A Low Key Senate Beat

Student Body President Safi Zenger (‘24) and Student Body Vice President Sean Brown (‘24) reported checking in with Vice President and Dean for Institutional Diversity Phyllis Esposito. “We love Phyllis, she’s really sweet,” said Zenger.

President Zenger and Student Body Vice Treasurer Nina Gopaldas (‘24) also met with the  Registrar Jason Maher, who walked them through some of the changes happening within the department. According to Zenger, one of the changes pertains to the faculty handbook, wherein professors were recommended to only give out certain percentages of each grade to students (i.e. a certain percentage of A’s, a certain percentage of B’s, etc.) The actual data, however, shows that professors haven’t really adhered to the recommendations, and have actually been giving out more A’s than suggested. “They’re looking to get rid of that language,” said Zenger, “because not only is it really arbitrary, it’s also not really helping anything right now.”

Additionally, they discussed the proposal to allow students to have access to unofficial transcripts via IRIS. Currently, requesting official transcripts poses somewhat of a financial barrier to students, and a barrier to students who need transcripts more immediately, but cannot access them outside of the registrars’ hours. 

Elections are starting up. Senate hired their election czars a few weeks ago, and are now getting in touch with them again to start the election process. “If you’re interested in running for Senate or Quest,” said Zenger, “either talk to us about Senate, or talk to the Quest about being a Quest editor.” This election cycle, Senate will have four seats open, and The Quest will have three.

According to Vice President Brown, the accountability groups have met, and are discussing hosting the meetings more regularly. They are also trying to schedule time “sometime before the end of the school year” to present at Senate Public and hear more opinions. 

Senate was finally able to attend the student space tour, but unfortunately, said Brown, “We found out my keys weren’t as key as they should have keyed.” Brown and Senator Jefferson Ratliff (‘25) will be doing a second run of the student spaces, writing down what they would like to keep and what they would like to throw away. Senate then engaged in a short discussion about a “cool jar of dirt” involved in the process. 

The Student Committee on Academic Planning (SCAP) is beginning the transfer of one head to another, as the current head is leaving. Brown and Ratliff will be helping throughout the process.

Applications for the Appeals Board, as well as J-Board members, will be open until this Sunday at midnight, “So apply to those if you’re interested,” said Senator Ratliff. The Appointments Committee (APPCOM)  is currently working on making posters to raise student awareness of their Handshake page so that students know when positions are open.

Additionally, APPCOM formally recommended the appointment of Aries Carnathan and Dylan O’Catherine to Election Czar, Andee Gude, and Amber Godefroy to the Student Committee on Diversity (SCOD), and Yik Yin Cheuk to Webmaster.

Student Body Head Treasurer Wani Pandey (‘23) recommended the allocation of $400 to have Plum and Outer Sunset come to perform at Reed. The motion passed unanimously.

According to Pandey, Renn Fayre Committee has begun reviewing and approving student projects. The committee is also looking for volunteers, as well as students to apply for subczar positions. “Renn Fayre isn’t something that happens without the help and volunteering of every student,” said Pandey. “It’s a great way to give back to thesising seniors and get thesis karma.”

Four off-campus programs — two in Mexico, two in Argentina — have been approved at the committee level, and are moving forward into Senate, potentially being implemented as early as next year. 

Reporting on the Accidents and Injuries committee, Treasurer Gopaldas stated that a student had hurt their foot in a PE class, and that the Sports Center responded well. Additionally, there was a gas spill in the middle of the night near the Sports Center due to construction, but “there was a very good response.” The team has a “clear and effective method” for handling issues like this.

SHARE and Title IX hosted their table outside Commons last week, giving out snacks and pamphlets with information on Discriminatory, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct (DHSM), as well as info on Title IX.

Last Friday, Senator Meera Balan (‘26) met with a few Jewish students and with Commons to discuss making Commons more kosher-friendly in relation to Passover. Additionally, Commons is looking to include more recipes from the student body in order to incorporate them into their menu. They will be making posters with a QR code where students can contact Commons and submit recipes. 

With regards to the plan to install more lighting on campus, Senator Balan reported that CSO Gary Granger has created a map detailing which areas are currently unsafe due to dim lighting. “I urge the student body population to email me or Gary Granger telling us specific areas in which you would want lights,” said Balan.

The Sustainability Committee wants to give a “deep thank you” to everyone who participated in Canyon Day on April 1st. “We know there was really crazy weather that day,” said Senator Xixi Dukes (‘26), “but thank you for participating.”

Senator Astrid Liu (‘25) reported on the responses they received from Reslife about the House Advisor (HA) requirements. HA’s will still be required to be “on call,” but the requirements will reportedly look a lot like existing roles with a couple added elements — HA’s will be required to do two or three nightly rounds checking for safety concerns, such as checking doors, ensuring the Narcan boxes are stocked, and engaging with residents. According to Reslife, the goal of HA changes is to increase the overall safety and well-being of students. HA’s will not be involved with lockouts, and that responsibility will remain with the CSO’s for now. “HA’s are leaders that live in these dorms, and are closer to students — they’ll be more likely to reach out and talk to students compared to CSOs,” said Senator Liu. HA’s are expected to be a first line of response rather than a last line. Additionally, said Liu, Reslife did not respond to the GPA requirements in the job description. 

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