Budgets, Lobbyists, Funds: Oh my!
G’evening ladies and gentlemen!
For those of you who don’t know, my computer’s name is Duke. He is very temperamental..and naming him makes it easier to swear at him. I digress. He chose this moment to install updates and restart, taking his sweet time. Really, he’s adorable…sometimes I just want to drop him down a flight of stairs. Oh wait…I’ve already done that…I’m sure I can come up with some more creative threats to get him loading faster.
Tonight’s meeting should be full of thrills and…not chills, we have a packed house, dear reader, and it is quite warm in here. I noticed as soon as I walked in the temperature seemed to rise…
So grab your bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms and read along. Comments, questions, concerns all encouraged.
6:31PM Roll call. Gang’s all here!
Sam Seering discusses progress with University Affairs to extend the hours of Steenbock Library to 3AM. Questions on the cost of this. Apparently, minimal costs necessary. Also speaks in favor of the Campus Services Fund and is excited to see its progress.
Dan Posca talks about lobbyist position, particularly that of the UC lobbyist-Michael. Lots of specific questions as to the experience, knowledge and benefits to having the lobbyist. Dan says ASM having a lobbyist would be very beneficial and so much more than we could hope for.
-Adam Johnson clarifies that a lobbyist would be able to spend more time than the average student up at the Capitol and follow legislation; and then be able to come back and relay all information to ASM.
Dan also comments on tonight’s budget, requesting that representatives refrain from repeating each others points and going too long in debate.General laughter and agreement.
A student talks about a poetry slam. Then discusses the Campus Services Fund. Says she has requested meetings with many representatives and has not received a response from anyone (Matt Manes, Brandon Williams and a few others). She is frustrated because she says she feels that ASM Leadership is un-accepting of students ideas and input for this. Also said that there is a project going on within MCSC where they connect student orgs to the right departments, administration etc to put on projects…is upset that MCSC is not being acknowledged. That student’s voices are not being heard. Students not being able to put on the programs that they want to. Wants Council to recognize what is happening here and that many people are upset and frustrated about it. Does not open herself up for questions due to lack of response in the past.
Another student talks about the Campus Services Fund. Says the transparency of ASM is not apparent. Had not received emails or anything about this or being asked to talk about it. If this is going to go through, then multi-culturalism must be a sure thing. Says this process is very disturbing. If you care about fellow students and experiences on campus…asking Council to be allies in this moment. Secure funding for multi-cultural organizations. Also, doesn’t understand the lobbyist position. Why outsourcing this position? it should be students repping students. Sick of being silenced and things going crooked because people don’t get it. Both of those things need to be critically analyzed. Said its sad she has to come before Council when Council should be coming to her…she doesn’t recognize anyone’s faces. No one came to her org’s meetings, no one came to ask what she thought; can’t believe ASM is asking this…need to get out of their privilege and comfort zone–go to these students orgs and talk to them.
—Fergus: Have you read the proposal and where does it not rep multi-cultural orgs?
Has not read the whole thing but hasn’t seen the work for that to come through.
—Fergus: Are you aware that members of this body have gone to many student orgs to talk with them and get their ideas?
Wants to know his definition of active listening, if there has been a real conversation.
Max Love: Talking about the comparison of the Dane County Supervisor salary vs. the ASM Chair salary. Does not feel it is fair and that it bothers him. Also, doesn’t understand the lobbyist position. Said he sat on Council the past year and knows what goes on. Referring to ASM as ‘good ole boys club’.
Talking about the appointment of Tyler Junger to Legal Counsel over 3 law students. Feels it was a joke and should not have been left up to Manes discretion. Questions why Nominations couldn’t have taken it up in time.
Questions CSF. Said he read the whole document. Said the reason not everyone’s voices have been heard is because not everyone can make it to Council meetings. Says 90% of students don’t care because ASM isn’t making them care. Says Biddy walks all over ASM. Its mind-boggling. Students have to pay more money, Biddy keeps her salary-public universities becoming privatized. Says Student Council needs to be an effective organization for public forum.
–>Madsen: In terms of CSF, a lot of students are frustrated and don’t approve…specifically services for underepresented students aren’t a part of it. Says that this fund is if there is a missing piece or service on campus that isn’t being funded, but can’t be and this is that piece…filling a whole to provide services for students…how do you feel about that?
Love: Questions role of this body to take care of that. Whether its the role of this body to decide what money is being distributed for this fund. Has read through the CSF, largely going off what he’s heard from other students. Is it the role of this body?
–>Beemsterboer: Are you aware of public vs. private funding? Also what does the County Supervisor do?
Love; Oversees the county board.
Sorry guys, missed some numbers due to some pretty fast, impassioned numbers.
OPEN FORUM has been extended for further discussion for 30 more minutes.
Love: The “sweep” of the State stealing out money, what happened, there is a fund 128 account-any access money that ASM doesn’t spend and a whole slew of campus accounts that goes into an account. Over $40,000 was in that account for ASM. The State took it, saying it wasn’t being used. And put it to financial aid. Just took it, though its technically illegal. Junger was supposed to write a report. Find out $900,000 in total was taken.
Reserve board was to hear from orgs, students who came before the Board to request some of the money. Flaw in how it was handled. Went through lawyers to see who would help out. ASM Foundation could be used for a lawyer. ASM can’t hire a lawyer itself with its budget, but could use the Foundation money to do so. Chair Williams shaking his head…
Love says Bus Pass is the most recognized service of ASM. Says there should be a wealth of opportunity for students…wants student to be able to come to this body and feel safe to request things. CSF makes sense, because ASM wants to be the ones allocating. Says ASM needs to be doing more outreach to make sure students know what ASM is!
I’m sorry. I would like to interject here since I do not have a speaking voice with this body. Those of you who are reading..what more do you want? What is it that ASM ‘isn’t doing’ that needs to be done!?! We send out a BI-MONTHLY e-newsletter, where we receive emails saying students would like to unsubscribe. It is a MASS e-newsletter with updates, profiles on Chairs, upcoming events, stories on different student organizations; we have Freshmen Presentations where we are going out to MEET with the Freshmen to educate them on ASM, its opportunities and WHAT ASM IS.
We have this blog, that is posted on Facebook, Twitter and EMAILED out. Who reads it? Why are YOU even bothering? What is it that makes you care? We came out with a ASM Brochure that details our committees and other opportunities. WE ARE MAKING AN EFFORT TO COME TO YOU.
WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT!?
7:32PM Manes makes an irrelevant comment.
Love says people feel uncomfortable and insecure coming before this body to talk. People are afraid of it. Spend weeks of preparation to come before this body and sometimes aren’t even prepared then.
Talk about the history of the CSF fund, Kurt Gosselin’s hand in it. Love says its personal why he doesn’t trust the CSF, but honestly doesn’t know about the history of the CSF. Says it takes a lot of pages of reading to even go through things.
–>Beemsterboer:Says he’s not hearing a solution to all these problems. What is Love’s solution?
Love: He struggled with that last year. He was a voice of resistance on Council. Its hard to think ahead when you have to keep fighting to catch up. Says he’s even having a hard time speaking in front of this body. Its the whole idea of having to catch up. Has no idea..hasn’t had enough time to be thinking of what to do for a solution. There’s always some’ BS’ going on here.
–>Beemsterboer: Do you have any solutions to the problems that have been proposed tonight?
Love: The whole outreach thing! Going to events might be a great way to start. I LIKE THAT SOLUTION. That is a good one, and I agree.
7:38PM Continue on Open Forum.
Dakota feels CSF it will damage the funding process. Is worried how multi-cultural student body has been left out of this proposal. As a student of color, multi-culturalism is an every day experience. Every day, has to educate students on racism in his classes. Says ASM is asking him to trust ASM…have seen maybe 5 people in this room at multi-cultural events. Wonders what might happen if multi-cultural services are taken away. Doesn’t open himself up to questions.
Jolie: Announces a leave of absence due to falling behind in school work.
Tom Templeton: Introduces himself, Chief of Staff for ASM. Been around for awhile. Has a lot of opinions on the budge and CSF. CSF is a great idea overall. The concerns addressed tonight are very valid. It gives a purpose to ASM. Council elected by students to represent views of the student body. It will increase services on campus. It will NOT disturb the GSSF. Not sure…hasn’t seen any proposal against multi-cultural services. At this time, its fair to say that anything and everything could be a possibility. Rebecca had a good point-student council members need to OUTREACH to their constituents. Pushed for Council members to hold a minimum of 2 office hours per week.
Council members will need to be reaching out.
Talking about filling FTE position. This is the year to act on it if ASM wants government relations. Work with legal department, human resources etc. Conversations that we need to have to generate the job description accurately.
–>Kyle: curious why ASM needs a process to implement a new service..but doesn’t need a job description to shell out a salary. What’s the point of putting in a line item for this without accurately knowing what it is?
Templeton: I think you guys should outline certain things of what you want to do, might not be able to get everything in because it has to go through the system first-with the timeline, might not be able to fully address it. Also, there are 10 staff positions…you guys can change those job descriptions as well. Do you know what they do?
–>Kyle: Other issue, bc we don’t have a job description and it has to go thru the University and the process…are we just guessing that $60,000 is the right amount? What if its not?
Templeton: Do what we did last year for this debate: put a timeline on there. Don’t know what it’s going to be but can be a subset clause: need a job description by a certain date and if the proposal isn’t written out, the line item is removed from the budget. A decent compromise to get it started and go through the system…going to Chancellor Martin in late February…start working towards it but set the time line clause.
7:52PM Open Forum extended 5 more minutes.
Zinn: Why is Tom so gung-ho about the lobbyist position this year when it wasn’t last year? Why is the reason being used that we’re going to lose this position if we don’t do it now?
–>Templeton: Been told that since we have that opening and its not being used..we would lose it after this year because that’s their policy department wide. Someone a little more qualified and knowledgeable to advise the committee…good direction to move towards.
Zinn: Why would we need to pay a PA for $84,000 a year?
–>Templeton: difference with someone who could possibly be a long time lobbyist and knows the Capitol. Also, we can’t hire a PA with our budget.
Kyle: What about the Campus Organizer person that was removed during the last budget? Why was that removed?
–>Templeton: We’re losing the FTE, someone we could hire as a full time employee in the division of student life. Last year decided to cut it as it wasn’t the best use of student money and ASM voted to remove it. This year, this body with the advice of Lori Berquam learned it will be taken away if we don’t use it. Did we want to do something with this? Using this money for this position would be a great thing. Its a drafting change in job description as well.
7:59PM Open Forum extension fails by overwhelming amount.
Onto adoption of agenda. Agenda and Minutes approved.
Martin: Read his chair report; are a lot of ideas that he is doing research on; due to his inability to chair the committee for the month of October…making the best of things. Going to keep Diversity committee more accountable.
–>Savoy: Who is ‘we’?Is there a roll [call]? Are there minutes for the meeting?
Martin: We met last week. Right now there are 7 volunteers. It is an open committee. Slowly but surely working to recruit more.
Beemsterboer:Didn’t hold a meeting yesterday because of minimal grants. Also holding a training session with his committee next week. Hopefully have the older committee members integrate the new ones into the process. Also, discussions at previous meetings about changes to funding process. Those will continue.P
Polstein: Working a lot on Housing Fair next week NOVEMBER 16th in Memorial Union-Grand Hall 3PM-6:30PM; free pizza, gifts of iPods, etc. Stop by! Learn more about leasing.
Also working on the position and how it will help LegAffairs.
–>Kyle:I read through the minutes of your committee…lots of in favor comments…will there be names tagged to that?
Polstein: I could basically tell you. A lot of people on my committee in favor of it but also some valid voices of concern. Important to talk about it; I think this is the right position and worth the money but it is a serious position with some serious discussion.
–>Kyle: Further reiterates the seriousness of this position and its advising role.
Polstein: Wants to see the position as advising but also a serious role to get students active. All about continuity: keeping the experiences open and building on each other.
–>Kyle: The carry-over and transition period of this body is important. We had that position that what the position we’re talking about to do, did. And we got rid of it.
Polstein: I think the position as we have it now would be extremely beneficial for Legislative Affairs. I was trying to limit the discussion at my meeting as to whether or not we felt it would be valuable to the student body.
More discussion on the position and how Legislative Affairs talked about it. Comparison of PA position and lobbyist position as well as continuity. Funding, financial aid, legislative successes, working on things full time. Full time position potentially more valuable than PA.
Kyle: Has an issue its bringing up for discussion that they want to take part of. Also, hearing from Research departments, hoping for many people with lots of knowledge to come in and talk.
Ziebell: Meeting yesterday, had a training. Only going through ONE allocation this year, that’s her word, sticking to it. Rest of the info in her chair report.
Fergus:Holding a forum on advising to give the Provost Office some feedback on student advising at 4PM in Caucus room nect Wednesday Nov 17th. Its important to get as much student input as possible into this.
Williams: Changed format of Chair Reports each week. It will be more structured and easy to read.
Johnson: Everything Iv’e done is in my report. We have about 3 1/2 hours to get through the budget…it has to be passed tonight because it has to be to SSFC by the 15th. Also, meeting with Chancellor next Friday to discuss Badger Partnership.
Fifield: Working on WISPIRG opinion. The delay in release of opinion has nothing to do with wasting time, we’re actually taking time to deliberate..its a complicated case and we’re putting as much attention to it as possible. It should be released next Wednesday at midnight. Also the CFACT case will be held on Friday. Hogan will be presiding.
Manes; Met with Badger Catholic, met with Athletic department. Facilities falling apart. working on proactive solution to these things. Hands out view of Daily Cardinal in support of CSF. Also, never received emails from the girl in open forum (sorry! Don’t remember her name!) has met with many people and returned emails. Been as open as possible to those who wanted to talk to him. Feels that statements otherwise are a lie.
8:35PM Motion for 5 minute recess. Aye!
8:41PM Call to order. I am thusly fortified with Bucky Badger Pretzels and Raspberry Tea Snapple. Thrilling, I know. Lets get down to business.
New Legislation: Legal Counsel Appointment
4 people applied to the position. 3 Law students and an undergraduate. Williams said one candidate was placed in the Outreach Consultant position, as was suited. And the overall decision came from who had the background and knowledge to best suit the position and that came down to Tyler.
Targeted emails to UW Law School and Mock Trial team. It is a low paying position.
Kyle: I apologize for asking all the question…<pause for effect> but that’s what we’re here to do. Would like to hear on the concerns of appointing someone who’s already been here for so long instead of reaching out and offering an opportunity of ASM as a whole to the student body.
Williams: Can honestly say I the position was better served and suited with someone who had experience debating with Student judiciary.
Kyle: Why is someone from the inside who knows about SSFC that much better than a law student in debating and thus qualified and training for a legal counsel position?
Williams: Had a successful run of hiring undergrads to this position in the past. Something about the difference in institutional knowledge and basic debating skills and learning process.
Generic comparison of Junger vs. Plamann in the choice for the position. Junger had a better record arguing with SJ.
Fergus; Noms Board is closed door meeting. Do we need to really justify the decision btwn the 2 of the candidates right now?
Kyle: Its a big question over should Noms Board should divulge their thinking process.
WIlliams: True. Some components are sensitive. We shred all our documents after the interviews and selections to ensure privacy of the individuals.
Discussion on qualifications. Conflicts vs qualifications that are better served elsewhere. Also, one of the candidates was just really bad. Resume un-impressive and interview was worse.
Plamann respectfully disagrees that the candidate was bad. Bc the minutes are open and on record, would like to keep it professional please.
Williams says he is sorry if he has offended anyone.
Q&A closed. Legal Counsel Appt. shall be brought before Council next week.
8:56PM Finance Committee Appointments.
Interviews, paper cuts, around 14 applicants. Cut it down to 7.
4 were recommended: Kara Coates, Joshua Tessner, Will Jacoby and Arkajit Mandal.
Decision to delay this process a week. Approved.
9:01PM UC Requirement Bylaw.
Manes: Still don’t want to go.
Zinn: it is our obligation as reps on campus to to have ties to other student governments. I know not everyone likes going once a semester but I think it’s important to keep this institutionalized tie. Issues that affect students on other campuses can affect the whole state. If you don’t want to go, you can take the unexcused absence. I feel that’s a lenient punishment.
Johnson: I can honestly say we are best served in bringing people who are not well-versed in Student Government to come and get a look and meet other students on different campuses. Having it this way, it will only be students who want to go to this event. Next upcoming event, there are several new and non Council members who expressed interest in going. We don’t have the funds to bring everyone so we should bring the ones who will get something out of it. We’re setting policy without funding it.
Kyle: How many people have gone so far to the past two? Members raise hands…not many.
Roll call vote for approval.
I want the Press Office and Assistants to go to at least one this year. I feel that will be very educational as well as…interesting…
18-9-1; Changed to 2/3 and passed.
9:08PM Onto the ASM Internal Budget. Deep breath…and GO!
There are 2 hours and 50 minutes to pass this budget or it reverts to the CoCo original budget and sent to SSFC. Each Council member has 2 speaking terms per motion. This budget MUST be passed by midnight, because the building closes then and the meeting is no longer “open”.
Smathers: Given what was discussed about ‘tagging’ the lobbyist position for its job description, is that feasible? Would you have a timeline for that?
Williams: Yes, we could have that by Jan 29th, the day of the presentation to SSFC.
Smathers; Possible to have it earlier?
Williams: Issue is that we don’t have council before Thanksgiving, then there are exams…could have an actual, REAL JD after Winter Break.
Lizotte: Could you go over why $60,000 is chosen? People in similar positions have received less…
Williams: That is a somewhat arbitrary number, however that range was picked because it sits right at the bottom 95% for someone who specializes in that. Michael from UC..he is exceptionally low. The lowest paid in the country. UC is lucky he is filling that position right now. There is room for debate on what this number should be.
My dearest readers, please grant me a short intermission. I have an online assignment due by 10PM. It needs my attention for approx 10mins to render its completion. Brb! Oh, they are discussing Travel Funds for the UC and other events. Johnson said we’re going over the allocated amount. If we want to do everything this Council wants to, going to need a little more funds.
9:41PM Thanks for that slight intermission. I finished my assignment so that’s good. Here’s what you may have missed:
Clarifications of line items and explaining what some of the words mean. Talking about the General Travel Fund and how it applies to the United Council Events. Back to the lobbyist position. Talk on staff funding-about the FTE. Talk on the usefullness of that position.
Kyle: Why was it cut last year, Council was unwilling to use that position as Campus Organizer…why has that changed?
Williams: Position being proposed now is substantially different. Position before did not spend time at the city, at the Capitol. They did not work on legislative issues. Council felt it was similar to another position and didn’t want to double bill students. Cutting that position last year allows for the discussion of what we want to do with it and make that position useful and effective.
Kyle: Chief of staff said we could change the job description…why didn’t we change the Campus Organizer JD last year? Are we admitting we were wrong?
Williams: No. This is a completely different position and beneficial to ASM. That option wasn’t brought up last year.
Cody: Hows the process for the Creative works fund going?
Williams: Chair Beemsterboer and his committee are currently working on it.
Kyle: I understand why you’re creating this position. I get the ‘hopes, dreams and desires’ for this. Do you really think we would have ‘substantial’ gains at all? If as you say the salary we’re offering is at the lowest level, and we’re going to ask someone to lobby for financial aid, when tuition is increasing and …the one person who is paid at the bottom of the pay scale will accomplish anything in that sort of environment?
Williams: Yes. We might advocate for meeting the need for our financial aid. Its up to this body in the future to decide what we want to lobby for. Do I think it will affect our effectiveness? Absolutely. We’ll have wins all the time that don’t necessarily need to account to student money.
Kyle: How do you suggest with this position to measure its value when it seems to be…hard to define goals for?
Williams: …with what we get wins for. We don’t necessarily get monetary wins. A lobbyist is crucial to ASM.
Kyle: Is this someone we’re going to pay to sit up at the Capitol, rub shoulders; are they going to be lobbying for us the majority of the time or down here in the ASM offices working with the interns, teaching them how to lobby etc?
Williams: I see this as a UC position. They might be in the office working on some things. Telling us and making us aware of whats going on and what we can work on and move towards. It would be very effective and beneficial.
Kyle: Why is this the process we’re going thru?
Williams: CoCo took the stance to have it put in and have it on the ground now to work on. It wouldn’t have been able to go through Finance or other committees to get set up…
More on controlling the budget. Want to be fiscally responsible, not fiscally ‘conservative’ or fiscally ‘liberal’.
Kyle: How do you feel about the comments made earlier about Chair stipends? And the point that they are increasing?
WIlliams: Relative to other student positions, I don’t make that much to the hours I put in. If this job did not pay, I wouldn’t do it. Most likely wouldn’t be in ASM. Its a personal issue. I wouldn’t be able to financially support myself. As well as there are a lot of hours that go into this.
Manes: I move to zero fund the lobbyist and fringes line items. We have about 2 hours to finish this. We havent’ gotten anywhere. We can figure this out later. It will work.
Zinn: Seconded. I have a lot of issues with this. I do value lobbying, its important to have. The important part of that is having students lobbying and something to back it up with. If this were something I supported and believed in I wouldn’t expect students to vote on it when its not fully developed.
WIlliams: Glad Chair Manes made this motion to start out. But not to cut it and leave it. Its the most contentious part of this budget. Issue is whether or not we agree with the concept of having someone in this job…I don’t think we should wait. SSFC will NOT put this in. I’ve been on that committee…I don’t think theyre going to. It will be a really really tough sell. SSFC will not allow something to go in that they have to put in. Will this go in later on? If the majority of students support it now, Im not convinced 2/3rds will agree later on. Do people here agree with the concept of having a government relations person on our budget?
Fergus: We don’t have a JD right now, true. If this passes, it is a lone lobbyist. I would REQUIRE that this person brings students with him as much as possible. It really is the repeated visits and personal relationships made…also there to maintain relationships and push through what we want at the state Capitol. This is the best way to do it. Hire a professional to do it not FOR us but WITH us. Make sure this role is an advising role. Teaching students. Making it the most effective possible. If we want to have the greatest amount of student power we possible can…we need this.
Plamann: Agree in part with everyone. I strongly think having someone there to…..(missed it) strongly support this.
Smathers: It seems I’m hearing contrasting things. Lobbyist to work in tangent with and having fire power for system funding…or the helping out, advising for LegAffairs to do on their own. One is positive in being a little more feasible than the other. This is a backup for Legislative Affairs…I don’t think anyone here would disagree we need someone at the Capitol…its going to be brutal probably. I understand there are big problems in figuring out what this position is…but I agree with Chair Williams. SSFC won’t add it back in. Spending money we don’t really have a good reason or rationale for..if you bring it to SSFC with the JD along they will still scrutinize it and may even still cut it out altogether. If you cut it now, it won’t come back. I would favor more the idea that this is an advisor to Leg Affairs. but I don’t think lack of a definition is going to be a good idea to cut it out..may be too late when we decide to add it in the next budget section. It’s going to be brutal and we’re going to need someone to help advocate..keep it in here for further discussion.
Madsen: I agree. Continues on with his words of agreement. …..this person can teach how can we effectively argue this to legislators. Incredibly effective for students in representing ourselves: city, state in Wisconsin. We should have a sunset clause attached and have the description by the time it goes to SSFC. If this is modeled similarly to the way its modeled with UC, I support it. If we can’t fill it or it doesn’t have a good enough person to fill it…we can cut it next year.
Kyle brings forth valid concerns. “When people vote on this, this decision is can we even get what we want with just $60,000, the low end of the pay spectrum, to get someone good.”
Ivins: I think we’re rushing into this. Look how far Legislative Affairs has come from the past. Its going places. We should rely on Legislative Affairs to do its job.
Jolie:I feel like we need a JD aASAP. When it comes to the pay, what youre describing you’re going to need an organizer, not just a lobbyist. If you’re gonna pay this must, hire an organizer. To be honest, we’re kinda cheap. If we’re going to look at this, need to hire someone who’s going to….the last session might not understand what an organizer does. Combine it to be both a lobbyist and organizer. That would be most beneficial. UC has built that and its most effective.
Zinn: I want to reflect on what people have said so far and I’ll try not to be redundant. Why is lobbying effective, why do legislators respond to people coming in? Maybe that does have some play, the relationship, I can understand that…in the next 2 years we are dealing with a very hostile situation. Why would a Repub stat senator support a tuition increase or freeze? Only way to do that is to mobilize constituency.
-We’re talking about UC as being the best model situation. I don’t think that’s the way it stands. And in the upcoming hostile situation..its going to be hard. This would be something to have a constant presence and institutional presence but nothing is static or lasts forever. This person will have a transition. More effective to have student team of lobbyist. Not just one but 5 people going every time. I have a problem with non students advocating for student issues. Better than one person to hire, hire a team of student lobbyists! more effective than what we have now. I think we should vote this down now and come back to add something else.
Polstein:A lot has been said. We’ve had a discussion on Monday in LegAffairs. Some similar concerns were raised. Students really haven’t had the chance to lobby on the biennial budget but realistically to say we can combat the smallness of our committee and go lobby for it, its optimistic to say we’ll get something concrete. I’m going to work on it and do my hardest but having this advisor position…I’ve talked with Mike from UC before and he’s been very beneficial. As for $60,000..Michael is paid less. He does a great job. my vision of the position is an advisory role but also have a presence at the Capitol for student power to be realized. Have those connections. Money does play a big role in lobbying, but lobbying is for the public interest. Lobbying for public good. Need doors to be open, need the chance, need to channel student power. I think students will be trained. I think ‘lobby team’ is an interesting idea. That’s kind of what LEfislative Affairs already is. I don’t really see the differences..but would be open to it.
Ziebell:Ok. So. As a body we’re torn on this. But I think we can all agree it needs some work. That being said, I think we should vote on it, add the sunset clause and move on.
Call to question. Motion Fails.
Manes:I completely agree with this. Is it better than having anything at all? Right now its students left to navigate the biennial budget and more without the training..we do this as an interest to benefit the campus at large, several hours a week. Its not enough. Organizing might not be enough either. Talks for several minutes with completely valid points. My wrists hurt. Suffice to say, he agrees with this. So…he just spoke against his own motion. Well that was fun. Hence why I stopped typing.
10:32PM Running countdown: One hour, 28 minutes. Come on guys! You got this! Debate…but don’t repeat!
Talking about the custodian position. Ziebell says a mtg is set for next week but isn’t feasible for this year. (AS the alternative FTE) but won’t get to SSFC by the 15th.
Cody: Would like to amend the motion. Adds a sunset clause.
Fergus: If we zero fund this, we lose an FTE. If we zero fund this and want a Campus Organizer or Custodian or a water-cooler filler person later on, we wouldn’t be able to do it once the motion is passed. The position in general and idea behind it, all it is is a parsing of words. This position would be advising students. I want to speak to overall idea. Goes on to talk about the different dimensions and age groups that have people to speak for them. Students cant do this alone. This position would be a huge benefit to students. Lobbyists that are coming in, building these relationships. That’s when they get the point across. Hire a professional to help us.
Williams: After I say this, I’m going to call the past two questions. Only vote ‘NO” if you actually believe that we should not have this position in any capacity whatsoever. Call to question.
Current amendment: Includes sunset clause by January 29th. Otherwise the lobbyist and fringe benefits are zero-funded.
–>If alternative FTE’s are proposed, SC would have to decide ONE position.
The voting on the amendment passed. Now to vote for the amendment to pass.
The amendment passes with about 3-ish ‘Nays’.
Fergus: Move to zero fund the Creative Works Fund. Against it from the beginning. It was a fund to put out grants for students to create works of art. For $10,000. One of the lowest on the list of priorities on this budget.
Hanley:Agreed. Needs to be a laid out plan before we approve it. Didn’t have one last year don’t have one now.
Junger:I see where you’re coming from but it hasn’t been given the chance to fully vet itself. We did it so students can have money to go and make something tangible. I dont actually know what we’re paying for. Different way for us to support students on campus. Hard to flesh out in a VPN manner. I think it needs one more year to see if its useful but perhaps at $5,000 instead.
Kyle: I’ve thought a lot about this. Idk how much is enough. But it is the “Year of Arts”. I’m in favor of a different type of funding. Easily passed the opportunity onto the student body.
Call to question. Zero funding line 14. Creative Works Fund.Motion Fails. Back on main motion.
Junger: Strike $5,000 from CWF.
Call to question. 17-8 that CARRIES (-$5,000)
Zero funding Tenant Rating Website. CARRIES (-$5,000)
Move to decrease the Chief of Staff salary. To cut to $5,130
Comments on what the Chief of Staff does, whether it should be a stipend position.
Madsen: I move to zero fund the line item. I don’t see this position helping Council enough to value it, especially at this level.
Kyle: I don’t want this to be hugely contentious after this victory from last year. However, I think Brandon can and does do his job quite successfully. From what I understand what the Chief of Staff has done so far…
WIlliams: He is not a chair. You don’t have to go to any of his meetings. I send Tom 5-10 emails a day. ASM leadership, including CoS have a personal text line. I am actually able to work on my own initiatives. Gives examples of Tom’s initiatives and leaderhips in his role as CoS. I really think..Tom isn’t going to be paid this much, this year, based on the current number of hours he is logging. I think he is under-logging, actually. I refuse to let this body vote down this position simply because you don’t see what he does.
Fergus: I know he has been able to sit down with many chairs of this body and connect us with resources and then report back to Brandon. Gives examples. These are two hours out of the Chair’s week he doesn’t have to worry and knows things are happening. Its another person to bounce ideas off of. Tom is good at his job. Has a lot of connections on campus. Knows where to go and who to set people up with. Sending a student to meetings Chair and VC cant attend.
Beemsterboer:I want to speak in favor of this position. Hard to place a finger on just how valuable it is..and whether to make it a stipend. How we should handle this position. I think both CHairs would say this position is invaluable. We should be focusing not on cutting but what we want to pay this position, and keeping it around a second year. Tom does have good connections. We shouldn’t be cutting it the first year we have it even if we’re not sure what its bringing back to ASM. Im open to re-evaluating. Discusses the level of the funds for payment.
Motions fails to zero fund.
Motion to cut down to $5,130. PASSED.
Motion to add $12,328 to $72,328 to lobbyist position and rename it “Governmental Relations Director.”
Plamann: If we’re going to do the lobbying thing, we need to do it right. That number based off a professional position with 7-8yrs experience. For federal employee of the caliber we’re looking for. Fairly competitive salary.
Zinn: This is not the time or place! We already voted to keep the position. Need to establish the JD and salary after researching and determining what we want.
Call to question on the additional funds. FAILS.
Call to question on the name change. Debate.
Fergus: This name entails more of what we want it to be.
Friendly amendment change. Call to question. Aye.
In favor of renaming to “Government Relations Advisor” CARRIES.
Move to increase “Ongoing Lobbying” by $875 to $1,125.
Fergus: This money can come from General ASM Programming. Adding would be inappropriate.
Kyle: I appreciate, I guess, the consistency in keeping the budget. We’re trying to set the precedent of HAVING A PLAN before we make these motions. We’re not thoughtfully looking at this. Its ridiculous logic and I don’t understand an hour later we’re back on debating this that we passed!
Junger: Looking up rules for who must register as a lobbyist… I support this amendment.
Kyle:Again, it makes sense we have to increase another budget item we made in haste without enough debate and people implore others we “NEED” to do something, NEED to vote on this, NEED to make this decision…you dont NEED to. Vote sensibly and logically. Not just vote bc people are more articulated or seem to know more about ASM or student needs. No one can tell you you NEED to do this. To do so is a blatant lie.
Call to question. Motion FAILS.
Kyle: Seems like we’re at a point…34 minutes left, however it sits if we don’t pass the budget..then it reverts back and the last 3 hours of our lives were..useless?
Call to PASS THE BUDGET. …..Stand at ease.
Roll call vote.
Motion: To pass the Internal Budget. Duh-duh-duuuunnnnnhhhhh! Ready for this?
Internal Budget Passes with a vote of 19-6.
Move for adjournment.
So, whilst the final role call is being called…I’m not even sure what reflections I have after tonight’s meeting. Its been…interesting.
NOTE: ASM has not officially gone till Midnight yet this year. That’s wonderful!
In all honesty, I am rather impressed with the members of the Student Body who came in for moments of the Council meeting. They didn’t stay long and I think they were trying for the common held view that showing up is impressive, as a show of support at the State level clearly does…but its an effort and a step in the right direction.
We’ll see how things progress in the future, hopefully all this talk about better relations and establishing connections will hold true just with constituents.
My pretzels and I are absconding to the office now. Time for some homework! Check back soon for further updates.