Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Non-exclusivity clause expands to include political ideals

Published: December 1, 2006
Section: News

The Student Union has altered the non-exclusivity clause in the Union bylaws, adding that members of student clubs may not be discriminated against due to political ideology. The change went into effect immediately, and will have to be reflected in the constitutions of all chartered and recognized clubs the next time that club constitutions are renewed.

We want to see diversity, including diversity of ideas, said Michael Goldman 08, Senator for the Class of 2008. Philosophically Thinking [a philosophical, religious, and spiritual magazine on campus] came to get chartered, and they did get chartered and Im happy they got chartered, but we asked them what would happen if someone submitted an article that they didnt agree with, and they said they held the right not to print it. This made me start thinking.

This is a pro-active move to prevent discrimination, added Andrew Brooks 09, Senator-at-large. We dont want to wait for the problem to try to solve it. Brooks is the chairman of the Unions Ways and Means Committee, which drafted the language of the bylaw before it went before the entire Senate.

Before the change, the text of the bylaw read that Chartered Organizations must not discriminate against members on the basis of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, graduating class, age, nationality, or physical ability. Now the bylaw also includes that students may not be discriminated against due to political affiliation or ideology.

Of course, Goldman and Brooks noted that certain groups, such as the Brandeis Democrats or Brandeis Republicans, operate with the purpose of presenting a particular political idea, and that this bylaw change is not meant to disrupt club goals. It merely requires that club activities and meetings be open to students regardless of political affiliation, but it does not mean that clubs must balance their internal ideology.

If the Brandeis Democrats are calling people and telling them to vote for Deval Patrick, Im sure theyd be thrilled to have a Republican along, said Goldman. However, he added that if at the event the Republican were to start calling people and urging them to vote for Kerry Healey, that would be justification for dismissal.

This is about allowing access, said Brooks. If someone is being an internal nuisance, and its merited, sure, kick them out of the club. Goldman added that there is also a clause that demands that clubs be open to all Brandeis members already, which this new clause reemphasizes.

The Student Union is also planning on including this change in Brandeiss Rights and Responsibilities. Goldman noted that the change has been supported by activist leaders on campus, including Positive Foundations Coordinator Sam Vaghar 08, Brandeis Democrats President Sarah Mulhern 08, Brandeis Republicans President Alan Meyerson 08, and Aaron Voldman 09 of Democracy for America.

Goldman noted that the non-exclusivity clause already is rather extensive and lists many factors and that all of that matters too, but so does this. Brooks closed by saying this is a way for Brandeis to get ahead, to be ahead of the curve. Its great if we can appreciate each others ideas.