Senate Beat Is Pleading on Its Hands and Knees

Monday, November 6’s Senate Public opened with Student Body President Safi Zenger announcing that the Renn Fayre Czars have finally been hired and that Spring/Fall will be happening. President Zenger also announced that there will only be three more Publics this semester, with no Public on November 27 due to Thanksgiving break. 

Vice President Sean Brown and President Zenger continue to meet every other week with Phyllis Esposito, Vice President and Dean of Institutional Diversity. Vice President Brown shared that the Reed’s alumni recently held a meeting to discuss how they can make their programs and opportunities more available and accessible to students who may otherwise have no knowledge of Reed’s alumni-related services.

While their joint work on improving accessibility is still in its early stages, Senator Bella Moore announced that she and Senator Caroline Spiggle are in the process of launching a new Senate committee called CARDS, which will be related to Disability & Accessibility Resources (DAR). As a CSO liaison, Senator Moore met with Gary Granger to discuss campus safety after antisemitic graffiti was found in a library bathroom last week. Moore also attended the bi-annual meeting of Institutional Animal Care and reported that no changes were made to student-related policies.

Meetings with Commons regarding greater allergen accommodation are still being held with Senators Xixi Dukes and Meera Balan. Senator Dukes has scheduled a meeting with Sustainability and revealed that she is now reactor-trained and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) approved. 

The Appointments Committee (APPCOM) has interviewed for Bike Co-op positions, according to Senator Andee Gude. Senator Gude is also helping the Center for Life Beyond Reed (CLBR) with a new mentorship program in which alumni can connect more closely with students and is meeting with CLBR Director Alice Harra. Senator Gude is also working on better Sustainability outreach and has filed orders to remove trash from Senate storage.

The Student Committee for Academic Policy and Planning (SCAPP) held an event in Commons several weeks ago in which students were asked to provide feedback on the college’s AI policies. Assistant Treasurer Lucy Knight-King explained that this data will be compiled at a future date. Senator Lindsay Worrell revealed that Occupational Health and Safety (OHC) members are to be CPR trained.               

Senator Balan is hoping to revive the Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) and has begun setting up a meeting schedule, and begun creating posters for student outreach. With regard to her Commons project, she and Senator Spiggle have been meeting with an unnamed company that helps colleges like Reed institute more allergen-friendly dining halls. They are in the process of discussing the logistics of hiring this company with the administration.

Senator and Appointments Committee Chair Jefferson Ratliff met with the Health and Counseling Center (HCC) to discuss how the HCC could take up the role formerly held by Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). Senator Ratliff reported that the HCC has been given the go-ahead to purchase fentanyl testing strips for the campus, which should be complete by the end of the semester. The HCC has also been able to expand its therapy capacity. Students are now guaranteed six in-person sessions per semester and 12 online sessions per semester. Online sessions may also be done out of state.         

SCAPP has approved the implementation of a philosophy minor, according to Senator Lily Garvey. Senator Garvey has also become one of the elections liaisons and will begin work on elections for the spring semester in the coming weeks.

For Finance Committee (FINCOM) allocations, Vice Treasurer Anahi Sanchez Marcial reported that Students of Color Union requested $96, all of which was allocated. The motion to approve passed unanimously.

Finally, President Zenger and Senate Secretary Margot Becker spoke about the upcoming student body elections season. President Zenger announced that concrete instructions on how to run will be sent out next week and that there will be many open seats this cycle, including president and vice president. Secretary Becker stressed that any potential Senate candidates should make an effort to interact with the current Senate, whether that be by attending a Public, or any senator’s individual office hours. The same goes for Treasury candidates. Becker voiced frustration with the pattern of Senate candidates when asked whether they have attended a Public, replying that “they always meant to,” or some similar excuse. Becker, Zenger, and the other senators want potential candidates to understand what they are actually running for, and continue to be disappointed with the extremely low levels of student engagement.