AAS SENATE MINUTES: Monday 2/3/03 9 PM, Converse Hall Cole Assembly Room

17th Meeting of the ’02-’03 AAS Senate – 2nd Meeting of Spring 2003


I. Call to Order (9:05 PM)


II. Attendance


III. Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Phil Fitz, Director of Information Technology (9:06)

Dr. Fitz came to the meeting to discuss the problems that the campus has been experiencing. He explained the causes of two major problems on campus Internet slowdown, transcripts and email and possible remedies for both. Amherst currently has more bandwidth per student than a comparable college. Unfortunately, much of the bandwidth is somehow monopolized by peer-to-peer sharing and constant computer use. He also discussed the costs of increasing Internet strength bandwidth and the backbone. There are other more immediate solutions including individual throttling and putting up a firewall. Both solutions however will still take much time, and he asked the students to turn off the computer when not in use, and to refrain from using file-share programs. He also apologized for the recent grade, and email troubles, and explained that the school has been going through a system change for the past few years. The registrar’s office was one of the last departments to have been upgraded. As for the email system, the sheer amount of stored email caused unforeseen problems. He is working with Microsoft and his team is basically overworked. He asked for our patience and support.

IV. Announcements 9:41

Luke asked the faculty committee reps to give their names to either him or Bob. Ben announced the elections to be held on Feb 25th, and asked for any more vacancies.


V. Minutes: 1/27/03 9:42

Dan Berch. Not Birch.

The Minutes are approved.


VI. Reports of Ad-Hoc Committees 9:43

Diversity Seats Committee: Caleb announced a possible meeting in the Red Room at some time in the near future.

Disciplinary and Honor Code: Mike Flood will take the matter to the College Council and lead the committee.

The NY Times Readership: Ryan announced that he met with President Gerety and distributed a survey. He hoped that President Gerety would approve now that a need has been shown. If the AAS is willing to pay for one out of five papers, the proposal may be looked more favorably upon. NY Times was chosen because of its popularity among students and because of the price that we will be receiving.

Commission on Culture on Morality

AAS clothing: They are putting together a prototype.

Distinguished teaching award: The award will be presented at some point.

Valentine Faculty and student week: It was a success, and will b e even better advertised in the future.

Bradley Shuttle: Rania announced that the committee will put up a survey.

Direct deposit: Direct deposit may be imposed this Fall, and is being executed at an administrative level.

Campus Publication Review: They will be speaking to more groups.

AAS Visibility: Will be discussed in new business.


VII. Report of the Treasurer 9:55

Livia announced that the AAS has insurance for the first time in history. The books are closed, and are ready for audit this year.


BC Recommendations

"Hamster" $7,330
BSU $0
PSA $550
3-D $900
Democrats $213.85
Republicans $0
Soco $0

A total of: $9,971.85 and programming to: $40,793.09


VIII. Special Orders 10:02

A.  BC Funding Recommendations 10:02

Jonah, from the Hamster, spoke to seek support for the group. They were granted 60% of their request. He expressed that the amount allocated is not enough to publish a paper, because they need at least $2000 per paper. The group is growing and has hopes of becoming a nationwide college paper. The senators asked if the Hamster could get funding from outside sources, but the Hamster does not have enough of an outside base yet to be seeking funding from outside the campus. Lincoln suggested that the Hamster be funded per paper. Ben expressed concerns that since the money is coming from Student Activities fee, the Hamster should not be funded more than any other paper. He suggested moving the vote until net week, but neither party consented. The meeting was extended to accommodate further discussion. After discussing the merits of funding the Hamster, the question was called at 10:31.

SEE VOTE 1 BELOW. Motion to pass Budgetary Committee weekly funding recommendations: PASSES 17-4-5


B.  Election: Committee on Discipline, 1 Female Vacancy 10:33

Rocio was nominated and appointed at 10:35


IX. New Business 10:38

A.  First-Year Class Council Project (Caleb Deats ’06)

The first-years will be sponsoring an all campus project, in which they will table a Valentine card service in the Campus Center.


B.  Meeting with Gerety (Alex Linden ’04)

Alex announced that if interested, she will arrange a meeting with President Gerety. She also described the new features of the AAS bulletin board. Another Valnetine Table will be held in the future.


C.  Ben 10:45

Ben asked Livia to bring information about the Hamster issue to the next meeting.

I just want to charge Livia to bring any information about the outstanding bill with the Hamster.


D.  Junior Council Class Project 10:48

They will be holding a Build your Own Sled competition to be held on a hill that does not prohibit sledding.

E.  Julie 10:51

She wished a committee to advertising IT department’s requests energy, Internet slowdown, etc.


X. Adjournment 10:55


AAS SENATE MINUTES: Monday 2/3/03 9 PM, Converse Hall Cole Assembly Room

17th Meeting of the ’02-’03 AAS Senate – 2nd Meeting of Spring 2003


I. Call to Order (9:05 PM)

II. Attendance

III. Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Phil Fitz, Director of Information Technology (9:06)

Dr. Fitz: There is a group called IT policy committee that includes faculty, administrators and students. Bandwidth is a perennial concern. WE have close to double the bandwidth per student. It isn’t that we don’t have enough bandwidth; it’s all getting used. We have doubled bandwidth every year. There is some economy of scale and it does not cost double but close to it. We are at about 12 times the cost now than I first got here. If we keep on increasing bandwidth, the entire budget will go to bandwidth. That cant happen. We are packet shaping. We look at the traffic going it in and out, and try to regulate. Email, and telnet will have high priority. Peer to peer, and file sharing and such things are at the bottom of that priority. When Napster started, it tied up traffic. So we increased bandwidth and packet sharing. There are two costs, one to send it to Springfield, and the Internet companies. The cost there has no economy of scale, so the five colleges have put out a bid to put out fibers. WE are looking at that, to decide whether or not to fork over millions of dollars now or later. Part of the reason bandwidth gets sucked up is program like kazaa, all your files are exposed to the rest of the world. Next summer, we are thinking of putting up a firewall; you will be able to do anything you want, but the world cannot get to you. It would prevent some virus, and hackers. We have a very good backbone, the files just move, so outsiders can take advantage of that. And these file sharing programs, they check for high Internet speed, and contact us first. Also we have found that 40% of our bandwidth was going to one computer. We want the bandwidth more equally shared by individual throttling.

Student: Perhaps you should advertise for people to turn off computers when not in use.

Luke: Is there a downside to the server?

Dr.: Well some faculty members intentionally set up servers and share files with outside colleagues.

Techo: What about web pages?

Dr.: It will depend on how you are using it.

Blake: Is there any consequences for the person who sucks up 40% of the bandwidth?

Dr.: It’s very staff intensive, and have called students before. We don’t have actually penalties though.

Stacy: What about use within the internal network?

Dr.: Its not very expensive. Computers have become powerful and we probably have to upgrade our backbone again. I welcome any other thoughts or comments. I hope you can encourage people to shut down computers when not in the room. Individual throttling needs careful testing, and firewall is definitely a summer project. As for email upgrade, we were on Exchange 5.5, like a 10 year old program. A year ago we planned on upgrading to 2000. We were going to do it around July but there were too many things that needed attention so we opted for January. You had problems in Nov and Dec because 5.5 was just dying. Transition was going rather well. We were going chunk of people at night. It was going very well, and the last 30 people, who had a lot of stuff in their email, and everything went to hell. It was a load problem. He last bunch of patches fixed most of them, and it has to with people with old programs. Hopefully the old server will be shut off by next week. People have been working very hard.

Andre: In the transition, were any emails lost?

Dr.: No, but there have been some delays.

Mike: I can’t access any of my old mail.

Dr.: Call the student help desk. Third thing to address is grade and class program. The old software was designed in the seventies. We were planned to get on commercial software. We began implementation in 1999. The Registrar’s office was the last to be implemented. Over the next six months, the registrar’s office will be adjusting. We will be evaluating where to go with the within this year. There will be a major evaluation process next year. This new system has new tools to allow a lot of things.

IV. Announcements 9:41

Luke: Could faculty committee reps give their name to Bob or me? Next week we will use that as a departure point for discussion. If anyone is interested in energy stuff, see me after the meeting.

Ben: Election is scheduled for February 25th. If you know of any vacancies, please inform me.


V. Minutes: 1/27/03 9:42

Dan Berch. Not Birch.

The Minutes are approved.


VI. Reports of Ad-Hoc Committees 9:43

Caleb: Diversity seat. We want a meeting here at 9 on Thursday. I would like it if everyone here came. But if need be we can move it.

Luke: This is a committee that never met in full. Disciplinary and honor code. It never met. I motion that we disband it or reconstitute it.

Mike: The college council discussion on these issues, and we were hoping to use people on this committee. I will head it up.

Ryan: The NY Times readership committee, we met once. We have another meeting with them next Friday. We convinced President Gerety, and he wasn’t very convinced. And he promised to deliver a few copies to Schwemm’s and Valentine. If we really want it going have a student survey, and 124-133 said they will read more if available. He said we needed to show need, and we did that by asking questions about Joe Millionaire and UN weapons inspector. The results were what we wanted and hopefully President Gerety will approve. And if AAS is willing to pay for one out of five papers, then he may look more favorably upon it.

Lincoln: So there is an economy of scale, and other papers will not be available?

Ryan: It is possible, but not at the same good price.

Bob: Other committees?

Commission on Culture on Morality

AAS clothing- putting together prototype

Distinguished teaching award- done. We will do that at some point.

Valentine Faculty and student week: It went really well, and still trying to exact number of professors who came. Probably 100 students ate. It was receptive, and advertise it more next time. It was really successful.

Bradley Shuttle: We were thinking about putting up a survey, and if they will use it again. People asked for better times and more times.

Direct deposit: I contacted the comptroller, and it may be worked on next Fall. It may already be in the process. Will return with more info.

Campus Publication Review: We will talk to more groups.

AAS Visibility: Will be discussed in new business.


VII. Report of the Treasurer 9:55

Livia: We have insurance, the first time in history. If we ever get sued, hopefully we will get covered. Its 7500 dollars. The books are almost entirely closed. It will be ready for the audit this year. That is also taken care of. We will have finalized numbers.

This week’s request.

For conference at Yale. $75

Amherst College Democrats. For a banner. We are approving it.

Progressive Student Alliance. For the rally. It will subsidize everyone.

The Fencing Club. $1000 for a coach.

Michael Allison. 3-D $900.

Amherst College Republicans. We did not grant any money, because they had no contract.

BSU. We have already granted them 2500. We are requesting more information.

Social Council, but did say for what.

Amherst Hamster


VIII. Special Orders 10:02

C.  BC Funding Recommendations 10:02

Jonah: We requested 12000, and granted 60%. We are expanding. We want to reach all the students and faculty, and the town of Amherst. WE need at least 2000 per issue. We are going with a different publishing company, but we need an absolute minimum of 2000 per issue. I would ask for at least 10000 towards publishing. The group is now 60 members. I really want this to spread to the Five colleges. We are growing exponentially, and want it to grow to be a national publication. This funding is key. I am hoping for 10000 and the couple hundred dollars for advertising.

Matt: Is there any proof that there is interest in Mt. Holyoke or Smith, and town or faculty? And how would you get it for them?

Hamster: We will have a liaison at Mt. Holyoke next year. We can build our base there, and once we establish our product then we can ask for funding there. It will appeal to outsiders in the community, because we try to appeal to ideas and experiences that are related to colleges. We have writers from all over the country.

Lincoln: I think its great that you have such success. I admire your ambitions, and think it wonderful, but I would like Livia to respond to this.

Livia: Possibly it is, but I will say it doesn’t make that much sense. It could set a precedent; I think the concept of having these funding requests is for a plan. I don’t think funding one in full will do anyone any good.

Ben: I have two concerns. The first is that, the money comes from the student activities fee. There are two publications that reach outside of campus. Amherst Review and the Amherst Student get money from outside sources. I don’t think its fair for Hamster to be funded for reaching outsiders. I want to amend Maria’s motion to defer the vote until next week until Livia has more information.

Ali: I don’t think this amendment is a good idea. It will take too much time. If we are funding them at least 60%, then they can at least get 3 issues out. I think we shouldn’t hold them back. I don’t think we should drown them with meaningless talk.

Angie: Have you sought outside sources?

Hamster: We went to the English dept, but we were redirected here, and they can’t give us much monetary support.

Dan: Did Barry O’Connell or the president’s office had any suggestions?

Hamster: They said do it through AAS.

Mike: What is the outstanding bill issue?

Hamster: I think this semester is different from last semester.

Livia: Then we need to move it to the next meeting.

Bob: I am calling the question. 10:19 If you are voting yes, you are putting off Hamster recommendations, if no, then you will discuss it now. Too close to call, so will take hand votes. 8-15-2. Amendment fails. Now vote for passing the BC funding. 10:21

Luke: Can we adopt part of the recommendation through amending?

Bob: It is out of order.

Lincoln: Can’t we vote on recommendation, and then do something afterwards?

Bob: Have something next week? Let me take a straw vote. Who thinks this is a worthwhile discussion.

Hamster: We can’t publish with 60%. We need at least 2000.

Blake: I motion to increase funding to 9500?

Bob: No discussion.

Ben: I motion to extend the meeting to 11 or earlier.

Bob: Passes.

Ben: How can we just give more funding and ignoring Livia’s recommendation? I ask that we somehow move this issue to next week.

Bob: Question has been called. This fails, no increase in funding. Any other motions?

Ryan: I just want them to get this issue out.

Bob: This is completely out of order. It won’t change anything.

Mike: Was his motion proposed earlier?

Livia: It was discussed by Lincoln and taken out.

Hamster: Can we at least reallocate the money?

Lincoln: Would Jonah redraw his request and come back?

Hamster: I would love to but really can’t.

Bob: Question has been called. 10:31

SEE VOTE 1 BELOW. Motion to pass Budgetary Committee weekly funding recommendations: PASSES 17-4-5


D.  Election: Committee on Discipline, 1 Female Vacancy 10:33

Lincoln: The committee on Discipline is basically self-explanatory, and meets as necessary. Can be difficult, but also rewarding.

Bob: One female vacancy, are there nominations?

Rocio: accept nomination and drop election.

Bob: voice vote. 10:35

Ben: I will handle other vacancies after the election.

Andre: I advocate we get a parliamentarian.

Ben: Maybe we should have the election committee now.

Luke: Without Rocio there are four people but it should be five.

Andre: Doesn’t Dan need to serve in a committee?

Ben: I want a full senate before we fill all the committees.

Bob: We will hold that off.


IX. New Business 10:38

F.  First-Year Class Council Project (Caleb Deats ’06)

Caleb: We want to do a card service for Valentine’s Day. Would you like to make this your all-class benefiting project? I motion to make this all school benefiting project.

Bob: Voice vote. 10:40


G.  Meeting with Gerety (Alex Linden ’04)

Alex: I was speaking with Sam, and he said that no one has spoken with President Gerety, and if there is interest, I will arrange a meeting with President Gerety. Can I have a show of hands as to who would be interested in that? I will let you know. The second point is that, if you noticed the bulletin board, we have a “did you know..?” section. So send me a blurb so people can know what we are actually doing. I will do another Valentine table. I will try to find a date that works.

Geoff: What about Senator of the week?

Alex: I don’t want to put anyone on the spot. We are trying to make the board as fun as possible. I’ll take any suggestions.

Luke: Can we try to get him involved in our projects? I’d rather get him involved, get him to speak at something. I think it perpetuates some criticisms.

Alex: I think we should present him with what we can do.


H.  Ben 10:45

I just want to charge Livia to bring any information about the outstanding bill with the Hamster.

Ali: Does Livia want to do this?

Livia: It is relevant.

Ben: The motion is given the opportunity present information about the bills from last semester.

Blake: Do we really need a motion?

Andre: You said it was in the process of being taken care of?

Livia: I update you.

Bob: Passes.


I.  Junior Council Class Project 10:48

Luke: Build your own sled competition. Speed and creativity. I don’t anticipate injuries being a problem.

Andre: Sledding down Memorial Hill is illegal.

Luke: Hill to be decided. Details can be worked out. Motion is to pass the said Junior Council Project for all school benefiting project.

Bob: Vote 10:50. Passes.


J.  Julie 10:51

I want to formally charge the IT committee to advertise.

Caleb: I wouldn’t know how to go about that.

Luke: In terms of energy related issues, and we are working on an educational project, and it could be incorporated that way.

Julie: I just wanted to charge an already existing committee to just look into it.

Bob: Vote 10:55 Wise use campaign. Passes.


X. Adjournment 10:55








Vote Description:

1) Motion to pass Budgetary Committee weekly funding recommendations: PASSES 17-4-5




Julie Babayan


Ben Baum


Dan Berch


Rocio Digon


Mike Flood


Jesse Freedman


Will Johnson


Stacey Kennard




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






1) These are big weeks.

This Week:

1) Dr. Fitz, Director of Information Technology, comes to speak to us and hear our feedback regarding Information Technology at Amherst. Prepare constructive questions so we can make this as productive as possible.

2) All ad-hoc committees are reporting back to the Senate with their progress, and any resolution text that needs to be voted upon.

Next Week:

Let’s make sure that the Faculty-Student Committee All-School Forum meeting on Monday, February 10 is tight. This means that we need one point-person from each committee who can deliver a good summary of what their committee’s been doing this academic year, and what’s ahead. If we do that, good discussion will almost inevitably follow.


2) In other news, Dean Haynes and I met with the Five College Student Coordinating Board (FCSCB) this past week. This group is the product of some of the discussions that took place at the beginning of last semester in our Senate and the four others. Remember that this is the group that Kate Lang spoke to us about at our 9/23/02 meeting: “Up through the mid 1980s, an active and engaged Five College Student Coordinating Board lobbied successfully on behalf of students for open cross registration, a more comprehensive transportation system to link the campuses, open borrowing, and the meal exchange.” The group fell apart in the mid-‘80s, but is currently being resuscitated.


The FCSCB now has an updated constitution, and the group’s purpose is essentially to sponsor events that bring Five College students together, encourage students to make full use of the opportunities and resources of all the campuses, and improve communication about issues each campus faces and how they might be addressed. Five College, Inc. has agreed to match all monetary contributions from each of the five student governments, so let’s try to do our part to make this thing work well.





Vice-President Bob Razavi ’03


1) 9/2/02

Commission on Culture and Morale

Ali Hassan, Ali Sacks (resigned), Niti Sardana (resigned), Livia Angiolillo, Mihalis Diamantis


2) 9/16/02

New York Times Readership Program

Rocio Digon, Ryan Park, Ali Hassan, Stacey Kennard


3) 9/23/02

AAS Clothing

Ali Hassan, Mike Flood


4) 10/7/02

Ad-Hoc Exploratory Committee on Community Building, Research of Disciplinary Policy, and Student-Based Disciplinary Code/Honor Code

Eric Osborne (abroad), Luke Swarthout, Stacey Kennard, Kay Bradley, Mike Flood, Mihailis Diamantis, Ian Shin, Angie Han, Maria Jones, Niti Sardana (resigned)


5) 11/4/02

Distinguished Teaching Award

Mike Flood, Rocio Digon, Angie Han


6) 11/4/02

Valentine Hall Faculty-Student Week

Geoff Walter, Andre Deckrow, Mike Flood, Ryan Park, Rocio Digon, Rania Arja


7) 11/11/02

Bradley Shuttle

Maria Jones, Rania Arja, Paige Wallace, Techo Kim, Dice O (removed)


8) 11/11/02

Direct Deposit

Mike Flood, Stacey Kennard, Julie Babayan, Will Johnson


9) 11/18/02

Campus Publications Review

Ali Sacks (resigned), Andre Deckrow, Mike Flood, Rocio Digon, Geoff Walter, Chris Sorrentino (removed), John Lian


10) 12/2/02

AAS Visibility

Paige Wallace, Caleb Deats, Ben Baum, Ali Hassan, Angie Han


11) 1/27/03

Alternatives to Diversity Seats

Elan Ghazal, Matt Vanneman, Caleb Deats, Julie Babayan



Agenda Policy: 1) Send submissions to VP Bob Razavi (brazavi@amherst.edu) before Friday noon. 2) Enclose a succinct “primer” if necessary, including resolution text for vote. 3) Receive Agenda 48 hours prior to meeting.

*NEW* Attendance Policy (per semester): 1) 3 Unexcused Absences = automatic removal. 2) VP may allow 0-1 Excused Absences. 3) Always notify VP ASAP. 4) Policy applies to E-Branch & Senate; JC attendance is optional.