The Tufts Community Union Senate discussed the cancelation of its planned hearing against members of the TCU Judiciary, heard proposals for two new Senate resolutions and passed four supplementary funding requests in its Sunday evening virtual meeting.
The hearing against members of last semester’s Judiciary has been canceled after the members of Students for Justice in Palestine who filed the complaint withdrew it.
TCU Parliamentarian Taylor Lewis, who had been organizing the hearing, explained that the complainants’ decision came after their names were shared with the members of the Judiciary against whom they had filed their complaint, citing privacy and security concerns.
The four students in SJP originally submitted their complaint anonymously, but Lewis and members of the Tufts administration determined it was necessary to share their identities with the respondents prior to the hearing.
“This wasn’t something that I felt very good about doing,” Lewis, a senior, said. “But after talking with administrators, it was clear that that was needed for a fair hearing.”
Lewis added that increased media attention also played a role in the complainants’ security concerns.
“I was disappointed to see this,” Lewis said. “I think it was unnecessary, and I think it put a lot of students at risk.”
Lewis added that although SJP withdrew its complaint, it is exploring other means of pushing forward with its allegation.
“I know that SJP is not done pursuing this,” Lewis said. “They’re … talking to administrators and exploring other … resolutions to the issue.”
TCU Senate then heard proposals for two new Senate resolutions.
The first resolution, proposed by Tufts for a Racially Equitable Endowment, calls on Tufts to divest from private prison facility operation corporations.
The text of the abstract of the proposal reads, “Tufts University currently has $72,000 invested in a private prison facility operations corporation, which contradicts the university’s current efforts to become an anti-racist institution.”
The resolution proposal asks the university to convene a Responsible Investment Advisory Group that would make recommendations for the divestment process.
The second resolution calls for Tufts to require all fall 2021 academic courses to offer an in-person component. It was submitted by Class of 2024 Senator Claire Bolash and is based on the results of the Fall 2020 Exit Survey conducted by TCU Senate.
According to the abstract, the exit survey “revealed that students overwhelmingly held an unfavorable view towards the virtual academic experience and a pervasive sense of isolation from peers and professors.”
Bolash added that studies have shown that COVID-19 transmissions on college campuses are not attributed to gathering in classrooms.
In the coming weeks, these two proposal abstracts will be expanded into full resolutions for the TCU Senate to vote on.
TCU Senate then heard four supplementary funding requests.
Tufts United for Immigrant Justice requested $5,000 to fund two keynote speakers for the Collegiate Alliance for Immigrant Reform conference, which is being hosted virtually. Nine members of the Allocations Board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed TCU Senate by acclamation.
Harlem Grooves, a new student organization, requested $1,820 to pay for costumes and other supplies for a virtual performance, compensate a guest choreographer and cover other miscellaneous costs. Nine members of the board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed TCU Senate by acclamation.
Tufts Democrats requested $300 to compensate three speakers who participated in a virtual panelist event titled “US-India Relations under the Biden Administration.” The panel was co-hosted by the Tufts South Asian Political Action Community. Nine members of the board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed TCU Senate by acclamation.
Baseball Analytics requested $995 to enter its team into the 2021 Diamond Dollars Virtual Case Competition. Nine members of the board voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed TCU Senate by acclamation.