TCU Senate hears funding requests, receives updates from trustee representatives

The Tufts Community Union Senate convenes in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose room on Sept. 30. Julia McDowell / The Tufts Daily

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met Sunday night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to hear supplementary funding requests, an Allocations Board (ALBO) appeal, project updates and updates from Trustee Representatives, according to Senate’s meeting minutes.

TCU Treasurer Izzy Ma, a sophomore, began the meeting by introducing a funding appeal from the Korean Students Association (KSA). The student group was appealing the prior ALBO recommendation to not fund the KSA request, instead hoping to receive $1,056 from the Senate.

According to documents provided to the Daily, KSA appealed for $1,056 to cover the costs of a kimchi-making event with families in the community who have Korean adoptees as part of its Big Brothers Big Sisters program, as well as funds to cover their intramural soccer team.

Members of ALBO and the Senate body, however, argued that the allocation of funds to KSA would have been an unfair and irresponsible allocation of TCU funds.

ALBO’s sentiment behind the $0 was that KSA is an organization whose budget is already 70% food, and requesting an extra $1000 seemed fiscally irresponsible,” TCU Historian Rebeca Becdach told the Daily in an electronic message. “Another part of the KSA appeal was soccer supplies for their KSA intramural soccer team. ALBO voted to zero out those line items because it is not fiscally sustainable to fund soccer teams for student organizations, considering we give $150,000 to club sports and Tufts has an intramural soccer league, and they did not see those costs as essential to KSA’s mission.”

After a close vote, the body stood by the initial ALBO recommendation and rejected the appeal.

The body then approved supplementary funding requests for the following groups: $350 to Tufts Engineers without Borders for access to online resources, $56 to TuftScope for access to online resources, $2,676 to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for National SJP Conference costs, $520 to Tufts Animal Welfare to cover an updated FY19 budget request and $3,256 to TEDx Tufts to send one representative to a TED conference for the licensing of the TEDx chapter.

The body voted to decline the $623 funding request from Another Option for increased transportation for an event, citing the lack of necessity for the proposed increased transportation. 

The TCU Senate body allocated $2,550 to itself to cover the costs of the Turkey Shuttle, a shuttle service that transports students to Boston Logan International Airport and South Station for Thanksgiving, as well as to replenish its discretionary fund for future projects.

In addition to the supplementary funding requests, the body allocated significant amounts of money to several Tufts University Social Collective (TUSC) groups. Among them, the body matched ALBO’s recommendation to approve the following: $14,500 to TUSC Concert Board for Spring Fling expenses including facilities cost increases, loss in ticket sales and additional water; $16,000 to TUSC Entertainment Board for Spring Fling supplies including water, food, activities, lowering ticket costs and more buses; and $20,000 to TUSC Senior Class Council for a variety of Senior Week events including Senior Gala, Lucky Strike, Lawn on D and Last Night on the Hill.

Following the funding allocations, the body moved to hear reports and updates from various TCU Senate members.

TCU Vice President Adam Rapfogel, a senior, opened the floor to Trustee Representatives Connor Goggins and Noah Weinflash for an update from his meeting with the board, the minutes indicate.

Goggins, a sophomore, met with the Administration and Finance Committee. He shared that the administration believes that talks with dining workers are going well, that up to 400 beds have been added to campus from fiscal year 2017 to FY19 and that class size should stay the same as the Class of 2022 in upcoming years.

Weinflash, a senior, shared that he discussed community relations with members of the board, emphasizing that there have been more sexual assault reports in recent months as discussed during his meeting.

TCU Parliamentarian Sharif Hamidi, a sophomore, then introduced a new upcoming resolution to the body. The resolution is titled “A Resolution Calling on the Tufts University Board of Trustees to Prioritize the Construction of a High-Capacity Residence Hall,” authored by Rapfogel, TCU President Jacqueline Chen, Class of 2019 Senators Jonah O’Mara Schwartz and Shane Woolley, who is also a leader in Tufts Housing League.

Finally, TCU Diversity & Community Affairs Officer Grant Gebetsberger, a sophomore, ended the meeting by urging members of the body and the greater Tufts community to vote in the upcoming elections.