AAS SENATE MINUTES (Summarized): Monday 11/4/02 9 PM, Converse Hall Cole Assembly Room

11th Meeting of the ’02-’03 AAS Senate


I. Call to Order (9:10 PM)

II. Attendance


III. Announcements 9:11 PM

Bob announced the changing of the locks for the AAS office. Senators with keys were told to return their keys for a $10 refund within the week, as the new locks will be placed some time in the next week.


IV. Minutes (10/21/02 & 10/28/02) 9:12 PM

Mistakes in the minutes were found: A speaker (Bob) was incorrectly named and the Republican diversity seats had failed. The senate approved both minutes.

V. Reports

A.  President 9:13

Dave encouraged the building of community and to address this issue as soon as possible as the semester is ending, and only three more meetings remain. He suggested an informal Valentine lunch in which students can join in on dialogue, discuss, and brainstorm new ideas. After some discussion of possible times, the senate decided to meet on Friday at 1.


B.  JC Chair 9:16

Jun announced that the JC held review and recognition for over 60 clubs with 25 more to see. The senate requested a copy of the JC review and recognition sheet via email.


C.  Secretary 9:17

Alex requested that the directory would be proofread, and announced the second AAS Valentine tabling for next Thursday. She requested participation by all senators.


D.  Treasurer

Livia distributed a Summary of the Spring 2003 Budget, and made the following budgetary recommendations.



Piseas 177.50 for a slam poetry constant

ISA $315 granted in full

Paris Wallace 1000 for business program, undergraduate interterm. Recommended 962.



FPF $150 for speaker

Fencing $20 for tournament fee

Stduents for Sensible Drug Policy $20

La Causa $30


VI. Special Orders: BC Funding Recommendations 9:28

The BC recommendations were passed by a roll call vote at 9:29.

SEE VOTE 1 BELOW. Motion (Mike Flood) to pass Budgetary Committee funding recommendations: PASSES 27-0-0


VII. Unfinished Business 9:30 PM

A.  Oath of Office Proposal (Ben Baum ’03)

Ben Baum proposed an oath of office for the incoming senators and suggested that it would be incorporated in the bylaws. Once the senators are newly elected, they would be strongly encouraged to take an oath from each other as a mean of accountability and inter-branch meshing. A discussion arose among the senators about who should take oaths from who, and whether the newly elected senate should take the oath from the previous senate. Julie made a motion to be incorporated it into the bylaws, and a short discussion was held. Lincoln asked why this oath is necessary. Ben explained that the senate is bound to the constitution and since a formal accountability does not exist it would be a good idea. A voice vote at 9:42 passed the motion.

Blake asked if a penalty existed for not taking the oath. Since this is not a constitutional amendment, the oath is voluntary and cannot limit your powers.

Bob requested that a motion be made to limit speaker time to one minute for all 2002-2003 meetings. Elan responded that this was a bad idea because he believed that such a limit would put a value on what people are saying. Some concerns were expressed for the valuing of the minority view, and its possible counter-productivity. Other senators argued that it works for efficiency, and prevent needless verbosity and redundancy. A minute is a very long time. The question was called by Luke at 9:52. A roll call vote was held. The motion failed because it did not have 2/3rd majority.

SEE VOTE 2 BELOW. Motion (Mike Flood) to adopt rule to limit speaker’s time to 1 minute for all ’02-’03 Senate meetings: FAILS 16-11-3 (2/3 required)


In response to the failure of the motion, Mike Flood motioned to observe a minute of silence to appreciate the length of a minute. Elan thought it was ridiculous, but a hand vote at 9:57 proved by 24-3-0 that people were interested in voting on this motion. When called to question, the motion failed in a simple majority voice vote.

Bob expressed sentiments of frustration and the need for efficiency in the organization. He believed the rule to be important enough to be brought up again in the future.


B.  Junior Class Council Project Proposal, All-School (see below) 9:59

Luke, in an effort to foster community between the students and the faculty, proposed a week when students bring faculty members to lunch at valentine. Three students will invite a professor to lunch, in which other students can freely join the table. He asked for an endorsement from the senate, funding to pay for the professor’s lunch ($4/professor), and students to organize the event. Since it is not necessarily considered a Junior class project, the money would come from the AAS. Mike flood called the question to get the money from the AAS administrative funds, and to get students elected on the organizing group. It passed by a simple majority at 10:11. Geoff, Andrew, Mike, Ryan, Rocio, and Rania were elected.


C.  Sophomore Class Council Project Proposal 10:16

Elan presented the sophomore class projected. He proposed that sleds will be provided in the campus center to be checked out with ID cards. He also proposed a talent show/karaoke contest in which the deans and the president would be the judges. Prizes will be given out. He also announced that they are working on a class CD win which the music from the class of 2005 can be compiled. Luke motioned to pass the projects, and passed by a voice vote at 10:18.


VIII. New Business 10:19

A.  Distinguished Teaching Award (Mike Flood ’03)

Mike requested to revive the Distinguished Teaching Award, established by the then SGO, to honor great professors. Since one was not give last year, he proposed that one two awards, one for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003, will be give out. The e-board can select 5 nominees from the general student recommendations, and the senate can discuss it. It was passed at 10:22. Mike also requested a committee in which Mike, Rocio, and Angie were elected.


B.  AAS Sweats (Ali Hassan ’05) 10:25

Mike announced that the designs will be available next week..


C.  Motion By Matt 10:26

Matt Vanneman motioned that the reports of the E-Board, except that of the treasurer be made via e-mail no less than 48 hours before the meeting. In response to the e-boards resignation on the matter, Matt amended the motion so that emails will be sent out, and time will be allotted for the e-board to answer questions or bring new matters that may have risen in the 48 hours. Luke called it to question, and it was passed by a voice vote at 10:01


Luke requested that the minutes be summarized. After discussion, the minutes will be sent out in both full and summarized format. It was passed at 10:38.


IX. Adjournment 10:38


AAS SENATE MINUTES (Full): Monday 11/4/02 9 PM, Converse Hall Cole Assembly Room

11th Meeting of the ’02-’03 AAS Senate


I. Call to Order (9:10 PM)

II. Attendance


III. Announcements 9:11 PM

Bob: We are changing the locks for of the AAS office. I need everyone who has keys to return them. You will get your 10 dollars back.

Geoff: Will new keys be available?

Bob: Ten keys. Locks will be changed some time in the next week.


IV. Minutes (10/21/02 & 10/28/02) 9:12 PM

Republican diversity seat fails.

Bob not Ben, for 10/28

Minutes are approved


V. Reports

E.  President 9:13

Dave: We have three more meetings this semester. I encourage everyone to address issues of community. Not a lot has been done with community, and begin to shape the community here. I would like to take a straw vote on whether or not we can meet for an informal lunch or dinner, to discuss and brainstorm and other students can engage in dialogue with us.

Rocio: Maybe meet in smaller groups?

Ben: I don’t think many people can show up?

Luke: Can this be delivered through email?

Dave: I just wanted to know if there was a general consensus.

Mike: Friday at 1?

Julie: It would be a good idea to have two groups.

Luke: I say do one at Friday at 1.

Dave: Friday at 1 it is.


F.  JC Chair 9:16

Jun: We saw over 60 clubs. We still have 25 more to go.

Denied: Amherst AIDS and HIV awareness

The American Founding

Approved: 3D

Will email the information.


G.  Secretary 9:17

Alex: We have a contact info sheet. Please make any changes if necessary, if not, initial. We will have our second Valentine table ext Thursday. I will pass around a sign up sheet. We really need more people to volunteer. Please help out in one way or another.

H.  Treasurer

Livia: Did everyone get the Xerox?


Piseas 177.50 for a slam poetry constant

ISA $315 granted in full

Paris Wallace 1000 for business program, undergraduate interterm. Recommended 962.



FPF $150 for speaker

Fencing $20 for tournament fee

Stduents for Sensible Drug Policy $20

La Causa $30


Summary for Spring 2003 budget.

1625 students enrolled, for 289,250

- We do not have roll over figure yet.

- We will begin budgets this Sunday.

- SoCo requested for a permanent raise. Will make amends as seen necessary in the coming semester.


VI. Special Orders: BC Funding Recommendations 9:28

Vote 9:29 Roll call

27-0-0 Passes.


VII. Unfinished Business 9:30 PM

D.  Oath of Office Proposal (Ben Baum ’03)

Ben: Get the file from Ben

There is some sort of accountability with an oath of office. Three separate oaths of office. I just took it from the U.S congress and modified it. These will be taken at the end of the year when people are newly elected. They will come to the last meeting and they will take oath in front of us but to each other. Inter-branch meshing. Ideally, I will like to discuss this. I would like to add it to the bylaws. I don’t think it has to be a constitutional amendment.

Dave: Could you explain the rationale for oath taking.

Ben: Each will take oath from another branch. There are larger implications. The executive branch takes oath from the senior class chair.

Bob: The elect is the newly elected.

Ben: Even though the elections are staggered, the oath will occur at the last meeting of the senate. And they take the oath from the newly elected to each other.

Will: Technically, the senior class elect has not taken the oath yet. So it makes more sense for the e-branch to take the oath from the leaving senior chair.

Ben: Since these senior chairs will not be here for the term of the elected, it would have been more practical to take it from each other. It is for each other.

Dave: Would it make sense for the senior class-elect to take the oath first in front of everybody?

Ben: That doesn’t really work.

Christian: Why can’t the incoming Judiciary chair take it from the outgoing Judiciary chair and the new JC chair can administer it to everyone.

Ben: Then it would be someone in the past. I guess it is appropriate, but at the same time it has to be within the senate. Each branch is accountable to each other. No one is exalted. There is some sort of equality in it all.

Stacey: I don’t see there would be much harm for the first oath to be taken from some one else. I don’t think there would be some disaster. I don’t think this is a necessary point to be hung up on.

Julie: I am all for ethics but, I want to motion that we incorporate this into the bylaws.


Lincoln: Why do you think we need to separate ourselves from the rest of the student body? Why do you think we need a formal oath?

Ben: I don’t think we are more elevated than other students but since we are elected by the student body but we need to take this seriously. We need to hold to the constitution and we are bound to obey it. Since accountability doesn’t exist this may be a good way.

Vote 9:42 Voice


Blake: Is there a penalty for not taking the oath.

Ben: Since it is not a constitutional amendment, it is voluntary. It can’t limit your powers.


Bob: I want to limit speaker time to 1 minute for all 02-03 meetings. It requires 2/3 majority. Anytime we are in discussion, senators are limited in speaking time. This applies to discussion. Are there any motions?

Elan: It’s not a good idea because you are putting a value on what people have to say.

Maria: I agree with Elan. There have been concerns about efficiency, but if people have important things to say, they should not be limited.

Angie: I think the point is to encourage conciseness.

Andre: This motion assumes simplicity in everything. I don’t think you can always articulate in a minute.

Matt: A minute is a long time. If what you are saying is more important than a minute, people will yield time to you.

Alan: I think this can be counterproductive. May be a better idea to limit times you can speak.

Mike: We can suspend rules if necessary. If you can’t say things in a minute you shouldn’t be at Amherst.

Move Question.

Julie: Point of Information. Allow 15 second grace period.

Bob: Out of order.

Elan: You are limiting speaker’s time. You shouldn’t move quickly to a vote.

Vote 9:48 Arm Vote

Bob: A simple majority, but not 2/3rd majority, so we are still in discussion.

Elan: If limit senator’s time, you are over ruling the minority votes. If only way you can expand time is to majority vote, you limit the minority view.

Julie: Good idea, but if by any chance, I think we should have a 15 second grace period. So you can finish off your sentence before you get cut off.

Luke: I think people should be let known how much time has elapsed. I think time cap is better than incidents of speech. Call to question.


Vote 9:52 2/3rd majority required. Roll call.


Motion fails.


Mike: I move to observe a minute of silence to appreciate how long a minute really is.

Elan: This is a waste of time. Do it on your own time. We waste time all the time.

Mike: I think this will be a valuable exercise. Senate wastes time all the time.

Elan: This is ridiculous.

Anyone interested on voting on this motion.

Hands 9:57



Move to question

Vote simple majority 9:58 voice



Bob: This is frustrating. We only appear as a group to approve BC recommendation. I really think this rule is important. I know everyone can when forced to.


E.  Junior Class Council Project Proposal, All-School (see below) 9:59

Luke: There is not much community, and especially between students and faculty. We don’t have a chance to meet professors we wont be in a class with. I guess we can consider it an every student class project. I propose a faculty-student dining week at Valentine. Three students will invite a professor to lunch. Hope is that everyone will feel comfortable to sit at a table with these professors. It was very strongly approved by the Council. It is a pretty east project. We can make it a Amherst Community lunch or something. I am asking for:

- An endorsement from the senate.

- Funding for the faculty to eat in Valentine. $4 per professor. It will cost $600 for every professor.

-  I need four lead students to help organize.

If students knew that the faculty member were there to sit with, they would.

Ali: I think this is a fantastic idea. I would encourage it to be done in a less stressful academic week.

Andre: I really like the idea. I would like to make a friendly amendment that the four students be from each class.

Luke: I want at least four students. I don’t want to get hung up on that. I want to include a large number of freshmen. I want to get a lot of cultural groups get involved. I am conscious of the fact that freshmen may be uncomfortable.

Alan: Let people know not to interrupt private meetings.

Luke: Call it the AAS Valentine Hall Faculty-Student Week. It is not necessarily a junior class project. The money would come from all the classes.

Rocio: Why not administrators?

Luke: I don’t think anyone would mind if they were included.

Angie: Is there a separate junior class project?

Luke: I consider it a all school project but it is technically.

Mike: I propose to vote and get four students on it, and get money from each class.

Livia: If they want the AAS to pay for it, it can do that.

Mike: Can students get the money from the AAS administrative, and get 4 students elected. Call to question.

Vote 10:11 simple majority



Luke: I just want senators, and anyone else who wants to be in this committee can join.

Kay: Does this include faculty from the athletics department?

Bob: Geoff, Andre, Mike Flood, and Ryan are nominated.

Ali: I’d like to nominate any female members who are interested.

Geoff: I nominate Rocio.

Ali: I nominate Rania.

Luke: I don’t want to force anyone to do stuff.

Bob: six nominations, any other?


F.  Sophomore Class Council Project Proposal 10:16

Elan: We want to get sleds in the campus center. Maybe ten sleds. They can be checked out with ID cards. Is this covered by insurance? This is meant to be all school thing.

We want to have a talent show/karaoke with dinner or refreshments. We want to have top three prizes judged by deans and the president. We will give money prizes. We are also working on a class CD, where members from our class submit music they have done.

Luke: Motion to approve both of sophomore projects.

Vote 10:18 Voice



VIII. New Business 10:19

D.  Distinguished Teaching Award (Mike Flood ’03)

Mike: It was established by then SGO, to honor teacher who was a great professor. I think we should take up this again, 2001-2002 year and do one for 2003. I want recommendations for teachers, and then collect them and have the E-board review, and get it approved by the senate.

Jesse: Why do you want to limit to the e-board to make the recommendation.

Mike: I just imagined it as an ongoing thing. If you want it to be the whole senate, that could be done. They can weed it out to like 5. The e-board can make 5 recommendations and the senate can discuss it.

Lincoln: Object if anyone wants to discuss.

Vote 10:22



Mike: Can we get a small committee together to write the letter and such?

Nominations: Mike Flood, Rocio Digon, Angie Han


E.  AAS Sweats (Ali Hassan ’05) 10:25

Mike: we have some design for next week.


F.  Motion By Matt 10:26

Matt Vannemen: Move that report of the pres, vice, sec, and JC all made in writing and distributed electronically no more than 48 hours before the meeting.

Ben: I think there should be provisions.

Elan: Things may come up that they may announce at the meeting.

Lincoln: I feel that the E-board has issues that they need to address. Yield time to any e-board member.

Jun: I feel like those are the only times we have to speak.

Chris: I think discussion can happen. I think we need to reserve senate time for things that need to be discussed.

Jun: I disagree.

Matt: I amend my motion to still send emails, but the time be used to discuss anything and anything new.

Luke: Call

Vote 10:01 voice



Luke: I would like the minutes to be summarized.

Julie: I think this is a good idea. It is worthwhile to get a recap.

Stacey: I think it is important to have this in detailed record. Maybe send both out?

Ben: I agree with Luke. This is how major organizations do it.

Mike: I agree with Ben:

Maria: I want to hear what Esther has to say.

Luke: The minutes are problematic. As they don’t make sense. I request that Esther spend more time on it.

Matt: Those who want full record can request it.

Motion to have a paragraph form.

Vote 10:38



IX. Adjournment 10:38




Proposal for “Valentine Hall Faculty-Student Week”

- Senator Luke Swarthout ’04 –


Amherst College boasts a faculty whose academic interests and activities stretch well beyond the boundaries of our school, our town, our state and our country. We have a student body almost as expansive in its vision and equally as busy. One of the few negative consequences of our diverse interests and busy schedules is that they limit opportunities for casual interactions between faculty and students. Office hours and the newly expanded TYPO program offer excellent opportunities for students to become closer to professors they are already acquainted with but little chance of meeting faculty outside of their classes. Opportunities for students to interact casually with professors from disparate disciplines enrich the learning environment for students as well as professors. Moreover, that type of broad interaction ought be the goal of a liberal arts institution.


Problem: An absence of opportunities for students and professors to interact in a casual manner.


Solution: Professors eating lunch in Valentine Hall.


Most professors have busy lives filled with great responsibilities both personal and academic. Any request of their time such as this must take into account that their free time is precious to non-existent. Lunchtime is one of the more flexible points in the schedule of faculty. Although they vary the time and content of their lunches, most in fact use some portion of their day between 11 and 2 to consume food.


Plan: Faculty-Student Week in Valentine Hall

Professors currently do not eat in Valentine Hall for a number of reasons. One prominent reason is that there exists no guarantee that their excursion into the student-dining hall will be welcomed or that students will sit down to eat with them. President Gerety and Dean Lieber routinely eat by themselves or with students with whom they are already familiar. The reason for this is not surprising; it is an intimidating thing to sit down with a professor you don’t know let alone the president or the dean of students. It is equally intimidating however for a professor to sit alone in an area that is the domain of students.

Students must take the first step in inviting professors to Valentine, ensuring that should professors take time out of their schedules to eat with students they will in fact eat with students. Once two or three students are seated with a professor it is far more likely that other students, who know either the professor or a fellow student, will sit down.



By selecting students with different profiles and interests in different classes the likelihood that a student will see a friend sitting with a professor over the course of the week. Students are more likely to sit with students with whom they are acquainted thus diversity of student leaders is critical.

This plan provides a model that could be expanded and repeated. Ideally more students would volunteer to bring their favorite professors to lunch. Ideally students would sign up to take different professors on different days. Ideally this would be an event repeated over the course of the year to the point where bringing faculty into the dining hall no longer needed to be a special event but rather was an everyday occurrence.



Short-term: 60 student leaders involved

30 professors involved

150 students eating lunch with professors

Long-term Bi-Semesterly “Faculty-Student Weeks” in Valentine Hall

A point where professors feel comfortable eating in Valentine uninvited and students feel comfortable eating with faculty they don’t know.




Vote Description Summaries:

1) Motion (Mike Flood) to pass Budgetary Committee funding recommendations: PASSES 27-0-0

2) Motion (Mike Flood) to adopt rule to limit speaker’s time to 1 minute for all ’02-’03 Senate meetings: FAILS 16-11-3 (2/3 required)





Julie Babayan



Ben Baum



Rocio Digon



Mike Flood



Jesse Freedman



Will Johnson



Stacey Kennard



Ali Sacks






Kay Bradley



Mihailis Diamantis



Jay Gilliam



Lincoln Mayer



Eric Osborne



Blake Sparrow



Luke Swarthout



Geoff Walter






Elan Ghazal



Angie Han



Ali Hassan



Maria Jones



Ryan Park



Christian Sanchez



Niti Sardana



Paige Wallace






Rania Arja



Sameer Bashey



Caleb Deats



Andre Deckrow



Techo Kim



John Lian



Ian Shin



Matt Vanneman






Alan Vazquez (La Causa)



Chris Sorrentino (Pride A.)