AAS SENATE MINUTES: Monday 1/27/03 9 PM, Converse Hall Cole Assembly Room

16th Meeting of the ’02-’03 AAS Senate – 1st Meeting of Spring 2003


I. Call to Order (9:06)

II. Attendance

III. Announcements 9:07

Bob announced a new attendance policy, in which senators are allowed one excused absence, and allowed two more. After the third absence, the three-strike rule applies. He also introduced the new senior senator, Dan Birch. Ben encouraged everyone to attend random campus events as a representative of the Senate. Dan Birch read a statement written by the student body at large, expressing discontent with the AAS.

IV. Minutes: 12/2/02 & 12/9/02 (Special Meeting) 9:16

Minutes were approved with minor corrections.

V. Report of the Treasurer 9:17

Livia announced that this semester’s recommendations began on Jan 26. She allocated $7115 all from programming fund.

BSU $2865

Men’s Ultimate Frisbee $1250

Crew $3000


Programming: $ 50,735

Discretionary: $ 28,000


VI. Special Orders: BC Funding Recommendations 9:20

BC recommendations were passed

SEE VOTE 1 BELOW. Motion to pass Budgetary Committee weekly funding recommendations: PASSES 25-0-0

VII. New Business 9:22

A.  Library Committee (Ben Baum ’03)

Ben discussed the issues involving the referendum, Judiciary Council and the complaints. JC rulings can be overridden within two meetings of the ruling. This issue concerned the 12/7/02 ruling, the one that required the special meeting. He expressed the voting procedure prescribed by the JC is unconstitutional. If we allow the judicial branch to make such rulings, the Senate will be creating a bad precedent. To override a JC decision, the Senate requires a 3/4th vote. Ben made a motion to overturn the 12/07 rule at 9:25. He wished to overturn the parts that required the referenda to be brought to the senate, and a meeting for referenda. The major concern was the possibility of taking the power of referenda from students. Another concern involved the ability of the senate to delay the election, even indefinitely. A roll call vote was held at 9:41.

SEE VOTE 2 BELOW. Motion to overrule 12/7 JC decision and remove from bylaws:

PASSES 19-1-3


B.  Bulletin Board & Revised Contact Info (Alex Linden ’04) 9:43

Alex asked for any changes in the contact information. Alex and Ben have put up a bulletin board in the campus center, with space for agendas and suggestions.


C.  Discussion: Possible Alternatives to Diversity Seats (Caleb Deats ’06) 9:45

Caleb felt that the vote on 12/9 was biased and proposed an ad hoc committee be formed to create alternatives to diversity seats. From this proposal, several discussions emanated, including the practicality of inviting specific groups to meetings and the effectiveness of an ad hoc committee. The committee as proposed by Caleb was formed at 9:52, to explore alternatives to diversity seats. Elan, Matt, Caleb and Julie were placed in the committee.


D.  Campus Energy Task Force (Luke Swarthout ’04; see below) 9:59

Luke expressed concern for the excessive use of energy on campus, and hoped to create a campus energy task force, a group of people that can address better energy use on campus. It will neither be an ad hoc committee, nor a club, but a group separate from the AAS but charged by it. He asked for sponsorship, and it passed with a simple majority.

E.  Dan Birch: Review of Basic Mathematics 10:03

Dan Birch put mathematical calculations on the board, which initiated discussion about the nature of the senate. Jesse was disturbed that the senate is riddled with internal dissent, and fails to accomplish “things.” In the process, a review of and report from all ad hoc committees were proposed. A special meeting was designated for February 10th.


VIII. Adjournment 10:21


16th Meeting of the ’02-’03 AAS Senate – 1st Meeting of Spring 2003


I. Call to Order (9:06)

II. Attendance

III. Announcements 9:07

Bob: Will post new attendance policy on new agenda. One excused absence. Then get two extra, according to the three-strike rule.

Luke: We have a new senator.

Ben: Will like to encourage everyone to choose random events and attend as a senator. Present yourself and ask for complaints or suggestions.

Bob: Dan birch is a new senator.

Dan: Written by Amherst community at large. Students are discontent with the AAS, so lets do something.

IV. Minutes: 12/2/02 & 12/9/02 (Special Meeting) 9:16

Two corrections. Willy Epps, Section D. Alex said the tables were successful.

Minutes approved.

One correction. Elan’s quote.

V. Report of the Treasurer 9:17

Livia: We began semester’s recommendations yesterday. Allocated 7115. All coming out f the programming fund.

BSU, Ultimate Frisbee, Crew Team

Did not grant Paris Wallace.

Amherst Feminist Alliance. $0


$50,735 for programming. $28,000 in discretionary.


VI. Special Orders: BC Funding Recommendations 9:20

Maria: Motion to pass.

Lincoln: call to question.

Roll Call vote. 9:21 Passes 25-0-0


VII. New Business 9:22

F.  Library Committee (Ben Baum ’03)

Issues involving referendum and the JC and complaints. There is a larger discussion about JC stuff. Wish to talk about particular JC ruling. We can override but within two meetings of the JC ruling. The 12/7/02 ruling. The one with special meeting. My issue is entirely procedural. In any election situation the election committee must present the election to the senate before it goes to vote. I don’t think it is, however, in the constitution. By allowing judicial branch to make these rulings, we are creating a bad precedent that lets the JC make new rules. It requires a 3/4th vote. I wish to overturn this decision because it legislates certain thing not in the constitution. I am making a motion to overturn 12/07 rule. 9:25

Maria: Are you overturning the entire ruling or just that part?

Ben: well only thing not in accordance with that bringing to the senate. Another is having a meeting for a referenda. It is the same problem of making us do something not in the constitution.

Mike: there are two ways for referenda. One is for senate to approve or the students do it themselves. Now it says the senate has to approve to move it to vote. We were able to postpone the question. We were taking power out of the students.

Matt: are there oppositions?

Alan: I think the interpretation of that is wrong. The election committee has to tell us what needed to be voted on. The special meeting was called because the senators did not know what was being voted on. I am wary of it. It gives too much power to committees.

Mike: It gives the senate to make the election date to be any date. Takes power away from the students.

Caleb: What is the concern with delaying the election?

Bob: Senate can delay election indefinitely.

Caleb: But I don’t think anyone try to delay the election indefinitely. I suppose one group of people were much more outspoken, and I don’t think the election really displayed the will of the students. I suppose democracy was poorly served.

Bob: Please stay on topic.

Ian: I am wary. I think it’s inappropriate to overrule the JC decision because the senate was a direct party.

Mike: Senate was not a part of this.

Ben: AAS Elections committee.

Matt: The key isn’t the ruling but the precedent. It justifies any decision of the JC.

Ben: There are specific procedures, and part of it is not brining it to the senate. Really a procedural issue, in weighing how the JC should be operating.

Maria: I agree in terms of precedent. I would like to add amendment for the senate to declare that any referenda to be brought to the senate for informational purposes.

Bob: I rule that out of order. That needs to be done through amendment process.

Mike: I wanted to move the question…..

Lincoln: I understand Caleb’s concern but we do need to be worried about precedent. We should keep this in the hands of the senate. We are a directly involved party of students.

Julie: I think it’s important that this ability in the constitution right now for a group of students to get together and present a referendum must stand.

Luke: How was it publicized?

Ben: The student, table tents.

Caleb: I think the precedent is unimportant. I think there is too much distrust here. I think we should have the opportunity to consider whether the vote will be biased. No one will think to postpone the election indefinitely.

Mike: There is a precedent setting that we are taking way the power of the students in democracy. I think it is very important that we get rid of this decision. I move the question. 9:40

Bob: 2/3rd vote necessary to go ahead and vote. I am getting rid of one in favor one opposed rule. Lets move along. Passes. We will vote to over turn. Roll call. 9:41 requires .

19-1-3.  JC ruling is overturned.


G.  Bulletin Board & Revised Contact Info (Alex Linden ’04) 9:43

Alex: If any changes in the contact info, I will pass down the list. Ben and I have put up a bulletin board. It has some space for agendas, and suggestions. Please email me any suggestions. I hope to increase out visibility on campus.


H.  Discussion: Possible Alternatives to Diversity Seats (Caleb Deats ’06) 9:45

Caleb: I feel that the vote on 12/9 was biased. I want a senate appointed ad hoc committee create possible alternatives to diversity seats. I move to create committee of 3 or 4 students.

Jun: Would you make it available to students as well?

Mike: didn’t we discuss this before? We can’t put students on committees?

Bob: committee members must be composed of senators.

Lincoln: the faculty student committees invite people. We can also invite people. Anyone is welcome to come.

Caleb: suppose I go out of way to invite them.

Lincoln: I don’t understand why you would.

Caleb: I mean diversity seats are directly related to groups. There is a difference between just coming and being invited to come.

Maria: I think that the clubs already have the right to come. I think it will be creating another committee that does nothing.

Matt: A smaller group will promote discussion. Caleb is passionate about this. That accusation is not fair. And it will show that the AAS cares.

Stacy: I think the extent to which those committees fail it has to do with having done something. I would make it a standing committee.

Bob: that would require an amendment.

Luke: I think it makes this conversation more informed I think people who are interested go out and figure it out. I call to question. 9:51

Lincoln opposed to voting.

Lincoln: I think to create a committee to send invitations may seem like we value the opinions of some groups than others. We want to show that everyone is welcome to come. I think it sends a message.

Julie: I think if the aim of this organization to have the voices have heard, I don’t think having this committee to have more voices heard is a good idea and I commend Caleb for it. I think we should stop talking about this and vote. Call to question.

Mike: Opposed. Point of info. What exactly is the amendment? This is a committee to explore options.

Will: I think committees are there to have people most interested on them.

Matt: I call to question.

Bob: Vote. Simple majority. Passes. Will nominate.

Elan, Matt, Andre, Caleb, Julie

If no objection, then we will have a 5-member committee.

Livia: Caleb, any ad hoc committee can apply to me for funding.

Andre: I resign.

Bob: Elan, Matt, Caleb, Julie


I.  Campus Energy Task Force (Luke Swarthout ’04; see below) 9:59

Luke: We use a lot of power and heating. Anyway, we emit carbon dioxide; I think its good to reduce energy use. I would like to do a large program. The idea would be to create a campus energy task force, a group of people that can address better energy use on campus. Not an ad hoc committee, not a club. It would be separate from the AAS but charged by it. The question is to sponsor a committee. To do a survey about energy use on the students. I am bringing it as a member of MassPirg, and Bob as a member of AAS.

Matt: I move to sponsor.

Bob: Resolution statement on the bottom. Matt has made a motion to pass that text.

Luke: call to question.

Bob: Simple majority. Passes.

J.  Dan Birch: Review of Basic Mathematics 10:03


Jesse: I notice Andre resigned from the committee because it may bring internal dissent. There were not many projects not done, and there is no visibility. Dan it was funny, but doesn’t do anything. I think we have seen some incredible senate in terms of personality. I think we need to get things done.

Andre: JC on a personal stuff was uncomfortable on a personal level. I would like to motion to censure Dan for that. It undermines the integrity of the organization. Just in spirit. I don’t want to make a bigger deal.

Mike: I want to thank Dan because it wakes us up to the fact that we didn’t do anything. I motion to adjourn.

Luke: I actually have new business.

Mike: Sorry.

Alex: I want to address what Jesse said. We really need to do something about our visibility, like what Ben brought up. Sponsor things from each class. Show students that we are there. There is a list Dean Haynes and I made.

Ro: How many ad hoc committees have we made last semester?

Bob: lines of a dozen. I want to make a motion to make the person who brings an ad hoc committee to spearhead it.

Ro: I want to make a motion to make all the ad hoc committees to report next semester.

Lincoln: Divide it into tow meetings?

Livia: I don’t think there would be much to report.

Luke: I think it’s a good idea. Disband ones that don’t report. I call the question.

Bob: Vote. Voice. Passes.

Luke: Motion to make Feb 10th the special meeting to make all the faculty-student committees to come and report.

Julie: Did you intend to make the head of the faculty committee come in?

Luke: Maybe a meeting with a member from each committee. Publicize and have an all campus forum. The discussion can go.

Stacy: Weren’t all the committees supposed to report back every meeting?

Bob: It is out of order.

Luke: its more “Let’s get people here”

Maria: Would it be in order to add to a student body that’s concerned in general. As in the people in the Mods. Is in general or just committees?

Luke: Just everyone.

Matt: call the question.

Bob: Make Feb 10th meeting the special meeting. Voice. Passes.

Stacy: Committee reports be reinstated.

Bob: Like a line item. Report to us.

Geoff: This is a delayed response. I don’t think the purpose of this body is to be visible but to do things for the student. I don't think showing up at games and club meetings isn’t enough. We need to do more.

Jesse: I want to say that what Rania did, and what Luke did is what was visible and feasible. Move to adjourn.


VIII. Adjournment 10:21






1) We created quite a few ad-hoc committees for various tasks last semester. If you’re on one of these committees, try to make a point of finding the others, meeting, and reporting back to the Senate with your progress soon. The committees on Direct Deposit as well as Honor Code / Discipline come to mind, among others.


2) It’s cold outside, and we obviously consume a lot of energy keeping all the buildings on campus running. A group is being formed on campus composed of students, faculty, and staff who want to reduce the energy consumption and environmental impact of Amherst College. You may have a window that leaks substantially, a heater whose thermostat doesn’t work, a drippy faucet or shower, or an inefficient light bulb that burns 10 times as much energy as the alternative all these things cost the College appreciable sums of money over time. The Campus Energy Task Force will look to reduce our energy impact without making an imposition out of it.


One or two people from Physical Plant will be working with this group; I was excited by their very positive reaction to the creation of this task force. They’re hoping Senators, other students, professors, and staff members will be interested as well. The idea is to work hand in hand with Physical Plant to figure out why the avoidable types of energy wastage mentioned above are rarely reported to the Service Desk, and what simple steps can be taken to mend the communication gap and educate the community with regard to wiser energy use.


I urge you to voice your support for the passage of the resolution text that Luke will be presenting as a gesture of AAS support for environmentally-sound energy use practices here at Amherst College. After all, these issues are ultimately not only important at a campus-wide level they’re important on a national and even global scale as well.



VII. D. Campus Energy Task Force
Resolution: As a way to reduce the energy consumption and the environmental impact of Amherst College, the AAS sponsors the creation of a Campus Energy Task Force to investigate and reduce campus energy use.



Vote Description Summaries:

1) Motion to pass Budgetary Committee weekly funding recommendations: PASSES 25-0-0

2) Motion to overrule 12/7 JC decision and remove from bylaws: PASSES 19-1-3





Julie Babayan



Ben Baum



Rocio Digon



Mike Flood



Jesse Freedman



Will Johnson



Stacey Kennard



Ali Sacks






Kay Bradley



Mihailis Diamantis



Lincoln Mayer



Blake Sparrow



Luke Swarthout



Geoff Walter












Elan Ghazal



Angie Han



Ali Hassan



Maria Jones



Ryan Park



Christian Sanchez



Paige Wallace









Rania Arja



Sameer Bashey



Caleb Deats



Andre Deckrow



Techo Kim



John Lian



Ian Shin



Matt Vanneman