News

How are your representatives serving you today?


Task Force on Free Expression: Open Forum

Posted by calcox@brandeis.edu (calcox@brandeis.edu) on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 11:24 PM
Last edited by calcox@brandeis.edu (calcox@brandeis.edu) on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 11:25 PM

This evening the Brandeis administration held an open meeting to hear the voices of Brandeis students, faculty and staff about Free Speech and Free Expression on campus. There will be two more meetings. One on Monday Oct. 2nd from 12pm-1:15pm and another Monday Oct. 30th from 5:30pm-6:45pm. Please read the attached principles the Free Expression Task force has drawn up and consider going to one of the meetings. Your voice can only be heard if you speak up. DRAFT PRINCIPLES OF FREE SPEECH AND FREE EXPRESSION In November 2016, President Ronald D. Liebowitz convened the Presidential Task Force on Free Expression “to reflect on and re-examine our university’s policies and practices related to academic freedom and free expression.” The task force was charged with drafting a set of principles to guide “free and robust debate and deliberation among all members of the university community.” The task force has studied Brandeis’ history regarding free expression and academic freedom, reviewed other universities’ statements and practices, and engaged in conversations with a wide range of campus constituencies. These conversations challenged us to achieve a common understanding of what free expression means on campus. As we struggled to grasp, if not always reconcile, the widely divergent opinions we heard, the task force took inspiration from the Brandeis mission statement: “By being a nonsectarian university that welcomes students, teachers and staff of every nationality, religion and orientation, Brandeis renews the American heritage of cultural diversity, equal access to opportunity and freedom of expression.” Equally, we drew inspiration from our diversity statement: Brandeis “believes that diverse backgrounds and ideas are crucial to academic excellence; recognizes the need to analyze and address the ways in which social, cultural and economic inequalities affect power and privilege in the larger society and at Brandeis itself; and honors freedom of expression and civility of discourse as fundamental educational cornerstones.” Brandeis affirms the principle of free speech and free expression on campus. This freedom should be accessible to all members of a diverse community. Genuine higher learning is possible only where free, reasoned, and civil speech and discussion are respected. This committee seeks to find a common ground by proposing principles that allow even difficult conversations to take place. 1. Maximizing Free Speech in a Diverse Community All members of Brandeis should be able to put forth ideas for consideration, engagement and criticism by others, as such exchanges are core to the mission of institutions of higher learning. We explicitly connect free speech concerns with our desire for a diverse, inclusive community. Free expression, including in the arts, implies the free exchange of ideas — talking and listening. We endorse as a principle for action Louis Brandeis’ remark: “If there be a time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” The university has a responsibility to encourage the airing of the widest range of political and scholarly opinions, and to prevent attempts to shut down conversations, no matter what their topic. 2. Developing Skills to Engage in Difficult Conversations The Brandeis community rightly prides itself on debating difficult issues vigorously. To introduce prior restraint by attempting to define realms of prohibited speech would be for the administration to produce a chilling effect upon speech and the exchange of views on campus. Reaching our fullest potential in this regard will entail an ongoing educational process, a curriculum that exposes students and the entire community to various viewpoints, and a long institutional memory about how free expression operates and has operated at Brandeis. All this will require the intellectual courage to risk discomfort for the sake of greater understanding. 3. Sharing Responsibility All members of the Brandeis community bear the moral responsibility for their actions and the impact those actions have on the community. Open-minded disagreement can be a marker of respect, the sort of response for which we strive. We should embrace civility, but in the larger sense: An issue can be engaged with emotion, and even a raised voice, if the humanity of all involved is respected. We should work toward a campus life that promotes the expression of a diverse set of intellectual, political, cultural and social outlooks. The university’s commitment to freedom of expression is an essential part of the ethical and intellectual imperative to strive for diversity and inclusion on campus. The university must find ways to engage the whole community about each person’s responsibility to foster a just and inclusive campus culture so that all can participate fully in the intellectual and social life of the university. 4. Rejecting Physical Violence Peaceful protest is fully appropriate in an environment of vigorous discussion and debate, but physical violence of any kind or the prevention of speech is unacceptable. Once violence is normalized as an ingredient of free expression, it sets the pattern, ending rather than supporting free expression. 5. Distinguishing Between Invited Speakers and University Honorees Brandeis should provide space for campus organizations of all sorts, including invitations to outside speakers: Such openness does not constitute a university endorsement of the organizations or the speakers. However, there are certain circumstances, especially the granting of honorary degrees, in which an invitation issued by the university does constitute an endorsement of some major aspect of someone's life or work. A protest against the university for making a disfavored choice for a prestigious honor is not, in itself, an attack on free speech. Charlotte Aaron, Undergraduate Student Representative Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Susan Dibble, Louis, Frances, and Jeffrey Sachar Professor of Creative Arts Sylvia Fishman, Joseph and Esther Foster Professor in Judaic Studies Jeff Flier, P’00, P’11, Member, Board of Trustees George Hall, Fred C. Hecht Professor of Economics John Plotz, Professor of English Tom Pochapsky, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Raj Sampath, Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rights, and Social Change Cynthia Shapira, Member, Board of Trustees Matthew Sheehy, Interim University Librarian Sheryl Sousa ’90, Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Curtis Tearte ’73, Member, Board of Trustees Javier Urcid, Jane’s Chair Professor of Latin American Studies Aida Wong, Nathan Cummings and Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Chair in Fine Arts and Associate Professor of Fine Arts Steve Locke, Legal Advisor



CEEF applications are now out!

Posted by Jacob Edelman (edelmanj@brandeis.edu) on Friday, December 09, 2016 at 06:52 PM

What is CEEF? CEEF (Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund) serves two purposes. First, it serves as a source of emergency funding for student life on campus. Secondly, CEEF provides funding for student-led initiatives that enhance the Brandeis community. These initiatives must have a campus wide benefit and long term impact on our campus and our community. CEEF has four board members representing different branches of your Student Union. The CEEFs members for this academic year are: Representing the Executive Board: Wil Jones ‘18, Junior Representative to the Board of Trustees. Majors: AAAS, POL Representing the Union Senate: Kate Kesselman ‘19, Class of 2019 Senator. Majors: BUS, THA Minor: FILM Representing the Allocations Board: Alexander Mitchell ‘17, Allocations Board Member. Majors: NEUR, BIOL, BPHY Minors: ECON, MATH Representing the Union Senate: Tal Richtman ‘20, Class of 2020 Senator. Majors: ECON, POL Requirements for the fund usage: 1. The enhancement has to have campus wide benefit 2. The enhancement must be long term effect on the campus and/or the student body 3. The project should be connected to a staff or faculty member 4. The submission must include the online application and excel sheet of budget needs 5. The project proposal must be submitted on time by January 20th 6. As part of the process, students maybe invited to present their proposals to the CEEF board 7. A couple weeks after submission, CEEF will contact accepted proposals 8. Application will not be complete without a spreadsheet explaining the financial details of your request Important Dates: The due date of application is Jan 20th Documents: CEEF application link (Please fill this out as CEEF application process): https://goo.gl/forms/cwcfVqTiPS4eQwch1 Please send an Excel sheet to the CEEF email at CEEFapplications2017@gmail.com. This excel sheet should contain the financial details of your request. Include the name, quantity, price and online shopping link (if possible) for all items. This Excel Sheet should be as detailed as possible with clear itemization and links.



Senate Meeting 10/8/16

Posted by hcbrown@brandeis.edu (hcbrown@brandeis.edu) on Saturday, October 08, 2016 at 04:48 PM

Call to order at 7:03pm Chartering: YourStory International Senate voted to charter. (Vote by acclamation) Vietnamese Student Åssociation (VSA) Senate voted to charter. (Vote by acclamation) Recognition ONE Brandeis Senate voted to recognize. Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) Senate voted to recognize. Brandeis Super Fan Club Senate voted to recognize. Communications: -Proper format of legislation with the Bylaws Committee Executive Officer Reports -David Herbstritt, Student Union President President Herbstritt spoke regarding the statement released by the Executive Board on behalf of the entire Union. Senators raised concerns about E-Board’s authority to issue a statement from the entire Union. Herbstritt and Senators recommended further discussion and clarification. -Paul Sindberg, Student Union President -Hannah Brown, Executive Senator Senate Committee Chair Reports Unfinished Business New Business -Vote on Senate Representative for CEEF -Vote on the Senate Representative for CEEF was postponed to allow for more nominations -Confirmation of Senator Ari Matz as Health and Safety Committee Chair -S.R. 2016-2: “Senate Resolution in Support & Solidarity with Black Students at Brandeis University” Senators offered several amendments. Senate voted to enact S.R. 2016-2 (as amended). -S.B. 2016-2: “An Act Relative to Amending the Bylaws” S.B. 2016-2 was introduced but not discussed. Senator Reports Open Forum



Executive Senator and Senator to Rosenthal Quad Profiled in Brandeis Hoot

Posted by hcbrown@brandeis.edu (hcbrown@brandeis.edu) on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 06:22 PM
Last edited by hcbrown@brandeis.edu (hcbrown@brandeis.edu) on Saturday, October 08, 2016 at 04:44 PM

Senator to Village Quad Charlotte Lang '19 and Executive Senator Hannah Brown '19 were profiled in the September 16 edition of the Brandeis Hoot. For the stories, visit http://brandeishoot.com/2016/09/16/student-union-profile-charlotte-lang/ and http://brandeishoot.com/2016/09/16/student-union-profile-hannah-brown/.



Senate Meeting - September 18, 2016

Posted by hcbrown@brandeis.edu (hcbrown@brandeis.edu) on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 06:18 PM

Called to Order at 7:03pm Senate voted to charter Common Ground. The follow were de-recognized/de-chartered for lack of anti-hazing forms/by request: B-Deis Records Brandeis Field Hockey Club Brandeis Historical Alliance
 Brandeis International Relations Council Brandeis Korean Courses and Language Initiative (BKCLI) Brandeis Labor Coalition Brandeis Libertarians Brandeis Technical Trader's Society Brandeis Turkish Student Association Men's Lacrosse National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) NaturaLiving
 Nourish International- The Brandeis Chapter Spoon University- Brandeis Surfing Club Uechi-ryu Karate Senate voted to approve name change of Brandeis NARAL to Brandeis Pro-Choice. Senate voted to approve changes to the Global Brigades constitution. Director of Communications Max Byer presented to the Senate regarding the use of Slack for internal Union communications. Class of 2019 Senator Kate Kesselman elected as Senate Representative to the Allocations Board The Senate voted to approve the Resolution to Endorse S2471. The Senate voted to approve a Student Union Bylaw Amendment on the Formation of the Senate Health and Safety Committee. Meeting adjourned.



New Student Union Begins The Work

Posted by Grady Ward (grady.b.ward@gmail.com) on Monday, May 09, 2016 at 04:51 PM
Last edited by Grady Ward (grady.b.ward@gmail.com) on Monday, May 09, 2016 at 05:24 PM

Even During Finals, the Student Union doesn't quit. They are still doing the work!



2016 Spring State of the Union

Posted by Grady Ward (grady.b.ward@gmail.com) on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 04:40 PM

President Macklin Gives Farewell Address, President Herbstritt Sworn in, Exemplary performances from musicians Updates from Branches



Student Union Website gets a Refresh

Posted by Grady Ward (grady.b.ward@gmail.com) on Monday, May 02, 2016 at 07:38 PM

Today, the Student Union Website got a much needed refresh, and changed its domain, from union.brandeis.edu to union.brandeis.io. Accompanying some slight visual changes were some new features, including: - Editing capabilities without any knowledge of code, via a custom content management system, via a cloud based backend. In other words, now any member of the student union can edit the website, and a log of all changes made is publicly available. - Petitions! If you have an idea or request, you now have a place to express your opinions and goals for Brandeis. - A simpler place for News, including a simplified format. - Screen-reader accessibility. The site is now compliant to ADA website standards. - Groups: See all of the groups in the Student Union, and who is in what group! Lots has changed, but much has stayed the same. The Union is still here to serve you, and will do whatever it takes to make your experience at Brandeis superb, and your voices at Brandeis heard.