Group holds meal plan vote
The Justice League, a student-run organization that focuses on improving the shared commitment of campus community through more student involvement, distributed ballots in students' mailboxes yesterday to gauge interest in what can be changed about the University after holding an informative event this past Sunday afternoon. According to the Justice League's website, the group coordinates student events focused around students "standing up for their rights, standing up for Social Justice, and standing up for a Brandeis that inspires them."
The campaign was marketed with a main slogan, "Your Mailbox Misses You," printed over humorous pictures around campus.
"The flyers were all over campus, and I was just really curious to see what it was all about. I was also intrigued with the amount of excitement and involvement that all the members seemed to have," Danielle Gross '14 said in an interview with the Justice after attending the event.
The informational event focused primarily on improving the meal plans, implementing point-dollar parity and giving students a voice through committees formed on campus, the areas that the ballot listed.
During discussions, the event's coordinator, Sahar Massachi '11 said, "The meal plan is clearly a rip-off. We're allowed to have a say in more things than just the food. We live here, this is our university, and we want the best for it."
In an interview with the Justice after the event, Massachi said that this event has been in the making for several years. He explained that during the recent budget crisis, the endowment shrank, causing the University to create committees to plan for its fiscal future. Rather than uniting the students for a common cause, Massachi explained, the administration decided to keep students in the dark. He said that, as a result of student protest, the administration agreed to appoint students to committees on academic structuring.
He pointed out that the largest of these committees only had one non-voting student representative-the president of the Student Union. "Now, there's one student on each committee," Massachi said.
In an interview with the Justice, Shea Reister '11, who helped with the mailbox ballot initiative, said that "the bigger picture is what students want, and it's not just these tiny steps."
"It shouldn't be considered a privilege that students have a say in how their university runs," said Katherine Alexander '12, another student who helped to plan yesterday's event.
Yesterday, the ballots placed in mailboxes asked students whether they thought "we should have a point-dollar parity," in which a dollar in points would equal a dollar in cash; whether Aramark should "have to compete with other companies for our business," instead of having an automatically renewed contract; or whether they thought "students should select two voting reps for every big committee, like the Presidential Search Committee, or Brandeis 20/20." According to the ballot, the Justice League will "hand-deliver [the ballots] to [University President Frederick Lawrence]."
According to Alexander, the voting will continue through next week.
-Robyn Spector contributed reporting.