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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Gray calls for more student involvement in univ. decisions

Published: March 20, 2009
Section: Front Page

Student Union President Jason Gray ‘10 urged the university administration to include students in university decisions pertaining to the budget crisis at his State of the Union Tuesday night.

“A deliberative, inclusive process leads to better decisions,” he said. “When sacrifices are necessary, it is of utmost importance to have full community involvement in the process.”

Gray cited the study abroad merit aid decision and the initial authorization of the closing of the Rose Art Museum as examples where the administration had not used an inclusive process to make decisions.He also said that he believed formation of the Rose Committee—which will provide recommendations to the administration for how to better incorporate the Rose into the academic mission of the university—marks a step in the right direction.

Gray did say, however, that the administration’s original blunder in announcing the authorization of the closing of the Rose sparked controversy within the Brandeis community, and that in order to regain the community’s trust, the administration needs to “engage the arts.”

“I challenge the university administration…to find tangible ways to invest in the long-term future of the arts at Brandeis,” he said. “I call for a series of meetings between administrators and members of our artistic community to discuss ways to ensure that Brandeis remains a fertile ground for artistic creativity even amidst the financial situation.”

Gray also said that the financial situation should not discourage community members’ faith in the university.

“This is a challenge that we will overcome. Our history mandates nothing less, and our student body will accept nothing less,” he said. “Our financial picture may be gloomy, but our future could not be any brighter.”

At the state of the union Gray also announced that he will not be running for re-election as President. Sign-ups for all Union positions up for elections went up following the speech. While potential candidates have until Wednesday to sign up outside of the union office, thus far only union Director of Community Advocacy Andy Hogan ’11 has signed up to run for President.

For photos of the State of the Union go to