AAS MEETING

Monday, November 1, 2004

 

I. Attendance

SENIOR SENATORS

8

Elan Ghazal

x

Steve Hollister

E

Esther Lim

/

Gabriel Mattera

x

Arpan Podduturi

/

Daniel Reiss

x

Christian Sanchez

U

Justin Sharaf

x

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

Rania Arja

x

Rob Cobbs

x

Viet Do

/

Techo Kim

x

John Lian

x

Stephen Scriber

x

Mira Serrill-Robins

x

Mike Simmons

U

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

Richa Bhala

/

Boris Bulayev

x

Avi Das

/

Will Havemann

x

Noah Isserman

/

Marco LoCascio

x

Anoop Menon

x

Jacob Thomas

x

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

Avery Armour

x

Ali Berman

x

Raj Borsellino

x

Daniel de Zeeuw

x

Ali Khan

x

Spencer Robins

x

Erika Sams

x

Josh Stein

x

TOTAL SENATORS

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

Ryan Park

x

David Scherr

x

Ian Shin

x

Ryan Smith

x

Roslynn Graves

x

 

II. Call to Order (9:04 PM)

 

III. Approval of the Minutes

Elan makes corrections.

Minutes are approved by unanimous consent.

 

IV. Officer Reports

A. President

Ryan Park: The advising committee met on Friday. We went to Dean Griffiths’ office and he gave us an overview of how this issue has been discussed by generations of students. This is definitely an issue that people have been trying to work on. He did give me the reports of the CEP from 2 years ago. President Marx popped in and we talked to him for a little bit too. The conclusion of that meeting is that there is a lot of work to do.

The interterm committee met and we agreed on three main points to try to improve:

1. Internships; 2. Create alumni sponsored programs on campus (not career based); 3. Actual classes at Amherst. Mt. Holyoke has a $5000 financial incentive for faculty to have classes during interterm. We are going to look at fundraising and the budget toward that. Elan and I met with Raldy and Diana and we are working on getting a plaque for Gramps. It takes 6-8 weeks for the plaque to be made. We are looking for words to put at the bottom of the plaque so if you have ideas email us. The last thing is that I have been talking to some big speaking agencies to get two speakers to come after elections. It depends on what happens with the election. Their availability will be dependent on that.

B. Vice President

Dave: Reminder – class council projects. You need one project that benefits the whole school and one that benefits the whole class. I inquired about getting ourselves an account on blackboard and it looks like that is going to happen next week. We may be able to have the documents there and that will make things easier.

I would like to do a round of committee reports.

1. Dining Services Committee

Noah: Charlie Thompson said he would get back to us within the next week. Avi Das is our chair.

Ryan Park: Have you looked into paths that go beyond Charlie Thompson? The discussion earlier this semester is that he is limited in his means to do the things we were talking about

Noah: We need his recommendation or approval to do anything.

2. College Council

Ryan Park: We are still discussing housing policy issues. Last week we talked about the opt-out process and dorm damage and Dean Boykin-East came with a lot of numbers for us.

3. CPR

Gabe: We are looking at revamping the faculty survey regarding compensation and benefits.

4. CEP

Gabe: We are looking at courses and approving courses for next semester.

Anoop: We are looking at the problem of scheduling. Some professors want to make more 3 meeting courses. They also want to reduce the courses that meet only once a week. The CEP refused to give more credit for lab courses.

5. Committee on Financial Aid

Noah: They are working on having all of the admissions and athletic directors of NESCAC come here and talk and then make recommendations to the presidents of the NESCAC schools.

6. Residential Life Committee

Esther: We didn’t talk very much about things outside our budgetary concerns. It was really just piecing together requests and getting money.

7. CAP

Jake: I’m not sure if you are aware that the faculty is considering not having President Marx on the committee or maybe just not having him as the chair. Personally, I believe he belongs on the committee but I wanted to see what the Senate though President Marx’s position should be on this committee.

Dan: Professor Sarat said that the CAP is going to be making recommendations about tenure and having President Marx on the committee would basically mean he would be making recommendations to himself. The point is to have faculty and student input. This seems like to best reason to at least not have him as chair and maybe not involved at all.

Mira: I think it makes sense to have him there. They considered having a faculty member being co-chair. President Marx will make most of these decisions and it will be reviewed by him anyway. It all has to make sense and be realistic. The people on the committee are mostly tenured and they weren’t afraid to bring up the fact that he is on the committee so I don’t think they will have a problem with that. It will make the process faster and more realistic.

Ryan Park: I feel that the faculty mostly drives the curriculum at Amherst. There are arguments as to why this wouldn’t be congruent with that. President Marx in many ways will be the final arbiter.

Gabe: I am just worried that if we take a stance it will be misinterpreted are we supposed to say whether we support the faculty or the President?

Dan: Probably many of the senators don’t think they have much of a personal stake in this one way or another. The presence of President Marx doesn’t really matter to student input.

 

C. JC Chair

Ryan Smith: Review and recognition has been going fine. We haven’t recognized anyone yet this semester, and once they fulfill their requirements that will be happening. We met to talk about the bylaw for the surveys and that will be coming up next meeting. Recognition should not be as much of an issue once the budget is due. Then we will be able to review. We will be going through all of the clubs and making sure they are still operating as a club and will be updating contact information. We are going to go through the whole constitution. We think that it would be best to just do one long review for the constitution. That recognition stuff pretty much as of today should boil down and ease off. Senate, if there is something in the constitution or the bylaws that you think is questionable or unnecessary please feel free to make a suggestion to the JC of how it should be so we can have a concentrated area if it is greatly disputed.

Elan: Is there any way we can make it more of a continuous process?
Ryan Smith: We want to just do it at once. We don’t want to bring it up every week. It’s a small continuing process, but in that we don’t just go through the whole thing every meeting.

C. Treasurer

Ian: Budgets were due today. The timeline for considering budgets: Deliberations for budgets are next Friday. We will have a preliminary budget and appeals will be the following Friday. The final budget will be released the Friday before Thanksgiving.


V. Announcements

Elan: I would like to encourage people to ask questions about the committees. Toward the end of the year people have grievances about people not doing things in their committee and they don’t ask questions all semester.


VI. Special Orders

A. Budgetary Committee Recommendations

Requestor

Requested

Recommended

Allocated

College Republicans

$200.00

$0.00

$200.00

ASA

$502.10

$502.10

$502.10

ASA

$380.00

$380.00

$380.00

3D

$110.00

$110.00

$110.00

Musical

$7,700.00

$7,700.00

$7,700.00

Amherst Capoiera

$1,000.00

$1,000.00

$1,000.00

The Hamster

$1,139.00

$1,139.00

$0.00

College Democrats

$200.00

$0.00

$200.00

College Democrats

$400.00

$0.00

$400.00

Ski Team

$6,030.00

$0.00

$6,030.00

Total

$9,892.10

$9,692.10

$16,522.10

 

Ian: I brought back that club sports study that people asked me about 2 weeks ago.

Elan: I didn’t see the description regarding the Amherst College Republicans.

Ian: The BC’s reasoning for not granting the request was beacuse it was not an event with major student participation or student organization. Changes have been made though from it being a faculty event.

Ian: The Hamster submitted it on time. It is for 800 copies and the controversy last year had been questions to the content of The Hamster. They came up with some professional guidelines and we believe this qualifies them as a publication on campus.

Elan: Did The Hamster publish last semester?

Ian: No.

Representative from The Hamster: It is 800 copies of a 14 page color issue. I am willing to negotiate it down.

Richa: Why didn’t they publish last semester?

Ian: They were probably reorganizing at that point.

Representative from The Hamster: We also did not get a layout program installed until later in the semester.

Marco: Musical – they are practicing in interterm and having it during the semester?

Ian: The actual production will happen when all of the students are back.

Josh: Is this a censorship done by the Senate or the school?

Ryan Park: Last spring The Hamster, Dean Lieber, and I came to an agreement.

Elan: Should we be funding the Musical out of second semester funds since it happens then?

Ian: No because first semester discretion covers interterm.

Professor Hunt: I am here to talk about the event called Facing the Pain of War. It is co-sponsored by many other groups on campus. The decision not to fund it was based on misinformation. This even was actually tacked on to the Mead Art exhibition. It was not something generated by that exhibit; it was generated by a group of people that included me, the VEP, and the Republicans and the Democrats. The tacking on was from the faculty side not the Mead Art Museum side. First, there was $200 requested by the Republicans and $200 for the Democrats. I feel like this is a quite important event. It is an event unlike too many of the events here. I think this is a moment when a little bipartisan activity is a good thing. The topic is a very important issue that all of us are going to have to deal with. There is a great deal of student effort and organization put in my the students, particularly with the Republican club in fashioning a presentation that speaks to the students.

Caitlyn: I forgot to schedule a meeting with the BC representative after submitting the request.

Dan: Motion to limit the discussion on the BC recommendations to 30 minutes.

Noah: Second.

Voting on limit to 30 minutes – MOTION FAILS.

Ethan: It’s nice to be back in this beautiful room. I just wanted to add that the College Democrats and Republicans are going to be involved in publicizing the event. It is going to be a primarily student focused event. We can all guarantee that.

Marco: Move to increase funding to $200 for the Republicans.

Josh: Second.

Gabe: What was the reason for not funding them initially?

Ian: We didn’t think the students were contributing to the organization.

Marco: I think that they have made the case that students are clearly involved and that the orientation of the presentation is going to be getting the student interested. The requirements are satisfied. The issues of war and the possibilities of a draft are all important for students. Addressing this as a campus is important and I think this is something the AAS should have its name behind.

Stephen: Where did the idea of this event originate?

Professor Hunt: The idea originated with the Veterans Education Project. They approached the college to see if they could get a gig. They are non-profit making but they have a very strong interest in getting the point of view of veterans out. I started looking around for support and started talking to the Republicans and the Democrats and we found out about the Mead exhibit and attached ourselves to that.

Rob: I’ve heard a bunch of stuff about how students are going to be involved in this but I am wondering how you envision students being involved in this.

Professor Hunt: I think students are going to be involved in the planning of it by making it the bipartisan presentation it is going to be. They are certainly going to be involved in the publicity.

Russell: Who organizes the logistics of picking up and dropping off the speakers doesn’t really matter. How we are involved with planning the project and the discussion is what matters.

Avi: Call the question.

SEE MOTION 1 BELOW. Voting on increasing $200 to reps – MOTION PASSES: 29-0.

Mira: Motion to postpone The Hamster for next week.

Avi: Second.

Mira: I thought about funding it $0 last semester, but if we are not going to give them any money after they restructured it is a death sentence. I want to give them money but I don’t know what that should be. It should be the cheapest possible production – less than 14 pages, not color. I also think that the fact that they were too lazy to get a budget for next semester isn’t so great. It shows they are still not as together as they ought to be.

Ian: I think The Hamster has tried hard. I was one of the people that voted $0 for them last year. It is a difficult process to turn a publication around. They are aware they need to fight against their reputation. It probably takes longer than a semester. I feel not giving them what they are asking for is micromanaging. I think if they think they have the skills and manpower to do this we shouldn’t tell them not to. If the 14 pages of color are less than satisfactory, then next time around they won’t get that much. If they have made the effort to turn it around we should put our money where out mouth is.

Dan: Mira wants The Hamster to come back with the barebones minimum and then see if the publication could still be of high quality. It seems like we are giving them a huge disadvantage and then postponing is not something we should do. We shouldn’t force them to half ass it.

Ryan Park: Dan said pretty much what I wanted to say. If we want to fund it all we should fund it in order to be good.

Rob: I think there is no advantage to bring it in color.

Richa: The quality of the text or design doesn’t matter based on the color.

Gabe: I don’t think we should set a threshold. The headache of figuring out the low cost version of The Hamster isn’t worth our effort.

Marco: I still have questions about the publication and don’t want to give them all of that money on good faith. Having them come back with estimates in no way dooms them or hinders their expression.

Justin: I agree we should see what the black and white costs are. If we decide next week that it is worth spending the money for the color then we can give it to them.

Viet: If they came back with smaller numbers that would be good.

Dan: Call the question.

Voting to postpone – MOTION PASSES.

Will: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 2 BELOW. BC Funding Recommendations – MOTION PASSES: 29-0.

Richa: Motion to allocate $200 to the Democrats.

SEE VOTE 3 BELOW. $200 for the College Democrats – MOTION PASSES: 29-0.

Russell: We would like the Senate to grant us an additional $400 for money for gas. We have 18 cars going to New Hampshire tomorrow. The increase has a lot to do with President Marx’s supportive email. It was hard for us to give you a budget on an election year. We are going tomorrow morning to the university of New Hampshire Durham. We are trying to get money to pay for their gas.

Ian: It’s relevant I would say yes.

Russell: The only cases in which students can lose their financial aid by registering is if they are from another state and receive money from their home state and declared residency in New Hampshire when voting they could lose the financial aid from their home state. We are going to be doing visibility work and making sure that students get on the buses to go in the polls. The Bush campaign has been tapping into the frat system. The Kerry campaign has been asking New England students to help out.

Dan: It is clearly against precedent to pay for gasoline.

Russell: That is not true.

Dan: We generally don’t find transportation costs usually. I think it is a worthwhile cause though to have Amherst impact voting. I think is also pretty clear that our constituency is interested in this.

Spencer: I know that the school has a reputation for political apathy and I think it is in our interest to combat that.

Marco: Is your message when you get to New Hampshire going to be when you vote, go vote for Kerry?

Russell: We will be supporting Kerry. The AAS has given the Republicans enough gas money for them to go but they aren’t. The AAS has given enough money to both of these organizations.

Jake: I hate me some frats and I hate me some Bush so I motion to fund this.

Will: Second.

Will: I am unclear as to whether this sets a precedent for us.

Ian: We fund transportation when it is relevant to the event. We fund it when it is a major part of the request. This does follow precedent

Arpan: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 4 BELOW. $400 for College Democrats – MOTION PASSES: 29-0.

Ian: I am passing out a chart and numbers for club sports. I only got the response of 5 teams. We will definitely be taking the non-cooperation of club sports when we fund them. If you look at the conclusions of the study, you will see that the ski team is the most expensive but that doesn’t take into account that the crew team gets an endowment. At this point, I would think the AAS would want to consider the ski team request.

Emily: We met with out divisions. If we were to send the absolute minimum which would be 3 men and 3 women it would be $1200 for the first 3 weeks. If we were to send 5 men and 5 women it would be $2,000 for the first 3 weeks. If we were to send 7 men and 7 women it would be $2800 for the first few weeks. If we were to send the whole team it would be $4100.

Elan: What was the amount of people in the request?

Emily: The whole team.

Stephen: How much are the fees you didn’t talk about?

Emily: $350, $650, and then $60 per racer.

Marco: Is that $6000 figure it? Are there going to be other riders?

Ian: If we fund $6000 we are funding the racer fees for 20 skiers and half of the season. It doesn’t cover the second half of the season of the training. The AAS could decide to not fund the second part of the season.

Emily: We submitted a budget which was about $10,000.

Richa: At what point does it begin to cripple the ski team whether we send 3 racers or 5 racers? Is it better to have a non-competitive team or not have a team?

Emily: Being a competitive person I don’t think its better to have a non-competitive team. If we can only take 7 men and women we will do that, but we also want to have people race if they are paying dues

Richa: You have 20 people every semester?

Emily: We have consistently had at least 20 people on the team. We generally have 40-50 freshmen that sign up and then later decide they don’t want to make the commitment over interterm.

Josh: We are debating $3600 for whether 14 more people can ski or not?

Ian: Yes.

Justin: You can’t compete with 3 people.

Dan: I don’t believe everything that I am hearing right now. It is $16,000 for the whole season for 20 people. What is the exact per racer change for 5 women and 5 men? What is the total season cost for 10 people? There are contingent people that aren’t racing and are training?

Elan: Training fees aren’t lowered by lowering the amount of people racing.

Dan: It seems like the racing fees Aren’t that much and it is the training fees that matter.

Emily: Race entry fees: $8200, division dues: $615.80. National dues:$ 350, USSA registration for 20 members: $1200, $3000 for one week of training, $3000 for lodging, $500 for gas, $300 for food, and for money for publicity.

Ali: What is the average allocation per student?

Ian: We de-funded their request last year. The previous semester they were funded over $17000.

Ali: What happens to the people that signed up after 20.

Emily: A lot of people phase out because of interterm and waking up at 5 AM on weekends.

Rob: You could rotate people in if we decrease the numbers of racers right?

Emily: Yes.

Anoop: How much is crew’s funding for this semester?

Ian: It is for what it says on the sheet.

Anoop: If we pay $6000 now it covers which fees?

Emily: The ones for interterm.

Jake: How much cheaper is it if you don’t make it open?

Emily: It is a lot cheaper.

Boris: Does crew get $32,000 a year then?

Ian: Yes.

Boris: So the crew team gets a lot more money than the ski team. So the only way to significantly reduce the budget is to make it an exclusive sport.

Richa: Which of the sports listed here have year long sums that needs to be augmented?

Ian: Every one except for ski can be multiplied by 2.

Richa: The only thing that can effect this is the racing fees?

Emily: Yes.

Richa: Do you do financial aid?

Emily: Yes, we use the interest from our endowment to subsidize the dues cost for people that can’t afford to pay.

Dave: For the student activities fee per student, if this was a year long thing it would be twice as long?

Ian: Yes.

Justin: How did you guys lower your budget?

Emily: We have 1 week of training instead of 3 weeks. We have parents donating the lodging for the training week.

Josh: Where do dues go to?

Emily: It depends on what you give us. It balances out whatever we don’t get funding for.

Boris: If someone can’t pay the fee there is a way to subsidize that right?

Emily: In terms of equipment, members of the ski team and their families are donating equipment. It is going to cost some money.

Noah: The $3000 for lodging is for what part of the season?

Emily: One or two of them may fall during interterm.

Dave: There is a motion on the floor from the prior meeting.

Elan: Move to end the debate at 11.

Avi: Second.

Limiting debate- MOTION PASSES.

Ryan Park: I wanted to thank Emily for coming. I also wanted to say that I think it has been batted out that the only effective way to cut costs is to make the sport exclusive and that is exactly what we don’t want. The argument should not revolve around cutting it.

Dan: I am uncomfortable making any kind of motion on this since it is a divided request. The ski team operates for 6 weeks which hardly qualifies as 2 semesters of operation. It operates basically for a single semester and is requesting a comparatively large amount of money. Another thing I have heard is that there is a $600 safety net that comes from dues. Right off the bat I would like to cut the request by $600. The ski team has done a very poor job in finding outside funding. Nearly every other club finds external funding. The ski team has done very little and we should not make an exception for them. I would like to see a $600 reduction in the request immediately. I would also like the race entry fees cut in half. I want it to be for 10 racers other than 20. We should reduce this request to $0.

Viet: The motion is to fund in full?

Dave: To fund $6030

Justin: I have seen publicity for the ski team.

Emily: Those are the 6 weeks of competition. We do hold dry lands before some period before them. The hours put in those 6 weeks we train from 6:30 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon. For races we get up at 6:00 AM and then come back at 6:00 in the afternoon. We are logging serious hours.

Justin: Emily said that parents are willing to help out. They have spent endless hours trying to get donations from the alums. She has talked to former coaches about helping out with other fees. It isn’t an academic thing where you can go to the history department for funding. This isn’t something you can fund half-assed. You need 3 skiers to finish the race and even if you send 5 skiers the chances are not that great. You need to at least have 7 skiers.

Dan: What fraction is being funded by outside sources?

Ian: If the ski team chose to go to another mountain where Emily didn’t know the coaches and get the discount rates would be hypothetical so I can’t speak to that. It would be significantly less.

Emily: A lot of other clubs on our team are give $30,000 and varsity teams get $80,000 from other schools.

Elan: The only variable cost is the amount of skiers we are sending for a race. If you want less make an amendment to reduce it. You can fund it in full, give it no money at all, or give it some money. I think we should decide what is the best for the school and the student body.

Ian: I think it would be a mistake to characterize it as a safety net. We consider the fact that these dues happen. It is an outside source of funding we look at just like we look at the crew team’s endowment.

Richa: I think our options are funding or de-funding. There is no point in funding a non-competitive ski team.

Jake: It’s all well and good for the ski team to say that this isn’t a lot of money, but this is coming out of student activities fee. I am not comfortable giving away the funding of 3 of my constituents so that they can go skiing for 6 weeks. In the scheme of what I am giving away that is too much for me to do.

SEE VOTE 5 BELOW. Voting on giving $6030 to the ski team – MOTION PASSES: 18-7.

 

VII. New Business

A.  Voting Booth Policy

Dave: This is not ready to be discussed this week.

Marco: I think we can put a lot of pressure on the ski team and we discussed this issue last year with the issue that club sports are too big for the AAS to handle. We haven’t solved this problem at all.

Ian: I agree. I think the ways the costs have been decreased is through the clubs not through the system.

Josh: 20% of the budget for 10% of the student body for club sports is a big issue.

 

VIII. Adjournment (11:05 PM)

 

ROLL CALL VOTES

VOTE DESCRIPTION:

 

 

 

 

 

1 +200 For Pain of War from Republicans

2 BC Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

3 +200 for Pain of War from Democrats

 

4 +400 for Gas-Democrats trip to NH

 

 

5 +6030 for Ski Team

 

 

 

 

 

SENIOR SENATORS

1

2

3

4

5

Elan Ghazal

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Steve Hollister

/

/

/

/

/

Esther Lim

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Gabriel Mattera

Y

Y

Y

Y

/

Arpan Podduturi

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Daniel Reiss

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Christian Sanchez

/

/

/

/

/

Justin Sharaf

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

Rania Arja

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Rob Cobbs

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Viet Do

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Techo Kim

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

John Lian

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Stephen Scriber

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Mira Serrill-Robins

Y

Y

Y

Y

/

Mike Simmons

/

/

/

/

/

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

Richa Bhala

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Boris Bulayev

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Avi Das

Y

Y

Y

Y

A

Will Havemann

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Noah Isserman

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Marco LoCascio

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Anoop Menon

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Jacob Thomas

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

Avery Armour

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Ali Berman

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Raj Borsellino

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Daniel de Zeeuw

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Ali Khan

Y

Y

Y

Y

A

Spencer Robins

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Erika Sams

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Josh Stein

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y