The Justice, March 25, 2014 issue
The independent student newspaper of Brandeis University since 1949.
THE JUSTICE ● TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 5 GREEN ALTERNATIVES FACULTY University fills cluster positions ■ The Education Program and African and AfroAmerican Studies department are also looking to fill an opening under the Florence Levy Kay Fellowship. By BRITTANY JOYCE JUSTICE EDITOR JENNY CHENG/the Justice ECO-FRIENDLY: Rohan Bhatia ’14 discussed the exploratory Committee on Fossil Fuel Divestment’s progress at the town hall. Town hall on sustainability showcases club initiatives Committee hosted its inaugural town hall in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium last Tuesday. By KATHRYN BRODY JUSTICE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ■ The Senate Sustainability On Tuesday, March 18, the Senate Sustainability Committee hosted its inaugural town hall meeting in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium. The town hall consisted of presentations by different groups and clubs on campus that work to promote ecofriendly practices within the entire Brandeis community. The groups included Brandeis’ Eco-Reps, TapBrandeis and Students for Environmental Action. Class of 2015 Senator and Chair of the Student Union Sustainability Committee Anna Bessendorf began the event by discussing how the committee was created last semester to “centralize” the efforts of all the different clubs that are dedicated to sustainability on campus. For example, the committee was responsible for the installation of 90 dual-flush toilets around campus, which are designed to save one-half gallon of water per flush, according to Bessendorf. Non-senate Chair of the Sustainability Committee Nate Shaffer ’16 then took the podium. He spoke about the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, for which he served on the board last year. The BSF, he said, works to promote sustainability by providing funding for Brandeis students to pursue their eco-friendly ideas. For the 2013 to 2014 academic year, these ideas included: Bike for Shelter, which works to increase the number of bike shelters on campus; 200 subsidized $50 Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority passes for undergraduate students; TapBrandeis, a returning BSF project which works to stimulate sustainable water-use practices on campus through hydration stations and giving out reusable water bottles; dualflush toilets and Little Green Libraries, an initiative proposed to create book exchanges where students can trade books they no longer wanted for other books. The exchanges would be placed in various locations on campus and will be built out of recycled and refurbished materials. Next, a member of the Eco-Reps Margaret Hoffman ’15 and Deanna Heller ’15, the residential Eco-Rep, spoke about the program. Eco-Reps is a program of the Campus Sustainability Initiative which encourages people on campus to become “leaders of sustainability,” Heller said during the event. The two representatives then went on to discuss some of the initiatives Eco-Reps are working to implement on campus, including Mug Save, which involved the group negotiating a 45-cent discount on a regular coffee for anyone who brings a reusable mug at the campus coffee shops including vendors such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Peets Coffee. The group also organizes residence hall events to inform students about eco-friendly practices such as turning off the lights when not in use and other simple actions. Emma Balmuth-Loris ’14 and Jeremy Goodman ’14, representatives of TapBrandeis, presented the new initiative designed to encourage students to use reusable water bottles and spoke about their plans for the future. TapBrandeis has applied to the BSF to install more hydration stations on campus, the two representatives announced. The group also set up a stand where people pledge to reduce their use of plastic water bottles in exchange for a free water bottle in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium on Feb. 6 and in the Usdan Student Center on March 17, Balmuth-Loris wrote in an email to the Justice. Vice President of SEA Stephanie Weinstein ’17 took the podium. SEA, Weinstein said, is a student-run organization that focuses on improving sustainability on campus. Weinstein then spoke about the group’s regular volunteering efforts at the Waltham Fields Community Farm and SEA’s Annual Charles River Cleanup, which occurred on March 22. In the cleanup, the club takes members into Boston to clean up the Christian A. Herter Park, which is alongside the Charles River. Rohan Bhatia ’14, one of the student members of the University-created exploratory Committee on Fossil Fuel Divestment, gave a presentation discussing how the committee and its supporters campaigned successfully for the support of the student body to divest from fossil fuel. After making a climate refugee camp outside the Shapiro Campus Center, which was designed to demonstrate the number of people who are or will be displaced by natural disasters, and “March 4th for Climate,” a protest march down the Rabb steps, 79 percent of students who participated in the vote on April 25, 2013 voted to divest. The committee is currently working on a presentation for the Board of Trustees. Bhatia did not specify the date for the presentation, and he did not respond to requests for comment from the Justice by press time. Next, Jay DeGioia, the resident district manager for Sodexo at Brandeis, discussed Sodexo’s plans to become more sustainable. DeGioia said that Sodexo is dedicated to buying local products, including products from Russo’s Market, Red Seafood and Gifford’s Ice Cream. Furthermore, Sodexo launched in November the Sustainable Management and Reporting Tool, an online resource which would calculate numbers on the company’s use of carbon and energy, use of water and production of waste. Managers would keep track of how much of these resources would be used in each dining hall and the SMART program would generate quarterly reports allowing Sodexo to see exactly what needs to be improved and in what areas. In pursuit of reducing waste and increasing healthy and sustainable food options, Sodexo is hosting a sustainability fair, featuring sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Casella Waste Systems, on April 23. Sodexo is also planning on adopting bamboo plates and utensils, among other actions. Editor’s Note: Non-senate Chair of the Sustainability Committee Nate Shaffer ’16 is a member of the JustArts staff. The University recently announced the hiring of two new professors as part of a cluster hire around the African Diaspora, while the Education program and African and AfroAmerican Studies department look to fill openings under the Florence Levy Kay Fellowship, a two-year post-doctoral fellowship that rotates between different departments and programs for each appointment. Both new professors and the post-doctoral fellow will begin teaching in fall 2014. AAAS and the Women’s and Gender Studies program hired Jasmine Johnson, who recently completed a post-doctoral program at Northwestern University. Greg Childs, who earned his Ph.D. from the faculty of George Washington University, will work in the History department researching the African diaspora to Latin America. Johnson will teach one course in AAAS and one course in WGS each semester, according to Prof. Wendy Cadge (SOC), chair of the WGS program. According to Cadge, the details for Johnson’s WGS course have not been finalized. Cadge wrote of the hire in an email to the Justice: “It influences our program tremendously— mostly by diversifying the classes we can offer.” Johnson described her work as “an attempt to understand the politics of African diasporic movement” in an email to the Justice. While her work focuses on West African dance, Johnson wrote that she is also interested in movement in general. “How does movement shape racialized and gendered identities? I draw from the African diaspora, black feminist, and dance theories in answering these questions,” she wrote. Johnson wrote that she looks forward to sharing in “Brandeis’ intellectual and artistic life.” As a professor in both AAAS and WGS, she wrote about her excitement to be able to offer different cross-listed and interdisciplinary courses, particularly in the area of dance, where she hopes to work with the School of Creative Arts. She is also excited to join the Brandeis community, writing that the “African Diaspora cluster hire indicates Brandeis’ commitment to AAAS and WGS. It means that Brandeis understand[s] these intellectual communities to be essential to the mission of the university” and that it shows Brandeis is committed to interdisciplinary work. Greg Childs’ work focuses on the history of the African Diaspora to Latin America. According to Prof. Jane Kamensky (HIST), chair of the History department, Childs’ “work on Brazil, urban history, the African Diaspora, and the global eighteenth century will lead to crucial new course offerings.” Kamensky wrote in an email to the Justice about her excitement at the interdisciplinary possibilities of Childs’ appointment, writing that “Childs is poised to be a transformative teacher.” Childs did not respond to requests for comment by press time. The AAAS department and the Education program are also looking to fill a post-doctoral Kay Fellowship position, Prof. Chad Williams (AAAS) wrote in an email to the Justice. This year, the Kay Fellowship will fit under the African Diaspora cluster hire, as AAAS and Education seek a specialist in urban education. This year’s Kay Fellow candidates are Derron Wallace, Aaminah Norris and Tess Bundy. All of the candidates are visiting Brandeis to speak about their work: Wallace gave a lecture yesterday titled “Bad Blacks and Better Blacks?: Exploring the Role of Black Cultural Capital in the Educational Experiences of AfroCaribbean Youth in London and New York;” Norris will give a lecture titled “Make Matters: Teaching and Learning Literacies and Identities in Urban Schools” this Thursday and Bundy will give a lecture titled “‘The Schools Are Killing Our Kids!:’ The African American Fight for Racial Democracy in the Boston Public Schools” on Tuesday, April 8. This African Diaspora cluster hire initiative was formed to fill an area of study not present in the University and to bring more diversity to course offerings, according to the Jan. 14 issue of the Justice. BRIEF Constitutional Review Task Force delays Senate presentation The Constitutional Review Task Force has delayed its presentation to the Senate of its proposed changes to the Student Union’s constitution for an additional week, following meetings with the Finance Board and the Justice Editorial Board, according to Student Union President Ricky Rosen ’14 in an email to the Justice. The task force, which was formed as a result of an amendment to the Student Union’s constitution that was approved last fall, put forward a list of proposed changes last week, some of which concerned F-Board operations. One of the initial proposals would rename F-Board to the Allocations Board, another would include a Senate member in F-Board meetings and another would give the Senate the power to confirm all F-Board allocation decisions. The task force originally planned to present its proposal to the Senate during its March 16 meeting, but postponed it until the March 23 meeting to receive input from F-Board members. If approved by the Senate, the proposed changes would go to the student body for a vote. F-Board Chair Mohamed Ali ’14 was unable to be reached for comment by press time. During the March 23 Senate meeting, a number of changes were discussed. Executive Senator and Class of 2014 Senator Annie Chen announced that while the task force decided to delay its presentation, some potential changes to the proposal included the attendance of an F-Board member at all Senate meetings and an examination of whether Brandeis Television is “fulfilling [its] role as a secured club.” Rosen declined to comment on the status of the proposal until it is finalized. Other changes in the original proposal included restructuring the Capital Expenditures and Emergencies Fund, designating funding for secured clubs as percentages of the Student Activities fee rather than set amounts, removing excess language from the Constitution, adding the definitions of recognized, secured and chartered clubs, adding intra-union meetings and removing a section regarding petitions. —Sara Dejene