TCU Senate discusses supplementary funding requests, appeals

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

After TCU Senate President Gauri Seth opened the meeting, Vice President Shai Slotky then took the floor to ask for committee updates and general announcements.

There was nothing new from the Administration & Policy and Services Committees, according to their chairs Sylvia Ofoma and Kevin Gleason, respectively. Education Committee Chair Nesi Altaras said that the committee is selecting Professor of the Year, while Student Outreach Committee Chair Jacqueline Chen said they are working on a catalog of all of the Senators’ projects.

Culture, Ethnicity, Community Affairs (CECA) Committee Chair Benya Kraus said that she and a few other members of CECA are looking into more ways to institutionalize Indigenous People’s Day and promote outreach to indigenous youth and community. KrausTCU Senate’s diversity and community affairs officer, also said that the search for a new Chief Diversity Officer is ongoing and that the Senate is looking for student input.

Senator Charlie Zhen said that the TCU Judiciary has sent out an email to culture clubs asking for feedback on changing the requirement that they hold three events to be re-recognized. Instead, the proposed rule would require one event and two open meetings. Zhen, a sophomore, said that the Committee on Student Life (CSL) could change this rule to take effect next year, so that the Class of 2021 would have more accessibility to more clubs.

Kraus then mentioned that the Student Life Review Committee had held a discussion about envisioning ideal social life at Tufts, as well as potential problems that could prevent these goals from being realized.

Seth announced that the Dean of Student Affairs office is interviewing candidates for the position of Associate Director of Housing Operations, who will also oversee off-campus housing issues.

Next, TCU Senate Parliamentarian Adam Rapfogel said that he met with the individuals in charge of the campus shuttle service and discussed possible improvements, as well as trying to enhance the Tufts Mobile app.

Senator Pedro Lazo-Rivera, a first-year, said that Tufts is offering an opportunity for graduating seniors to intern in research administration, and depending on performance, the individual selected would be given an offer to be hired.

Finally, Senator Malachy Donovan said that he is working with the Elections Commission to revamp the voting process for next year and is looking into making an app with the goal of increasing voter turnout for Senate elections.

The floor then went to TCU Senate Treasurer Chris Leaverton for supplementary funding requests.

Before an appeal request from mime troupe Hype Mimez, the body heard two standard requests.

Sarabande Dance Ensemble asked for money due to an increase in the rental costs of Cohen Auditorium for its show later this semester, and the Allocations Board (ALBO) recommendation matched their request. The recommendation then passed in the body.

Tufts Democrats wanted funding to buy chicken wings for a West Wing viewing party, and since the Treasury does not fund food that is used as an incentive to encourage attendance, ALBO recommended no funding. The recommendation was objected to, and there was a very quick debate, after which the recommendation passed.

Following that, members of Hype Mimez came in to appeal their request, which ALBO voted not to fund. They wanted funding to rent the Oberon Theater in Cambridge for a performance on May 17ALBO had previously chosen not to fund the event in part because the student activity fee is intended to pay for events that are accessible to all students. Because the event is during senior week, many Tufts students would not be able to attend since they would not be on campus after the university closes.

The body then moved into a debate after presentations from the group and from ALBO. Senators discussed how many students would be able to attend the event and whether it is different from a conference that only a few members of the club can go to or a performance at another university. Additionally, they discussed that the Treasury Procedures Manual does not allow events to be funded after the end of the school year. Eventually, the ALBO recommendation not to fund the event passed by a vote of 15 for and 11 against.

After the appeal, there were five more requests. The first was from Taiwanese Association of Students at Tufts to hold a networking event with alumni. ALBO recommended cutting several costs associated with the event, and its recommendation passed.

Next, Tufts Animal Welfare asked for funds for an animal fair on the Academic Quad. ALBO reduced the cost of posters and its recommendation passed

The next request was from BlackOut for a step competition at the State University of New York, Binghamton. The group’s competition changed locations, so they needed new funding. After ALBO factored in personal contributions, their recommendation for less funding than requested was objected to.

The body moved into debate over whether it was consistent to reduce the personal contribution for ENVY from last week but not do the same for BlackOut. Ultimately, the ALBO recommendation passed in a vote of 19 for and seven against.

Then, the breakdance group TURBO asked for money for changing the venue of TURBOMania at Tufts, and ALBO funded this in full. The recommendation passed.

Finally, the Math Society requested funding for a trip to the National Museum of Mathematics in New York, N.Y. ALBO put in personal contributions, and its recommendation passed in the body.

After announcements from Leaverton, the meeting adjourned.

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