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LETTER: It was wrong to print a confidential Senate email

By Alan Tannenwald

Section: Opinions

March 4, 2005

To the Editor:

On Feb. 11, 2005, The Hoot elected to publish verbatim a confidential email sent by Noah Haber 08, Class of 2008 Senator, to the Student Union Senate email list without comment, context or further background. The email addressed a suggestion to reevaluate the position of Finance Board Member for Racial Minority Students. Such an action would require an amendment to the Student Union Constitution, which in turn would require the support of the student body.

First and foremost, I wish to express dismay at The Hoots decision to print this email without background information or reference to preceding and subsequent discussion. Noahs email was part of a larger, Student Union Senate-wide discussion, which concluded with a reiteration of the Unions commitment to providing racial minority students with adequate representation of their interests. It was intended to be private and would likely not have been worded in the same way had he expected it would be made public. In fact, at the conclusion of the discussion, Noah retracted his statement regarding the reevaluation of the Finance Board Member for Racial Minority students. In short, the printed email was both an inaccurate representation of the Student Union Senates discussion about the topic and Noahs intent to act on his suggestion.

I also wish to state publicly that the Student Union respects the individual opinions of each and every one of its officers, regardless of whether or not they coincide with our organizations larger positions on issues. Senators are elected officials, as well as individual members of the Brandeis Community. To this end, since we as a community are committed to tolerance and freedom of opinion, Noahs decision to express his opinions candidly was not at all inappropriate.

Finally, I wish to restate firmly the Student Unions steadfast commitment to effective representation of the interests of racial minority students at Brandeis. There are no official plans to eliminate any of the constitutionally mandated positions designed to represent these students: the Senator for Racial Minority Students and the Finance Board Member for Racial Minority Students. If any such plans become a distinct possibility, student groups will be contacted and given the opportunity to become involved in the discussion.

Alan Tannenwald '05
Communications Director
Brandeis Student Union

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