TCU Senate calls on university to achieve gender parity in leadership

The TCU Senate convenes in the Sophia Gordon Multi-Purpose room on Sept. 30, 2018. Julia McDowell / The Tufts Daily

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met yesterday afternoon in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to amend TCU Senate bylaws and hear a resolution calling on the administration to achieve gender parity among leadership.

TCU Senate Parliamentarian Sharif Hamidi, a sophomore, began the meeting by introducing a Senate bylaw change. The proposed change would delay hearing resolutions or treasury appeals if they are on the day of or the evening of a religious or cultural holiday. The change addresses an issue in the Senate’s regulations that has previously caused tension with student groups.

According to the text of the bylaw change presented during the meeting, “At least five members of the Tufts undergraduate community may submit a petition to the TCU Senate Executive Board to postpone the relevant agenda item to the next Senate meeting,” allowing student groups and members of the Senate to be better prepared for their interactions.  

After a brief question-and-answer period, the body voted to pass the bylaw change by a unanimous vote.

Hamidi then introduced a resolution to the body for vote.

The resolution, titled “A Resolution Calling on Tufts University to Achieve Gender Parity in University Leadership,” is a response to The Eos Foundation’s recent findings that Tufts ranks 87th in gender parity among nearly 100 Massachusetts-based schools and is categorized as “Needs urgent attention” in terms of achieving gender parity in leadership positions.  

In presenting the resolution, authors Grant Gebetsberger and Rebeca Becdach, both sophomores, highlighted the need for Tufts to address its leadership issues, so that it can better represent the student body.

“I think [the resolution] says it all … Tufts University is over 50 percent women, and that means that the student body is not represented fully by its leadership,” Becdach said. “I think it’s worth recognizing that Tufts’ new provost is definitely a step in the right direction, but more steps need to be taken.”

Gebetsberger added that the resolution is a beginning step to rectify student demands.

“I was surprised when the report came out about Tufts last semester, and I felt it’d be really important to do something to show the administration that that is something the student body cares about,” he said. “We do see it as an issue, and we do recognize it as a problem that needs to be addressed and fixed going forward.”

After several alterations to the resolution, the body voted to pass the resolution 28–0–0.  

Finally, Hamidi shared that the body will hear a resolution on integrating voter registration into SIS next week.

Next, TCU Senate Vice President Adam Rapfogel, a senior, shared an update on the S.L.U.S.H. Fund, a $10,000 student fund available for any student who wants to host an event.

Rapfogel encouraged members of the Tufts community to apply, explaining that they could find the application through the TCU Senate Facebook page or by reaching out to any TCU Senator.

TCU Treasurer Izzy Ma, a sophomore, then redirected the Senate to hear supplementary funding requests from student groups, all of which were approved fully or partially by the TCU Senate Allocations Board (ALBO).

The Observer received $1,050 for unforeseen price increases in their printing costs.  

Tufts Asian Student Coalition (TASC) received $1,460 in funding for guest speaker Lily Cho, an associate professor at York University.

Tufts Housing League received $553 for a New Group Budget for fiscal year 2019, which includes funding for their GIM, a panel event and advertising.

Japanese Culture Club (JCC) received $1,313 to cover its Day of Remembrance event costs and to fund guest speakers Antonia Glenn, her mother and Elena Creek.

GlobeMed’s $1,640 funding request for four members of the group to attend a Global health equity conference in Chicago, IL, was rejected, but the body decided to allocate some of the money. While ALBO recommended allocating only $528, the body voted to fund $1,201 of GlobeMed’s initial request instead.

Tufts Psychology Society received $400 for a trivia night event.

ALLIES, a civil-military relations group, received $331 to cover costs for guest speaker Denny Meyer.

Vietnamese Students Club (VSC) was allocated $1,294 for a Vietnamese Empowerment Summit.

Pan-Afrikan Alliance received $1,305 for their new fiscal year 2019 New Group Budget, which includes “The Black Showcase,” an event focusing on showcasing black talent on Tufts’ campus, a semi-formal banquet/dance and a Black Women’s Brunch.

Finally, Senators shared various community center updates and general updates with the body.

The Senate then went into a closed session.


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