TUA passes Crawfest cleanup, Loyola partnership plans

Ethan Moran, Staff Writer

TUA voted to pass Crawfest cleanup efforts, joint sessions with Loyola University student government and finalized their budget during their fourth session on Tuesday. (Ethan Moran)

On Tuesday, the Tulane Undergraduate Assembly voted “yes” to aiding Crawfest cleanup efforts, holding joint sessions with Loyola University Student Government Association and finalizing their $168,000 budget.

Tuesday marked the newly evolved Tulane Undergraduate Assembly’s fourth session. Tulane’s newest student government, TUA, formed after Undergraduate Student Government dissolved in September 2022 due to accusations of racism and misbehavior. According to their website, TUA aims to create “a model of student governance that centers the Tulane population, specifically BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students.”

“From an internal perspective, the things we focus on are very much so advocacy based,” TUA co-chair DaSean Spencer said. TUA shifted student government towards student issues, Spencer said, “and not flashy amendments, flashy resolutions, just to get people talking.”

Amendment A23-B03 sought to allocate funds to a Crawfest composting initiative. During the debate, TUA members heard a presentation from students who advocated for their project funding. Presenters said over 15,000 lbs of Crawfish are sold yearly at the event, creating a substantial amount of waste. 

“Building community partnerships within the New Orleans community is really important to us,” TUA co-chair Jay Hartley said. Hartley added the importance of having a student body “engaging with other New Orleanians and contributing to a community that we call home.”

Afterward, delegates unanimously agreed on partnering with Loyola’s student government, and the first joint session with Loyola will be held on April 11. The TUA and Loyola’s Student Government Association will discuss issues that impact New Orleans and administrative practices both universities plan on adopting. 

“Some of our topics that we’re hoping to talk about are community equity, making sure that all students on both of our campuses have access to food if they’re food insecure, as well as talking about safety and other similar issues,” Hartley said. 

Delegates at the event also finalized TUA’s budget, which includes funding for student programming and the TUA’s administration. Money will be distributed throughout TUA committees for project allocation. As an advocacy-based organization, TUA hopes that these funds will help projects that cater to the New Orleans community and underrepresented students. 

“Whenever we discuss legislation, Jay and I take the point of making sure everyone feels heard,” Spencer said. “We’re allocating tens of thousands of dollars for [students], and it’s just for projects that can help students.”

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