Student Union Senate approves Union budget for fiscal year 2023, votes on chartering three new clubs at last meeting on March 6
The Student Union Senate voted to approve the Union’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year at its March 6 meeting, and also voted on chartering three new clubs. The Union’s head treasurers Amanda Shneider ’22 and Josh Hopen ’23 presented the details of the budget at the previous week’s meeting.
Of the 11 senators present, two abstained, and only Sen. Joseph Coles ’22 voted against approving the budget.
The Fireside Theater Company returned to the Senate after gaining status as a recognized club last semester, this time requesting to become a chartered club. They discussed the structure of their club, the play they put on last year, and explained how they plan to connect students with interest in theater-related careers to various professionals in the field.
“Anything that supports theater, music, or visual arts –– I’m all for it,” said Sen. Peyton Gillespie ’25.
Coles had doubts surrounding some aspects of the club.
“Supporting the arts is great, but we’ve already got a bunch of arts clubs on campus,” Coles said. “I think [The Fireside Theater Company] can put on more than two events a year.”
Sen. Nicholas Kanan ’23, who is a member of the FTC, said that the organization serves as a unique and useful resource for theater students.
“The more professionals we work with, the larger our network will grow,” Kanan said. “I think it’s a no-brainer.”
The Senate chartered the theater company with three abstentions and only Coles voting in opposition.
Director of Health and Safety Skye Liu ’23 presented her new club, Mood Psychology, to the Senate and asked that they charter it. The club, she said, is intended to give Chinese international students a place to find mental health services that are better than what they can get at the Brandeis Counseling Center.
“Whenever [international students] go to the BCC, I feel that they think that all of our problems are kind of the same,” Liu said. She said that the Mandarin-speaking counselor at the BCC tends to assume that homesickness and academic stress are the primary issues that international students face.
According to Liu, Mood Psychology is a registered NGO with chapters across the United States and Canada, which provides mental health services to Chinese students. However, Liu also said that the club would be open to all students, and that she would work on translating all materials relevant to the club into English.
The Senate chartered Mood Psychology by acclamation.
Jason Dayan ’23 requested that the Senate charter the Brandeis Haircutting Club, which he said would “teach the art of cutting hair” at its weekly meetings.
After the presentation, Senators agreed that the club was not at a stage where they would be willing to charter it.
“Preparation is key, if a club isn’t prepared for something like this, they’re not going to do anything,” Vice President Courtney Thrun ’22 said. “I would love to see them back again once they’ve figured out their club a bit more.”
However, Coles suggested that the Senate vote on the club immediately, which he admitted would almost eliminate the club’s chances of ever being chartered.
“I don’t think that this needs to become a club,” Coles said. “We’re not voting on how much to give them, just if they deserve funding in the first place, and I don’t think they deserve funding in the first place.”
However, the Senate decided to give Dayan more time to prepare and demonstrate interest in the club, and will vote on it on a future date.
“I can’t believe we spent so much time on the Brandeis Barber Club [sic],” Coles said.