TCU Senate hears resolution calling for Tufts Dining to improve accessibility, inclusion

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

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met on Monday evening in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room to hear a resolution outlining several ways for Tufts Dining to improve accessibility and inclusion for the student body, in addition to several supplementary funding requests and an announcement by representatives from the Tufts Dining Action Coalition (TDAC).

The resolution, titled “S.19-3 A Resolution Providing a Roadmap for Future Improvements to Tufts Dining,” directed Tufts Dining to extend dining hours and introduce kosher and halal meat options at Dewick-MacPhie and Carmichael Dining Halls; increase uphill dining options, including the addition of a café in Laminan Lounge in the Olin Center; guarantee space availability for student groups; and convert the Swipe It Forward meal program to an opt-out rather than an opt-in program.

The resolution was authored by TCU President and senior Jacqueline Chen, Vice President Adam Rapfogel and Class of 2022 Senator Tim Leong, and was passed unanimously by the TCU Senate.

Rapfogel, a senior, noted the necessity of the resolution for the social life on campus.

“This [resolution] is the path forward for Tufts Dining to accomplish the things that we want to do,” Rapfogel said. “And Tufts Dining has been historically slow to responding to [TCU resolutions].”

The TCU Senate also heard updates from representatives of the TDAC on upcoming initiatives by the organization.

TDAC activist Georgia Kay emphasized the urgency for turnout at its next event, a picket in front of Carmichael on March 5 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“This is the thing to be at,” Kay, a first-year, said. “If you care at all, this is the event you show up to.”

The TCU Senate also heard a funding appeal from Tufts Ballroom Dance Team. Ballroom initially sought $2,025 to cover registration fees for its members at its upcoming competition at Harvard University on March 2–3.

Ballroom representative Graham Bright explained why his organization requested the total for the upcoming event.

“[Ballroom] is a very expensive sport to do,” Bright, a senior, said. “We’re trying to make this as accessible as possible within reason.”

However, TCU Senator Rabiya Ismail believed that the accessibility of participation in the club should be addressed differently.

“The club should be free if [they are] trying to be accessible,” Ismail, a first-year, said.

Rapfogel explained why Tufts Ballroom charges its members $40 dues.

“[TCU Senate] imposes the dues on them,” Rapfogel said. “That’s their personal contribution towards their costs.”

TCU Senator Karan Rai explained why Allocations Board (ALBO) recommended only $900 for Tufts Ballroom.

“The 20-person funding was for a fraction of the group,Rai, a senior, said. “It was reduced with financial sustainability in mind.”

After debate, TCU Senate voted to allocate $1,350 to Tufts Ballroom with 13 in favor, 10 opposed and two abstentions.

The TCU Senate also heard nine supplementary funding requests from various student groups.

According to an ALBO report, Tufts Turbo originally sought $4,050 in funding for three judges, an MC and DJ for Turbomania 2019, a community breakdance competition held in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room on April 20. ALBO only granted $3,950 of Turbo’s request, the report shows.

TCU Senate approved the ALBO-recommended total of $3,950 unanimously.

Women’s Club Volleyball submitted a request for $7,980 to cover travel and lodging costs for a national tournament in Denver, Colo. but was only recommended for $4,295, according to an ALBO report.

TCU Senate unanimously approved the ALBO-recommended total of $4,295.

ALBO recommended $800 for the Muslim Student Association in response to its request to cover to cover costs for speaker Donna Austin for an event that will be co-hosted with the Black Student Union on Feb. 23.

The TCU Senate approved the ALBO-recommended total of $800 with 24 in favor and one opposed.

The Russian Slavic Student Association sought $700 to fund performers at the Russian Music Festival on March 3, according to an ALBO report. It passed by 24–0–1.

ENVY, Tufts’ all-female step team, was approved by ALBO for $214 in transportation fees for a competition at Williams College, according to an ALBO reportTCU Senate voted unanimously to approve the ALBO-recommended total.

According to an ALBO report, Tufts Bhangra originally requested $6,107 for transportation and lodging costs for a competition in College Station, Texas but was only approved for $4,822 by ALBO. TCU Senate voted unanimously to approve the ALBO-recommended total.

Tufts Climate Action, a newly recognized student group, was recommended $200 by ALBO for its new budget, according to an ALBO report. TCU Senate voted to approve the ALBO-recommended total of $200 unanimously.

Tufts Debate Society originally requested $3,800 to fund its participation in a national tournament but was approved for $3,128, according to an ALBO reportTCU Senate approved the ALBO-recommended total of $3,128 with 21 in favor and four abstentions.

The Singaporean Students Association sought $750 to invite a speaker, Kent E. Calder, for its Bicentennial Event, according to Ismail. The amount was unanimously approved in full.

The TCU Senate then adjourned for the evening.


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