CREATING A MORE INCLUSIVE CAMPUS
Tufts loves to sell itself on inclusivity and diversity, but there is much more that our school can be doing to create a campus that is genuinely inclusive of people of all identities and backgrounds.
Reform the forced leave system – as it stands, students can be forced to leave campus due to health, mental health, and alcohol and drug-related issues in cases when alternatives would be more beneficial to the student involved and Tufts community as a whole. Returning from forced leave is an alienating process that can take an unnecessary toll on students as they try to come back to Tufts. I plan on working with the administration to clear unnecessary hurdles and give students more say in a decision that can often be highly personal.
Expand Counseling and Mental Health Services hours – currently, SMHS is open 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday. While these are normal business hours, many students have class schedules and jobs which prevent them from seeking help during these hours. I'll push to get CMHS to either be open on at least one weekend day or evening, so that students with busy schedules can get what they need, too.
Ensure Tufts continues to abide by Title IX – as Tufts has a history of not complying with Title IX, I'll continually ensure that the administration is aware of its difficult past and works to improve the way it handles incidents of bias and sexual harassment on campus, not slip back into old habits.
Wheelchair accessibility – yes, Tufts is build on a hill. But that doesn't mean it can't be more physically accessible than it currently is. To go from Goddard Chapel to Tisch Library on foot takes maybe 2 minutes. In a wheelchair, it's at least 10 minutes: the Tisch steps don't have a ramp, so you'd have to either go down the (heavily slanted) ramp near Miner or over to Olin and down the path over there to Pro Row, then walk over. Tufts can't remove the hill, but it can work to build more elevators and ramps and increase access to alternate entrances to do a better job than it currently is.
Better accommodations from Student Accessibility Services – SAS does some great work, but many students have reported having difficulty securing the accommodations they need in order to perform their best in classes. There are many small ways that SAS can and should improve its operation to make many students far more comfortable and able to succeed.
Support faculty of color – twelve faculty members of color are leaving this year alone, and that's no coincidence. Tufts should invest more resources in recruiting professors from underrepresented backgrounds, but merely recruiting more diverse professors is not enough. Extending tenure-track positions to faculty of color to increase retention is also important, as are mandatory anti-bias trainings for all faculty and staff.
Gender neutral bathrooms in all major buildings – it's great that Tufts is building a gender-neutral bathroom in the Campus Center, but there are still buildings on campus which lack gender-neutral restroom options. I'll continue to work alongside the administration to ensure that every major building on campus have options that all students feel comfortable using.
Correct wrongs against SMFA students, run the shuttle on Saturdays, advocate for SMFA community rep in TCU Senate – to say that Tufts' acquisition of the SMFA has not gone smoothly would be a massive understatement. Many things changed for SMFA students after Tufts bought it, some for the better, but many for the worse. I'll work to ensure that students on all of Tufts' campuses can take advantage of its resources, running the SMFA shuttle on Saturdays and providing SMFA students the option of electing someone to the body that ultimately makes funding decisions about their student groups.
Feminine hygiene product expansion – Senators Janey Litvin and Rebeca Becdach have done great work in expanding access to feminine hygiene products in restrooms across campus, and I look forward to advocating for the institutionalization of this project.
Fight to keep Tufts’ commitment to not comply w/ federal immigration officials
Expand the reach of and further improve health services
Treat on-campus workers with the respect they deserve
Expand the underrepresented states program, do same thing for other underrepresented identities