TCU Senate holds first regular meeting of the semester

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to provide committee updates, generate project ideas and announce various policy changes and the upcoming senate events.

TCU President Benya Kraus started the meeting, sharing a new timeline with the body for the special election to fill up seven open seats on the senate. Kraus, a senior, urged the body to encourage students to run for the seats. Kraus explained that the open seats are the following: four Class of 2019 senators, LGBTQ+ community senator, Latinx community senator and first-generation community senator. Kraus also shared with the body that the opening in first-generation community senator seat is a result of sophomore Isaac Kim’s resignation.

According to Kraus, a general information meeting for the election will take place on Jan. 23, a candidates forum will be on Jan. 29 and the election will be on Feb. 7. Kraus added that if the four class senator seats are not filled with juniors, the seats will open up for sophomores and then for first-years.

Kraus added that the senate hopes to hold more town hall meetings for the students on various topics including the restructuring of Mayer Campus Center, campus mental health and the role of the Group of Six on campus.

Kraus provided updates on administrative changes. According to KrausAssociate Director for Campus Life Ashley Austin is in the beginning stages of implementing “Presence” student engagement software. Kraus also shared that common areas in Carmichael Hall, Hodgdon Hall and Hill Hall are open for social events and are available for booking on the Space and Resource Reservation System.

TCU Vice President Anna Del Castillo then took the floor to announce committee assignments. Class of 2020 Senator Kevin Gleason and Class of 2021 Senator Janey Litvin have been appointed as the new co-chairs of the Services committee, replacing the former chair Class of 2019 Senator Malachy Donovan, who is abroad for the spring 2018 semester. There were no other notable changes in the committee membership.

Then the body took a 15-minute session to break up into committees to discuss their logistics and possible projects for the spring 2018 semester. The session was followed by committee updates, and the Culture, Ethnicity & Community Affairs Committee (CECA) shared with the body that the committee is working to introduce more career resources for international students on campus. There were no other notable updates from the other committees.

Next, TCU Treasurer Emily Sim took the floor to urge the senators to communicate with TCU-funded group leaders to make sure they secure the funding needed. Sim then shared with the body that Matt Callahan, who assumed the role of assistant director of recreation and club sports in October, left the university to serve on active duty. Sim added that a recent Tufts graduate, Andrew Bindelglass (LA ’17), will be the new point person for club sports.

Then the floor went to TCU Parliamentarian Adam Rapfogel, a junior, who announced that the body will discuss possible bylaw changes in regard to the upcoming special election. Rapfogel also announced that the body will hear a resolution, entitled “S. 18-1 A Resolution Calling For Tufts to Extend the Pass-Fail Deadline for All Students.”

Lastly, Diversity and Community Affairs Officer Shannon Lee took the floor to share with the body that, as a result of the resolution calling for the university to relocate Asian-American housing, the university has decided to move the Asian-American housing to Hillsides Apartments 110s, with plans to eventually relocate the housing to a wood-framed house. She also shared progress on a “first-gen center” that is slated to open for fall 2018, and the new pre-orientation program titled Building Economic and Academic Success at Tufts (BEAST).

Before the meeting adjourned, Kraus announced that Medford’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved the conversion of Tufts-owned wood-framed houses into dorms for the Capen Village project. Kraus also added that a few houses will be available in fall 2018.

Then the meeting adjourned.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article mischaracterized “Presence” student engagement software as online ticketing software. The article has been updated to reflect this change. The Daily regrets this error.