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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 19, 2024

Voting for spring 2024 TCU elections begins

Thirty-nine candidates are vying for Senate seats, leaving eight of 44 positions open and three contested.

"Tufts, it's time to vote!" reads a sign in the Mayer Campus Center.

The spring 2024 Tufts Community Union elections are here. Polls are open from Wednesday at 12 p.m. until Friday at 12 p.m. All students will receive a link in their Tufts email address directing them to an electronic ballot.

Sophomores and juniors will decide their incoming class representatives in competitive elections. The Indigenous Peoples’ Community Senator seat remains vacant for a third semester, while no candidates are running to fill the newly vacated Latinx Community Senator seat.

Students will have the opportunity to vote on representatives for the Senate, the Committee on Student Life and the Judiciary. The Senate represents the TCU before the administration, allocates funds for student organizations and voices the concerns of the student body to faculty and trustee committees; the CSL collaborates with the administration to regulate and improve the student experience; and the Judiciary oversees official recognition of student organizations.

Around 75% of candidates are incumbents who have had previous experience in Tufts student government. According to Luca O’ Neil, treasurer of the Elections Commission (ECOM), the neutral body that facilitates all elections within the branches of Tufts student government, many students are running on platforms related to dining, community-specific representation and personal projects.

Only 24% of Tufts students voted in last year’s annual senate election, ECOM chair Charles Mitchell said. O’Neil emphasized the importance of voter participation in the upcoming elections as an exercise of civic engagement. Calling on students to make their voices heard, he said, “If you want change on this campus, this is where it is.”

The candidates and available seats are as follows:

Eight candidates are contesting for seven available seats on the Class of 2025 Senate.

  • Anika Buder-Greenwood (incumbent)
  • Blake Freedland (incumbent)
  • Joel Omolade (incumbent)
  • Mikayla Paquette (incumbent)
  • Aniyah Perry (incumbent)
  • Nessren Ourdyl (incumbent)
  • Lexis Lokko (incumbent)
  • Neelofar Tamboli

Eight candidates are contesting for seven available seats on the Class of 2026 Senate.

  • Dhruv Sampat (incumbent)
  • Nathaniel Kennedy
  • Brooks Byrnes 
  • Adam Chernoff
  • Arman Tendulkar (incumbent)
  • Caroline Spahr (incumbent)
  • Jose Armando (incumbent)
  • Savvy Thompson (current non-voting member)

Seven candidates are running for seven available seats on the Class of 2027 Senate.

  • Michael Onysko
  • Larry Qiu
  • Mikey Glueck (incumbent)
  • Aaron Dickson (incumbent)
  • Isabela Silvares Lima (incumbent)
  • Brendan French (incumbent)
  • Jonah Feldman (incumbent)

There are two candidates contesting for the Southwest Asian and North African Community Senator position.

  • Iman Boulouah (incumbent)
  • Lugin Afifi

The following seats are uncontested:

  • Africana Community Senator: Rhoda Edwards (incumbent Class of 2026 Senator)
  • Asian American Community Senator: Thy Nguyen (incumbent)
  • Disability Community Senator: Amelia Farrar (incumbent)
  • First Generation Community Senator: Alexander Vang (incumbent)
  • International Community Senator: Mathew Ltisinywa Letua (incumbent)
  • LGBTQIA+ Community Senator: Donovan Sanders (incumbent)
  • SMFA Community Senator: Kunal Botla (incumbent)
  • Women’s Community Senator: Krystal Mutebi (incumbent)

There are five candidates running for seven available seats on the TCU Judiciary.

  • Jacob Ackiron (inumbent)
  • Kazi Begum
  • Nick Dahlen (incumbent)
  • Patricia Martinez
  • Ethan VanGosen (incumbent)

There is one candidate running for five available seats on the CSL.

  • Juna Hatta-Langedyk

On Monday, ECOM held a candidate forum and meet-and-greet in the Joyce Cummings Center Atrium to provide an opportunity for students to speak with the candidates. In the following weeks, ECOM will continue to host a number of events to encourage votership and participation in the second leg of the election season, the presidential election. Presidential candidates, selected from within the Senate, are yet to have been nominated.

On Thursday, from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., an Election Day ice cream truck on the Mayer Campus Center Upper Patio. Students who show proof of their vote can claim a free ice cream.

On Tuesday, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., ECOM will hold the presidential candidate nominations in Campus Center 220.

On April 23, from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m., the presidential debate will be held in Cummings Center 270. Time and location are subject to change, according to ECOM.

Ballots will be open for the presidential election from April 24 at 12 p.m. through April 26 at 12 p.m.

Correction: Nathaniel Kennedy is a first-time Senate candidate and Jacob Ackiron is an incumbent.