1/31/2004 AAS Meeting Minutes

 

I. Attendance

 

SENIOR SENATORS

1

2

Elan Ghazal

x

x

Gabriel Mattera

x

x

Arpan Podduturi

E

/

Daniel Reiss

x

x

Christian Sanchez

U

x

Justin Sharaf

x

/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

 

Rania Arja

x

x

Rob Cobbs

x

x

Viet Do

x

x

Techo Kim

x

x

Mike Simmons

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

 

Richa Bhala

E

x

Boris Bulayev

x

x

Avi Das

x

x

Will Havemann

E

x

Noah Isserman

x

x

Marco LoCascio

x

x

Anoop Menon

x

x

Jacob Thomas

E

x

 

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

 

Avery Armour

x

x

Ali Berman

x

x

Raj Borsellino

x

x

Daniel de Zeeuw

x

x

Ali Khan

x

x

Spencer Robins

/

x

Erika Sams

U

x

Josh Stein

x

x

TOTAL SENATORS

 

 

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

 

Ryan Park

x

x

David Scherr

x

x

Ian Shin

x

x

Ryan Smith

x

x

Roslynn Graves

E

x

 

 

 

MEETING DATES:

 

 

1 1/24/05

7

 

2 1/31/05

8

 

3 2/7/05

9

 

 

II. Call to Order at 9:04 pm

III. Approval of the minutes: Minutes approved.

IV. Officer Reports:
Ryan: We announced the incentives for Scrutiny. In 2 days, 1,000 new evaluations were submitted. The total is now 2500, which is still few. Everyone in the room, go and review your courses. All the evaluations have numbers on them, and the iPods are given out randomly. I heard from Jim Brassard about the alumni lot. He says that there’s another reason why we can’t park there. They need the space for construction crews for renovation in Hamilton. But construction does actually start until much later, so I will have to talk to him again.

Ian: There’s a budgetary procedures workshop this Wednesday. It’s basically going to tell clubs how to ask for money from the AAS without stress.

Elan: The Elections Committee meet with me after the meeting.

Josh: The freshman class has provided all the common rooms with board games. People are enjoying them.

Gabe: CPR is working on getting paper towels in the social dorms. We urge you guys to bring these issues to us, because we will try to handle it.

RS: We have de-recognized 3 clubs, due to the lack of response to our review. Other clubs are still under review.

Viet: Just after CPR, we’ll be working on adding TYPO to the budget.

Richa: I want to put in my bid for the BC. If any of you aren’t enthusiastic about the BC, I’m willing to be on it.

Dave: Come to me afterwards if you want to step down.

Mike: I am one of CAP’s 2 members. If any of you have concerns you’d like to see be addressed, please talk to us.

Anoop: The CEP met last week. Underclassmen are very poorly advised right now. We want professors to go under training and train underclassman in small groups. As for the possibility of a writing requirement, it has been pointed out that student writing quality has been going down. We are thinking about 3 compulsory writing courses that are a requirement before sophomore year.

Ryan: There are some solutions: 1) training seminar professors to be good advisors. 2) hiring professional advisors. Professional advisors would be too expensive, so I think seminar professors are a good idea.

Marco: Students should bring up a resolution to the CEP to give us an idea on how to improve advising.

Dan: If you want to do committee on student suggestion, you should do it by the end of the week.

IV. Announcements:

Ian: Totally discretionary is $51,301. It is lower than the fall, because other things took up more money.

 

 

 

Fund Stats

Total Discretionary

$57,301.56 (100%)

Total Allocated

$0.00 (0%)

Total Requested

$10,210.20 (17.8%)

Total Recommended

$7,205.00 (12.6%)

Total Remaining

$57,301.56 (100%)

Weeks This Semester

N/A

Suggested Per Week

N/A

 

Requestor

Requested

Recommended

Allocated

SEAS

$1,000.00

$0.00

 

H. Naylor Fitzhugh Conference

$2,505.20

$1,700.00

 

Model UN

$1,200.00

$0.00

 

Hillel

$5,205.00

$5,205.00

 

AFA

$300.00

$300.00

 

Total

$10,210.20

$7,205.00

 

 

Mike: For the Harvard conference, did they get money from Dean Haynes (sp?)?

Ian: I haven’t heard from them.

Ryan: Under the non-discrimination clause, it says…participation in the activity can’t be restricted because of cause. The only issue is, in the past we funded Kimmie Week’s benefit. It also says that the majority of the Senate can choose.

Elan: How much are the Shabbat dinners?

Ian: $200 per dinner, and 13 dinners.

Avi: I motion to give SEAS $1000 dollars.

SEAS: For Casino, you have to pay an admission ticket to get in and buy your own chips. We’ll bring in DJs, and all proceeds will go to tsunami relief.

Red cap: So students don’t win money for this?

SEAS: You are encouraged to not keep the money you win. There is a great prize a trip for 4 to NYC.

Ian: I appreciate the organizer’s efforts, but I don’t like the idea of the NY trip. I don’t like the idea that we need to pay for the trip.

Jake: How much are tickets?

SEAS: $12 in advance, $14 at the door.

Elan: We have denied the request to charge for Crossett Christmas. This is the same thing.

Ryan: Would you be willing to reduce the raffle prize?

SEAS: We can look into it. We were using a package system. It’s around $800.

Viet: This is for a good cause, we should support it.

Spencer: Does the money at the door go towards the chips used to gamble?

SEAS: No.

Ryan: Is it possible that if the funding is lowered, you can have an itemized list for the $1000?

Ian: We can work that out.

Matt: How much money are you supposed to make?

SEAS: The minimum would be $3000.

Matt: The money would be essentially donated by the AAS, and student funds are not supposed to be used for that purpose.

Dan: Casino is a really fun event. I really don’t care where the money goes to. It’s just fun for students.

Josh: Call.

Dave: Motion passes.

Mike: I would like to amend the funding for Harvard business conference from $1700 to $1900. The purpose of the conference is to network students at Amherst College. It’s a good opportunity for Amherst students to make professional contacts. At the time BC meeting, one of the senators motioned to reduce their request of $2500 we to $1700 the amount it takes to cover registration fees for 17 students. 19 people are going, however, the additional two being Amherst alums who have gone previously to the conference and are a valuable resource to the students who will be going. The problem is, I discovered that these two alumni have a lot of networking, and they cannot afford the registration fee.

Avi: Though I think Mike’s point is very valid, I feel that the student activities fee is for students. The alums are a separate issue.

Gabe: Mike, what are the specific advantages of these two alums?

Mike: These 2 chaperones attended the seminar last year. It’s a matter of us being students here…I went last year…if you don’t have a business card, they don’t talk to you. We are investing $1700 in the seminar; we should make it a full investment. Students would come back here and spread the knowledge.

Spencer: What is the specific networking? If they wouldn’t talk to you, it makes me skeptical of the entire event.

Mike: Networking just happens. You bring up a valid point for your second question. These Harvard people don’t have the incentive to talk to us, but we have all the incentive to talk to them. If you want to know my personal experience, I had no trouble going up to people and initiating conversation. Unlike me, most students aren’t aggressive with introducing themselves. They should be supported by the chaperones.

Spencer: Who is the conference for?

Mike: It’s for whoever wants to go. The majority are undergraduates. Most are liberal arts students looking for experience not found at their schools.

Gabe: What’s the non-minority population?

Ian: The conference caters toward African Americans.

Gabe: Have we funded other minority activities?

Ian: The other ones that we funded had some effect on the ASA or KASA. As for the Fitzhugh Conference, they have pledged to hold a presentation so that they can share the networking with Amherst students.

Rob: I think that realistically we should fund this. On the other hand, I think this is the alumni office’s responsibility. I’d like to see some attempt to get money from them.

Ryan: Stacy Shmidle told me that they don’t compensate for anything except for travel.

Elan: I don’t really see how these alums would benefit the people, except for the American express guy. What about the people who have gone in the past, why can’t they set up the networking?

Mike: There is only so much that we who went can do. The two alum chaperones have already interned several summers, and they all have massive experience. I know that these people can infinitely help the 17 students who are going to attend.

Richa: We are micromanaging. The fact that we don’t even know what networking means indicates that we are micromanaging.

Mike: This is a response to Ian’s response. This conference is in no way tailored towards African Americans. Everyone is welcome to go to it. The other thing is, this is something that is needed on the campus. It’s valuable knowledge.

Josh: Mike, the program is awesome. My only concern is that these alums will probably be getting something out of this experience too. I don’t think students should be paying for something the alumni will get for themselves.

Mike: If any of you feel that way, please vote no. But if we can make an exception, I urge you to do so.

Gabe: If it is truly multicultural event, please publicize it to the whole campus.

Mike: Yes.

Ian: That is not probably. The list is closed.

Elan: If you look at them as coaches, you can not look at them as alums.

Ali: We should keep the students in mind, and not the two alums. We should make sure that it is the most effective as possible.

Rania: Call.

Dave: Motion passes.

Spencer: I’d like to amend the BC request for this conference to $0. This bothered me: this conference was advertised to people who knew about this event. I think all people on campus should have a chance to attend this conference.

Josh: Maybe in new business, we could make some standards for advertising.

Gabe: I move to amend Spencer’s motion. I think we should have new people apply, and then determine the 19 by lottery.

Will: Who did Del Asante send the emails to?

Mike: I don’t know.

Viet: We’re picking on the BSU. I don’t think it’s fair.

Ryan: There are two comparable cases in my experience. Outing club: 5 people for a rafting trip, and probably the same 5 go to every trip. There are people who are not black going on this trip. The point of this is to serve a group on campus.

Rania: Del said it wasn’t within the BSU. It’s not a BSU event. It’s open to all minorities and non-minorities. The presentation will be open to all the student body. This is far-reaching.

Will: I wasn’t on this email list, what if I wanted to go?

Ali: I think it’s unfair for the lottery. They are already set to go.

Elan: I advise everyone to postpone this motion. We don’t know all the information.

Avi: The trip is on the 24th, we have enough time.

Mike: I think Rania is right. We are being very unfair. I’m speaking to you as a Senate, and not as someone who is actually attending. I think it’s unfair to question Del’s motives. The participants have already paid the registration fee, thinking they will be reimbursed. We need to be setting standards on our own time, not on a case by case basis.

Dave: Del is arriving in 10 minutes. We will postpone this discussion until then.

Emily and Matt: We hope to get your support for an idea that we have: external reviews on on-campus departments. It will be a service to the student body to analyze this…study aboard, career center. We will know how students are feeling and take it back to the student body, and ensure that the students and departments can understand each other. There will be focus groups concentrating on what departments are really good and why, what do students like and why?

Daniel: Randomly selected students?
Emily: We assume that there will be a wide spread of students. We will publicize this.

Techo: I’m concerned about the money on incentives.

Matt: People are angry. Focus group format will stay away from survey format.

Viet: What kind of end product do you want to get to?

Matt: Identify problems…work on a solution….determine why the problem can’t be solved.

Emily: It will be an ongoing process.

Viet: My concern is with selection. The risk is to get people who are just there to criticize.

Boris: How are you going to pick the groups? If people do volunteer, I feel like it wouldn’t be a random grouping. Why are you coming to the AAS?
Emily: You are representative of the students. We do want the administration’s backing. We can tell them that we already have the support from the AAS.

Boris: If I was picked, how would you get me to participate?

Emily: We are in the preliminary process; contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Richa: This is a great idea.

Jake: I warn you about the financial aid office. You are encouraging students to self-identity. It is a personal issue. I encourage you to look for secondary methods. Like confidential issues.

Justin: This will be very self-selective. I challenge you guys to find a random sample. Have you figured out a way to contact these departments? Will they be willing to listen to these suggestions? Who will be discussing with these department heads? I think it’s a good idea, but it definitely needs some focus.

Rob: Who’s going to be leading the focus groups? What sort of authority or accountability this group will invoke?

Matt: We haven’t really worked that out yet.

Emily: For your second question, I will work with President Marx, asking for the support of the administration.

Spencer: Motion to support this in concept without specifics to its execution.

Dan: My caution is to not do so much random sampling.

Avi: Call.

Motion passes unanimously.

Dave: We will now continue the conference debate.

Avi: Is it in our policy that if registration has occurred, would it even be possible to reimburse them?

Del: If I had known that I would not get reimbursed, I would not have asked them to register.

Raj: What were the modes of advertisement?

Del: It was advertised by mostly word of mouth. I wasn’t representing any fund or organization.

Justin: The outing Club example is good. These students are going to benefit from this, I suggest that people pass this.

Will: Del, I think that you seriously over-sighted on the clarification. And if I didn’t know you, but I wanted to go on this, it’s unfair to me. We need to discuss this.

Richa: In this instance, we should probably just let it go. We should not pick on this particular group.

Ryan Smith: This is you working independently with independent students. We are looking at independent activities, I don’t think that there’s anything that you need to advertise to the student body. These are independent students.

Will: This is coming out of the student activities fee that all students pay.

Avi: Even if we allot them the entire amount, how will the budgetary process work?

Ian: I’ll reimburse the expenses if the Senate votes yes.

Spencer: Few months ago, two students wanted to go on a trip to Washington for this same reason. And we voted it down. Is this a matter of scale then?

Del: 2 people is not equivalent to 19 people, and we have a 10 waiting list.

Ryan: Non-discrimination policy: All AAS funded events should be advertised to all students. There are several exceptions, however, when we felt that the events had some intrinsic value. Like Kimmie Week’s trip. I think we should fund this.

Dan: There might be some sloppy language being used. We are in very murky waters.

Boris: Have all the people paid the registration fee?

Del: Only 4 have.

Noah: in this case, we should just look at the facts. If we want to fund this thing, we should give all students an equal chance. We should look more into the options we have.

Raj: If 19 people have already locked into it, it’s unfair for them not to go. If other people want to go, they could pay for themselves. We should allow them because they were already promised.

Gabe: I take the opposing stance to my initial view.

Del: I can pay the $100, but I just want the students to have the chance to go.

Rania: There are a lot of conferences on campus that don’t do advertising as well, so we shouldn’t be picking on this group. If we want to set advertising rules, then do it later.

Viet: Call.

Gabe’s Amendment fails.

Richa: Call on Spencer’s amendment.

Motion fails.

Dave: We will now vote on the BC requests as a whole.

Passes.

VI. Special Orders:

Rania: We all have class council projects. They either end up not happening or happening at the last minute. I think that we should scrape that. One person is to do one project, a whole year to do it. If it’s big, then four people could do it together. The funding could come from the $6000 Senate fund. After that is depleted, we’ll go to discretionary. There’s 32 of us, and that’s 32 new things for the student body. I got petitions already, hopefully you guys pass this amendment. It sends an obvious message about organization.

Justin: What if the senator doesn’t do it?

Rania: If it’s not a senior, then the person will be barred from the Senate elections.

Justin: Does this count as your project?

Gabe: If we support this, does it mean that we agree?

Richa: The objective is 32 separate projects.

Ryan: The intent behind it is that everyone’s working on something. Who decides what a project is?

Rania: The JC has to approve. Your fellow senators also have to approve.

Mike: We are elected to do things. We have not done anything the past semester. If I can see even an effort, then I am totally content.

Jake: I’m behind this. Rania has put a lot of thought behind this. Motion to postpone.

Dan: It’s a great idea to postpone.

Rania: The agenda was sent out earlier, so you did have time to read it.

Mike: I don’t like this motion, because I know that you guys will not think about this over the week.

Senate votes in favor of ending debate.

Senate votes in favor of postponement.

VII. New Business:

Ryan Smith: I want to charge the Figure Skating Club and the Outing Club to make the skates available to all students.

Motion to ask the clubs to make skates available.

Dan: Call

Motion passed.

Justin: I want to institute a policy to fund table tents.

Ian: There’s nothing to prevent them to ask for the money to be funded to them. The club needs to get the ball rolling.

Gabe: Motion to make an ad-hoc committee to deal with the advertising issue that we encountered today.

Motion passes.

VIII. Adjournment (11:20 pm)

SENIOR SENATORS

1

2

3

4

Elan Ghazal

Y

Y

N

Y

Esther Lim

/

/

/

/

Gabriel Mattera

Y

Y

N

Y

Arpan Podduturi

Y

Y

N

Y

Daniel Reiss

Y

Y

N

Y

Christian Sanchez

Y

A

N

Y

Justin Sharaf

/

/

N

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

 

 

 

Rania Arja

Y

N

N

Y

Rob Cobbs

Y

Y

N

Y

Viet Do

Y

N

N

Y

Techo Kim

Y

N

N

Y

Mike Simmons

N

A

A

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

 

 

 

Richa Bhala

Y

Y

N

Y

Boris Bulayev

Y

Y

N

Y

Avi Das

Y

N

N

Y

Will Havemann

Y

Y

N

Y

Noah Isserman

Y

Y

N

Y

Marco LoCascio

Y

N

N

N

Anoop Menon

Y

Y

N

Y

Jacob Thomas

Y

N

N

Y

 

 

 

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

 

 

 

Avery Armour

Y

Y

N

Y

Ali Berman

Y

Y

N

Y

Raj Borsellino

Y

Y

N

Y

Daniel de Zeeuw

Y

Y

N

Y

Ali Khan

Y

N

N

Y

Spencer Robins

Y

Y

Y

N

Erika Sams

Y

Y

N

Y

Josh Stein

Y

N

N

Y

Vote totals: Y:

25

16

1

25

N:

1

8

25

2

 

 

 

 

 

Y = Yes

 

#

 

32

N = No

 

 

 

 

A = Abstention

 

(2/3)

21

/ = Not Present for Vote

 

 

 

 

VOTE DESCRIPTION:

 

 

 

 

1 +1000 for SEAS: Motion passes

 

 

2 +200 for Fitzhugh conference: Motion passes

3 Defund Fitzhugh conference: Motion fails

4 Approve BC Recs: Motion passes