TCU Senate approves funding requests, discusses potential projects

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met Monday night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to discuss funding requests and some ideas for new projects.

TCU President Benya Kraus opened the meeting, mentioning that the Indigenous People’s Day Celebration held prior to the meeting was the result of Senate efforts. Kraus also announced that Associate Director of Housing Operations Matt Austin wants senators to attend a focus group about the housing lottery this Wednesday during open block.

Kraus then introduced a topic from TCU Vice President Anna Del Castillo’s section; Dean of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon wants to include sophomore senators in a focus group designed to address life as a sophomore at Tufts. The group would focus on decisions sophomores must make like housing for junior and senior years and discussing if the sophomore class often does not get sufficient support from administration. 

TCU Treasurer Emily Sim then opened discussion about funding requests from various student organizations that had been addressed in a recent Allocations Board (ALBO) meeting. The body approved funding requests from Tufts Enchanted A Cappella, Students for Justice in Palestine, Tufts Ballroom, Computer Science Exchange, TURBO and Amnesty International.

As there have not yet been any resolutions proposed, Kraus encouraged senators to think about possible projects to work on and suggested some areas of focus. Kraus said that many student groups are working on improving sexual consent education, for which Senate could be an advocate. Kraus then brought up the possibility of working on a gender inclusive bathroom resolution, citing the recent confusion at Carmichael Hall as an example of why this issue is important to address.

The body then heard announcements about ongoing projects.

TCU Historian Jacqueline Chen asked senators to continue working on outreach for the Swipe It Forward initiative, which allows students to donate and request meals, because the meal bank is running low. Senators were encouraged to help table and collect meal donations before the Oct. 31 deadline to donate meals.

TCU Parliamentarian Adam Rapfogel asked the body to suggest ideas for improvement to the Tufts Mobile app, which Tufts Technology Services is also working on improving.

Outreach Committee Chair Charlie Zhen brought up concerns voiced by students about the inconvenient nature of the Asian American Center structure as a house and a center, and tied this into the focus on changing social space on campus.

Kraus then elaborated on the topic of restructuring social space on campus and listed new locations that will soon be available for student organizations to reserve and use for social events. Kraus mentioned that Harleston Hall, Hodgdon Hall, Hill Hall and Carmichael Hall will have spaces available for booking and use starting Oct. 13. Curtis Hall, the Baronian Field House and the Tufts Administration Building (TAB) will be open for use starting Oct. 31. The Lewis Hall common room will be available for booking in December and will be available for use during the spring semester. Kraus emphasized that there are many new spaces available for events and that upgrades to the spaces, such as new furniture, will happen over the next two semesters.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed the Rabb Room as one of the newly available locations. Instead, the Tufts Administration Building is a new location available for booking. The Daily regrets this error.