The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate heard presentations by Nancy Thompson, dean of student affairs and chief student affairs officer ad interim, and Joe Golia, director of the Office for Campus Life, about their work on campus last night in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room. Senators then shared projects they are interested in and areas of concern at the university.
Thompson and Golia explained their roles at Tufts and how senators can use them as resources on campus to create change. Thompson expressed eagerness to help stimulate student life on campus.
“This place is fabulous, and now having met some students, I’m so excited to be here,” Thompson said.
After their introductory remarks, Class of 2022 Senator Tim Leong kicked the questioning off by asking the pair how the senate and administration could work together better. Thompson said she was open to meeting with senators and hearing their concerns; however, Golia had issues of his own to raise with senators.
Golia reminded the Senate that the new student organization process will begin soon, which is especially relevant to the work of the Allocations Board (ALBO).
“Do your research, really take the time to, before it becomes a big presentation here, before it gets into the Daily, to really do your research on what you’re asking for by talking to the right people,” Golia told the Senate.
Golia went on to express his frustration that in certain cases adequate research was not carried out before resolutions were written condemning university policy. He took special issue with last year’s resolutions concerning Tufts Dining workers; he said that Patti Klos, director of dining services, had not been consulted by Senate prior to those resolutions.
The senators shared some of the projects they are working on and areas in which they want to see improvement. Highlights included access to mental health resources at the SMFA and university support for students seeking off-campus housing.
In the latter half of the meeting, the Senate elected Sarah Tata and Jalen Little to fill two open spots on ALBO that are designated for first-year senators.
There were five Class of 2023 senators who ran for these spots, and each candidate gave a speech to the Senate explaining why they were running and what qualified them for the position. After their initial speeches, candidates answered a series of five questions posed by TCU senators about their qualifications and interest in the positions.
The questions posed by senators revolved around how candidates will deal with having to reject certain requests, create a non intimidating environment for clubs to request money and handle requests from groups whose ideals might conflict with their own. Leong, an ALBO member, started off the questioning of candidates.
“Occasionally there will be an Allocations Board request that is pretty controversial, which is a difficult situation to navigate for anyone,” Leong said. “How will you deal with your own personal bias and personal beliefs while maintaining equity?”
The Board distributes approximately $2.1 million, which comes from the activities fee included in Tufts tuition, to clubs at Tufts, and it is comprised of the three TCU Treasurers, the TCU President and six senators from the TCU body.
After the election, the Senate reviewed five requests for additional funding from clubs on campus and voted to uphold the ALBO recommendation in every case. The meeting closed with minor corrections to the Senate bylaws and updates from each of the committee chairs about their ongoing projects.