Senate Beat: 25th February, 2022

Copies of a brand new Quest rustled in Senators’ hands, once again bringing Senate attention to Paradox. Senators giggled over witty headlines, and excitedly flipped through articles. The bang of a broken gavel brought the Quest reading to a halt, and February 25’s themeless Senate Public was commenced. The meeting primarily centered around Renn Fayre plans, COVID updates, and other regular committee updates.

Student Body President Safi Zenger opened the meeting with her committee updates. She first highlighted that a website for students to provide feedback to professors was in the works, and meetings with the webmaster produced a skeletal framework that would soon be cleaned up and published. She went on to report on meetings with Student Publications, as well as opening what she called the “can of worms” of the discussion of paying contributors and editors of publications. Aside from these updates, Zenger announced that a shortlist for a commencement speaker has been drawn up, and seniors would be able to vote for the final speaker soon. Lastly, in a move to increase accessibility at Senate’s public meetings, microphones have been ordered and will be used in future Publics. 

Vice President Margot Becker spoke next, bringing to light a “kerfuffle” so pressing it seeped into her dreams. Senator Ena Hashimoto explained the events: typically, Renn Fayre sources professional medical services from White Bird, a clinic that specializes in substance abuse and mental health services. During Renn Fayre, the HCC coordinates with the company for medical records and equipment. Hashimoto stated that the Renn Fayre committee had reached out to the HCC to coordinate medical care for the event, but upon establishing contact with the HCC, the Renn Fayre Czars were told that the HCC was too busy to accommodate and work with White Bird. Senator and Renn-Fayre Czar Ana Quintana-Bernal clarified that the issue was primarily due to miscommunication, and the situation was eventually resolved. Although the relationship between White Bird and the HCC will look slightly different this year, White Bird will be present at Renn Fayre. Becker highlighted the value of White Bird to Renn Fayre, stating that a substance safe Renn Fayre is of the greatest importance. She went on to paraphrase Zack Perry, stating, “if you want to kill Renn Fayre forever, start sending students to the hospital.” Ultimately, Becker conveyed that White Bird’s role in Renn Fayre is what keeps students safe and why Renn Fayre can still be held.

Becker moved on to express excitement about building a relationship between students and alumni. She acknowledged that very few avenues for alumni and students to connect exist. She maintains eager anticipation for the future support that the alumni community can provide students.

Hashimoto then gave updates on sustainability, as she met with Reed’s new sustainability coordinator, Rachel Willis. Willis spoke about her work before arriving at Reed, and Hashimoto noted that Willis’ experience working in a small liberal arts college would prove useful. Issues surrounding sustainability were also brought up, notably that certain sustainability projects, like putting microplastic filters in laundry machines, had been funded by students rather than by Reed. Hashimoto also spoke about some of Willis’ goals, including bringing back the sustainability committee and rebuilding the gardens on campus so that they produce food almost year-round.

Senator Ana Quintana-Bernal then gave updates as COVID Liaison. Plans to make COVID testing more accessible have come to fruition as satellite test sites in the SU and the Biology building are set to open, and posters detailing testing information, such as Greenwood’s location, were created. Quintana-Bernal also stated that Madison Riethman, the COVID response coordinator, is beginning to hold office hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 10-11 am, and she encouraged students to air their concerns and speak to Riethman. Assistant Treasurer and COVID Liaison Wani Pandey echoed Quintana-Bernal’s excitement surrounding the new testing locations, and they stated that if students got tested in the upcoming week (February 28-March 4), they would be entered into a raffle where five lucky students would win T-shirts.

A few changes occurred within the Student Committee for Academic Policy Planning (SCAPP). Firstly, Assistant Treasurer Wani Pandey is no longer a member of the committee, and Senator Jefferson Ratliff is now part of the committee. Vice Treasurer Sean Brown raised the point that SCAPP did not have a signator, and he offered to become the committee’s signator. At this point, confusion and chatter echoed through the room, as Senators realized that Senator Ena Hashimoto was signator trained and on SCAPP. When the dust settled, Hashimoto emerged as SCAPP’s signator.

Head Treasurer Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez provided updates from the Treasury and Finance Committee. On Senate and Treasury’s involvement in helping Paradox recover from debt, Cunningham-Rodriguez stated that the Paradox managers were uninterested in receiving help from Senate, so Senate agreed upon an April 1st deadline for Paradox to ask for financial and restructuring support. Cunningham-Rodriguez went on to provide funding updates; the American Chemical Society, a club that did not make Top 30, asked for $741. Finance committee fully approved this, and the motion passed unanimously.

Last to give updates, Appointments Committee Chair Arley Sakai provided Senate’s hiring updates. The applications for Substance Recovery Coalition closed, and one application was received. Senate intends to hire the applicant, but Sakai cannot formally recommend them for the position because they have yet to accept it. Sakai went on to list the positions open for hire. Applications for Election Czar were set to close on February 27, and all KRRC positions, namely Station Manager, Record Librarian, and Studio Engineer, will be open until March 10.

After committee updates, a member of the audience brought up the community’s recent loss of a student, emphasizing a need for added student support. Vice President Margot Becker extended her deepest sorrows and sympathies, and she spoke for Senate to affirm themselves as a resource to help students through this difficult time. Both Zenger and Becker expressed that there would be a discussion on how to best honor his memory. The Quest extends its condolences to the friends and family of Lucas Heckers.

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