Senate dicusses administrative changes regarding student life
The Senate convened for its weekly meeting on Sunday, discussing multiple changes to aspects of student life recently made by the Union and by the University Administration.
The Senate voted to de-charter and de-recognize clubs which had not renewed their anti-hazing forms. The senators also voted to re-charter and re-recognize the Brandeis Traditional Music Club.
Student Union President Jacob Edelman ’18 reported on the new organizational structure created by University President Ron Liebowitz after the departure of Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel. In an email to the community, Liebowitz stated that “Sheryl Sousa ’90, vice president for student affairs, who oversees the dean of students, community living, athletics, the Hiatt Career Center, the Health Center, and student activities, will now report to Provost Lisa Lynch.” In response, Edelman stated that “it makes sense to centralize aspects of academic and non-academic student life to a certain degree. … There will be less communication failure that goes on.”
Student Union Vice President Hannah Brown ’19 explained that she got word that the new General Education Requirements passed its second phase. The proposal will go to the Board of Trustees next for a vote.
Executive Senator Aaron Finkel ’20 reported that he met with Assistant Director of Conference and Events Services Kim Callahan to discuss increasing school spirit and creating a Student Union podcast.
The Campus Operations Working Group Committee chair, Senator-at-Large Shaquan McDowell ’18, stated that the committee met to discuss the results of the free menstrual products initiative trial.
Club Support Committee chair Tal Richtman, the Class of 2020 senator, reminded the Senate about the committee’s upcoming workshop on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and asked them to encourage any club leaders they know to attend.
Sustainability Committee chair Benedikt Reynolds, Class of 2019 senator, reported that half of the committee attended a sustainability symposium at Emerson College and learned about ways to make the University more sustainable. Committee members will assist new students with move-in and will encourage them to live more sustainably.
Social Justice and Diversity Committee chair Elizabeth Dabanka ’20, the Rosenthal Quad senator, reported that the committee is working to raise $4,000 for its ’DEIS Impact event.
Health and Safety Committee chair Samantha Barrett ’20, the East Quad senator, reported that there are now “no smoking” signs in North Quad. Barrett and Brown met with Director of Student Accessibility Services Beth Rodgers-Kay about improving campus accessibility for students with disabilities. Barrett is working to find out the number of first-aid kits needed for the committee’s first-aid kit initiative.
Finkel, who also chairs the Services and Outreach Committee, implored senators to attend meetings, as the committee needs more help planning Midnight Buffet. Finkel reported that Turkey Shuttles are almost sold out, but that there are many issues with refunds and buyers selling tickets they no longer need.
Finkel drafted a Senate Money Resolution to fund a new shuttle extension into Cambridge and Boston on weekends. He stated that he desires funding for shuttle extensions to be covered by Public Safety in the future. The Senate will vote on the SMR next week.
Finkel also drafted an SMR to cover the costs of a new television in the Student Union conference room.
Class of 2021 Senator Rachel McAllister said she put up posters in all dorm halls in Massell Quad for students to express their concerns.
Richtman met with the Disabilities Services Office to better understand the system to accommodate students with disabilities and how those students are involved in the community.
Massell Quad Senator Qingtian Mei ’21 proposed a direct channel between students and the Department of Community Living to allow students to quickly get their questions answered.