TCU Senate discusses tobacco-free campus proposal, supplementary funding requests

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to discuss supplementary funding requests and hear a proposal to make Tufts a tobacco-free campus.

The first order of business was a proposal for a tobacco-free campus. It was brought forward by a group of community health majors, most of whom were seniors, who took on this initiative at the end of their Introduction to Community Health class in their freshman year.

The policy has already been supported tentatively by some Tufts administrators, according to the students who proposed the policy. However, it will not be enacted until there is a thorough amount of information on the potential challenges for its implementation, how it should be implemented and possible resources that could be utilized. They also raised questions about how various student groups, particularly LGBTQ students and socioeconomically-disadvantaged students, would be affected.

The policy would not include direct repercussions for violators, unless an individual is consistently not adhering, they said. Another aim of the policy is to provide cessation assistance at Tufts University Health Service for people looking to quit smoking. The policy would apply to Tufts faculty and staff as well as students, they said.

The group came to the meeting to ask for input on these issues and for ways to promote and enforce the policy. There were several questions from the body about how research on the issue had been conducted, how it would affect certain marginalized groups and various other concerns.

Following this, TCU Senate Treasurer Chris Leaverton took the floor to discuss supplementary funding requests. Requests were discussed from the Queer Students Association for a speaker honorarium to hold a workshop on polyamory and collective living, the International Club to attend the Third Culture Kids conference at Clark University, the Chinese Students Association to reserve Breed Memorial Hall for a Lunar New Year Gala, the National Society of Black Engineers for an annual convention in Kansas CityAmnesty International for an annual Amnesty International Human Rights Conference and the Taiwanese Association of Students at Tufts for an annual conference at New York University.

The Allocations Board (ALBO) recommendations passed for all of these except for Amnesty International because of a disagreement over the amount that each member should pay for their personal contributions. Originally, it was slated at $5 per person because they were only asking for two items, but this was met with objection, so a new contribution of $10 per person was moved and passed.

Leaverton, a sophomore, then announced that all signatories for student groups must submit budgets in Microsoft Excel format by Feb. 17 at 5 p.m., using their Tufts email addresses.

TCU Senate Vice President Shai Slotky then took the floor to announce that the Strategic Planning Committee has an opening and is continuing to meet. He then asked for other committee updates.

The Services Committee is trying to have Oath Craft Pizza accept JumboCash and the Education Committee just released Professor of the Year nominations.

The Cultural, Ethnicity, Community Affairs (CECA) Committee is continuing work on an alumni network directory for students of color, first-generation students and other groups, according to Diversity and Community Affairs Officer Benya Kraus.

CECA is also working on a sexual reproductive health rights bill that will explain and publicize the rights that students have at Tufts Health Service, the possibility of bystander intervention training for residential advisors, t-shirt sales to support water protectors at Standing Rock and a resolution to support the Trust Act. The last day to purchase shirts is Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. in the Mayer Campus Center, Kraus said.

The Swipe it Forward meal bank initiative, which began this semester, has seen 635 meals donated and 179 meals requested, according to first-year senator Shannon Lee. The deadline to donate is March 1.

Kraus, a junior, then talked about two opportunities for students to give input to the Student Life Review Committee on Thursday. One is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Campus Center, where students can post about their experiences with social life on a wall, while another is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Interfaith Center, where there will be a forum to discuss student life.

Finally, a representative from the Committee on Student Life (CSL) announced that the CSL is preparing to hear a few cases regarding Greek life organizations. Additionally, the Wendell Phillips Award process is moving on to the next stage.

The meeting then adjourned.

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