Senate Beat, with Love and Squalor
Senate discussed the implications of AOD violations for Housing Advisers, and a meeting between Student Body President Brian Moore ’13 and Student Body Vice President Aidan Sigman ’13 and Colin Diver regarding recent student arrests at its meeting on Thursday. Senate also voted to unfreeze Reed Shooting Sports Collective’s funds, which had been frozen after concerns were raised regarding their use of lead shot, and pursue mitigating environmental damage by donating money to a local nonprofit.
Senator Marie Perez noted that while Reed Shooting Sports Collective’s use of lead shot is harmful to the environment, the shooting range that they attend, the Tri County Gun Club in Sherwood, has already so polluted the area in its thirty-one years at its current location that any damage caused by RSSC is “increasingly small.” Perez also said that it would cost RSSC $2500 per semester to switch to tungsten-iron-nickel ammunition, something that Senate preferred not to fund. Perez then proposed donating $500 to the Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, a group dedicated to maintaining a river near the Tri County Gun Club, to mitigate any damage done to the environment by RSSC, arguing that it was more effective to actively clean up the local environment than to cease using lead shot. Under Perez’s plan, half of the cost would come out of RSSC’s budget by raising the copay for trips to the shooting range from $10 to $15, and the other half would be provided from Student Body Funds.
Ex-Senator Meg Millhouse ’12, in the audience, asked if Senate had considered asking for financial assistance from the Sustainability Committee. Perez said that Senate had not, but suggested that RSSC ask for funds from Sustainability Committee for members unable to pay the higher copay. Michael Zhao ’14, newly appointed Senate publicity officer, claimed that giving money to “bureaucracy” would render fewer results than having RSSC members engage in cleanup themselves. Perez disagreed, arguing that Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge has a high efficiency ratio and would not squander a donation. Perez also claimed that it will be two to five years before inexpensive non-lead ammunition is developed. Senator John Iselin ’13 agreed with Perez that donating money toward cleanup was more financially efficient than buying non-lead ammunition. Senator Dana Loutey ’12 repeated Millhouse’s call to seek funding for the initiative from Sustainability Committee.
Head Treasurer Johannes Harkins ’14 asked if RSSC would have to include the cost of mitigating environmental damage in their budget each semester. Perez said that she wasn’t sure, and that using a green shooting range wasn’t feasible for RSSC. “I would expect that it would come into their budget eventually. But I think its important to deal with this directly,” said Perez, adding that she felt it was unfair to continue to withhold funds from RSSC after having already done so for five weeks.
Alex Eveleth ’12, signator of RSSC, said that the Tri County Gun Club was the best facility in the Portland area, and that they were “enthusiastic and cooperative” in working with RSSC. Perez said she the situation was complicated because she wasn’t sure how much ability Senate has to direct student organizations’ actions. Loutey suggested unfreezing RSSC’s funds and seeking funding from Sustainability Committee for future semesters.
Ex-Senator Jenny Calvert-Warren ’12, in the audience, said that in her experience as a member of Sustainability Committee, the committee was only interested in funding projects that saved the college money in some way. Sigman asked from where Sustainability Committee receives its funding, and Calvert-Warren answered that half of its funding is provided by Senate, the other half by the President’s Office. Sigman suggested that Senate redefine Sustainability Committee’s definition of sustainability.
Senate unfroze RSSC’s funds and allocated an extra $250 toward the group for donation to Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, giving RSSC a total of $902.50 for the semester.
Senator JR Rodriguez ’12 stated that he didn’t want to be the first to make a committee report but that he would anyway. Rodriguez said that Honor Council is writing an article for The Quest about the new Student Patrol Officer program, and that the next honor talk would be given by Reed Magazine Editor Chris Lydgate ’90 on Spring Crises.
Chris Weber ’15 was introduced as the new Assistant Treasurer.
Loutey announced that Renn Fayre project applications are available. She added that Phys Plant Committee was moving forward on space allocation in the theatre building, and said that a proposed gender neutral bathroom in the Chemistry building had been put on hold after resistance. She noted that while support and opposition among respondents was split half and half, those against the gender neutral bathrooms were more “passionate” than those in support. Loutey claimed that the issue raised was focused more on faculty and students of opposite genders using the same bathrooms than students of opposite genders using the same bathrooms. Loutey also noted that Student Body Wage Review Committee has started its survey of student body positions.
Sigman announced that Finance Committee fully funded the Dark Room’s request for photographic processing chemicals, and briefly discussed his and Moore’s meeting with Colin Diver. Sigman said about AOD violations, “Everything’s changing. More on that when we decide what we actually want to do.”
Senator Shabab Mirza said that Residence Life Committee discussed whether having AOD violations affected Housing Adviser’s jobs. Mirza also noted that The Quest is working on a proposal for Quest reform and hoped to have it ready to present to Senate soon. Diversity Committee met with Crystal Williams, Dean for Institutional Diversity, to discuss the committee’s mission and a program on “having difficult discussions” during Orientation Week.
Senator Sarah Carlisle ’13 noted that she would be moving from Appointments Committee to Finance Committee, and that Perez would be replacing her position on Appointments Committee. Carlisle added that Murals Committee was accepting proposals to replace the mural in the GCC basement near the stairs.
Senator Ari Galper ’14 said that a recent blood-born pathogen exposure had caused the college to review its procedures and ensure that departments know how to respond to such events. An assessment of Reed’s recycling plan revealed that it is “not in as good shape as it should be,” said Galper. Galper noted that the ETC recycles everything from paper to toilet seats, and expressed hope that this coverage would extend campus-wide. Galper added that Reed Bike Fest will be taking place March 28th.
Galper said he discussed Student Patrol Officers reporting AOD violations in a meeting with Head of Community Safety Gary Granger. Granger, said Galper, knows the issue “will be problematic,” but invites discussion from students. Community Safety may begin a poster campaign about AOD policy, said Galper.
Iselin announced the appointment of Michael Kincaid to the Student Committee on Academic Policy and Planning, and asked students to “Please, oh God, please” apply for positions.
Senate postponed discussion of freezing some Student Body funds for raising wages after Student Body Wage Review Committee finishes its survey until their executive meeting, and adjourned.