Student Life Review Committee Initiatives

Safety and Well-being

"An overarching set of themes pertained to the values of accountability and responsibility in supporting all students' health, safety, and wellbeing, and the need for continuous education and communication about policies, expectations, and resources."

What is Happening Now?

Diversity and Inclusion

"As a starting point, Committee members strongly recommend that Tufts acknowledge, with sincerity, transparency, and authenticity, that it is not yet as diverse and inclusive a community as it aspires to be, especially with regard to racial diversity; reaffirm its commitment to increasing the proportion of people of color—students, faculty, and staff— on campus; and communicate more effectively and consistently about steps being taken in these efforts. While making recommendations pertaining to recruitment and enrollment is not explicitly within the charge of this Committee, the lack of diversity on campus is viewed as a fundamental barrier to improving inclusion and community on campus and must continue to be a priority for the University if it is to fulfill many of the recommendations outlined in this report." 

What's Happening Now?

  • Launched the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President's Bridging Differences Task Force
  • Appointed Dr. Amy Freeman as the Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Provost. (Dr. Freeman left Tufts in Spring 2018, whereupon Robert Mack, Ed.D., assumed the role of Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer for the Medford /Somerville Schools and Joyce Sackey, M.D., assumed the role Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer for the Health Sciences Schools.)
  • Launched new programs for 2017 Orientation, including outside speaker Dr. Becky Martinez from the Social Justice Training Institute
  • Appointed new Group of Six directors, including Hope Freeman at the LGBT Center, K Martinez at the Women's Center, and Julián Cancino at the Latinx Center. (K. Martinez lefts Tufts in Spring 2018. There is currently an active search for a new Women's Center Director.)
  • Collaboration between the Directors of the Identity-based Centers and the University Chaplaincy to create intergroup dialogue programs and expand campus groups focused on social justice, diversity and inclusion.

Campus-wide Community

"Committee members agreed that Tufts needs to make a significant, strategic investment in the development of a campus-wide community experience. All of the topic areas discussed in this report are relevant to this process. This section addresses elements related to “organized” student life, such as recognized student organizations, club sports, and campus activities."

What's Happening Now?

  • Hiring a new Assistant Director of Recreation and Club Sports to promote health and wellness and support students participating in club sports 
  • Launching Tufts LEADS, a new immersive leadership development program of workshops and a yearly conference
  • Growing the Student Life calendaring system to include more offices and departments like the Group of Six and University Chaplaincy. The larger calendar improves cross-campus coordination, eases co-sponsorship of events, and creates multiple points of access to events for students.

First Year Experience

"Students view their first year on campus at Tufts as the definitive opportunity to establish connections with friends and mentors, discover organizations and co-curricular experiences, and learn how to engage in social life. However, not all students connect successfully with the programs and resources that support these outcomes, and those who fail to do so are at a significant disadvantage in developing a sense of connection to the University. Many think Tufts does not consistently meet its responsibility to support students’ transition to life on campus."

What's Happening Now?

Residential Experience

"Committee members agree on the importance of the residential experience in strengthening student life and in creating invaluable opportunities for incoming students to find and sustain community. The Committee learned of and supports the changes planned to begin in the coming academic year in the structure of Residence Life and in the creation of a more intentional residential experience—including, but not limited to, housing all first- year students in the same residence halls. However, Committee members emphasize this is only the first step in improving the residential experience for Tufts students."

What's Happening Now?

  • Creating a new professional staff model to meet students' needs, including an Associate Director of Housing Operations and an Associate Director of Residential Education
  • Restructuring Residential Life student staff to meet the differing needs of first-year and returning students and provide more meaningful leadership development for student staff

Remodeled Greek Life

"Members of the Tufts community hold widely divergent, often irreconcilable views about the value and sustainability of Greek life at Tufts. Interest and participation in Greek life had been steadily increasing until the moratorium in Fall 2016, but since then, demands for total elimination have been evident and organized on campus. Proponents generally believe the selective, single-gender membership model has merit and is an essential part of Greek life, while others believe that model is discriminatory and fundamentally antithetical to Tufts’ values of diversity and inclusion. Advocates of Greek life describe finding personal support, leadership development, and lifelong friendships through membership in Greek organizations; opponents charge that Greek organizations conduct activities and perpetuate practices that create unsafe spaces and harmful experiences for many other students. Proponents point to what they consider to be improvements in Greek life; others acknowledge some change but do not see sufficient evidence of movement toward greater inclusiveness, safety, and accountability among Greek organizations."

What's Happening Now?

  • Established a 3 year deadline for reassessment
  • Created a new Fraternity and Sorority Life Advising Model
  • Establishing a shared mission and values statement for Tufts Fraternity and Sorority Life that aligns with Tufts University values
  • Implementing new policies for the recruitment and new member process, including increased transparency and enhanced education for returning and new members
  • Creating new policies to improve financial transparency and lessen the financial barriers to membership
  • Creating new policies to enhance student safety at parties while enhancing the student social experience for members and non-members

Social Space

"The issue of space—specifically equitable access to campus space for a wider variety of student groups and organizations as a means to support a healthier and more vibrant campus life—arose frequently throughout Committee discussions and during campus meetings and interviews. Campus planning, while not within the scope of the Committee’s charge, is a fundamental issue that relates to all of the above topics and must be taken into consideration in strengthening the student experience at Tufts."

What's Happening Now?

  • Opening new dedicated spaces for student programs, reservable on the student reservation system, including Lounges in Hodgdon, Carmichael, Harleston, and the 1st floor of Curtis Hall (formerly Brown and Brew)
  • Central Finance creating partnerships with various university groups, including the Operations Division, Office of Campus Life, and AS&E,  to lower costs for student organizations hosting events