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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

TCU holds special senate election, passes new constitution

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TCU members welcome guests to the Town Hall on Feb. 3.

The Tufts Community Union Elections Commission finalized the results of a special TCU Senate election on Thursday, Feb. 2. Nine senators were elected and a majority of students voted yes on the new TCU constitution referendum.

Candidates Esma Abib, Gavin Clouser, Elizabeth Cucuzzella and Sophie Rice all ran uncontested campaigns for the Class of 2024’s vacant senate seats. 

Four candidates contested the two open seats for the Class of 2025. Sophomores Varun Nagpal and Mikayla Paquette won. 

Five candidates also ran for three open community senator positions. Itamar Oelsner won his contested race for the new position of disability community senator. Macy Halim will be the Indigenous peoples’ community senator after a contested election and Nafisa Munawarah won the Asian American community senator race uncontested. 

Both senators for the Class of 2025 mentioned commitments to mental health resources on campus on their Instagram campaign accounts. In a campaign graphic, Nagpal wrote that he will work to increase funding for student mental health well-being. 

Nagpal also wrote that a key goal of his is fair compensation for student workers. 

“Students at Tufts are not being fairly compensated for the critical work they do to ensure the effective running of our campus,” he posted. “Tufts overworks TAs for subpar wages, undercompensates its RAs relative to its peers, and doesn’t pay TEMS at all.”

In an Instagram post made before the election, Oelsner said he aims to destigmatize the approval process for students seeking accommodations. He also highlighted the need for universal guidelines for department authorization of accommodations. 

Rice, a transfeminine student, says she decided to run because of her passion for transgender issues on campus. 

“I aim to be a genuine and reliable intermediary between the student body and its elected government. It’s a key goal of mine to use social media to improve students’ knowledge of the workings of the Senate and encourage student participation in its public meetings,” she said in a statement to the Daily. 

Clouser, another newly elected senator, is interested in education, mental health, housing and equity-related issues on campus. In an email to the Daily, Clouser wrote that he hopes to “advocate for greater accessibility, diversity, and support within the classroom for all Tufts students.”

The TCU constitution was also ratified on Thursday. The new constitution will include updated inclusive language and a Green Dot training requirement for all TCU-recognized clubs and organizations.