Senator David Azrael ’13 speaks during the April 12 Senate meeting. Quest Reform
For the second time this month, Senate discussed the Quest board’s proposal for a new system in which editors are appointed rather than elected. The Quest board provided an updated draft of the proposed Quest bylaws, in which changes were made to the recall process. Quest Editor Kieran Hanrahan began the discussion: “The primary motivation behind the reform is to maintain a higher quality Quest over a long period of time.”
Senator Alden Jones said, however, “I can’t imagine a situation so bad that the student body would recall [The Quest], but I can imagine a situation so bad that it would re-elect a different Quest. In response, Student Body Vice President Paul Messick noted that “The Quest is for the student body the only institutional memory that we have…Whatever would improve institutional memory needs to be considered.” While passing the proposed changes to the Quest bylaws would mean eliminating an element of democracy, Messick said, “the benefits to the student body would go beyond this conversation.”
Senator David Azrael disagreed with Messick’s point and went on to argue that the effect of the changes would be “consolidating power out of the student body’s hands, into a small group.” He also expressed concern with judging quality: “People like really different things out of The Quest.” While the current board’s focus on maintaining a journalistic standard is great, he said, such a standard should not be imposed on future boards.
Either Reedies are getting better at sharing, or they’ve lost respect for the law. There have been five complaints from music distribution companies so far this year over students illegally sharing files, according to Tony Palomino, director of Reed’s Computer User Services. By this time last year, there was only one. “This year is lookin’ like it’s gonna be a doozy,” he said in a presentation to Senate at last week’s meeting. When students share files on campus, CUS receives complaints from music distributers, who can only tell that files is being shared from Reed, and not which student is responsible.
Cigarette smokers at Reed may soon find that their favorite campus hangouts no longer welcome them. Much of last week’s Senate meeting focused on the possibility that smoking may be banned from campus. Many students enjoy lighting up in covered areas like the breezeway between the Biology building and the library, but these same areas are often those most frequented by pedestrians who may be irritated by secondhand smoke. Many members of the community advocate a ban, and patience is waning, said Community Safety Director Gary Granger. “This is going to be a growing issue on campus until something is done,” he said.
There is a shadowy body that regulates your Student Body funds, appointments, and general goings-on. What is this mysterious group? It’s the Reed College Student Body Senate. Coverage of their first meeting this year can be found in approximately exactly five paragraphs.
This week’s Senate meeting opened with Assistant Dean of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Jyl Shaffer, responding to her characterization as “totally adequate,” moving that she also be known as “sassy.” Dean of Students Mike Brody wondered if this title would carry over to the next ADSAPR, leading to Jyl express mock concern for her job security. At least I hope it was mock concern! At any rate, the motion was passed unanimously. Committee reports are always fun! Sarah reported that tons of latex gloves had been stolen from the SU cleaner’s closet during Fetish Ball, which she described as “pretty uncool.” Maybe they just needed them for their costumes? Sarah announced that HumPlay would be on the thirteenth of April. Johannes read the recommendations of finance committee on behalf of Aidan, and these recommendations were approved, as always.
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.
Senate opened the floor on Thursday to Director of Community Safety Gary Granger and the dozen students in attendance to discuss Community Safety’s plan to have Student Patrol Officers report AOD violations. Senator Marie Perez claimed that Community Safety is hiring Student Patrol Officers because doing so is less expensive than hiring more Community Safety Officers or paying for private security. Perez expressed concerns that SPOs might ignore AOD violations in some cases, only to report those whom they disliked. Senator Shabab Mirza ’13 said that the SPO program has been successful in the past, but that the newly proposed program was a “very different package.” Mirza added that he felt it was possible for an act to violate college policy but not the Honor Principle, and that he feared SPOs would be forced to report policy violations that they did not feel were dishonorable. A student in the audience asked how the new SPO program is different than past programs, and Senator Ari Galper ’14 answered that SPOs would now be required to receive technical security certification as per state law.
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.
On Thursday Senate discussed next year’s theme dorms, Appointments Committee bylaw changes, free condom availability, approved the Top 40 budget, and allocated funds to Women’s Rugby for an event. Senator Dana Loutey ’12 addressed a proposed gender neutral bathroom in the chemistry building and said that she had sent out an email to chemistry majors regarding the issue. Student Body Vice President Aidan Sigman ’13 revealed three new theme dorms for next year: literature, circus, and guerrilla art. Senator Shabab Mirza ’13 noted that Residence Life committee wanted both the circus theme dorm and the guerrilla art theme dorm to broaden their appeal. Senator Sarah Carlisle ’13 said she emailed Kate Smith, Director of Health and Counseling, about lack of funding from Residence Life and Health and Counseling for condoms in dorms. Currently, said Carlisle, condoms are provided by the student group Safer Sex Society.
On Thursday Senate discussed Honor Council and Appeals Board wage increases and increasing cigarette prices at the Paradox. Head Treasurer Adhikarimayum “Khagi” Khagemba ’14 also announced he would be resigning this month. Mark Hintz ’12, Paradox Manager, recommended raising the price of all cigarette brands carried by the Paradox by twenty-five cents, except Pyramids, which would rise in price by one dollar, and American Spirits, which would rise in price by fifty cents. Senator JR Rodriguez ’12 was the only Senator opposed. Hintz noted that the Paradox is currently undercutting the Seven Eleven on Southeast 28th Avenue.
The majority of Tuesday’s lightly-attended Senate Town Hall meeting was spent discussing the Quest Board selection process. However, President Brian Moore ’13 reviewed a bylaw change requested by faculty. Moore later said in an email, “In effect Community Rights Subcommittee will publish summaries of all mediation attempts, not just successful mediations. This has the advantage of informing the community about how issues are handled in a more timely manner and assures that all CRS actions are made public since it would always be possible for CRS to decide against pursuing the case further or the JBoard could decline to hear the case.” Discussion of the change was tabled until Senate’s executive meeting on Sunday. After Senate voted to allow The Quest to retain its online presence for the spring, a procedure that is apparently required every semester, ex-Queditor Katelyn Best ’13 cited lack of institutional memory and structure as reasons for pursuing Quest reform.