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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Hogan highlights accomplishments in State of the Union address

Published: March 19, 2010
Section: News

Student Union President Andy Hogan ’11 promised a fresh start to student government with planned reforms in his second State of the Union address to the student body, faculty and administration Tuesday. Hogan also cited new inroads in student involvement with university decision-making “concerning over-crowding” in his address.

Hogan described this year’s Constitutional Review Committee and its proposals as one of his proudest advances for the Union. He then encouraged the students to support the committee’s decisions in voting for the amendments Thursday.

“I urge the Brandeis student community to vote yes for advocacy,” he said.

Hogan also detailed other Union successes during his term including the consideration of a more powerful pass/fail option for students, and the improved Student Union Management system for club allocation.

Beyond Thursday’s vote on the constitutional proposals, Hogan said the single most important issue for students is “overcrowding.”

“The lack of housing on campus is something we are working on with both the administration and the board of trustees,” he said.

Citing the new renovations of the Charles River Apartments, he predicted that the newly spruced buildings “will go very quickly in housing this year.”

Hogan said the administration needed to spend more money to accommodate new students to combat the negative effects a rising population could have on the student experience. Last spring, Brandeis decided to admit 400 new students over the next four years. This academic year was the first in which the undergraduate population increased significantly–by roughly 100 students–and the trend will continue for three more years.

“More students has to mean more student services,” Hogan said, pointing to a recent successful Union initiative for new transportation service gains from the administration.

As part of these new services, Hogan announced an increase in BranVan times during the most popular hours, with more shuttles running on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:45 to 9:45 p.m.

New peer mediators will also be added for students in the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards, Hogan said “because students should be comfortable with the conduct process.”

Also on his theme of student services, Hogan took the opportunity in his speech to criticize Aramark, the university’s dining services provider. He applauded the company’s recent support of the dining review preformed by the firm Market Match, and said the university’s meal plans “must be changed.”

Hogan said he believes overcrowding and service must be the focus of the new Brandeis president, and while describing the “significant student input” on the Presidential Search Committee, Hogan said “I am committed to making sure students are involved.”

Hogan also congratulated the community on its support of the Haiti relief effort, calling it “absolutely incredible,” and announced the Union’s support of an upcoming semi-formal fundraiser and a student versus faculty and staff basketball game to further the goal.

Many members of the administration, including President Jehuda Reinharz, Provost Marty Krauss and board of trustees Chairman Malcolm Sherman of the board of trustees, attended the semi-annual address in support of the student leadership.

Sherman, who will convene the board March 24, said that overcrowding would continue to be a central focus of the board and eventual new administration.

“The potential is there, and with so many concerns, the administration is looking for every aspect to solutions,” he said. “We will be constantly changing … I am sure [the concern with overcrowding] will be completely resolved.”

On Hogan’s speech, Krauss said that his stress on student involvement was an example of the “value of good process.”

“It’s about communicating effectively and using the appropriate process,” she said. “We’re one community, and this is one that cares about each other.”