Senate discusses special election, Union President’s apology following Judiciary case
The Student Union Senate held a short meeting on Sunday, where they discussed the upcoming special election, talked about Student Union President Simran Tatuskar’s ’21 public apology for the recent Judiciary case and voted on a new amendment about Senate committee requirements.
Triskelion Constitution Changes
Triskelion, a group that seeks to foster and support Brandeis’ lesbian, gay, queer and allied community, has decided to eliminate inactive groups from its constitution, with the exception of Trans Deis, and to replace them with an intersectionality board. The Senate voted by acclamation to approve the changes to the club’s constitution.
Following the Senate’s recent resolution mandating that Tatuskar issue a public apology regarding the Judiciary case, Chief Justice of the Judiciary Rachel Sterling ’21 reported that Tatuskar has drafted her apology and that the judiciary is actively reviewing and discussing it. Sterling said the apology should be finalized by the end of the week.
Interim Union Vice President Jake Rong ’21 reported that the process for filling the position of vice president is underway, just a week after former Vice President Guillermo Caballero’s ’20 sudden resignation at the Oct. 27 Senate meeting. According to Rong, an information session for prospective candidates will be held on Tuesday. A “Meet the Candidates” session will follow on Thursday, along with a candidates’ debate on Nov. 12. The election will be held on Nov. 14, and the new vice president will be announced on Nov. 15.
The Senate voted by roll call not to formally condemn Caballero for his actions during the Judiciary case.
Rong also reported that the election for the second racial minority senator seat will be held separately from the upcoming special election to ensure the vice presidential race is the primary focus. In response, Class of 2022 Senator Joseph Coles suggested that the racial minority senator seat be voted upon at this special election. One senator pointed out that the seat was established “because of the lack of racial representation,” and that waiting to fill the seat would impede that goal.
Committee Chair Reports
Racial Minority Senator Joyce Huang ’22 reported that over 30 students signed up to join the Student Advisory Council, a paid group where students meet bi-monthly to discuss topics regarding race, xenophobia and Islamophobia.
Dining Committee Chair Nancy Zhai ’22 reported that the committee is addressing discrepancies between the online versions of menus available to students and the food served in both University dining halls. Zhai reported that the committee is also organizing a cooking event where students can prepare food using their own recipes. The event will take place on Nov. 19 and 20.
Zhai reported that the committee will ensure that students remaining on campus during Thanksgiving break will have access to meals. She said that from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. there will be a continental breakfast served at The Stein between Nov. 28 and Nov. 30.
Facilities and Housing Committee Chair Trevor Filseth ’20 reported that there was an overwhelming response to feedback forms regarding the University’s punishment for damage to residence halls. Filseth said the committee has compiled a list of students willing to follow up on their complaints through interviews. Once the interviews are complete, Filseth reported there will be subsequent meetings with administrators.
Committee Service Requirement Amendment
The Senate discussed an amendment that would allow senators serving on the Allocations Board and the Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund to be exempt from the constitutional requirement to serve on two committees because those meetings are two hours weekly. The Senate voted by roll call to pass the amendment, with nine senators in favor and two opposed.
—Editor's Note: Chief Justice of the Judiciary Rachel Sterling is an Arts and Culture Staff Writer and Foster Mods Senator Trevor Filseth is a Forum Staff Writer.