Senate Beat: Legislative Proposals

At Senate public on Monday, senators discussed two ongoing legislative proposals, one put forward by SHARE (Sexual Health, Advocacy, and Relationship Education) that was discussed in Senate Beat on February 3, and one proposing a revision to the academic misconduct policy. As explained by Student Body Head Treasurer Wani Pandey (‘23), there is often a higher frequency of academic misconduct cases during midterm and final exams, immediately before academic breaks. Unfortunately, this means that such cases must be handled while students are on break, which often means that they are handed over to the Administration Committee — which has no student members — instead of the Judicial Board. “We see a bifurcation of results happening,” Pandey said, “where Ad Com is coming up with different results from J-Board.” As a result, a proposal has been put forward to implement a system under which J-Board members could be paid to adjudicate cases during academic breaks, and thus avoid forwarding cases to the Administration Committee. Pandey explained that this is partially because, “J-Board is trained and [they] have a policy they follow, which is not to say [that] Ad Com doesn’t, but they’d rather it be consistent with other cases,” and stated that the language of the proposed policy will be available for community review in the near future. 

Reporting for the Finance Committee (FinComm), Treasurer Pandey also announced the allocation of $1,550 to the Reed College Creative Review, as well as $405 to the Quest to pay registration fees for a journalism conference later this year. In addition, Senate also allocated $500 to Cinéclub, $4,172 to Chabad @ Reed, and $650 to Bec Daniels for Sunk Heaven. 

In committee reports, Senate reminded all present that theme reveal for Renn Fayre is this Friday, “so tell your friends and get excited!” In addition, President Safi Zenger explained that members of Senate had emailed Director of Community Safety Gary Granger and the VP Dean Team before Thursday, February 23, “to address why we thought that school should not occur on Thursday and Friday.” “Don’t know if that’s all us,” Zenger said, “but Gary did get back to us and said he took that into account.” 

Meanwhile, President Zenger and Vice President Sean Brown attended a commencement meeting on Wednesday, at which they narrowed down the list of possible commencement speakers to a remaining “top five.” President Zenger expressed excitement about the candidates, saying that speakers are always Reed alumni and that this year’s prospects are “really interesting.” President Zenger further explained that, pending a possible further narrowing of the list, the remaining names will eventually be sent out to the senior class for a general vote to choose the final speaker. 

Appointments Committee Chair Jefferson Ratliff (‘25) announced that applications for the Student Committee on Diversity (SCOD), Election Czar, and Senate Webmaster are all currently open on Handshake, and encouraged all to apply. Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Appointments Committee, Ratliff officially recommended Ares Carnathan and Zoe Buhalis to Wage Review positions, Will Thayer and Clay Liu to the position of Bike Co-Op Manager, and Rukayah Khediri and Hailey Fazio to the position of J-Board secretary. All of these appointments were approved unanimously. Prior to the official beginning of Public, Carnathan, who was in the audience that day, had told Ratliff that the annual salary for the Election Czar position was incorrectly listed as $300 on Handshake, when the salary is actually $350. Ratliff promised to update the listing to reflect the accurate salary.

Meanwhile, Senator Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez (‘23) plans to meet with the Student Committee on Diversity (SCOD) to discuss “finding student spaces for students of color on campus,” as well as implementing diversity training for HUM 110 intended to “get more students well acquainted with how to talk about race and difficult subjects.” 

Vice President Sean Brown was unable to attend Public on Monday, which President Zenger explained was due to a simultaneous meeting of the Committee on Academic Policy Planning (CAPP). “They meet on Mondays at 4:00,” Zenger said, “so whenever they meet, one of our Senators or Treasurers who serves on SCAP [(Student Committee on Academic Planning)] cannot be present at public, but it’s for a good cause.” 

President Zenger also stated that Senate has been discussing the possibility of finding a way for the Quest to pay contributors as well as editors, saying, “we have been looking into that and are motivated to find a way.” Meanwhile, Zenger also plans to meet with Registrar Jason Maher in the next couple of weeks, for a regularly scheduled meeting that takes place once a month. At the meeting, Zenger hopes to discuss developing a system by which Senate would be alerted when student workers paid through student body funds leave the college. “We do not have a really streamlined way of figuring that out,” Zenger said, “so we end up paying people who don’t go here anymore, which is really awkward.”

Treasurer Pandey and Senator Ratliff have been discussing the Computer User Services committee (CUS), noting that the committee is broader than Computer User Services, and therefore should be considered for a possible new name. Pandey also announced that payments for domes, Green Lodge, and White Bird have been filed in preparation for Renn Fayre, and planned to meet with the Renn Fayre committee on Friday.

Pandey also met with the Business Office to discuss the SU depreciation fund and the possibility of Quest ad revenue, which was discussed in relation to the idea of compensating Quest writers. Senator Lindsay Worrell (‘25) met with SHARE during the previous week, and confirmed that the organization had sent their proposed amendment, discussed in the February 3 Senate Beat, to the Legislation Committee. Worrell also planned to meet with Title IX this Friday, and said that “we might have some representatives from J-Board come to the meeting.”

Senator Xixi Dukes (‘26) attended a sustainability meeting to discuss Earth Day and Canyon Day. Dukes also has an upcoming meeting with Assistant Director of Conference and Events Planning Megan Callero, to take place in the next few weeks. Dukes also states that “there is a meeting on the books to talk about Marketplace, Commons, and Bon Appetite,” to celebration from the audience.

Senator Fatuma Hussein (‘25) met with the Accessibility Committee to discuss short and long term goals, as well as the ongoing project of designing a website that students, faculty, and staff could use to submit and compile ongoing accessibility concerns. 

Meanwhile, Senate plans to go on a group tour of student spaces in the near future, in order to review the spaces and how they are being used. Senator Ratliff and Vice President Brown plan to work with “Janice” (presumed to be Director for the Office of Student Engagement Janice Yang, although this was not confirmed) on plans to better allocate student spaces. Senator Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez, meanwhile, will be meeting with “Jessika” (presumed to be Assistant Dean for Institutional Diversity Jessika Chi, although this was not confirmed) to work on a personal project about bias reporting at Reed.

Senator Astrid Liu (‘25) announced that Senate had collected “a handful of student responses” regarding recent changes to the HA position at Reed, as covered in Senate Beat on February 17. Liu also stated that Senate is “still trying to schedule a meeting with Res Life,” noting that the person Senate had previously met with is now leaving the position. When asked for the name of the individual and the position they were leaving, Liu declined to answer. 

When Senate opened the floor to new business, audience member Ares Carnathan stated that, “I think OWLs, Night OWLs specifically, are a very important part of our campus safety. I would like to propose we hold a ceremony where we give the Night OWLs community service medals.” President Zenger called the idea “really cute,” and Senate seemed to express strong, if informal, support for the proposal.

Finally, Treasurer Pandey raised the issue of ongoing inaccuracies in Senate Beat. Among other mistakes, senators pointed to the misspelling of President Zenger’s and Senator Worrell’s names in last week’s Senate Beat — “Zengar” instead of the correct “Zenger” and “Lindsey” instead of the correct “Lindsay” — and the misquotation of Senator Luiz Felipe Horta as having made references to the “bong loft” instead of the “book loft.” (This last was, admittedly, changed at the editorial stage, and was not the fault of the writer — we really did think Senator Horta was talking about the bong loft, and we apologize for the mistake.)Additionally, Student Body Secretary Margot Becker stated that either the Quest itself or members of Senate, who the Quest then quoted or paraphrased, had misgendered one or more students, faculty, or staff members at some point in the past. While Secretary Becker did not provide further details on this incident, the Quest apologizes for this error and plans to issue a correction when we identify where and when it was printed. As a general policy, the Quest defaults to the pronouns listed on an individual’s Campus Directory profile on IRIS unless differing pronouns are otherwise stated by the individual themselves. While we recognize that, for various reasons, an individual’s Campus Directory profile may not be up to date with their current pronouns, this is the most authoritative source we have access to. We ask that, if you are interviewed or otherwise contacted for a story in the Quest, and a Quest journalist fails to ask for your pronouns, or you are aware that your pronouns as listed on IRIS do not reflect your current pronouns, you contact us as soon as possible to ensure that we are aware of the inaccuracy. While we try our best to ask for pronouns from every individual covered in the Quest, it is not always possible, as in Senate Beat, to contact every third party referenced in a large story in time for publication. Nevertheless, we apologize for this mistake, and hope to do better in the future.

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