TCU Senate Update

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate meeting opened last night with a presentation on the new Tufts Student Experience website project, which will be implemented in the next academic semester.

Student Services Communications Specialist Caitlin Felsman Pfitzer presented the revamp plan of the Student Services website.

Felsman Pfitzer admitted the inefficiency and complexity of existing Tufts websites, and explained that the scope of the project will encompass various websites such as the new Student Life website. Student Life, for example, will integrate various functions and links to the general Tufts community. The project will include a new Tufts Career Services website and a new Health and Wellness site, as well as new sites for the Registrar, Financial Services, and Student Affairs.

Felsman Pfitzer noted that anything that requires students’ private information will remain in SIS and will not become part of the Tufts Student Experience.

Felsman Pfitzer added that Tufts will create three additional websites for scholar development, accessibility services and international education, all of which will be implemented as part of the project. She also revealed that a new website will launch next semester as well.

Felsman Pfitzer explained that the project’s major goals are to make information easily accessible, citing a new “preview card” feature in which information regarding any Tufts-related program or department will be neatly organized and shown on an index-like card on the website, from which students can find necessary information and links. She added that Tufts intends to highlight success stories and achievements of students on these websites, and also provide strong publicity for club events.

In response to TCU Senate’s interest in creating a new, clear calendar that can list every student organization’s events, Felsman Pfitzer explained that Tufts is exploring platforms Trumba and EMS for a new calendar, but clarified that the Office for Campus Life still retains the authority of hosting student organization information online. She further clarified that some departments, such as the Office of Residential Life and Learning, are not revamping their websites in the project’s initial stages, but will be incorporated into the project later.

With no treasury report at yesterday’s meeting, the Senate moved on to the vice president’s report, which contained updates from various committees. First, the Administration and Policy Committee announced that tutors, Area Residence Directors and other resources will be available in public places. The Education Committee then gave an update about its plans for how to accommodate high numbers of snow days in the future. The Services Committee gave an update on its exploration of Hindi and Korean as possible languages to be offered at Tufts in the future.

Next, TCU Vice President Matt Roy took the floor to discuss a new project approval to work with Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) in regard to racial profiling of students. Roy, concerned with continued discrimination of students by the police force based on race, voiced for a submission-based survey in which students will be able to share their experiences with police discrimination.

According to Roy, the survey will provide anonymity for the submitter, and the experiences shared, which can have happened on or off campus, will be shared with TUPD and the personnel involved with TUPD training. Roy hopes that through this collaborative effort between Senate and the TUPD, the university’s police force will be better trained to deal with racial profiling issues.

Though some members of Senate were concerned that unrelated off-campus experiences with police discrimination would not particularly help TUPD in their training, the project approval passed by majority in a vote of 21-1-2.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Digital Communications representative who spoke to the Senate was Kaitlin Provencher. In fact, Caitlin Felsman Pfitzer delivered the presentation. The Daily regrets this error.