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The comment period will end this Friday, March 16 - before SPRING BREAK. This is your last week to provide comments through the CoUrbanize platform so please take advantage of it by giving us any more pieces of feedback that cross your mind.
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On Monday, October 31 at 7pm in Alumnae Lounge, Brown & Blueprint hosted our first Town Hall event.
The meeting began with a 15-minute presentation from our panelists, which included:
Lois Stanley: Office of Campus Planning
Benya Kraus: TCU Senate
Marianne Ray: Tufts Energy Group
Matt Austin: Residential Life
After 15 minutes, students were free to ask questions on the presentation and express comments about spatial inequity at large. TCU Senate Admin & Policy Chair, Jamie Neikrie, facilitated the discussion.
A student who currently lives in a special themed house expressed a desire to have the Capen Village houses include stronger student autonomy. The student cited ResLife's control over who and how students are permitted to live in the house, as well as the permanent locking of important rooms within the house as inhibitors to building a student-controlled living environment and community that would exist in an off-campus house.
A commuter student expressed frustration that the former Commuter House that served as an important resource for commuter students had been downgraded to an inefficient and non-community conducive set of singles in a Haskell suite without prior notification from the Tufts administration.
A student living in Capen House, the residential house built within the Africana Center, cited the lack of a fire escape, as well as a basement reported to have asbestus, as severe safety concerns for residents. The student also pointed out that the sink in the residential facility is too small to effectively hold communal dinners, an inhibitor to building the type of community around shared cooking that residents desire.
A student asked how the lottery system will function for social themed houses in Capen Village for Fall of 2018, citing concerns that students are pressured to sign off-campus leases before the lottery system will start. Uncertainty about how themes will be decided and what the application process will look is a cause of anxiety for rising senior students especially.
A student suggested that selection to live in Capen Village take into consideration financial need and that chosen themes also take into consideration the need of marginalized students who do not currently have a social space to call their own.
A student expressed worry that Capen Village will serve as a tool of distraction to exempt the university from focusing on spatial inequities elsewhere on campus. The student emphasized that many trans students still feel unsafe walking through Professors Row to get to the Health Center and that while Capen Village is a good idea, much more needs to be done to address this feeling of un-safety.
Additionally, there were questions to the panelists regarding how Capen Village was being funded, as well as the process by which the administration relocated faculty living in the Tufts-owned houses that will be re-purposed as Capen Village houses.