Food Recovery Network recognized
On Sunday, the Senate convened for its weekly meeting and recognized two clubs—one on a contingency—and made some general announcements.
At the beginning of the meeting, Student Union President Sneha Walia ’15 announced that the Inter-Union Meeting will be held next Wednesday, Oct. 22. She announced that a Dean’s Night with several of the deans will be held on Nov. 13 in Ridgewood Commons and will be open to all students. A roundtable, the first of the semester, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. with Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel and other administrators. The first Community Enhancement Fund meeting will be held this week, she announced.
Walia announced that the Student Union will be co-sponsoring an event in Waltham with Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society. Addressing the senators, she said that those who missed the Student Union retreat will need to complete bystander training. She also mentioned a project underway for adding a blue light for the Charles River Apartments.
Two clubs approached the Senate—the Food Recovery Network and the Student Language Exchange—both asking for recognition and charter.
Students from the Food Recovery Network explained that it is a part of a national organization that donates leftover food items from dining services. The students said that they have a year-long plan worked out, which includes two recoveries for fall and works toward weekly recoveries in the spring. The group said that other universities that use Sodexo are participating in the Food Recovery Network and that Sodexo has preexisting protocols for cooperating with the organization.
The Senate then had a closed discussion about recognizing the club. The senators expressed several concerns, namely that the dining services has already been working to reduce waste. Some senators worried that the group had not yet been in communication with Randi Kates-Peirce, the senior director of operations for Sodexo, or Shawn Monaghan, the resident manager of Sodexo. Several senators were concerned that legally, dining services would have to throw out what is already being served. The senators wondered if, given current policy, the group would be able to carry out their goals the way they wanted to.
The senators questioned whether a Brandeis chapter of the Food Recovery Network would work with other clubs and if recognizing this club would be possible, considering a potential duality of purpose with Dining and Sustainability. The senators took a vote, with a majority in favor of recognizing the club, and recognized it on the contingency that the club will meet with Monaghan, Kates-Peirce, Chair of the Dining Committee and Class of 2017 Senator Ben Margolin and Chair of the Sustainability Committee and Class of 2015 Senator Anna Bessendorf. The club can be officially approved for recognition once those meetings occur and it is decided that the club’s goals are plausible. Thus, the Senate did not vote on whether or not to charter the club.
Next, the Student Language Exchange approached the Senate for recognition and charter. The members stated that international students teach languages not taught on campus. They gave examples of Bengali and Cantonese, both taught last semester, and noted that the plan is to hold 80-minute lessons weekly with teaching fellows.
The Senate unanimously recognized the club without discussion. The group said that it wanted to be chartered in order to be able to procure textbooks and teaching materials and gave the example of a program started at Brown University, saying that Brandeis was the second campus to launch this sort of program. The Senate voted to charter the group.
Senator-at-Large Brian Hough ’17 proposed a change to the Article V in Section 6 of the Student Union Constitution, asking to move the agenda section to the top, so that the Senate could discuss clubs earlier in the Senate meeting. His proposal was unanimously approved. The Senate voted to skip senator reports.