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Dear Brandeis, From the Student Union President

Published: August 28, 2009
Section: Opinions


Welcome to a new year at Brandeis University. I hope your summer was productive and relaxing and that you are having an easy transition into the new academic year. My name is Andy Hogan and I am the President of the Student Union.

If you received my email on Thursday of this week, you saw the opportunities available to all students. This article will be a more in-depth look at some of the major issues our community and the Student Union will be dealing with in the upcoming year.

The first issue is the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS). The basic idea of this program was generated last year when the university was working to find a solution to our financial difficulties. But what was catalyzed by a financial solution turned into an academic dream. If done correctly, the JBS will revolutionize the way Brandeis does academics. The goal is to begin a pilot program next summer. It is a summer experiential program where students are completely immersed in a subject matter. Students will spend a majority of their summer working very closely with a professor and other students on one subject. The individual proposals will range from intensive theater courses, anthropology, science, law, and many other courses. It is an opportunity to learn a vast amount of information on a subject matter that will also have an experiential component. Currently, the JBS is in its planning stages and if you or any of your friends have an idea for a unique and stimulating JBS program, please approach one of your professors. Right now, the faculty and administration would like students to propose programs that would be both fun and academic. Partner with a faculty member and turn your idea into a reality. If you don’t feel like you have an idea but would like to contribute to the JBS program anyway, the Student Union will be coordinating meetings with faculty who have proposed ideas. We will be inviting all students, and especially students involved in the affected academic subjects. More information about these meetings will come later.

The second issue is outreach and the connection between the Student Union and the community. One of the main campaign platforms last year was community outreach. I am dedicated to creating a very open community. I want anyone to feel comfortable emailing me (alhogan@brandeis.edu) or anyone else in the Student Union if there is an issue or problem on campus. In my experience, everyone on campus has at least one issue that can be addressed, whether it is with dining, housing, academics, athletics, or anything else. Please speak to a Student Union member. We are here to give you the best experience possible.

The third and final issue I will write about in this article is student rights. This year, in collaboration with the Office and Deans of Student Life, we will be revaluating the way Brandeis looks at student rights, the disciplinary process, and rights and responsibilities. We will be taking the entire year to observe and completely revamp the student conduct process. To get involved, please join the Office of Student Rights and Advocacy (application was given in Thursday’s email). All ideas will be considered. This is our opportunity to work with the administration to find a solution that works for everyone.

Thank you very much and I look forward to working with all of you throughout the course of this year.

Thanks,

Andy Hogan ‘11

Student Union President