By Henry Kendrick
Senate held its first public meeting of the Fall 2023 semester on Monday, September 11. All Senate Publics will be held at 9:15 AM on Mondays in the Student Union for this semester.
Student Body President Safi Zenger kicked off the meeting by announcing that the first Finance Committee (FINCOM) meeting had taken place, and clarifying that the Commencement Committee does not meet during the Fall semester. President Zenger also updated Senate on the meetings she has been having with various administrative departments and student-run organizations. President Zenger has already met with the Quest editors, and Vice President and Dean for Institutional Diversity Phyllis Esposito, and is planning on meeting with Jason Maher in the Registrar’s Office alongside Head Treasurer Nina Gopaldas.
President Zenger has meetings scheduled with President Audrey Bilger, Vice President for Student Life Karnell McConnell-Black, Dean of Students Chris Toutain, and Dean of Faculty Kathy Oleson. Finally, President Zenger explained that Senate was having trouble setting up a time to meet with the Reed webmaster, continuing Senate’s effort to launch a website.
Senate Secretary Margot Becker announced the launch of a new Senate social media presence, and a new billboard to be installed in the GCC, in new efforts to boost student engagement with Senate. Becker’s project will be finished in roughly two weeks.
Gopaldas announced the end of signator training and the opening of the funding poll. She also confirmed that club budgets are due on Friday 9/15 by 11:59 PM. Gopaldas also reviewed a handful of instances of clubs requesting funding for special projects.
Vice President Sean Brown announced that he has spoken with Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Milyon Trulove. He also wants to introduce new and returning senators to the Financial Aid Committee and the staff of the Health and Counseling Center (HCC).
Senator and Appointments Committee (APPCOM) chair Jefferson Ratliff is waiting to hear back on a few APPCOM loose ends. Senator Ratliff announced open applications for Honor Council and J-Board. He also announced that the application for Renn Fayre Czar would be opening soon. Senator Ratliff and Senator Bella Moore met with Gary Granger as Senate’s CSO liaisons to discuss priorities for the Fall semester.
Senator Andee Gude is hoping to meet with the Center for Life Beyond Reed (CLBR) to discuss fall semester priorities. Working Senator Gude is also working with Senators XiXi Dukes and Caroline Spiggle on communications with Disability & Accessibility Resources (DAR).
Senator Lily Garvey has scheduled meetings with academic support. She has met with Residence Life and scheduled regular meeting times for the semester. She is also planning on conducting informal surveys about the Hum 110 experience.
Senator Lindsay Worrell did APPCOM interviews. She discussed the underused CARE Report, in which students can anonymously voice concerns about their fellow Reedies’ mental or emotional health to the CARE team. Senator Worrell also had preliminary discussions with ResLife about providing on-campus housing to upperclassmen who need it.
Senator Meera Balan has set up a meeting with Commons with regard to improving accessibility for students with religious and/or medically-caused dietary restrictions and improving allergen labeling. Senator Spiggle also voiced her support for this work. Senator Balan also announced that she spoke about Fall semester Title IX priorities with Chris Toutain. She also announced the release of a new petition regarding the installation of additional night lighting on campus, and requested that as many students sign it as possible.
Senator Moore is working on scheduling meetings with the accessibility committee, and is also working with Senator Garvey on Hum 110 surveys.
After committee reports were finished, President Zenger welcomed the audience to propose other business. An audience member and past Renn Fayre Czar asked about confusion with Spring/Fall planning. They put their name forward for Spring/Fall liaison and requested that it be a paid and more generally administrative position. They also requested to sit in on Renn Fayre Czar interviews, which President Zenger confirmed is typically a duty of past Renn Fayre Czars.
On behalf of APPCOM, Senator Ratliff recommended Lucy Knight-King as assistant treasurer. The motion passed unanimously.
Megan Simón from ResLife asked about where to find the information for remote signator training. President Zenger explained that it could be found in SB Info, but acknowledged that staff do not usually have access to that newsletter. Simón also asked how staff could submit an announcement to be added to SB Info. President Zenger recommended that they simply email her.
Audience member Ares Carnathan complained about Reedies being too lazy to fill out surveys and ballots. They wondered if additional information could be given out to freshmen during O-Week requesting that they fill out school surveys when asked. President Zenger and Secretary Becker agreed, and discussed how Senate could get better engagement from the student body.