TCU Senate Update | Senate discusses university initiatives, toilets
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 07:10
University President Anthony Monaco conducted his annual check-in with the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate at its meeting last night, speaking and taking questions from the Senate and the public for a total of 30 minutes.
Monaco spoke optimistically about the hire of Provost and Senior Vice President David Harris, whose office will be responsible for setting institutional and academic priorities. He then discussed the university-wide strategic plan, an approach untested at Tufts on this scale.
Monaco also spoke about the need for more diversity at Tufts, arguing that his new committees on diversity would be more effective than previous taskforces because they will use past and present data to measure the university’s progress.
“I’m a very data-driven person,” Monaco said. “We want to make sure that we’re doing things that keep us on target. The needle hasn’t moved. If anything, it’s gotten worse.”
Senators were next joined by two members of the Tufts community in questioning Monaco on his other policies.
The president showed interest in the creation of a design lab for students involved in entrepreneurship, adding that there should be a place for like-minded students to gather and discuss their ideas.
He rejected a proposal that Tufts avoid investment in fossil fuel companies, explaining that the university’s funds are invested indirectly through fund managers, making it impossible to see the eventual recipients of the investments.
Senator Bradley Friedman, a sophomore, was given permission to petition the administration to invest in “blue cubes,” dissolvable blocks which are fitted into urinal toilets. Freidman claimed that the cubes would allow toilets on campus to use 99 percent less water because they avoid the necessity of flushing the toilet after each usage. Instead, the flushing handles would be removed and the toilets flushed manually by cleaning staff each night.
The body approved $600 in supplementary funding to small-concert provider Midnight Café矴to defray the unexpected cost of hiring staff for an upcoming event. The Caribbean Club received $1,260 to partially fund the transportation, lodging and speaking fees for their upcoming “Cuba Reconsidered” event. The Robotics Club was appropriated $1888.32, the majority of which will go towards buying parts to build a “combat robot” to enter in competitions. Allocation of the $100 registration fee was denied, as the club had yet to specify a competition.