By Henry Kendrick
Monday morning’s Senate Public on October 2 began a bit late as senators took their time filing into the Student Union. It was a slow committee week for Student Body President Safi Zenger, who, along with Vice President Sean Brown, continues to meet with the Reed webmaster in pursuit of a senate website. Zenger and Brown also met with Dr. Karnell McConnell-Black and Chris Toutain and discussed goals for student life this academic year. Dr. McConnell-Black emphasized working on “proactive communication” and “student honor” in relation to defining the boundaries and expectations of the Honor Principle, as well as, “elevating the student experience within ResLife.”
President Zenger also spoke with Toutain about the college’s progress on hiring a permanent Title IX coordinator. The college may bring in some interim support in the meantime. Zenger has also discussed introducing “themes” for certain Senate Publics after fall break, such as Senator Meera Balan’s lighting petition, which would focus meetings on more specific issues on campus. Zenger also announced that Senate will be hosting a job fair next week, as Senate has been having significant trouble filling open positions, Renn Fayre Czar most critically.
Bylaw review is still in progress thanks to Senators Lily Garvey and Lindsay Worrell. Senator Garvey discussed getting student input on campus AI policy with the Student Committee on Academic Policy and Planning (SCAPP), and along with Senator Worrell have discussed the HA union situation with ResLife, as well as their ongoing efforts to guarantee housing to peer mentors. Senator Worrell also wants to collect demographic data from HA and OWL applicants, in order to have more in-depth discussions regarding the equitable distribution of on-campus housing to upperclassmen.
Senator Andee Gude spoke more about Senate’s upcoming job fair right as Vice President Brown finally arrived, very late. Senator Gude previously met with Claudia Islas to discuss the HA protests, and will be introducing themselves to the Center for Life Beyond Reed (CLBR) and also speaking with Janice Yang about closer involvement with the Office for Student Engagement (OSE).
Senator Balan and Senator Caroline Spiggle have formally met with Commons as they continue their project of providing more allergen-conscious food items in Reed’s only dining hall. Senator Spiggle announced that there will be a survey sent out soon in SB info where students may provide feedback on what kinds of dietary restrictions they would like Commons to account for in their meal planning and service. Senator Balan also wants to make sure Kosher-keeping Jewish students are also adequately informed of Commons’ food sourcing and processing. Any students who wish to share their experiences with dietary restrictions at Reed can speak with Senators Balan and Spiggle.
Appointments Committee (APPCOM) chair and Senator Jefferson Ratliff announced that applications remain open for Renn Fayre Czar, Election Czar, and Bike Co-op Manager, and that hiring will be done on a rolling basis. Senator Ratliff is working with Michael Lombardo to promote the Bike Co-op position, a service that a lot of Reedies really value. Ratliff will also be working with Senator Bella Moore on purchasing fentanyl testing strips.
Senate’s Instagram page will also be open soon, once Senate Secretary Margot Becker “gets the password.” In the meantime, Head Treasurer Nina Gopaldas thanked last semester’s wage review board for providing Treasury with the data to begin this semester’s wage review, which will ideally make wages more equitable. Gopaldas also reported her Finance Committee (FINCOM) work from this past week, announcing either full or partial funding for the Herodotones, Marine Biology Club, and K-Pop Dance Club. The funding allocations were approved unanimously. “Let the record show that Ares tried to vote,” announced President Zenger.
Before new business began, Vice President Brown wished to clarify an offhand comment he made at last week’s meeting, in which he revealed that the new gate installed by the north parking lot cost $500 million. This was false, the gate actually having cost approximately $500,000. President Zenger stressed, for one last time, the importance of applying to job openings, explaining that Renn Fayre cannot happen without a Renn Fayre Czar, but also that J-Board and Honor Council are struggling unless new students apply to join them.
Senate’s Biggest Fan™ Ares Carnathan asked whether Senate could speak with those responsible for registering name changes in the college’s system, as Carnathan has been bothered by the unexpected appearance of their legal name vs. their chosen name. Senator Worrell agreed that it should be addressed, as physical mail sent to student’s homes can sometimes be addressed to newly chosen names that family members may not be aware of, which can be a problem for students with challenging family situations.