DASB Senate debates food committees, President leads meeting with storytime


Kunal Mehta

DASB President Dylan Kim tells a story to senators as a pre-meeting workshop.

The DASB Senate abandoned their previous plan to form an ad-hoc, or temporary, committee to research and address Senate president Dylan Kim’s “food crisis,” and resolved that those responsibilities should be given to the Students Rights and Services (SRS) Committee on May 17.

Kim started the meeting in an unusual manner, by asking senators to sit on the floor around him for a workshop where he told them a story and asked for reflections.

Previously on May 10, the Senate had resolved an unopposed motion to form an ad-hoc committee to research the food crisis, but a week later, there was still confusion as to what the committee would do.

“What exactly is the purpose? Are we going to promote the [food] pantry or are we going to address food options [in the cafeteria]?” Student Trustee Elias Kamal said.

“Ad-hoc committees exist until the problem is solved, or something is done and then it dissolves,” senator Ahmad Ali-Ahmad said. “We need to define what problem we want solved, and food justice is not something that can just go away.”

The Senate then agreed that the SRS is already working on promoting the school’s food pantry, and that it would make the most sense for more Senators to join their efforts in order to help struggling students in providing food assistance.

“I want to join SRS,” Ali-Ahmad said. “I withdraw my original idea of having an ad hoc [committee].” His proposal to delegate the ad-hoc responsibilities to the SRS committee passed unanimously.

The SRS will be meeting with the coordinator of the Office of Outreach in discussing possible ways they can help support and grow the food pantry, SRS Chair Kimberly-Ann Pramana said.

“At first I thought it was going about focusing on food in the cafeteria, but if it’s more about the food pantry, that’s what we’re doing,” Pramana said. “I didn’t see a purpose in [creating an ad hoc committee].”

During Kim’s workshop, he told the senators in attendance a story about his friend Ron’s journey in Japan a few years ago. Kim said Ron had bought some food, but while walking home thought that someone was stealing his food, until Ron got home and saw all of his food was stuck to the lid.

Senator Tal Global said the story was great. “I was at the edge of my seat,” he said.

Kim asked senators to write down on a half-sheet of paper what they thought the moral of the story was, how he could better serve them as president and then how they could better serve as senators.

“I really liked the reflection part,” Kamal said. He said the story confused him because he came late, “but it seemed like the Senate really enjoyed it.”

The Senate also discussed the possibility of holding midterm elections to fill the six remaining seats. Potential senators are voted in by current senators, not an election by the student body.

The DASB Executive Committee is going to discuss the matter at their next meeting and bring a proposal to the next DASB Senate meeting.