Disclaimer: Anton Shenk and Andres Borjas are both staff writers for The Tufts Daily. They were not involved in the writing or editing of this article.
The Tufts Elections Commission (ECOM) held elections for seats in the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate, Committee on Student Life (CSL) and Judiciary on Wednesday.
The seven available senate seats for the Class of 2022 were contested by nine candidates, including first-year Sam Vandermeulen and TCU Senator Melia Harlan.
TCU Senators Rabiya Ismail, Iyra Chandra, Andrew Kofsky, Tim Leong and Deepen Goradia were re-elected for the Class of 2022.
Kofsky, upon learning the results of the election, expressed his excitement and ambition to “include more student voices” in the upcoming year.
“I’m really excited to be back on TCU Senate and work towards a stronger community at Tufts,” Kofsky said.
Current TCU First Generation College Student Senator Andrew Vu was also elected to the TCU Senate for the Class of 2022, explaining at the Tuesday night candidate’s forum that he felt obligated to represent the undergraduate community in a broader way.
“I also wanted to represent the first-gen, low income students, but after doing it, I realized that there were a lot of missing people in Senate,” Vu said. “We don’t have a strong engineering base for the Engineering students … marginalized voices have not been heard yet.”
First-year Amma Agyei was also elected to the TCU Senate for the Class of 2022.
TCU Senators for the Class of 2020 Charlie Brogdon-Tent, Shannon Lee and Harry Kong were all re-elected. Phillip Miller, Alexa Weinstein and Finn McGarghan, all former senators for the Class of 2020, were also elected.
Though the elections for the senate seats for the Class of 2020 were uncontested, Lee shared her track record of involvement as evidence of her capacity to lead, which includes establishing the Swipe It Forward meal bank, advocacy for the unionization of dining workers, increasing the number of all-gender restrooms on campus and increased institutional support for faculty of color.
“A lot of my projects have to do with supporting underrepresented students at Tufts, because I think those are the students that need the most support,” Lee said. “I think this is where I can have the most impact.”
Pedro Andre Lazo Rivera did not seek re-election.
TCU Senators for the Class of 2021 Sharif Hamidi, Alex Lein, Ayden Crosby and Griffen Saul were also re-elected.
Taylor Lewis, currently the Vice Chair of the TCU Judiciary, was also elected to the TCU Senate for the Class of 2021.
Lewis explained his rationale for seeking a position within a different branch of the TCU student government.
“I want to access a broader role within the Tufts community,” Lewis said. “My role in the [Judiciary] has been fairly niche, looking at specifically governing and managing the nearly 300 plus clubs that we have thus far.”
TCU Treasurer Izzy Ma and Historian Rebeca Becdach did not seek re-election.
TCU Africana Community Senator Sylvester Bracey, a junior, was re-elected to another term.
Bracey highlighted his motivation for re-election at the Tuesday night candidate’s forum hosted by ECOM.
“This year I was the only black-identifying student on the entire senate,” Bracey said. “That goes to show you what it means to bring the voices that you represent into the room.”
Current TCU Senator for the Class of 2022 Carolina Olea Lezama was elected to the position of Latinx Community Senator, citing a deep connection the community which she seeks to represent.
“This community has been such a critical part of my first year experience here at Tufts, but it’s also going through a lot of transitions,” Olea Lezama said. “We need a person that will come in and be able bring this community back after everything it’s been through.”
TCU LGBTQ+ Community Senator Kathleen Lanzilla, a sophomore, was also re-elected for another term.
First-year Elizabeth Hom was elected to the position of Asian American Community Senator.
First-year Jose Martinez was also elected to the position of First Generation College Student Community Senator.
Sophomore Insiya Naim, current TCU trustee representative, was elected to the role of International Community Senator.
Three of five available CSL seats were filled by Elliot Lam and Himay Dharani, both sophomores, and first-year Anton Shenk.
Two seats on the CSL remain vacant.
Three of seven available TCU Judiciary seats were filled by returning members Camille Calabrese and Jonah Zwillinger, both first-years. First-year Andres Borjas was also elected to the TCU Judiciary.
Four seats on the TCU Judiciary remain vacant.
Elections for the vacancies in the Committee on Student Life and Judiciary, in addition to one Senate seat for the Class of 2020, two for the Class of 2021, all seven seats for the Class of 2023 and the position of Women’s Community Senator will be held in the fall semester.
Elections for TCU President will be held all day on April 25, with a forum for the candidates the night before in Braker Hall at 9 p.m.
Voter participation data was not available from ECOM by press time.