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UCS committees review semester goals, initiatives

Members summarize semester of work, vote in confidence of UCS president, vice president

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

At its general body meeting Wednesday evening, the Undergraduate Council of Students summarized the work its completed over the semester and members of the group voted in confidence of UCS President Chelse-Amoy Steele ’18.

Chair of the Campus Life Committee Camila Pelsinger ’20 described the committee’s work placing more water stations around campus. The University is a “plastic-water-bottle-free campus,” and “we want to make water more accessible to everyone at Brown,” she said. Pelsinger also mentioned that the committee is trying to get the University to provide shuttles to local train stations and airports at the end of each semester.

Sharon Zeldin ’20, chair of the health and wellness committee, reported that the committee has spent the semester working to provide an on-call health insurance coach who can help students better understand their health insurance. She also mentioned that the committee is working with faculty to help them better understand the necessity of SEAS for some students.

Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee Mar Weiss ’20 mentioned the committee’s focus on academic integrity and reinforcing the University’s academic code. “We want to create more of a culture around (the academic code) and holding people accountable to their other peers to do all work that is their own,” she said.

Steele, in the place of William Zhou ’20, the chair of student activities, described how the committee has made it easier for student groups to seek categorization by accepting club applications on a rolling basis instead of only at the end of semesters. “That will lead to a quicker start of time for clubs,” said Steele.

The committee has also worked to understand how changes to bias-related reporting of incidents will affect student groups on campus.

The group also held a confidence vote. The general body must propose the vote each semester for the UCS president, vice president and chief of staff, according to Section XII of the UCS Constitution. A two-thirds vote by UCS general body members of “no-confidence” for any of the executive members would result in that person’s automatic and immediate removal from office.

UCS Parliamentarian Austin Lessin ’19 described the vote as an indicator of “whether or not (the general body) felt like (Steele) has performed to the standards that we thought she would.”

“In my 20 years, I have not met a harder worker than my president, Chelse Steele,” said UCS Vice-President Naveen Srinivasan ’19. “There are few people who really care about Brown as much as Chelse and work round the clock on a million things that most of us don’t even think about.”

After individual speeches by Steele and Srinivasan about their tenure to date, they were excused from the room and members held internal discussions. In the interest of time, members voted to suspend normal voting procedures and vote by voice. The group voted in confidence of both Steele and Srinivasan.

The general body also approved the classification of eight new student groups as Category I, seven groups as Category II and three groups as Category III. UCS approved Opioid Epidemic Activists, Latinas@Brown, Brown Burlesque, Bouncing Bears, Brown Studios, Chabad Jewish Student Association, Building Relationships: Islam & Judaism and Journal of Philosophy, Politics and Economics as Category I groups. The members approved 180 Degrees Consulting, Obsidian Magazine, Black in Business, Queer People and Allies for the Advancement of Medicine, SoBears, Ethnobotany Society at Brown and Bloco da Brown as Category II groups and approved Brown E-Sports, Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School Brown Chapter as Category III groups.