In the Senate 10/2

October 4, 2019

UPDATED: 10/17 6:56 p.m.

The Senate passed an amendment to allow senators to enforce the Union code of conduct on Tuesday. The amendment allows senators to vote to punish Union members who violate the code of conduct, and if a two-third’s majority vote is reached, distribute punishment ranging from revoking access to the Student Union office to impeachment.

Offenses outlined in the Student Union code of conduct include personal attacks, favoritism, mismanagement and restricting the free expression of other members.

The Senate also discussed a possible amendment to eliminate office hour requirements for Senate members and to lower the number of meetings a senator can miss from three to two. Senators are currently required to hold three hours of office hours a week, said Union Vice President Guillermo Caballero ’20, which constituents do not often attend.

Chair of Club Support Joseph Coles ’22 pushed back on the amendment, saying office hours make the Union more accessible and are well attended in his experience. The Senate will consider the amendment next week.

Caballero gauged senators’ interest in joining a committee to work on Pride Deis, an Oct. 11 Brandeis community LGBTQ Pride celebration. Pride ’Deis will be a partnership between the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC), the Prevention and Advocacy Resource Center (PARC) and potentially the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC), said Caballero. Senators volunteered to place pride flags around campus and to table in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) and in Upper Usdan dining hall. 

The senate also discussed Student Union-wide diversity, equity and inclusion training in response to student protests last year under the name #StillConcernedStudents. The protests brought attention to allegations of racism in the Department of Community Living (DCL), students of color’s comfort with Public Safety and opening more free off-campus transport routes to aid low-income students. Brandeis has since opened more shuttle routes and denied any findings of racism in DCL. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion training was postponed due to lack of attendance last week, according to the Senate agenda. 

Coles reported that he was forming a list of clubs to decharter if they do not submit anti-hazing forms, which were due Sept. 16, according to a Student Activities email.

Dining Committee Chair Nancy Zhai ’22 reported that price labeling was updated in The Hoot Market, more commonly known as the C-Store. She also said the dining committee was working to update Einstein’s Bagels online menu to make sure Brandeis’ new dining provider food contract is sustainable.

Health and Safety Chair Josh Hoffman ’21 reported that he was working with the Administrative Director of the Brandeis Health Center Dianna Denning to make the Student Health Center more visible to students. He also wants to work on making the BCC handicap accessible and creating a mandatory sex education program for incoming students. He also reported that the general chemistry courses were being investigated because of a high drop-out rate of students with disability accommodations in those courses. 

Facilities and Housing Committee Chair Trevor Filseth ’20 reported that he was looking into elevator certificate expirations. Krupa Sourirajan ’23 reported that she would meet with DCL on Wednesday to discuss providing North Residence Quad with more shower shelves.

Services and Outreach Committee Chair Alison Leibowitz ’20 reported that Levin Ballroom was booked for Midnight Buffet, a campus party every semester before finals week, for Dec. 10.

Senate Sustainability Committee Chair Oliver Price ’20 said that his committee was working with the Dining Committee to reinstate a meatless Monday program and increasing the presence of the Brandeis Sustainability Ambassadors (BSA) on campus. 

The senate voted to change the name of the Brandeis University Conservative Organization (BUCO) to Masorti. The club is a conservative Jewish organization, said Rules Chair Scott Halper ’20, and wanted that to be clear in their name.

Coles said he would reach out to IfNotNow—a political activism club against American-Jewish support for the occupation of Israel and Palestine—which the Senate accidentally chartered in its last weekly meeting due to a voting miscount. Though the club is no longer seeking to be chartered, Coles hopes to work with the club in case it decides otherwise.

CORRECTION: A previous version of the Senate log incorrectly stated that Dining Committee Chair Nancy Zhai is in the class of 2021, Facilities and Housing Committee Chair Trevor Filseth is in the class of 2021 and Services and Outreach Committee Chair Alison Liebowitz is in the class of 2023. Zhai is in the class of 2022, and both Filseth and Liebowitz are in the class of 2020.

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