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SC Liveblog: CSF decision looms

December 1, 2010

The room is packed again tonight, but it’s no match for last week– everyone has a chair. Five members of the Badger Herald editorial board are here. They wrote this editorial today in support of the CSF.

6:35: Roll call.

Announcements:

Smathers: Tomorrow at 6:30 in the Hearing Room there will be another town hall meeting about the GSSF. Free dinner!

Open Forum:

Sam Seering: The CSF needs to have a longer review process with more input. Student Council should send the CSF to the Rules Committee.

  • Neibart: What’s the difference between referring to rules committee and postponing it?
  • Seering: In the rules committee, there wouldn’t be a specific date for it to come back. It wouldn’t come back prematurely. The rules committee would allow more student input.
  • VandenLangenberg: Does the rules committee have this jurisdiction? How would you respond to the fact that the rules committee hasn’t done anything yet?
  • Seering: They have teh jurisdiction, and the reason the committee hasn’t done anything is that they don’t have quorum. This could provide a spark for the committee so people would actually show up and make it an efficient committee.
  • Manes: Motion to limit Q & A to two minutes. Motion fails (11-11).
  • Kuo: Are there any options other than the rules committee?
  • Seering: ASM has exhausted its options. I would be working very strongly with the rules committee and I would be willing to take it on as someone who works specifically on outreach.
  • Kuo: Do you have an idea of a date the committee would bring it back to council?
  • Seering: February 16.

6:48 New Speaker: Dr. Ingraham

Ingraham: I’m here to voice my support for the campus services fund. I would like everyone on this body to set aside all of the underhand things, intimidation going on surrounding this issue and consider the legislation. Matt and I haven’t agreed on hardly anything since I’ve known him, but it is clear there are not good mechanisms for student council to do anything that actually serves its constituents.

  • VandenLangenberg: There are a lot of accusations that we don’t do anything. Can you name one thing that you thought you did as a student council member last year?
  • Ingraham: I think my main role was a voice for graduate students. There are a lot of things I didn’t go. Creating an efficient mechanism for student council members who may only be here for one year is really important.

7:00 New Speaker: Lindsay Bembenek, President of WSL:

The CSF fills gaps in the GSSF funding model and the WSL supports the CSF.

  • VandenLangenberg: What do you dislike about the GSSF?
  • Bembenek: For me, it’s that the current GSSF model takes up a lot of our staff capacity.
  • VandenLangenberg: If the CSF passes, will we see a proposal from the WSL?
  • Bembenek: We would consider it, but we are not saying that now.

New Speaker: Secretary Madsen

Madsen: I went to the Polygon (engineering student council) meeting this week to talk about the CSF. Representative Odles also attended. (Madsen and Odles are representatives from the School of Engineering). The Polygon student council voted 33-6 in favor of the CSF.

  • VandenLangenberg: Is that official support from Polygon?
  • Madsen: It’s a democratic representative vote of students in engineering.
  • VandenLangenberg: Did anyone speak against the CSF before the vote?
  • Madsen: Odles voted against it last time and he spoke at the meeting, but I didn’t solicit voices who I knew were adamantly against it to come and speak.
  • Neibart: Did most of the people know about the CSF before you came and talked to them about it?
  • Madsen: They did not.
  • Neibart: So most of what they know is what you told them.
  • Madsen: I think that’s fair.

7:05 New Speaker: Jonah Zinn, SC Representative

I was disgusted to learn that someone called the police when students came to the Student Council meeting to speak last week. I would hope that that didn’t come from anyone around this table. If it did, I would hope that you would resign. If not, I hope that never happens again. You want to talk about why nobody brings their opinion to ASM or comes to your office hours? Well maybe it’s because people are scared of you calling the cops on them.

7:10 New Speaker: Tom Templeton, ASM Chief of Staff

Student Council will be discussing the Student Representatives Constitution tonight. The constitution merges Student Representatives (leadership on student councils) with United Council to create a mandatory state-wide student organization. We have overwhelming support from other student councils across the state on this, so I urge you to pass it. There is a dual voting system where small and big schools both get strong representation.

7:15 Necca Hougase (incorrect spelling), UW student

I’m not here representing anyone. I disagree with the CSF because I think we’re looking at a flat tire and a broken windshield and we’re trying to buy a new car. There are issues with the GSSF and ASM, but if you want to the be the body that you hope to be, you need to tackle those issues individually. I think the CSF is unnecessary. I think it should be voted down, but I would support referring it to the rules committee.

  • Fergus: If it is referred to the rules committee, would you help make it better for the student body?
  • Hougase: Yes. The outreach I’m talking about isn’t emails. I’m willing to have meetings and bring in people who do and don’t care about this issue. People don’t know about ASM except that it’s on the bus pass. We need to think outside of the box. We need to get out and talk to people. Outreach is the job of everyone in this room.
  • Smathers: If this went to the rules committee, what would you like to see this become?
  • Hougase: I would prefer that you vote this down, but let’s use the hard work that went into this document. Let’s strip it down. If this goes to the rules committee, we should take out everything that’s unnecessary, and identify the real problem.
  • Smathers: Is there anything in the CSF proposal that is useful?
  • Hougase: I think we should fix the problems with the GSSF instead of creating the CSF. There are some things in the proposal that are necessary but the way the proposal is written is too vague that I’m scared it won’t be carried out right. It can be interpreted in a lot of different ways.
  • Neibart:How can we fix the GSSF?
  • Hougase: With the GSSF process, there’s very little education about the process and it gets crazy.
  • Neibart:Do you think the RSO you’re involved in needed more help in the process?
  • Hougase: I think the help that you get is the help that you go in get. I think people should be offered help. There should be a position that’s solely for educating student groups on how to get funding.

7:30 New Speaker: Representative Palmann

I think we’re doing everything we can for outreach on the CSF. I talked to eight different student groups. If the CSF goes to the Rules Committee, I will open the committee to allow students to come in, and suspend Roberts Rules to do so.

  • VandenLangenberg: Can you respond to the concern of the breakdown that would occur when you suspend rules?
  • Palmann: My goal is to finish a certain number of the bylaws each meeting, and just go until we finish. Everyone will have to compromise to finish.

7:35 New Speaker: VandenLangenberg

I’ve received equal numbers of emails for and against the CSF. Im going to read some excerpts from an email not in support of the CSF.

The email expressed concern that the CSF puts too much power in the hands of Student Council Representatives and leaves students too much out of the process.

VandenLangengerg: The Rules Committee has no precedent of functioning as a committee. There’s a serious possibility that the Rules Committee will run out of time and will and power, and we may never see this again. There is also a strong possibility that the people that show up to these meetings are special interests groups.

Open forum closed. Discussion of the CSF was moved to the end of the meeting.

Chair reports.

Chair Beembsterboer (Finance): He will give council copies of the Creative Works Fund tonight and is seeking feedback. Allocations will be made on January 31.

Chair Nichols (Nominations): Financial specialist position will be interviewed over Winter Break.

Chair VandenLangenberg (Shared Governance): We have completed our anti-bullying action plan. We identified 12-13 committees and outlined what we want those committees to do to address the bullying issue. This will be an official Shared Governance campaign. We will vote on this proposal on December 9. Members of the press, come to my meeting, take my picture and put it in the paper.

Chair Fergus (University Affairs): I ask that council members help out at the preliminary drop off for textbooks during exam week. It’s important that we get volunteers, because that’s what makes it run smoothly. I believe the dates are Dec. 19-22.

  • VandenLangenberg: If I’m here on the 23rd, will you sing me a Christmas Carole?
  • Fergus: Yes.
  • VandenLangenberg: Would you like me to sing with you?
  • Fergus: Harmony?
  • Williams: There will be no harmonies on my council.

Williams: Other council members and I met with the Chancellor. The Badger Partnership is not a concrete proposal– it is a number of possibilities of what the structure could look like. Martin was candid about the strong possiblity of tuition increase (targeted at median of Big Ten schools’ tuition) that would come with the Badger Partnership.

  • Zinn: What did she say about a timeline?
  • Williams: There is no release when it will all come out. It will be a series of asks to the state.
  • Zinn: My concern is that she is going to release them while we are all on break. Then we’re going to come back and it’s going to be budget season and it’s going to be too late. She needs to at least release what she’s going to do, like tomorrow, to be honest.
  • Williams: I think that’s a legitimate concern. I think their hesitancy is that they want to be the one making the ask, which would mean a relative amount of secrecy.
  • VandenLangenberg: Do you think we should be open-records-law-ing this?
  • Williams: That’s a possibility.
  • VandenLangenberg: Do you think Fall Break is a carrot being dangled?
  • Williams: No, the break was our idea.
  • Huang: Did she give a range for what they would set the tuition at? There’s about a $2500 gap between schools five and six in the big ten.
  • Williams: I believe the number was a little over $10,000. That wouldn’t come all at once.
  • Lizotte: Did the Chancellor talk about why it’s necessary to raise tuition?
  • Williams: She’s very aware of the fact that pricing-out occurs. Much of the tuition increase would be used for financial aid. Chancellor Martin sees a need for flexibility from the Board of Regents to decide tuition amounts.
  • Lizotte: If we’re raising tuition to increase financial aid, isn’t that a chicken and egg situation?
  • Williams: It’s more of a cost-distribution model. Most private schools and many public schools follow that model. Those who can afford higher tuition pay it and those who can’t afford it get the extra.
  • Zinn: I think it’s high time we start exerting some pressure on this situation. We need to know the details of the plan. I think council needs to demand these details.
  • Williams: I would suggest that if you do that, you draft a letter so that we can get a written response.
  • Huang: Did the Chancellor indicate whether the aid would be loans or grants?
  • Williams: I would assume grants but I don’t know.
  • VandenLangenberg: Can we have a Q & A with the Chancellor
  • Williams: I can request that.

8:15

Vice Chair Johnson: I think the Chancellor’s point was that there are wealthy students on this campus who could pay much higher tuition without batting an eye. We could gain a lot out of this– we can use this as a shared governance opportunity and get students on a body recommending tuition models.

Kate Fifield, Student Judiciary: SJ is deciding whether SSFC’s appeal is valid. They approved a new outreach position with more responsibilities and a stipend. They have created a committee to examine the SJ structure.

Matt Manes, SSFC: I find it interesting that everyone talks about outreach, and then at the town hall meeting, basically nobody decides to show up. There’s another forum tomorrow where we’ll be taking feedback and presenting possible solutions. As far as the seg fee levy, ASM will be about a wash. On the non-allocable side, we’re looking at a $15-20 increase per student per semester. I have a plane to catch, so I’m going to talk about the CSF. Both student papers voiced support for the CSF, and they are in many ways the voice of the student body. This body loves to point out problems, and not pose solutions. I’m not going to stop working on the CSF. If this body doesn’t want it, maybe the next one will.

  • VandenLangenberg: What’s the average age of the editorial board of the papers? Do you think that it’s an appropriate assessment to say that an editorial board is the voice of the student body as a whole, and suggest that that group of body is doing any more outreach than this body is doing?
  • Manes: Considering that they send reporters to every aspect of student life, I think they have a pretty good perspective on what’s going on.

8:30 Special Orders: Committee appointments

Smathers and Neibart nominated themselves to SSFC.

There are two candidates, and two seats. With no objection, both candidates were appointed.

Seven other representatives were put on Legislative Affairs, Nominations Board, Diversity, and University Affairs. Check back at the end of the blog for their names.

Draft of Student Reps Draft Constitution

Johnson urges council to endorse the constitution.

  • Smathers: Can you clarify the voting process?
  • Johnson: You vote based on total group membership, and it has to pass with the majority of votes in attendance. The second check is not a second vote– it is a check of the first vote. It ensures that all schools are represented.
  • Fergus: One of United Council’s platforms is that they will support tuition decreases. So why should we support a tuition increase with no mechanism for telling students how to opt out? 
  • Note: The new document raises the mandatory refundable fee from $1 to $3 per student per semester.
  • Johnson: If the student government thinks that students need to know how to get their money back, they can do that.

Council will vote to endorse the draft at the next meeting. (They are required to bring it up at a second meeting before voting).

8:45 Resolution to Faculty Senate

This resolution would request that the Faculty Senate allow a graduate student to sit on the Research, Safety and Compliance Committee.

Chair VandenLangenberg asked council to pass this resolution.

  • Hanley: Would you consider an amendment to push for an undergraduate and graduate student seat?
  • VandenLangenberg: I don’t think so, because graduate students are by far the most affected by it. These policies affect unethical student research. It is not likely that undergraduate students will have to deal with this problem.

The resolution was passed.

Old business:

SACGB Seat Reapportionment

Katie Ziebell sponsored this amendment. It would change the composition of the SACGB to have fewer nominations-board members and more student council members. If there is another position added in the future, Ziebell would like it to be someone from the SAC front desk.

Resolution Supporting the Creation of a Web Advisory Committee

VandenLangenberg sponsored this resolution. It would be a shard governance body that “implements policy and guidelines with regards to the design and implementation of web technology in the university.”

The resolution will be considered at the next council meeting.

Ten minute recess.

9:15 Campus Services Fund

Williams: This should go to Rules Committee. I think this will provide incentive for people to work on Rules Committee.

  • Brigham Schmuhl: Do you have an idea of when this would be brought back to council?
  • Williams: What I like about it going to Rules is that it wouldn’t have a specific date. Realistically it would probably be around the end of February.

Palmann moves to refer the CSF to Rules. Williams seconds the motion.

Williams: I made a mistake that I never brought forward anything concrete to get feedback on. And what I realized is that if you don’t present something concrete, people don’t want to participate. We can salvage the idea behind this and tweak it so that people will be happy with it. If we don’t refer this, we could be killing it. It’s just too sound of an idea to kill it. This doesn’t compete with other funds. We want to fix the GSSF also. “We owe it to ourselves to keep this idea in the forefront of our minds, even if it has to be changed substantially.”

Moving into debate.

Fergus: I’ve done a lot of outreach and heard the majority of people in support of the proposal. I think we should refer it to rules because it allows us to do the outreach. And it makes us do the outreach.

Smathers: At the Town Hall meeting, one argument presented was that council’s role is to provide students organizations the power to fund student services– not provide them independently. This council is not perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than hoping that students magically take on the services we need provided.

Hanley: I believe that Chair Plamann is committed to making this an open process on Rules Committee, so I hope everyone will participate in coming up with a good solution.

** Council referred the CSF to Rules Committee with a vote of 21-4-1. **

MEETING ADJOURNED.

Committee appointments:

SSFC: Smathers, Neibart

University Affairs Committee: Bulovsky, Dowden

Diversity Committee: Yah, Diaz

Legislative Affairs Committee: Ostenson

Nominations Board: Plamann

Rules Committee: Hilliard

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One Comment leave one →
  1. iheartasm permalink
    December 1, 2010 9:44 pm

    Better than the alternative.

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