By Henry Kendrick
Student Body President Safi Zenger began Monday’s Senate Public on September 25 by revealing that the Renn Fayre Czar application is open on Handshake and encouraged anyone to apply. President Zenger and Senator Lily Garvey spoke with Christy Martin from Academic Support and Services on September 15, discussing the goals of the Senate’s Academic Success Committee.
President Zenger and Head Treasurer Nina Gopaldas also met with Jason Maher from the Registrar’s Office, who updated them on changes they are making to Reed’s registration-related systems. They will be updating both IRIS and the academic catalog to be more user-friendly. A new IRIS feature will allow new students to be able to plan out all eight semesters of their education, which will help departments plan ahead for over and under-enrollment in certain classes. These updates will be rolling out sometime this semester. Finally, President Zenger and Vice President Sean Brown met with Reed’s webmaster and discussed their priorities for the Senate’s upcoming website, which will be online by the end of the semester.
Senator Garvey discussed personal and faculty committee goals at the Academic Success meeting she attended. She also attended the meeting held by the Student Committee on Academic Policy and Planning (SCAPP), in which members reviewed the external evaluators for the History and Music Departments. There was also a SCAPP meeting on the college’s AI policy, and there will be another shorty to continue discussions of how to combat the use of AI in and out of the classroom. Senator Garvey also revealed that work from the Bylaw Review Committee has begun.
Senator Lindsay Worrell met with acting Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students Chris Toutain to discuss which items may be removed from the college’s Title IX policies in order to provide students and staff with a more condensed policy. Senator Worrell also attended J-Board interviews, which were completed last week. And Senator Bella Moore reported that she is working out dates for meetings with the Accessibility Committee, and is still trying to get in touch with the chair of Institutional Animal Care. The Reed Union Committee is also not yet active, as it is not yet fully appointed on the administration side.
Senator Andee Gude has spoken with multiple members of the Admission Committee. They are working to find times that work for meetings with the Center for Life Beyond Reed (CLBR) and Disability and Accessibility Resources (DAR). Senator Gude and Vice President Brown have also met with Claudia Islas from Student Life, and Senator Gude is wanting to work more closely with the Office for Student Engagement (OSE).
Senator Meera Balan wanted to clarify her position on installing more nighttime lighting on campus, explaining that she primarily wants more lighting around the Studio Art building on the east end of campus, and does not wish to install any new lighting in the canyon or near dorms.
For her committee work, Senator Balan is working with Senator Worrell on contacting the Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) and is still working on setting up a meeting with Commons. Additionally, Senator Balan wants to look into the Peer Mentorship Program (PMP) and discuss why Peer Mentors are not guaranteed on-campus housing like OWLs and HAs.
Senator and Appointments Committee chair Jefferson Ratliff has clarified some misunderstandings and miscommunications between the Senate and the Computer Planning and Policy Committee (CPPC). Senator Ratliff will also be meeting with Vice President Brown to discuss overlapping committee goals, especially regarding the Health and Counseling Center (HCC). Senator Ratliff is glad to see the college has hired a new SHARE director, finally taking work burdens off of students, and wishes to establish regular meetings with SHARE, as well as with Community Safety Director Gary Granger.
Head Treasurer Gopaldas reported her Finance Committee (FINCOM) work, explaining that Quiz Bowl came to FINCOM without a completed budget and was asked to return for final budget allocation. White Water Club’s budget requested money for a spring event, which FINCOM denied. The rest of White Water Club’s budget for the fall semester was approved unanimously. Gopaldas emphasized the explanatory notes printed in the Quest’s publication of the funding results for students who may have been confused by certain funding decisions. Gopaldad revealed that Treasury has moved $80,000 from their main account to their endowment account, and has set up a master wage system for the semester.
Gopladas also met with Gwen Sandford and Fiona Ahn from International Student Services (ISS) and spoke about the rise of exchange students at Reed. Sandford is working on an advisory board with President Audrey Bilger called “Global Reedie,” which seeks to restart many of the college’s pre-pandemic international programs, outreach, and support. Finally, Gopaldas announced that all current students can now view an unofficial transcript on IRIS under the “Documents” tab of their “Student Information” page.
Newly hired Assistant Treasurer Lucy Knight-King introduced herself, as this was her first Senate Public. It was also Senator Xixi Dukes’ first meeting, after being out with food poisoning. Senator Dukes reported that she has begun reaching out to her assigned departments and committees, such as Conference and Events Planning (CEP), the Reactor, Sustainability, and Commons. She is planning on meeting with DAR to discuss bylaws, as well as with the Students with Disabilities Coalition.
Senate Secretary Margot Becker talked more about her upcoming Senate bulletin board and requested that Senators send her photos and fun facts to use. The bulletin board will likely include information on elections and Secretary Becker’s notes. President Zenger revealed that the new Senate website will be constructed on a new domain, as opposed to spending over $5,000 to buy back their old domain.
Vice President Brown announced that any student who wants to work on a project concerning equity and diversity should speak with him. He also described an odd run-in with an Alumni Relations member, who he will be meeting.
The meeting ended with calls for new business. Audience member Ares Carnathan brought up the strong opposition to Senator Balan’s lighting petition found in the MCs and wanted to make sure that the final decision on whether to proceed will be made by the entire Senate, considering the divisiveness of the petition.
Both President Zenger and Senator Balan assured Carnathan that for a project of that scale, the entire Senate will have to vote on its approval, and Senator Balan described the complex administrative and bureaucratic hurdles the proposal will have to clear even beyond Senate to become a reality. Senator Balan also expressed frustration with how heated the debate has become, revealing that some students have treated her rudely in face-to-face interactions.
Senators discussed some of the reasons for and against more lighting, with Senator Balan explaining that some art majors have felt unsafe leaving their studio at night, and Senator Worrell saying that many students want to see statistics linking lighting and crime. Senator Balan acknowledges that more lighting will not necessarily reduce crime. Secretary Becker recalled a meeting with Dr. Karnell McConnell-Black, in which he argued that more lighting on pathways would actually make dark areas off the paths more dangerous and difficult to see. Vice President Brown ended the meeting by suggesting they could dedicate a future Senate Public to the issue.