With housing lottery numbers to be released soon, this board urges the University to re-evaluate this year’s process in order to make it more transparent for students, specifically regarding special housing accommodations.
On March 21, the University will conduct an emergency preparedness drill on campus simulating an active shooter in the Brandeis Library. Through interactive role-play, this drill will test the University’s level of readiness should a real crisis of this nature unfold on campus. In light of similar shooter threats that have recently taken place both at Brandeis and at other educational institutions across the nation, this board commends the University’s proactive approach in fostering a safer and more protected community.
This past week, the Brandeis MakerLab raised $6,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. Created in 2014, the MakerLab is central to much of Brandeis’ pursuit of new and emerging technologies, and is responsible for advances in the field of 3D printing, robotics and drones. This board recognizes the importance of the MakerLab and commends the Brandeis community members involved in this innovative campus resource.
On Friday, Brandeis International Business School had the honor of hosting one of the early stages of Smart Fifty, an entrepreneurial competition designed to find innovative startups with the ability to tackle some of India’s greatest socio-economic challenges. Led by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, India’s Department of Science and Technology and TiE Boston, Smart Fifty focuses on improving learning, agriculture, sustainability, health and other areas of life in India, according to the program’s page on IBS’ website.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, people express their love and affection for significant others, family and friends, often by buying flowers, chocolate or other gifts. This year, Graduate Student Affairs is holding a campus-wide fundraising initiative, Cupid Express, to benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. This board encourages the Brandeis community to participate in this worthy initiative by using Cupid Express as the one-stop-shop for buying roses and chocolate.
February is the final month for undergraduate students to drop a class without a mark of withdrawal on their transcripts. Ideally, students will decide which classes to drop or keep based upon future goals, compatibility and interest. However, some students will be forced to make their decisions based upon unexpected strain on their finances that comes with taking a certain class. Others will have to resign themselves to additional costs as they take courses required for their chosen majors and minors. These circumstances occur because many faculty members do not inform students beforehand of the class materials that need to be purchased for the course.
Brandeis prides itself on social justice and a commitment to service, and few organizations exemplify these values more than the Waltham Group, which is composed of more than a dozen groups specializing in a variety of key issues. One such group is Hunger and Homelessness, an organization within the larger Waltham Group umbrella that works to help people in the Greater Boston Area who are struggling with homelessness, poverty and hunger. Hunger and Homelessness pursues this worthy goal with a range of annual or semi-annual programs, one of which is “Food for Thought.” The program allows Brandeis students to donate their guest meals at the beginning of the semester to help alleviate hunger. This board commends Hunger and Homelessness for its work on this program and others, but we urge Sodexo to extend donation opportunities to students on block meal plans as well.
Muhammad Xhemali has joined the University’s Multifaith Chaplaincy as the new Muslim chaplain, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Rabbi Elisabeth Stern and Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas wrote in an email to the University community. This board applauds the University on its appointment of Xhemali to the position, which marks a step toward a more inclusive Brandeis.
According to a Friday email from East Quad Department of Community Living staff, an “incident with a sprinkler head” on the fifth floor of Hassenfeld Hall led to water rushing into up to 72 rooms — the number of rooms on the fourth and fifth floors of Hassenfeld — and two hallways on Thursday evening.
As a result of frequent delays and interruptions in BranVan service, this board urges the Escort Safety Service and the University to coordinate an effort to improve lines of communication between riders and the shuttle service operators, including the creation of a notification system that would allow students to be informed of any service changes.