ue002m p\ue000g\ue001 1

us an indication that we could not do the work without doing a much greater volume\u201d of renovations, Vice President for Operations John Roberto said.

In response, Tufts reduced the scope of the project, looking to renovate West without exceeding the threshold that would man- date full accessibility, Roberto said. These smaller renovations were completed over the summer.

Subsequent renovations that would have become necessary include \u201crequiring the facility to be accessible from the exterior, either through a ramp or a lift, and full accessibility to all floors within the building,\u201d Roberto said.

Accommodating these require- ments would have entailed the implementation of an elevator system with access to all floors and the installation of handicap-acces- sible toilets, sinks and showers in the bathrooms.

Building the elevator shaft would have been a complex pro- cess, requiring either a sacrifice of space in the floor plan or an addi- tion to the building.

\u201cLift options have been explored preliminarily,\u201d although either sac- rificing space or building an addi- tion would be costly compared to a standard plumbing renovation, Deferred Maintenance Program Manager Rudi Pizzi told the Daily in an e-mail. Pizzi added that the total cost of such a renovation can- not be determined \u201cuntil the final scope of the work is defined.\u201d

Tufts is only required to bring the building into line with MAAB regulations if it conducts signifi- cant construction on the building, which predates the board\u2019s rules. The planned renovations to West exceeded two thresholds set by the board in terms of cost and area renovated.

Part of the problem lies in the vague interpretation of the regu- lations, according to Roberto. \u201cIf we do a whole building, then the whole building is brought up to code,\u201d he said. \u201cThe issue comes when you\u2019re doing less than a full renovation. What does the code require you to do? That\u2019s what we\u2019re trying to understand more


The question of accessibility at Tufts stretches beyond the West construction, Roberto said, add- ing that the dormitory is \u201conly the first project that [is] impacted.\u201d Accessibility concerns will be a part of any and all future con- struction and renovation projects around campus.

This past summer, Tufts suc- cessfully renovated Metcalf Hall, adding an access ramp at the front entrance and three acces- sible bedrooms and one acces- sible bathroom on the first floor. Construction teams also improved accessibility in South Hall bath- rooms, according to Roberto.

While the university is ready for future projects on campus to receive the same scrutiny that the West plans, Tufts is still in the pro- cess of determining whether the accessibility rule is being interpret- ed correctly.

Tufts is advocating for a more holistic approach to regulating accessibility accommodations.

\u201cThe university is committed to fully complying with appli- cable regulations but believes \u2026 compliance should be based upon the percentage of all acces- sible rooms available in all build- ings, as opposed to the percent- age available in any single build- ing.\u201d Tufts\u2019 Senior Counsel Martin Oppenheimer told the Daily in an e-mail.

If a review confirms that the reg- ulation is based on the percentage of all accessible rooms on campus rather than in individual buildings, Tufts will have considerable free- dom in planning new renovations.

Oppenheimer also said that a taskforce has been working over the last 18 months on the issue of increasing handicap-accessible space on campus.

According to Roberto, finding a working interpretation of the regulations is a primary concern. In the future, it will be important to determine \u201ca balance between maintaining our facilities and meeting the spirit and intent of the law,\u201d Roberto said.

The original, full project is still pending review by the MAAB, Pizzi said, and may go forward at a later date.

Tufts looks to clarify guidelines
c\ue002ntinu\ue001d fr\ue002m p\ue000g\ue001 1

Republican vice presidential nomi- nee representing \u201cone significant blip,\u201d Ornstein said. Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) has had about a three- or four-point lead in national polls since the Democratic National Convention at the end of August, according to Ornstein.

The 1980 race featured similarly close polling numbers, Ornstein said.

\u201cAnd yet, with that enormous desire for change, and a president whose approval rating rivaled that of [President] George [W.] Bush -\u2014 down in the 20s \u2014 Ronald Reagan, the principle challenger, through July, August and September and into October in the Gallup Poll ranged between having a three-point lead to being down by a point because Americans looked at a challenger and saw an actor \u2026 that knew noth- ing about the world at a time when the world was a dangerous place.\u201d

But after the only debate of that election, held on Oct. 28, Reagan finally convinced Americans he could lead \u2014 the same thing that is happening now, Ornstein said. The scholar called the recent spike in Obama\u2019s numbers, in which his Gallup Poll lead over Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) has poked into the double digits, \u201cpredictable.\u201d

During a brief question-and- answer session, Ornstein addressed the diverging campaign styles of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who he characterized as having a \u201cGeorge Steinbrenner approach\u201d and Obama, who he said chose inexperienced people but put them in appropriate niches, delegat- ing his subordinates into one the best-run campaigns in American history. \u201cIt has become very clear that McCain can\u2019t run much of anything,\u201d however, as he has run a top-down organization that has altered its message everyday, Ornstein said.

This was the inaugural speech in the Frank C. Colcord Lecture series, which is sponsored by the political science department and the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.

Obama spike is
c\ue002ntinu\ue001d fr\ue002m p\ue000g\ue001 1

This is the second article in a two-part series examining the disparities in essay- writing styles in nations around the world. The first installment explored the American model in comparison with those of other countries. This article focuses on how Tufts provides writing support for interna- tional students, as well as the difficulties American students who study abroad face when writing.

Writing styles, citations and structures can be as diverse as the languages in which papers are written. Because the standards of intellectual honesty can vary sharply from nation to nation, some international students may be immediately put at an academic disadvantage upon coming to Tufts, especially when they are put in a class with a professor who is unaware of such variances.

\u201cSometimes students are penalized even if their English is perfect and they have the right idea because they are writing in an atypical style for the United States,\u201d Director of the Academic Resource Center (ARC) Carmen Lowe said. \u201cUnless [profes- sors] have a background with international students or have studied abroad, they most likely would not be aware that there are huge cultural differences in terms of writ- ing.\u201d

Instead of putting the responsibility on the professor to teach the international student the American model, Tufts offers a number of other options \u2014 from writing tutors to introductory English classes \u2014 to help the students in question.

Lowe, for example, prior to being the Director of the ARC, formerly taught English 03 and English 04, which are the

English courses geared towards interna- tional students at Tufts in lieu of the tra- ditional English 01 and English 02 geared towards American first-year students.

While those courses are aimed at com- bating the discrepancies in structural essay models and academic honesty, Lowe explained they often aren\u2019t effective because they only draw a very small pool of students.

\u201cVery few students take those classes,\u201d she said. \u201cA lot of time, if [an international student has] scored very high on a stan- dardized test, they assume their English is fine \u2014 they can communicate with their roommate, they\u2019ve watched a lot of English language television, and then they write their first paper, and they are not under- standing why they\u2019re getting such a low grade. [But] it\u2019s not about language skills,

per se; a lot of times it\u2019s about the struc-

Even if students do choose to forgo the English courses, there is another form of support available to struggling students: the graduate writing consultancy program, a faction of the ARC.

Jenny Lenkowski, a first-year gradu- ate student in biology, works as a writing consultant and specializes in cases of pla- giarism often unknowingly committed by international students uninformed about the American system of academic honesty.

Lenkowski often approaches such cases by first trying to gain a better understand- ing of the culture that the student came from.

\u201cA lot of it is trying to understand the

t\u2019s Tuesday afternoon. You\u2019re walk- ing across the quad. You see a famil- iar face, but not that familiar ... oh,

wait! It\u2019s that friend of a friend (of a friend?) you met last weekend during a rousing game of drinking-Spoons. It\u2019s that girl from your freshman year Creative Writing class. It\u2019s someone\u2019s boyfriend/roommate/secret crush/wil- derness freshman for whom you have a secret nickname that has replaced his real name in your brain. Do you say hi? If you go to Tufts, then the answer is probably no.

The politics of the casual greeting here at Tufts are ridiculous. Should I say hello? Will she say it first? Does this person even remember me? No, she definitely does. But will she pretend like she doesn\u2019t? Or maybe she actually doesn\u2019t. Is that even the same girl? Was she too drunk to remember? Was I? Did I just detect a flash of recognition in her eyes? And the worst: OMG, did I just become that person I hate for not saying hi when she clearly knows me by not saying hi when I clearly knew her?

On rare occasions, this phenomenon is due to actual memory failure. There is this one guy (I\u2019m sure you don\u2019t know who you are) that I have met and talked to a total of six times. For the longest time I thought I had fallen victim to the old Tufts socially awkward blow-off, but upon meeting him time number six, I realized that even after a solid total of 20 minutes of face time, he really and truly does not remember me. While that was certainly a blow to my self-esteem, I was also a little heart- ened that one less person than I had previously thought was pulling this B.S. Sadly, most people who don\u2019t say hello when a hello is at least 95 percent war- ranted do remember each other, but somehow let the moment slip away.

Perhaps this is a function of the ever salient, \u201cWere we the same level of drunk? I think I may have been less drunk but don\u2019t want to seem creepy so I will just feign the opposite extreme, which entails faking a blackout\u201d issue. (Don\u2019t lie, you have, at one time or another, had that exact thought.) Maybe everyone here was scarred by the col- lege admissions experience to the point of pathological fear of rejection. It\u2019s possible that everyone here just hates everyone else, but it\u2019s more likely that we all just need to grow a pair. Whatever it is, people continue, day after day, to pretend to text, call their empty voicemail, or actually talk to a discon- nected phone when they see a would-be acquaintance approaching.

Jumbo himself discovered Newton\u2019s Fourth Law of Motion: If it is (or will potentially be) in any way awkward when you run into someone, you will inevitably do so 41 times more than you would simply by chance. So let\u2019s stop making it awkward, because I can- not take it anymore. Listen up, Tufts: We have got to start saying hi to each other! I don\u2019t even care if you know the person, smile at him or her and say hello. It takes zero energy and makes everyone involved feel good. At other schools, this is the norm, and it is too late for me to transfer, so I am making this plea: no more over-analyzing \u2014 save it for your IR midterm. If you know someone, think you know someone, think someone knows you or detect any signs of life whatsoever in a pass- ing student, then just bite the bullet and say hello like you really mean it. I swear it will get easier, enjoyable even \u2014 trust me, I\u2019m from the Midwest. We love that stuff out there.

JESSiE BorkAn |
collEgE iS AS collEgE doES
Start sweating it: University partnerships
with tanning salons prompt heated debate

As temperatures begin to drop and clouds roll in, most Tufts students reach for their sweaters and scarves, cover- ing up the pale skin that the winter months usher in. But in spite of years of research linking ultraviolet radiation tanning beds to melanoma and other severe skin cancers, some universities are promot- ing tanning salons for students seeking a summer glow.

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus allows students to pay for tanning appointments in local salons with their uni- versity account cards and even organizes student discount deals with several of the tan- ning companies. Other schools, like Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, go one step fur- ther and house tanning beds on university grounds.

Proponents of Wright State\u2019s campus-backed enter- prise argue that tanning is not illegal and that students, as educated individuals, should be free to make their own informed decisions.

\u201cWhen I have [the stu- dents] fill out the consent forms, I bluntly tell them the risks involved with tanning,\u201d said Kent Wardecke, owner of Wright State\u2019s on-campus Wright Image Salon. \u201cWhether they\u2019re completely \u2018tanorexic,\u2019 I don\u2019t know, but we have pro- tective guidelines, and there are four other tanning salons nearby so if it\u2019s not conducted here, it\u2019s conducted some- where else.\u201d Kayla Parenteau of Xtreme Tanning Salon in

Davis Square, which is fre- quented by Tufts students, is of the same opinion. \u201cWe give all our customers a full tour and go over all the risks,\u201d she said. \u201cThey are very aware of all the dangers when they walk in the door.\u201d

Xtreme does not currently have any contract with Tufts, Parenteau said, but they do advertise to the student body and attract Tufts students sim- ply by virtue of their proximity to campus. If offered a deal with the university point system, Parenteau said that the salon would accept without moral reservation.

\u201cIf students want to go tan- ning, they should be allowed to go tanning. If they go mod- erately, like we suggest, it shouldn\u2019t be a problem,\u201d she said. But many students, wor- ried parents, and cancer aware- ness groups are outraged by the tolerance given to the poten- tially hazardous trend. Many have said that tanning endorse- ments have no place on cam- pus and that the practice is at odds with fundamental objec- tives of an educational institu- tion. \u201cIf a university is going to promote going to the gym and keeping a healthy diet then they\u2019re being counterproduc- tive by offering unhealthy and addicting habits like fake tan- ning,\u201d freshman Joanna Sebik said. In equal amazement were Health Service associates at both OSU and Wright State, who were surprised to hear of the university-salon collabora- tions and, needless to say, were not pleased.

Their fears are far from hypo-
chondriacal: The American

Cancer Society (ACS), which works to combat cancer as a major health crisis, released an article by Dr. Len Lichtenfeld this year warning of the causal relationship between ultra- violet radiation and skin can- cer development. According to Kate Fremont-Smith of the Brockton, Mass. chapter of ACS, skin cancer is one of the most common cancer malignancies in the United States and mel-

anoma, the rarest of the skin cancers, is estimated to afflict 62,480 and expected to kill over 8,000 newly diagnosed patients in the year 2008 alone. Still, despite conventional counsel against sun exposure, some believe that radiation in small doses as a source of vitamin D can be healthy. According to Jim Shepherd, president of

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Contributing Writer
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Jessie Borkan is a junior majoring in clini- cal psychology. She can be reached at Jessie. Borkan@tufts.edu.

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