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Annual TCU Senate dinner fosters collaboration

Published: Friday, March 2, 2012

Updated: Friday, March 2, 2012 10:03


virginia bledsoe / The Tufts Daily archive

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate last month hosted its third annual leadership dinner in an effort to foster collaboration between student groups.

 The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate on Feb. 2 hosted its third annual leadership dinner at the Winthrop Street Function Hall in an effort to foster partnership between student groups.

 All TCU organizations were invited to the event. Approximately 100 student leaders attended, in addition to 20 TCU senators.

 "The purpose of the dinner was to support collaboration between student groups, to bring together people on campus that are doing similar things that may not otherwise have had the venue," sophomore TCU Senator David Riche, who coordinated the dinner, said.

 The dinner allowed groups to discuss the challenges and successes they face and provided opportunities for collaboration, Riche said.

 "I see a lot of groups who either have co-sponsorship in their budgets and don't use it or are trying to be co-sponsored by other groups and can't find it," TCU Assistant Treasurer Matt Roy, a freshman, said. "So for me it was helpful so that they can have conversations and plan."

 Student groups could specifically request seating with other groups, according to Riche. At each table, two senators guided conversation with a series of questions. TCU Treasurer Christie Maciejewski, a sophomore, discussed the logistics of co-sponsoring and budgeting, Riche said.

 Members of the Leonard Carmichael Society (LCS) were excited to attend the event to spread awareness about LCS services, network with other groups and learn more about the Senate, LCS Co-President Shayna Schor said.

 "I think because we're such a large organization that can basically find something in common with almost any group on campus, it's really great for them to know that we're excited to network with other groups and that there is a lot of room for collaboration," Schor, a sophomore, said.

 LCS dined with Theta Delta Chi (123) brothers and talked to them about service opportunities similar to the fraternity's national work with Autism Speaks ,according to Schor. Brothers previously volunteered at Caring Helps In Living with Disabilities (CHILD), participating in recreational activities on campus with special-needs children.

 Tufts Global China Connection also made valuable connections, according to Ian Kelly, Tufts Global China Connection signatory and China-US Symposium co-director.

 After sitting with Tufts China Care at the dinner, Global China Connection intends to give the club a table at the China-US Symposium as well as to have a presence at China Care's LUX Fashion Show, Kelly, a sophomore, said.

 "Even if it was just one dinner, that sort of makes the whole difference," he said. "A lot of times you have ideas, but unless you know that person or you have their cell number — until you get those faces, it's hard."

Clubs not a part of TCU that requested to come were also invited. Tufts Occupiers and Tufts Building Understanding through International Leadership and Development (BUILD) were the only non-TCU organizations in attendance.

"We figured if they're requesting to come, then they probably have interest in the groups they heard [about the event] from, so maybe those two groups would work together," Roy said.

The annual leadership dinner is an initiative of the TCU Student Outreach Committee. The committee's goal is to better understand what Tufts students want from Senate, according to Student Outreach Committee Chair Joseph Donenfeld, a sophomore.

"I think there's a lack of connection and communication between Senate and how the student body feels," Donenfield said.


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