Did you get the email? Brandeis is replacing some old science buildings with a GARDEN or possibly Volleyball or possibly a combination of the two. I don’t know why but this is very exciting to me.


The email:

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community:

The last portions of Phase 1 of the Science Complex Renewal Project are nearly complete (Friedland has been removed, Kalman removal is in progress).  Following removal of Kalman, the final step will be to heal the landscape wounds, with a further goal of creating, in a highly cost-effective manner, a usable space that can be enjoyed by the entire Brandeis community.  To accomplish this step, working with Landworks Studio (the landscape architect for the overall project), three alternative concepts have been developed.  We are asking you to take a look at these three concepts and share your preferences and thoughts.

The proposals are presented at, where you’ll also find a link (“Vote Now!”) to a survey that includes a space for sharing any comments you may have.

Thank you for taking a look and for sharing your preferences and thoughts.

I am not advocating for any specific of the three plans personally (except for the fact that a GARDEN would be AWESOME). I think all three are clearly much better than what we have now. Vote! Isn’t it nice that we get one in the first place?

Volleyball + Gardens = VolleyGARDENball

The Dearth of Democracy (aka: Why Innermost Parts exists) Part 1

Brandeis University is not structured to be a democracy, but the individuals inside believe strongly in that ethic. This contradiction produces tension and problems of Social Justice on campus.

As a private University, all power theoretically flows downwards from the Board of Trustees, but the picture is more complicated. They hire the president, he hires faculty and staff, and the admissions staff chooses students. At the same time, as consumers of the Brandeis product, students have the implicit power to boycott or complain about the product. Faculty, meanwhile, have over the years built themselves institutions and safeguards that magnify the implicit power they have as “producers of knowledge”. Low-ranked staff, such custodians, have none of these protections.

Yes, Brandeis is not a totalitarian dictatorship – as it would be quick to remind you, there is some history of students dramatically asserting their power over the ruling administration. However, the lack of a clear, agreed-upon democratic process for resolving disputes, and the (de jure and pretty much de facto) rule of the agents of the Board of Trustees leaves students and low-ranked staff with less power than they ought to have, and creates conditions for conflict every time there is disagreement.

This lack of democracy is manifested in more than just a decision-making flow chart. A large underlying challenge is the weak civil society among students. Our civil institutions are prone to being unaccountable or unreasonable, and our clubs (our standard organizational unit) are fragmented and balkanized.

Continue reading “The Dearth of Democracy (aka: Why Innermost Parts exists) Part 1”

CARS meeting today, tomorrow

There’s a meeting today for students to respond to the CARS committee report. There’s another meeting tomorrow. Here’s the info:
April 22 5-6 p.m. Admissions Office in Bernstein Marcus (presentation room)
April 23 6-7 p.m. Admissions Office in Bernstein Marcus
April 27 5-6 p.m. Admissions Office in Bernstein Marcus

The UJ trial is happening at the same time today, but please show up at least tomorrow or something. Just a friendly reminder.

Has anti-partisanship gone too far?

Pleas welcome Maia, a new contributor to Innermost Parts who gave me the following piece unsolicited this afternoon. ~Loki

On October 3rd the Hoot published a lengthy article about Innermost Parts not so subtly impugning the ‘Political Party’ that has supposedly emerged from a progressive voting block in the Senate. Adam Hughes (Union Vice President), Noam Shuster (Senator at Large), Andy Hogan (North Quad Senator), Nathan Robinson (Castle Quad Senator), Lev Hirschorn and Alex Melman, (Senators for the Class of 2011), were all cited as members of this new organization. The exposé was inspired by a post on Innermost Parts by Phil Lacombe ’10. The post incited a heated discourse about the existence of a ‘Progressive Party,’ as he called it. Continue reading “Has anti-partisanship gone too far?”