TCU Senate discusses upcoming budget in last meeting of the year

Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate held its last meeting of the academic year on Sunday night to discuss next academic year’s budgeting, project updates, approval for a project and a resolution on dependent care services.

TCU President Brian Tesser, a senior, opened the meeting with an overview. Afterwards, Tesser, junior TCU Treasurer Shai Slotky and Diversity and sophomore Community Affairs (DCA) Officer Anna Del Castillo each took the floor to give short speeches to provide final updates outlining the work that they have done this past year. In their speeches, they expressed their gratitude toward the senators and Senate committees for their cooperation.

Next, Tufts Hillel made an appeal for their budget, requesting an additional $30 more than what the Allocations Board (ALBO) had approved sending more people on a first-year retreat. Hillel compensated for the large cost of this by readjusting several line items to cover most of the retreat’s expenses, resulting in an overall budget increase of $30. The ALBO budget recommendation was unanimously rejected, and Hillel’s budget appeal passed by acclamation.

Following this, each of the ALBO members, who are each responsible for one of the councils, dedicated to a different category of student groups, spoke briefly about the different budgets that had been approved and the total amount budgeted for the next academic year.

The different councils are the Religious Council, which was budgeted $94,837; the Cultural Council, which was budgeted $97,457; the Programming Council, which was budgeted $769,936; the Media Council, which was budgeted $122,153; the Performance Council, which was budgeted $110,982.56; the Service and Miscellaneous Council, which was budgeted $176,196; the Pre-Professional Council, which was budgeted $50,525; the Political Council, which was budgeted $25,281; and the Student Government Council, which was budgeted $256,234.

All of these budgets passed. However, an objection was raised for the Media Council budget because the WMFO operations budget was significantly lower than the one from last year, but this objection was overridden by the argument that the group can come in for supplementary funding. As a result, all of the aforementioned amounts passed. The total amount to be allocated is $1,703,601.56.

Next, TCU Parliamentarian Sam Berzok took the floor to lead a discussion on a resolution calling for dependent care services at Tufts, which would allow faculty with children to have their dependent care expenses reimbursed by the university. This program already exists at several other schools, and it used to exist at Tufts before another private company took over the services, Berzok, a junior, said.

After a non-substantive changes period and a question-and-answer period, the resolution was passed in a vote of 30-0-0.

TCU Senate Vice President Gauri Seth, a junior, then took the floor to discuss committee updates from the chairs and project updates from each senator. Some of these updates included recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day by the Friedman School of Nutrition, support for the iJumbo app, minors for Career Studies, Indigenous Studies, French, Spanish, Cognitive Brain Sciences and Linguistics, MBTA student discount passes, open dialogue on graduation requirement changes and subsidization of EMT courses.

This was followed by the approval of a project to put more attention on social identity and diversity in reading lists for classes. This project was approved with acclimation, and following this and a short update from the TCU Judiciary on the recognition of student groups, the body moved into its closed session.