Senate Beat: Oct 1, 2021

Senate Talks Student Space Task Force

This week’s Public Senate meeting was dedicated to answering the many questions students had about the new Student Space Task Force (SSTF), as well as talking about the problem of student space and autonomy. Student Body President Alondra Loza talked about the themes of SSTF and what it hopes to accomplish. First, she explained what the task force is. SSTF is a group of students and staff that will meet biweekly to address problems and barriers to make student spaces as accessible as possible. The formal mission statement of the group is to create and repurpose spaces in a way that supports the Reed community. The group also wants to clarify how space is allocated and what student space managers can do for students. 

The group is currently scheduling their meetings and soliciting feedback from the student body about what they want from the task force. SSTF expects to respond to problems and work with students starting next term. 

One student had concerns about administration being on the task force and taking over not just student spaces, but the conversations that surround them and potentially drowning out student voices. Loza promised the student that their concerns mirror hers, and she will work hard to ensure that students are involved in every conversation. Vice President for Student Life Dr. Karnell McConnell-Black also responded to the student. He said that SSTF is working to ensure that new student spaces remain autonomous. He wants to help build community, and is excited to explore this opportunity. 

Committee reports began with Head Treasurer Kodinna Anachebe giving updates about Finance Committee. The allocations to clubs who submitted budgets will happen next week, so look out for that announcement! 

Vice Treasurer Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez and Senator Safi Zenger met with Professor Jennifer Corpus about the advisor system. Corpus is the chair of the Academic Support committee, and both Cunningham-Rodriguez and Zenger wanted to talk about a possible evaluation for advisors at the end of the year. This evaluation would ask students to measure their advisor’s responsiveness and helpfulness. Corpus was open to the idea, according to Cunningham-Rodriguez. In her position as Residence Life liaison, Cunningham-Rodriguez and Senator Ana Quintana-Bernal met with all of the Orientation and Wayfinding Leaders (OWLs). Several OWLs have expressed frustration and confusion with the program, stating they have no idea what their job is now that orientation is done. 

Senator Ena Hashimoto talked next about the Student Committee on Academic Policy and Planning (SCAPP). The committee talked about the faculty’s thoughts regarding tenure track and visiting professors. The general consensus, according to Hashimoto, was that hiring visiting professors would allow students to get more connections with more professors. SCAPP is also pushing for more professors with diverse backgrounds and identities. 

Zenger then gave Appointments Committee (AppComm) updates. The application for Substance Recovery Coalition closes Oct. 20 and Election Czar closes Oct. 21. Look at Handshake for more information! 

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