Senate Beat: Senate Plans Open Forum on CSOs, the HCC, and Student Budgets

President Nikhita Airi revealed Senate’s initiatives for the rest of the semester at this week’s public meeting. Among these were several open forum events planned to allow students to express their concerns to Senate on various issues. In particular, President Airi highlighted an upcoming open forum on Community Safety and Community Safety Officer (CSO) conduct. Several CSOs, responding to a series of articles in the Quest, had approached Community Safety liaison Mitzi Zitler with plans on an informational event in which they could present information about the work they do and their concerns to students. Airi added that the event will also include a forum, exclusive to students, to air their concerns about CSO conduct. This, she added, was prompted by complaints to Senate about student-CSO interactions. She hopes that an open discussion on students’ concerns would allow Senate to suggest concrete changes in policy.

Other upcoming open forum events include a discussion with the Health and Counseling Center’s (HCC) new director, David Ochoa, to solicit feedback on his plans for the HCC. Senate also plans to hold an open forum on budgeting and incidental expenses for students with more details to come.

Beyond Senate events, Airi also outlined policy changes planned by Senate for the upcoming semester. Senate continues to work on revising the Dissent Policy, which as it stands is notorious for its use in honor cases against the Reedies Against Racism (RAR) protestors when they disrupted Hum lectures and occupied the President’s office. Senate’s revisions will be informed by student input collected in a previous open forum, which Senate will then work through Reed’s process for community legislation. In particular, Airi noted that drafts of a revised dissent policy will be released for feedback from students, faculty, and staff in line with the legislative process.

Senate also plans to conduct a review of the identity funding process, guaranteeing baseline funding for identity-oriented student groups, as it enters its second year. Feedback will be solicited by a survey in Student Body Info, with outcomes to be announced later in the semester. Finally, following last week’s open forum on paid student positions, Senate will continue to review pay for Student Body-funded positions, as well increase access to information on pay. One action already taken by Senate has been to prominently list pay for positions appointed through Appointments Committee. This, measure, however, does not provide information on positions appointed autonomously by clubs — including, for example, the Quest editorial board.

In other news, Senator Maeve Kolk announced that Theresa Lowrie, director of Disability Support Services, plans to hold office hours. She plans to reach students with concerns about Reed’s disability policies processes. Finally, Liv Depies and David Snower have been appointed as Paideia Czars.