AAS SENATE MEETING
Monday, November 10, 2003
II. Call to Order (9:07PM)
III. Approval of the Minutes
Ryan: On page 2 it should say “action” not “inaction”. Also, can we get a list of the recognized clubs on the minutes?
Elan: Andre, can you send Katrina a list of the minutes?
IV. Officer Reports
Ryan: Paris brought up at the meeting that we have an official AAS webmaster to work on club websites. We are planning on doing club archiving at some point. We wanted to look at an overview of the club’s planning for that semester and any inventory.
B. Vice President
Elan: If you are going to call the question, say it without saying a comment and then calling the question because it doesn’t give other people time to speak before you call the question. It would have bee nice to send out an all class email so that we can talk to our constituents. We are focusing a lot on BC recommendations and making amendments to the by laws. We should be doing things that are a little more substantive. Hopefully the senate can do more within the senate. Next week we will be having out meeting at 8 PM instead of 9 PM. I’m not sure yet where it is going to be, I am trying to resolve that.
C. JC Chair
Andre: Paperwork for review and recognition is due the 19th for all previously recognized clubs.
Paris: The executive committee on club sports – we sent out an email giving out assignments and a lot of those people aren’t here now so let’s postpone that to next week.
Mihailis: I would like the college council on the honor code committee to meet.
Andre: come to tea on Wednesday Lewis Sebring.
VI. Special Orders
A. BC Funding Recommendations
Matt: I move to pass these recommendations.
Mihailis: I would like to move to amend the allotment for the philosophy society. I would like to increase it from $10 to $50.
Mihailis: They want to have a philosophy journal to be passed out at a philosophy conference. Posters and fliers want to be made around the 5 colleges. They want it to be a professional image.
Matt: BC It was determined that we shouldn’t be advertising at all five colleges, it was unnecessary labor and paper to stuff mailboxes with fliers.
Mihailis: a lot of organizations at Amherst get funding for 5 college events. The central base would be here. I don’t know what statistics or criteria the bc uses to determe stuffing mailboxes is not effective. In so far as the glossy posters we are trying to promote a clean cut image
Matt: Call the question
Molibi: motion to fund in full Harlem renaissance for the BSU increasing it by 1800.
BSU: we tried to get funding for food from the president’s office but we didn’t get it.
Matt: the way we have decided to do food is would the event fail if there is no food.
Mira: they didn’t request this in the initial allocation and it seems unfair to ask us a week before the event.
Molibi: we aren’t obligated to fund anything at all. The point is that we have done this before. Some needed more and some need it less. They tried to find food in another place and we shouldn’t penalize them. Things like spring formal, I feel like food would add to the event. We have to question whether we want a good event or a decent event.
BSU: Harlem renaissance has food traditionally. The evening is about elegance, not just talent. The food is intrical to the event.
Jake: my constituents I have heard have heard this is a great event and we should support the food.
Dan: I would just like to hear a little more about how the food is intrical to the event.
TIM: it is set up to be a dinner/dance thing. Without it it would just be a talent show. It is one of the only semi formal events in the fall semester and the most well attended this semester. Also, we asked for money from the president’s office earlier than a week ago but they only got back to us now.
Mihailis: Harlem renaissance is a traditional event on campus. On the same lines that we give food to the spring formal I don’t see it as an exception to our policy given the size of the event.
Rania: the vacuum test was invented 2 days ago and just as a warning it would change the event. Even though it could still happen it would make it different. Secondly, we have to remember what our jobs are, we have to represent our constituents and not be so concerned with procedure.
Caleb: this is one of the nice things we have at Amherst and the food makes the event a little more cohesive.
Matt: popcorn at a movie adds to the event. If you allow subjectivity to come into play then the decisions become arbitrary. Arbitrary decisions are bad for our constituents. We have to assure we don’t go down a slippery slope.
Mira: I don’t think our constituents want us to pay 2300 on food. That is more than some clubs get for the entire semester. I motion to decrease the request to 800 from us.
Justin: to take a food request and cut it in half. You can’t take it away a week before and have the same food. You have to plan these things in advance.
Ethan: a dinner and a dance does not make sense with a dinner.
Molibi: call the question
Voting on amending the amendment to 800.
Mira: if someone tries to vote for someone is that enough to have someone leave the meeting?
Élan: if someone does it again they will have a half absence.
Caleb: my point was that the essence of our debate should be about the merits of the event and not whether the person met with all the formal requirements.
Levan: I think this is detrimental to the student body and we should vote on this now.
Rania: call the question.
Voting on increasing the allocation by 1800 to cover the food costs.
Caleb: Call the question
Mihailis: I would like to amend the ACF budget to increase it by 150.
Mihailis: I looked at the reason the bc had for refusing this money and it was that the individuals going to this event would take the pamphlet back with them. I think the reasoning is flawed bc we have funded things that are individual.
Paris: we aren’t paying for sweatshirts for a team that are for individuals. We would be paying for them to get books.
Mihailis: are they books, are the intrical to the speech?
Paris: they are pamphlets that you have to buy to see the speaker.
Matt:Call the question
Mihailis: objection. I’m sorry we need to draw this out but I think this isn’t any different than funding a ski lift ticket.
Matt: this isn’t a competition or a club sport.
Mihailis: they are paying 5 dollars for the pamphlets so it is like paying “dues”.
Levan: is this a self help type of speech?
Paris: I don’t think that was the case. Someone is coming to speak and they do have materials that are part of their speech. They may or may not be intrical to the speech.
Mihailis: this is the largest event the acf holds this semester.
Dan: it was my understanding that paying for the pamphlet is part of the event.
Molibi: call the question/
Voting on increasing the ACF budget by 150.
Matt: Call the question.
Dan: I object. I just want to know if I am asked by my constituents what the justification is for funding food for the Harlem renaissance what I am supposed to say.
Elan: I am going to call this out of order because it doesn’t pertain to the bc funding recommendations specifically.
Voting on bc funding recommendations.
Marco: I wanted to bring up if we could possibly have a committee or do something along the lines what our policy is so that we can decide what it is. We spend a lot of time talking about this every meeting.
Ethan: it has been clarified. We cut unnecessary food. We use vacuum test.
Jake: we have to vote how we think our constituents want us to.
Molibi: the best thing you can do is summarize the arguments we made to your constituents.
B. BC Report on budgets submission process
Molibi: We set the deadline for spring 2004 to nov 5th. We posted the forms online and you have to fill it out. It was accessible to everyone. Then they had to meet with the bc representative. Some of the major problems we ran into is that we didn’t have a complete list of recognized clubs. We didn’t know if we had everyone covered. Some clubs don’t have email accounts and we didn’t know who to contact. Paris had to take care of that and he did the best he could. Then we had the whole problem of review and recognition. Clubs were recognized two days before budgets were due and we had to extend out deadline to the Friday of that week and none of these clubs had specific representatives. It was a huge mess and we had to struggle to get this done. So far no problem with the submission process. Now, things we looked at to make this better. We want to start this earlier. We need to try to work with the jc better so that we have the same information. Communication from the jc and the bc is really important. Review and recognition has to be completed. The constitution subsection b says that it has to continue throughout the year. Basically we need to talk about when it would be completed by and when we want our budgets in.
Andre: review and recognition being continuous was added to the revisions this semester. This will come up later when ryan gives his amendment for the bylaws.
Justin: what does it mean to be continuous review and recognition?
Andre: we will look at a few clubs each week as supposed to looking at every club one evening.
Dave: I was confused what the practical timeline is with continuous and needs to be completed.
Molibi: by completed we mean that they should have gone through all the clubs for that semester by the time budgets are submitted.
Paris: they didn’t know the procedures and that was part of the problem. The jc and bc should just get together and discuss it. Matt: the other problem is that if new clubs aren’t recognized within 4 weeks of the budget submitting process it gives the bc nothing to go on.
C. RIAA AD HOC COMMITTEE
ryan: we sent out a letter to dean leiber and willis bridgmen and I spoke to dean leiber about the possibility about the school as an institution for setting up some sort of legal framework of file sharing at Amherst college. One is at penn state and is basically that they have a contract with napster and through them they can listen to any music bc they can’t actually download it onto the computer and it is 10 a student for the 4 years. The other one is mit where they exploit a loophole in copyright technology and so it failed. So basically, I feel personally that it is not worth the legal and fiscal issues to go further with it.
jAke: the whole I tunes thing is the same kind of loophole that mit was trying to do.
Roz: there is a version of I tunes where you can purchase a song for 99 cents a song.
Mira: the reason we didn’t know much about the harlem renaissance thing is because they didn’t tell us. I think it is a lot better to do that because we are a lot more informed and we can help them have the event.
Paris: I think a lot of people take for granted what the procedures are this year. Last year there were no reports.
Matt: it isn’t difficult. It requires them to come for 10 minutes of their time if they are confused. It is not fair for clubs who have their act together to be treated the same way as clubs who do not.
D. Dining service committee report
Ian: we got an email from ryan asking for a report. The committee couldn’t start working until mid October. We have narrowed it down to valentine hours and food availability after 7:30 PM. It isn’t a faculty committee. We meet with them every now and then as a courtesy. It is not an ad hoc committee bc food should be a constant concern to the aas.
Andre: how does the role of this committee differ from the committee valentine has created?
Ian: they are ineffective. There needs to be something with more regular input from the students.
Paris: is there any way you can combine with them?
Ian: our meetings are open.
Paris: I guess it just seems kind of duplicative.
Ian: in terms of combining I think valentine as an institution has their own direction and we as students have ours.
Molibi: they are representing the student body and then they go to them to find out what they can do. We aren’t being productive right now.
Paris: it sounds very speculative. It makes sense if you could ally yourselves with them.
VII New business
A. 5 college program board
Ryan: This board existed in the 70s and they did a lot of good things together. It was for the student govts of the 5 colleges to meet and discuss the problems they share. It dissolved a while ago and at the beginning of last year it started up again. It has the same mission as it did before. What it is up to right now is the 5 college dance party. Personally I don’t feel that this adds anything to social programming and I would like to ask the senate for their support in that. It is an institution that has a 2500 budget for the year and doesn’t have the means or the resources to add to social programming in the 5 colleges. I would like the senate to voice their support for me asking them to move away from social programming.
Mira: move toward what then?
Ryan: maps, etc
Élan: I don’t really understand how the senate has anything to do with us?
Ryan: we are completely involved in it.
Matt: I move to support the president in making more effective programming.
Dan: I would like to make a symbolic motion for the senate to support the president.
B. review and recognition bylaw
Ryan: this is a bylaw amendment aimed at solving/improving some of the things Molibi was talking about
Ryan: this process doesn’t really refer to any specific process.
Marco: is this coming with the backing of the jc?
Andre: im supportive of it
Matt: I move to pass this.
Matt: I move to change in the second sentence the number 2 to the number six
Matt: this is good because it forces students to do something before they get to the bc.
Avi: I move to make this 4
Matt: I don’t think 3 weeks of programming is enough to prove themselves.
Molibi: I think we are neglecting the fact that review and recognition is continuous. I guess the second part cancels that. I feel like we should have the whole constitution and bylaws in mind.
Andre: would you like the jc to come back with its recommendation?
Mira: can we set a time limit on this? Can you do this by next week?
Dave: I move to move this to next week
C. by law amendment
Dan: It seemed to me that it would settle a lot of concerns about fiscal responsibility. The students want to know that they are involved in the big purchases. No one really cares about the smaller ones but the one re couldn’t stop hearling about last semester was the money spent for the spring formal.
Molibi: why 14000? I hesitate to adopt something in the bylaws that constrict the future senates.
Dan: the reason I think it needs to be in the bylaws is that we have never done that. We have done huge allotments of money this semester and there hasn’t been a strong sense in the senate where they go to their constituents. I don’t think anyone’s constituents would be against this information.
Roz: my only reservation is that there are other groups on campus that have big ticket items and that we as senators have to decide among ourselves how money should be spend. We essentially represent them.
Dan: I don’t question that. This is discretionary funding. If the student body has a notion of an event they want to spend a lot of money on then that’s fine. I think we should know what they think is worth funding.
Paris: I think what you are saying is a realy good idea but there may be other ways. We could send bc recs with the aas weekly mailings. This would really only effect club sports too. I think this is a problem but hopefully this is something we can fund in the club sports committee as well.
Matt: this idea is very good in spirit but it is impractical since no one votes. The impact of this that the only people who will vote are the people that care who are the people that want it.
Élan: the bc recs are on the new Athenian and the daily jolt every weekend.
Jake: I think this is a fantastic idea and I am all about accountability. People seem to care about these big ticket items and that is when they pay attention and will vote. I would propose an amendment where it lowered to 8000.
Ethan: I hate this idea. We would have the senate and the entire student body micromanaging the bc.
Mihailis: is this a friendly or a hostile amendment.
Justin: I agree with ethan. We are basically picking on club sports and big ticket items like program board. I could not find any athletic dept in the country that funded club sports.
Marco: I don’t think anyone here is trying to raise big disrespect to the bc we know that they are very dedicated. I don’t think it is inappropriate when we are making big allotments to ask the student body.
Mira: I think it is impractical for all the reasons everyone has said. We want to reward groups that have their act together and I don’t think students want to be bothered and we have seen that they don’t vote.
Mihailis: the bc is only 8 people and I think we need to get a broader report. It just seems logical that this would apply to club sports only because it does involve them, not bc they are club sports but bc they have large requests.
Ryan: it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to touch on club sports.
Dan: at the heart of this issue, I would almost like to wait for everyone to be here bc the bc is all here and a lot of other people aren’t. I don’t feel conformable giving out a lot of money giving out a huge amount of money and representing my constituents.
Molibi: we are tying hands and making a bylaw. Our role as the senate is to gather all the information we can from our constituents and taking a survey could not be all that bad. If you take it to the vote it is another thing.
Ryan: point of order: can we discuss jake’s original motion?
Rania: we are bc members every Wednesday night but when we walk into this meeting on Monday night we are foremost a senator.
Matt: I move to commit this decision to the bc.
Matt: this needs to be thought about more to iron out the impracticalities. The junior class only had 66 people vote in the general election. The point is that this should be committed to someone else having not had a good discussion.
Paris: as treasurer now, I will say that any request over 14000 we will put it off after a week so we can have more discussion on it until this has been thought out a little more.
Ryan: umass has about 2.5% of the population vote in their elections and so our problem is not that bad. The senate should decide it is a huge issue and it should not be committed to the bc.
Andre: I don’t see a problem committing it to the bc. The point of doing this is so that someone can look into the issue in depth and bring it back to the senate. I think we should move that someone else look at the recommendation.
Richta: I amend so that it is a 3 from the jc and 4 from the bc to be determined from within the committee.
Ethan: I move the question
Voting on whether to commit the question on a referendum to the bc and jc joint committee.
Dan: I would like to make a request in this committee that you guys have this within 2 weeks. The senate can only veto a request as the amendment stands now. It is only really going to the students when it is a large sum of money and I just ask you to address that.
Paris: can we invite dan on the committee?
Adjournment (11:05 PM)
That after any senate vote to approve 17,000 or more for any one event, a student wide vote must be taken in which 50% of the respondents must vote yes before such a motion can be passed.