TCU Senate considers amendments to constitution

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate met to discuss supplementary funding requests and hear announcements from officers, committee chairs and members last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room.

TCU Parliamentarian Sharif Hamidi, a sophomore, announced two upcoming resolutions that the TCU Senate will hear on Sunday, March 10. 

According to Hamidi, the two resolutions scheduled for next week are titled “S. 19-5 A Resolution Calling for Tufts University to Explain their Complicity in Opioid Crisis, and Make More Transparent the Selection Processes for and Actions of Board Members and Advisors,” and “S. 19-6 A Resolution Calling for Systematic Increases in the Influence and Presence of Student Voice.”

Hamidi also announced two future resolutions still being developed, one of which will call on Tufts to implement a shadow grading system for first-semester first-year students, and the other which will call on Tufts to establish a carbon neutral endowment.

Hamidi also noted that several potential amendments to the TCU Constitution have been proposed, which could be listed on the ballot for the spring TCU election.

TCU President Jacqueline Chen and Vice President Adam Rapfogel, both seniors, explained the amendments that have been proposed so far. They include a change of election rules such that any Tufts student may run for TCU President, given that they pass a threshold of signatures to qualify, and the addition of a School of Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) senator, which Chen noted would give voting power to the existing SMFA representative.

Other additional proposed amendments include a name change for the position of TCU Community Representative to TCU Community Senator, support for an undergraduate voting member of the Board of Trustees, a requirement that the administration respond to all TCU resolutions, and requirements that the offices of TCU Historian and Outreach Committee Chair be filled by the same individual.

The TCU Senate also heard several supplementary funding requests.

Tufts Blockchain Club, a newly recognized club, sought $857 for its new group budget, but was recommended only $747 by the Allocations Board (ALBO). The ALBO recommendation of $747 passed with 25 senators in support and none opposed.

The Tufts Financial Group initially requested $3,975 for a networking trip to New York City, but was only recommended $3,498 by ALBO, according to its report. The ALBO-recommended total of $3,498 passed with 23 senators in favor, three opposed and two abstaining.

United for Immigrant Justice requested $1,939 to cover transportation costs for a conference on immigration reform in Charlotte, N.C., according to an ALBO report. The ALBO-recommended total of $1,584 passed by acclamation.

According to an ALBO report, Roots x SWAT requested $4,241 for registration, travel and lodging costs for the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in Houston, Texas. The ALBO recommendation of $3,574 was passed by acclamation.

According to an ALBO report, Ears for Peers originally sought $1,392 to cover costs for its retreat in Cape Cod but was only recommended $1,225 by ALBO. The ALBO-recommended total of $1,225 was passed by acclamation.

TCU Historian Rebeca Becdach, a sophomore, spoke about her meeting with a representative from the Tufts Student Fund.

“They reached out to us, wanting to see if we wanted to fundraise in a similar way,” Becdach said. “So we thought it was … a good idea to fundraise for the Student Support Fund.”

Before the TCU Senate adjourned, Senator Pedro Andre Lazo Rivera, a junior, mentioned his recent correspondence with students at the University of Florida, who seek to organize a national initiative in response to Title IX policy changes by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to Lazo Rivera, the University of Florida students seek to pass resolutions among student governments nationwide,  which would decry the changes to the Title IX policy announced by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in November 2018.  

Lazo-Rivera explained that he believed supporting the initiative would send a message.

“As students, we’re not okay with it,” Lazo-Rivera said.