In the Senate, Feb. 14

February 19, 2021

The Senate voted and passed the motion to change Brandeis Chabad’s constitution. This organization “provides the Brandeis community with enriching Jewish experiences with the intent of promoting spiritual growth,” and, despite its religious connection, is open to all students of all backgrounds. Among the emphasis on the open membership policy, the changes also include updates to the purpose of the club and the board members’ responsibilities. 

Skye Liu ’23, chair of the Health and Safety Committee, introduced a Senate Money Resolution (SMR) to fund an educational poster designed to educate students about making dental dams from the free condoms already provided by the Student Union. It will be voted on at the next Senate meeting on Feb. 21. 

During the open forum, Class of 2024 Senator Noah Risley ’24 introduced the idea about adding a Chinese International Senator to “make [Chinese international students] feel more welcome on campus” who would work in concert with the existing international student senator. This is prompted by an “incident” that occurred last semester which could not be disclosed during the public session. Several senators voiced their opinions against this initiative. 

Vice President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 expressed that “a big part of our union is to be more inclusive for everyone to be able to apply for these roles” and that it would make other groups on campus feel marginalized, said Sourirajan. Chris Tian ’24, among others, agreed that this idea would not be very inclusive for the student body and better alternatives exist to better represent Chinese international students on campus. Liu said that the Union should work more closely with student organizations and clubs on campus rather than creating a new senator position. 

Sourirajan spoke about the successful Meet the Union event held last Friday handing out free Student Union face masks for students on campus. 

The Rules, Social Justice and Diversity, Dining, Services and Outreach, Club Support, Facilities and Housing and Sustainability Committees all held their first meeting of the semester this past week. All committees discussed their goals for the upcoming semester. The first meeting for the Health and Safety Committee will be held at a later date due to time conflicts. 

Risley, Chair of the Social Justice and Diversity Committee, discussed expanding the limited number of pronouns available for use on Workday, the recent creation of a committee Facebook page and initiatives for both during Black History Month and thereafter.

North Quad Senator Ashna Kelkar ’24, Chair of the Dining and Service Outreach Committees, reported that the committee hopes to introduce more vegetarian and vegan options in the dining halls. Kelkar and Jesse Zucker ’21, Chair of the Sustainability Committee, hope to collaborate to bring more sustainable options to on-campus dining. 

Executive Senator Joseph Coles ’22, chair of the Club Support Committee, reported a successful new club information session. 

Alexandra Pickett ’24 discussed the Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund’s (CEEF) distribution of the blue light-blocking glasses and remaining face masks. She also discussed the current issue of a water leak in the Usdan Game Room and how to remedy this. 

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