Senators extend JFAB’s probationary period, debate interfaith event funds
After a round of of committee reports on Sunday, the Senate voted to allocate funds for an upcoming interfaith event next month.
The meeting began with announcements and recapping of this week’s events. Senators reported that on Wednesday a meeting was held with the Jewish Feminist Association of Brandeis to discuss the condition of the club’s probationary status, which was originally awarded last semester. Probationary clubs are are given 12 weeks to “develop and prove their ability to pursue or fulfill their purpose,” according to the Student Union Bylaws. Senators at the Wednesday meeting decided to provide JFAB with an additional probationary term because the club had not been holding regular weekly meetings, despite claiming they had widespread support on campus.
Before discussing committee reports, the Senate held a vote on last week’s proposed bylaws amendment to explicitly define an executive session, which until that point had not been formally detailed. The Senate unanimously passed the motion by a vote of acclamation. During an executive session, senators may not vote upon business, and the content of the session “may be recorded but not broadcast.” The only Senate action that requires an executive session is the election of the executive senator.
Senate Sustainability Committee chair Kent Dinlenc ’19 said the committee was interested in implementing a so-called “swap shack,” where graduating students could donate clean microwave ovens and refrigerators to incoming students. Dinlenc said other schools have implemented similar programs, and have reduced the number of discarded appliances. Other senators expressed support for this idea.
Senate Dining Committee chair Leigh Salomon ’19 reported that Usdan has replaced its soy sauce bottles with packets of soy sauce after students repeatedly stole the soy sauce bottles. He reported that the Dining Committee is also exploring the installation of a shelving unit above the ice cream cooler in Sherman dining hall that could hold sprinkles and other ice cream toppings. Senator Alex Chang ’22 recommended adding ice cream cones to the shelf, which other senators expressed support for.
Chang said he had acquired about 30 signatures from students and other members of the Brandeis community in support of his piano resolution, which seeks to purchase pianos for each of the first-year residence quads.
The Senate next focused on a Senate Money Resolution from Racial Minority Senator Geraldine Bogard ’20, who requested approximately $400 for a proposed interfaith event that would take place on Nov. 8. Bogard said the event would provide students and faculty of any religious faith or atheist views a “common ground” to talk about stereotypes and personal experiences with religion on campus. She estimated that the attendance of the event would be approximately 60 people, a figure of which Senator Kendal Chapman ’22 was skeptical. Chapman noted, “I have doubts about the Brandeis community showing up for this.”
Senator Linfei Yang ’20 also expressed reservations about the event’s menu. Approximately $150 of the SMR would go to securing food, including 10 cheese pizzas and one garden salad. Though one senator noted that the garden salad would be “large,” Yang said he would not support the resolution until more vegetarian and gluten-free food options were made available.
Bogard said that she respected the feedback of the other senators, but noted a vote next week on her SMR would be too late. As a compromise, the senators voted on her resolution, with the agreement that she would change the resolution to accommodate the suggestions of her fellow senators. Senator Benedikt Reynolds ’19 emphasized that the revised SMR should not exceed $500. The SMR was passed in a vote of acclamation.