A team of undergraduate department representatives screened the film Waste Land, a film about the largest landfill in the world, Jardim Gramacho and the people who worked there on Thursday evening.
This week, the University is expected to install a security camera outside of the Muslim Students Association Suite in the Usdan Student Center in response to a recent incident of vandalism, during which a thief cut out and took a portion of a sign outside the suite.
The University recently announced that Prof. Jon Levisohn (NEJS) will be assuming the role of director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education in early July.
Last Tuesday, the Department of Community Service sponsored a discussion about scenarios in volunteer work titled "Sexism in Service." The event was led by Lindsey Miller from AmeriCorps VISTA, member of an AmeriCorps program aimed at fighting poverty, working with the Department of Community Service and its higher education intern Jack Korpob. A diverse group of students and staff, including Associate Director of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life Marci McPhee and Director of the Department of Community Service Lucas Malo, attended the event. Opening the discussion, Kateri Spear '15 shared an experience from her recent work with Habitat for Humanity over February break, during which she and other Brandeis students went to Pennsylvania to build a home. On the last day of the trip, Spear said the overheard an older volunteer make "demeaning comments about one of our female-bodied volunteers" due to the assumption that she could not perform the manual labor of constructing a house as effectively as he could.
This week, the Brandeis chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine will host Israel Apartheid Week-a week that is designed to highlight the ongoing issues between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
In a statement released last week, Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, asked the University for a permanent prayer room for Hindu students on campus. Zed's press release called on the University to respond to the "presence of a substantial number of Hindu students," and provide a "designated prayer-meditation hall for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise." The University "needs to recognize the intersection of spirituality and education, which is important in Hinduism," according to Zed.
After the University's Exploratory Committee on Fossil Fuel Divestment had its first meeting of the calendar year on Friday, the exact nature of the six-month-old committee's progress remains uncertain. Rohan Bhatia '14, a student on the committee, said in an interview with the Justice that while the committee does not have the authority or expertise to make any recommendations to the Board of Trustees, the committee hopes "to give them a well-substantiated presentation on the impacts of divestment to Brandeis" as well as the "larger social impact of no action taken with regards to climate change." Bhatia was unable to provide a specific timeline for any progress, but told the Justice that he hopes the Board "will review and respond to [the committee's] report" at a future meeting. The spring 2013 semester saw significant student involvement in lobbying the administration to divest the University from fossil fuels, spearheaded by the student group Students for a Just and Stable Future.
Prof. Jonathan D. Sarna '75 (NEJS) was elected president of the Association of Jewish Studies at its 45th annual December conference in Boston. The Association of Jewish Studies elects its presidents every two years, according to the association's website.
On Dec. 2, Student Union President Ricky Rosen '14 delivered the annual State of the Union address in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium to a crowd of approximately 70 students and administrators. Rosen opened the address by thanking the members of the Union for being so vocal in advocating for their constituents, stating that this has been a "pivotal semester in Brandeis time." He listed changes and new initiatives such as the implementation of the strategic plan, efforts to turn Brandeis into a household name, the arrival of new campus partners like Sodexo and Joseph's Transportation and the changing administration-including Jamele Adams' promotion to dean of students and Cheryl Sousa's '90 new position as assistant vice president of health and wellness, as part of the pivotal semester. Rosen highlighted Union successes this semester, including the addition of hammocks on campus, increasing communication with students through the Student Union bulletin board in the Usdan Student Center, holding more outreach events and making modifications to the Boston shuttle bus schedule to best benefit students.
Following Student Union President Ricky Rosen's '14 State of the Union address in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium on Monday, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel led a town hall meeting about the University's fiscal year budget. Flagel was joined by Senior Vice President for Communications Ellen de Graffenreid and Senior Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Marianne Cwalina. During the presentation, Flagel explained the University budget to the audience, including the University's revenues and expenses.