Student Union senators vote to give clubs probationary students: constitution changes
At the Oct. 24 meeting of the Student Union Senate, senators voted to give probationary status to the Network of Arab Students and the Fireside Theater Company and changed the constitution of the Brandeis Association of Pre-Med Students.
Nai Qashou ’22 and Ali Albalakhi ’22 spoke on behalf of the Network of Arab Students, which was seeking probationary club status. The probation period is a 12 week “trial period” for a new club, after which they will return to the Senate and present a request to become an official club, Sen. Charlotte Li ’24 explained
The NAS purpose is, according to their presentation, to “create an Arab environment for the benefit of Arab students and interested members of the community and to promote an understanding of Arab history, culture and heritage at Brandeis.”
Albalakhi, the NAS president, said that the club plans on bringing in speakers, such as Qashou’s father, a Palestinian author. Additionally, he said there will be country spotlights focusing on the cuisine, clothing styles and cultural elements of specific Arab countries.
After their presentation, Vice President Courtney Thrun ’22 put Albalakhi and the other present NAS members in the Zoom waiting room so that the Senate could discuss and vote on the club.
“It seems like a super meaningful club and organization,” Sen. Peyton Gillespie ’25 said.
The Senate approved the NAS as a probationary club by acclamation.
The Fireside Theater Company also made their case for becoming a probationary club. Alexander Ross ’22 and Jesse Rips ’22, the President and Vice President of the FTC, said that the company is specifically dedicated to producing student and alumni written theater productions.
Ross said that the FTC was created originally for the production of one play, “Our Time Will Come,” which is about the 1970s period in Ireland known as “The Troubles.” However, for future productions, Brandeis students and alumni will be able to submit original works to the club for production.
All the actors in an FTC production will be students, Ross said, though he wants to hire professionals for the production staff and as creative team members. He said that this would give students interested in theater-related work an opportunity to gain experience and connections by working with those already in the industry.
After their presentation, Thrun put the FTC in the waiting room so that the Senate could discuss and vote.
Sen. Joseph Coles ’22 said that because there are already three theater groups at Brandeis, there’s no need to add another. “I don’t really see the added value of adding a fourth one,” Coles said. “I’m not really sold on them.”
Sen. Ashna Kelkar ’24 said that “having more choice is beneficial,” pointing to the numerous a capella and improv groups on campus, which she said gives students an opportunity to pursue their particular interest among a variety of related clubs.
The Senate approved the FTC as a probationary club by roll call, with only Coles and Sen. Griffin Stotland ’23 in opposition. Sen. Nicholas Kanan ’23 abstained as a “professional courtesy,” as he is in the FTC.
The Brandeis Association of Pre-Med Students requested a change to their constitution. Nobody from the club attended the meeting, so Li presented for them. Their constitution change added responsibilities for their secretary as well as for general members. The Senate approved the changes by acclamation.