Grant Gebetsberger, Izzy Ma, Mateo Gomez, Janey Litvin, Sharif Hamidi, Rebeca Becdach and Sarah Wiener were elected to fill the seven Class of 2021 Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate openings, according to Tufts Community Union Elections Commission (ECOM) Chair Klavs Takhtani.
Issac Kim will be the new First Generation (First-Gen) Community Representative, according to Takhtani. This is the first year the first-gen student community will have representation on Senate. All students were able to vote for this candidate.
Nina Chukwura and Taylor Lewis will fill the two vacancies on the Tufts Community Union Judiciary, according to Takhtani. This election was also open to all students.
Students used a new voting platform, Voatz, to cast a ballot for candidates online, via mobile app or in person, according to the ECOM website.
According to figures provided by Takhtani, 1391 people voted in the election, and 52 percent of voters were first-years.
“Voting turnout increased with the new software, and as we move forward Voatz will become even more integrated at Tufts,” Takhtani said. “This was perhaps the best campaigning I have seen from a class of candidates, and I am excited to see how student government becomes more prominent throughout the campus.”
Class of 2021 Senators
Gebetsberger said in his new role, he will work toward all communities having spaces on campus where they feel empowered and engaged.
“As a Senator, I hope to push for the creation of a First Generation House alongside championing other alternative social spaces on campus,” he said.
Ma said she wants to open up dialogue between the student body and Senate.
“I am thinking about creating an online form where students can submit their questions, comments and concerns,” she said in an electronic message. “By facilitating communication, I want every student to know that their voice is heard and that their opinions matter.”
First Generation Community Representative
Kim said he is excited to represent the first-gen college students community and that he wants to improve TCU Senate Education Committee Chair Phil Miller’s Textbook Exchange program.
“I [worked] a lot with Phil last year through Textbook Exchange, so I want to improve … the [user interface] and the database so people can actually search up textbooks,” he said. “Another thing I want to do is … [to] improve accessibility for textbooks for people on financial aid.”
Lewis, a first-year, said he will work to make the judiciary transparent and communicative with the student body.
“I think the clubs are one of most important things that are on campus … They are bedrock … of the student body and identity,” Lewis said. The Judiciary manages club recognition, re-recognition and makes sure clubs adhere to their constitution, according to its website.
Chukwura, a first-year, said she will keep things in check so that no individual person or group will have an unfair advantage in campus life.
“I have found that sometimes privilege goes unchecked in places like [Tufts]. Words and actions have impact and I think it is important that all people understand this,” she said. “I would love to have a hand in making sure there are even more spaces and clubs in order to support marginalized people on campus.”
Anar Kansara contributed reporting to this article.