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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, December 9, 2023

Incoming TCU Senate President Arielle Galinsky talks accomplishments, goals

Arielle Galinsky, the Tufts Community Union Senate president-elect, is pictured.

Arielle Galinsky was named the winner of the Tufts Community Union Senate presidential election by the TCU Elections Commission on April 28. Galinsky, the current TCU Senate vice president, will serve as the TCU Senate president for the 2023–24 academic year.

Presidential voting began at noon on April 27, ending at noon on April 28 with ECOM’s announcement of Galinsky’s victory. Both Galinsky and her opponent, Wanci Nana, won Class of 2024 TCU Senate seats which were announced by ECOM on April 19. Galinsky then launched her presidential campaign via Instagram on April 20, followed by Nana on April 21.

According to ECOM’s Instagram post announcing the win, she won 69.96% of the 1,781 votes cast.

Galinsky, born in Canton, Mass., is a double major in biopsychology and community health with a minor in political science. Within the Tufts community, she is a co-president of Tufts Best Buddies, a co-president of NeuroNetwork, the curator of TEDxTufts and a co-founder and president of Tufts Legacy Project. Professionally, she works as a U.S. congressional intern for Mass. Senator Ed Markey and as a legal services volunteer at the Suffolk Probate and Family Court in Boston.

Galinsky has been a Class of 2024 senator since her freshman year, when she ran during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was very isolating. There was very much a lack of community,” Galinsky said. “When I came to Tufts, I really had no desire to run for student government. That wasn’t even on the horizon. But after a few weeks of being there … there were just so many issues that arose because of the pandemic. … Students were so unhappy. … Ultimately, what drove me to run for Senate was the conditions that we were in, and what kept me to stay was just my love for the projects and for the opportunity to get to be that bridge between administration and students.”

Galinsky has been a part of many initiatives over her three years in the Senate. She is proud of her previous work combating menstrual product inequality through a project that places free menstrual products in several buildings across campus. She has seen the project grow from its beginning stages to now being institutionalized at Tufts.

She also helped create the Food Security Senate Subcommittee, which aims to reduce food insecurity on campus. This year, the Senate sponsored a campus food pantry, a grocery store shuttle pilot program, a meal swipe drive that accumulated 1,800 meals to be donated to other Tufts students and provided grocery bags to students staying on campus during school breaks.

“My goal as president is to make these long-term, permanent solutions, and then [to expand] a lot of the different initiatives and concerns that students have been coming to me with,” Galinsky said.

She highlighted student concerns over the formation of new student organizations, a lack of cultural center funding and improvements to the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center as some of her priorities. During her presidency, Galinsky also hopes to further student mental wellness day programming, increase attention and funding toward club sports and introduce a subsidized spring break trip program.

“These are just some examples, but definitely all with this common theme of working to ensure that barriers are lowered for students so that they can excel during their academic and extracurricular activities here at Tufts,” she said.

Winning the presidency “means everything” to Galinsky. Despite starting in the premed track, Galinsky’s work in the Senate has inspired her to pursue a career in policy.

“After working for three years on some of these projects, seeing them come to life now has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my Tufts experience,” she said. “Winning this presidency means the opportunity to continue the work I love, to be able to work alongside students to advocate for their needs and ensure that their Tufts experience is as smooth as possible.”

Galinsky believes there is a portion of the student body that “might not realize the impact of what student government and Senate has on their lives.” She said she will work to increase transparency with students through Senate Town Halls and hopes to increase voter turnout in future elections.

“We can do a better job showing that there are channels of communication that are through [the] Senate, and that it’s really important to know who your elected officials are,” Galinsky said.

Jaden Pena, the outgoing TCU Senate president, worked closely with Galinsky during his time at Tufts.

“What I’ve loved most about working with Arielle is that she is so genuine when approaching concerns that need to be addressed,” Pena wrote in an email to the Daily. “No matter the project or initiative, Arielle is truly driven by her want to make Tufts a better place and it is reflected in every meeting, discussion, or conversation I’ve ever had with her.”

Krystal Mutebi, the current TCU diversity officer and women's community senator, will serve as Galinsky’s vice president. The TCU Executive Board, including Galinsky and Mutebi, has already begun meeting with administrators to coordinate events for the upcoming school year.

“Regardless of whether you voted for me or not,” Galinsky said, “I’m excited for the opportunity to work with you and alongside you to be able to actively pursue positive change on this campus.”