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Ye olde Student Counsel

October 13, 2010

Hey guys, today’s Student Council meeting should be rather short. Not much on the agenda. There is an event grant to approve and some miscellaneous legislation to discuss.

There were a few announcements in open forum…some I didn’t catch because I was finishing up a meeting with the Press minions.

Also, I have a seat at the table today! Woo! I’ll enjoy this whilst I can…and hey, based on the amount of pics being taken and flashes aimed in this general direction, maybe I’ll be in the papers tomrw. <Fingers crossed!>

6:32PM Meeting starting. Roll call. Announcements. Open forum.

6:38PM The group for the event grant says the reason it is as much as it is ($5,595) is for the speaker they are bringing over from…I think they said Brazil? The break down is as follows:

-$4,000 in honoraria, $1,437 in travel and $158 in lodging. We will hear more from them later.

6:46PM Chair reports. Diversity Chair Uraga is very sick. SACGB update. Shared Gov update. (All chair reports posted online)

6:48PM Finance Committee will be holding a meeting next Thursday at 5PM-the Campus Creative Works Fund will be discussed for the first time. Please attend.

Housing Fair will be next week, Oct 19th  in  the Great Hall. More details to come.

Chair Polstein rattles off a list of events…that I missed. Contact him for more details. He will be putting together a calendar soon.

Chair Fergus talks about University Affairs. The Textbook Committee of Shared Gov all met on Friday. Updates to come soon.

Chair Williams-met with lots of people. Safety coordinator to network with people. Might come next week. Working on a consistent Outreach Campaign with the Press Office.  Oh wait! That’s us!!! Look for updates on Dorm Presentations coming soon!

He is also working on hiring a financial specialist. Went to the Shared Gov training. The SJ Business mtg. May have lost his intern for the semester. CoCo will be mtg on Friday to start going over the Internal budget. Campus safety efforts through ASM to be coordinated. Tmrw working with Adam Johnson and Tom with Lori Berquam on the Anti0Bullying campaign. Going on a police ride-along as well. Wow! Lots going on.

Clarification: Everyone has speaking rights to CoCo meetings.

VC Johnson. Met with Lori Berquam about the Anti-Bullying Campaign. Writing a letter to the editor with Chair Uraga about National Coming Out Day that happened this week. Also doing the ride-along with UWPD tomrw night. He had his birthday last night…may or may not still be recovering.

7:05PM Chief Justice Fifield: Put two vacant SSFC spots on the elections ballot to be filled in by write-in votes. Decided to require briefs for all hearings. Brand new. Most important is that for the first time the SJ has unanimously confirmed a ‘Code of Ethics’. small laughter. Fifield says the document is near and dear to her heart. Sets the tone for the ethical conditions she has for her court. Signed by all the justices. Anything agst the document will lead to sanctions.

WISPIRG has till midnight tmrw (Thurs 14th) to appeal the SSFC decision.

CFACT has until the end of the 18th.

Chair Manes: Thursday will be Part 2 of SSFC Strategic Plan. Bringing some of the outcomes of discussion to Council soon.

7:16PM Introduction to legislation on SJ Budget Bylaw Change

-Since the ASM SJ bylaw about their part in the Internal Budget makes no sense whatsoever, SJ proposes that shall create and administer its own internal and election budget, submit the proposal and have it approved by SSFC by end of November and then moved to Student Council for approve-for further checks and balances.

7:24PM The SJ Bylaw change will be taken up at next week’s meeting.

Old Business: ASM SC Committee Appointment Accountability Bylaws.

Debate. <Silence>

Approved by unanimous consent. Immediately in effect.

On to approval of the event grant for: Civil Liberties and the War On Terror In the Obama Era.

Chair Beesterboer says, in his humble opinion, that the grant should be approved.

General discussion on the average amounts a group is granted funds. Questions of other sources of funding, how Finance Committee really works.

Careful cautioning on Viewpoint Neutrality. Particularly in the case of partisan views.

Beemsterboer clarifies that event grants are $250,000. Last year it was all used. But the last of the funds weren’t giving out till the last meeting.

So far this year approximately $80,000 has been allocated.

Is there a precedent for bringing in speakers for event grants?

Beemsterboer says he isn’t sure he’s ever seen it requested.

Fergus moves to strike $718 from travel. He said that generally it is his policy to cut from travel. It should be a policy to find speakers closer to home.

Manes says there is value in bringing speakers from overseas to this country. Though it does open the door to very expensive speakers in the future. It may be best not to fund these in that regard.

Stevenson said one of the reasons the man lives in Brazil is because of the restrictions placed on him for living in the United States based on his lifestyle. Doesn’t think $1400 for travel around the hemisphere isn’t too excessive. Cutting it in half, is.

Manes says we shouldn’t take into account why he is living abroad. Just need to consider that he IS living abroad. Does SC feel it is appropriate to be flying people in from out of the country to have events on campus?

Madsen we need to evaluate whether it is a good idea to bring in the speaker or not. Cutting the line item in half is arbitrary. Need to determine if the event is valuable and reasonable to fund. Not necessary to cut a piece and expect them to figure the rest out.

Lizotte says we need to have international speakers to come and bring there experience. Just like students use money to go abroad, this brings international experiences on campus. Thus a good way to spend money.

Fergus part of the idea of the Wisconsin experience is international experience.

More discussion on the benefits or not of an international speaker. Possibilities of the group finding an alternative speaker….having them re-file for the event so they can still get a grant

Manes talking about examining funding streams.

Kyle says this is a bad precedent to sned-world-renown campus saying it doesn’t want to bring in international speakers…just because the cost of a plane ticket is a little pricier..this particular speaker being one of the best speakers on this topic…also doesn’t understand cutting the travel in half. Needs to be serious consideration and thought before making this motion.

Motion from Manes and Fergus to zero fund travel.

Kyle asks, if travel is zero funded…can the speaker even come anymore.

Asks whether the group can negotiate honoraria fees or alternative funds to bring the speaker over.

Rep from the group: Already looked for other people and groups to help fund it. Could not find any other funding. Submitted this over 5 weeks ago and were pushed back because of Obama’s visit. In theory, could talk to him about reducing honoraria to reduce the cost of the plane ticket…but its up to the speaker.

Beemsterboer: issue of international travel-had $14,000 in travel come before SC earlier this year but no funds were cut…so that should have set the precedent for event travels as well. And bringing international speakers and events to campus. Would rather see the event put on than not put on.

Fergus says that travel funds are specifically for students, not bringing in international speakers. Cost analysis for him. One speaker for $5,500ish dollars-with expected attendance of 400 students. Find it to be too expensive. Proposal was to strike to a level that was appropriate to have someone come in at a cheaper rate and still come to the event. But not at this level of funding. Worried about having this much money for one person. Too much to be funding with seg fees this much money.

Rep Ivin says, he never expected, but he completely agrees with Chair Manes. Risk of bringing this speaker in…still want to see the event happen, but not at that cost.

VC Johnson says its n ot about the international experience but the excess honoraria. If it were just for a plane ticket, no one would bat an eyelash. No problem voting for a $1,400 plane ticket, generally fund at that rate. But seeing the large price of the honoraria plus the cost of plane ticket…a little excessive. The honoraria rate is generally not negotiable. Don’t think the argument is about becoming a strictly domesticated campus.

Manes now on the fence. But does feel the decision should be made tonight. Would like the group to explain the feasibility of finding another speaker in the time frame they have before the event.

Rep for group: At this point, impossible. This speaker is a well-respected journalist and commentator. Quoted all the time, even on the floor of the Senate. Wanted HIM specifically to come and speak. Don’t know what the procedures are for lowering honoraria but they would try and they think it might be negotiable.

Another rep: He is the largest leader on the topic. Has the most widest read blog. Really no alternative to this speaker. Want him for this particular topic…bringing in the best. Though he would be likely to maybe negotiate smaller honoraria. Also, if this request had been $400 less, it wouldnt even be debated in this body.

Beemsterboer: He is an international speaker…more reasonable to bring him here, than to alternatively send students there, which would be a huge cost. Don’t cut all the way, if you must cut.

Ok, so you know how I said this meeting would be short…that may have been rather misleading. To both you, dearest reader…and me!

8:05PM Is there a way to negotiate with the speaker and then come back to Council about how it will be dispersed?

Beemsterboer: No precedent for this. Could maybe approve travel and lodging and come back next week for the honoraria fees?

Fergus: Can we refer this back to Finance and if it comes under $400 less, then we never have to see this again?

Beemsterboer: …..^.-

Kyle: If you buy tickets ahead of time, cheaper. The more we delay this…more expensive will be.

Junger: Could we approve line items individually?

Back to original motion.

Kyle: Someone should call to question soon. This is a question of whether we’re going to enable the travel of not. Call to question. Its whether or not we’re going to have the speaker come or not.

Calls both previous questions.

Zero funding travel: Nay. Fails.

Cutting in half: Fergus says ‘Aye’. Everyone else ‘Nay’. Fails.

8:09PM Johnson: I think we’re ready to vote. Going to call to question then ask for question to be divided..and postpone parts till next meeting so group has time to negotiate with the speaker about honoraria fees. The group indicated they’d be up for that.

This is getting messy. Dividing questions!?! Er…umm..

Beemsterboer suggests….a motion that just got shot down because it wasn’t the original motion.

Fergus would like to postpone honoraria fees.

Beemsterboer disagrees.

General laughter.

Call for postponement. Second. Division. And the motion…Fails. Not postponed.

Beemsterboer: Motion to fund honoraria for $3,063. Seconded by several. As discussed before, honoraria definition includes travel.This should be adequate for the group to work with and negotiate with. Group members nod vigorously…with smiles. I guess they’re ok with that.

Grad rep (yeah, sorry last name too long. Initials B-S) agrees. Sounds great.

VC Johnson thinks this is poor budgeting practice to throw money at this. Called to question.

Manes votes to postpone again. Motion fails.

No further debate. Called to question on honoraria. Approve at $3,063. Various ‘Aye’s.

Step back. General confusion. (Humming Jeopardy song). Council members confused on which part we’re on. Its Travel line item, btw. But you know that already, you’re following along closely.

Travel carries with one ‘Nay’.

Lodging. No debate. Question called. No opposition. Approved at $1,058.

Final number at $4,658. (Which is under $5,000-which moves it out of Councils perview.)

8:17PM Motion to adjourn. Seconded by various members.

Adjourned. Roll call.

Well, went slightly longer than planned but no worries. Monies were approved, legislation was introduced and we all can go home to study the night away for the rest of our midterms and papers. Exhilarating, I know. I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining at the length of this meeting….considering it is CONSIDERABLE under the 6 hours of traditional Student Council meetings. I digress.

Any questions comments or concerns, lemme know! Otherwise, check back soon for Press Office Updates and Minion blog posts. 🙂


One Comment leave one →
  1. Kurt G permalink
    October 13, 2010 8:12 pm

    Suggestion I just thought off: After you finish a post on Council, etc. link the email addresses for Chairs who had agenda items at the meeting so anyone reading the blog can one-click email them. Or if the ASM bios are updated, consider linking the bios to the blog.

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