Applying to college—and waiting for responses—can be a daunting process, one that surfaces fears and insecurities in most students. You worry about grades (consistent? good enough?), extra-curricular activities (not enough? too many?), your essays (too personal?) among other things. I want to allay some of the anxiety you might be feeling about one area in particular: when you think about whether or not to engage in peaceful social protests on issues about which you care deeply. Most recently, gun violence and gun control have been in the media, but I know that many students are involved in other movements—from immigration to the environment. I want to assure you that Tufts is a place where civic engagement is not only tolerated; it’s encouraged...strongly. In fact, it’s part of the DNA of this university. Tufts was founded (in 1852) by Universalists who were seeking to open a non-sectarian college of higher learning, one that would admit students based on ability and not faith background. One of the strategic themes that came out of a recent planning process at Tufts is societal impact: we want our students to learn, but also to learn to do good. Through our Tisch College on Civic Life, students get involved in local, national and international projects to better society. So, when you act on your values, in a principled way, on issues about which you feel passionately, it will not be held against you in the application process. In fact, we may even take notice.