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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Thursday, February 22, 2024

TCU Senate deliberates on student retreats, hosts Dean Lizarríbar

Senators declined SIMSA’s funding request for annual ski trip.

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The Joyce Cummings Center is pictured on Feb. 22.

The Tufts Community Union Senate heard and denied the Singaporean Indonesian Malaysian Students Association’s request to fund an additional off-campus retreat on Sunday, and heard from Dean of Students Camille Lizarríbar on her plans to promote “restorative justice” on campus in order to “build community” and “strengthen relationships among students.”

Student groups are allowed two retreats per year, but SIMSA representatives argued that the group had not been aware that one of their excursions last semester had counted as a retreat. At the meeting, they requested funding for an upcoming annual ski trip.

“We are really trying to create this experience that a lot of us from our club have not have not had the chance to have, which is a fun experience in the snow, going skiing,” Lucas Wong, co-president of SIMSA, said in front of the Senate. “All of us are from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, so we come from the 85º all-year-round temperatures, … so this is a once in a blue moon opportunity for everyone. … We were very confused by this because we were not sure what constitutes a retreat and for example, the Treasury Procedures Manual wasn’t very clear on … off campus travel and overnight staying.”

After hearing their arguments, senators asked questions of the SIMSA representatives in order to fully understand their funding request. Senators opposed to approving the request were afraid of setting a precedent of more than two allotted retreats and setting off an influx of clubs asking for additional funding. One senator stated that SIMSA had been notified that their event would count as a retreat at the time.

The Senate conducted three rounds of voting — the first two ending in a tie — eventually declining SIMSA’s funding request with 19 senators in favor and 12 against the decision.

Dean Lizarríbar also paid the TCU Senate a visit during the meeting, proposing a new project with the goal of incorporating “restorative justice” practices into campus culture. Lizarríbar defined the term as “an ethical framework that can give you ways of approaching relationships and ways of strengthening community… and ways of managing conflict.”

Lizarríbar suggested organized training for first-year students led by peer leaders.

“I think it would be really nice if we had trained students who wanted to do the work, that students could go to,” Lizarríbar said.

Lizarríbar said the program would be an opportunity for students to help others guide through the process of restorative justice and then these students train other students down the line.

The senate passed $3,700 in funding for a New York trip for Tufts Financial Group.

The senate passed $5,686 in funding for a New York trip for the Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association.        

The senate passed $1,900 in general operating expenses for Tufts Gymnastics Team.

The senate passed $7,046 in funding for equipment for club pickleball.

The senate passed $7,400 in funding for the NCVF National Volleyball Tournament for women’s club volleyball.

The senate passed $9,990 in conference funding for Tufts for Health Equity.

The Allocations Board passed $100 in funding for League costs and $150 in funding for a Valorant tournament for the Tufts Gaming Hub.

The Allocations Board passed $400 in funding for speaker gifts for Tufts Alt Protein Project.

The Allocations Board passed $60 in funding for the UMass Lowell “Shake the Room” competition entrance fee for ENVY Ladies Step Team, as well as another $105 for transportation costs.

The Allocations Board passed $500 in supplementary funding for a product marketing/design competition for Tufts Product Studio.

The Allocations Board passed $150 in funding for checked bags for the UVA Invitational for Tufts Mock Trial.

The Allocations Board passed $283 in supplementary funding for a trip to the Tufts Mountain Club Loj for the Association of Mixed People at Tufts.

Finally, TCU President Arielle Galinsky was named Senator of the Week and the meeting was adjourned.