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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Rosen closes semester with new ideas for Union

Published: December 6, 2013
Section: Featured, News

In the Student Union’s annual State Of The Union Address on Monday night, Student Union President Ricky Rosen ’14 reflected on the achievements of the past year. He also gave Brandeis a preview of the changes to come this spring, influenced by students’ suggestions.

After a year of changes in dining providers, more dining changes are in the works. Rosen said that in response to the recent survey on the future of late-night dining at Brandeis, The Stein will be transformed into a sports pub. A Peets Coffee franchise will likely be built in the Shapiro Science Center in the coming year. Lower Usdan will be renovated and transformed into a second all-you-can-eat cafeteria next summer, and an expansion to Sherman will follow.

New meal plans under Sodexo may also be finalized in time for the 2014-2015 school year, taking into account the results of a survey of students’ satisfaction with their meal plans. Some plans may include unlimited meal swipes in the all-you-can-eat cafeterias. Whether all on-campus students, including those who have their own kitchens in Ridgewood, Mods, or Charles River Apartments, will be required to purchase a meal plan is still up for debate.

The Waltham WhoCash initiative, spearheaded by Class of 2016 Senator Jon Jacob, continues to progress as more Waltham restaurants, including Carl’s Subs and Sabatino’s, have agreed to accept WhoCash. Other potential restaurants include Asia Wok and Baan Thai, two of the most popular local dining destinations for Brandeis students. In addition to this, the Sodexo food trucks on campus will accept WhoCash, beginning next semester.

Improving the state of parking at Brandeis has also been a priority for the Student Union this year. Rosen is now drafting a business plan to build a parking garage on campus, as a solution to the problem of limited availability that prevents underclassmen from keeping their cars on campus.

After nearly 70 percent of the campus voted to divest from fossil fuel companies last spring, sustainability remains a priority. The Student Union Sustainability Committee continues to search for responsible investments.

A new committee, the Video Committee, works to keep the rest of Brandeis informed on the Student Union’s work through short, informative videos.

Many events are also in the works for next semester, including “Deis Day,” an unprecedented campus-wide festival on April 6. There will be a parade across campus, a Battle Of The Bands, and activities that aim to break a Guinness World Record.

The Student Union also hosted a “Student Union Serves You” dinner event at Sherman on Dec. 5, another chance for students to meet their representatives and sample foods that will be added to the menu next semester.