/www/wsa/templates/legislation.htt Wesleyan Student Assembly — Legislation

Wesleyan Student Assembly — Wesleyan University

WSA Minutes 10/12/2008

1. Fight song

2. Attendance.

3. Open Forum

  • Michael P — Introduces Dean Mike Whaley. “An ally who goes above and beyond.”
  • Dean Mike — Discusses dinner plans for the 22nd of October at his house.

4. Last weeks’ minutes approved.

  • Becky Weiss introduces Fountain Ave recommendations.
  • Cesar and Jared recommend extensive Code of Non-Academic Conduct/SJB review, efforts to make CNAC more clear and readable.
  • Becky: have some recommendations for SJB that SAC will handle.
  • Jared: Reconsider SJB’s “transcript” per grad school apps.
  • Cesar: CNAC should be clear as to what constitutes an SJB-trial offense.
  • Jared: extend time for students to reply to SJB violations, reevaluate how PSafe can contextualize an SJB-level offense.

Stack Opens

  • Chris Goy: Points out disparity between what happens in PSafe reports and SJB trials. Problem is when PSafe says “we want to mention your cooperation, what’s your Wes Is?” and then students get an SJB hearing.
  • Ravid: What are the procedures now for Psafe to call police?
  • Becky: We will answer that next week. It’s not written out.
  • (Rules suspended to allow Fountain Ave to always be able to yield to each other.)
  • Discussion tabled until next week.
  • Becky presents community relations resolutions.
  • No overarching solutions for students, PSafe, and MPD to always get along. However, the Ftn. Ave Commission has some recommendations.
  • Karl reads the list of recommendations for Wes student/Psafe relations.
  • Becky: some of the recommendations are silly, but you never know what works.
  • Becky reads the list of recommendations for Wes student/MPD relations.
  • Karl reads the list of recommendations for Wes students/Middletown resident relations.
  • Stack opens
  • Joanna asks for clarification on ‘work study’ program, MPD ‘cultural event’ program. Will they work?
  • Becky: They’re worth trying.
  • Jared: These won’t work if students don’t care. But we need to find a way to facilitate communication between students and MPD. A conversation will occur in a more positive environment.
  • Elise: Good recommendations.
  • Jen: Ditto, especially exchanging phone numbers between students and M-town residents.
  • Chris Choi: POI—SJB uses Psafe ride-a-longs as a punishment.
  • Candace: Supports the map idea. Encourages students in general to go next door and meet neighbors.
  • Paul: Agrees with Candace’s map idea. Doesn’t see b-ball games with MPD as solution as much as teaching students that they are not above the law, wishes that to be specifically part of the recommendations.
  • Becky: Education on specific points will be presented next week. We want to create a really easy to read/find document.
  • Benedict: Knows that a lot of issues come out of MPD, but wishes the recommendations extend to all emergency workers in Middletown.
  • Ravid: I don’t know why Wes students would want to hang out with MPD, especially with past instances of racial profiling. Recommends students speak to the residents on their streets.
  • Chris Goy: Agrees partially with Ravid, but says the main problem is a lack of common sense. If Wes students cannot introduce themselves out of common courtesy, certain resolutions will not work.
  • Micah: What about the weekly Fountain Ave block parties? Police support the idea. Even with open alcohol.
  • Karl: Potential tension in frequent block parties, legality issues with open alcohol.
  • Candace: Understands 2 tensions: For Wes students to be education, and Wes students’ feelings of being attacked by MPD. Wants students to know how to log a complaint with Psafe/MPD.
  • Saul: Question for Karl—Will block party statute include a spontaneous block party clause?
  • Karl: It would not work under current ordinances requiring all people on the street to sign consent.
  • Paul: Says it is ridiculous that students think they are above the law, and justify their misbehavior with claims of “rights.”
  • Ravid: I was at the police station night of Fountain, and the police denied students pens and pencils.
  • Michelle: Is Psafe able to call police and for Psafe to be in charge.
  • Bradley: Out of order—it’s next week.
  • Aubrey: Handheld camera policy. Commission met with Dave Meyer. Meyer says they were used for crowd control, documentary purposes.
  • Aubrey reads the list of camera protocol recommendations.
  • Becky notes that the Commission should not use cameras as a deterrent, but the cameras should be used as a tool to understand a crisis situation.
  • Bradley: Shift supervisor?
  • Aubrey: Who is in charge of Psafe when Dave Meyer isn’t in at night. Sometimes two.
  • Adam Ilowite: Did you use the results of the student survey during the election to influence camera policy?
  • Karl: No.
  • Justin: Camera use—why the second sentence?
  • Karl: Students are afraid of cameras. Documentary purposes will have crowd control effect. Psafe officers will not wander through crowd.
  • Becky: There will be a real purpose to the cameras.
  • Morgan: Approval of SLC for cameras in Psafe cars?
  • Becky: Psafe would have to justify the use of the camera in the car to SLC.
  • Joanna: Purpose of CCTV?
  • Becky: With permanent camera, you will be caught on film breaking a crime—deterrent. We need clearer language.
  • Karl: Law enforcement can collect the footage.
  • Joanna: And would law enforcement collect the footage, even for minor SJB violations?
  • Cesar: There isn’t really a way to know.
  • Justin: What is the process after the resolutions are passed?
  • Becky: SAC/SLC will handle a lot of the issues. SLC will form a series of subcommittees.
  • Jen: If someone is seen using drugs on a hand-held camera, will Psafe be unable to act?
  • Becky: Yes, they can write a report, but not because of the film.
  • Benedict: I think this language is still a little fuzzy/soft. Seeing as how this is a bargaining position, the language should be harder.
  • Becky: We would appreciate specific language recommendations. We might not vote today.
  • Brad: Have you talked to Dave Wennecker?
  • Becky: No, he’s hard to reach. We’re trying.
  • Sami Pop: Where does the footage go? Structure?
  • Cesar: Goal of policy is to create structure of how tape goes through administration.
  • Aubrey: We’re working to clarify the difference between permanent CCTV and handheld cameras.
  • Candace: “For institutional assessment” is unclear.
  • Motion to close stack.
  • Joanna: What is “minor violations?”
  • Becky: There was a huge legal debate last year over that language.
  • Joanna: How effective is the statement if it’s not clearly defined?
  • Cesar: It was better than nothing.
  • Becky: The point of this policy is for Psafe not to film underage drinking and prosecute the students.
  • Jared: Temporary camera policy is only for investigative purposes. Chances of using it will be slim, and the cameras will only be used for investigating the specific investigative purposes. Cameras will not be Psafe’s “blank check.”
  • Jared reads the temporary camera recommendation language.
  • Becky: clarifies why temporary cameras will not be announced as to better catch vandals.
  • Jared continues reading the language.
  • Becky clarifies some laguage.
  • Jen: Can I email you suggestions for language?
  • Becky: Yes.

Fountain topic closed.

Commencement Resolution (AAC.)

  • Benedict introduces resolution, justifications for it. Notes there are two unfriendly amendments.
  • Bradley clarifies amendment procedures.
  • Ravid: Although the resolution does not affect me, I do not agree with it. Members of past senior classes do not think that a committee should chose the speaker. The senior class president should be able to address the class.
  • Benedict: I do not agree that commencement is about alumni. It is about the awarding of degrees by the faculty. Just because senior class officers work with alumni events does not mean alumni should factor into the equation.
  • Brad: Points out Michelle’s amendment.
  • Becky: Understands that there is a potential for a class to be embarrassed by speaker. The university needs to present itself well.
  • Paul: Michelle’s amendment should be considered. The students will see this resolution to be secretive and done without their consent.
  • Ravid: I do not think a self-conscious commencement is what we want. According to the Argus, Wesleying, and many people, we would like to include an additional speaker. All senior class officers this year are against this. The “what does Wesleyan mean to you” requirement does not speak for the whole class.
  • Sami: Perhaps the senior class president could have a role in commencement, but the actual speech could be given by someone else.
  • Goy: What is the goal of the dialogue? To prevent a bad speech or to provide the best speech possible? I encourage the latter. Wants the voters to have a say.
  • David: Wants this to be seen as a reevaluation as the process in the long term rather than a response to the previous year’s speech. What this does is give the senior class the power to say “this person is the best speaker.” Wants a “seal of approval” in place.
  • Saul: Where are the hundreds of people who oppose this resolution? This is not happening behind closed doors. We need to consider the long term. If we need to postpone this discussion great, but we should not hestitate to vote.
  • Goy: There has never been a rule requiring the class president to speak. It is a tradition. Do you support an unenforced rule, or a tradition without precedent? Warns against emotion in this decision—vote knowing that there should be a filter.
  • Ali: Has a question about the language, yields to Jen.
  • Benedict: Tradition came from a highly homogenized 300 person class. Classes of 700 are highly diverse. Democracy does not always go to the best outcome—popular vote would be a popularity contest. Regarding the two speakers question—commencement is very long, and two speakers is not possible.
  • Candace: Objects to the 3-5 interview limit for their interview.
  • Benedict: Defends position.
  • Goy: To Ravid—neither class president speeches mentioned the speech. If the issue is so important, why wasn’t it mentioned?
  • Karl: Fun anecdote about Hillary Clinton at Wellesley.
  • Joanna: Against the Michelle amendment.
  • Ravid: Defends not mentioning the speech due to 150 word limit. Feels insulted by what he say as presumptuous statement by Goy. Has a 200 signature petition opposing the resolution.
  • Meherezade: Highlights discrepancies between speaking and writing a speech.
  • Sami: Can someone speak to the language in the final section/application process.
  • Benedict clarifies the language.
  • Sami: Urges WSA to address student concerns.
  • Benedict: Prompt is open to many open interpretation, there is room for subversion. In past, elections have not been handled seriously.
  • Candace: Why are only two people here if this is such a strong issue? If you feel the WSA isn’t representative, you should vote. This should be about the best possible person speaking.
  • Michelle: Clarifies her amendment. Sample speech is in no way binding.
  • Jared: If someone wants to bring up issues, we have a role of seats.
  • Benjamin: Supports 2 unfriendly amendments, not Michelle’s.
  • Cesar: Is the tradition set in place?
  • Ravid: Yes.
  • Cesar: Why didn’t you bring a resolution? Where are all these people?
  • Mike Pernick: Is the amendment replacing all of the resolved clauses?
  • Michelle: Yes.
  • Mike Pernick: This is a tradition, not a right. Benedict talked to this with the university archivist. Addresses claims that the resolution makes the process less democratic. In traditional practice one person makes the decision, and usually chooses hirself.
  • Motion to see who is ready to vote at the end of stack. Motion fails.
  • Motion to straw poll: is the current process for choosing a student speaker acceptable? Majority: nay. No vote.
  • Ravid: There is legitimate opposition. Just because people can’t come to Usdan 108 does not mean they care. Defends judgment students as Wesleyan.
  • Sami: No students besides WSA members have shown up in support of the resolution.
  • Saul: The WSA is represented by the students for the students. We shouldn’t talk about where the students stand. We cannot objectively view the student body’s views.
  • Morgan: Again, why the committee/or president?
  • Benedict: There is no correlation between a social event planner and an orator.
  • Jeff: I think we should focus on the resolution at hand.
  • Sami motions to table the discussion until next week—delayed until end of the stack.
  • Michelle: Adressing Ben Firke’s prior statement. Suggests a compromise between her Amendment and the other amendments.
  • David: Our job is to be the keepers of the process. What is the process? Tradition is not the best argument—focus on process.
  • Cesar—I am completely uncommitted to this resolution. Commends Ravid for his efforts. Wants to reevaluate the process, but thinks this amendment should be tabled.
  • Benedict: I disagree. This resolution was out for a week, and needs to get done. We need to move forward. This comes down to questions of “fairness.” Speaking at commencement is a privilege. We have begun to take it for granted and treat it arbitrarily. What AAC has here is the right resolution.
  • Stack is closed.
  • Goy: Motions for straw poll: Does the WSA believe this resolution would be necessary if responsibilities for student elected officials were enumerated before the vote.
  • Motion to table discussion.
  • Point of order—can we abstain?
  • Brad: No.
  • Discussion not tabled.
  • Amendments begin to be voted on.
  • Parliamentary procedure erupts into chaos.
  • Second hostile amendment removed; first removed, then reentered by Mike Pernick.
  • Mike says we should take a stand on the amendment, to address the fundamental question of the issue.
  • Jen: motion to straw poll on all in favor of amendment 1, IE, removing italicized text. Majority against removing the text.
  • Goy: This a fundamental issue, with arguments on both sides, and we could begin the process this year. However, we must respect that some people voted for Ravid so he could be speaker.
  • Karl: I would vote for this if I wasn’t so sure that it would sink the whole resolution.
  • Cesar: We should keep the text.
  • Micah: Ravid ran thinking he could give the commencement speech.
  • David: This is about process, not Ravid.
  • Saul: There’s a lot that needs to be spoken about before we vote. We should not waste our time discussing hypothetical amendments that we won’t pass.
  • Vote: Amendment one fails.
  • Joanna proposes an unfriendly amendment to Michelle’s amendment.
  • Discussion tabled until next week.
  • Committee reports.
  • OEAC — ITS committee met on Friday, Cesar chaired it.
  • Ben is putting together a website redesign focus group.
  • Dinner at Dean Mike’s, Wednesday the 27th, 6 PM.

New Business.

  • Michelle—any questions for my amendments, contact me.

Meeting adjourned.

Redisign Volunteers:




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