Student life at Tufts University

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The Tufts University school mascot is Jumbo the elephant, in honor of a major donation from circus owner P.T. Barnum in 1882. While Barnum gave the skeleton of the animal to the American Museum of Natural History, the stuffed remains of Jumbo were put on display in the lobby of Barnum Hall until the building burned down in 1974. The alleged ashes of Jumbo currently reside in a peanut butter jar in the athletic director's office. A large plaster-statue elephant, Jumbo II, now sits on the academic quad, the Tufts mascot is the only school mascot listed in Webster's dictionary.[1]

The school colors of Tufts University are brown and blue, the shade of brown is generally a chocolate brown, and the blue is variously described as between light and middle blue, or dusty sky blue. Though this color combination was chosen by the student body in 1876, the colors were not made officially the colors of Tufts University until 1960, when the Trustees voted on the matter.

93.8% of students participate in at least one extracurricular or co-curricular activity.[2] The Tufts Community Union funds a number of undergraduate student groups, and some 341 are recognized by the university.[3] Prominent groups include the Beelzebubs, Tufts Financial Group,[4] Tufts Dance Collective, the Amalgamates, Spirit of Color, Tufts Labor Coalition, United for Immigrant Justice, Students for Justice in Palestine, The Observer, Tufts Mormon Club, the Leonard Carmichael Society, an umbrella organization for community and public service projects, is the largest student group at Tufts, comprising a volunteer corps of over 1,000 and a staff of eighty-five.

In The Princeton Review's 2010–2011 "Best 363 Colleges," Tufts was ranked #14 for the happiest students and Tufts' study abroad program was ranked #3 in the country.[5][6] The Princeton Review has since 2005 listed Tufts in its "Best Campus Food" category, ranking it as high as second.[7][8][9] Additionally, The Advocate ranks Tufts as one of the top 20 gay-friendly campuses.[10]

In 2009, the school banned sexual activity in dorm rooms when a roommate is present, the university may have been the first in the nation to be explicit about this type of conduct.[11]


Painting the Cannon[edit]

Naked Quad Run[edit]

The Naked Quad Run was originated by residents of West Hall and was originally known as the "West Hall Naked Quad Run". Though the exact date of its origin remains unknown; in the late '70s the run was revived by residents of Carmichael Hall but faded from the campus until it was again revived and popularized by West Hall residents in the early 1990s.

Dorm residents, such as "Quad Man", would warm up the gathering crowd below by stripping on the fire escape to loud music blasting from the upper floor windows. Once the dorm residents were themselves sufficiently 'warmed up' with alcohol, they would gather in the basement of the dorm, undress as a group, and then exit from the rear of the building, many with phone numbers painted on their back or butts.

The Naked Quad Run takes place just before fall finals, in December, and attracts hundreds of students to unwind by stripping and running a circuit around the Res Quad. Most students run naked, but some wear costumes such as capes or shrink wrap.

On March 14, 2011, President Larry Bacow announced that the Tufts Quad Run had been banned for the upcoming year due to concerns about alcohol consumption.

A re-emergence of the event had come to light in the spring of 2016 during finals week. A similar event was carried out in the 2017 spring during finals week.

Spring Fling[edit]

Former Tufts president John DiBiaggio celebrating Spring Fling in 1993

Initially held in 1980, a concert known as Spring Fling takes place in the spring semester immediately before final exams on the President's Lawn. Spring Fling acts have included the following[12] (in reverse order of appearance, i.e. the headliner is listed first):

1980: Pousette Dart Band, Willie Nineger Band, Beelzebubs
1981: Pousette Dart Band, James Montgomery Band, NRBQ
1982: Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers, Chubby Checker
1983: Evelyn "Champagne" King, NRBQ, The Kool Rays
1984: The Stompers, Junior Walker and the All-Stars
1985: The Busboys, 'Til Tuesday
1986: Ministry, Scruffy the Cat, Plate O' Shrimp (the concert was held at Nine Lansdowne in Kenmore Square due to rain)
1987: The Smithereens, The Bongos, Plate O' Shrimp
1988: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Treat Her Right
1989: The Robert Cray Band, Ivan Neville and the Rooms, Plan B
1990: The Band, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages
1991: Cheap Trick, Heretix
1992: Blues Traveler, Shinehead, Urban Blight (the concert was held in Cousens Gymnasium due to rain)
1993: Violent Femmes, The Lemonheads, Digable Planets
1994: Fishbone, They Might Be Giants, Queen Latifah, Thumper
1995: B.B. King, Denny Dent, Brand Nubian, Buffalo Tom
1996: George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, Violent Femmes, moe.
1997: A Tribe Called Quest, Barenaked Ladies, G. Love & Special Sauce
1998: LL Cool J, Maceo Parker, Less Than Jake, Hall's Corner Band
1999: Ben Folds Five, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, The Sugarhill Gang
2000: The Roots, Better Than Ezra, Reel Big Fish
2001: Busta Rhymes*, Guster, Jurassic 5, Redshift 6
2002: moe., Toots and the Maytals, Mobb Deep
2003: Busta Rhymes*, Reel Big Fish (the entire event was canceled due to rain)
2004: The Roots, Less Than Jake, The Sugarhill Gang
2005: Busta Rhymes*, Goldfinger, The Walkmen, The Juice (Busta's performance was canceled again due to rain)
2006: Guster, Blackalicious, The Slip, Melodesiac
2007: T.I., Lupe Fiasco, Spoon, Oxford Collapse, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons
2008: Dropkick Murphys, Common, Tea Leaf Green, FunkSoulLove
2009: Ludacris, The Decemberists, Asher Roth, The Ride, Brennavin
2010: OK Go, Drake, Sammy Adams
2011: The Roots, RJD2
2012: Lupe Fiasco, Guster, White Panda, The Rare Occasions
2013: Nelly, Yeasayer, 5 & a Dime
2014: Childish Gambino, Flosstradamus, The New Pornographers
2015: Ke$ha, MisterWives, Lauren Lane
2016: Matt & Kim, Shaggy, Børns
2017: Tinashe, Metro Boomin, Aminé
2018: Ty Dolla $ign, Quinn XCII, Princess Nokia, Dutch Rebelle,
  • Note: Due to the dual cancellations of Busta Rhymes' scheduled appearances (2001, 2003, and 2005), Tufts community folklore includes a "Curse of Busta," stating that Busta Rhymes will never be able to perform at Tufts' Spring Fling.

Tuftonia's Day[edit]

Typically the night before Spring Fling, the Tuftonia's Day Carnival take place on Fletcher Field, the event has formerly included small rides and games, with Fireworks in the evening. In recent years, the event has grown to include multiple larger mechanical carival rides, a ferris wheel, and over 12 food trucks, the event is free and open to members of the surrounding community and is meant to be a celebration of Tufts.


The Tufts Mountaineering Club "pumpkins" the campus each year before Halloween, placing pumpkins in prominent and increasingly absurd locations such as atop buildings and statues, the ritual is over 75 years old.


Greek life[edit]

The Greek-letter organizations has persisted on Tufts for 160 years. There are currently 5 fraternities, 5 sororities, and one co-ed group. About 15% of the student body is involved in the Greek system. [13]

Current Fraternities
Current Sororities
Current Co-ed Greek organizations

Campus media and publications[edit]

Most campus publications and media are funded through the Student Activities Fee distributed by the Tufts Community Union Senate, the most notable exception to this is the Tufts Daily which is entirely independent of the Senate and is published through advertising revenue. There is a wide cross section of groups producing media on campus, both popular, electronic, and academic. All groups under the Senate are represented by the Media Advocacy Board at Tufts University, which provides a media laboratory for production of print publications.[14] Groups are arranged in order of establishment under their respective categories.

News and magazines[edit]

  • The Tufts Daily, the daily student newspaper and a source of news for the last three decades; the Daily is notable for its financial independence, receiving no funding from the student activities fee. Founded in 1980.[15]
  • Tufts Observer, a biweekly newsmagazine and the oldest student organization on campus, having been founded in 1895 as the university's first student newspaper.[16]
  • The Primary Source, a journal of conservative thought. Founded in 1982. (Defunct as of May 2013)[17]
  • The Zamboni, a humor and satire magazine. Founded in 1989.[18]
  • Discourse, a student-run journal of domestic and international issues.[19]
  • Canon, a literary journal also publishing student photography and other visual arts.[20][21] Replaced Outbreath, itself founded in 1998,[22] beginning spring 2012.
  • Public Journal, an alternative literature magazine focusing on publishing found literature, founded in 2005.[23]
  • Tufts Traveler, a travel journal founded in 2005.[24]
  • Breakthrough: Tufts Science Magazine, an undergraduate popular science magazine for the Tufts community. Founded in 2008.
  • Melisma: Tufts Premier Journal of Independent Music, Arts & Culture, a student-run biannual publication. Founded in 2004.

Radio and television[edit]

  • Podcast Network, a group that produces original and creative audio content every week.
  • WMFO (91.5 FM Medford) is freeform radio operated by students and community volunteers since 1970; the station broadcasts 365 days a year and operates out of Curtis Hall.[25]
  • TUTV, the campus television station, operated by Tufts students in partnership with the Ex College.
  • Jumbocast, a student-run broadcast group that specializes in streaming Tufts events live over the internet via webcast.[26]

Academic journals[edit]


  1. ^ "Did You Know - Get to Know Tufts - Tufts University". Archived from the original on 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Bloomberg Business". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  5. ^ "Happiest Students". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  6. ^ "Most Popular Study Abroad Program". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  7. ^ "Recipes and Cooking Inspiration – Kitchen Daily". 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  8. ^ "Tufts University - Campus Food - Niche". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  9. ^ [1] Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Tufts E-News: Tufts Hailed As Gay-Friendly Campus". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  11. ^ Daniel de Vise (18 October 2009). "Colleges Speaking Up to Protect Shy 'Sexiles'". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ "Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History: Spring Fling, 1980". Tufts Digital Library.
  13. ^ >"Organizational Status Tufts Student Services". Tufts University.
  14. ^ "Media Advocacy Board at Tufts University". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  15. ^ "The Tufts Daily". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  16. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  17. ^ "Primary Source loses TCU recognition".
  18. ^ "The Zamboni | Tufts University's Only Intentionally Funny Magazine". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  19. ^ "Discourse". 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  20. ^ "Canon: Tufts Literary Journal". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  21. ^ [2] Archived September 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ "Outbreath: Tufts Literary Magazine". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  23. ^ "The Public Journal". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  24. ^ Traveler, Tufts. "Tufts Traveler Magazine | Adventure Stories for and by Jumbos". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  25. ^ "91.5 wmfo". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  26. ^ "Webcasting for College Athletics". 2015-05-14. Archived from the original on 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  27. ^ "Hemispheres". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  28. ^ "home | index". 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  29. ^ Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)