TCU Senate elects additional trustee representative

Students relax outside of West Hall on a sunny day. Ava Iannuccillo / The Tufts Daily

The Tufts Community Union Senate discussed its upcoming retreat and interviewed an additional trustee representative applicant during its meeting on Sunday.

After a brief roll call, TCU President Amma Agyei introduced the body’s recently elected trustee representatives, who hold no voting power in the Senate but represent the student body’s interest in trustee meetings.

The trustee representatives include Max Miller, a senior, Izzy Lobin, a junior, and Emily Afriyie, a sophomore.

Agyei, a senior, then talked about the upcoming Senate retreat, which will run from Saturday, Oct. 2 to Sunday, Oct. 3.

Agyei requested that every member of the Senate get tested for COVID-19 on Thursday before the retreat, which, according to Agyei,would allow ample time for individual retesting should a testing pool come back positive. The body agreed to the request.

Agyei also announced that the Senate’s Women’s Community Senator seat had been vacated after former Women’s Community Senator Isha Bhatnagar stepped down. TCU Elections Commission  is working with the Women’s Center to choose a replacement.

According to Agyei, ECOM will hold elections this week to fill vacancies across student government. Thirteen candidates are running for the vacant Class of 2025 seats.

During her portion of the meeting, TCU Treasurer Elizabeth Hom announced that the Allocations Board (ALBO) will be holding its first meeting of the semester on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Senate’s ALBO is made up of 10 internally elected TCU senators and is responsible for allocating money from the TCU Treasury to each TCU-recognized student organization on campus.

TCU Diversity Officer Jaden Pena then provided updates to the body. He announced that he was in discussion with university officials about the timing and reliability of the shuttle services to the SMFA, Hyatt Place and Davis Square.

Finally, the meeting moved to an open forum, where members discussed vaccine hesitancy on campus, clarified the university’s vaccination requirement and spoke about several other topics.

Education Committee Chair Claire Bolash discussed an ongoing project which would publish Tufts course evaluations, an initiative that had been proposed by the Senate in the past. According to Bolash, a sophomore, the program would require each professor to opt in individually and would not involve a widespread mandate.

Assistant Treasurer Jalen Little mentioned that some students living in The Mods are not complying with COVID-19 quarantine and isolation procedures. According to Little, a junior, the university has been relaxed in its enforcement of isolation requirements and students have been leaving The Mods to get food or go out with friends.

Agyei reported that the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs is investigating isolation noncompliance in The Mods, though the office has so far been unable to find concrete evidence of wrongdoing.

Before adjournment, the body interviewed and elected its final trustee representative, Carolina Olea Lezama.

Olea Lezama is a veteran of the Senate, having served for the previous three years in various positions including Diversity Officer and Latinx Community Senator. She believes her experience representing Tufts students of a wide variety of backgrounds will prove useful in the position of trustee representative.

“I’ve felt like I’ve been able to connect with students of all walks of life at Tufts, and different backgrounds,” Olea Lezama, a senior, said. “I feel like I really know the student body and what they need.”

Olea Lezama was elected with acclamation, and will join Miller, Lobin and Afriyie as the Senate’s trustee representatives.