STUDENT POLICY COMMITTEE
2-February, 9:00 PM
Converse Red Room
SGO President Paul Rieckhoff called the first SPC meeting of the new year to order, and
made some opening remarks. President Gerety is doing well, and is doing his chat-with-the-pres thing Tuesdays at noon, a big improvement over breakfast. The Martin Luther
King celebration was a huge success, no doubt in part because of the monies it received
from the SGO. The NESCAC vote has been delayed until April, because of Pres.
Gerety's illness and various scheduling difficulties. Search committees are in progress for
the positions of Admissions Director and Head Football Coach. A campus mailing
detailing the derecognition of the Spectator will be sent out on 3-Feb. The off campus
meal plan is available to students who want it, at a cost of about $5.85 per meal (on top of
Valentine costs, for those living on campus).
Next were committee reports.
Student Life- Feb 15th 7-9PM, first student-prof. coffee night. Prof. O Connell will speak
on the 'State of Amherst', unless Monica Lewinsky sees fit to interfere.
Rebecca Stair, Co-Pres of the Class of 2000, is exploring ways to expand substance free
housing. Currently, there are 20 spots available for what last year were 40 applicants.
There is no sub-free housing for Freshmen. Ross Cohen asked Rebecca if she has
explored the possibility that the sub-free rooms are so over-applied for because they are
singles. Others asked if sub-free is effective, because people seem to break their rules a
Frank Bria, President of the Class of 1999, is exploring ways to reinstate the warning for
parking ticket recipients. He is also exploring various book-alternatives to in-town stores,
including an on campus book store. Anthony Lake, former director of the CIA, will not
be able to speak this April, but may come in May or September. One SPC member
suggested that Frank discuss student co-op book type ideas with UMASS people, because
theirs is such a large market, and provides most of Lord Jeff's profits.
College Council (herein CC)- The CC has not met since 1-Dec's meeting. Sophomore
member Tom Gray met with Dean Lieber to go over the various renovations underway
across campus. He would be glad to discuss these with anyone who is interested.
Committee on Educational Policy (CEP)- The CEP is investigating the state of freshman
advising. They sent out a survey to the Freshmen seminars, but have yet to tabulate
results. They are also examining grade inflation.
Phys Ed & Athletics- Paul encouraged the Phys Ed committee to explore ways to keep 5-College students and locals out of our gyms. Currently, campus policemen sweep out the
place every so often; why not reinstate the student ID checker position?!? Jim "Will
Hunting" Mastrangelo, in consultation with Eric "Swedish guy" Budish, did some quick
figuring and reached the stunning result that a guard might cost $4000 per semester,
'peanuts' in the face of a $14 million athletic facilities renovation. Dermond Thomas
requested a martial arts studio.
Scott Kerns had a nice club sandwich at the Lord Jeffrey Inn. He is also working with
Class of 2001 president Vanessa Olivier on the Freshman advising bit. He fielded
suggestions, many of which were given by an unusually talkative SPC: senior advisors??
Perhaps by department?? Perhaps as an honor for the seniors?? Perhaps (mandated)
longer initial advisory meetings with the profs??
Sophomore Steven Greenberg is interested in reviving Scrutiny, the makeshift class
criticism guide type booklet. Professors dislike it. No one seemed to care.
First Order of Business- Treasurer Jim Mastrangelo's budget proposal
Jim proposed that the SGO budget be constitutionally increased from its current 1.5% of
the Student Activities Fee to 3% of the fee. The 1.5% restraint has never been followed in
the past; it just isn't enough money for the SGO to do what it is expected to do, which
includes speaker-fees, co-sponsorships, copying costs, and class events. A constitutional
amendment would legitimize and formalize an already existing behaviour. His proposal
met a lot of dissent, though. Several members, most notably Nichelle Carr, felt that his
proposal should be as formal as an SFC club's. Jim should have to say "$1000 for this,
$752 for that, etc." just like everybody else, and the SPC should be to the SGO what the
SFC is to a club ( SPC:SGO::SFC:WAMH). Jim will provide such an expense list at the
next meeting, says he.
Second Order of Business-- Review and Recognition Appeals Process
Paul proposed that the constitutionally mandated, but ridiculously vague, R&R appeal go
to the student members of the CC. The CC could determine rules and procedure. The
clause in question is #9 on p. 74 of the Catalog.
Jim realized/asserted that the mandated appeal is prior to the R&R meeting, i.e. an appeal
of a criterion. For example, "We shouldn't be blamed for the satan incident for reasons
X,Y, and Z." Also, an appeal to the CC won't include the SFC sub-committee chair, the
person with genuine knowledge of the club in question. A motion to vote on Paul's
proposal passed 22-8. His proposal failed, 7-25-4.
Third Order of Business- Discussion of the Amendments made to the Code of Conduct
A list of proposed amendments to the new code of conduct was furnished by Dean Lieber.
We were to have a discussion, qua SPC, about said amendments. The issue most
discussed was the 'lawyer problem', namely, if X presses charges against Y, and Y might
later face criminal charges for the act in question, Y can bring a lawyer to the XY hearing.
This might, worried Sue McWilliams, discourage X from pressing charges. Al called for a
'power-balance' on the part of the college, by the institution of a lawyer-providing
mechanism for those pressing charges. Several other students were fearful of this clause.
Tom Gray, on behalf of himself, Frank Bria, and Dean Lieber, proposed that the SPC refer
the 'cable committee' function to the Student Life Committee, in an effort to formalize the
channel switching process. A motion in favor of this proposal swiftly passed, 31-1-0.
Recording Secretary, SGO.