In the Senate 11/3

November 8, 2019

The Senate passed an amendment introduced by Rules Committee Chair Scott Halper ’20, which changed the Senate committee service requirement. Senators serving as a representative to the Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund (CEEF) or the Allocations Board are no longer required to serve on the previously required two Senate committees. 

The Senate voted to change Triskelion’s, Brandeis’ LGBTQ student social group, constitution in their weekly Senate meeting this Sunday. Triskelion created an intersectionality board and changed the structure of their organization, so there will be only one subgroup in the club, TransDeis, as opposed to the original four branches: TransDeis, Shalem, QPOCC and SASS. 

Rachel Sterling ’21 spoke on behalf of the Judiciary about President Simran Tatuskar’s ’21 apology to the public that she had finished drafting, Sterling said, and should be released within the week. The Senate voted to require Tatuskar to apologize to the student body at last week’s meeting after a Judiciary case was brought against her over communication between the Executive Board, which Tatuskar sits on, and the Senate and the role of the Executive Senator. The case found that Tatuskar had violated the Student Union constitution and code of conduct.

Executive Senator Jake Rong ’21 reported that the Union would hold a special election on Nov. 14 to replace the vice presidential seat after the previous vice president, Guillermo Caballero, resigned last week. The Senate voted not to censure Caballero for a breach of the Student Union constitution that the Judiciary found while looking into the case against Tatuskar. 

Senators, including Club Support Committee Chair Joseph Coles ’22 and Skyline and Rosenthal Quad Senator Leah Fernandez ’22, argued that the racial minority senator seat should be put on the vice presidential special election ballot. The position has been vacant for about a month, since the Oct. 6 senate meeting when Rajan Vohra ’21 was dismissed by Caballero for not attending senate meetings. 

“[The position] was literally created because of a lack of representation,” said Fernandez. Rong reported that he would voice these concerns to Union secretary Taylor Fu ’21, who is managing the special election.

Dining Committee, chaired by Nancy Zhai ’22, reported on the two open forums on dining at Brandeis as the university prepares for a new contract with a dining provider. Zhai also said that a food cart with a continental breakfast will be available for students staying at Brandeis during Thanksgiving break in the Stein. Dining is also working on addressing inaccuracies between the online dining menu for both Sherman and Lower Usdan dining halls and what is actually served, said Zhai.  

For Club Support Committee, Coles reported that he had met with the Justice and found a compromise on the club advisor bylaw, a bylaw passed last spring that requires all secured clubs to have a faculty or staff advisor to oversee the club. Coles reported that all secured clubs now have an advisor and plans to work on expanding the bylaw to more clubs this week. 

Facilities and Housing Committee Chair Trevor Filseth ’20 reported that his committee was working to examine the fairness of damage fees—costs a student pays during move out for damages to their room.

Just under half of the Senate did not attend Sunday’s meeting due to several excused absences. 

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