SC Liveblog: Full House to Discuss CSF
The room is packed tonight! All of the chairs are filled by student groups and media. Extra chairs were brought in and some students are sitting on the floor or standing. Council members are counting to make sure fire code is enforced. Most students are here to ask Student Council to debate and vote down the Campus Service Fund proposal.
*Note: Anything below that is not in quotes has been paraphrased.
6:38PM Roll call.
Chair Williams: Commends Council’s work on the student housing fair. Round of applause.
Secretary Madsen: Secretary of Student Council position will be open next year when he steps down.
Sam Seering: He will be speaking in open forum for most of the year at Student Council meetings because he works on issues related to ASM. He has been working on the Badger Partnership, putting together lobbying talking points. He is setting up a meeting with Chancellor Martin to discuss the specifics of the partnership, and he will bring updates back to council.
Seering apologized for accusations against council members that he wrote, but he stands by the principle that the student government needs to be more open and interact more with students outside student council. He is working with freshman representatives to draft legislation to allow students outside ASM to interact more with ASM.
- Kyle VandenLangeberg: Asked Sam if Student Council should take a stance on this issue.
- Seering: They should research the possibility of taking a stance.
- Tyler Junger: Can you repeat meeting info?
- Seering: The meeting about the proposal will be in 99 Bascom Hall at 3:30 tomorrow. Contact Don Nelson if interested in attending.
- Jason Smathers: What would the legislation include?
- Seering: The most important part is the student bylaw petition process, where students could draft a bylaw change for ASM, bring it to council, and require council to consider that bylaw change. If anyone would like the draft language, you can contact him.
- Smathers: How will you enforce SC members reaching out to students?
- Seering: The secretary will oversee this, and the Chief of Staff will organize town hall meetings. People will be assigned to different tasks.
6:50PM New Speaker: Eric Paulson
I encourage SC to pass the Campus Services Fund (CSF). Student Council needs this fund as soon as possible. It is vital for ASM’s internal process. The GSSF process has failed to get vital services to students.
- Nichols: What things have you seen fail, and how can the CSF fix these things?
- Paulson: An example of something that failed is the tenant rating website– people didn’t know what to do with it. It wasn’t institutionalized. He doesn’t know whether the CSF would save ASM any money. It might cost more money but it will provide services students need.
- VandenLangenberg: Why can’t we just line-item this?
- Paulson: It’s a lot of work. The CSF also sets up an evaluation process and deals with a lot more. It makes it easier for students to create new services and it allows council to evaluate the value of those services.
- Manes: If the CSF had been in place while you were in Student Council, how would the tenant support services be different?
- Paulson: When we originally passed it, we didn’t know what to do with it. We don’t really have any experience inside ASM to guide us in pulling it off. We could have had these services in full swing.
- Niebert: What services would you like to be brought to this campus through the CSF?
- Paulson: I want to see the tenant services actually get finished. Another problem now is if the right student groups haven’t applied to GSSF before the deadline, there is no way to get those services on campus.
- VandenLangenberg: How does this set of bylaws require anyone to do anything?
- Paulson: There is an evaluation process for every service.
- VandenLangenberg: That’s not the question. This assumes that a group of people here will do the work. How do we encourage people in this room to do it?
- Paulson: “How do we encourage anyone to do anything? There is some basic assumption that if the process is institutionalized the process will be followed.”
- Hilliard: Do you see the CSF and GSSF coinciding?
- Paulson: As long as the CSF doesn’t grow outrageously, there will always be a place for GSSF. The GSSF can’t act alone. There are organizations on this campus that need a different funding stream than the GSSF.
- Hilliard: How would we determine that the money is used responsibly?
- Paulson: The big difference with the CSF you can say no to services through the CSF. Everything that meets the service definition of the CSSF, you have to fund. With the CSF, you have the constraint of council prioritizing services.
- Smathers: One of the criticisms of the CSF is that GSSF could be liberalized and provide more services.
- Paulson: With GSSF, there’s no way to say no to groups if they meet the definition of services. So what we’ve done historically is we’ve raised the bar so high to get funds. That’s not right. I don’t think liberalizing would mean that we don’t need the CSF.
- Smathers: How is it that the CSF is needed even if the GSSF is changed?
- Paulson: If you’re a GSSF-funded group, 51% of your time must be devoted to your service. If you’re a big student group that wants to do a side service (less than 51%), you can’t get GSSF funding, even if you want to provide a direct service to students. GSSF is an all or nothing kind of thing.
- Hilliard: Looking for clarification
- Paulson: To be a GSSF-funded group, 51% of the group’s time must be devoted to a service that primarily affects UW students.
7:20PM New Speaker: Carolina Marx
*She works with MCSC but is not speaking on behalf of them.
I urge council not to pass the CSF as a “work in progress.” Facebook has become a forum for hate speech instead of addressing the issues at hand. With a turnout like this, I am standing in solidarity with folks who were abused by hate speech. I urge you all to have a little more respect for folks and listen to their points of view.
Students have not been given enough time to consider the CSF proposal and speak to ASM about it.
- Hanley: I respect what you said about anti-bullying. She has been working with council on an anti-bullying campaign. About CSF, she has heard complaints that the process has been rushed. Given that, she is confused why now students are saying that they should not postpone it. If we consider it in February, there will be more time for discussion. Why should we not postpone it?
- Marx: I think it would be wise to give students more time, and give ASM more time to flesh it out.
- VandenLangenberg: No matter what we do with the CSF, do you support it or not?
- Marx: I personally do not. I think the CSF centralizes the decision-making power to this body right here.
- VandenLangerberg: I’m curious whether the people in this room who have been bullied would be willing to come forward in a safe and secure setting and file formal complaints.
- Junger: Do you think we should vote this down tonight and send it back to SSFC?
- Marx: I do. Vote it down, have a true dialogue about the problems with GSSF and come back.
- Open forum extended until 8:32.
- Brigham Schmuhl: What’s one big thing we could do with this proposal to make it okay?
- Marx: Take off the whole second page.
- Jolie Lizotte: Do you feel that your voices will be heard more if we push it back?
- Marx: Maybe, but I feel like there are already a lot of walls up. People aren’t being heard. Forums and listening sessions need to happen.
- Lizotte: Do you feel like you as a student leader are qualified to give input on how to shape funding models?
- Marx: Yes. Anything I don’t know, I will find out. The assumption that I don’t have the ability to get involved and help out makes an ass out of you and me.
- Hanley: How is the SSFC funding stream “grassroots”?
- Marx: I wouldn’t say that it is. The opportunity for grassroots organizing to get funding is what needs to happen– not the way that the groups are funded.
- Hanley: I agree that council members shouldn’t see themselves as above other students, but some group of students has to be in charge of delegating funds. How is council (deciding CSF) different from SSFC (deciding GSSF)?
- Marx: They are totally separate bodies. Council has multiple things that it sets out to do that don’t have to do with funding. I don’t think this body is supposed to delegate funding.
- Hanley: How is it more top-down for council to decide funding than SSFC?
- Marx: That’s not what I’m saying.
- Nichols: Right now if groups miss the deadline for funding, they don’t get those services. We’re trying to fix this. Let’s say tonight we voted down CSF. How would you say we can fix this issue?
- Marx: I don’t think that’s the issue at hand. There are groups that got everything in on time but still didn’t receive funding, which hurts the people that put in all that time to get everything in.
- Nichols: The reason they haven’t received funding is because the standards are so specific so that we can keep the budget low enough. This is a new way to fund different ideas. So why be against another funding stream for more ideas?
- Marx: It’s not that I’m opposed to another funding stream, it’s this one in particular in that it’s not clearly laid out.
- VandenLangenberg: What’s more important right now? The bullying or the CSF?
- Marx: The bullying.
- *People in audience snap fingers*
- Marx steps down.
7:50PM New Speaker: Florence Esho (UW sophomore)
If CSF is passed, it will eventually stop SSFC, and I don’t think that’s a good idea. It’s only a few people deciding on such a huge campus. It’s not fair for all our fates to be decided by 5-6-8 people. I think CSF will be saying no to more people than GSSF; there’s not an infinite amount of money. There’s still going to be services and students hurt, no matter which one you pick. I don’t want there to be one body on this campus deciding what gets funded. I feel like my voice will be cut more. She does not open herself to questions.
8:00PM New Speaker: Theresa Vanderwood (sp?)
I don’t think postponing CSF will help at all because it’s not good to begin with.
New speaker: Tia Newik (sp?)
If this decision is postponed, a lot of the discussion will happen over winter break when we’re all gone.
New speaker: A UW alumnus
I think a lot will be lost with the CSF. I feel like the CSF is an easy ploy to switch out a funding stream. Right now it’s about a diversification of funding streams, but it might not be later. With the CSF, y’all make the budget, not us– unless you allow us to. I think postponing it is a way to make it seem like you’re getting input without actually getting it.
New speaker: Ally Gardener (sp?)
I don’t believe the CSF addresses any of the root funding problems like lack of accessibility or transparency. There needs to be a bigger conversation with people in GSSF groups and outside of them. Considering that most of the people here are here to find solutions, and most of the people are against the CSF, why should we postpone it? We should find real solutions.
- Palmer: Were you present at the meeting where we got input from student organizations on this proposal?
- Ally: I was there, but we didn’t have enough time after that to give you our thoughts. It’s important that more groups are brought to the table to be heard.
- Smathers: Do you feel that one of the central problems of this fund is that it allows Student Council to decide on funding?
- Ally: Yes. I don’t think it’s the job of Student Council to say what students need; it’s their job to voice what students need.
- Smathers: Then what is our role?
- Ally: They should look at what students want and empower a wider group of students to create opportunities for students.
- Junger: How will postponing the CSF make things worse?
- Ally: The CSF is representative of a step in the wrong direction, so it shouldn’t be considered. We should all work together on a sustainable solution.
- Huang: Who is more accountable to students? GSSF groups, or Student Council?
- Ally: I think GSSF groups are accountable to students because they provide services for students.
- Nichols: What is your understanding of how CSF works?
- Ally: One of the biggest problems I have with it is that I haven’t been given full information about how this will be implemented.
- Nichols: Have you tried to talk to anyone on ASM about it?
- Ally: Yes, I’ve met with a lot of people on council.
- Manes: Coming up with solutions to the funding problems requires a lot of work. We met with members of WISPIRG. Any proposal like this is going to take a long time to come to fruition. Is it your proposal that we reopen this discussion every semester in order to include new students every semester?
- Ally: You need to reach out to more groups in the discussion than just a couple people from one organization.
- Manes: We’ve crafted over a dozen changes based on the feedback sessions. How could we have done this differently, after 7-8 months of inviting people to come and engage?
- Ally: You have to talk to people earlier, when you’re drafting the proposal.
- Smathers: The CSF isn’t giving Student Council any new power. The CSF will make it more efficient for council. Do you think we should not have the power we currently do?
- Ally: We have to look at whether it makes things better for the whole campus– not whether it makes it more efficient for SC.
- Smathers: Do you have any faith that this body can provide anything to campus?
- Ally: ASM is supposed to hear what students are saying and empower students.
- VandenLangenberg: Do you think a reason that a lot of people don’t come to the table because of this atmosphere of bullying?
- Ally: I do feel that way. I feel intimidated right now. It can be really intimidating to come forward. I think it’s really important that people are reaching out to students on an individual level, not just saying, “Come into the ASM office or come speak in open forum.”
New Speaker: Dakota (a student)
I think you should debate the CSF and vote it down. If I had a house with termites, I wouldn’t buy a new house; I would get rid of the termites. The CSF centralizes power. This process has been incredibly shady. Only some elite few who you decided were worthy have been involved in it. Outreach does not mean open forum. You should have invested hundreds of hours in outreach instead of just sending an email.
Open forum extended until 9PM
Hanley: Asked the chair to encourage an anti-bullying environment going both ways: from the audience to council, and from council to speakers.
New speaker: Kyle Szarzynski
At the time that CSF was proposed, its intent was to eliminate GSSF. Passing the CSF is a way of de-legitimizing the GSSF. The principle problem is the people who are currently sitting on the SSFC. All I can hope is that new people should be voted in. Student Council should be organizing students. I don’t understand why Student Council isn’t organizing students against Scott Walker. Its charge is to advocate on behalf of student interests.
- Smathers: Is there a need for student council?
- Szarzynski: They should be organizing students through its committees and channeling student energy.
New speaker: Atande Awa (sp?)
Please respect the people who come to ASM open forum and give us a chance to speak. When you vote to end open forum right away, who are you hearing? This is your job; you have the responsibility to pay attention to us.
Open forum extended until 9:31
New speaker: The information you give is not accessible. That starts with your language. Your doing your work within a bubble.
New speaker (Peter): This plan would would put the decision making in a place where a lot of students feel uncomfortable. What will happen when the CSF is in the hands of students who want to end the GSSF?
Stop assuming that everyone pays attention to the things happening on this body. Part of the responsibility of being a representative on this body is actively seeking feedback from constituents.
9:30PM New Speaker: Representative Matt Manes
I feel like I have done everything I could to reach out to people. I’ve thrown myself into this to try to make it as open as possible. If you as council members feel we don’t have enough feedback, you need to solicit it. There are 30 representatives around this table. You need to step up.
It is not the intention of the CSF to replace the GSSF. Its purpose is to add more. The value that I’m trying to add to campus is just as valid as every other student organization. We just have the ability to do it.
- VandenLangenberg: Respond to the allegation that Kurt Gosselin intended for the CSF to replace the GSSF.
- Manes: I don’t think we need to get rid of the GSSF. A lot of the problems with the GSSF process can be fixed. A lot of it comes with the forms that we use. There is no necessity to eliminate the GSSF.
9:50PM New Speaker: VandenLangenberg
There is a culture of bullying going on surrounding the CSF. Outreach doesn’t work when there is a culture of intimidation in this room. I want the people who make comments on Facebook, post anonymously on the Badger Herald to really think about how that makes other people in the room feel when they see things like that. Regardless of what we decide on the CSF, the one thing we need to take away from this is that we cannot continue forward with that attitude and that culture. Even I am contributing to it. There are things that I say that hurt people’s feelings. That’s a big problem for me. I want everyone after we leave here today to spend at least an hour thinking about that before they go to sleep tonight.
End of open forum. Discussion of the CSF was moved up on the agenda so it will be discussed sooner.
10PM Recess for ten minutes.
We’re back, moving into “old business” on the agenda.
On the table: Should Tyler Junger be appointed to Legal Counsel?
There is a motion to refer the issue back to nominations board to further discuss the nomination and look at other candidates.
Manes: Nominations board nominated Junger for the position. He is the most qualified candidate.
Smathers: Junger is already serving as an interim legal counsel and is doing a good job. We should formally appoint him.
Hanley: The only way nominations board would make different decisions is if more people show up. I want to see a commitment from members of this council to show up at nominations board meetings.
Nichols (Chair of Nominations Board): I have not had a full board since last year. If you refer this back to the board until we have a full committee, we’re going to have to wait until someone misses enough meetings that I can kick them off and make a new board.
Plamann: I support Junger in this position.
Fergus: The only other qualified person on campus for this position just said he doesn’t want the position.
Junger is appointed to Legal Counsel.
Finance committee appointments were approved.
Moving on: Discussion of the CSF
Williams: Moves to postpone consideration of the CSF until the meeting following January 25, 2011.
I picked this date because it’s the second week that we’ll be back. At that meeting we will reintroduce it, and we would approve it at the following meeting.
- VandenLangenberg (against postponement): People think this is the wrong direction for council to take. I think we should debate this tonight, because postponing it could be a waste of a lot of time if this body is going to vote it down.
- Fergus (for postponement): If we believe that Student Council should have the ability to provide services to students (like the rape crisis center, the bus pass, tenant services), then you should vote to postpone so we can do outreach and get the best proposal that we can get. Give us the chance to do more outreach.
- Junger (for postponement): We need to do more outreach in order to make a good decision. “We shouldn’t drop the conversation now because I think fundamentally this is a good idea.”
- Brigham Schmuhl (against postponement): I’d like to hear from my colleagues how I can ignore dozens of people coming in here to oppose this.
- Nichols (for postponement): We shouldn’t kill this right here. We should seek more information.
- Smathers (for postponement): ASM has always sucked at outreach. I know that I would be up for sacrificing any other obligations I have to make sure there is some sort of agreement about what this funding stream should be. I think this is something we can talk about in the time frame that we’re given. The problem may not be with the CSF; it might be that we haven’t included enough people in the debate. If in two months time, if it’s still not going to work, then we’ll kill it. Fine. This is something that gives Student Council the opportunity to have a direct line to campus and give them what they need. “I will put in my heart and soul to make sure the outreach is done. For the love of God, give it time.”
- Diaz (against postponement): If you vote to postpone this, you have not listened to your constituents. We need to make sure that the people who had the guts to come here are listened to. They all said this is a step in the wrong direction.
- Hilliard (against postponement): If we decide to not vote on this tonight, we’re not listening to these people. They are the ones that put us in here. We have to listen to them because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.
- Sam Stevenson (against postponement): The problem with the postponement is that the two months are over break when people are going to be gone, so how are you going to do the outreach?
- Savoy (against postponement): You have had two years to do outreach. What are you going to do in two months. It doesn’t need to be postponed; it needs to be dealt with tonight.
- VandenLangenberg (against postponement): The question of postponement is a question of whether there is any opportunity for this body in its current state to have any ability to bring it back and make people trust us with it. Regardless of whether the bylaws are a sound set of bylaws, people are asking us to start over. Maybe we come back with the same proposal, but the important thing is that we include students in drafting the proposal. “We’re not listening to the people that have come before us. People have told us no, and people on this body are seriously thinking that it’s still alive?” “Let’s send a clear message right now that this body is open and ready to listen to students.”
- Lizotte (against postponement): People don’t feel that postponement will give anyone a voice. The only way we can guarantee that the student voice will be heard is having these conversations “from scratch,” “starting fresh.”
- Neibart (against postponement): I have been reaching out to GSSF groups. I’ve been poking my heads into their offices, and I was surprised to hear that other council members had not done that. “They want to be at the foundation of this construction.”
- Beemsterboer (for postponement): “Don’t tell me that I’m not reaching out to my constituents.” If primary contacts of student organizations did not disseminate the information about the CSF, guess who’s fault it is: those contacts. Matt Manes tried to use the student organizations and asked them to come to meetings. Very few people came to the meetings, and when they did, their feedback was taken into consideration. People who have made the effort to reach out to Student Council and go to SSFC have had their voices heard. People come to these meetings saying we haven’t reached out to them. “It’s not a one-way street. ASM is a two-way street.” They have to come to us, too. ASM tried the outreach. If your leaders aren’t being good leaders, that’s their fault. The goal of the CSF is to find more ways for ASM to give things back to campus.
- Plamann (for postponement): If this many people had not showed up, I would want to vote yes on this tonight. Because this many people came, I want to postpone it to make sure more students are involved in this. All of the student groups were involved in this during the drafting.”Then there was turnover and everyone forgot.” This will just happen again if we postpone it.
- Madsen (for postponement): The CSF puts infrastructure in place to institutionalize something we already do. By turning this down, saying that you are listening to the people who came tonight, is absurd. Why don’t we listen to what they said, try our hardest to do some outreach in the next couple months and come back. If they still say their voices were not heard, then vote it down then.
- SC Chair Williams: “When I was SSFC Chair, I saw something truly deep about this organization… I thought to myself, what is the purpose of ASM?…I think we’re doing a piss poor job of services right now, and that’s coming off of one of the most successful events ASM has ever had.” This is when the CSF came to my head. There is an essential service missing, not one that has been provided. What services are we doing poorly that we could institutionalize? I really thought that we could be the difference in ASM. “This is our chance to improve ourselves.” “I honestly can say that I have never been this riled up in front of you before.” The problem is that people aren’t sure what this proposal does. If that’s the case, postpone it.
- Manes: “A lot of weight has been given to the people who have shown up tonight to voice their opinions… But the people in this room does not your constituency make.” Most of your constituents are not in this room. There was a vast majority of your constituency missing tonight. In the past few years, I haven’t seen this council accomplish anything. This gives you the tool to actually do that. If there is fear that this will replace the GSSF, fine, there’s nothing I can do to assuage that. I have repeatedly said that is not the intention of the CSF. “If you want this body to continue to do what it’s been doing, which is nothing, then vote to postpone this.”
- Kuo: “Most of the outreach I’ve seen around ASM is having pizza and expecting people to come.” We need to get out and talk to our constituents.
- Stevenson: “I don’t believe voting this down would create an end to this. It would be helping gain trust of students.”
The question has been called: Will Student Council postpone discussion of the CSF until the first meeting after January 25, 2011?
11:50PM Motion to postpone FAILS. Council will discuss the proposal tonight.
Manes: “We have ten minutes left in this meeting. I have ten of minutes speaking time. Well then…“
Note: Meetings are required to end at 12PM. If Manes speaks for the remaining ten minutes, council will not be able to debate or vote on this proposal tonight. Members are urged not to leave the meeting because a vote can be called at any time. If there is no motion to vote on the proposal tonight, it will be postponed until the next Student Council meeting, after Thanksgiving.
Manes continues. People begin packing up. Manes yields to the chair.
Nichols: We want to help our constituents and do something. Do people honestly think that after this there will be the unity to work on something different? If you bring up something new, how do you make people care? Let’s look to the future. Let’s give Student Council the tools to do something different.
VandenLangenberg: “I would encourage everyone to encourage to have this conversation outside this room, and particularly with the people who have drafted this legislation.”
12PM Meeting adjourned.