Senate Beat: Senator Resigns from Position

As announced at Public on Wednesday, Lennox Reeder has resigned from Senate. “We are another one down,” Student Body President Safi Zenger said. “Over the weekend Lennox Reeder resigned from their position as senator. There’s not really a whole lot else to say about it, unfortunately. I know that sounds really ominous, but resigning from a job is a personal decision, and we can’t speak on anyone’s behalf, so that’s really all that we can say about that.” Upon being contacted by the Quest, Reeder declined to comment on the situation. 

Notably, Public once again began without quorum, with eight members of student body government in attendance. SB President Safi Zenger shared that she had met with Registrar Jason Maher to set up a liaisonship moving forward, as well as with Vice President for Student Life Karnell McConnell-Black. As part of their regular meeting, McConnell-Black asked Senators how they are assessing campus climate in the wake of last week’s news that Professor Paul Currie is resigning. Zenger stated that at the meeting, she didn’t have “a lot concretely to say,” because while Senators are elected representatives, they can’t necessarily speak to the opinions of the whole student body. Zenger did share, however, that while “it’s great that Paul Currie is not returning, it’s still incredibly upsetting that he wasn’t found in violation of any school policies.” She further said that Senate was upset by the investigation’s findings, and assume that there are other students on campus who are upset that “our policies did not serve us the way that they should have.” Zenger also expressed her desire that students be involved in potential future institutional policy changes; at a meeting, Dean of Faculty Kathy Oleson personally agreed with Zenger’s desire for student involvement, though she could not confirm any official plans. 

In her last Public as an elected representative, Vice President Margot Becker shared that Dean of Students Tawana Parks is putting together a student advisory group which Becker thinks could be involved in whatever policy changes come next. This will be a paid position, Becker said, but not under Senate, and she encouraged all those interested in such issues to apply once the details of that group are finalized. Meanwhile, Becker announced that she will be continuing to serve on the Student Committee on Academic Policy and Planning in her ex officio Vice Presidency, and her work toward revising the two day fall reading week will continue to be a priority next semester. “I’m really, really grateful to all the students who put me in this position and allowed me to serve here,” Becker said, and thanked President Zenger, faculty and staff, and the student body as a whole, as well as everyone she worked with during her time on Senate.

Zenger further shared that she and Senator Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez had met with Director of Academic Support Christy Martin and Associate Dean for Academic Life Steve Abrahão to discuss a proposal that students be allowed to know which HUM 110 conferences have a consultant in them before opting in to those classes. Martin and Steve also reportedly asked Zenger and Cunningham-Rodriguez for advice on improving the “Thriving at Reed” presentation given during O-Week. The presentation covers “things that are helpful not at the very beginning, but around the halfway mark,” Zenger said, so it’s important to help students retain the information throughout the year. 

Cunningham-Rodriguez expressed excitement that Spring Fall was a success and attendees seemed to enjoy themselves. Cunningham-Rodriguez and Senator Wani Pandey are now looking toward next semester and planning how they can best support the Renn Fayre committee going forward. Meanwhile, Cunningham-Rodriguez met with Assistant Dean for Institutional Diversity Jessika Chi to discuss their ongoing project and the creation of a handbook for a bias reporting consultant.

Vice Treasurer Wani Pandey reiterated Cunningham-Rodriguez’s excitement about Spring Fall and begged all to send in their receipts as the end of the semester nears. “Please. Please. Send in your receipts,” Pandey said, “Please. I am begging you. Please. Please. Please. So when you’re reading the Quest and you’re reading these words, log into your computer, and send your receipts to” 

Reporting for their committees, Senator Jefferson Ratliff said that, prior to being interrupted by a fire alarm, the sustainability meeting primarily focused on implementing sustainability in curriculum and developing a working definition of sustainability — based on feedback from professors that the current definition is difficult to fit into practical applications. For Appointments Committee, Ratliff reported that interviews were conducted for accountability group positions, and Honor Council appointees were officially confirmed at the Senate executive meeting over the weekend. Finally, Ratliff reminded all that applications for Baby Money and Wage Review will be closing very soon.

Senate Secretary Miles Sanford announced that study abroad had approved a new consortium in Barcelona with three very big public universities. “The great thing,” Sanford said, “is that these programs are mainly offered in English, and you can take STEM classes in English.” Sanford also pointed out that, as a consortium, this study abroad program offers the advantage that a class not offered at one of the three colleges can simply be taken at one of the others. Sanford also said that they had discussed how pass/fail would be recorded at this new consortium, and mentioned the possibility of removing the residence requirement for thesis to make it easier for Reed students to study abroad. 

Thus concluded the semester’s last Senate public. As President Zenger put it, “Hopefully we never have a 9:00 a.m. Public ever again.”

By Declan Bradley.

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