If you’re reading this editorial, and have been on Brandeis’ campus recently, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve either a) slipped on ice around campus or b) seen someone else slip. Waltham is firmly in the northeastern United States and most students here are no stranger to cold, icy conditions, but campus has been particularly dangerous over the past few weeks.
Salt to melt the ice on pathways and steps around campus has come too late, if at all, in many places, and The Hoot’s editors have seen this lead to students taking dangerous falls near the library, near Ziv Quad and more. Brandeis simply must do better on this going forward, it’s a matter of students’ safety.
But, despite these safety issues around campus, Brandeis has actually made some positive changes on campus. We reported that Harvest Table, Brandeis’ dining provider, failed to renew their contract with Opportunities for Inclusion (an organization that provides dayhab and community care to people with disabilities) for half a year. But, recently, Harvest Table chose to provide Opportunities for Inclusion with a somewhat limited new contract. This is definitely a win for everyone on campus: dining workers, students who want good experiences in the dining halls and (most importantly) the workers with disabilities who now have renewed access to employment and all of its benefits.
Additionally, Brandeis recently made Foster Mods available to all rising juniors and seniors, regardless of their age. Previously, Foster Mods were only available to students who would be 21 years old in the beginning of the fall semester. Again, this is a positive change that does good for the student body. Brandeis students, including several members of The Hoot’s editorial board, know how difficult it is to find housing on this campus. Last year, many rising juniors found themselves scrambling to find off-campus housing after on-campus options filled up with blinding speed. So, making Foster Mods available to more students seems to be a thoughtful, positive change on the university’s part.
So, all told, the beginning of the semester has been filled with lots of slip-and-falls, but also with a few positive changes for the Brandeis community. We hope to see more of the latter, and a lot less of the former.