Senate discusses semester goals in first 2014 meeting

The Tufts Committee Union Senate’s first meeting of the semester was held last night in Eaton 206.

TCU President Joe Thibodeau, a senior, welcomed members back after a month away and outlined some of the senate’s main goals for the coming semester. The treasurer’s report then followed, during which the senate heard from a number of student organizations requesting funds. Tufts University Bhangra Team requested $9,622 to attend an April 13 dance competition in Santa Barbara, Calif. which the group qualified for over winter break. The senate approved the funding request by a vote of 24-4-0.

The senate also voted unanimously to grant the school’s Garba Team $1,995 in order to travel to Purdue University for a Garba dance competition and granted $800 to the Tufts Vietnamese Students Club in order to rent two vans for a weekend retreat at the Loj. Lastly, the senate voted 27-0-1 to grant $2,450 to Tufts Action for Sexual Assault Prevention , which is bringing American feminist writer Jaclyn Friedman to campus as a guest lecturer on Feb. 27.

Senior Andrew Hunter of TCU Services Committee then addressed his project of establishing an on-campus student bar, which he said would serve as a meaningful social gathering spot, particularly for seniors, and promote the safe use of alcohol among Tufts students. He cited last semester’s student survey which showed favorable responses to the proposal and mentioned that he hoped to draft and pass a written resolution in order to convince the administration to further pursue the project.

Diversity Council Affairs Officer Darien Headen, a junior, announced that he will be chairing a new ad hoc committee, consisting of senators, community and trustee representatives, which will select three representatives who will sit on a committee led by Nancy Wilson, a special advisor to the provost, to select a future Chief Diversity Officer.

“In my role, I’m just going to be the administrative person on senate dealing with applications…and choosing three names to give to Nancy Wilson,” Headen said.

Senior Jon Jacques outlined the TCU Judiciary’s goals for the semester. Although student organizations can only be officially recognized by the senate in the fall, Jacques said that the Judiciary will be guiding new and inactive groups through a “re-recognition process” this semester which will enable them to achieve official recognition later in the year.

During the closing announcements session, the senate revealed upcoming events including general interest meetings for 180 Degrees Consulting and the Institute for Political Citizenship, the Vagina Monologues’ spring semester performance and a commemorative event for Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. Thursday evening.

After the meeting, Thibodeau spoke to the Daily about his aspirations for the Senate and the success of the first meeting of the spring semester.

“I just hope that people will get all the projects they want accomplished, that people will continue trying to partner with the Tufts community and we will continue to make senate an agent of change on this campus that is accessible to all,” he said. “Building off of last semester, I think that is a reasonable hope.”