The Senate secures funding for COVID-19 modified midnight buffet
Controversy ensued among Union members regarding the estimated interest level of this event.
The Senate voted to approve the creation of a new club and discussed funding for this year’s Midnight Buffet at their Oct. 18 Zoom meeting.
The officers of the prospective Brandeis Barbell Club presented their proposal to become an official club, along with plans for the year. President Daniel Grupin ’23 said that the purpose of the club is to encourage body positivity and health through exercise. This is particularly because of the increase in online classes which keep students in their chairs most of the day.
Barbell Club meetings would be split into two formats, online and in-person. The Zoom meetings, which will be held on Tuesdays at 6 p.m., would be a forum for members to communicate with each other and the club’s certified student trainers on ways to improve their exercise routines. The in-person meetings would be less formal, with the day's focus decided on a weekly basis.
The club would purchase inexpensive materials, such as exercise bands, wrist support straps and weightlifting belts, for the in-person meetings, Grupin explained. The club will not be purchasing barbells, as they are too expensive. Instead, the club will use barbells that are already available at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center.
The Senate voted unanimously to approve the club.
Senator Courtney Thrun ’21 also submitted a Senate Money Resolution to secure funding for the alternate, socially-distant version of the annual Midnight Buffet, which is traditionally held the day before finals begin. Senators use SMRs to request funds for specific projects or events, such as the Midnight Buffet.
The entire Midnight Buffet would not be at midnight or a buffet, but instead a walkthrough event where students could get merchandise and other free things from the Union.
Thrun said that she plans to use the money for items such as draw-string bags filled with candy, prizes for students and a large photo booth that would still comply with the University’s social-distancing guidelines. In order to prevent underfunding, Thrun gave overestimates for the cost of each component of the buffet, particularly T-shirts, which are still in the early stages of planning.
Senator Joseph Coles ’22 criticized Thrun's SMR for not accounting for the amount of students that are likely to show up for the event. He said that Thrun was underestimating the number of students who would show up and that more planning was required to determine an appropriate amount of money to use for the event.
The Union moved to two different votes regarding the SMR: one to expedite the voting to the same night and one on approving the SMR. The first vote was taken through roll call, with all senators voting in favor except Coles, who voted against, and Senator Skye Liu ’23, who abstained.
A two-thirds majority is required to expedite the vote, but before Coles could calculate whether there were enough senators present for the motion to pass, Liu changed her vote to yes at Vice President Krupa Sourirajan’s ’23 suggestion. Coles said that this was not allowed, but he was overruled by Sourirajan.
The Senate voted again by roll call on whether or not to pass the SMR, with all senators voting in favor except for Coles.