TCU Senate votes to provide funding for late night dining, student groups

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to provide committee updates and hear several funding requests.

TCU President Benya Kraus opened the meeting, sharing an update on the ongoing special election cycle. Kraus said the candidates’ forum will take place tonight at 8 p.m. in Braker 001. Kraus said the election will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Kraus encouraged the body to publicize the event.

TCU Vice President Anna Del Castillo then took the floor to announce that Class of 2019 Senators Steven Honig and Jonah O’Mara Schwartz have been assigned to the Services Committee and the Administration and Policy (A&P) Committee, respectively. Del Castillo then opened the floor for the committee updates.

Education Committee Chair Phil Miller, a Class of 2020 Senator, shared with the body that the committee is reviewing cases for faculty promotions and tenures. A&P Committee Chair Jamie Neikrie, a Class of 2018 Senator, said that the Brown and Blueprint Initiative has received about 200 individual responses on its website. There were no significant updates from other committees, according to their chairs.

Next, TCU Treasurer Emily Sim, a junior, took the floor to introduce supplementary funding requests.

The body voted to match initial recommendations of the Allocations Board (ALBO) for the following groups: $744 to the European Student Association (ESA) and International Club‘s joint trip of twelve people to the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Feb. 23$540 in funding to the Thai Students Association (TSA) for their retreat to the Tufts Mountain Club (TMC) Loj and a trip to an event for Songkran, a Thai New Year’s celebration; $1,770 in funding to Society of Latinx Engineers & Scientists (SOLES) for their trip to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) regional conference and various other club events, and $60 to Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) for food for an upcoming event SEA is hosting.

Lastly, the Senate heard the ALBO’s recommendation to provide $3,000 in funding to the TCU Senate, for the facilities and security cost of Late Night Dining. Kraus explained that the Senate has been providing $6,000 in funding every year for late night dining, despite the nature of the program being a regular service operation rather than a temporal senate initiative. Kraus also added that the Senate has been asking the university to cover the cost, and that this is the first time the Senate is covering only half that cost.

After a brief debate phase, the body voted to match the ALBO’s initial recommendation to provide funding to TCU Senate for the operation of late night dining.

Sim then announced that the School of the Museum of Fine Arts’ (SMFA) student organizations will come under the TCU umbrella and that they will be approved as TCU-affiliated student organizations by the TCU Judiciary. According to Sim, student organizations at the SMFA will be considered as subgroups of the SMFA Student Government Association (SGA), and they will receive funding through the SGA.

Before the meeting adjourned, Kraus shared with the body that the demolition of a janitorial closet in Mayer Campus Center will take place this Friday, with plans to finish the construction of a gender-neutral bathroom during the coming spring break.