Senators give updates on ongoing projects, pass resolution for new language minors

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to discuss several supplementary funding requests, as well as a resolution calling for Spanish and French minors.

Senate initially planned to vote on a resolution calling for the abolition of Greek life at last night’s meeting. However, the resolution’s authors chose to postpone the vote and hold further dialogue on the issue, according to a statement by Senator Sylvia Ofoma, one of lead authors.

The meeting opened with representatives from the TCU Judiciary giving their monthly update. The Judiciary changed its bylaws again so that only one Judiciary member has to come to the Senate meeting per month instead of the entire group, and made the language for competition group recognition stronger such that to be defined as one, their mission in their constitution must be to compete.

The Judiciary also modified the requirements for culture groups so that in order to maintain recognition, they need to have one large public event and two open meetings, in contrast to the previous requirement of three public events. Sophomore Senator Charlie Zhen recently wrote an article in the Tufts Observer advocating for the three-event rule to be changed.

TCU Senate President Gauri Seth then took the floor to announce that next week’s meeting will be very long, as there would be updates on the state of the TCU, the Treasury and Diversity and Community Affairs, two potential resolutions, votes on budgets for all student groups for the next fiscal year and a closed session.

Next, TCU Senate Vice President Shai Slotky took the floor to announce that the strategic plan for Senate will be wrapped up and presented during an internal meeting after the election of next year’s senate body. He then asked for committee updates from the various chairs.

Student Outreach Committee Chair and Asian American Community Senator Jacqueline Chen said that they are still working on cataloging Senatorss’ projects.

Both Services Committee Chair Kevin Gleason and Administration and Policy Committee Chair Sylvia Ofoma said that they do not have many updates this week. Services is continuing to work on Jumbocash expansion, while Administration and Policy is working with Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life on offering courses related to active citizenship.

Culture, Ethnicity, Community Affairs (CECA) Committee Chair Benya Kraus then gave a preview on the potential resolutions next week, both of which are a culmination of CECA’s work throughout the semester. In particular, CECA members have worked with the Consent Culture Network to reach out to as many students as possible and wish to maintain that network throughout the year. Additionally, they are working to explain the health and reproductive services offered by Health Service.

Kraus and other CECA members also announced that a peer leader program during orientation week will be implemented starting this year. Additionally, Tufts does not yet support the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act, but administrators are willing to meet again with senators once more research has been done for the resolution.

The addition of the new First Generation Community Senator position will be voted on next week now that there are enough signatures on the petition, according to CECA members. Finally, there is a survey for the indigenous studies minor being sent out soon to show student support for the initiative.

In place of Education Committee Chair Nesi Altaras, TCU Senate Historian and committee member Rati Srinivasan announced that the Professor of the Year is Diren Pamuk-Turner from the Department of Chemistry. The committee will also implement a textbook exchange in the Mayer Campus Center from May 1 – 8, which will be a physical equivalent of the Tufts Textbook Exchange Facebook group. It aims to provide a physical place for students to store their books and sell them.

Other updates from the body included continued work on club sports and the modified result of a resolution last semester allowing students to reschedule tests if they have three or more in a 48-hour period. As a temporary solution, instead of applying to tests, the policy would apply only to final exams.

Next, Parliamentarian Adam Rapfogel took the floor to introduce a resolution written by Treasurer Chris Leaverton calling on Tufts to offer French and Spanish minors for students in the School of Arts and Sciences, since they are already offered for School of Engineering students. There were not many questions, and the resolution passed by by acclamation.

The final order of business was several supplementary funding requests from Best Buddies, Sino-U.S. Relations Group Engagement (SURGE), Applejam, African Student Organization, Tufts Financial Group, ENVY, Armenian Students’ Association, Pre-Dental Society, Tufts Bhangra, African Dance Collective, Tufts Labor Coalition (TLC), Pan-African Alliance, Association of Multiracial People at Tufts, Queer Students Association, Vietnamese Students Club and South Asian Political Action Committee. Most of the Allocations Board (ALBO)’s recommendations for funding passed, except for ENVY and for TLC.

For ENVY, there was a debate over whether or not to cut the cost for hiring a videographer to record the group’s performance, and after three funding amounts were proposed, the body settled for funding half of the videographer’s price.

For TLC, there was a short debate about spending money on an event after the last day of classes, since the event would be on May 6 and 7, but this was quickly resolved and the ALBO recommendation passed.

The meeting then adjourned.

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