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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

Three seniors nab empty TCU Senate seats

Three seniors stepped up at Thursday night's candidates' meeting to fill the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate seats vacated over the summer, while 21 freshmen entered the race for seven Class of 2012 slots.

Former TCU presidential candidate Elton Sykes, as well as Daniel Hartman and Jacob Maccoby, all seniors, recently resigned from the Senate, citing other pursuits that required their time. Classmates Ryan Pallathra, Christine Mumma and Mary Langan became senators without an election because they were the only seniors to announce their candidacies by Thursday's 10 p.m. deadline.

Freshman John Peter Kaytrosh nabbed a seat on the TCU Judiciary, and junior Brandon Sultan and freshman Andrew Thorne filled two of three available seats on the Committee on Student Life (CSL) at the meeting on Thursday.

Mumma said she jumped at the opportunity to represent her class. "I knew that the seniors were short some senators, and I thought it was important that seniors got their full representation on the Senate," she said. "I also thought that I could personally make a difference being on the Senate for Tufts."

Mumma transferred to Tufts her sophomore year. "I did go to a general interest meeting [that year], but there weren't any sophomore seats available," she said.

The new senator cited better communication between students and the administration, improving social life and upping school spirit as goals for her term.

Langan also saw a chance she couldn't pass up in the open seat. She said that the university's decision to go need-blind can have important effects on the demographics at Tufts, and she would like to help the university ease into them. "Now we have to deal with the reality of [need-blind admissions] on campus," she said.

Pallathra said that his experience abroad in London revitalized his commitment to serving the Tufts community.

"It made me much more appreciative of the Tufts University community experience," he said.  "I feel just as excited — if not more — as I did freshman year."

According to Elections Commission (ECOM) rules, students running for Senate must obtain 50 signatures from their classmates by the deadline, while those hoping for a position on the CSL must procure 100 signatures from the student body at-large.

If the positions are contested, as is the case with the freshmen class senate seats, the election is held online. This year the freshman class election will be on Wednesday.

Of the 21 freshmen originally declaring their candidacies, one has already dropped out. The following 20 remain in the running: Seth Rau, Manuel Guzman, Danielle Cotter, Aaron Bartel, Abe Stein, Elliott McCarthy, Colin Smith, Thomas Martinez, Arturo Gomez, Hershal Dave, Jason Rosenbaum, Katharina de Klerk, Nunu Luo, Greg Dong, Jimmy Zuniga, Danny Weiner, Christina Pappas, Joel Greenberg, Syed Asad Badruddin and Jibade Sandiford.

There will be candidates' forum at 9 p.m. tonight in Hotung, where the hopefuls will put forth policy proposals.

Maya Kohli, the only freshman to withdraw from the race, could not be reached for comment.

ECOM Chair Anjali Nirmalan, a senior, described the field of freshman candidates as an "extremely motivated bunch."

"I think that the freshman senators who are elected will be extremely committed," she said. "I think that the ones who are not elected will also find very strong leadership positions at Tufts."

Nirmalan said it is common for senators to step down coming into the fall semester of their senior year, adding that the same thing happened last year. Seniors often reorganize their priorities, she said.

Hartman will not be on campus this semester; he will be working in Washington, D.C., as a White House intern. Maccoby, an editorialist for the Daily, will serve as president of the Inter-Greek Council. Sykes cited the desire to focus on future plans as his motivation for resigning.

Jeremy White and Rob Silverblatt contributed reporting to this article.