AAS SENATE MEETING

Monday, December 1, 2003

 

I. Attendance

 

SENIOR SENATORS

18

Kay Bradley

X

Geoffrey Brounell

X

Mihailis Diamantis

X

A.J. Korytoski

X

Lincoln Mayer

X

Luke Swarthout

X

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

Ethan Davis

/

Rosalyn Foster

X

Jin-Young Kim

X

Gabriel Mattera

X

Daniel Reiss

X

Christian Sanchez

/

David Scherr

X

Justin Sharaf

X

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

Rania Arja

X

Taamiti Bankole

X

Caleb Deats

X

John Lian

X

Molibi Maphanyane

X

Mira Serrill-Robins

X

Ian Shin

X

Matt Vanneman

X

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

Richa Bhala

X

Avi Das

X

Noah Isserman

X

Marco Locascio

X

Gloria Monfrini

U

Levan Moulton

X

Christina Ryu

X

Jacob Thomas

U

TOTAL SENATORS

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

Andre Deckrow

X

Elan Ghazal

X

Ryan Park

X

Paris Wallace

X

 

 

LEGEND:

 

 

 

 

 

x = Present

 

 

 

 

E = Excused Absence

 

 

U = Unexcused Absence

 

/ = Half an Absence

 

 

 

II. Call to Order (9:04 PM)

 

III. Approval of the Minutes (9:05 PM)

Dave: At the last meeting there were some things that were out of order. That was my mistake for not pointing it out.

Reads rules.

Roz: Motion to pass the minutes.

Matt: Second.

Elan makes corrections.

Minutes are passed by unanimous consent.

IV. Officer Reports (9:07 PM)

A. Vice President

Elan: I need to know 48 hours in advance if you are not going to make the meeting. There has been a committee resignation and we will fill that next semester. Mira is stepping down from the bc. Also, Christian will have to step down since he has too many absences.

B. JC Chair

Andre: The deadline was Thursday before break for review and recognition paperwork. We have a complete list now and that will be going up on the website. The process of continual review and recognition starts now. The Amherst Hamster is a controversial club and I am going to speak to Dean Lieber and the school’s legal council and see what our obligations are in recognizing them as a club. The JC also wants to focus on publications a little more. Some publications need a little more scrutiny.

Jin young: Point of information – which clubs are you looking at regarding publications?

Andre: We want to ensure that the publications aren’t redundant and things like that.

 

V. Announcements (9:12 PM)

Ryan: The club sport executive committee met the week before break and we outlined a plan for how we want to address this issue. Reports from this committee are due the week after we get back next semester. Hopefully we will make a presentation then. Can the committee meet after this meeting? Additionally at the faculty meeting tomorrow they will be discussing the special report on club sports.

Dan: There was a committee that was set to meet on an amendment and never met. It was decided on the only meeting held by me that we would just vote on it tonight.

Alex: I am officially stepping down as AAS Secretary.

Reads letter.

Luke: I just wanted to touch base on what Dave mentioned. I really think what went on last time to the extent that we dragged fellow senators into the mud to make budgetary changes was inappropriate. We would all benefit from being a little more respectful of each other. I would encourage people to move on.

Mira: next Thursday there is going to be a study break from 7 to 11 at the campus center. It is sponsored by SPAB.

Andre: There are 2 community teas left. Please come.

Rania: The Bradley shuttle ran this week and everyone said it worked out well. There will be shuttles again on the 18th and 19th.

 

VI. Special Orders (9:16 PM)

A. Weekly BC Funding recommendations

 

Requestor

Request

Recommend

%

Allocated

%

WAMH

$505

$505

100%

$505

100%

Change For Change

$1,200

$0

0%

$0

0%

ACPBS Financial Aid

$938

$450

48%

$450

48%

ACOC X-Ski

$2,700

$1,656

61%

$1,656

61%

ACOC Leadership Training

$474

$0

0%

$0

0%

Juggling Club

$200

$200

100%

$200

100%

Anime Club

$11

$0

0%

$0

0%

Total Week 11

$6,028

$2,811

47%

$2,611

43%

Percentages

7%

3%

47%

3%

-3%

 

Mihailis: What is the financial aid for the pre-business seminar going to?

Paris: It is going to the materials for those that need it. It is $25 a student.

Mihailis: How do we make a distinction between that and the books for the Amherst Christian Fellowship speaker we had in another meeting?

Ryan: Our understanding was that it was not absolutely crucial to the event.

Mira: $25 were actually a burden on people. This is not for all of them. We didn’t recommend it in full because it is only for Amherst students.

Justin: I was just wondering what the precedent was for other groups involving financial aid.

Paris: It depends.

Roz: I know clubs have included in their line item financial aid.

Matt: I move to pass these recommendations

Roz: Second

Mihailis: Amend to give $11 to the Anime Club.

Geoff: Second

Mihailis: For the sake of consistency, we should fund this since we funded events after the fact this semester. Maybe we should change that policy next semester.

Mira: The difference was that those groups put in their requests before the event.

Mihailis: I would like to withdraw the amendment.

Matt: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 1 BELOW. BC Funding Recommendations - MOTION PASSES: 27-0-0.

B. Judiciary Council Bylaw Revision

Andre: The AAS Judiciary Council recommends that the AAS Senate amend the Bylaws of the AAS Constitution in the following manner:

Add a Part V to Section VII (GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION DURING REVIEW AND RECOGNITION) of the AAS Bylaws.

Part B would state:

i) The Judiciary Council is required to render a decision on the recognition of an unrecognized club within two weeks of the club submitting the requisite paperwork for Review and Recognition.

ii) Newly recognized clubs must be recognized at least four weeks prior to the beginning of the budgetary cycle for the subsequent semester in order to be eligible to receive a budget for that semester.

Paris: Why 2 weeks as opposed to one?

Andre: Once we receive the paperwork the JC meets with the groups and it takes a while to get the information. It would put a lot of strain on the JC.

Ethan: I move to pass the amendment.

Roz: Second.

Paris: I don’t see a lot of difference between this and the budgeting process and I think it would be better to have it in one week.

Luke: I think the BC runs under the expectation of it being a week.

Richa: With the BC it is a time sensitive matter but with the JC it isn’t really as time sensitive.

Andre: A lot of times the clubs submit paperwork that is originally not up to par. This gives them time to change the paperwork. A lot of times the clubs can’t come in to talk about it even though they have submitted paperwork. Also, a lot of clubs are new and don’t have their act together.

Ethan: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 2 BELOW. Judiciary Council Review and Recognition Bylaw Amendment – MOTION PASSES: 26-0-0.

 

VII. Unfinished Business (9:30 PM)

A. Budgetary Committee Composition Bylaw Amendment

Dave: In the interest of having less biased and less skewed submissions and to level the playing fields between clubs who are represented in the Senate and clubs who are not I propose the following amendment.

To be added under VIII., A., 1., b.

i) No budgetary Committee Member with a controlling interest in an AAS funded club (such as, but not limited to, membership on an executive board) may speak on behalf of his/her club in Budgetary Committee meetings and must physically remove him/herself from the meeting when him/her club is discussed.

Ryan: I think this is a really good idea and I would support it if it was feasible.

Matt: Point of information – is this the original amendment or the one with the strike through?

Dan: This one.

Caleb: Second.

Mira: Anyone can sit in on a meeting from any point of the discussion. I don’t see why the members should have to leave if a president of a club can sit in on the discussion.

Dan: If you would feel more comfortable it can be amended so that no member of the e-board could be present. It seems like members of the committee are always present by definition whereas other clubs aren’t. It seems like limiting the members of the BC is more important than limiting everyone.

Roz: I think that because of the way the BC works now it doesn’t make sense to exclude all e-board members from the discussion of their budget because it helps explain things the BC member didn’t understand from their initial meeting.

Paris: I think this would be a very good step. I think my clubs get discussed differently from other clubs just by my sitting there. If we have to give up sitting in when our clubs are discussed we can still have other people from the e-board talk for us.

Matt: I move to amend this amendment so that it says “during initial club allocations” at the end.

Mira: Second.

Matt: The general BC had questions that were different from the person that they met with. During initial club allocations this is a good idea because these meetings are closed. We can’t invite club heads to come to these meetings because they are very long.

Mihailis: Given Paris’ remarks, it doesn’t make any sense to restrict it to initial club allocations. Discretionary funding is a very significant source of funding for clubs. Most of these clubs have more than 4 e-board members and just because one sits on the BC doesn’t mean one of the other three can’t come.

Dan: It seems like this amendment is a step in making it the BC’s responsibility that there Paris: I think that based on this we will have to change how it is done. We will have to put in mini appeals or something like that. I don’t see how this is really going to hurt that much.

Ethan: Call the question.

Amendment to the amendment adding to the last line – amendment fails.

Ethan: I think the more information the better. I would have to disagree with Paris. I don’t think there is any problem with having a representative there to answer questions.

Molibi: I did see that distinction regarding every member that was a part of the BC. We do have to treat everyone fairly and we can’t expect people to be there at every meeting. Realistically we have to look at the best way to have everyone equally represented. Asking someone to step out of the room is not really too much to ask and if we want to ask them a question we can go outside and ask them and come back into the room with an answer.

Mihailis: I would like to reiterate the point that I made before. Most clubs have three other e-board members. We aren’t denying the BC any additional information but we are trying to get rid of bias.

Rania: I think there is definitely an advantage if you are the head of a club and you sit on the BC; however I have a problem with making a person remove themselves since the meetings are open. I think ethically it would be wrong for me to argue for my club but if there is a question I don’t think there is anything wrong with me answering it.

Lincoln: I think this is unnecessary. The Senate reviews the BC’s recommendations and if the senate felt any recommendation was inappropriate they can undo it. I think that to ask members of the BC to physically leave the room while this discussion was going on is unnecessary.

AJ: Call the question.

Mihailis: Object.

Luke: The thing that I worry about is someone having an above average influence in the process and that seems to happen in the initial budget allocation where it is not an open meeting. I would want BC members not to vote on clubs where they perceive they have an interest.

Justin: I agree with Luke. Anyone in a club could know as much about the club as a member of the e-board. I have no problem with a person sitting in and giving information. I trust the BC members to use their better judgment.

Andre: I just want to echo what is the overriding concern. The biggest reason why this needs to be changed is to define controlling interests.

Matt: Move to amend the amendment so that it says no budgetary member who is a captain, president, or executive board member of an AAS controlled club and then strike the parenthetical phrase.

Ethan: Second.

Mihailis: Object

Matt: If we are going to debate semantics than we should commit it to one person.

Ethan: Call the question.

Mihailis: Objection. I think that we can leave the document loose enough so that the BC can decide. I think the flexibility of the amendment is important. We should trust the BC to self regulate.

Paris: First, this is why we have a chair. Secondly, if the BC is supposed to be so open and forthright that we self regulate ourselves than why does it have to be so specific? If we need specificity then it shows why we need the amendment to begin with.

Dan: I take it as a hostile amendment and it makes sense for someone to make that judgment call on the BC.

Luke: I would argue that this should be voted down because we should be talking about broad interest.

Lincoln: Move the question.

Ethan: Second.

Question is moved.

Amendment to the amendment fails.

Kay: Call the question

SEE VOTE 3 BELOW. Budgetary Committee Composition Bylaw Amendment – MOTION FAILS: 14-14-0.

 

VIII. New business (10:05 PM)

A. Resolution proposal

Luke: House Bill 2400 “An Act Relative to Student Fees” in the Massachusetts State Legislature prohibits the appearance of student-enacted waivable fees on tuition bills at Massachusetts’ public colleges and universities.

This legislation is anti-democratic in that it restricts the ability of students to come together and decide how they will choose to allocate their resources. Students ought to have the ability to impose fees upon themselves for any number of reasons, and any attempts to restrict the manner in which they choose to act is a violation of students’ rights.

The banning of student-elected waivable fees also strips campuses across the state of valuable programming.

House Bill 2400 is anti-democratic and anti-student. Therefore we, the Association of Amherst Students, hereby stand in opposition to House Bill 2400. Members of the state legislature should vote against this bill and stand up for democracy and student’s rights.

This is an attack on students at colleges and universities. I would like to motion to approve this.

Marco: Do we not fall under this law?

Luke: No

Matt: Call the question.

Passes by unanimous consent.

B. Junior class project

Dave: The junior class study break extravaganza will be right at the beginning of exam week. We are asking for $213.05. This is specifically for the junior class.

Dan: Second.

Paris: I think the junior class did not get their act together all year and have put together some ridiculous thing that we wouldn’t fund for any other club. It is the last Senate meeting and only one class has spent their money. I would say do not pass this because it is a waste of money. We should not reward class councils that come at the last minute. This is an embarrassment to the organization.

Roz: We had another project that fell through and as a class council we have come up with another option to serve our class.

Ethan: I can guarantee that the junior class would be more happy about this decision than other funding decisions.

Andre: How crucial is this to the event?

Dave: The traditional study break at Amherst has food.

Dan: We are spending $213.05 on 25% of the student body. It seems reasonable.

Dave: This has intrinsic value. We worked earlier in the semester and that was more complicated and it didn’t work. We came back with this. It is a community builder event.

Justin: I think this is reasonable. To get the junior class together during a stressful time will provide some bonding.

Andre: Where will this be located and what was the previous plan?

Dave: It will be in the basement of a social dorm. The previous plan was to install in the back part of the Campus Center some benches.

Matt: Paris is kind of right.

AJ: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 4 BELOW. Junior class council project proposal – MOTION PASSES: 10-9-6.

C. Freshmen class project

Noah: We are planning on purchasing arcade games to make a video game room in the Campus Center. We don’t have exact numbers yet because of instillation and transportation fees. If there is extra money we would pay for a paper version of The Onion. This is an all school project.

Matt: Second.

Luke: Call the question.

Ran: When you make a change to the Campus Center it can be vetoed. There is so much bureaucracy involving the Campus Center.

Mira: It sounds like a nice idea but it was hard enough to get that business window and I don’t know if they would allow that. You would also run into problems about who would pay for maintenance. I would encourage you to look into this a little more.

Lincoln: Move the question.

AJ: Second.

Question is moved.

SEE VOTE 5 BELOW. Freshmen class council project proposal – MOTION PASSES: 20-6-0.

Paris: I just want again to say that this is done in the last minute. They cannot make the check request deadline and this is why people ridicule us. This undermines all of the important work that we all do.

Luke: It seems like it would make sense to do elections the first day of the semester to fill vacancies.

Dan: Move to take $1400 amendment of the table.

Lincoln: Call the question.

Matt: This committee was formed the week of spring budget allocations so no one had time. I think this committee should be created and I don’t think we should take it off the table now.

Elan: The committee should email the vice president and put it to the agenda.

Dan: The BC was aware of the fact that they were going to be discussing these things. The willingness to create the committee knowing it was not going to be discussed should have been brought up then. Action shows intent better than anything else. I would rather have this vote now and see how people feel about it.

Elan: I’m going to wait until the committee brings this back.

Dan: I would like the committee to have met once before the end of the semester and come back within the second week of next semester.

Mihailis: Second.

Paris: Who is responsible for assigning these members?

Elan: The committees.

Molibi: I was just wondering if we would be interested in getting together with the rest of the 5 colleges and having some sort of statement leaning either way toward the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriages. Would it be appropriate to do so?

AJ: I think it is an admirable idea but I think to create a stance from the AAS is too controversial.

Ryan: I will bring it up when I meet with the five college presidents and see how they feel it.

Luke: I would think that the school will be hesitant to taking a stance.

 

IX. Adjournment (10:31 PM)

 

ROLL CALL VOTES

VOTE DESCRIPTIONS

1 12/1/03 BC Recommendations

 

2 Judiciary Council Review and Recognition Bylaw Amendment

3 Budgetary Committee Composition Bylaw Amendment

4 '05 Class Council Project Proposal

5 '07 Class Council Project Proposal

 

SENIOR SENATORS

1

2

3

4

5

Kay Bradley

Y

Y

N

/

/

Geoffrey Brounell

Y

/

Y

N

Y

Miahilis Diamantis

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

A.J. Korytoski

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Lincoln Mayer

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Luke Swarthout

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

Ethan Davis

Y

Y

N

A

Y

Rosalyn Foster

Y

Y

N

A

Y

Jin-Young Kim

Y

Y

Y

/

N

Gabriel Mattera

Y

Y

Y

A

Y

Daniel Reiss

Y

Y

Y

A

Y

David Scherr

Y

Y

Y

A

Y

Justin Sharaf

Y

Y

N

A

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

Rania Arja

Y

Y

N

N

Y

Taamiti Bankole

Y

Y

N

N

N

Caleb Deats

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

John Lian

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Molibi Maphanyane

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Mira Serrill-Robins

Y

Y

N

N

N

Ian Shin

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Matt Vanneman

Y

Y

N

N

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

Richa Bhala

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Avi Das

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Noah Isserman

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Marco Locascio

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Gloria Monfrini

/

/

/

/

/

Levan Moulton

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Christina Ryu

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

Jacob Thomas

/

/

/

/

/

Y = Yes

 

N = No

 

A = Abstention

 

/ = Not Present for Vote