TCU Senate calls on Tufts to recognize ULTRA

The TCU Senate met in Sophia Gordon Hall on Nov. 13. They introduced a resolution calling for the expansion of the American Sign Language Program at Tufts and voted on a resolution calling for Tufts University to voluntarily recognize the Tufts resident assistants’ union, ULTRA.After TCU Historian Julie Baik called attendance, TCU Parliamentarian Zachary Ferretti began the meeting and introduced an abstract for Resolution S. 22-5, tentatively titled “A Resolution Calling on Tufts University to Expand the American Sign Language (ASL) Program and Recognize Its Status as a Language.”

TCU Associate Treasurer Natalie Rossinow read the abstract she submitted with fellow sophomores Ben Sagerian and Zoe Coyle. The resolution calls for the university to add two advanced language courses and a deaf culture course to its ASL program, as students of the School of Arts and Sciences must take culture courses to fulfill the Tufts language requirement.

“It should not be ignored that ASL is its own distinct, natural language with its own morphologic, phonologic, and syntactic rules and should be offered to the same degree as all other languages on campus,” the resolution said.

Representatives of the United Labor of Tufts Resident Assistants Julie Francois, Theresa Quinto and David Whittingham, all juniors, presented resolution S. 22-4 “A Resolution Calling on Tufts University to Voluntarily Recognize the United Labor of Resident Assistants.” Baik read the resolution, followed by a five-minute statement by the petitioners and a Q&A session.

The resolution calls on Tufts administration to voluntarily recognize ULTRA, arguing that RAs experience a lack of clarity regarding expectations, no wages outside of housing, two weeks of unpaid, mandatory training and that RAs are required to offer an unreasonable degree of flexibility.

“RAs are seeking fair compensation, better treatment by supervisors and ORLL, clearer expectations and responsibilities, and a real voice over their jobs,” the resolution said.

The resolution passed with 27 in favor and 4 abstaining. Rossinow then presented six supplementary funding requests.

Teach-In CORES, a student group that helps prepare local immigrants and refugees for the U.S. citizenship exam, requested $450 to fund a copyright license for a showing of “Citizen USA: A Fifty State Road Trip,” a movie about the process of citizenship in America. The request passed unanimously.

Tufts Gaming Hub requested $100 for funding for an upcoming tournament. The resolution passed unanimously.

The Association of Latinx Students requested $600 in funding to go towards food for their upcoming Siguelo Bailando After-Party. The request passed unanimously.

The Tufts Pep Band requested $3,000 to compensate director Ray Daniels during the spring semester when the pep band course is not formally offered at Tufts. The pep band hopes to continue performing under the direction of Daniels for the spring semester but was denied funding by the music department at Tufts. The request passed unanimously.

The Tufts Muslim Student Association requested $1,500 funding to go toward hotel and transportation fees for a guest for their fall speaker series. The request passed with 28 voting yes and 1 abstaining.

ALLIES, a foreign policy student organization, requests $150 for funding to provide mugs to their guest speakers for their fall speaker series in which they are inviting ten guests including navy generals and other senior specialists to speak. The request passed unanimously.

After concluding the supplementary funding requests, TCU President Jaden Pena announced a potential amendment to the TCU constitution that would amend the supplementary funding voting rules to require only a vote from the Allocations Board for requests under $500. Currently, supplementary funding requests are voted on first by ALBO and then by the entire senate.

TCU Vice President Arielle Galinsky announced updates from the General Board, highlighting the senate’s plans for a grocery store shuttle for students as well as bags of free groceries for students on financial aid who will remain on campus over fall break.

TCU FIRST Senator Ayomide Oloyede recapped National First Generation Week. Oloyede said the bingo night and Campus Center takeover hosted by the FIRST Center were successful, and thanked his fellow senators for their support.

Services Committee Chair Anika Buder-Greenwood discussed plans for an upcoming farmers market hosted by TCU Senate, as well as plans for late night dining during finals season.

TCU Assistant Diversity Officer and Africana Community Senator Hadiya Giwa discussed an upcoming meet and greet with the Africana Center and plans for finals self care kits.

After hearing updates from other committees, Pena announced that the Dean of Student Affairs Office will attend next week’s meeting to discuss the creation of a wellness center space on campus. Pena also reminded the senate that Elections Commission elections are coming up, reiterating the vital role ECOM plays in electing senators and streamlining the election process.

Rossinow was named Senator of the Week and the meeting was adjourned.