The Hoot’s hopes for the year

The editorial board of The Brandeis Hoot is looking forward to the upcoming year and keeping our expectations high for continuous positive change on campus.

We are eager to see what the Student Union accomplishes this year. President Hannah Brown ’19 and Vice President Benedikt Reynolds ’19 ran with the platform of addressing Brandeis’ affordability, such as decreasing laundry and printing costs, and instituting stipends for Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCo) or Student Sexuality Information Services (SSIS). We’re looking forward to seeing if, and how, they address these issues this year.

In Brown’s welcome back email, she encouraged students to get involved with the Student Union and to reach out to her with any questions or concerns, stressing Brandeis’ community and her willingness to get to know the student body. She did not mention any specific plans for the upcoming year, so we are expectant to see which issues she and the rest of the Student Union will tackle.

In a similar vein, we are hopeful that the Senate’s menstrual product initiative will be reinstated this year. Providing menstrual products in bathrooms across campus was a successful and much-appreciated program among menstruators, and we are curious to see if it will continue. Will the Senate continue managing the initiative, or seek funding and help from administrators?

We also appreciate the positive changes that were made on campus over the summer. The change in mailroom partners from Xerox to Swiss Post Solutions was a step in the right direction for improved efficiency and package delivery. Putting pods in first-year quads greatly reduced the usual mailroom rush at the beginning of the semester, and the new kiosk check-in system in the mailroom further reduces wait times.

The new Skyline residence hall opened for students, replacing three towers of the aging Castle and adding about 60 more beds. While the Castle will be missed, Skyline is a modern, air-conditioned and more environmentally-friendly building. Students have also noticed the pleasant addition of grape tomatoes to the lower Usdan salad bar.

Above all, we strive to keep the administration accountable. As Brandeis’ community newspaper, we want to foster an atmosphere of transparency, trust and accountability between the administration and student body.

So, we commend the transparency and thoroughness of the report on the independent investigation of the Department of Athletics related to the firing of men’s basketball coach Brian Meehan. The release of the 25-page summary report and the availability of the president for an interview is a huge step in building trust between the administration and the student body.

These actions are rare among universities, and very much appreciated by the student journalists at The Hoot. Keeping the investigation transparent and the administration available to students is crucial, and so far, The Hoot commends the actions by the university in this matter. We, the editorial board, appreciate and look forward to the university’s continued transparency.

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