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It’s time. It’s SC Liveblog time! Get your popcorn ready.

October 14, 2009


Well that was awesome. Okay everyone, go to bed or go get a drink. I’m going home b/c my girlfriend made buffalo chicken pizza (now that’s love!).

Remember, Free pizza Friday afternoon on East Campus Mall–meet the candidates! And tomorrow we have the first two budget decisions of the year for SSFC. Woopwoop!

We are currently at 291 hits today. Boomcity! Our previous best was 53 in a day. Pretty decent. Thanks to all those who kept revisiting the site again and again and again. And thanks to those who pointed out my shortcomings as a blogger.

11:56 We’re adjourned!

11:55 That motion fails. So no groups can reapply for 2012. Sorry.

11:52 Williams absolutely against giving all groups a chance at applying for Fiscal year 2012 again. Basically applying the new proposal to all groups that already applied this year, making the decision by SSFC this fall all null and void.

11:49 Paulson’s first amendment referred to SSFC to hash it out before it comes back to SC.

11:40 Interesting question: Gosselin asks why Paulson didn’t bring this to the SSFC first. He says it is his job to bring bylaw changes to SC where SSFC does have a seat at the table.

11:37 BTW–for any of y’all casual readers (apparently you do exist and I love you) feel free to ask questions in the comments or ask for clarifications. Feel free to make me work.

11:35 Manes asked Paulson if he was aware that SSFC breaks into focus groups in the spring to discuss just such changes to try to improve the GSSF process. Paulson responds by saying he wants the process fixed now to minimize any damage and to see how to make it work.

11:32 Talks are getting edgy. I like it. Disagreements are great drama. Just think, these people have been at this stuff for five hours and are still going strong and not backing down. I love it. Or maybe the caffeine from my soda is just starting to kick in.

11:28 Paulson argues this will give SSFC more time to deal with eligibility which counteracts the increased amount of hearings.

11:26 Williams isn’t done. Can’t blame him. This affects his committee. He asks Paulson how this amendment will fix the long term stability of the GSSF. Paulson admits it doesn’t but it “also doesn’t make it any worse”.

11:23 Question and answer time begins and Williams is insulted by Paulson and his labeling of the GSSF as “insane”.

11:22 Sorry. There was a 5 minute break there. I forgot to tell you b/c I was in such a hurry to get my butt out of this seat. That felt good.

11:12 He thinks this will provide some stability so a group that gets denied once, doesn’t automatically lose their funding for a whole year before they can reapply. The group will have another chance to apply for funding again before it loses its funding for a whole year. It will be more efficient because it would waste GSSF funding to bring a service back up to speed after being gone for a whole year. By the way, we’re using a kitten killing service as our example. Yeah, these people need some sleep.

11:07 Okay, if you come in for funding for year A, you get funding for year B and year C. Then, if you come in for funding for year B, you’ll get funding for year C and year D. Make sense? I hope so.

11:03 The budget proposal passes. Again, believe it or not but all that means is that Finance Committee should go forward with working on the budget while keeping all that discussion in mind. Moving on now to a proposal to change the SSFC bylaws. This is the amendment about giving groups a chance to apply for GSSF eligibility for three years at once.

11:02 That passes. All this means is that those 3 amendments should be considered and researched by the Finance Committee.

10:59 Paulson proposing “Amendment D”. Wants budget line for “Housing and Tenant support services”. Basically, he wants ASM to provide services to students to help them with renting, dealing with landlords, etc…

10:58 Amendment C fails. Just no money right now. Sorry, buddy.

10:55 Templeton says Dean of Students Lori Berquam does not believe it would be easy to justify a full-time person, but can have a graduate school student work 20 hours per week to get the job done. this is what is currently on the budget proposal.

10:52 The opposition to this, by Fergus, is that a full-time position is not needed. he believes a student hiree could do the job of maintaining an interactive website. I think he’s right.

10:46 Paulson’s “Amendment C” now up for talkings. He wants a full-time staffer to handle technology things. To run the (sad) website and also handle other things, like making the bookswap electronic. This can expand to ASM records keeping which is “all over the place”.

10:45 That passes for Finance Committee to think about.

10:43 Talking about Paulson’s “Amendment B”.  He wants a line item for any initiatives the 17th session might undertake. He wants something significant like $25,000 or $50,000. Did you know the budgets for each session of ASM are written by the two preceding sessions.

10:41 Amendment A passes. All that means is it is something for the Finance Committee to consider. Not very binding but it’s a step forward.

10:36 So far, the general consensus is that Paulson’s idea of creating a “Creative Works” grant is wonderful thinking outside of the box. I love the idea of ASM funding works of art being created by students that will enrich campus life. Their are a lot of concerns and questions but this might be something great to look into.

10:30 Awww okay. Here are those links again to the aptly named “Erik Paulson’s Blog”: Amendments A, B, C, and D.

10:27 Paulson is starting the discussion of his four amendments to the budget. Check the last post for the links to these proposals  in the man’s own words.

10:19 Hm. Even Chair Junger wants to move on. This is just supposed to be the chance for the Finance Committee to show the Council what it is working on. Major issues can be worked on after this meeting since this is not the vote on the final internal budget. Wow. I think that meeting is gonna be one difficult, contentious and, most of all, long meeting.

10:17 All the line items that say “remove from internal budget” will now just be moved to “unused budget items” on the internal budget. Riveting.

10:15 That passes. That line(Line 92) is now removed from the internal budget.

10:14 Breaking news: interesting development. Volrath, chair of the SAC Governing Board, wants to strike the line for funding for SAC furniture. She says funding for that furniture will be under the SACGB budget.

10:06 Still on internal budget. Are there any casual readers still making it through this part? Were there any casual readers to begin with? Who am I kidding. Right now talking about travel budget and the Chair and Vice Chair control over the budget.

10:02 Good questions from Chair Sharpe, though, about events budget and how that is distributed to different committees. How do you keep it fair and will a committee be refused if they have more events planned than other committees?

10:00 This is pretty dry still. Talking about why it’s a good idea to eliminate lines that are not used. Or we could just move them to the bottom of the budget. Debate this amongst yourselves.

9:54 ASM would also like to have a media specialist that could improve the ASM website (it needs it) and work on other media projects. It’s a brave new world, folks! ASM wants to be all over these interwebs (it’s a series of tubes).

9:51 Chair and Vice Chair would like a line to pay a Chief of Staff they would like SC to approve as a position. they would just like money in the budget in case SC approves this position for next year. A Chief of Staff would aid the Chair and Vice Chair and represent them at events they can’t make it to. Didn’t see that coming. But let’s be honest, I didn’t read the whole internal budget proposal either.

9:47 Still on internal budget. Stay tuned though. This is important, just not that interesting. However, ASM is increasing it’s travel budget because it can’t get a travel grant from itself.

9:43 It’s internal budget time! That means a whole lot of line items that need increased, decreased or no change in their funding. I’m not gonna give you this whole list right now either. But I’ll let you know if anything surprising happens that I think might pique your interest. Generally, the ASM operating budget is pretty dry, especially since there are no numbers yet.

9:42 Okay. It has to be the majority of those voting so the motion passes. A good minimal step towared increasing representative accountability. Hopefully, this will not be the extent of their outreach efforts to their constituents.

9:41 the vote is 9-4-6. Uh oh! does this count as a majority or not? It’s the majority of those voting but not the majority of those in attendance.

9:39 I think people are getting stir-crazy. “positive verb” now counts as “aye”

9:31 Second time someone’s mentioned The Badger Herald article about low attendance at SC meetings. Good job by BH for holding student government accountable. Cherish your student journalists, people! Good reason for Templeton to support this proposal from an External Affairs angle. Students should know their government is accessible.

9:26 Still debating the mandatory office hours though most people seem to support it.

9:16 Gosselin proposing mandatory office hours every week (2 hrs/week) for Student Council reps. They would have to submit times and place to the Secretary so we can make this known. This is the ACCESS act that I poked fun of earlier for its acronym. I’m so cheeky. But seriously, this is a great way to promote accountability of reps and make them get in touch with constituents.

9:15 51 Shared Governance seats on several UW committees are approved in a blanket proposal. I’ll get you a list later. I’m not about to type all that stuff up right now. Sorry.

9:12 That passes. Congrats, Kurt! Love the new facial hair!

9:10 17-2 the proposal passes! Wow! Not so fast, though. In order to change the bylaws, this must be approved at two consecutive SC meetings by a 2/3 vote. Let’s see how everyone feels in two weeks. Onto the appointment of Kurt Gosselin as the legal counsel for SSFC.

9:06 The amendment fails. If the proposal passes, it will be effective immediately. Manes calls the question. Only Zinn opposes calling the question.

9:03 Fergus does not support the amendment but Manes does insofar as it would garner this proposal one more vote to ensure SSFC can use this power in the future. A. Johnson sides with Fergus that there is no reason to wait on this. Vollrath also does not support this amendment as she sees it as an attempt by SC to micromanage SSFC.

9:01 Paulson makes amendment so these rules couldn’t be used until May 1, 2010, effectively killing any chance of this session’s SSFC using this power.

9:00 Amendment passes. “Coercion” removed from proposal.

8:56 WTF?! Fergus makes amendment to remove the word coercion. That came out of left field! He thinks the word should be removed if people are hung up on it because “threatening” is the more important term to guard against. Williams also approves of this amendment as a compromise.

8:55 Rep. Koss just concerned this is circular thinking. If the committee has such high standards, there should be no need for this proposal.

8:53 Rep. Smith supports the proposal and thinks everyone should unless they think it is a reasonable concern that a bunch of people, including SC, could gang up on someone to remove them without good reason.

8:52 Dropping the gavel. And we’re back.

8:42 Amendment fails by vote of 6-11-2. Coercion and threatening remain on proposal as a possible reason for removal from SSFC. Now, 5 minute break.

8:36 Zinn still is unclear about the proof needed. Concerned of abuse of the power. However, Manes is quite passionately upset this discussion is even occurring. How could they not be given power to remove someone for coercion? Call the question on the amendment.

8:35 Okay. Carl Fergus says there currently are no rules preventing the threatening of bodily harm. How could this be? So the clause must remain. Templeton and Olikara also believe coercion and viewpoint neutrality are different so the clause is not redundant.

8:27 Alright. We’re still talking about coercion and whether there are enough checks. Good debate but I’ll let you know if something comes out of left field. You want to hear every single point of debate? Come to the meetings but don’t worry, I’ll still provide any major new points.

8:25 Vollrath does not believe telling SSFC members to “grow a backbone” is a proper point of debate. Hmmm.

8:21 Madsen believes coercion and viewpoint neutrality are the same thing. Therefore the clause is redundant.

8:19 Reps still looking for explanation of “coercion”. Would a better screening process fix this? Rep. Harris thinks so. She also believes “coercion” refers to putting a gun to someone’s head. Perhaps that’s a little extreme. A hammer would work fine.

8:17 Motion to call to question failed. Still debating the amendment. Rep. Ziebell advocating to keep clause. One can lead to the other, or might even do so by the very nature of it.

8:13 Rep. Madsen would like the coercion and threatening line clause removed so the committee would need solid evidence of viewpoint neutrality. He has proposed an amendment to remove this clause. Seconded by Jonah Zinn.

8:10 Erik Paulson e-mailed me the amendment I missed:

“Amend 1.06(5)(f) to add at the end: The motion to overturn shall
automatically be placed on the agenda of the next council meeting. If
the ASM Chair fails to place the item on that agenda, or future
agendas, the right to overturn shall be continually referred to the
next council meeting, until it appears on an agenda.”

Basically, if a removal by SSFC occurred, it would automatically appear on the next SC agenda to ensure SC has a chance to review the decision.

8:08 Vollrath believes the members of a committee are the best to vote on members of their own committee. She would hope that if something as serious as coercion is occurring that SSFC would put a stop to that immediately.

8:04 Wait a second! there was just an amendment passed. I don’t even know what just happened. I don’t think they just spoke English.

8:02 Chair Hanley says it is very easy for someone to ruin the image of ASM. ASM must maintain its integrity or else this can also affect the standing of all students on all committees. Malfeasance cannot be allowed on SSFC, it’s too important.

8:00 Zinn passionately believes SSFC is not on equal footing with ASM and should not be given more power. He also thinks the proponents are using scare tactics about the dangers of having a bad egg on the committee. SSFC already has the power to take away a reps voting rights.

7:57 Chair Johnson believes this should be passed because it is not the role of SC to say what SSFC can and can’t do because they are equal in the eyes of the ASM constitution. Manes also said it is possible for bad eggs to get in the bunch although most are solid people.

7:56 Question and answer closed. Moving on to debate. Yup, dreams do come true.

7:53 According to Williams, the standing rules allow SSFC to take away a members right to speak and vote. However, the standing rules can be changed much more easily than ASM bylaws which is why this proposal should be in the bylaws, so they have more power and authority.

7:47 Paulson wants to know why the proposal doesn’t contain the clause to make this ineffective until the 17th session to make sure the current SSFC isn’t creating this proposal specifically for their own ends.

Williams thinks these rules just need to be in place for safety, but would rather have that clause added as an amendment if it is the only way the proposal will get passed.

7:45 Half hour and we’re still on question and answer about this item. It is living up to its promise. We haven’t even hit the debate section yet. Man, think I’m gonna get another egg roll soon.

7:42 Williams still defending the proposal. It would take a high level of proof to remove someone–evidence that does not have to have occurred on the record. It would seem the coercion and threatening clause is the biggest hurdle.

7:38 In response to Chair Vollrath’s question: Williams believes SSFC members would absolutely not abuse the power of removal. They all have too much respect for what they do and the integrity of the committee.

7:34 Chair Zinn wanted to know what would happen to SSFC if they removed someone in a non viewpoint neutral manner. But there is the Student Council oversight and the possibility of an appeal with SJ within the proposal so there are safety measures to stop any possible SSFC shenanigans. So the state getting involved negatively does not seem likely.

7:28 Good point by Williams: SSFC meets 4 times between every SC meeting. There are a lot of decisions made in this time so they need the power to remove someone quickly if necessary. There could be 8 separate eligibility or budget decisions made in that time. If there’s coercion on the committee, SSFC would not be operating in a viewpoint neutral matter and the state could strip SSFC of all of its power.

7:20 What this means: SSFC can remove members by a 3/4 vote. The motion to consider a removal can be made with 1/3 approval of SSFC. Basically it would require a nearly unanimous vote, keeping in mind the person in question would likely not vote for their own removal, to remove someone from the committee. Question and answer still going on as Chair Williams defends his proposal.

7:17 The proposal now states removals will be effective immediately and Student Council will have the ability to overturn the removal at their first meeting after the removal.

7:14 That passes unanimously. Moving on to the SSFC Accountability bylaws. Should be awesome. Round 2.

7:13 Templeton takes the gavel since they’re talking about an item submitted by Junger. Talking about appointing Rep. Smith to the Madison Initiative Student Oversight Board. He’s the only one who applied.

7:10 My fingers are greasy. Back to work!

7:08 Let the record reflect: Rep. Yang makes delicious egg rolls.

7:07 Rep Yang brought eggrolls! Told you all you should come! There’s food.

7:04 Paulson is speaking! We wish representative Yang well! I hope Paulson addresses all the stuff he is proposing today: 4 amendments and one proposal.

7:01 SSFC members think a change to SSFC bylaws should go through SSFC first. How does Paulson feel about this? He sponsored the proposal.

6:56 We’re still going over the reasons for having SSFC process as it is. Basically: to make sure student money is being used responsibly. Period. I’ll let you know if anything mindbending is revealed in this discussion. Hang tight.

6:53 In answer to questions about making the SSFC process more simple: the process is as simple as it can get while still allowing SSFC to protect student dollars so they go to the proper services.

6:52 Carl Fergus, SSFC member, supports the current eligibility bylaws. Limits the amount of work for SSFC which already works very hard.

6:45 Though the speaker wouldn’t say so, this would basically give a group a second chance at applying if they mess up their first application. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Not for me to say.

6:44 Okay, got it. Basically this would allow a group two opportunities to apply for two year eligiblity instead of not getting funding for a whole year and having to wait to reapply.

6:40 1st Open Forum speaker wants GSSF groups eligibility to be every 2 years with and interim possibilty for a third year. So in between the two years the groups could apply for the third year. If it isn’t granted, then they can just apply for it regularly the next year.

Got that? Going over it one more time.

6:37 Down with the gavel and Junger is speaking quite quickly. He might not breath. Here we go.

That’s right! t-minus 3 minutes. Pour that butter all over that popcorn and get ready to hit that refresh button as much as possible. Try not to hurt yourself.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. bucky badger permalink
    October 14, 2009 9:10 pm

    7:34 – who’s Chair Braun?

    • Friendly Neighborhood Press Office Director permalink*
      October 14, 2009 9:16 pm

      Chair Zinn. Just noticed that myself.

  2. Adam Johnson permalink
    October 14, 2009 10:24 pm

    Keep in mind that the new Freshman reps will be seated for the next meeting so that may or may not change the game for the bylaw change…

  3. Lindsay Bembenek permalink
    October 14, 2009 11:11 pm

    @ 10:06 SO to being a casual reader. 🙂

    • Friendly Neighborhood Press Office Director permalink*
      October 14, 2009 11:13 pm

      That is fantastical! I stand corrected. SO to you, indeed, Lindsay.

  4. Adam Johnson permalink
    October 14, 2009 11:31 pm

    I like casual readers 🙂

    I think we should start the budget meeting at around noon so we’re sure to be done by midnight…

  5. October 14, 2009 11:13 pm

    I think we should just take what the FC has to say and say yes 😉

  6. Theotis Sharpe permalink
    October 14, 2009 11:47 pm

    @11:35 Mane asked Paulson..not Paulus(Are you a fan of Syracuse?)

    • Friendly Neighborhood Press Office Director permalink*
      October 14, 2009 11:49 pm

      Definitely not, though he was hilarious as a Duke guard.

  7. Lindsay Bembenek permalink
    October 14, 2009 11:53 pm

    @ 11:37 Don’t worry, I’m still here! No questions though, I come with a comfortable amount of background familiarity.

    • Friendly Neighborhood Press Office Director permalink*
      October 14, 2009 11:54 pm

      You must be a very committed person.

      • Lindsay Bembenek permalink
        October 15, 2009 12:00 am

        I need something to do during my “study breaks”. Congrats on adjournment! Seemed king of anti-climatic though.

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