AAS MEETING

Monday, September 27, 2004

 

I. Attendance

SENIOR SENATORS

4

Elan Ghazal

x

Steve Hollister

x

Esther Lim

x

Gabriel Mattera

x

Arpan Podduturi

x

Daniel Reiss

x

Christian Sanchez

x

Justin Sharaf

x

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

Rania Arja

x

Rob Cobbs

x

Viet Do

x

Techo Kim

x

John Lian

x

Stephen Scriber

x

Mira Serril-Robins

x

Mike Simmons

x

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

Richa Bhala

x

Boris Bulayev

x

Avi Das

x

Will Havemann

x

Noah Isserman

x

Marco LoCascio

x

Anoop Menon

x

Jacob Thomas

x

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

Avi: Motion to approve the minutes.

Marco: Second.

Ryan Park and Mira make corrections.

Minutes are approved by unanimous consent.

 

IV. Officer Reports

A. President

Ryan Park: Tomorrow there is going to be a discussion in Lewis Sebring at 7:30 about recent turning points in Amherst history. I asked Dean Griffiths if we could sit in on it. It is pretty interesting. It is professors who have been here a long time talking about why certain changes have not been implemented. Also, the Interterm Committee met for the first time last Friday. I hope we can get some side discussion in the Senate about interterm. The discussion is mainly being driven by President Marx right now and it would be good to have an independent voice. I was researching through the old Amherst Student and there have been so many SGO/AAS interterm committees. Nothing was accomplished. Now we have the administration working actively with us so now we can actually do something. CAP – I met with President Marx and we are going to have another seat on that committee. Also, if you have something you talked about when were running, come up with a resolution. It can’t always be the e-board that presents the materials for discussion

Mike: I don’t think the senators know what is in their jurisdiction.

Ryan: We can have that discussion.

B. Vice President

Dave: If you leave the meeting 30 minutes early, you will receive a half absence and if you leave 1 hour early, a full absence.

Avi: Is that going to be applied retroactively?

Dave: No. Also, does anyone want to be in charge of getting the AAS gear this year?

Dan: I would like to be in charge of the sweatpants.

Will: I have been hearing about the AAS getting booty shorts that say AAS. I would support that fully.

Dave: Did the junior class elect a chair?

Rob: Yes, Rania is the chair.

 

V. Special Orders

A. BC Funding Recommendations

Requestor

Requested

Recommended

Allocated

Capoeira Angola

$1,800.00

$900.00

$900.00

Model UN

$213.48

$213.48

$213.48

Newman Club

$939.00

$617.00

$617.00

Sailing Team

$250.00

$250.00

$250.00

Kimmie Weeks

$6,234.00

Tabled

 

Re:Think

$100

$60

$60

YAI

$2,092.00

$591.00

$591.00

Riding

$3,700.00

$3,700.00

$3,700.00

ACOC

$600.00

$570.00

$570.00

ASA

$409.00

$264.00

$264.00

ASA

$260.00

$260.00

$260.00

ASA

$1,170.00

$0

$0

Total

$17,767.48

$7,422.48

$7,422.48

Ian: Last Wednesday night we had a meeting with all of the clubs and talked about requests and so on. From now on, the rules are set. The discretionary request deadline is 5 pm on Tuesday. This is so that all the BC members know what questions to ask during the meeting. It would be great if the Senate would support the BC’s deadline. Sometimes there are groups that come up with requests after the deadline. For the ones that are not emergencies it would be great if the Senate would stand by the BC.

Gabe: Should the new requests be in new business?

Ian: No, they should be on the recommendations in special orders.

Ian: I have handed out the new changes.

Gabe: Can I ask for the reasoning on the ASA banquet.

Ian: The reason you didn’t see some of these items on the report is because these requests had not been seen by BC members. The request was declined because we thought that $1000 was too much to advertise courses that were already in the course catalog.

Marco: Capoeira – it seems like they should have been funded in full based on Avi’s evaluation. What was the reason for that?

Ian: We would like them to explore funding resources from other places before we pick up on that.

Jake: I move we fund the Capoeria recommendation to $1800 in full.

Marco: Second.

Jake: I think this is a great program that we have heard a lot of great things about. It is developing into its own independent program on Amherst soil. It has tremendous benefit to Amherst students but also to other five-college students.

Ian: I respect that and I am happy to see that it is becoming well-established on campus. $900 will cover their lessons, but we also want them to look at other sources of funding. If they can’t find the additional funds we will be wiling to back them up with the rest.

Dan: Please vote to not fund them because the arguments to do so are not time sensitive.

Mira: There haven’t been as many people showing up as we might hope because there isn’t a coach. They guessed that more people would start showing up when that happens. I think we should just wait and see what happens.

Justin: I think the coaching fees are pretty high even if they have 10 people. We should base the instruction on how many people are involved.

Rania: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 1 BELOW. $1800 for Amherst Capoeira – MOTION FAILS: 1-20-3.

Rania: Amend to add $20 to Re:Think for refreshments.

Rob: Second.

Rania: Re:Think has a lot of student speakers come and they are doing it pretty much for free and I think the least we can do is fund water for them.

Dan: I want to point out that this is almost the exact opposite of the position you took regarding giving gifts to speakers.

Rania: I don’t think water is a gift.

Esther: Do we usually fund refreshments?

Ian: No.

Mira: You can fill up Nalgenes or empty water bottles in the water fountains.

Elan: We set a precedent if we give clubs refreshments. I don’t think it is necessarily bad to give refreshments but we will be setting a precedent for the year.

Stephen: I pretty much agree with Mira. I think there are plenty of water fountains.

Ryan Park: There are plenty of student forums that don’t get water.

Mike: I think if you are giving a 50 minute presentation it is a courtesy. This would take care of the whole semester.

Elan: Was it to add $20 or $40?

Dave: $20.

Justin: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 2 BELOW. Add $20 to Re:Think – MOTION FAILS: 7-15-1.

Gabe: Riding - The tournament fees were not funded in their original request in the spring. If we didn’t give it to them then why would we give it to them now?

Ian: In the spring budget we hadn’t funded everything because the show makes $3000 in profit and that usually goes back to the team in terms of lesson subsidies. In the past we have funded the show but not the lesson subsidies. This year, the reasoning is that we funded $6000 in lesson subsidies which was more than we ever did. The reasoning ultimately was that as you remember the ski team suffered its demise in the spring round of budgeting because it was too cost prohibited. Riding, if it is going to be a club sport, would have to be affordable for everyone.

Gabe: So we are funding more. What is the contribution of the members?

Riding representative: $270 a semester. We do offer a financial aid type system for anyone that can’t pay that up front. We have seen a huge increase in people saying they can’t give that to us up front. We have a lot more beginners and we are trying to make it as inclusive for people to ride. By the end of the semester, $100-400 is a fair range. We spend a lot of money on food, equipment, and gas which we don’t always request.

Dan: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 3 BELOW. BC recommendations – MOTION PASSES: 23-0-1.

Christian: There is a group of students who went on the Cuba Delegation last year who are starting the Latin American Awareness Project. They came up to ask for funding for publicity. I want to request $15. It is for a party that will be free for Amherst College students.

Richa: Move to change the amount to $10 since that is what we normally fund for publicity.

Jake: Second.

Christian: We funded Re:Think $60 for publicity and they are trying to publicize in the Five colleges.

Ian: We set that as the rate because you can get a lot for that amount. Posters are 3 cents you can get a lot with that.

Christian: This is a five college event though.

Rob: Re:Think requested $15 a week for 3 weeks.

Ian: It was amended to cover them for the rest of the semester.

Christian: It is a five college event and that is the amount they told me and I don’t know if I would be compromising what they need.

Gabe: What is the minimum we use for five college events?

Ian: We don’t have one but I would recommend $15.

Christian: The event is to publicize the group to other colleges.

Esther: Can he request the money from the other colleges if he doesn’t get it from the BC?

Ian: No.

Ryan Park: I urge the Senate to use its time wisely.

Christian: It is a party. A DJ volunteered his services and they will have information about the project.

SEE VOTE 4 BELOW. $10 for Latin American Awareness Project – MOTION FAILS.: 10-13-1.

Esther: Call the question.

SEE VOTE 5 BELOW. $15 for Latin American Awareness Project – MOTION PASSES: 22-1-1.

B. CAP Election

Dave: We tabled this last week. The possibilities for right now are to un-table it which would mean the elections are open or we could ask for a third spot on the committee meaning we would not take it off the table and sent Ryan off with a mandate. There are 10 non-students on the committee.

Ryan Park: That ratio isn’t great but I don’t think it is that bad.

Dan: I don’t think we should request thee students because it seems like there are faculty members from every region of study. As long as we have two well-rounded students that seems ok.

Elan: I went through the faculty and trustee committees we sit on and the ones with the highest ration of student/faculty are 2:2. President Marx has done more to effect the student than his predecessor and I think this will have more effect on the students so I recommend that we go back and ask for another seat. I motion that the Senate resolves that they would like three student members on the CAP committee and direct Ryan to go back to them and ask.

Marco: Second.

Esther: Do you think we can get a third member?

Ryan Park: Anything is possible.

Elan: If Ryan doesn’t want to do this I will go to President Marx myself. I think there is a possibility considering how we sit on other faculty and trustee advisory committees. This is what we are here for. If you disagree with this, then vote against it but I think we should have a third member.

Dan: How do you think this is going to effect the credibility of the AAS in front of President Marx?

Ryan Park: I don’t think this hurts us in any way. The way I presented it is that I would like three and that we could structure it like the CEP. He seemed slightly unreceptive to it and then he said he would get back to me.

Gabe: Did you not push it further than that?

Ryan Park: He sent me an email saying we could have a second seat.

Rob: It seems like this is something we can probably get but it’s like a withdraw from a finite deposit. It’s not like President Marx is going to follow every whim of the AAS but if we decide this is really important it should probably be a strong, practically unanimous resolution. We should think if this is worth investing what power we have in it.

Marco: I think this is worth pursuing. This is one of the best duties that we could perform.

Richa: I think it looks bad for us to keep coming back but I am all for this.

Ryan Park: President Marx made a smiling haha comment saying I didn’t really need to put any students on this at all. Even asking Dean Lieber to ask me to appoint someone and then me asking the Senate to appoint someone has been more open than in other committees. I don’t necessarily want to give up on this issue but I do not want to overstretch.

Boris: How often do we go to President Marx to ask for something like this?

Ryan: We went to him regarding smoking, parking, etc.

John: It sounds like maybe the administration doesn’t want too much student input and just wants some advice. I am for getting more members but it may just be a lost cause.

Gabe: I think we should worry about how we are perceived by the faculty, but we are here to support the students. It is not professors that are as affected by the Amherst experience. I think we should wait and try to get another member.

Dan: We are almost obligated to open up the elections to the student body if we are going to get a third seat. If we are going to open it up to freshmen then we have to open up that prior debate about how we should select those people.

Ryan Smith: I don’t think it matters if we have 2 or 3 as long as the faculty has 10. We are not going to be able to outvote them and so the best we can do is convince them.

Will: Why do we need 3 people as opposed to 2?

Elan: I put 3 just to mimic what they do with the faculty. I thought that was a good base. The more members you have the more input you will have with the faculty. I think the more voting members the better.

Viet: I agree with Elan’s view that more is better. I did talk to President Marx and his language is very categorical and he said I will give two but no more.

Stephen: I was fine with one member on the committee. Now that he has conceded another member, I am skeptical we can keep going back and asking him for stuff. I think we should quit while we are ahead.

Noah: I was on the cCEP last year and I think the 3 student system made a big difference because there were 3 different majors. If we can get the diversity it would be better as long as we don’t spend too much political capital with it.

Justin: President Marx has only been here a year and it seems like we have been making a lot of requests from him and I think at some point he is going to say I don’t need to consult you. I think at some point he is going to break. We need to pick and choose our battles and what we do will impact how he will see students in the future.

Rob: I think it is important we don’t look at this as an opposition between the students and the faculty. We are not going to have control over this committee and we should not have control over it. The student seats are going to be advisory. President Marx is a very helpful president in terms of student power, but if we keep nagging him it is not going to stay like that. If we were to request a third seat it is going to look as a power play and I don’t think we should go there.

Ryan Park: I want to address the issue of the administration and President Marx reacting badly. I think he is eager to work with the students. The only worry I have is inefficiency in our deliberative process and that in future committees they will just pick a person and tell us later. I think in so far as President Marx’s feelings toward the AAS is that it will just be a conversation.

Justin: Don’t we know how he feels about the AAS considering that he scheduled the All School Meeting during our meeting next week?

Elan: We are elected by the students, not the administration. You came to Amherst for the education and that is what this committee is going to be talking about. If you are scared of the administration then you shouldn’t be on the Senate. Our deliberative process has been a little bad. Keep in mind who elected you here. If you think that the students don’t care then vote that way.

Ryan Park: I was given a strong indication that it was going to be all juniors and I don’t feel obligated to follow that but if the Senate decides that there is going to be three and then it decides it is going to be open, I would restrict it to juniors. I think that might change the nature of how we select people.

John: Move the question.

Elan: Second.

Question is moved.

Motion to make a resolution – MOTION PASSES.

 

VI. New Business

A. Constitutional/Bylaw Amendment Procedures

Ryan Smith: We as the JC wanted to recommend a change to the constitution which would include in the JC duties:

5. JC shall review all senate proposed amendments before they are introduced in the senate floor and the JC must propose a recommendation before the senate meeting.

This is to limit the debate to the JC and then it will come to the senate floor within 2 regularly scheduled senate meetings

Elan: I think we already have a provision for this in our Robert’s Rules. If something is getting too complicated in the Senate, you can move for it to be discussed by a committee. I don’t think we should limit the Senate. If you had an amendment at the last senate meeting you couldn’t bring it up. I think this is getting in the way of our legislative powers.

Gabe: Would you consider a friendly amendment changing it to within one regularly scheduled meeting?

Ryan Smith: The reason we said two is because we hold the meetings Monday at 8 pm so if we were to get something at 7:45 pm on Monday then the next senate meeting would be at 9 pm that same day so we would only have an hour to debate it.

Steve: Are the JC meetings always at the same time? If next year the meeting is on a different day it is different then?

Elan: Does this amendment not violate the constitution itself?

Dave: No it still comes to the Senate but it just comes with the JC’s recommendation.

Jake: Ultimately, this provides for the constitution to be a much more changing document. The JC’s sole responsibility is to look at the constitution and this similar to how we don’t make all of the BC recommendations individually in a meeting. The JC will make recommendations on it. We can’t just kill anything but we put it there so we can work on the language and the impact it has with the constitution. We are not ever talking away any amendments someone wants to make.

Ryan Park: The e-board talked about this and we supported it from an efficiency standpoint. When we make a budgetary decision it is nice to have a group of people who have edited it. That is the point of this – it is just efficiency.

Mike: I like this idea because they are already equipped to deal with this because they specialize in this area. We also need to consider that we aren’t the most time concerned group of people. This is also the way bodies deal with legislation.

Christian: I agree with Elan. I think this is a bad idea. We are turning this into another Budgetary Committee. We are creating a wall in the Senate. This is what we were elected for, to bring ideas forward and discuss and debate them. This isn’t going to make our meetings shorter. People are still going to voice their opinions. The JC was mainly set to go over disputes among members and unconstitutional things, not to supervise our process of bringing legislation into the Senate. I hope people don’t vote for this.

Ryan Smith: we are not taking away discussion or debate or a senator’s ability to recommend an amendment. All we are saying is that rather than having senators propose an amendment at any time they have to go through the JC first. The JC’s job is to constantly review the constitution and make recommendations.

Christian: I never meant to say it is going to take away discussion. I think it is an integral part that we discuss it initially.

Marco: Does the motion include bylaw amendments?

Ryan Smith: Right now it says amendments.

Dan: 90% of what committees do is rubberstamp what comes by them. If there is some concern that an amendment is crazy, we have a committee we can recommend it to the JC. There is nothing that stops a senator from doing this. I don’t think we should make people wait until an issue may be stale. Two weeks later we can hear the JC’s opinion on a senator’s opinion from 2 weeks ago. This makes us more bureaucratic. The wording seems to be imprecise. We should recommend it to the JC to make a precise document of what the meaning is of the amendment we are voting on.

Ryan Park: The constitution is not meant to be changed all the time. When we pass a constitutional amendment it doesn’t go into the constitution until the student body votes on it so we have to wait months before it gets there. We can’t fix a problem right away. There has been a lot of concern that the constitution has been seen as too malleable and I think this process would be important. Also as we saw in the $10-$15 discussion today it would facilitate a lot of the technical discussions.

Viet: Why can’t we just keep this an option if certain senators want to go through the JC they can do so. If there are more spontaneous ideas they can still come up.

Ryan Smith: If you do vote this down, I think we should at least agree that amendments do try to come through the JC first and if a senator proposes an amendment, another senator should propose it go to the JC before discussion.

Boris: The JC isn’t deciding on the issue, they are making recommendations.

Rob: I was originally going to speak against this amendment because it would not cut down on debate but I think I have changed my mind. This amendment would not cut down on pertinent debate. This would be incredibly useful for language purposes. Ryan is correct in that the amendment process takes a long time anyway. This amendment will cut down on random proposals. A no from the JC is not going to instigate a unanimous no vote from the Senate.

Elan: You need to read the constitution and the Robert’s rules. You commit something to the JC when you think an amendment is getting too crazy. What you have is senators putting up another bridge. The JC doesn’t have an educational process that we don’t we all read the same constitution. I also think that the JC should put the amendments with the BC recommendation so that we can see the text before we debate it. If something is inefficient, send it to a committee.

Noah: I think it is a good idea to send it to the JC so that we can all get it in our emails.

Marco: Commit to move it to the JC.

Steve: Let’s vote to move it back to the JC so they can fix it.

Dan: Amend the motion to commit for Elan to be consulted in the discussions.

Elan: Second.

Mira: call the question

Consult Elan - MOTION FAILS

Richa: Call the question.

Commit to JC – MOTION PASSES.

B. Bradley Shuttle Committee

Rania: Motion to make a Bradley Shuttle Committee consisting of 3 senators. This is a valuable service and I want it to continue after I graduate. This should be a Senate project, not a Rania thing. The second thing is that it is not much work for 2 or 3 people, but for one person it is a lot. Third, it would meet 3-4 times a year and at the end of the year everything should be reserved for the next year. There are times when I have called in the summer and they are already booked. If you do it with enough time you can get a standard rate from them. The Bradley Shuttle is a charter bus that operates once a day (twice) for winter break and spring break and picks up students and takes them to the airport.

Mira: Is this an ad-hoc committee for this year or a permanent committee in the constitution?

Rania: Ad-hoc for now.

Christian: Second.

Will: I don’t understand why we don’t make this a permanent committee.

Ryan Park: The big question last time was whether this can operate as a committee. But she is going to try to do this as a committee and see if it works.

Rania: How do you make it a permanent committee?

Ryan Park: Bylaw change.

Elan: I think this is a great idea but in the past Rania has done it so if you want to make this a committee I suggest you be willing to do the work.

Dan: I see no problem in giving Rania an ad-hoc committee and see how it goes. We don’t have to make this a permanent committee if it doesn’t go well.

Noah: We will have freshmen to put on this committee that don’t know Rania has done this forever.

Justin: Call the question.

Motion to form a Bradley Shuttle Committee – MOTION PASSES

Rania: It would be better to wait for the freshmen to be elected.

 

VII. Announcements

Elan: We have 15 interested students for the Senate positions.

Reads out the names of those running.

Speech night is next Monday at 8 pm and Tuesday night is the election. Also if there are any referenda you need to give it to me today.

Gabe: Who is on the dining service committee? Can you recommend putting the napkin dispensers on the tables in Valentine?

Rob: I wanted to make a plug for this weekend - Masspirg is sponsoring a voting initiative. We have a long list of speakers. It is not partisan, talk to me if you would like to come

Dave: You got the email that President Marx is having the meeting, but what would people think of making our meeting later?

Avi: Can we lodge a formal complaint to President Marx for doing this?

Ian: Would it be possible to combine it with the Senate meeting?

Dave: Yes that it possible. In the event that we can’t combine it with the Senate meeting, would you be willing to have it a half an hour later?

Some people raise their hands.

 

VIII. Adjournment (10:47 PM)

 

VOTE DESCRIPTION:

 

 

 

 

 

1 Amend Capoeira to $1800

 

 

 

 

2 Add $20 for Re:Think refreshments

 

3 BC Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

4 Amend Latin American Awareness Project publicity to $10 (from $15)

 

5 $15 in publicity for Latin American Awareness Project

 

 

SENIOR SENATORS

1

2

3

4

5

Elan Ghazal

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Steve Hollister

N

N

Y

Y

Y

Esther Lim

N

N

Y

N

Y

Gabriel Mattera

A

N

Y

N

Y

Arpan Podduturi

N

N

Y

N

Y

Daniel Reiss

N

N

Y

Y

Y

Christian Sanchez

A

Y

Y

A

A

Justin Sharaf

N

N

Y

N

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

Rania Arja

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Rob Cobbs

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Viet Do

N

N

Y

N

Y

Techo Kim

N

N

Y

N

Y

John Lian

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Stephen Scriber

N

N

Y

Y

Y

Mira Serril-Robins

N

N

Y

Y

Y

Mike Simmons

N

A

Y

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

 

Richa Bhala

N

N

Y

Y

Y

Boris Bulayev

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Avi Das

A

N

A

Y

Y

Will Havemann

N

A

Y

N

Y

Noah Isserman

N

Y

Y

Y

Y

Marco LoCascio

N

N

Y

Y

N

Anoop Menon

N

N

Y

N

Y

Jacob Thomas

Y

N

Y

Y

Y