Senate Beat: A Brief PSA

Senate Public on Wednesday once again began without quorum — in what President Safi Zenger called “perhaps the worst public I’ve ever seen” — with four Senators in attendance at the official start time of 9 a.m. (three more trickled in soon after, but the final total of seven still did not meet quorum). 

Vice President Margot Becker shared that the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning (CAPP) meeting on Tuesday night included a “lengthy discussion” on student and faculty workload, with faculty expressing concern about making sure that workload is manageable for both groups. At the meeting, Becker also reportedly raised the possibility of a longer reading week in the fall. “Having two days in the fall and then a week in the spring is actually an inequity,” Becker said, “and they’re graded the same way, so we either need to look at how those are being graded or look at the reading week.” Becker also updated the audience on the state of the election, saying that everything is on track and that Election Czar Ares Carnathan is “doing an excellent job in their role.” 

As a PSA, Becker also said that she had seen a lot of emails come across the Senate desk addressed nebulously to “admin.” While Becker said she understands that not everyone has the privilege of getting to know the people who work on the third floor of Eliot, they are people with names and specific positions within the administration, and that, if you have a complaint, it’s helpful to figure out who you should address it to. “I don’t want to talk down to the student body,” Becker said, “because this is something we learn on TV and when we’re protesting, but these people have names, they have positions, they have families, and we should give them the dignity of addressing them by name.” President Zenger also noted that Senate works closely with the administration, and anyone who doesn’t know who a complaint should be addressed to can come to Senate for help finding the right person to talk to. 

Sustainability Coordinator Rachel Willis, who attended public, announced that she will be organizing a “stuff swap” to take place in the SU next Thursday, December 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Donation bins will be available in the lower level of the GCC from now until Thursday, and students, staff, and faculty can bring in items to contribute to the swap. 

Reporting for the Academic Success Committee, President Zenger shared that she and Senator Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez met with Associate Dean of Faculty Tamara Metz to discuss their work, and planned a possible meeting with the full committee for January. Metz reportedly shared that they are developing a mission for advising with more specific criteria to give to students and professors alike. The committee is apparently basing their work on a list provided by Zenger and Cunningham-Rodriguez last year and is focused on four goals: to develop a mission and goals for advising, to improve supports for faculty and students and provide checklists to advisors detailing the types of resources that would be helpful to students at different points in the year, to move up registration for new students to give them more time to apply for Disability and Accessibility (DAR) accommodations, and to develop a holistic assessment of advising. 

President Zenger and Vice President Becker also attended a regularly scheduled meeting with Vice President for Student Life Karnell McConnell-Black and Dean of Students Tawana Parks, planned to meet briefly with Dean of Faculty Kathy Oleson, and planned to meet with the registrar to set up a new liaisonship, a possibility President Zenger expressed excitement for.

For their committees, Senator Jefferson Ratliff met with SHARE advocates, and noted that Senators Astrid Liu and Nina Baca would be meeting with SHARE to go over the group’s goals for next semester. Senator Ratliff also said that applications for Baby Money, Wage Review, and Senate Secretary are open now and encouraged all to apply, noting that the deadlines for all three are fast approaching. 

Reporting for treasury, Assistant Treasurer Nina Gopaldas shared that the Finance Committee had approved an allocation of $52 to the Students of Color Union to bring a performer to campus. Meanwhile, Gopaldas and Senator Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez attended the Joint Committees on Diversity, in which staff, faculty, and student Committees on Diversity presented their work from this semester. Faculty reportedly primarily discussed building relationships with both staff and students, while others discussed improving bias training on campus. Meanwhile, staff discussed the importance of making Reed a sanctuary campus for undocumented students and improving resources for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. 

Senator Cunningham-Rodriguez, who also attended the Joint Committees, said that they discussed community conversations on campus. Students have reportedly been invited by the Office of Student Life to have smaller community conversations after last year’s large community conversation regarding Paul Currie, but Gopaldas and Cunningham-Rodriguez expressed dissatisfaction with these events. “We don’t want our feelings to be validated,” Cunningham-Rodriguez said, “we want answers.” Gopaldas and Cunningham-Rodriguez said that their commentary was “well received,” and that they are hoping to see some changes to these community conversations as the end of the semester approaches.

Student Body Secretary Miles Sanford planned to meet with the study abroad office to approve programs in Barcelona and Paris, and encouraged anyone interested in such programs to reach out to Director of International Programs Alberto del Río Malo. 

Senator Aidan Mokalla said that he was excited to attend that international program in Barcelona next semester, and shared that the accountability groups — Judicial Board, Honor Council, and Restorative Justice — are considering moving to a different location on campus, but haven’t made any final decisions yet. 

Senator Lennox Reeder met with Sustainability Coordinator Rachel Willis, and encouraged students to reach out to her to learn more about the data she’s collecting. Reeder also met with the Information and Computing Policy Committee to discuss their proposal to change how students access the database of campus names, which apparently contributes to an email spam problem for those included. In addition, Reeder met with the Reed Wi-Fi team and got to see network maps for upcoming improvements in conductivity, which led them to believe that the quad in front of Commons and the area around Eliot will be getting improved Wi-Fi access in the next year or so.

Senator Reeder also encouraged any students with complaints about connectivity or network speed, even minor ones, to email them to, saying that the Wi-Fi team can collect these complaints and use them as evidence that students want Wi-Fi improvements, which Reeder said helps to “open the purse strings.” 

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