Senate Beat: Senate Talks Restorative Justice

Appointments this week

Sarah Kumar as J-Board Secretary.


The deadline for Nitrogen Day Czar applications have been extended.

During this week’s themed Senate forum, members of the Restorative Justice Coalition (RJC) were present to field questions on their proposed restorative justice track (RJ process) through the honor process. This forum followed the presentation of the RJ process to faculty at this week’s faculty meeting, and will be followed by the final faculty vote next month. Members of the RJC set the ground for the meeting by reviewing the process and goals of the RJC. Above all, they highlighted the distinction between the RJ process and the other processes it complements: while J-Board cases are adversarial in nature, and Honor Council mediation is about compromise, the RJ process promises to end conflict with closure and reparations about harms.

The RJC began with an activity to illustrate one component of the RJ process: thinking about harms caused, and how they should be addressed via reparations. Those present were put into pairs to think about instances in which they have harmed people, and how those harms should have been addressed. Following this pair exercise, the RJC asked participants to reflect publicly on the extent of complex thinking about harms and appropriate reparations. For example, Senate Secretary Maddie Huber realized that people could often recognize harms done in retrospect. Despite this, Senator Aislin Steill thought that this process was a more promising way to “[seek] accountability” and “be accountable.”

Following this illustrative exercise, the RJC opened to floor to questions about the RJ process. Senator Jonathan Lederman asked how the RJC and other members of the honor process would determine whether parties involved in an honor process would be best served by the RJ process. A co-chair of the RJC, in response, stated that the RJC had “thought a lot about it,” given how their goals differed from both Honor Council and J-Board. The RJC has planned an extensive intake process that will, among other things, determine whether participates should proceed with the RJ process. Conversely, J-Board will also be able to refer complainants back to the RJC.

Senator Billy Fish, noting how the RJC process was entirely voluntary, asked how the RJC would proceed if one of the parties did not consent to the extensive process. The RJC responded that the RJC could begin proceedings with the concerns of just one party. Another member of the RJC added that they were explicitly trained to facilitate first contact with other parties, especially in instances of relationship and sexual abuse. The RJC has also thought about ways in which parties can participate in the process without being present, including written statements and proxy representation.

Other News

Senator Jonathan Lederman spoke of planned murals across campus. Murals Committee is planning a mural to commemorate RAR, and other activism by and for people of colour at Reed. The committee has contacted Mia Bonilla, RAR organizer, but did not receive a response as of the Senate Meeting. This planned mural will likely replace the bookstore’s current mural. Less ambitiously, the Committee is also planning a mural on the PAB’s concrete entryway. This will make the newest building more of a “student space,” rather than a “new and daunting” building.

Senator Alisa Chen, as Senate’s liaison to the Food Security Initiative, reported on plans to create a communal board point pool to complement ot food pantry. She added, on a related note, that representatives of the Business Office have been “resistant” to suggestions for how money paid for board plans allocated to board points. Senator Isabelle Sinclair updated Senate on the AOD’s committee’s plans for community Naloxone training. She has talked with ResLife and will attend next week’s HA meeting, as well as plan more events for the community in the last quarter of the semester.

Senator Aislin Steill is organizing an archive for student organization, following discussions with Kristin Holmberg, Director of the Office for Student Engagement. She will contact student groups in the following weeks, but groups with ideas are encouraged to contact her now. Vice President Isabel Hoff, as Computer User Services (CUS) liaison, wishes to announce that student groups with a campus space can request a desktop computer from CUS.

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