Senate Beat: Senate Discusses Graffiti Targeting CSOs, and Dissent Policy Response
This week’s appointments
Momo Ally and Allison Dennis as Nitrogen Day Czars
This week’s senate meeting had a surprise guest. Gary Granger, director of Community Safety, attended the meeting to voice his concern over recent pieces of graffiti which directly referenced individual CSOs. Alongside pieces which referenced Granger by name, including one which read “Beware Gary,” Granger expressed particular concern over a recently discovered piece of graffiti which directly referenced CSO Christin Grieser by name.
In Granger’s view, graffiti which calls out CSOs and other community members by name is dishonorable and potentially dangerous. Thus, Granger requested that senate pass a resolution supporting Reed CSOs and, more broadly, condemning personal call-outs of Reed community members in graffiti. Granger believes that such a resolution, if passed by senate, would express the student body’s opposition to personal attacks directed against community members.
“This type of behavior impacts the entirety of the Community Safety team,” Granger said. “I consider [the graffiti] intimidation and bullying, and I think it’s important for our community not to support this kind of behavior.”
Vice President Isabel Hoff suggested that the graffitti was in response to a recent incident in the pool hall, in which Grieser purportedly only gave AODs to students of color despite the presence of several white students. Granger, who was aware of these accusations, said that the matter had been investigated, and he emphasized that student concerns and complaints regarding CSO behavior should be expressed through formal channels.
In response, President Pax Lloyd-Burchett highlighted the potential difficulties in labeling specific actions as “dishonorable.” Because the Honor Principle is not strictly codified, Lloyd-Burchett believes that passing a resolution which identifies a particular, specific act as dishonorable would go against the spirit of the Honor Principle. Nonetheless, after a brief discussion, Lloyd-Burchett resolved to discuss the potential resolution further with senate leadership.
In other news, Lloyd-Burchett raised potential complications, resulting from the decision to delay faculty voting on proposed edits to the dissent policy. The changes were originally intended to be voted on in the March faculty meeting. However, citing the large number of students attending the meeting, a faculty member of the economics department moved that the vote take place electronically, which would allow faculty members to vote via email at a later time. The faculty voted in favor of holding the vote electronically, and the electronic vote will be held in April.
This delay in voting poses problems for organizing a student referendum on the dissent policy. A student referendum can occur only after the faculty have voted on the issue. However, because faculty electronic voting will conclude on April 19, senate would have less than a month to both devise a mechanism for, and ultimately conduct, a student referendum — a process which requires engagement by 50 percent of the student body. Because referendums cannot be conducted over the summer, Lloyd-Burchett expressed concern that the one-month timeline after the April 19 faculty vote would not leave time to properly conduct a student referendum.
If organizing and conducting a referendum proves to be impossible within this time frame, the referendum would have to be conducted during the fall semester. However, Lloyd-Burchett pointed out that if the referendum were conducted in the fall, many of the Reedies Against Racism protesters who have engaged with efforts to change the dissent policy would have already graduated, and the incoming freshmen class would be asked to vote on an issue which they know little about.
Finally, Kristin Holmberg, director of the Office of Student Engagement, was present at the meeting to describe her upcoming transition to Oregon Health and Science University. Holmberg, who has worked at Reed for several decades, will be leaving Reed in the fall to assume an administrative position at OHSU. Her present duties will be assumed by several members of the existing Reed staff.
Senator Jonathan Lederman reported that Murals Committee is in the process of planning several new murals across campus. Senator Aislin Steill is organizing an archive for student organization documents. Steill will work to contact student groups over the next several weeks and encourages interested groups to contact them. Finally, Senator Isabel Sinclair reported on the recent changes to P.E. requirements that received faculty approval. Going forward, students will be allowed to fulfill two out of their six P.E. requirements through unpaid community engagement work.