Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Tufts Community Union, 1924


The Tufts Community Union comprises all undergraduate students in the colleges of liberal arts, Jackson, and engineering, who pay the annual student activities fee. Student Government serves as the representative body of the TCU, dealing with all aspects of student life. Students can be elected to positions within the TCU's government structure, or they may apply for appointments to student, student-faculty or trustee committees.

Discussion of establishing a student government system at Tufts College began in campus media as early as 1885, while the first proposal for such an organization, put forth in 1917 by members of the junior class was rejected.

The first constitution of the Tufts student body was ratified in 1924, establishing agoverning body called the Student Council of Tufts College. Formed to support the "unification of the various lines of extracurricular life at Tufts College, and the placing of some authority in the hands of a representative body of Tufts undergraduates. The original structure included ten representatives from student organizations and one faculty member.

In 1943, the constitution was altered for the first time, to unify the civilian students and military on campus as a result of World War II.It was again changed in 1962, creating more opportunities for student representation. The presidents of all four classes and sixteen representatives formed the council, with the president elected by popular vote of the student population.

The term Tufts Community Union (TCU) was first used in 1968. Including all students on the hill, the TCU was governed by a five-person board and four subsidiary committees, including a student Committee on Student Life and a faculty Committee on Student Life. Drastic changes were made to the constitution in 1970, with members of the TCU being defined as all students paying the Student Activites fee. The 1970 document outlined a Student Tri-Partite Committee with five members, the Committee on Student Life, the Educational Policies Committee, and the Committee on Extra-University Affairs, with a student caucus regulating the allocation of the student activities fee.

In 1972, additional changes to the constitution were made, with thirty-five senators being elected from the student body and in-house elections used to appoint its officers. The major function of the TCU Senate at that time was to allocate the Student Activities Fee among student organizations.

In January 1981, the Committee on Student Life called a constitutional convention to re-draft the constitution. The proposed document included a Judiciary to rule on matters on constitutionality and an impartial election board to run future elections. It also lowered the number of voting senators from thirty-five to twenty-nine. The constitution was again amended in 1996.

The student government system includes the Senate, the Judiciary, the Elections Board, class councils, and the student members of the Committee on Student Life.

Source: OBS, April 24, 1981

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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