Senate Beat 3/27: Square Dance Ball is Happening

“Welcome to Public, yay!” said Student Body President Safi Zenger (‘24) on Monday, with almost a full attendance of Senate members.

President Zenger stated she did not have a lot to report this week, as she had been sick, but mentioned that she and Student Body Vice Treasurer Nina Gopaldas (‘24) were meeting with Registrar Jason Maher on Thursday. President Zenger and Student Body Vice President Sean Brown (‘24) also have a meeting this week with Vice President and Dean for Institutional Diversity Phyllis Esposito. 

The Senate has begun to pay closer attention to the Qual — President Zenger plans to discuss it with Director of Academic Support Christy Martin and Associate Dean for Academic Life Steve Abrahão at their next meeting scheduled later in April. “It’s unfortunate that there’s this disconnect where students pass all the classes they need to become juniors, and then they don’t pass the Qual,” said Zenger. “No one should have to reevaluate their entire last three years of Reed when they’re so close to the finish line.”

President Zenger and Treasurer Gopaldas received an update from Jason Maher about the current work being done on unofficial transcript requests. According to Zenger, “It’s kind of an access barrier for students who want to see their grades, but then they have to pay to get a copy of their transcript.” The ability to access grades also varies depending on the advisor each student has. 

SHARE, in conjunction with Title IX, hosted a table on Wednesday from 11:30 to 1:30 outside of Commons, in order to discuss Title IX and the options that survivors have available to them.

According to Senator Kiana Cunningham-Rodriguez (‘23), the job description for the Peer Navigator Program will be on Handshake soon. The job will place an emphasis on bias incidents and reporting, working in the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) to help people who want to file bias incident reports.

Student Body Head Treasurer Wani Pandey (‘23) recommended the allocation of $250 to the Square Dance Ball, which passed unanimously in the Senate. 

Treasurer Pandey also reported that the legislative committee met to discuss both the recently proposed AOD policy amendment and the J-Board hiring policy amendment. According to Pandey, Vice President for Student Life Karnell McConnell-Black will be meeting with people who have opposed the above amendments, in order to discuss concerns further before moving forward to a community feedback session, likely to be sent out in email format. 

Additionally, Wage Review has commenced, “so look out for those surveys if you’re paid by the Student Body Senate, and please fill those out,” said Pandey. 

The Appointments Committee (AppCom) recommended Bose Hewitt to Station Manager, Gregory Mack to KRRC Engineer, and Lily Garvey to Record Librarian, all of which passed unanimously within the Senate.

Senator Meera Balan (‘26) and Senator Xixi Dukes (‘26) reported that they had scheduled a meeting with Commons and a few Jewish students on campus to discuss their plans for making Commons food more kosher-friendly. Senator Balan is also currently working with CSO Gary Granger to make a map outlining the places that are dark on campus, in order to install better lighting.

Canyon Day this year is on April 1st. “No, it’s not a joke,” said Senator Dukes.

Additionally, Senator Dukes formally requests people to “stop kicking down my door” concerning HUM 110 about Pancho Savery. Dukes is aware and is already scheduling a meeting with the Office of Institutional Diversity. “I’m working on it, I promise,” Dukes said. 

Once the Senate concluded their business, they opened up the floor to business from the audience. 

A member of the audience expressed their concerns about the lack of scales in the drug locker. Reportedly, there are testing strips in the locker, but otherwise, the locker has been empty for the last few weeks or so. “Thank you for bringing that to our attention,” said President Zenger. “It’s really important because those scales exist for a very important reason. They really should be there so people have every and all opportunity to use safely.”

In the audience, Rowan Frost, the Program Director for Sexual Health, Advocacy, and Relationship Education (SHARE), shared related information specific to the Health and Counseling Center (HCC). The HCC offers needle exchanges Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 to 5 pm, where anyone can walk in, and no information is taken. Whether it’s drugs or diabetes medication or hormones, syringes, and safe injection supplies — as well as fentanyl test strips — are available at the HCC during open hours. Regarding the test strips, specifically, “You don’t have to talk to anyone, you can just take the strips,” said Frost.

Additionally, Frost encourages everyone to become educated about the use of Narcan. Students can make an appointment at the HCC through the online health portal, selecting “Naloxone/Narcan appointment” in order to receive a brief 5 to 10-minute one on one informational session about it, as well as a prescription for Narcan. According to Frost, the copay on Narcan is usually not more than $35. Students can also ask about Narcan if they are at the HCC for an unrelated appointment.

On behalf of SHARE, Frost also shared information about the “Take Back the Night” event that SHARE is organizing. The event has been done internationally since the early 70s, and was put together originally by local community activists as a show of support for women, who weren’t able to walk safely at night. The event has since become an umbrella event to show support for survivors of sexual assault and violence. “Take Back the Night” will take place next Tuesday night (April 4th), from 9 pm to 11 pm, in Eliot Chapel. Survivors who attend will be offered a survivor’s support guide. There will be people speaking on their own experiences, mostly on Reed’s campus, and there will be advocates there to support them.

“Mostly what survivors need is the support of their friends and community,” said Frost. “Please feel free to join, no one is required to speak.”

SHARE will be hosting a table to make origami cranes, each one made with “a prayer and a wish of healing for a survivor.” Students can stop by to make cranes and either leave them or take one with them. The table will also have a banner where students can write messages as a show of support for survivors.

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L is a CS major who spends their free time knitting, drawing, and writing for the Quest. You can frequently find them with another cup of coffee at increasingly concerning hours of the day.

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