Candidates for Senate, Judiciary pitch platforms at ECOM forum

Students running to be Tufts Community Union (TCU) Class of 2021 Senators, First-Generation Community Senator and TCU Judiciary members detailed their platforms at last night’s TCU Candidates’ Forum, held in Barnum 008 by TCU Elections Commission (ECOM).

The forum was held before today’s TCU elections, during which students will be able to vote all day using a new medium called VOATZ, according to ECOM Historian Emily Kibbe.

VOATZ can be accessed through an app on phones or through a link, making the voting process easier, especially after a low turnout last year, Kibbe said. There will also be a table in the Mayer Campus Center today allowing students to vote.

A total of 28 students spoke at the the forum, which started with the three candidates for the new First-Generation Community Senator position: sophomore Samuel Joseph, and first-years Mohammed Emun and Isaac Kim. All three candidates discussed their backgrounds as first-generation students and their desires to help other students on campus with similar background feel as they belong and have a voice.

“Being a low-income first-gen student myself, I can really relate [to] and understand a lot of the problems that other first gen students are really going through on our campus,” Emun said. “Our struggles can be vast and at times it may seem that the whole world is against us, but I just want to let you guys know I’m here for you.”

Next, there was a panel for the five candidates running for the Judiciary, including first-years Taylor Lewis, Thomas Chang-Davidson and Nina Chukwura, and sophomores Boyce Myers and Joseph Peters. There are two open spots on the Judiciary.

The candidates talked about how, if elected, they would advocate for fairness and equality among Tufts organizations and groups.

Peters discussed how he planned to allow students to have a stronger role in Tufts policy making and laws, if elected.

“The Judiciary’s job is also to be the guardian of the Tufts Constitution,” Peters said. “So what I’d like to see with that is … the idea of making the Tufts Constitution amendable, allowing students to have a larger say in how the school is run and the laws that govern them.”

Myers agreed, saying students should more familiar with how judiciary works.

“Students should be aware of the determination process in order to appeal for their clubs and positions,” Myers said.

The candidates also addressed the measures they would take to open communication between the Judiciary, TCU Senate and Tufts administrators.

Finally, the forum concluded with a two-part panel of the 20 first-year candidates running for the seven open positions in Senate. The candidates covered a variety of platforms, particularly highlighting issues such as financial aid, lack of diversity, challenges facing minority groups and campus social life.

Voting is currently open on VOATZ, and will close at 11:59 this evening.