In the Senate 9/22

October 4, 2019

Senior Representative to the Board of Trustees Zosia Busé ’20 gave an update about the Brandeis Board of Trustees meeting held last week Sunday, Sept. 14 through Tuesday night, Sept. 17.

Though she is under a confidentiality agreement, Busé said, she briefed the senate about Board efforts including several students in the Heller School of Social Policy being denied visas, voting on a new trustee and a search for proposals for a Brandeis dining provider.

Busé said Sodexo was unlikely to stay on as Brandeis dining provider, though Sodexo may submit a proposal for a new contract. “Sodexo and Brandeis came to the mutual decision that it wasn’t working out,” said Busé. She also assured senate members that Brandeis was taking steps to make sure current employees did not lose their positions if a new dining provider was selected. 

Busé also said that Brandeis had conducted a holistic review of campus safety, updating 96 of the university’s classrooms updated with anti-break-in locks. Busé also reported that several students in the Heller School of Social Policy were denied visas, and that Heller was working with the students. 

The senate also discussed during executive session—which non-senate members cannot attend—mandatory union diversity, equity and inclusion training. The training was postponed due to lack of attendance, according to the senate notes.

IfNotNow’s Brandeis chapter——a campus group part of a national organization trying to end American Jewish support of the occupation in Israel and Palestine, according to the organization’s website—presented at the senate meeting to be chartered. Club member Miranda Sullivan ’22 presented to the senate, describing IfNotNow’s need for space and funding at Brandeis to hold Shabbat dinners and other campus events.

IfNotNow received one less vote than the two-thirds margin required for chartership. The Brandeis Hoot checked the vote count after the meeting and requested the official count from Senator-at-Large Nancy Zhai ’22. The Hoot found that only 13 out of 20 Student Union senators, voted to charter IfNotNow, which did not exceed the two-thirds majority necessary to charter the club. The club withdrew their request on Sept. 27 in a statement to The Hoot, upon learning about the vote miscount.

The senate also confirmed the appointment of Liat Fischer ’20 to co-treasurer due to the large responsibilities of the Union treasurer. Fischer was appointed by Student Union President Simran Tatuskar ’21.

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