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Senate Beat: Nitrogen Day, Academic Advisers, and Sexual Harassment Policy

Senate addressed Nitrogen Day funding, plans to evaluate academic advisers, and the revised Discriminatory Harassment Policy in its meeting this week. The meeting began with Chris Cogell, Signator of the blues-dancing club, checking in with Senate to make sure off-campus guests could come to an event being held this weekend in the sports center. Senate saw no problems with Chris’ request.

Next, Andrew McNutt took the floor to discuss Nitrogen Day (April 7th). McNutt discussed Finance Committee’s decision to not fund the use of a dome for a second dance party with Student Body Vice President Aidan Sigman, emphasizing the importance of giving students options during this event. Sigman said that the price was too high for the small number of individuals who would be able to dance in the dome, and that bringing the dome out on fewer occasions makes the experience of dancing in the dome more memorable. The two came to a compromise when McNutt requested hosting the second dance in Winch Capeheart. Senate agreed that they would help fund the second dance in that location.

With no more visitor requests, Senate went through the news and notes of their past week’s events. The highlight from Finance Committee occurred when Sigman revealed that $3000 was not allocated to the Bring Cool People to Reed, Please Club. The club wanted to invite a comedy troupe, but Finance Committee felt that the price was too high for this late in the year,and that the troupe requested an audience of less than 100 students.

Senator Ari Galper said that the Student Committee of Academic Policy and Planning is in the process of collecting responses from a survey recently sent out asking whether students would want to evaluate their academic advisors. With early returns, Galper said it seemed there was approval for an evaluation process from the student body, so such a plan may soon be submitted to SCAPP.

As a final highlight, Senator John Iselin ’14 noted that the Election Czar positions have been filled by Alex Blum ’14 and Jacob Canter ’14. Additionally, new positions will soon be out for students, including Assistant SU Manager, Student Body Handbook Editor, Honor Council, and J-Board. Iselin wanted to encourage everyone to let the student body know about the positions now available.

Senate discussed last the revised Discriminatory Harassment Policy. The policy is meant to be a supplement to the existing Sexual Harassment Policy. No major changes were made to the policy, except to make the language more clear and explicit concerning the opportunities students have to respond to harassment. All responses were very positive in regards to the policy, and it was quickly motioned to be sent to Mike Brody and Paul Hovda on the Community Affairs Committee.

The surprisingly short Senate meeting of about thirty-five minutes left everyone in high spirits.

Comments
8 Responses to “Senate Beat: Nitrogen Day, Academic Advisers, and Sexual Harassment Policy”
  1. “The meeting began with Chris Cogell, Signator of the blues-dancing club, checking in with Senate to make sure off-campus guests could come to an event being held this weekend in the sports center. Senate saw no problems with Chris’ request.”

    When did students become so frightened that they felt they had to explicitly ask permission to invite non-students onto campus?

    • Kieran Hanrahan says:

      I’m not sure when the practice began, but it’s standard practice now. Obviously, if you invite a few of your friends from outside of Reed, you wouldn’t have to request permission. If you advertise for a larger event, however, you have to ask permission of Senate. I’m not sure in what document this is required; perhaps a Senator could shed more light on the subject.

      • If there is such a policy (and there very well may not be), it would be interesting to know why and when it was instituted. Where are such policies kept and how often are they reviewed? Does a blanket ban serve folks better than the older practice of expecting discretion and holding folks accountable for screwing up? I don’t know, but it seems worth considering. There is a lot of comfort in “the bureaucratic no,” but it doesn’t always serve over the long run.

        • Rob Beasley '09 says:

          I believe the policy was instituted my freshman year when some students advertised a hardcore punk show, and some of the off-campus people who came decided to destroy a lot of the SU furniture.

  2. Chris Lowe '82 says:

    Actually I think it may have been around the time Rory was on Community Safety staff in the early ’90s, oddly enough. I was on CAC as a visiting prof some of those years. The question of off-campus folks on campus for events was definitely an issue, like i.ds at socials, which had been heightened by Reagan-era alcohol policies & was connected to changes in campus life like the invention of beer gardens and the end of sunny day kegs etc.

    • ID was required at socials because those involved student body money and copious amounts of free beer, with students allowed to bring a few guests (personally vouching for them at the door) from the early 1980′s until an OLCC complaint shut down all-ages alcohol. Through the 1980′s, though, the office of public relations would actively promote various events to the broader community with press releases and a wide variety of civic-minded events such as the Women’s Lecture Series (which charged a small fee) or public policy presentations (which were usually free). Promoting 10-15 events each month to the general public through press releases was standard practice well into the 1990′s and as a CSO part of what I did was help people navigate campus to Vollum or other places where such events took place.

      Some student programs (such as Paideia or various concerts) would actually design events to *make* money by inviting and charging the general public. Certainly there was never a concern when I was on Community Safety that people coming for a music performance, artsy film or civics lecture would create problems.

      Something cultural seems to have happened where (A) Reed doesn’t feel a need to offer events to the wider community and (B) students are decidedly more insular and afraid.

  3. Liz says:

    I really think you’re equating “responsibility” with “fear.” If you were going to have a bunch of friends over, you’d probably tell your roommates and find out if there was any reason you shouldn’t, otherwise you’d be a crappy roommate. If you have a bunch of people over, it’s common courtesy to let others know they’ll be around. As far as public events are concerned, Reed still hosts plenty of them all the time and many events are promoted to the general public (see: events.reed.edu). I don’t see how a student group (which is presumably using SB funds for their event) asking Sentate if it’s cool to have people visit for an event is indicative of a negative cultural shift, unless you consider courtesy/being a good neighbor to be a negative quality?

    • Chris says:

      I agree with Liz here, it’s not really that students are afraid. It’s actually more about advertising. And I haven’t seen anyone get turned down to advertise off-campus.

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