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SC Live Blog: UW Attendance Policy?

March 2, 2011

Download the agenda here.

6:31 PM Meeting adjourned by Vice Chair Adam Johnson. The Chair is not present tonight.

Open Forum

WISPIRG representative: Here to give WISPIRG update. We’ve raised 2,000 of 10,000 for food pantries. We’re working on an energy-saving competition between dorms. We’re having a black out party event where students will use no electricity for two hours and they can come to the union for a documentary, Kilowatt Hours and a carbon offset for any electricity we use. We’re also looking into eliminating bottled water.

Representative Leedle: I’m one of the new members to SC and I have found myself torn on a few issues prevalent to this campus so I want to speak to my concerns. I sincerely appreciate being appointed to this council, but in the past few weeks I’ve been trying to keep up with Badger Partnership news. I’ve read many blogs, statuses from members of this body. I’m glad to see so much student involvement but the content of these concern me. I understand that Martin is trying to maintain the quality of education here, but I need concrete evidence that this will not negatively affect other UW schools. Some of the blogs I have read make it clear that some ASM members don’t care how it will affect other UW schools. There are thousands of transfer students on this campus. Other schools have valuable programs that cannot be overlooked. I am fearful that solely by focusing on UW-Madison’s opportunities, we will overlook the futures of the students at other UW schools. Wisconsin only prospers when all of our universities produce graduates ready for the work world. “If this does negatively affect other UW campuses, and there’s good reason to believe it will, how will it affect the future of the Wisconsin workplace?”

Representative Neibart: I have a problem with the way we’re passing some things. From now on, we can consent agenda, but if we do that, I hope at least one of these members will say why they support what we are passing. Also, I’m really happy with the people on this body and I’m excited to see the impact we’ll have.

  • Manes: Are you saying this body should deliberate on items that aren’t controversial to hear ourselves talk?
  • Neibart: It’s not about hearing ourselves talk. It’s about explaining our actions.

Representative Brigham-Schmuhl: I’d really like you guys to nominate people to the CALS search and screen committee. You can’t complain about the administration at this university unless you put your two cents into who those administrators are. Also, I went to the Capitol today and I was disturbed. I’ve never experienced an airport as inaccessible as the Capitol building. I can see how a person might be intimidated or annoyed enough by that process to not want to go and represent themselves in the state building. I eventually got in by emailing my representative to set up a meeting to get in the Capitol. I would encourage you to do that.

  • Junger: How large is the candidate pool right now?
  • Brigham-Schmuhl: 40-50, but they want hundreds of people. It’s a national search.

Max Love: As far as I know, ASM doesn’t have any official stance on the Badger Partnership, so it does seem a little odd that members of ASM are spreading their own views about the Badger Partnership. I think we are only as strong as we are as an institution because we have such close ties to the rest of the UW system. And I’m worried about this claim from Martin that she knows how much the tuition will increase because she doesn’t even have a seat on the board of trustees deciding tuition. It really concerns me that ASM leaders are taking positions on this, and potentially these blogs could have influence on this campus. There needs to be a broad education campaign from this body to ensure that students know what the Badger Partnership needs, and I think that’s the duty of this body.

  • Beemsterboer: Are you aware that the Chancellor oversees the whole budget?
  • Love: It’s my understanding that the board of trustees would have say over anything in the budget.
  • Brigham Schmuhl: Seeking clarification on the Board of Trustees
  • Johnson: It will be one member from the board of regents, and ten appointed by the governor.
  • Bulovsky: Are you suggesting ASM take an official position on the Badger Partnership?
  • Love: I think that should have happened a long time ago.
  • Bulovsky: Do you think it’s fair to silence ASM members?
  • Love: If they’re acting in an official capacity, like being in video on Badger Partnership website– probably yes. If they’re taking their own personal positions, they should make that very clear across everything they say. I don’t want to silence anyone personal speech but there’s a way to do it tactfully.
  • Hanley: How do you think ASM should advocate for both sides of the issue?
  • Love: It’s difficult to make sure everything is represented. I’d like to see four students on the board of trustees. I feel like this board will take away the meaning of ASM because it can oversee everything. It seems like the board could easily meddle with ASM decisions. Also, this whole thing about talking to alumni… of course they’re in support of this. What about talking to kids in high school who want to come here? I don’t think we’re being effective in our outreach to people who would have the most reasonable say in what we’re doing here.
  • Hanley: From how I understand it, the board of trustees won’t be that different from the Board of Regents in having the power to meddle with ASM. Do you think it’s in the spirit of Shared Gov that students would have more respresentation than faculty and staff?
  • Love: That’s a good point. I think they should probably have equal say.
  • Neibart: Are you aware that subcommittees of this body have been educating students on the partnership?
  • Love: I was aware that Leg Affairs and Shared Gov has been, yes.
  • Neibart: Are you aware that many members of this body, even if they have an opinion, are opening themselves to new information and changing their ideas?
  • Beemsterboer:Do you think the Chancellor has the best interest of UW-Madison and all its constituents in mind? I challenge you for a one-word answer.
  • Love: Yes.

7:15 PM

Sam Seering: I want to give you information about Chapter 37. The Board of Trustees does have a majority appointment by the governor, to make sure we are still a public university. The agriculture interest was placed on the board because of the land grant purpose of this university. Shared gov is no longer 36.09.5. It is 37.03.5. I’m fairly certain the case law of 37.03.5 would be interpreted the same as 36.09.5. Over the next few weeks, I’m looking for amendments from this body to make sure the legislation is the best it can be for students. Some ideas are to get more students on the board and to make shared gov more part of the spirit of the law.

Adoption of the Agenda

Fergus motions to add to the agenda, “Removal of Two Year Student Council Term Limit.” This was accidentally left off the agenda. Council voted to pass this at their last two meetings, but passed amendments to it at the last meeting. Because it must be passed in its final form at two meetings, they have to vote on it again.

  • Hanley: This is a constitutional amendment and it’s not ethical to take it up tonight because it wasn’t on the agenda.
  • Fergus: We’ve already passed this unanimously. It’s not a big deal. We need to pass this tonight. Let’s just add it and do it again.

Council voted to add it to the agenda.

Committee Reports

Diversity Chair Roberts: Kick-off meeting this Monday in Gordon Commons at 6 p.m. They’re showing the movie Crash.

Finance Chair Beemsterboer: We’re working on travel and events grants. Operations grants close next Friday. If you need help with it, shoot me an email.

Nominations Chair Nichols: There’s not many seats open so we’re in a low right now.

  • Hanley: Are there any Student Council seats open and are we attempting to fill them?
  • Nichols: There are a couple– CALS and graduate. They’re listed as open on the website so anyone can apply. If you have any ways for me to contact people let me know.

Shared Governance Director Hanley: We’re looking over chapter 37 and we discussed the potential structure of the board of trustees. If anyone here is interested in giving input on chapter 37 I recommend attending the Shared Gov meeting tomorrow at 5:30 in the Caucus Room.

SAC GB Chair Ziebell: Since I’m graduating I’m drafting my vision for the space.

  • Niebart: What does your vision look like?
  • Ziebell: Mainly setting up a three-tier system of allocations, potentially extending lease periods.
  • Niebart: Have you recognized any problems with the allocations process?
  • Ziebell: I wouldn’t say problems, but there are improvements that can be made.

University Affairs Chair Fergus: Today was the last day for students to pick up their textbooks. The remaining books will be donated to the library. We’re working on creating a calendar of RSO events happening in the SAC that will go on the wall in the SAC. We’re working on expanding the use of campus cash around the campus area so students can use their student ID as a debit card at businesses around campus.

Chief Justice Fifield: We’ve received six complaints about SAC GB allocations. We will see them over the course of six weeks after Spring Break.

SSFC Chair Manes: I’ve got big news for you. On Monday we finished the final budget including the rape crisis center contract and the WSUM budget, that this body will have to approve. I have final numbers for seg fees for this upcoming year. We haven’t finished the bus pass budget, but not including that: We are seeing a 4% decrease in allocable seg fees from last year that will amount to about a $20 decrease for students. The Union is the most contentious budget. They’re getting $9 million for operating and $7 million for building fees. That’s around $420 per student per year to be a member of the union. We’re asking them to look into providing students with lifetime memberships to the union because that is so much money.

  • Neibart: How will Walker’s budget proposal change this?
  • Manes: It should have very little impact.
  • Huang: What happens to the allocable budget, considering WISPIRG is still in the appeals process?
  • Manes: I have a death line at the beginning of April to have seg fees set, so I’ve notified the Chief Justice of this so we can finish before then. If that doesn’t happen, we have the ability to tap into reserves.

8:00 PM

Student Judiciary Precedent

Chief Justice Fifield: This is basically saying that when SJ makes decisions, those decisions have bearings on future decisions.

  • Fergus: If this passes, will SJ be bound by all previous SJ decisions?
  • Fifield: We discussed that, and it has some pretty ridiculous implications. But it’s equally ridiculous to set a date on it and force SJ to ask, was this decision made before or after?

Council will see this again next week.

ASM Changes to Class Attendance Policy

Fergus: At UW-Madison, professors can establish whatever policies they want and should be considerate of student needs. This has led to some very harsh attendance policies. It has caused a problem for a lot of students, especially student athletes. We’ve looked at attendance models around the big ten and found one we liked at the University of Minnesota. The idea is that students can’t be punished for a certain list of excuses. Professors can ask for proof and decide if the absence is legitimate. If students feel they are wrong, they can appeal.

  • Johnson: Is it the policy of UHS not to provide doctor’s notes?
  • Fergus: That is true. The resolution charges shared governance to bring this to their committees and get feedback from their committees.
  • Hanley: Are you aware that committees this would go to are all essentially making recommendations to the faculty senate and mostly have no authority to implement policy?
  • Fergus: I am aware of that. The impetus for bringing it to shared gov committees is to get these conversations started. We hope their committees will endorse a policy like this and send it to the faculty senate.
  • Hanley: I think this is a good idea. What is the body’s strategy for getting this implemented?
  • Fergus: The legislation asks shared gov student appointees to push this policy on their committees. My committee will be looking for support on this from students, student orgs, faculty and administrators.
  • Hanley: If this passes, what do you envision Student Council doing to help?
  • Fergus: I would like Student Council to talk to students and professors about this.

Council will see this next week.

8:15 PM

MadFest Music Festival

Beemsterboer: This is a music festival at the Alliant Energy Center that Students Socializing with a Purpose want to put on. To make it accessible to students, they would have buses between the Alliant and the Union. It’s an event to promote cultural awareness. We still have some questions about how this will happen, so rather than vote on this tonight we want them to solidify what will happen at the event a little more.

  • Fergus: Do you think it’s reasonable that over 10 percent of the student body will attend an off-campus music festival? That’s their estimate.
  • Beemsterboer: That’s probably high.
  • Fergus: Do you think your committee would have made a different decision if that had been brought up?
  • Beemsterboer: I don’t think so.

Removal of Two Year Student Council Term Limit

Fergus: We’ve already voted on this. Let’s do it again.

Hanley: I’m going to abstain because of my concerns about how this was brought up– not because of any problem with the legislation.

Council voted to pass this change to the constitution with two against and three abstentions.

8:25 PM Meeting adjourned.

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