Proposal to add a senator for Chinese international students draws controversy
Opposed senators said the plan would make other international students feel excluded.
Sen. Noah Risely ’24, chair of the Social Justice and Diversity Committee, informed the Senate at their Feb. 14 meeting that because of an “incident” involving Chinese international students, he was proposing adding a new senator position specifically for an international student from China. Making such a change would require an amendment to the Union Constitution. Vice President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 instructed senators not to discuss the incident Risely referred to during the public session.
Senators Sky Liu ’23, Vivian Mou ’23 and Chris Tian ’24, all students from China, expressed their opposition to the change. “I don’t think we need another Chinese international student [senator],” Liu said. Instead of adding a position, Liu suggested that the Student Union should work more closely with the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a club which promotes the culture and interests of Chinese students.
Mou, the current International Student senator, said that creating a new position only for Chinese students would make international students from other countries feel excluded. Tian countered Risely’s proposal with a suggestion to add an extra international senator position, which, like the existing one, would be open to students from any foreign country.
Sen. Joseph Coles ’22 announced that the Brandeis Chabad proposed a large overhaul to its constitution, which the Senate will be voting on at next Sunday’s meeting.
Liu ’23 proposed a Senate Money Resolution relating to the condom dispensers that the Student Union purchased for residence halls last year. The SMR would fund printing posters, designed by Liu, for the condom dispensers, which would instruct students how to turn the condoms into dental dams. The Senate will vote on her resolution next week.
At the end of the meeting, Coles said that Sen. Asher Brenner ’24, who was unable to attend the meeting, withdrew his previously submitted proposal to amend the Union constitution. Brenner’s proposed amendment would have increased the proportion of senators required to pass an SMR from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority. Coles explained that Brenner retracted the proposal because “he had a solution, but he did not really have a problem.” Coles also said that he would be working with Brenner on his future legislation on the Rules Committee, but did not say more about what that would specifically entail.