News, University News

New UCS leadership outlines plans for year

Tahir ’19, Pelsinger ’20 talk Campus of Consent Bill, Project Tampon, bias-reporting form

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

President of the Undergraduate Council of Students Shanzé Tahir ’19 outlined the council’s past projects as well as announced its future plans.

The Undergraduate Council of Students held its first meeting of the 2018-19 academic year Wednesday night. The meeting, which lasted about half an hour, featured introductions from executive board members, an explanation of the council’s plans for this year and an overview of some of its past work.

UCS President Shanzé Tahir ’19 discussed three initiatives the council pursued last year — the Campus of Consent Bill, a new form for bias-related incident reporting and Project Tampon.

The Campus of Consent Bill, first passed in spring 2017, aims to promote a “culture of consent,” by mandating trainings for Category III groups, Tahir said. The bill is now being enacted and Tahir hopes that it will be “fully implemented” by the spring, she added.

The council will also look to implement a new form for bias-related incident reporting this year, a project that some UCS members helped develop last year.

Project Tampon has aimed to provide free menstrual products in University bathrooms since its launch in fall 2016. In spring 2018, UCS proposed that the Department of Facilities Management take on the administration of the project. However, it remains unclear whether the initiative has been adopted by Facilities Management. Though former UCS President Chelse-Amoy Steele ’18 wrote in a June 1 email to the general body that she had “worked with Brown University Facilities (Management) on an implementation plan for Project Tampon that will start in the fall of 2018,” the University could not confirm those plans this summer.

In a June 15 email to The Herald, Director of News and Editorial Development Brian Clark wrote that “there is nothing definitive to share at this point in terms of agreement on a plan, a timeframe or other details,” though “Facilities (Management) has certainly been working with UCS to discuss the possibilities.”

Clark was not able to confirm by press time whether the initiative’s status has changed as of this fall. Though Tahir said that Project Tampon was “all set to go” as a Facilities Management program at last night’s meeting, she later wrote that “UCS is looking into Project Tampon’s sustained implementation” after being informed by The Herald of the June 15 correspondence with the University.

The council will also pursue new initiatives this year, including working to improve community accountability through a focus group that will examine how best to prevent harm on campus, Tahir said.

UCS will also support the #FullDisclosure campaign, a movement to make public the information about the use of legacy status in admissions . A referendum asking the University to disclose information about legacy admission garnered 81 percent of the vote in March’s UCS and Undergraduate Finance Board elections. The council is “really working closely with administrators to get more progress on that,” Tahir said.

At next week’s meeting, the council will hold internal elections for several open positions, including historian, secretary and alum liaison. Students interested in joining the general body and becoming voting members of UCS will now have to collect ten signatures from their peers and attend two general body meetings to be eligible. Previously, students were required to collect 100 signatures to do so.

Tahir emphasized that the council welcomes community feedback. “We really do want to hear your thoughts and your input and your ideas,” Tahir said.