TCU Senate discusses upcoming initiatives, hears supplementary funding requests

Ballou Hall is pictured on Oct. 7, 2016. Alexis Serino / The Tufts Daily Archives

The Tufts Community Union Senate discussed its upcoming initiatives and heard several supplementary funding requests in its virtual meeting on Monday evening.

TCU President Sarah Wiener provided updates on some of the Senate’s projects for the semester.

Wiener, a senior, discussed ongoing planning for Wellness Week, which is scheduled to take place during the week of March 22 when students would ordinarily be on spring break. TCU Senate is working with other campus offices to organize mental health and mindfulness programming during that week.

Alongside this programming, TCU Senate is asking professors not to assign midterms or exams during Wellness Week. Although this is a recommendation and not a formal policy, it has support from the deans of both the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. 

Wiener encouraged senators to talk about Wellness Week with their professors if they feel comfortable doing so.

“Students can have power advocating for each other to individual professors and helping them find solutions,” Wiener said.

Wiener then gave an update on TCU Senate’s COVID-19 communication project, which is a collaboration with University Infection Control Health Director Michael Jordan and Medical Director of Health Service Marie Caggiano

Wiener announced that as part of this project, Jordan and Caggiano will be providing information that will help students better interpret the Tufts COVID-19 dashboard. There will also be a Qualtrics form set up to facilitate direct communication between the student body and the doctors running the university’s COVID-19 response. 

TCU Parliamentarian Taylor Lewis then discussed the upcoming hearing against members of the TCU Judiciary. TCU Senate is holding the hearing in response to allegations from four Tufts community members that the Judiciary exhibited bias in its handling of the Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine referendum last semester.

Lewis, a senior, confirmed that the hearing is set for Feb. 28. He also reminded the senators that they will have the option to recuse themselves from the hearing if they have any conflicts of interest with either the complainants or the respondents.

“Something that’s really important to note is that recusing yourself is not a bad thing,” Lewis said. “I’m going to … make sure that everything is as fair and just as we can make it for this hearing because … we are student leaders, this is our job.”  

Before adjourning, TCU Senate heard five supplementary requests, all of which passed by acclamation. 

Tufts Hillel requested $150 to host Evie Litwok, a Jewish advocate and the founder of an organization that seeks to end mass incarceration, in a virtual speaker event. Seven members of the Allocations Board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and one abstaining. 

The Vietnamese Students Club requested $300 to send 12 club members to a virtual Vietnamese Empowerment Summit. Eight members of the board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. 

The Society of Latinx Engineers and Scientists requested $490 to send 14 members to a virtual conference being held by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Seven members of the board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and two abstaining

TEDxTufts requested $15,367 for supplies for its 2021 TEDx event, TED in a Box. They will be distributing boxes filled with interactive materials to the event attendees to supplement the speakers’ presentations. Nine members of the board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. 

The National Society of Black Engineers requested $2,015 to send 13 members to the virtual NSBE National Convention. Seven members of the board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and two abstaining


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