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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Senate tables club de-chartering decision

Published: November 20, 2009
Section: Front Page

The Student Union Senate decided Sunday to send one final e-mail warning to clubs who have not yet signed their Anti-Hazing Policy form before voting to de-charter them this coming Sunday. Over 100 clubs have not signed their Anti-Hazing Policies–a document that clubs are required to sign by Massachusetts State Law–despite five notifications to club leaders from Class of 2011 Senator Jenna Rubin over the past few weeks.

According to Statute 265.19 of Massachusetts law, all clubs or organizations supported by a university or college need to pledge to the university or college their intentions not to haze members saying, “It shall be the duty of each such group, team, or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgment [that hazing is a crime and that there will be no hazing of members attempting to join their group or club].”

The list of clubs that had not signed their forms was first brought to the attention of the Senate by Director of Student Activities Stephanie Grimes, who asked the Union Senate to de-charter clubs due to non-compliance with this law.

At Sunday’s Senate meeting, there was a lot of debate about whether or not to de-charter the clubs, which ultimately led to the tabling of the discussion.

Grimes told The Hoot that “I concur with the decision to table the discussion in order to get as many clubs to fill out the form as possible, because that ultimately is my goal,” but “we need to start moving forward with this.”

Many senators felt that it was wrong to de-charter active clubs when they could not be sure that the correct people were being contacted.

In addition, Union Executive Board member Lev Hirschhorn ’11 felt the Senate should not de-charter the clubs simply because it was asked. “We really need to deal with this problem and make sure that not a single club we de-charter is active because we are the Student Union and by doing this we are going to be pissing off students,” Hirschhorn said.

“We also need to do our research and make sure that this list is really correct because I have personally witnessed the signing of the form for some of the clubs that are on there list and I think that there is something wrong in [Grimes’] department.”

Senator for the Class of 2012 Nipun Marwaha disagreed, and said keeping these clubs chartered while they were not following regulations was in reality harming the community.

“Other community members who are more passionate about some of the things these clubs are doing are not being able to start their own clubs do to the duality of purpose issue, also the less clubs that are chartered the more money each active club can get to do things,” he said, refering to the clause in the Student Union bylaws that will not allow the Senate to charter more than one club for the same purpose.

Rubin felt that she had notified the clubs substantially and “spent enough of her time [notifying them]” and said she refused to give the clubs another warning.

Hirschorn responded saying, “Not all clubs update their myBrandeis page because they may be active but not too techy, and so they don’t do things like that. You can’t even be sure you’ve been notifying the right people.”

The Senate decided in a unofficial straw poll that after the final emails, they would request one more updated list of clubs who had not signed from Grimes and would de-charter those clubs at this Sunday’s meeting.