The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate held an election yesterday to fill five openings on the Freshman Class Council, to select seven first-year senator seats and to fill three Community Representative positions.
According to Tufts Elections Commission (ECOM) Chair Paige Newman, 44.88 percent of the eligible student body voted, meaning that 670 cast their ballots in the election.
For the elections open to members of the Class of 2019, Charlie Zhen was elected Class Council President, Meghan Lauze was elected Class Council Vice President, Jaya Khetarpal was elected Class Council Secretary, Eric Osherow was elected Class Council Marketing Chair and Emma Balin was elected Class Council Treasurer.
The new TCU senators for the class of 2019 are Jackie Chen, Frederick Hissenkaemper, Nesi Altarasm, Emily Sim, Adam Rapfogel, Chris Leaverton and Rayane Haddar.
Three of the five open Community Representative positions were officially filled by candidates who ran unopposed, according to Newman. The Asian American Community Representative is sophomore Faryal Jafri, the LGBTQ Community Representative is first-year Parker Breza and the Africana Community Representative is sophomore Fatima Ajose.
“I’m really happy with how the elections turned out,” Ania Ruiz, Head of Public Relations for ECOM, said. “We had a lot of candidates this fall… everybody was very excited to run and they were all very qualified.”
Zhen said he is happy to have been elected President of the Freshman Class Council and is grateful for everyone who took part in the election process.
“I’m really excited to get to know the freshmen class and I can’t wait to have a great year,” he said. “It’s kind of surreal right now.”
Breza said he is really looking forward to representing the LGBTQ community on the Senate this year.
“Regardless of where Senate is at right now, it needs to be a place where the Group of Six voices are heard,” Breza said.
He added that the Community Representative positions guarantee that the voices of members of certain communities will be heard on Senate.
“I ran unopposed,” Ajose told the Daily in a Facebook message. “How much representation would there be if I wasn’t there?”
The remaining open Community Representative positions are the seats to represent the Latino and women’s communities. The representative position for the international community was filled last spring, Newman said.
According to Ruiz, Senate will hold special elections in October to fill the women’s or the Latino Community Representative seats, which students have already expressed interest in.
Breza said he hopes that the two vacant positions will be filled, but he thinks that the struggle to fill the positions may be a cultural and systemic issue for Senate.
According to Judiciary Treasurer Michael Kalmans, a junior, the October elections will also include a TCU Judiciary position that opened up after a member of the judiciary body resigned last month.
Correction: The original version of this story misidentified Fatima Ajose as Faryal Jafri in a quote.