The Tufts Observer

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Tufts Observer
Tufts Observer Issue 1.png
The Tufts Observer, October 1, 2012
Editor-in-Chief Claire Selvin
Categories News magazine
Frequency Biweekly
Circulation 1,500
Publisher TigerPress (Northampton, MA)
First issue 1895
Company Tufts University
Country  United States
Language English

The Tufts Observer, founded as the Tufts Weekly, is an undergraduate student newsmagazine published at Tufts University. First published in 1895[1] Tufts' first student newspaper, the Observer is the oldest student publication on campus. The Tufts Weekly was renamed the Tufts Observer in 1969.[2] Observer staff currently work out of the Media Advocacy Board (MAB) Lab, located on the second floor of Curtis Hall[3] on College Avenue.


The publication is a biweekly, 32-page full-color magazine that includes a Feature article as well as Views, Opinions, Arts & Culture, and Off Campus sections. There is also a Poetry & Prose section which, found at the end of the issue, offers a thoughtful close to an issue rich with diverse and informed writing. Each issue also features a comedic "Police Blotter", a Crossword, and a photographic "Parting Shot" on the last page. Once a year, the magazine devotes itself entirely to creative writing with its Poetry & Prose issue featuring student-written short stories and poems set against striking photography, original artworks, and graphic design.


The Observer began as the Tufts Observer and was founded in 1895 and would later bill itself as Tufts' "newspaper of record."[1] Early issues prominently featured sports scores as well as campus news. The first issue was dated Tuesday, October 8, 1895, and was eight pages long. This issue contained an editorial titled "The New Departure" which stated, "With this number we begin the work of Tufts' first weekly. We realize the uncertainty of our position, the importance of the work, and the many difficulties attending it; but, believing that such a sheet is needed in our college, we step forth boldly, asking the attention and consideration of all connected with Tufts College in any capacity whatever."

The Weekly did not officially change its name to "The Tufts Observer" until the late 1960s,[2] under the management of Editor-in-Chief Glenn Durfee, to reflect the paper's publication schedule.[4] The paper also began to occasionally publish more than weekly because of major news events on campus. In the fall of 1969 the Observer, under Editor-in-Chief Phil Primack, was sometimes published as often as four times a week. In 2001, the editorial board of the Observer voted to adopt the newsmagazine format that the publication exists in today.


In February 1987, Ian Kremer, a 19-year-old Observer journalist, was allegedly beaten because of anti-racist activist articles he wrote in the news magazine. The assailants allegedly called Kramer "nigger lover, jew boy and Commie pinko".[5] The story was reported in Boston-area[6] and other national newspapers[7] as well as in the Associated Press.[8] Several days after the alleged attack, eyewitnesses refuted the assault claims[9] and Tufts President Jean Mayer also denied the allegation, saying that, "It is absolutely clear that no attack took place at the time and place that Kremer said".[10] Kremer filed a libel suit against The Tufts Daily, Tufts police officials, and Jean Mayer in April 1987 because of the scandal.[5] Later in 1987 Kremer transferred to another university and Tufts settled the case out of court on undisclosed terms in November 1989.[11]


Today, the Observer produces an issue every two weeks, distributed on Monday mornings throughout Tufts' Medford-Somerville campus. In addition to a feature article and a photo inset each issue, there are five regular sections: news, opinions, arts & culture, campus, and tech & innovation. The Editor-in-Chief for the Fall 2015 semester is Katharine Pong. The Photography Director is Alison Graham, and the Photography editor is Menglan Chen.

Former Editors-in-Chief[edit]

Former editors-in-chief include:

  • 2017 Spring: Claire Selvin
  • 2016 Fall: Carly Olson
  • 2016 Spring: Moira Lavelle
  • 2015 Fall: Katharine Pong
  • 2015 Spring: Ben Kurland
  • 2014 Fall: Aaron Langerman
  • 2014 Spring: Nicola Pardy
  • 2013 Fall: Molly Mirhashem
  • 2013 Spring: Anna Burgess
  • 2012 Fall: David Schwartz
  • 2012 Spring: Natalie Selzer
  • 2011 Fall: Eliza Mills[12]
  • 2011 Spring: Joshua Aschheim
  • 2010 Fall: Katie Christiansen
  • 2010 Spring: Daniel Rosen
  • 2009 Fall: Daniel Rosen
  • 2009 Spring: Michael Snyder[13]
  • 2008 Fall: Patrick Roath
  • 2008 Spring: Mara Sacks
  • 2007 Fall: Tim Noetzel
  • 2007 Spring: Michael Skocay[14]
  • 2006 Fall: Aaron Schutzengel
  • 2006 Spring: Vinda Rao
  • 2005 Fall: Margot Rapoport
  • 2005 Spring: Narissa Schmidt (Lyngen)
  • 2004 Fall: Elizabeth Herman
  • 2004 Spring: Sameer Puri
  • 2003 Fall: Jodi Gilman
  • 2003 Spring: Justin Race
  • 2002 Fall: Justin Race
  • 2002 Spring: Rotating EICs
  • 2001 Fall: Mara Vatz
  • 2001 Spring: Erica Goldberg
  • 2000 Fall: Brock McCormack
  • 2000 Spring: Zachary Bromer
  • 1999 Fall: Anita Patil
  • 1999 Spring: Josh Friedman
  • 1998 Fall: Myah Evers
  • 1998 Spring: Andy DeMayo
  • 1997 Fall: Amy Wilson
  • 1997 Spring: Eric Froman
  • 1996 Fall: Suzanne Schaefer
  • 1996 Spring: Eric Fleisch
  • 1995 Fall: Raymond Graves
  • 1995 Spring: Maurice "Mo" Bakely
  • 1994 Fall: Michael Bosi[15]
  • 1994 Spring: Adam Salowsky
  • 1993 Fall: Adam Salowsky
  • 1993 Spring: Mike Plotnick
  • 1992 Fall: James Denaro
  • 1992 Spring: Gerardo Lapatina
  • 1991 ?: Neil Swidey
  • 1980 ?: Neal Shapiro[16]


  1. ^ a b "About The Tufts Observer". Tufts Media Advocacy Board. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sauer, Anne; Branco, Jessica; Bennett, John; Crowley, Zachary (2000). Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History. Tufts University. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Vatz, Mara E. (2004). "About the Author". Knowing When to Stop: The Investigation of Flight 191 (PDF) (M.S.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Campus News". Tufts Did You Know?. Tufts University. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Libel Suits Still Rare For College Newspapers". Hope College, The anchor. 27 January 1988. p. 8. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Wen, Patricia; Carol Beggy (19 February 1987). "Tufts Students Protest Beating of Sophomore Political Activist". Boston Globe. Medford, MA. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Beating of Kansas Student Linked to Racism". Wichita Eagle. 20 February 1987. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Zuckoff, Mitchell (19 February 1987). "Tufts Officials Upset By Beating Of Racism Opponent". Associated Press. Medford, MA. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Shein, Bill; Bill Labovitz (24 February 1987). "Eyewitnesses Refute Kremer Assault Claims". The Tufts Daily. Medford, MA. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Shein, Bill (25 February 1987). "Mayer Says Kremer Attack Did Not Occur". The Tufts Daily. Medford, MA. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Tufts University settles student libel lawsuit". Student Press Law Center Report. 11 (2): 42. 1 May 1990. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Meet the Tutors". Writing the Essay. WritingTheEssay LLC. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  13. ^ White, Jeremy B. "Tufts media and the economy". The Public Editor. Media Advocacy Board at Tufts University. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Skocay, Michael (9 July 2007). "Letters". The Washington Times. 
  15. ^ "Obituary: Michael K. Bosi, award-winning journalist, sports editor; at 23". The Boston Globe. 1 November 1997. p. A13. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "About WNET - Officers: Neal Shapiro". WNET New York Public Media. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 

External links[edit]