TCU Senate Update

The Tufts Communion Union (TCU) Senate’s Sunday night meeting opened with an appearance from University President Anthony Monaco, who discussed Tufts’ ongoing implementation of its 2013 strategic plan.

In accordance with the school’s capital projects, Monaco reaffirmed the university’s efforts in improving campus facilities. According to Monaco, the university has raised $250 million through taxable century bonds, which allows continued general maintenance of campus buildings.

Monaco noted that the reconstruction of the large industrial warehouse at 574 Boston Ave. and the development of the new Science and Engineering Complex, located near Bromfield-Pearson Hall, are underway. Both new facilities will be for academic use.

Next, Monaco updated the TCU Senate with plans for a new Central Energy Plant (CEP), which will be built near Dowling Hall. According to Monaco, the CEP will have a cogeneration plan that can cut energy costs by 20 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He then revealed plans for a new academic building that a donor has proposed to build on top of the planned Green Line MBTA stop near campus, adding that there will hopefully be a bridge to connect the new T stop with the main campus.

Monaco explained that the Department of Biology will move out of Barnum Hall, as the building is no longer properly equipped for the sciences. Though no concrete plans have been made, he suggested that the international relations program may move into the hall. 

On the issue of future housing, Monaco firmly acknowledged the need for new dorms on campus and locations for them. According to Monaco, two working groups will convene soon to discuss the issue. One group will work to find suitable dormitory locations and to draw up a business plan, and the other will further develop the Office of Residential Life and Learning.

Further, Monaco told the TCU Senate that the university has taken many initiatives to save money in order to prevent rise in tuition for students. He predicted that within a year and a half, Tufts will save $15 million and bounce back into a surplus.

Lastly, Monaco stated that because student financial aid is a priority, the university is planning a new fundraising campaign to further its goal of raising $100 million this year. So far, $73 million has been raised.

After the guest appearance by Monaco, the TCU Senate sorted through Allocations Board requests. 

The TCU Senate began with an appeal from the Black Student Union, eventually overturning its originally recommended $2,073.80 and approving a new amount of $3,586.35 in a vote of 16-7-1.

After the appeal, the TCU Senate approved funding requests of $500 for Major: Undecided, $597.50 for the Protestant Student Association, $4,459.20 for the Sino-U.S. Relations Group Engagement (SURGE), $950 for Tufts Robotics Intel Competition, $118 for Parnassus, $1,000 for Students for Justice in Palestine, $5,000 for Action for Sexual Assault Prevention, $455 for Anime Brigade, $190 for Psychology Society, $802.50 for National Society of Black Engineers, $2,873 for Spoken Word Alliance at Tufts and $1,086.35 for Not Your Mother’s Monologues.

Most of the approvals were passed by acclimation or majority vote.

Tufts Bikes and Another Option were denied approval in their funding requests, both by acclimation.

After the conclusion of the Treasury Report, TCU Parliamentarian Gauri Seth opened the floor for a tabled resolution from last week that called for an increase in housing support for students doing summer research. The resolution passed on Sunday night in a vote of 13-3-2.

The TCU Judiciary then updated the Senate on the new bylaw changes, which now require biweekly meetings between the TCU President and the chair of the TCU Judiciary.

The meeting concluded with a brief award ceremony for Danielle Weisberg, winner of the Light on the Hill Award, which is “the highest award presented [to] Tufts Alumni by undergraduates … to recognize their leadership within their fields and for serving as outstanding role models within and beyond the Tufts community,” according to the Tufts Alumni website.