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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

TCU Senate shows support for dining workers union at weekly meeting

The TCU Senate voted at their weekly meeting to endorse the Tufts Labor Coalition’s campaign to support higher wages for Tufts dining employees on April 9.

According to TLC member Cole Lewis, a first-year who represented the organization during the meeting, Tufts dining workers are paid $6–$8 less per hour than Harvard workers for the same work, and do not have work opportunities with Tufts over the summer. The Tufts dining workers union, separate from TLC, is currently negotiating with Tufts administration for higher wages and a summer stipend.

After around 15 minutes of debate, the senate voted to sign TLC’s petition in a show of support for Tufts dining workers.

Senators heard a retroactive funding request from Tufts Philippine Student Union, who asked the senate for funding for their Sosyal event co-hosted with District One of Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue Inc., or FIND D1, the day prior. Held at Tufts, the semiformal brought together Filipino student organizations from other Boston universities and colleges.

“FIND D1 is a student-run nonprofit whose purpose is to connect all of those collegiate cultural clubs together based in Boston,” PSU co-treasurer Stephanie Kim said. “They don’t have a central funding source, and they rely on the collegiate members of the organization to assist or contribute in some sort of way to the funding of these events.”

Kim and fellow co-treasurer Andres Baja, both sophomores, requested a total reimbursement of $1,252 for the cost of food and utensils for all attendees, and tickets for the PSU members who attended Sosyal.

“Over the past two years, our club has grown by a lot, and D1 asked us to hold Sosyal,” Kim said. “We felt that we had enough foundation to do so. However, we did not anticipate [fully] hosting Sosyal because … we’ve never done so before.”

Prior to the meeting, the TCU Senate Allocations Board reduced their funding recommendation for the event to $0.

“[I] absolutely respect the need for PSU to depend on D1 and … I admire that they have a bigger community to go to,” Allocations Board member and Associate Treasurer Dhruv Sampat said. “But … to me, it seemed that D1 was essentially asking the PSU to subsidize the event on our campus, and the money that we were spending would go to a bunch of other students that weren’t a part of Tufts. And while that’s great, that’s just not the agreement of the TCU Treasury and that’s not something we have paid for in the past.”

According to Sampat, 14 PSU members attended their own event, and they were still required to purchase tickets. Class of 2023 Senator Enrique Rodriguez also pointed out that all ticket profits went to D1 FIND, not PSU.

Kim explained the significance of the event.

“Normally we just share our unique … Filipino culture within the Tufts community; but this time, we’re sharing it on a larger scale with more people outside of Tufts who share similar experiences,” Kim said. “We hope that you understand that being part of D1, for PSU, and hosting Sosyal meant a lot to us as a club, and it’s a stepping stone for our community to be recognized by the larger group outside of school.”

After almost an hour of deliberations, the senate voted to reject the $0 Allocations Board recommendation. TCU Vice President Arielle Galinsky proposed $140 in funding to cover solely the PSU members’ ticket costs, which was passed by the senate.

The senate passed $6,501 in funding for a friendship walk event for Tufts Leonard Carmichael Society.

The senate passed $6,930 in funding for a semiannual trip to New York City for Tufts Financial Group.

The senate passed $4,698 in funding for an annual networking conference for the Minority Association of Pre-Med Students.

The senate passed $2,500 in funding for travel and lodging for speakers for Tufts Sino-U.S. Relations Group Engagement.

The senate passed $300 in funding for a fundraising event for Camp Kesem.

The senate passed $650 in funding for chess supplies and food for Chess Club.

The senate passed $1,575 in funding for miscellaneous expenses for Tufts Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

The senate passed $645 in funding for theater tickets for Harlem Grooves.

The senate passed $150 in funding for a trip to Boston University for Public Health Society.

The senate passed $220 in funding for live music expenses for Tufts Cheese Club.

The senate passed $219 in funding for decorations and food for Japanese Culture Club.

The senate passed $1,000 in funding for decorations, food and art for Tufts South Asian Political Action Community.

The senate passed $500 in funding for printing for Future Histories.

The senate passed $1,500 in funding for food for Tufts Association of Latin American Students.

The senate passed $3,101 in funding for travel expenses for ENVY Ladies Step Team.

The senate passed $213 in funding for sweatshirts for HYPE! Mime Troupe.

The senate passed $640 in funding for transportation for Tufts TURBO.

The senate passed $322 in funding for stickers for the Tufts Observer.

The senate passed $800 in funding for a live sound engineer for the Amalgamates.

The senate passed $616 in funding for speaker lodging and travel for Tufts Historical Review.

The senate passed $500 in funding for T-shirts for the Hindu Student Association.

The senate passed $1,120 in funding for North End food tour tickets for Tufts Italian Club.

The senate passed $8,996 in funding for travel and event registration costs for Blackout.

The senate passed $1,350 in funding for lodging and travel for Tufts Taekwondo.

The senate passed $200 in funding for a separate funding request from PSU.

TCU Parliamentarian Zachary Ferretti read two new resolutions, which would call on the university to invest in surrounding pedestrian infrastructure and for Tufts Emergency Medical Services student workers to be compensated.

Anand Patil was named Senator of the Week and the meeting was adjourned.