Article VI: Senate Committees
Standing Senate Committees shall be established in these Bylaws. The following shall be the standing committees of the Senate:
- Services and Outreach Committee
- Social Justice and Diversity Committee
- Rules Committee
- Club Support Committee
- Dining Committee
- Sustainability Committee
- Facilities and Housing Committee
- Health and Safety Committee
Committees shall operate as follows:
- The President of the Union Senate shall, subject to confirmation by the majority of present and voting Senators, appoint all Senate and Non-Senate Chairs of standing committees.
- All Senate Chairs shall be appointed for a period of one (1) semester.
- All Senate Chairs may be re-appointed.
- Senate Chairs for the Fall semester shall be appointed following the fall election cycle and take office at the first meeting of the semester.
- Senate Chairs for the Spring semester shall be appointed after the election of the mid-year Senator and take office at the first meeting of the semester.
- Senate Chairs retain the right to appoint non-senate committee members at their own discretion.
- At the discretion of the President of the Union and Senate, as specified above, committee co chairs may be appointed to any committee.
- The Committee shall work to develop new services to address student needs.
- The Committee Chair, or a designee, shall maintain and update Union outreach tools, such as social media platforms, weekly emails and Union Government publications.
- The Committee Chair, or a designee, shall coordinate other events and programs to foster the committee's goals.
The rules and procedures of Senate Committees are as follows:
- The actions of Senate Committees must be in line with the general goals and aims of the Senate. It shall be the responsibility of the Senate Chair of the Committee to ensure that the Committee remains in line with the goals of the Senate.
- Meetings shall be held at least once a week and shall be called by the Senate Chair of the Committee and the Non-Senate Chair of the Committee.
- Committee Chairs shall make every effort to involve relevant administration or faculty in their weekly meetings and activities.
- All decisions made by the Senate Committee Chairs - be it policy, finances, or otherwise - shall not be made without consultation of the Non-Senate Chair of the Committee and the Committee.
- The Senate Chair of the Committee has the ultimate authority on Committee finances but shall not act without first consulting the Non-Senate Chair of the Committee and the Committee.
- Each Committee shall be required to report to the Senate at the meeting immediately following the Committee Meeting. The report shall be submitted by the Senate Chair of the Committee. In the absence of the Senate Chair of the Committee, the Non Senate Chair of the Committee or another committee member shall submit the report.
- The Vice President shall produce a weekly Senate Update that includes committee chairs’ weekly reports (from the Executive Senator’s meeting minutes) and contact information of the committee chairs, which shall be made publicly available through weekly emails, social media platforms, Union Government publications, or other Union Outreach tools.
- If the position of Senate Chair of the Committee becomes vacant, all authority delegated to the Senate Chair of the Committee shall fall to the Executive Senator or the President of the Union Senate until another is appointed.
- Committees shall have the right to use Union resources at the discretion of the Union Secretary.
- All campus communications prepared by Committees must be approved by the Executive Senator or the President of the Union Senate prior to distribution.
- In the event that the Senate Chair of the Committee or the Non-Senate Chair of the Committee fails to adhere to these rules and procedures and/or the duties prescribed to the Senate Committee Chairs in these Bylaws, the President of the Union Senate shall have the authority to remove him/her from the chair position.
- All Senate Committees must produce a report at least once a semester detailing the work they have done as a committee and present it at the Senate meeting prior to Spring and Fall Inaugurations.
The Services and Outreach Committee shall address any concerns or issues raised regarding the nature and availability of services provided by the Student Union and foster a stronger relationship between Union officers and the Brandeis Undergraduate Student Body. The committee shall organize events, services and projects to increase awareness of the role of the Student Union.
- The Committee shall organize and run transportation services to high-volume train stations and airports preceding breaks where large portions of the student body are expected to be traveling.
- The Committee shall organize and run “Meet the Union,” an informational outreach event to encourage student participation and engagement with the Student Union.
- The Committee shall organize and run the “Midnight Buffet,” an end-of-semester celebration party for the student body, which should include, but need not be limited to, food, music, merchandise (such as T-shirts), a special theme, etc.
- The Committee may organize and run any other events, services and projects that the Committee believes will positively influence perception of the Student Union.
- At the discretion of the Senate Chair, the Committee may coordinate with other committees or branches of the Student Union to organize, fund or run any project, service or event.
- The Senate Chair may, in conjunction with the Vice President, mandate the attendance of all Union Officers at any committee- or Union-sponsored event, including at set-up.
The Social Justice and Diversity Committee shall serve to promote and improve social equity, inclusion and diversity at Brandeis by collaborating with university staff, students, clubs and departments who uphold the value of social justice.
- The Committee shall investigate, publicize and act upon relevant student concerns.
- The Committee shall reflect and represent students' convictions to one another, the administration, and the community at large in expression of the University's sense of and commitment to social justice.
- The Committee shall promote institutional change, and work to encourage interaction and connections among the different groups that make up the student body.
- The Committee shall undertake at least one (1) major project per semester.
- The Committee may choose a specific theme to focus on each semester.
- Through these efforts, the Committee will work to give underrepresented groups a voice on campus, and to help organize efforts improving coexistence, civil rights, and civil liberties at Brandeis.
The Rules Committee's purpose is to enhance the efficiency of the Senate and to streamline the legislative process. The Committee will strive to assist people bringing business before the Senate and on how to adhere to the rules and guidelines set forth in the Union Constitution and these Bylaws. This committee shall act in accordance with the following:
- There shall be no Non-Senate Chair.
- Prior to each meeting of the Senate, the Rules Committee shall meet to review the agenda and business to come before the Senate.
- The Committee Chair is ultimately responsible for contacting those students and/or club leaders who submitted legislation so that any issues addressed at the committee meeting are resolved prior to the Senate meeting. The Chair may delegate responsibility as they deem appropriate.
- The Committee may advise persons bringing legislation and other business before the Senate on how to conform such business to the rules of the Senate.
- Neither the Committee nor its members may require that persons bringing business before the Senate make modifications to that business.
- The Chair retains the right to prevent legislation or other business from reaching the floor but must notify the Senate of the reasons. By a ⅔ (two-thirds) vote, the Senate may bring said business to the floor.
- At least one (1) member from the Judiciary must attend every Rules Committee meeting.
The Club Support Committee shall serve the clubs of the Brandeis campus by educating club leaders and their memberships on resources available and beneficial to clubs and organizations of the Brandeis Student Union. Additionally, the Committee shall serve as an outlet for club advocacy related issues between clubs and the Union Government and/or the Administration of Brandeis University. The Committee shall provide services related to, but not limited to, the following:
- Human, material, and financial resources of the Brandeis Student Union, the Brandeis University, and the greater Brandeis University community. It shall provide this service by proactively engaging with and directly meeting with clubs.
- The Club Support Committee will be responsible for contacting and requesting testimony from any and all groups that the prospective new group may have duality of purpose with.
- Senators who serve on the committee may be excused from serving on other committees at the discretion of the Vice President.
The Dining Committee shall coordinate with university dining management and pertinent administration in representing the Union and student body in all dining-related affairs including but not limited to food and service quality, dining location hours, food offerings, meal plans, dietary representations and awareness, and all pertinent facilities and operations.
- The Committee Chair shall reach out to university dining management at the beginning of a new semester to arrange a recurring time for the Committee and university dining management to meet.
- In preparation for meetings with university dining management, committee members will gather relevant student feedback (complaints, compliments, suggestions, etc.) with a clear outline of projects and issues in progress to be accumulated into a single report.
- Feedback may be gathered through word of mouth, surveys, in-person and online interactions, or any reputable means available to members. Feedback should be as specific and with as much context as possible in order to aid university dining management in addressing it.
- The Committee will gather relevant student feedback through a campus-wide poll on dining affairs at least once every year, such as the annual satisfaction dining survey constructed and sponsored by Brandeis Dining Management. T This information shall be used to determine any major problems that the Committee and Brandeis Dining need to address.
- The Committee shall make every effort to meet with university dining management every week to report student feedback and campaign for the changes desired by the student body and Union.
- To encourage active participation during meetings with university dining management, the Committee Chair should encourage committee members to report their acquired feedback themselves rather than rely on the Committee Chair to report the feedback on their behalf.
- Following these meetings, the Chair, or a designee, must compile a dining report describing the matters discussed and actions to be taken in response. Each of these reports shall be made publicly available to all students through means such as social media platforms, weekly emails or Union Government publications.
- The Committee Chair may assign a member of the committee to a specific dining location or topic of interest to act as a liaison with the manager of that location or topic, such as a Kosher Student Representative to oversee all feedback related to Kosher food on campus and/or an Allergy Student Representative to oversee all feedback concerning student dietary needs, awareness and pertinent operations.
- The Committee may assist university dining management in promulgating significant dining news with the student body.
- The Committee is encouraged to connect with dining administration in steering community-wide forums, institutional dining affairs, transitions to a prospective dining vendor when a contract expires, and other conversations as they arise.
- The Committee may pursue any other projects that the committee believes will improve the dining experience and committee outreach, such as a semesterly cooking event and an annual National Employee Appreciation Day initiative (first Friday in March) with Brandeis Dining Management in recognition of dining employees’ hard work in any reputable means at the discretion of the committee chair and co-chair.
The Sustainability Committee shall investigate, advocate for, and implement policies that help to create a sustainable, environmentally consciousness campus on behalf of the Senate.
- The Committee shall coordinate and work with relevant clubs, Student Union committees and members, campus resources, faculty and staff in order to promote environmentalism and sustainability on campus.
- At least one (1) Representative to the Brandeis Sustainability Fund (BSF) must attend every Sustainability Committee meeting.
The Facilities, Housing and Transportation Committee shall be responsible for working with the Department of Community Living, Department of Facilities Services, and Department of Public Safety to promote a safe, functional, clean, and attractive campus environment for all Brandeis students.
- The Committee shall advocate for improvements to the operation and maintenance of all university-owned buildings and grounds by providing relevant student feedback to the Department of Community Living, Department of Facilities Services, and Department of Public Safety and undertaking projects to improve campus spaces.
- The Committee may also address neglected campus operations or university services lacking sufficient representation from the Student Union.
- All Quad Senators are required to serve on the committee. Quad Senators who are also Senate Chairs may be excused from serving on the committee in accordance with Article IV, Section 2, Clause (a) of these Bylaws.
- The Committee may assist the Department of Community Living, Department of Facilities Services and Department of Public Safety in promulgating significant facilities and housing news with the student body.
- The Committee will represent students in working with the Department of Community Living, Department of Facilities Services, and Department of Public Safety to coordinate matters of transportation from the Brandeis University campus and around the Brandeis University campus.
The Health and Safety Committee shall serve to promote and improve the well-being and security of students on and off campus, which shall include but not be limited to mental, physical and emotional health; alcohol and drug awareness and safety; sexual health and safety; safety and accessibility for students on and off-campus; fair treatment of students with registered disabilities; and healthy academic and non-academic life balance.
- The committee shall advocate for improvements to campus health and safety in university policy, provide awareness and information to students, host events, and pursue relevant initiatives.
- The committee shall coordinate and work with related clubs, Student Union committees and members, campus resources, faculty, and staff in order to maximize efficiency.