AAS SENATE MEETING

Monday, April 5, 2004

 

I. Attendance

SENIOR SENATORS

10

Livia Angiolillo

X

Jim Beck

/

Kay Bradley

X

Mihailis Diamantis

X

Lincoln Mayer

U

Preston Scheiner

U

Luke Swarthout

X

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

Ethan Davis

X

Rosalyn Foster

/

Jin-Young Kim

X

Arpan Podduturi

X

Daniel Reiss

U

Christian Sanchez

X

David Scherr

X

Justin Sharaf

U

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

Rania Arja

X

Taamiti Bankole

X

Caleb Deats

X

John Lian

X

Stephen Scriber

X

Mira Serrill-Robins

X

Ian Shin

X

Matt Vanneman

X

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

Richa Bhala

X

Avi Das

X

Noah Isserman

/

Marco Locascio

U

Gloria Monfrini

X

Levan Moulton

X

Christina Ryu

X

Jacob Thomas

U

TOTAL SENATORS

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

Elan Ghazal

X

Ryan Park

X

Ryan Smith

X

Di Shui

X

Paris Wallace

/

LEGEND:

 

 

 

 

 

x = Present

 

 

 

 

E = Excused Absence

 

 

U = Unexcused Absence

 

/ = Half an Absence

 

 

 

II. Call to Order (9:03 PM)

 

III. Approval of the Minutes (9:04 PM)

Matt: Motion to approve the minutes.

Christina: Second.

Minutes are passed by unanimous consent.

 

IV. Officer Reports (9:05 PM)

A. President

Ryan Park: We went to the hunger cleanup and helped fundraise. I talked to Stan about the ashtrays and he says he is still talking to Charri about where to put them.

B. Vice President

Elan: The Student didn't want to do another party. If you want to have an AAS party you can talk to me after the meeting

 

V. Announcements (9:07 PM)

Kay: I have a sign-up sheet for the sweatpants.

Matt: It is elections time. We will be having Speech Night here on Thursday at 9 PM. We will have elections for e-board on that Tuesday. Senators, you have a mandatory meeting two weeks from today here.

Mira: Program Board is bringing Kinsey Sticks. They are four guys in drag and they are really good and make up their own songs. It is Monday at 7 PM.

Dave: John Glen will be speaking on Wednesday.

Mira: All students are invited Friday April 23rd to the Millionth Volume Celebration. We will be handing out "friends of the library" black mugs, one to every student. Professor Prichard will give an address. Students are invited to the reception after.

 

VI. Special Orders (9:08 PM)

A. BC Funding Recommendations

Requestor

Request

Recommended

Allocated

Pride Alliance

$29.70

$29.70

$29.70

Bolivian President

$4,427.00

$1,669.24

$1,669.24

Literary Caravan

$1,017.75

$0

$0

Music Fest

$4,465.00

$0

$0

Doozy Magazine

$700.00

$0

$0

Haitian Awareness Project

$2000.00

$2000.00

$2000.00

Total

$9,946.45

$3,698.94

$3,698.94

 

Luke: Motion to approve the BC funding recommendations.

Levan: Second.

Di: I think the decision not to fund the Literary Caravan is unfair. It just seems like the ASA request is so much less than the other ones have been for similar events.

Paris: We thought the Bolivian President would be one of the biggest speakers of the year.

Di: You haven't given money for accommodations in the past.

Paris: We gave lodging and travel fees to a Hillel speaker. We also gave hotel to the b-boys who are coming with airfare. For a speaker of this magnitude, $1000 speaking fee is really low in comparison.

Mihailis: Move to amend Haitian budget to zero

Mira: Second.

Mihailis: It is built as a fundraiser project but last week we established that we are going to be paying more money than can be raised.

Daphne: In response to your comment, the purpose of the concert is not just the fundraiser. It is to bring a different band to Amherst that has never been here before. We are showing two movies that deal with the political situation.

Noelle: When we have had events that deal with black culture on campus, we never have events dealing with the African-Caribbean Diaspora. I understand your point, but that weekend we are also having a speaker come. Also, we will be tabling and fundraising at that event even though it is not necessarily our primary concern.

Luke: Call the question.

Rania: Yield to Isa.

Issa: It seems like your chief concern is that it is a fundraising event. Music is an integral part of Haitian culture. I see that there is a dialogue happening but it is so founded on these rules. The diversity of this Haitian project, which might be represented as a generic musical act, exceeds far beyond what you expect it to be. It would be a great disservice to the community if it did not happen.

Ryan Park: How is your funding situation?

Adrian: We are about $2000 short.

Elan: We shouldn't be talking about the Bolivian president event now. You can appeal my decision if you wish.

Mihailis: I think we are dealing with a tight budget. I would appeal your decision not to talk about this.

Decision appealed.

Elan: There is a motion on the floor and we should evaluate each request individually.

Gloria: This was brought to us last week and we wouldn't have known about the Bolivian president event then.

Mihailis: We have $2000 left and so it is relevant now.

Ethan: We have to know how much money we have.

Avi: Call the question.

Appeal - MOTION FAILS.

Avi: In truth, it is important to think of the Senate being under the financial constraints that it is. We understand that music is an integral part to Haitian culture, but it is also an integral part to other cultures.

Luke: We shouldn't punish them for having a comprehensive weekend on their culture. It seems disrespectful to me that we should de-prioritize it given the fact that we should have voted on it last week.

Chris: It is setting a dangerous precedent to weigh events in terms of funding. As each event comes along, I feel that program should receive that funding.

Levan: If this president thing is as big as you guys say it can find money somewhere else. The Haitian Awareness Project has exhausted their funding mechanisms.

Richa: We shouldn't penalize them for coming later in the semester.

Christina: Move the question.

Move the question - MOTION PASSES.

SEE VOTE 1 BELOW. Amendment to decrease Haitian Awareness Project allocation to $0 - MOTION FAILS: 5-18-0

SEE VOTE 2 BELOW. BC Funding Recommendations - MOTION PASSES: 19-4-0.

B. College Council Report

Ryan Park: This Thursday we have a referendum about Honor Code.

C. Executive Board Proposal

Paris: The entire student body has to move out of their rooms at the end of the year. A lot of people need boxes. Mailboxes Etc. just gauges students at the end of the semester. I and the executive board propose that we buy boxes and distribute them for free at the end of the semester. This is unlike the shuttle or NY Times program. We are hoping you will allocate from the senate fund to buy 2000 boxes to be distributed right before finals period on a first come first serve basis with a limit of 3 boxes per person. The total cost will be $2915. That will completely quell the demand for boxes.

Luke: I think it is a really good idea. I don't think it will be enough. I am worried about it being free.

Paris: We looked at the demand with some investigative reporting at Mailboxes Etc. and that is about the amount. As far as charging for them, that is a slippery slope. It might deter people from buying them. There is something special about it being free.

Gloria: How and where will it be distributed?

Paris: I was thinking in the campus center atrium.

Jin-young: Are you telling Mailboxes Etc? Can we increase the number?

Paris: The more you buy the cheaper it gets. It is a $1.20 for the medium boxes and $1.60 for the larger boxes.

Mira: How much money will be left in the fund after this?

Paris: We will have about $500-600 left.

Mira: Have you seen that the sophomore class will be proposing its project today?

Paris: Yes.

Mira: How much would it be if we don't get Amherst College put on the side of the boxes?

Paris: It is going to be free to do that.

Ryan Park: They are freely available and will be widely advertised.

Matt: I move to postpone this discussion until after the sophomore class project discussion.

Mira: Second.

Matt: I think the senate fund should have priority to senate projects.

Ethan: Move to pass this proposal. We can't discuss whether we can take the money from the class council project because we have to discuss the merits individually.

Roz: Did you take into consideration the number of boxes in terms of where people live?

Ryan Park: There will be no discrimination.

Matt: Move to postpone.

Mira: Second.

Matt: The senate fund is for the senate and so we should discuss senate projects first.

Luke: Call the question

Vote is postponed.

D. Sophomore Class Council Project

Rania: We wanted to buy pint glasses that say Amherst 06 on them and fill them with candy. It would cost about $760.

Matt: Move to pass this project.

Gloria: Second.

Roz: I am worried about providing a gift with the senate fund.

Paris: I think the point of this is to create community on campus. It doesn't respond to any pressing issues other than getting a gift from the student government. The sophomore class is 99% underage.

Rania: I am the Health and Wellness RC and I asked my residents how they felt about this and they said they would love it.

Paris: As a student government it is terribly inappropriate.

Luke: The difference between these gifts and the shuttles, boxes, etc is that the latter responds to a greater community need. Using money to buy people stuff is not appropriate in a way that providing services is.

Mira: When we spent money on Wings for a class people didn't have a problem with that. Having the same boxes doesn't build community. The sophomore class is really excited about it. A lot of us are going abroad and will enjoy taking that with us.

Ethan: Can we pass this and the boxes?

Mihailis: Objection - we can't talk about this because it isn't pertinent to this issue.

Appeal - MOTION FAILS.

Paris: Boxes come in pallets of 250 boxes and there is different pricing based on how many you get. It will be a lot less.

Ethan: Can we take out the money for the candy?

Luke: Since we moved to an AAS project system from a class system, I don't understand why we would do this for the sophomore class. Shouldn't everyone get a mug then? I don't understand why we wouldn't all say let's have every class do it. Although everyone might like it is not the appropriate way of spending the money.

Jim: I guess I am a little bit unclear about the senate fund. What is the status of the AAS senate fund? Are we still doing class projects?

Levan: I don't think we are representing our constituents in arguing against the boxes.

Ethan: I have a solution, I move to amend the sophomore class request to $665 and then we can move on.

Matt: Second.

Ethan: Call the question.

Mira: Point of information - do class councils still have the responsibility to do a project for their class and the entire school?

Elan: Yes.

Paris: I think this is an easy solution. All of the points we raised were not about the dollar amount but about giving a gift.

Livia: Which classes last semester did projects?

Elan: The freshmen class council was doing an arcade, the junior class council did a study break, and the sophomore class council did 50 DVDs.

Avi: How much would 750 boxes cost?

Paris: It would go up to $1.80 for the larger box

Matt: All class council projects have been for the purchase of something. The glasses provide something that the students can leave the year with.

Richa: If we use up the money on the boxes and the sophomore class council there will be no money left.

Jin-young: If we in fact do what Paris is suggesting we are redefining how we are going to use this money. I think we should vote to finance both projects. Call the question

Levan: I don't feel like putting in the candy is integral to community.

Mira: I would like to say this is different from the junior class project. John designed what we are going to put on the glasses, Matt found the website, Ian contacted the people and figured out what we were going to get.

Ryan Park: This is a great idea because any sophomore is going to want pint glasses. You are providing a mass private good. In theory, government shouldn't do that.

Luke: Call the question.

Decrease sophomore class project to $665 -MOTION PASSES.

Ethan: Move the question.

Matt: Second.

Move to vote - MOTION PASSES.

SEE VOTE 3 BELOW. Sophomore class project - MOTION PASSES: 19-5-1.

Ethan: Call the question.

Avi: Can I request to postpone this to next week to allow the other two classes to come up with something?

Rania: Second.

Avi: I understand if you want to be angry at the other two classes for not being on the ball. I think it is important to have class councils do their projects. If we neglect this we are not fulfilling our responsibilities to the students at large.

Luke: Point of information - is it time sensitive?

Paris: Yes, we need to order soon.

Paris: Last semester when you guys waited until the last minute to do it, the senior class didn't do it. Taking some moral high ground saying this is what we are elected to do doesn't seem right and those who do not do their projects should no longer be on the Senate.

Noah: The reason our project slowed down a little bit is because Dean Haynes couldn't find a check which he may or may not have received from out treasurer last semester and that was taken care of.

Taamiti: I think if you are worried about waiting until the last minute at least it would have a set deadline.

Paris: We just had this discussion with the Haiti group. We should be held to higher standards than the student body who does not read the constitution.

Elan: Point of general privilege - don't say they don't read the constitution.

Paris: Ok, they aren't required to read the constitution. The senate fund was created for the best project to be done.

Gloria: If they had ideas they would have come to us by now. Here comes an idea and you should fund it since it is one of the best ideas that we have been presented with.

Richa: Before we used to be able to have guaranteed funds and now we are competing for money. We should at least give somewhat of a fair chance for all of the projects to be considered.

Stephen: Do other class councils have projects on the way?

Elan: No.

Ethan: Call the question.

Luke: Object.

Avi: I don't have a problem with the idea, on the fake principle we shouldn't vote on this.

Paris: Just think about telling your constituents that we voted not to give money on boxes so that classes can have projects put together at the last minute.

Matt: Move the question.

Question is moved.

SEE VOTE 4 BELOW. $2915 for boxes - MOTION PASSES: 16-9-0.

 

VII. New Business (10:28 PM)

A. Club Sport Committee

Matt: The Club Sport Committee has met and researched the structure and compared Amherst to Williams and the other NESCAC schools. We have more clubs than Williams. The second key difference is that there was on average more funding for each sport than Williams on a sport by sport basis. Third, there is a difference in the number of varsity sports from other NESCAC schools. Amherst has more publications than Williams College, more religious groups, debate, outreach, politics groups, and martial arts groups. There is a necessary redundancy in AAS funded and recognized clubs. Amherst students may also be more interested in these areas. Williams affinity groups like the BSU are drawn from an entirely different fund. Comparably, we are somewhat close in comparison to other clubs at Williams. You do notice that we are funding more than Williams does in club sports. This excludes crew and ski team because at Williams these are not club sports. We fund significantly more than Williams does for the equestrian team and martial arts clubs. There are 2 potential conclusions: Williams under-funds or Amherst over-funds their club sports. A third potential conclusion is that Williams's club sports have access to other funding. Finally, the last possible conclusion is that Williams has less participants in each club sport. This next group is the number of sports each NESCAC school has. We are about equal per capita but if you look at our per capital amount of sports and per person we have more club sports per person than any other school. We are also the highest number of total sports varsity and club. All other NESCAC schools, with the exception of Bowdoin, fund the crew and ski teams as varsity sports through the athletic department. There are a finite number of sports per school. There are different school sizes and so they may have more resources than us. Potential solutions: seek funding elsewhere. We can try to request for one club sport to go through the wing of the athletic department. We can seek funding from the administration, president's office, etc. We could get a lump sum from them. Second, we could just reduce the number of clubs. There are redundancies in clubs. A simplified version if this is reducing club sports. We can try to force higher dues or reduce the amount of tournaments/competition club sports are in. Also, we can create a club sport fund. Club sports would be competing with other club sports but not other types of clubs. Finally, we can also mandate other forms of fundraising. We can encourage clubs to contact alumni. The last option is that we can maintain the status quo.

Noah: We have no information if the other schools have alumni networks for club sports?

Matt: No.

Ryan Smith: Williams is number one D3 and I think that is relevant on how their club sports get funding. They are bringing in high quality athletics and that affects the importance they place on club sports. They are more inclined to place more importance on them because they are so good at them. That would divert attention and relevance from club sports. The funding reflects that.

Matt: Williams is the only NESCAC league that publishes their budget data online and so that is why we chose them.

Roz: Did the club sports committee have any conversation with the athletic department about these solutions?

Matt: We are supposedly having meeting with Gooding and Lieber.

Kay: Gooding has offered to come speak to us.

Paris: Overall I think it is fair to say that it is optimistic to say that the school is going to step up and address the club sport issue without the club sports behind it.

Kay: This exact topic will be brought up next semester during those meetings.

Luke: I think an ideal solution is for them to give us $30,000 to do with as we choose. It seems that there will always be a demand for funding that exceeds what we have. The BC's decision not to fund the ski team is a sort of solution. The BC has probably been having these discussions.

Mira: I think there are too many clubs. Most of us don't even know what the publications are and many of them aren't well run. Last semester we figured out that a lot of them are forums for English majors to get published. I think it is great to give people the opportunity to do those things but maybe we should charge higher dues. There just isn't enough money for them to do everything they want.

B. JC Council Report

Ryan Smith: The JC talked about some new amendments and we are recommending the following amendments to be passed:

 

Mira: It may be better if we postpone this since we don't have the constitution in front of us.

Elan: Can we just table this?

Mira: Yes, motion to table.

Luke: Second.

Matt: We have to discuss one of them now because it influences the elections.

Christina: Withdraw motion to table and divide the time sensitive motions.

Gloria: Second.

Divide - MOTION PASSES.

Ryan Park: I presented these a month ago. They have been presented to the Senate before.

Luke: The one thing is about write-in votes?

Matt: Motion to hear these amendments.

Mira: Second.

Richa: Motion to divide the elections.

Elan: The elections committee write-in one is the only relevant one.

Matt: Move to be 10% of people voting.

Luke: Second.

Matt: If 100 people vote then you need at least 10 people to vote for you with 10%.

Paris: Is it per class or the whole school?

Matt: People who abstain or don't vote don't count. For class senators it would be per class.

Luke: Call the question.

Increase amendment to 10% of those voting on that specific question - MOTION PASSES:

Elan: This is really just a mess; you need to have looked at this before talking about it.

Matt: This won't go into effect for the entire academic year.

Elan: I am not going to listen to this motion.

C. Dining Services

Ian: We met with the dining services director and proposed a policy which would include a certain amount of money you can use after the dining hall closes at Schwemms. We wanted to know if the students would support this.

The dining services committee recommends that the following question be put to student vote by online poll:

Would you support an expansion to the meal plan that includes an amount of money to be spent on food outside of Valentine (i.e. Schwemms, vending machines)?

The following answers should be offered:

A. Strongly support

B. Support

C. Neutral

D. Oppose

E. Strongly oppose

Tammiti: Motion to accept.

Noah: Second.

MOTION PASSES.

 

VIII. Adjournment (11:07 PM)

 

ROLL CALL VOTES

SENIOR SENATORS

1

2

3

4

Livia Angiolillo

Y

N

Y

N

Jim Beck

N

Y

Y

Y

Kay Bradley

N

Y

N

N

Miahilis Diamantis

Y

N

Y

Y

Lincoln Mayer

/

/

/

/

Preston Scheiner

/

/

/

/

Luke Swarthout

N

Y

N

N

 

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

 

 

 

Ethan Davis

N

Y

Y

Y

Rosalyn Foster

Y

Y

N

Y

Jin-Young Kim

Y

N

Y

Y

Arpan Podduturi

N

Y

N

Y

Daniel Reiss

/

/

/

/

Christian Sanchez

N

Y

Y

Y

David Scherr

N

Y

Y

Y

Justin Sharaf

/

/

/

/

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

 

 

 

Rania Arja

N

Y

Y

N

Taamiti Bankole

N

Y

Y

Y

Caleb Deats

N

Y

Y

Y

John Lian

N

Y

Y

N

Stephen Scriber

N

Y

Y

N

Mira Serrill-Robins

/

/

Y

Y

Ian Shin

N

Y

Y

N

Matt Vanneman

N

Y

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

 

 

 

Richa Bhala

N

Y

N

N

Avi Das

Y

N

A

N

Noah Isserman

/

/

Y

Y

Marco Locascio

/

/

/

/

Gloria Monfrini

N

Y

Y

Y

Levan Moulton

N

Y

Y

Y

Christina Ryu

N

Y

Y

Y

Jacob Thomas

/

/

/

/

Y = Yes

N = No

A = Abstention

/ = Not Present for Vote