In the Senate 3/8

March 13, 2020

The Senate discussed the student petition for classes to be held online in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Executive Senator Scott Halper ’20 said that this was “not happening as far as I know. It’s an administration decision.” Several senators raised concerns that moving all classes to remote meetings would be disruptive, and that while infrastructure exists for recording some classes for accessibility reasons, those resources may be insufficient for moving all classes online.

The Senate considered and passed a resolution allocating $137 for Student Union branded stickers to be put on the condom dispensers which are being installed in cooperation with Student Sexuality Information Service. The resolution was voted on by acclamation and passed unanimously.

The Senate considered and passed a resolution allocating additional funds for the purchase of informational posters about alcohol. The money previously allocated for this purpose was insufficient due to a miscommunication with the printer about price. The resolution was voted on by acclamation and passed unanimously.

The Senate considered and passed a resolution allowing clubs which admit members through auditions to become chartered. The resolution was voted on by acclamation and passed unanimously.

The Senate considered and passed a resolution providing funding for Trans Day of Visibility, planned to be March 31. The resolution was voted on by acclamation and passed unanimously.

The Senate considered but did not vote on a resolution retroactively authorizing funding for International Women’s Day, which was the day of the meeting. 

The Senate considered but did not vote on a resolution which would have added additional requirements for future chairs of the Dining Committee. Senators raised concerns that it would be asking too much of the future chair, and that the position is hard enough to fill as is. 

The Senate considered but did not vote on a resolution which would have modified the requirements for office hours for members of the Student Union. Several senators spoke out that members of the Student Union, particularly those on the Executive Board, ought to be more consistently present for their office hours, and asked how office hours could be enforced. The Senate decided to further debate and vote on this resolution in their next meeting. 

The Senate approved changes to the constitution of the Justice. The changes concerned the succession of editors-in-chief and the club consultant. The changes were voted on by acclamation and passed unanimously.

Halper expressed concerns that the E-Board is not adequately communicating with the broader Student Union, saying that “there is a feeling among other branches that they’re not in on the conversation on E-Board.”

Halper talked about the ongoing E-Board effort to create a bachelor of sciences degree in math.

Health and Safety Chair Leah Fernandez ’22 announced that the process of putting dispensers for menstrual products in nine locations on campus was nearly complete. Two, she said, would be located in gender neutral bathrooms, and two in handicap accessible bathrooms.

Chief Justice of the Brandeis Judiciary Rachel Sterling ’21 spoke to the Senate about the role of the Judiciary and answered questions. She described the Judiciary as “basically [Human Resources]” for the Student Union, and said that they do what they can to resolve conflicts without trials.

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