Members return to club discussions, normal business as piano initiative encounters unexpected delay
After weeks of debate, frustration and disagreement, Sunday’s Senate meeting was comparatively mild.
Committee chairs had little to report to the Senate. Senate Sustainability Committee Chair Kent Dinlenc ’19 informed senators that he had sent his carbon tax endorsement petition to University President Ron Liebowitz, but had not received a response.
Senate Health and Safety Committee Chair Joshua Hoffman ’21 said the condoms for his committee’s condom distribution initiative will be distributed by the end of the spring 2019 semester, and that the condoms will only be distributed to the Foster Mods and to East Quad. Hoffman’s initiative was originally planned to distribute condoms to the residence halls in North Quad, Massell Quad and East Quad, but was modified to provide additional condoms for residents of the Mods. This change was made due to complications with the Union purchasing resources from a Student Union-funded club, the Student Sexuality Information Service.
Hoffman also brought up the problem that Skyline Residence Hall residents frequently encounter dead birds around the hall that flew into the building’s glass. Massell Quad Senator Kendal Chapman ’22 recommended purchasing decals or stickers for the windows designed to help birds recognize the windows. Senators were also unsure if the problem fell under their or the Department of Community Living’s purview. All senators agreed, though, that it is important for Skyline to be more bird-friendly.
Senate Services and Outreach Committee Chair Aaron Finkel ’20 announced that the Student Union will be providing free shuttles back to campus from Logan International Airport for students returning from winter break. The shuttles will pick up students “every hour or so” from the airport and will cost about $1,200 for the single day of operation.
Class of 2022 Senator Chang said that he spoke with Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Tim Touchette, because the pianos were not installed as originally planned last Thursday. The carpenters responsible for the installation “never showed up,” Chang said.
International Student Senator Linfei Yang ’20 spoke next about the impact of his actions in the Senate. “I would just like to offer Benedikt an apology,” Yang said. “I know that he has been particularly impacted by recent events.” He continued that “fortunately,” the Senate received a reward of $60 from the instrument store Musician’s Friend after purchasing the two pianos from them. He said he wanted Union Vice President Benedikt Reynolds ’19 to decide how to allocate the money as a reconciliatory gesture for Yang’s behavior earlier in the semester.
Four weeks ago Yang sent a series of inflammatory emails to the Class of 2022 accusing the Executive Board of hostility.
Yang also apologized to Chang, saying about him, “I have witnessed unprecedented levels of vitriolic hatred ever directed toward a freshman.” Yang concluded, “It’s time to move on.”
Reynolds said he was interested in providing more support for members of the Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps, after a meeting with University Provost Lisa Lynch in which she expressed concern for the amount of time BEMCo volunteers spend on call. Reynolds expressed interest in University-backed financial support for BEMCo volunteers. “Perhaps [BEMCo] shouldn’t be a club at all. Perhaps they should be a University service.” He added that members of BEMCo provide a great service to the Brandeis community for free, and that the University should recognize the value they add to Brandeis. Other senators indicated their support for Reynolds’ idea.