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V.        Proposals For Community Discussion

 

         3.         Building Community and Strengthening Diversity

  1. Space
  2. Need-Blind Admissions
  3. Alumni Community Network

Overview:  We propose a series of initiatives designed to address the concern we have frequently heard from students, faculty, and staff alike that although there are many sub-communities at Tufts, Tufts lacks a sense of overarching community.  We seek to build community in this larger sense and we propose a number of initiatives to this end.  The first initiative focuses on space.  Just as space can be used to enhance intellectual climate,  we believe it can also contribute to community building.  We have already proposed above a cafe for social and intellectual engagement in the library.  Our primary proposal to contribute to community building in this section is a significant enhancement to the Campus Center.   Our second proposal is a long-term commitment to need-blind admissions.  The third proposal is the creation of an Alumni Community Network.  In addition to these specific proposals, we refer readers back to our discussion of resources and programming in the goals section titled "A Continuing Commitment to Diversity."

 

1.      Space:  We propose that fundraising efforts be included in the next capital campaign to construct an addition to the Campus Center to accomplish the following:

        Move the faculty dining room back to the center of the campus.  Many faculty have noted the lack of a central gathering place for faculty central to offices and the library.  The original Campus Center Phase III plans envisioned a 150 seat facility with adjacent reception room and cocktail lounge.

        Create a multifunction space.  We do not have appropriate meeting space for large groups in the center of campus.  The Campus Center Phase III plans projected a facility with capacity for 600 standing, 400 seated theater, 250 seated dinner. This type of space is already desperately needed for campus programs and groups, but would also be vital to the proposed college system.

        Consider expansion of the Campus Center Dining commons.  Campus Center Phase III contemplated an expansion from 200 to 250 seats along with expansion of kitchen and storage space.

        Construct a "town commons" area that serves as a social focal point of campus.  Among its attractions would be a central mailbox facility for students.

 

2.      Need-Blind Admissions We propose that Tufts make a long-term commitment to providing need-blind admissions.  Tufts currently meets full need for students it admits but does not engage in need-blind admissions.  Our current policy means that we must turn away, for financial reasons, students who, by providing some unique perspective or background, would contribute to the educational experience of their peers.  Moving in time to a system of need-blind admissions combined with meeting full need would allow us to focus our attention in the admissions process on constructing an entering class that provides the richest possible experience not only for students in that class but for all Tufts undergraduates.

 

Need-blind admissions is a goal that is likely to be achieved only towards the end of a major capital campaign.  Tufts currently has a "need aware" admission policy combined with a commitment to meeting full need.  As funds are raised and earmarked for financial aid, we can gradually move away from a need aware policy to a need-blind policy.   We strongly oppose any policy to move toward need-blind admission at the cost of our current commitment to meeting full need.  We recognize that some institutions advertise a need-blind admission policy while not committing to meeting full need.  Such a policy, however, can only lead to discouragement and resentment on the part of students who may not understand the distinction between need-blind and full need policies.  Tufts has a policy of assembling a first year class that brings in exceptionally bright students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.  It is also committed to retaining those students once they matriculate.  This is a policy we wholeheartedly endorse.

 

3.      Alumni Community Network We propose that thought be given to a series of initiatives that would more closely link our current undergraduates with our alumni.  A variety of programs could be developed to bring alumni back to campus to serve as mentors to current students, to facilitate research and internship opportunities, and to provide a career network.  These services should be available to current students as well as graduates.  Related to this network is a proposal to establish a community service house for current students.  We include this idea here to emphasize the potential for linking alumni to such an initiative in a way that enriches both student and alumni experiences.

 

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