Last Wednesday marked the fourth year in a row in which I have attended the informal Tisch Library roof gathering on April 20, or “4/20” as it is affectionately called by those familiar with its distinguished status as the international holiday of the marijuana counterculture. Like each of the previous years, the minutes approaching 12 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. saw a massive influx of students proudly displaying their knitted ponchos, Bob Marley T-shirts and glossy red eyes. But unlike each of the previous years, also in attendance this year were various administrative deans and a large Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) contingency. IDs were taken, joints were stomped out and, in at least one instance, a student was tackled and forcibly restrained (for reasons, I may add, which entirely avoided me as I watched on in surprised disbelief).
Before I continue, I don’t intend to come off as a pothead upset that he was thwarted in his attempts to publicly engage in illegal activity — I personally had an exam early Wednesday morning and a class at 4:30 that evening, which barred me from participation. Rather, I see this, as the latest in a string of misguided decisions on the part of the Tufts administration that highlight the divide that exists between the student body and the powers that be. I acknowledge that it is perfectly within the rights of Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman and others to enforce the rules that exist on this campus in order to maintain order. I question, however, the logic in taking aggressive measures to create a climate in which the students at this school are placed at odds with an antagonistic university administration. Is it sensible for the governing members of an institution that indulges in its image as a bastion of progressivism and liberal education to take these backward steps in how they deal with the very students who make this campus what it is?
READ MORE: 4/20 crackdown highlights administrative hostility
Tufts Daily, Mon. April 25, 2011