The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate has recently passed two new bylaws, the Outreach bylaw and the Constituency bylaw. The bylaws were added in the hopes of “increasing the body’s responsibility and accessibility to the Tufts community,” a Senate press release said.
These bylaws were passed late last semester, but it was too late to implement them. According to Senate procedure, the two bylaws had to be reconsidered this year and voted upon again. Both bylaws passed by a large majority at last week’s Senate meeting.
Through the Outreach bylaw, every student organization on campus will be contacted in the near future by a senator to gather information about the organization’s mission and how the group can be helped by the Senate.
Each of the 32 members of the Senate (including community representatives) will be responsible for between five and seven student groups. Each senator will correspond with his or her groups by attending meetings or joining the groups’ e-mail lists.
“We will truly be fulfilling our jobs as liaisons for the student body to the administration,” sophomore Senator David Baumwoll said.
The Senate supported the Outreach bylaw because “it gives every single student group a representative voice on the Senate and will help the body make more well-rounded decisions,” according to the press release.
The Constituency bylaw was passed to ensure that contact remained consistent throughout the year between students and their senators. Senators from each class are required to e-mail the other members of their class several times each semester and organize open forums.
“It ensures that the Senate will hit every individual student, including those who are not necessarily in a student organization,” the press release stated. The Senate also emphasized that students should always feel free to recommend changes to the campus. The two bylaws were written in the spring semester of last year by a group of senators that included Baumwoll, sophomore Senators Chloe Snider and Rafi Goldberg, Senate President Chike Aguh, and Senate Treasurer Josh Belkin.
Snider believes that the implementation of the bylaws will increase the Senate’s ability and desire to represent everyone. “I think that the new bylaws represent a willingness of senators to represent the entire student body, not just their friends,” she said.
“[These bylaws] are something the entire student body stands to benefit from,” Goldberg said.
The changes are a part of the Senate’s desire to revamp its image as an inclusive body for students. “[The Senate] must as a group strengthen outreach commitments and effectiveness,” the press release said.
“In implementing these bylaws, we hope to make students and or groups aware of the fact that we are there to serve them,” Baumwoll said. “These bylaws will hopefully allow us to focus our efforts for those issues that really concern the student body.”
The Senate is not concerned by the fact that these new bylaws have not been thoroughly explained to the community. “Our goal on Senate is not for people to know the intricacies of our bylaws; rather, it is so that we can become better civil servants,” Goldberg said.
At this past Sunday’s meeting, the Senate already began the process of dividing the various student organizations between Senate members.
“It remains to be seen exactly what the effect and reaction will be since this is the first year of the bylaws’ inception. However, everyone on Senate seems very optimistic regarding the effectiveness of these bylaws,” Senate Historian Jeff Katzin said.