Community Discussion Recap
TMC recently hosted a community discussion on cultural and social issues in the club. We were looking to open up a place for people to share their thoughts and also help both the exec board and individual members develop a productive plan to continue improving accessibility in this club. I definitely think it was a productive discussion and the board and I are looking forward to having more of these in the future! In case you werenâ€™t able to make it to this discussion, hereâ€™s a brief update on what we talked about and what our plans are moving forward.
- The format for this discussion involved splitting up into smaller focus groups to discuss ways that TMC could improve its accessibility. We identified issues in three categories: Specific things that limitÂ accessinto the club and the outdoors, variousÂ assumptionsthat might limit peopleâ€™s experiences in the club andÂ attitudesÂ that might affect how easy it is to be a part of TMC. You can view a summary of the results from this exerciseÂ here.
- At the end of the meeting, everyone anonymously wrote down on a note card one thing they are planning take away from this conversation to personally help improve the climate of TMC and increase accessibility in the outdoors. There were a lot of really great thoughts! I think they do a good job of summing up the direction we can take moving forward from this discussion. You can read all of themÂ here.
- Finally, it is important that the TMC Board shares what we have been doing behind the scenes in our commitment to make the club a more inclusive space:
-We have recently developed the framework for a new board position called the Student Outreach Director. The goal of this position is to have someone who is in charge of outreach to different groups around campus and within TMC in order to promote accessibility in our club. This position will be a full member of the TMC board and will be a liaison between a working group of TMC members and the board. The Student Outreach Director will have the creative freedom to craft the framework for this working group and will be expected to meet with big weekend coordinators and hold check-ins with board members and other TMCers as needed. This position will be dynamic and will require a lot of work to structure it to fit TMCâ€™s needs. Since this is a trial run, we are asking people to apply for the position, instead of running it in the elections. If youâ€™re passionate about making the outdoors accessible and promoting a positive relationship between TMC and the Tufts community, you are encouraged to applyÂ here!
-We also planned on giving people that are running for board some guiding questions for their speeches at elections in order to make running for board welcoming to people of all ability levels in the outdoors. While some technical positions require a little bit of specialized skill, most board positions are perfect for anyone who is willing to dedicate their time to continue and improve the functions of TMC. Itâ€™s not just for lifetime outdoorspeople!
-We also want to note that TMC has offered financial aid to those that need help covering the cost of membership. The info is located at the bottom of the membership info page on our websiteÂ here. However, we admit that we havenâ€™t done the best job of being very transparent about financial aid. In an effort to fix that, we have been developing a robust financial aid plan that will also provide discounted access to the Loj for first-timers that might not be sure whether or not they are interested enough to become TMC members.
We are super excited for these great improvements to get rolling and we do hope they help us continue our goal of getting lots of people out on fun trips! However, weâ€™re only getting started.Â TMC Board ElectionsÂ are coming up on December 1st. Anyone who is excited to play a pivotal role in keeping this momentum going and making the outdoors accessible to people should clickÂ hereÂ for all the info you need to know about running for board. Available positions are:
-Student Outreach Director
Donâ€™t worry if you want to get more involved but donâ€™t think you can dedicate your whole year to board. There are alwaysÂ other opportunities to take on leadership rolesÂ in TMC. For starters, the application toÂ coordinate Pass the Torch WeekendÂ is open until Friday! All sophomores and juniors are encouraged to apply, even if they didnâ€™t make it to PTTW last year.
You can find the applicationÂ here.