Senate discusses Midnight Buffet, mold problem
At its Sunday meeting, the Senate passed a Senate Money Resolution to fund Midnight Buffet, brought up concerns regarding students getting sick in Deroy Residence Hall and discussed Student Union President Simran Tatuskar’s ’21 apologies to the Brandeis community and Union members.
Midnight Buffet SMR
Services and Outreach Committee Chair Alison Leibowitz ’20 presented the SMR for Midnight Buffet. The total cost will be $7,614. Leibowitz acknowledged the steep cost of the event. “I’ve been trying my best to cut this down,” she said.
She suggested that they could eliminate 200 spring rolls from the budget, which would spare $407.21 of the $3495.21 food budget. She also presented two options for t-shirts, one costing $1,715.13 and the other costing $1,562.63. After some discussion, the senators decided to keep the spring rolls and select the less expensive shirts.
The rest of the money would go toward decorations (about $525), utensils ($187) and the fee that Conference and Event Services charges for hosting the event in Levin Ballroom ($1,828.98). This fee covers the cost of tables, chairs, food warmers, custodians and more.
The Senate voted on the SMR by roll call. The amendment passed, with Class of 2022 Senator Joseph Coles, East Quad Senator Priyata Bhatta ’22 and Rosenthal and Skyline Quad Senator Leah Fernandez ’22 voting against the SMR. Coles and Fernandez said that they thought the expense was too high. Coles pointed out that the total cost was about 40% of the Senate’s yearly budget of $20,000.
“$16,000 on two events is a lot,” Fernandez added, estimating the total cost of Midnight Buffet for both semesters.
Class of 2020 Senator Scott Halper told Massell Quad Senator Dariel Jimenez ’23 during Jimenez’s senator report that he had heard several complaints from Deroy residents saying that students are getting sick because of mold in the residence hall.
“I’ve just been hearing a lot of students who live in Deroy specifically complain that they keep getting sick,” Halper said. “They believe that the building has mold.”
The students “emailed [the Department of Community Living] and DCL … basically told them that unless the whole building responds, they’re not going to check it, so a bunch of Deroy residents have been trying to get everyone in their building to reach out to DCL,” Halper said.
Class of 2023 Senator Skye Liu said she wanted to make the Lunar New Year a holiday at Brandeis. She explained that there was a high population of Chinese, Japanese and Korean students at Brandeis who celebrate the Lunar New Year and that she thought it would be beneficial for those students to be able to have homework extensions should the holiday fall on a school night.
Senate Committee Chair Reports
Coles announced that next week he will introduce an amendment mandating that chartered clubs have advisors. The amendment is to a bylaw mandating that secured clubs have a club consultant. “I’m looking forward to expanding the club advisor proposal,” Coles said. “Obviously it’s … pretty unpopular, but I think it’s very misunderstood, and I think it’s overall very beneficial.”
Halper, also the chair of the Rules Committee, said that at the committee’s meeting, Charles River Senator Oliver Price ’20 proposed an amendment to the Union constitution that would allow some secured clubs to pay certain club members. Price added later that he has begun drafting the language for the amendment.
Senator-at-Large Nancy Zhai ’22 said that there would be a continental breakfast available to students on campus over Thanksgiving break. The breakfast will be in the Stein on Nov. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from Nov. 28 to 30 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Senator-at-Large Josh Hoffman ’21 was not at the meeting, but Zhai read a message from him saying that the Health and Safety Committee was working with DCL to fix “the frequent flooding in Massell basements.”
Price announced that the Sustainability Committee would hold a Meatless Monday in Lower Usdan on Nov. 18.
Halper updated the Senate on the apologies Tatuskar was mandated to make following the Union Judiciary case. He said Tatuskar would be reaching out to Interim Union Vice President Jake Rong ’21 to set up a meeting to apologize to him. Halper added that former Union Vice President Guillermo Caballero ’20 has requested that Tatuskar’s apology to him be written rather than in person. Halper added that an apology to the Senate was already under revision. Halper said he hopes that all actions suggested under the sanction will be completed by next Sunday. Later, Halper reported that some people were “disappointed with the language” in Tatuskar’s public apology and “how it was sent out.”
—Editor’s Note: Justice Editor Jocelyn Gould works at Conference and Events Services.