Senators give committee updates, discuss supplementary funding

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to discuss supplementary funding requests and an appeal.

After TCU Senate President Gauri Seth opened the meeting, Vice President Shai Slotky asked for committee updates.

Diversity and Community Affairs Officer Benya Kraus, who chairs the Culture, Ethnicity, Community Affairs Committee, gave the floor to sophomore Senator and committee member Charlie Zhen. Zhen said he is looking into the possibility of requiring culture clubs to hold only one event and two open meetings to be re-recognized, rather than the current requirement of three events.

Junior Senator Anna Del Castillo talked about the petition to support Boston’s Trust Act, and International Community Senator Celeste Teng mentioned that the period to donate meal swipes for the Swipe It Forward initiative ends March 1.

Education Committee Chair Nesi Altaras said the committee is still taking nominations for Professor of the Year. Senate Historian Rati Srinivasan said that she, Altaras and Treasurer Chris Leaverton are working on modifying graduation requirements, but administrators are generally opposed.

Services Committee Chair Kevin Gleason announced that the committee is having trouble with the project to have Hodgdon Food-on-the-Run and Pax et Lox Glatt Kosher Deli utilize reusable containers because of pricing. Sophomore Senator Malachy Donovan said they are looking for feedback about the printer in the Mayer Campus Center so that they can consider placement in other locations on campus. Additionally, Parliamentarian Adam Rapfogel is looking for feedback about Tufts’ shuttle services.

Administration and Policy Committee Chair Sylvia Ofoma said the committee is looking into Counseling and Mental Health Services’ policies, as well as the tobacco-free campus initiative.

LGBTQ+ Community Senator Parker Breza announced that students can now change their names on SIS and other online portals, so they will be referred to by their preferred name.

Leaverton then took the floor to discuss supplementary funding requests.

Tufts Students for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) requested funding for a speaker event with an abortion provider. The Allocations Board (ALBO) took out funding for posters, and the recommendation passed by acclamation.

Students for Justice in Palestine asked for funding to attend a conference, a speaker event with Palestinian feminist Suad Amiry, and registration for the 1 for 3 Walk, a fundraising event. ALBO took out funding for the 1 for 3 Walk because the Student Activity Fee is not meant to go towards donations.

The Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services (ALLIES) requested funding to attend a conflict resolution simulation. ALBO funded it in full and the recommendation passed by acclamation.

European Students’ Association asked for funding for a European Union Ambassador to the United Nations speaker event and ALBO funded it in full. The recommendation passed by acclamation.

ENVY Tufts then came in to appeal its funding recommendation. They were previously funded for a competition that they did not end up attending, so they came back to Senate to request funding for a different competition. However, the previous competition’s funds were still in ENVY’s account, so ENVY subtracted that money from the cost of the new competition.

ENVY appealed the personal contribution of $15 per person for three days of competition. After multiple debate sessions, a personal contribution of $15 per person for two days instead of three passed in a vote of 18 for, 12 against and one abstention. During the debate, senators mainly discussed the financial burden of the personal contribution and members’ ability to access the Student Support Fund for aid.

Later, TURBO requested money for a break dancing competition. ALBO funded it in full and its recommendation passed in a vote of 28 for, one against and three abstentions.

Tufts Amnesty International requested funding for lodging and transportation for a conference that they were unable to get funding for from the Institute for Global Leadership. ALBO put in a personal contribution and its recommendation passed in a vote of 28 for, two against and two abstentions.

Hong Kong Student Association requested funding for a culture show, and Art History Society requested funding for its subgroup Currents Magazine. ALBO funded both requests in full, and their recommendations passed by acclamation.

The last part of the meeting was an update from the Committee on Student Life Co-Chair Tafari Duncan, who said the committee is still reviewing Greek life and is looking into altering the language of one of the university’s social policies. Additionally, he announced that Provost David Harris is forming a search committee for a new Chief Diversity Officer.

The meeting then adjourned.

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