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

Wesleyan Student Assembly — Wesleyan University

Minutes: October 19, 2008

Agenda

1. Fight Song

2. Open Forum

3. Approval of Minutes (10.12.08)

4. Commencement Resolution

-Debate Michelle's Amendment

-Debate Joanna's amendment

-Debate Ali's Amendment

5. Fountain Commission Report (The Final one)

6. Committee Reports

7. New Business and Announcements

Meeting opens—7:05 pm

Attendance

1) Fight Song

2) Open forum—

Cesar: would like to thank members of the community for coming tonight

3) Approval of Minutes—

Minutes approved

4) Commencement Resolution -

Michelle’s amendment

  • Adam I. wants to know if people will be interested in reading and voting on a ‘mock’ speech, one that will not be the one read at commencement
  • Michelle: yes, I think so
  • Benedict: this codification of the selection process will yield the best possible speeches
  • Jen: supports the resolution; this amendment involves more of the community in the process, which is a step in the right direction.
  • Ben: by having the speeches delivered before, doesn’t that take away from hearing the speeches for the first time

  • Michelle: point 3. of the amendment addresses that issue—it is a sample speech
  • Ben: what if a dorm/team/frat shows up to the public forum together and votes for one particular candidate?
  • Michelle: it is a concern
  • Benedict: it has repeatedly been shown that Wes students don’t take voting seriously
  • Justin: also supports the amendment; respectfully disagrees with Benedict on the issue of voting not being taken seriously
  • Candace: if the whole process is done through speeches in the Argus and class wide voting, who would be in charge of this entire process and would the senior class officers still be allowed to run?
  • Chris Goy: when we the WSA publish our 150 word statements, do you think it is binding upon our performances?
  • Chris Goy: I think this process would end up being less democratic because one issue is that there will always be time conflicts, and people who will not be able to come to forum
  • Benedict: the senior class officers do a lot—their final project is commencement, and along the way it has become embedded that the senior class president will give the senior speech
  • David: this amendment involves 2 rounds of elections, which is not necessarily the right way of going about things in this case
  • Jeff: the fact that people who do not go to listen to the 2nd round of speeches can vote as well, is an issue.
  • Jen: Jeff’s point has changed my mind a little bit; Michelle—would you accept that the student body votes on the first round and then the committee selects
  • Mike: Everybody should be aware that the resolution is in conflict with the by-laws of the constitution, and we will have to go in and amend the by-laws later. I have other hesitations as well.
  • Brad: the by-law’s require a 2/3 vote to be amended
  • Becky: I supports Jen’s idea, we should create a new amendment
  • Michelle: I am open to changes in my amendment, please come talk to me. One idea is that we can have the speeches recorded, and then, people would have equal opportunity to view these.
  • Ben: non substantive comment on grammar of point 7. Also, while commencement is important, let’s not lose sight that this is a ten minute speech — let’s keep things in perspective, and not create an overly complicated process, that will require us to also change the by-laws
  • Benedict: wants to introduce a special rule that the amendment be handled as a special question and thus require a 2/3 majority for the amendment to pass.
  • Amendment—declared as special question.
  • Voting — amendment fails

Joanna’s Amendment

  • Amendment — declared as a special question
  • Candace—the number of people at the forum could be any number and they cannot be held accountable for their voting choice, whereas, the senior class representatives can be held accountable
  • Chris Goy: do any of our guests have anything to say?
  • Ben: I’d like to reiterate that just because someone can’t make it that doesn’t mean they don’t care. In this amendment, we are taking a vote away from people who cannot make it, which is even more undemocratic
  • Justin: I agree with Ben’s point
  • Paul: I agree with the idea that factions are easily formed and group voting is a concern, but the lack of faith in the senior class’ ability to vote is disconcerting
  • David Goldman: is it possible to have a process where the public vote counts for 1/2 the weight and the committee’s vote counts for the other 1/2
  • Becky: Jen is drafting an amendment that will try and include the best of the amendments set forth so far.
  • Jeff: we shouldn’t be taking an anti-democracy standpoint, but I don’t think that involving the senior class, rather than having the right people choose is the right path
  • Joanna officially withdraws her amendment

Ali’s Amendment

  • Ali introduces her amendment
  • David: does the WSA think that something like an information session is necessary?
  • Candace: Ali’s amendment can be passed along with the one Jen is writing; I’d just like to the committee to remember that they are not mutually exclusive
  • Jen: this amendment is a little too specific for the general terms of the resolution, and a little unnecessary
  • Benedict: rather than dictate the micro-details of the process, we are trying to set up a broad system that works well; we don’t want to dictate how it will work—that is the committee’s purview.
  • Saul: this amendment can be taken and used as a supplement that can ‘suggest’ certain details that the committee may look into
  • Benedict: once again, I’d like to emphasize that we are providing the bare minimum for the process—we need to leave it to the judgment of the committee
  • Mike: I suggest looking at the different sections of the amendment separately. Agreeing with Benedict, we don’t want to create a rigid process; depending on the year, the number of candidates, the speeches, we need flexibility.
  • Motion for Division of the Question
  • Motion passes
  • Voting—amendment fails

Jen & Becky’s Amendment

  • Non substantive changes made first
  • Saul: why is the senior class vote before the committee and not the other way around?
  • Jen: it’s easier to read and vote and then have the narrowed down group interviewed
  • David: do we not trust the senior class representatives?
  • Becky: it’s not an issue of trust, but involving the senior class in the process
  • Paul: the interview can give the class an idea of the types of speakers they like
  • Kate: its really important to make this a transparent process
  • Liana: when we have a large number of applicant submitting written work—it is unlikely that people will want to read 30 speeches on the internet
  • Candace: I like the idea of the speeches on the website, but they also need to be in other places such as the Argus. The speech matters to not only those who are present, but this speech is streamed, and people round the world could be viewing it—it does matter that we put the best process in place for choosing the speaker
  • Saul: I agree with those who want to turn the process on its head, and have the pool narrowed down by the committee before the senior class votes
  • Becky: motion to straw pole: how many people would like to see a more democratic process involved then the one in the resolution as it stands
  • Jen: I am conflicted because I think the senior class representatives are capable of effectively representing the senior class since they were voted into office by the senior class, but at the same time, including more people is always more democratic

  • Ben: this is not about democracy, but setting into place, a process for selecting the best speech
  • Amendment is withdrawn by authors
  • Chris’ Amendment (on behalf of Paul—a member of the community)

    • Paul introduces his amendment—it would keep the resolution as it is till point 8. and then use a polling system in which the seniors will be allowed to go to interviews, vote on speeches and the results will not be binding but to be used as a guide by the committee to make a final decision
    • Jen: why don’t we expand the committee if we want outside opinions?
    • Adam: is there a reason for a 1-10 scale for rating candidates rather than voting for one?
    • Paul: at the end, when the committee makes a final decision, it will be easier to justify the choice of speaker if it is not the speaker who got the most public votes
    • David Goldman: this is all superfluous, we should just let the committee choose
    • Benedict: David said it all, and said it well—we have committees for a reason; let them do their job
    • Paul: we have made a change to the amendment which will read as there will be no online vote, but seniors present at the interview will be able to give their opinions/poll on the candidates they have just heard
    • Cesar: open forums are extremely helpful in bring forth ideas and I support this amendment
    • Justin: this is no more democratic than the original resolution because the senior class poll is not binding
    • Amendment is withdrawn

    A friendly amendment adds — the committee is expected to seek outside input when it deems it appropriate…

    Vote: 25—4—1

    6 not present

    Resolution passes

    5) Fountain Commission Report

    • Voting by section
  • Code of Non—Academic and Student Judicial Board Review section approved
  • Community and Officer Relations section approved
  • Hand-held Camera Policy Recommendation section approved
  • Temporary Camera Recommendations section approved
  • Educate Students on policy & legal issues section approved
  • Social Spaces for Students section approved
  • Event registration during reading and final week section
  • Joanna: I agree with the policy of allowing registered parties during reading period but I’m worried about it during finals week
  • Cesar: by registering parties, it will be easier for PSafe to control the noise
  • Adam: isn’t it true that events with fewer than 50 people do not need to register, but wood-frames are not allowed over 50 people, so they never register anyway.
  • Section approved
  • Social Event Policy Recommendations section
  • Mike: one of the main problems that led to fountain is that wood-frames don’t register parties and that is because students won’t register them for practical reasons. This addresses some of those problems
  • This section will be discussed further next meeting.
  • Public Safety Protocol for Addressing Violations of the Code of Non—Academic Conduct
  • Joanna: the concept of immunity—it wouldn’t be a blanket immunity for everyone there, just for the specific thing that you asked assistance for
  • Candace: what are the implications of this for the SJB—will the reports be given to the SJB?
  • Mike: this recommendation fleshes out a lot of details in which PSafe can handle situations
  • David: this really helps the way students will view PSafe and the fact that now PSafe will serve as people who help students potentially escape SBJ charges rather than get them in trouble
  • Motion to table the rest of the report and vote on remaining sections next time

6) Committee reports

Approved

7) New Business and Announcements

Dinner at Dean Mike’s on Wednesday at 6:00 pm

Meeting closes—10: 30 pm

Commencement Resolution (as passed on October 19, 2008):

Resolution on the Process for Choosing the Student Commencement Speaker

Whereas the Senior Class Officers are an external standing committee of the Wesleyan Student Assembly,

Whereas there is no current, official codification of the process for choosing a student Commencement speaker,

Whereas the purpose of the student Commencement speaker is to speak on behalf of the entire graduating class,

Whereas the current method for choosing the student Commencement speaker is not necessarily in keeping with this purpose, therefore be it

1. Resolved that the student Commencement speaker shall be chosen by a committee composed of the Senior Class Officers and the Faculty Marshall; and be it further

2. Resolved that the Senior Class Dean shall serve on this committee in an advisory role and shall not have a vote; and be it further

3. Resolved that this committee shall be chaired by the Senior Class President, with chairmanship reverting to the Senior Class Vice President, then the Senior Class Treasurer, then the Senior Class Secretary should the chair recuse hirself; and be it further

4. Resolved that vacated student seats on this committee shall be filled, in order of votes received in the spring elections by the Senior Class Representatives; and be it further

5. Resolved that this committee shall, in the spring, solicit single-page typed responses from the entire graduating class to the question, "What has your Wesleyan experience meant to you?" and be it further

6. Resolved that no student serving on the committee shall be allowed to submit an application to the committee; and be it further

7. Resolved that the Senior Class Dean shall be responsible for receiving these submissions and disseminating them to the committee with any personal identification of the applicant removed; and be it further

8. Resolved that the committee shall choose no less than three and no more than five applicants to be interviewed by the committee and shall choose one applicant from this pool to be the student Commencement speaker; and be it further

9. Resolved that the committee is expected to seek outside input when it deems it appropriate; and be it further

10. Resolved that this committee shall first be convened for the Commencement in the spring of 2010.

Respectfully Submitted,

Meherazade Sumariwalla ’12

Committee Reports for 10/19

Academic Affairs

The EPC is continuing its work on our major initiatives

Assessment remains at the head of our list.

The EPC has also been working with Philosophy to try to resolve an issue related to oversubscription for students who study at OxBridge

We are also discussing the policy on credit for internships

David will begin work on issues related to FYI’s this week.

AAC is beginning work on individual initiatives

We will let you know when we have individual initiatives

Student Affairs Committee

Undergraduate Residential Life Committee (URLC)

The URLC provided feedback on the approved major maintenance lists as well as on program house evaluation criteria. Dawn Brown, the Area Coordinator for program housing, sent out an email this week asking students to submit ideas for new program houses, as there will be many new spaces available for next year.

The URLC also got some background information in to previous URLC discussions of common area damage fines. SAC members are doing research for next week to see how other schools deal with common area damage. We are looking for innovative ideas because our current process is seriously flawed.

Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)

Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee

Justin will be co-chairing the committee with Scott Backer, the Assistant Director of Student Life.

They met on Thursday and discussed adding a new faculty member to the committee but it received a lot of opposition from the non-student members and was tabled until their next meeting.

They also discussed a proposed policy for keg registration, which is opposed by the WSA representatives on the committee. This discussion was also tabled.

Education Subcommittee

The committee had its first full meeting this week and is planning its initiatives for the year.

Assessment Subcommittee

Justin will be co-chairing the committee with Scott Backer, the Assistant Director of Student Life.

The committee met on Monday and split in to two working groups, one of which will deal with drug/alcohol use, and the other with drug/alcohol perceptions on campus. Joanna will be chairing the perceptions group and the Assessment co-chair Dean Garrett will be heading the use group. The perceptions groups will be analyzing the Core Survey data on alcohol and other drugs groups to determine what the survey questions are actually saying about perceptions of drug/alcohol use at Wesleyan.

Environmental Subcommittee

The committee met on Wednesday and discussed how information from Dean Mike's charge to AOD, the Student Affairs department AOD meeting, and the Core Survey can be used in their upcoming Know Your Rights Campaign. They plan to present a draft of the document to Dean Mike and the SLC this semester and hope to release it during the spring semester.

EMT Working Group

Micah is chairing this work group, which is planning a proposal for allowing volunteer student EMTs to work on campus.

Fire Safety and Facilities Appeals Board

The appeals board met this week and appealed a lot of fines!

Student of Color Committee

Morgan has had and plans on having more informal conversations with Student of Color leaders.

Name

SAC

Adam Ilowite

P

Fludie Naka

P

Jaynice DelRosario

P

Joanna Seirup

P

Micah Feiring

P

Morgan Mc Cray

P

Becky Weiss

P

Fountain Commission

The Commissioners met with Dean Rick and Tim Shiner to discuss our Social Event Policy recommendations. We edited last week’s recommendations to incorporate suggestions we received and finalized the rest of our recommendations to present to the WSA this Sunday.

Community Outreach Committee

190 High

Justin, Elise and Lisa met on Friday at 190 high and toured the building again. We’re going to make all student groups who have things in the building to sort it out so we can throw a bunch of it out. We’re going to put the room allocation request form online. The locks are going to be changed. We’re also going to hire a grad student worker to monitor the building. The basement is going to be dry walled, in addition to many other improvements that are going to come out of physical plant money

Town Council committee seats

We selected committees that we thought would be good to have students sit on. Michelle and Liana will be contacting town officials, and we will talk to the deputy chief at PSAC about it.

PSAC

We went over all of the fountain recommendations pertaining to Public Safety relations. Dave is really receptive to all of them and soon officers will be going through halls with safety tip cards and pi tickets. Ride-a-longs are also being looked into.

Name

Meeting 1

Meeting 2

Meeting 3

Meeting 4

Meeting 5

Elise Rosenthal

P

P

P

P

P

Karl Grindal

P

P

P

EA

P

Justin LaSelva

P

P

P

P

P

Michelle Garcia

P

A

P

P

P

Liana Woskie

P

EA

P

P

P

Greer Dent

P

P

P

P

EA

FiFaC

Procurement Committee of the Sustainability Committee had its first meeting

Plans to draft a policy for university purchasing to go into effect next year

Business Continuity Committee met this week

Discussed pandemic/flu preparedness on campus

Purell dispensers

Pandemic drill 12/18

Sustainability Committee

Payette (MLSB contractor) came in to talk about sustainable features of MLSB no longer relevant, unfortunately!

Do it in the Dark Campaign to begin soon for woodframes

20% decrease last year in consumption from previous year's competition

Transportation Committee

140 responses

David Markowitz was the very first one

very successful meeting

sent out all-campus email gauging interest in vacation shuttles directly to NYC and Boston

working on ZipCar proposal

outsourcing of New Haven Shuttle will begin next semester, with an additional shuttle time added

Sorry the attedance chart is messed up...everyone was present.

Student Budget Committee

Our weekly allocation hearing occured again this past Monday from 4:15pm to 8pm

- $84,854 was requested.

- $30,689 was allocated.

Highlights

- Men's Water Polo has qualified for the national tournament

- The Wesleyan Film Series has been funded through the end of the semester. A quarter-by-quarter request structure has been put in place to add some levels of transparency.

Name

Meeting 1

Meeting 2

Meeting 3

Meeting 4

Meeting 5

Aubrey Hamilton

P

P

P

P

P

Candace Buckner

P

P

P

P

P

Adam Fishman

P

P

P

P

P

Chris Goy

P

P

P

P

P

Pat Lee

P

P

P

EA

P

Siriwan Luangthanahiran

P

P

P

EA

P

Jared Keller

P

P

P

P

EA

Organization and External Affairs Committee

ITS Committee

In all likelihood, the transition to Gmail will be optional. Students concerned about privacy will have the option of staying with web mail.

Cesar saw a version of the new e-Portfolio, and it’s looking good. Ask him later for specifics.

NYT Readership

We are moving along with booking a speaker for some time in Nov or Dec.

Website

The WSA is hiring a webmaster to make substantial changes to the website. If you know anybody who might be interested, encourage them to apply.

Name

OEAC

ITS

Saul Carlin

P

Bradley Spahn

EA

Sami Pop

EL

Ben Firke

P

Cesar Medina

P

P

Meherazade Sumariwalla

P

P

Executive Committee

Met with Nate Peters to discuss WSA office

Beginning of broad discussion of year-long WSA goals

Name

Executive Committee, 10/1

Saul Carlin

P

Bradley Spahn

P

Benedict Bernstein

P

Chris Goy

A

Elise Rosenthal

P

Becky Weiss

L

Jen Liebschutz

P

Office Staff: maintain regular office, assist all visitors and callers, manage incoming telephone inquiries and electronic mail, receive, distribute, and respond to general correspondence, and performed other related duties as assigned.

Office Manager: oversee office staff, open and close office and act as liaison between staff and campus community during Office Coordinators absence.

WSA Office Coordinator: performed administrative, financial and student services responbilites as required, attended all administrative meetings and provided office hours for student group leaders and members of campus community.

WSA — Wesleyan Student Assembly

WSA Administrative Office:
45 Wyllys Ave, Room 104
Middletown, CT 06459
phone: (860) 685-2410
fax: (860)685-2411
wsa@wesleyan.edu
hours: 9am-6pm M-F
Wesleyan Student Group Building
190 High Street
building hours: 12n - 12am