Monday, September 19, 2011

Return of the Referendum

Last semester, I read an article in the Tufts Daily regarding a newly proposed $20,000 text-messaging system. In response, I wrote an opinion editorial to the Daily entitled "Nonstandard text-messaging rates will apply", which they published, arguing against this purchase on the grounds that it was too expensive, unneeded, and potentially bothersome. Thanks to technicalities, the proposal never even came to a vote. This year, it's back - and so is the opposition.

Scott Tingley / Tufts Daily | Election Day: 9/20/2011

In an effort coordinated with an upperclassmen TCU Senator, Yulia, private discussions were held this weekend debating the merits of the program. The results of those sessions included a comprehensive Op-Ed published in Monday's Daily, just one day before the student body would vote on the new referendum. The opinion piece, "No deal: the hidden costs of Referendum 1" details our objections to the acquisition, and has already achieved the status of third-most-popular Daily article online, following the official Daily objective piece on the program.

Surprisingly, the Daily went so far as to endorse our position, publishing their own editorial piece urging students to "vote no on Referendum 1," calling it "a solution to a problem that doesn't exist." The cartoon of the day also endorsed this position.

Tufts Daily cartoon, Monday 9/19/2011

Our two-pronged Facebook campaign includes an upcoming "Vote no" event as well as a viral "I'm voting no" profile-picture. The page launched alongside a parody group's "Support Carrier Pigeons For Tufts," mocking the proposed SMS short code purchase as outdated technology arriving too late. "Pigeons" has completed a surprisingly successful postering of the university campus; our "Would you spend $20,000 on a text message?" posters struggle to compete. They've even purchased the domain "," which redirects to the Facebook event. Both student movements are recapped in a Daily blog post.

The "Pigeons" perspective

I won't spend space here arguing against the referendum, but Jumbos should read through the material linked to in this post for more information. The election begins in under one hour, online:

Happy voting!


  1. Hello, the photo of the phones was actually taken by Virginia Bledsoe.

  2. If that can be verified, I'd be happy to change the attribution. I copy-pasted this attribution from at the time the article was published.

    Thanks though!


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