TCU Senate prepares for hearing, hears supplementary funding requests

The Jumbo statue outside of Barnum Hall is pictured here on Nov. 27, 2018. Alexis Serino / The Tufts Daily Archives

The Tufts Community Union Senate prepared for its Feb. 28 hearing against members of the TCU Judiciary and heard three supplementary funding requests in a virtual meeting on Sunday evening.

TCU Historian Sarah Tata announced that in preparation for the hearing, the pages on the TCU Senate website listing senators’ names and email addresses have been temporarily archived. 

Tata, a sophomore, explained why this decision was made.

“For safety reasons with the upcoming trial, we didn’t want our names and contact information easily found on a public website,” Tata said.

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

The Feb. 28 hearing will be closed to the public. The hearing will open with a reading of the allegations followed by an opportunity for both the complainants and respondents to give opening statements. There will be time for questions from members of TCU Senate and the opposing party before closing statements. 

TCU Senate then heard three supplementary funding requests.

Tufts Mountain Club requested $11,000 to pay a contractor to renovate their website. The Allocations Board recommended that TCU Senate approve half this amount, or $5,500. The senators debated this recommendation. 

Some senators, including TCU Vice President Grant Gebetsberger, supported awarding Tufts Mountain Club the full $11,000.

“I think that this request is unique, and that what [the club is] trying to create with this really expensive website is something that’s going to serve a really massive amount of Tufts students,” Gebetsberger, a senior, said.

Other senators suggested that even $5,500 was too much money. Some argued that TCU Senate should not give Tufts Mountain Club more money than it would be willing to give to other student organizations. 

“I want to treat every club equally,” Tata, who is a member of the Allocations Board, said. “Since I wouldn’t give this amount to every club, I wouldn’t give it to just this club.”

After a vote to approve the Allocation Board’s recommendation of $5,500 failed, Latinx Community Senator Carolina Olea Lezama proposed a lower figure of $2,750. Her proposal passed TCU Senate, with 16 senators voting in favor, 13 opposed, and one abstaining.

JumboCast requested $147 to purchase a broadcast stream deck to use for its live broadcasts. Six members of the Allocations Board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed TCU Senate by acclamation.

Tufts Investment Club requested $838 for paint, t-shirts, periodicals and prizes for club members. Six members of the Allocations Board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed TCU Senate by acclamation.

TCU President Sarah Wiener said that a new Qualtrics form where students can submit questions about the COVID-19 guidelines and receive answers from Tufts Medical Center Director and University Infection Control Health Director Michael Jordan and Medical Director of Health Service Marie Caggiano is now live.

“I think having people stay informed is really a great way to keep people healthy,” Wiener said.

The Qualtrics form is part of TCU Senate’s ongoing COVID-19 Communication Project. Jordan and Caggiano’s responses to students’ questions will be shared via TCU Senate’s Instagram and Facebook pages.