TCU Senate convenes for first meeting of the semester

The TCU senate convenes in the Sophia Gordon MultiPurpose room on Sept. 30, 2018. (Julia McDowell/The Tufts Daily)

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate held its first meeting of 2019 on Sunday night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to hear two funding requests and updates from the Executive Board. The Senate then convened in a closed session to discuss a proposed bylaw amendment regarding the hearing of resolutions on religious holidays, according to TCU Historian Rebecca Becdach.

The first funding request was an appeal by the Urban Planning Policy & Prosperity (UP3) organization, which sought funds for catering on Jan. 23 at an event cosponsored with the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning that will host Richard Rothstein, author of “The Color of Law.”

Shane Woolley, UP3 Treasurer and a senator for the Class of 2019, explained how the money would be spent.

“The event is at 6 p.m., and we’ll be serving food as people stream in and throughout the event,” Woolley said. “And the catering will be from Tufts.”

TCU Senator Klavs Takhtani, a member of the TCU Senate Allocations Board (ALBO), explained why the initial request of $250 was denied. Takhtani, a senior, elaborated that he no longer objected to the funding request.

The Senate then voted to approve the funding request of $250, which passed with 22 in favor, zero opposed and one abstention.

The second request was by Tufts Quidditch, who sought funding to cover their travel expenses to attend the US Quidditch Cup 12 in Round Rock, Texas. According to a report from ALBO, the Quidditch team originally sought $18,217.33 for transportation, housing and registration costs, but ALBO recommended only $8,016 by reducing the allotment for transportation.

Rabiya Ismail, TCU Class of 2022 senator and member of ALBO, explained how the reduction was reached.

“[Tufts Quidditch] came in with an itemized list of their expenses,” Ismail said. “They must choose hotels that are approved under the housing rate, so we only cut the transportation.”

Becdach explained the limitations on funding requests by student organizations.

“They have two requests per semester and three per year,” Becdach, a sophomore, said. “This is [Quidditch’s] last request, but sometimes exceptions are made for competition groups.”

The TCU Senate then voted 22–0, approving ALBO’s recommendation.

Aside from the funding requests, the Senate heard updates from the members of the Executive Board on ongoing developments. Vice President Adam Rapfogel announced the intention to begin actively promoting the Students Lifting Up the Spirit of the Herd (SLUSH) Fund.

“We’re shooting for a week from today for a hard launch,” Rapfogel, a senior, said.

TCU President Jacqueline Chen also praised the first event of the Senior Series, Karaoke Night, on Thursday as the beginning of a longstanding initiative for increased student life.

“Senate has been trying for years to get a pub on campus, and this was the first step towards that,” Chen said.

Rapfogel also announced the formation of a committee of TCU Senators and Judiciary members to hear requests for stipends for student leaders on campus. He explained that a committee of TCU Senators and Judiciary members would hear applications and help allocate funds.

Becdach also announced the upcoming elections, which include two seats in the Class of 2020, two seats in the Class of 2021 and the Latinx Community Representative.

After opening the floor for an open forum, the Senate then entered a closed session.