TCU Senate calls for divestment from ICE, supports DACA

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The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate called on Tufts to divest from companies affiliated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and articulated support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and students with undocumented status in two resolutions. TCU also filled vacant committee chair positions and heard State of the TCU addresses from executive board members.

The first resolution, titled “S.19-15 A Resolution Calling for the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate to Stand with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients and Students with Undocumented Status,” articulated that the TCU Senateunequivocally stands with and supports students with DACA and students with undocumented status.

The resolution passed with 26 senators in favor and none opposed after an amendment period in which TCU Senators corrected grammar and defined what a statement in favor of DACA and undocumented students would look like.

The resolution, submitted by Ibrahim AlMuasher, a first-year, and sophomores Carolina Olea Lezama and José Martínez, also resolved that TCU Senate supports both the Tufts United for Immigrant Justice’s (UIJ) Call to Action and Tufts University’s own statement against the rescission of DACA, calling for TCU Senate to “work towards upholding the UIJ’s Call to Action.

In his speech in favor of the resolution, AlMuasher told the body that he and his co-authors submitted the resolution because they believe that the rescission of DACA could directly affect colleges such as Tufts since they have undocumented students.

Martínez argued that in passing resolution S.19-15, TCU Senate has a chance to exercise their position as leaders in the Tufts community.

“[It’s important that] it’s not only us just speaking on it but us actually taking action and making sure that we become leaders in this support for undocumented and DACA students,” Martínez said.

The second resolution, titled “S.19-14 A Resolution Calling on Tufts University to Divest from Any Company that Invests in or Supports Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” called on the “Tufts administration and Board of Trustees to develop a plan to divest from any company that contracts, funds, or supports Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).” According to the resolution, some of these companies include the software companies Palantir and Amazon and the technology companies Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell.

The resolution, submitted by sophomores Leonardo Ruiz Sanchez, Rabiya Ismail, Olea Lezama, Angelica Yanez, Rossiel Reyes, Molly Laurencin, Uyen Chu and Martínez, and juniors Alejandro Baez and Daniela Pozos Nicolau, also called on Tufts to “remove ICE and [Customs and Border Protection (CBP)] job and internship postings from… Handshake.”

According to the authors of the resolution, they included the clause calling for the removal of ICE and CBP from Handshake because Handshake creates a direct connection between the two agencies and Tufts students.

Resolution S.19-14 passed with 25 senators in favor, none opposed and one abstaining. TCU Senators took the full ten minutes allotted to debate whether or not to include the clause calling for divestment from Amazon, Palantir, HP and Dell.

TCU Senate also held internal elections for vacated committee chair positions. TCU Senate elected Iyra Chandra as the next Education Committee Chair. Chandra was chosen over Ismail, who serves as the TCU Historian, and AlMuasher.

In her speech, Chandra, a sophomore, told the TCU Senate that education is her passion, and referenced her previous experience working in the Education Committee.

“I think that since I’ve worked so closely with [current Education Committee Chair] Ayden [Crosby] this fall, I really have a good way to transition into the spring,” Chandra said.

The results of the second internal election elected Jalen Little as the next Outreach Committee Chair. Little was chosen over first-year Sam Sadowski and sophomore Andrew Kofsky.

Little, a first-year, talked about how he would improve the Outreach Committee’s collaboration and communication with other TCU Senate committees. He also emphasized the benefits of face-to-face interactions with the Tufts students represented by TCU Senate.

“My biggest goal would definitely be [to] sort of solidify face-to-face connection,” Little said. “[This would include] getting to know a person rather than just Senate as a body.”

Finally, TCU President Shannon Lee gave her State of the TCU address. Lee, a senior, discussed the addition of a student with voting power on the Tufts Board of Trustees, the new Bias Response Team’s inclusion of both students and the administration, and TCU Senate’s role in the removal of the Sackler name from Tufts buildings and programs as well as the establishment of a $3 million endowment focused on substance abuse prevention.

TCU Treasurer Sharif Hamidi also gave his State of the Treasury speech, in which he discussed both the more efficient treasury process that featured only one treasury appeal, and a more diverse allocations board.

“We elected, to my knowledge, the first majority women allocations board,” Hamidi, a junior, said.

Finally, TCU Diversity and Community Affairs Officer Olea Lezama gave her State of Diversity and Community Affairs speech. She also talked about the creation of Bias Response Teams and discussed the increased access to feminine hygiene products across campus.



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