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TCU Senate passes twin anti-CSL resolutions

Published: Monday, January 28, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 01:01

 

The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate last night passed two resolutions protesting last semester’s Committee on Student Life (CSL) decision to create a protocol for the University Chaplain to give student religious groups (SRGs) “justifiable departures” from the university’s nondiscrimination policy. The CSL policy was the subject of intense debate in the Senate last semester, prompting several senators at one meeting to volunteer to sacrifice their jobs in order to pass a resolution condemning the decision.

The first resolution, submitted by TCU Judiciary Chair senior Adam Sax, Senate Vice President senior Meredith Goldberg and sophomore senator Andrew Núñez, claimed “an irresolvable rift in the spirit of the TCU Constitution” caused by the exception of SRGs from the nondiscrimination policy. Citing the university’s mission statement and the “Pachyderm” student handbook, the submitters claimed that the changes to the constitution rendered it both contrary to existing university policy and internally inconsistent. The resolution passed with only one dissenting vote from Senator Stefan Schwarz, a senior.

The second resolution, submitted by Senate President Wyatt Cadley, claimed that “an effective and sustainable nondiscrimination policy must be absolute.” Unlike the first resolution, which claimed that the CSL’s decision was an invalid policy, this resolution would affirm the Senate’s belief that the decision was an act of bad policy, according to Cadley.

Debate on the latter resolution lasted for nearly an hour. Students and senators argued over whether SRGs ought to be able to make discrimination against others a matter of explicit policy and whether the Senate has the power to refuse to fund such groups despite their recognition by the Judiciary. After three calls to question, the resolution passed by roll call, with Schwarz again casting the only dissenting vote.

The body also unanimously passed a resolution supporting the usage of Brown and Brew as performance space after closing time. The space is intended to be used for gatherings of over 40 students, allowing performance groups to have larger crowds without needing to hire extra staff for security. Though the idea had been under consideration for some time, it had not been accepted due to concerns about the potential for damage to the food equipment. The resolution suggested a security gate might be installed to avoid accidents without the ongoing cost of staff.

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