Senate talks Bias Incident Reporting Reform
The Public Senate meeting on November 19 was primarily full of anticipation for the Spring/Fall reveal that was happening that night. Student Body President Alondra Loza was especially excited about this because it is yet another way that Reed is reintroducing traditions that had to be cancelled last year. Institutional memory is a hot button issue for Senate, and Loza is excited about Spring/Fall reveal for that reason. While the meeting was relatively short, Loza did talk about the shortcomings and misinformation surrounding bias incident reporting on campus. Bias incident reporting is a reporting mechanism available to students when a professor or faculty member acts inappropriately or makes the student feel uncomfortable in any way. Loza asked Assistant Dean for Institutional Diversity Jessika Chi to come to a Public Senate meeting to further discuss the process of bias incident reporting.
Committee reports began with Loza reporting that a survey made by the Student Space Taskforce has been sent out to students. Loza stressed the importance of participation in the survey, saying that the more people who take the survey, the more representative the survey will be of the Reed student body. Loza also talked about the student body elections that will be taking place soon! She is very excited to see first years and students of color running, meaning a new wave of ideas will be introduced to Senate.
Vice Treasurer Kiana Cunningham-Rodruigez spoke next about the Academic Success Committee. The committee is currently in talks with faculty about the purpose of four and eight week comments. Four and eight week comments are supposed to only go to students to let them know if they are or are not passing a class. Cunningham-Rodruigez said students are not getting any comments and are taking that as a bad sign, when in reality it means they are passing the class and are doing well. The committee hopes to clarify this with both students and faculty for the upcoming semester.
As a part of the Appointments Committee (AppComm) report, Senator Safi Zenger reported that one of the Renn Fayre czars resigned in the middle of their appointment. Given the massive time crunch the Renn Fayre committee is already under, AppComm decided to make an emergency appointment to fill the role rather than open the job up and go through the entire process over again. AppComm looked at the people who previously applied for the position and reopened deliberations. AppComm then proposed the new hire which was approved!
Senator Arley Sakai talked about his meeting with Sexual Health, Advocacy, and Relationship Education (SHARE). During this meeting, Sakai discussed his idea for a survivor support fund. This fund would help survivors of sexual assault gain access to services and support that would normally cost money. The fund would mitigate those costs, making the challenging process of getting institutional support a bit easier.
Senator Beq Yonaka, who is the liaison to the Disability and Accessibility Resources Committee (DAR) is working with DAR to get students more involved with the group. From a student position within DAR to having a table outside Commons with information, keep a lookout for DAR in the future!