TCU Senate debates on late night dining funding, new equipment for Crafts Center

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met Sunday night to discuss several supplementary funding requests and project updates.

TCU Senate President Gauri Seth opened the meeting, announcing that it was the second-to-last of the semester and quickly recognizing Women’s Community Senator Walae Hayek for her work in getting tampon dispensers in nearly all women’s bathrooms on campus.

Hayek, a junior, took the floor to describe her work, saying that while originally the project was limited to the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center, Tisch Library, Mayer Campus Center, Carmichael Dining Center, Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center and Dowling Hall, over the past year she had expanded the coverage to almost all women’s bathrooms on campus.

TCU Senate Vice President Shai Slotky then took the floor to ask for committee updates. Diversity and Community Affairs (DCA) Officer and Chair of the Culture, Ethnicity and Community Affairs committee (CECA) Benya Kraus announced that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been halted, which is a major victory for those who have been fighting its construction at Standing Rock, N.D.. She said that CECA is making designs for t-shirts to screen-print and sell to raise money for the Standing Rock community.

Next, TCU Senate Treasurer Chris Leaverton took the floor to go through supplementary funding requests.

Anime Brigade asked for funding for tickets to a conference in Boston, and the Allocations Board (ALBO) reduced the number of students who would be funded. The ALBO recommendation passed with one abstention.

The Thai Students Association wanted to bring in massage therapists to teach students how to massage on Friday in a space in the Campus Center, and the ALBO recommendation matched the requested funding. It passed by acclamation.

Next, Tufts Enigma requested money for renting out Tamper Cafe for a symposium, and ALBO matched the requested amount. However, on the floor, the request went to debate because there was question over the necessity of renting out Tamper over other possibilities on campus. Engima had already rented out 574 Boston Ave. the previous year, and they felt that Tamper would provide more of a preprofessional environment, but some senators were skeptical. However, the ALBO recommendation still passed in a vote of 13-9-2.

The next request came from Tufts University Television, who asked for several new pieces of equipment, and ALBO matched their request. After explanations of each item, the ALBO recommendation passed by acclamation.

Love146 requested a speaker honorarium for Dr. Sandi Pierce on Dec. 11 to talk about indigenous issues in relation to Standing Rock, and the ALBO recommendation matched the funding request. It passed with one abstention.

The next request was from the Pan-Asian Council for a formal to be held at Breed Memorial Hall, asking for funding for the space reservation, decorations and food. ALBO matched this amount, and their recommendation passed with three abstentions.

Next was a request from the Crafts Center for new equipment after a safety inspection deemed the center unsafe. The new equipment would remedy these issues, such as improving the air quality, and the ALBO recommendation matched the funding request. It passed by acclamation.

The final request was from the TCU Senate itself for Late Night Dining funding, because without supplementary funding, Late Night Dining will be either cut short a few weekends before the end of school or not occur as frequently next semester. Senate only pays for a third of the cost of the program, as the rest comes from the Office of the President and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

The ALBO recommendation matched the funding requested, but there was a debate on the floor over whether Senate or the administration should pay. However, since the primary issue of the need for extra money for security and cleaning stemmed from intoxicated students’ behaviors, many senators saw it as Senate’s responsibility to try to take some accountability through funding. Ultimately, ALBO’s recommendation passed in a vote of 20-4-0.

Next, the TCU Judiciary gave their weekly update in which they announced the recognition of several student groups, and the Committee on Student Life (CSL) also talked about weekly updates in which they said they approved the Judiciary’s bylaw changes and were still working on issues surrounding Greek life.

The final part of the meeting was to discuss project updates from various senators. Senator Charlie Zhen talked about trying to get a Community Senator seat for first-generation students. Senator Cecilia Rodriguez Mora discussed creation of an electoral studies minor, while Senator Olive Baerde discussed her app, “Buddy,” and how it goes beyond cuddling and can be used for just forming connections, such as a study group, finding people to do activities with or finding people who are sitting alone at dining halls. The last project update was from Seth and Slotky, who said that if students want to be involved in focus groups for amnesty or judicial policies, they can contact Seth directly.