TCU Senate hears supplementary funding requests

Sophia Gordon Hall is pictured on May 7, 2014. Nicholas Pfosi / The Tufts Daily Archives

The Tufts Community Union Senate heard supplementary funding requests and discussed the planned defunding of the Tufts Portuguese program in a meeting on Sunday night in the Sophia Gordon Hall Multipurpose Room.

TCU President Amma Agyei began by announcing that the university is planning to establish a seventh center for the Indigenous community at Tufts within the Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion. In response, TCU Senate will create an Indigenous community senator position.

TCU Parliamentarian Ibrahim AlMuasher then led the Senate in a discussion of a resolution calling on Tufts undergraduate admissions to stop considering legacy status during the admissions process. TCU Senate will debate and vote on the resolution, which was submitted by sophomores Ameya Menta and Christopher Tomo, on Oct. 31.

Next, AlMuasher shared abstracts of two upcoming resolutions, both submitted by TCU Diversity Officer Jaden Pena. The abstracts will be expanded upon by the author and voted on in future meetings. The first abstract was for a resolution calling on Tufts to reallocate some of the $25 million in funds for the Tufts as an Anti-Racist Institution Initiative toward the community centers. The second abstract calls on Tufts to increase funding to the community centers proportionally to the growth in Tufts’ diversity.

TCU Senate then heard 11 supplementary funding requests.

Men’s club soccer requested $6,754 to send 28 students to a regional competition in New Jersey. The Allocations Board (ALBO) voted unanimously to fund 90% of this amount, with the remaining 10% to be covered by personal contributions from club members. The request passed unanimously.

Tufts Running Club requested $3,800 to send nine people to the National Intercollegiate Running Club national competition in Indiana. ALBO voted unanimously to give the club $2,574 due to limits on the amount of a club’s transportation costs that the Senate can fund. The request passed unanimously.

Primary Care Progress, a pre-health student organization, requested $273 to fund an event connecting undergraduate students to current medical students for advice and networking opportunities. ALBO recommended that TCU Senate fund $269 of the original request, based on caps on the amount of money the Senate can allocate for printing flyers. The request passed by acclamation.

The Muslim Student Association made two requests totaling $2,000 to pay speaker honoraria and purchase supplies for its Fall Dinner and Spring Into Islam events. Eight members of ALBO voted in favor of each request, with none opposed and one abstaining. Both requests passed by acclamation.

Tufts Quidditch requested $3,045 to send 21 people to the regional Quidditch championship. ALBO recommended by unanimous vote that TCU Senate fund 90% of this amount totaling $2,741, with the remaining 10% to be covered by personal contributions from club members. The request passed unanimously.

Women in International Relations requested $159 to purchase books for its book club. ALBO recommended that TCU Senate not allocate any money, based on a section in the TCU Treasury Procedure Manual that prohibits the TCU Treasury from funding the purchase of books when they are available through other on-campus resources, such as Tisch Library, which in this case they were. The ALBO recommendation of $0 passed.

The Chinese Student Association requested $400 to reserve a venue and purchase tables for its formal dinner event. Eight ALBO members voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed by acclamation.

Enchanted, a campus a cappella group, requested $60 to hire a photographer to take promotional photographs for its members. Nine ALBO members voted unanimously in favor of the request. The request passed by acclamation.

TEDxTufts requested $14,275 to send four students to the TEDWomen conference in California. ALBO recommended that TCU fund 90% of the original request amounting to $12,161, with the remaining 10% to be covered by personal contributions from club members. Six ALBO members voted to fund this lower amount, with one opposed and one abstaining. 

After debate on the supplementary funding request, TCU passed the request with 23 senators voting in favor, one opposed and three abstaining.

Tufts Public Health Society requested $634 to pay transport fees and speaker honoraria and buy food, gift bags and other miscellaneous items. Seven ALBO members voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and one abstaining. The request passed by acclamation.

Tufts Amnesty International requested $65 for food and a speaker gift for an event shedding light on the Haitian refugee crisis. Eight members of ALBO voted in favor of the request, with none opposed and none abstaining. The request passed by acclamation.

During a break for the general senate body, members of the Committee of Community Diversity and Inclusion elected Africana Community Senator Hadiya Giwa to the assistant diversity officer position.

During the open forum, TCU Senate discussed a proposal to publish a statement in support of the Save Tufts Portuguese movement, which is advocating against the planned defunding of the Portuguese program. The Senate debated whether to make its own statement on the issue or provide a platform on social media for the movement’s organizers to publish their own statement. Ultimately, they tabled the discussion until next week’s meeting.


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