Senate Beat: Let’s Talk About RJ Baby, Let’s Talk About You and Me

At Senate public on Tuesday, senators officially confirmed that the Restorative Justice board will not receive student body funds this semester. “We would like to reaffirm that RJ is not getting funding this semester,” Vice President Sean Brown said, “We talked about it before, but this is now confirmed.” Brown further stated that, “We discussed [this] at exec last time, but we had a whole bunch of other things going on, so we kind of forgot about that.” 

Meanwhile, Appointments Committee Chair Jefferson Ratliff announced that applications for Wage Review, Bike Co-op Manager, and J-Board secretary are now live on Handshake, and encouraged all to apply. Ratliff also shared that they have a meeting scheduled for February 21st with the Sustainability Committee to discuss a working definition of sustainability, which is “where we left off last semester.” 

Ratliff is also staying in “active communication” with SHARE about the legislation proposals discussed in last week’s Senate Beat, and attended the first meeting of SCAP (Student Committee on Academic Planning), at which they discussed the notes from the first meeting of CAPP (Committee on Academic Policy Planning) and were introduced to the new hires for this semester. Ratliff reported that they had raised the issue of better informing the student body about SCAP activities, and proposed a possible return of SCAP Beat, a column which used to be printed in the Quest. Finally, Ratliff and other senators were given a tour of student spaces by Janice Yang, Director for the Office of Student Engagement, and discussed how to better manage space and allocate items to clubs.

In Res Life news, senator Astrid Liu met with Residence Life Assistant Director Jen Hickman to discuss policy changes to Reed’s on-call system. Previously, only Area Coordinators were expected to be on call, but individual HAs may soon be expected to be on call for 24 hours a day as well. Hickman reportedly said that this policy change is not a Res Life decision, and suggested senators talk to Vice President for Student Life Karnell McConnell-Black or Dean of Students Tawana Parks. Hickman did, however, say that she would like to see more student involvement and feedback in how Reed thinks about housing and housing policies, and she and senators also discussed Reed’s on-campus housing shortage for upperclassmen. Ratliff further clarified that the changes to the HA program will be the main topic at Senate public next week, and encouraged all those affected to attend.

In committee reports, Senator Luiz Felipe Horta of the CSO Committee met with Community Safety Manager Christo Potgieter to discuss CSO turnover, student-CSO relations, and safety in the Student Union. Meanwhile, Office of Institutional Diversity liaisons will be meeting with Jessica Chia and Xixi Dukes on the 10th. A Title IX committee meeting will also be taking place on the 10th, and an update will be shared at public next week. 

Senators Astrid Liu, Luiz Felipe Horta, and Nina Gopaldas met with International Student Services Program Director Gwen Sandford to discuss the EXEL program and the current situation for international students applying for EXEL credits. Currently, international students earn two PE credits from completing the EXEL program, but students who have already completed all six of Reed’s required PE credits are “maxed out” and will need to contact the registrar’s office to apply for extra credits. Furthermore, senators discussed the concern held by some international students that companies may have been turning down job applications based on the incorrect assumption that hiring international students leads to extra costs and bureaucratic work for the company. As a solution, Sandford offered that any international students facing such obstacles should contact her, as she would be happy to sit down with a company and explain the process. 

Meanwhile, tax season has begun for international students, and Gopaldas noted that all international students do have to file taxes in the US, even if they don’t work. Luckily, Reed provides a coupon code that will let international students file federal taxes online for free, although they will still have to pay for state taxes. International students should check their emails for more information sent out by Sandford.

Vice President Sean Brown attended a meeting with all of Reed’s accountability groups, which he described as “the first time that’s happened in a while,” and which served mainly as an introduction to the three groups: J-Board, RJ, and Honor Council. These groups are reportedly planning on unveiling an updated Honor Principle at Senate Public in 2-3 weeks, and Brown advised all to attend.

Reporting for the Academic Success Committee, President Safi Zenger shared that Dean of Students Tawana Parks has moved up their planned meeting, but it is unfortunately still during one of Zenger’s classes, so she has reached out to request a recap of meeting business after it takes place. “I haven’t been able to make it to that meeting in like a year,” said Zenger, “they just sort of forgot to invite us somewhere down the line.” Meanwhile, Zenger will be meeting with Christy Martin and Steve at Academic Support Services this Friday. Zenger also emailed her faculty advisor to get updated information on the Art Collection Committee, but he replied that he “forgot [he] was on that committee” and that they haven’t met for “a really long time.” 

New Student Body Assistant Treasurer Anahi Sanchez Marcial — AKA Baby Money — has scheduled a meeting with Director of Bookstore and Auxiliary Services Jessica Valeske, as well as joining Senator Meera Balan in meeting with the HCC. Meanwhile, Sanchez Marcial also attended the first meeting of the Student Committee on Diversity (SCOD), at which members discussed strategies for “making a more inclusive and safe HUM 110 experience for future Reedies.” 

Leading Finance Committee, Head Treasurer Wani Pandey formally requested the allocation of $800 to House of Elvira, which was approved by unanimous vote. Pandey plans to meet with the Legislation Committee, the Reed Union, and the Renn Fayre czars in the near future, and hopes to debrief the Renn Fayre team about how Spring/Fall went. Both Pandey and Vice Treasurer Gopaldas urged students to vote in funding poll, which was released Monday, as soon as possible, while Pandey begged clubs to submit their budgets to Senate. “Clubs,” Pandey said, “please, please get your budgets in by 11:59 PM on Friday.” 

Senator Meera Balan will be meeting with Senate Secretary and former Vice president Margot Becker to discuss social media for Senate, while also working alongside Senator Xixi Dukes to meet with Bon Appetite, regarding Balan’s campaign promises about Commons, and the director of the SEEDS program. 

Senator Xixi Dukes reported that no progress has been made on the Conference and Events Planning Committee, citing a two-week old unanswered email to Assistant Director of Conference and Events Planning Megan Callero as the cause of the delay. [Correction: Senator Dukes misspoke and later corrected their statement — Ms. Callero did in fact respond to the email within 24 hours. The Quest apologizes for the error.] Dukes also expressed frustration regarding an unanswered email to Professor Paul Hovda about HUM 110, saying “he’s going to get an angry little girl on his doorstep tomorrow.”

Audience member Ares Carnathan volunteered a question during new business, saying, “due to previous talk of things via previous senators who are now resigned, I heard things about choosing what names and where each name goes in IRIS and such. Do you have any updates on that?” Ratliff responded that that’s an issue they’d like to raise, alongside issues surrounding printing and Wi-Fi expansion. John, another audience member, volunteered an idea for Senate. “Last year,” John said, “in the wake of Paul Currie, we were talking to a lot of admin and faculty and trying to get things changed, and then there’d be some sort of gridlock and then we’d get people to tell their stories and we’d get a little progress, but it was exhausting to tell stories, so it would be nice to have a collection, maybe a website, where it could all be collected so we could give it to administrators.” Then, John explained, students wouldn’t have to relive unpleasant experiences whenever called upon, as they could simply send a link to the website to any administrator involved in discussions. John has built such a website, hosted at, and wanted to offer it to Senate. Brown called the demo website “bonkers,” and Zenger thanked John for coming forward, saying that Senate had wanted to do something like this for a long time but couldn’t because their webmaster quit. “You did this in five days,” Zenger said, “and we couldn’t do it in two and a half years, so I don’t know what that says about us,” to which another Senator responded, “it says we’re not computer-science majors,” to laughter from Senate and the audience.

By Declan Bradley

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Judicial Board Co-Chairs’ Statement on Senate’s Defunding of Restorative Justice Coalition – Quest
7 months ago

[…] communication about the defunding of RJC from Senate has been inconsistent. Senate allegedly “forgot” about announcing the defunding of RJC, and it is statements like these that demonstrate Senate’s […]

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