TCU Senate discusses upcoming town hall, potential projects

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room last night to discuss the upcoming town hall on social spaces along with general updates. The body also heard a presentation from Career Center Executive Director Greg Victory.

After a presentation on networking strategies, Victory discussed the success of Career Center initiatives, such as replacing Jumbo Jobs with the more user-friendly Handshake, making students more aware of resources and holding career fairs that represent a wider variety of organizations. He then opened the discussion to ask senators for suggestions about how to improve the Career Center and better incorporate student input.

Outreach Committee Chair and Asian-American Community Senator Charlie Zhen suggested a first-year career fair for on-campus and off-campus jobs, along with increased collaboration with First-Year Advisors and Community Development Advisors on career-related events. TCU President Benya Kraus proposed hosting a career fair in collaboration with Tufts faculty to strengthen departmental and faculty partnerships. Parliamentarian Adam Rapfogel brought up that the deadline to get a Career Center stipend for an unpaid internship is very early, and Victory responded that the center has looked into fixing that issue.

TCU Treasurer Emily Sim then opened discussion on student funding requests. The body approved supplementary funding requests for GlobeMed at Tufts, Tufts Quidditch, Relay for Life, Sino-US Relations Group Engagement (SURGE) and Peace Action Chapter at Tufts.

TCU Diversity & Community Affairs Officer Shannon Lee then announced that the resolution on gender-neutral bathrooms, the first of the semester, is in the works.

TCU Vice President Anna Del Castillo spoke about participating in the President’s Council, which advises University President Anthony Monaco.

Class of 2020 Senator Kevin Gleason spoke about meeting with Associate Director for Housing Operations Matthew Austin about off-campus housing. Gleason said he and Austin discussed fixing the outdated off-campus housing website and hosting an off-campus housing seminar about landlord rights, city rules and ordinances, as well as other topics. Gleason also said that hiring an administrator to oversee off-campus housing continues to be a priority to the Office of Residential Life and Learning (ResLife), and that according to Austin, this position will be filled by January.

Committee chairs then provided updates. Services Committee Chair and junior Malachy Donovan announced that Turkey Shuttle signups will be released soon. Del Castillo, a senior, brought up the possibility of Lyft vouchers replacing the Turkey Shuttle to accommodate students traveling at a wider range of times. Del Castillo said that this will not be implemented for this round of Turkey Shuttles, but that it is planned to be available for later breaks.

Education Committee Chair and sophomore Phil Miller announced several potential projects, including the exploration of a Spanish minor for School of Arts and Sciences students and an evaluation of how departmental funding is allocated.

Zhen, a junior, brought up the idea of increasing opportunities for Senate to have more personal interactions with students and clubs outside of funding requests. Trustee Representative and sophomore Kristen Moran, who is a Daily columnist, also discussed outreach, introducing the idea of a “Senator of the Week” initiative to help students get to know senators as people.

Kraus, a senior, gave updates about the Administration & Policy Committee in the absence of Committee Chair Jamie Neikrie. Kraus said that the committee is working with Moran to brand projects related to physical and social space.

Kraus then discussed the upcoming Senate town hall that will be held on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Alumnae Lounge. According to Kraus, the town hall is intended to discuss social spaces and help form a vision for Capen Village, a new themed housing project. Kraus said that the town hall is open to the public and will include a panel to discuss residential life, sustainability and social inequities.

Kraus then brought up the Brown and Blueprint initiative, that will launch listening sessions with clubs to better understand how they interact with physical spaces and how they build communities with social space. Kraus said that the final product of the initiative will be a report documenting all campus groups’ space needs and space inequities. Also, she announced that the elections for three Class of 2018 Senators and an LGBTQ+ Community Senator will be on Nov. 6.

Finally, Kraus added that she and Del Castillo met with President Monaco this week and discussed the budgeting process for campus space development.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that there was one Class of 2018 Senator opening. However, there are three Class of 2018 Senator openings. The article has been updated online to reflect this change. The Daily regrets this error.

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