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September 19, 1996 Minutes

Minutes
Student Assembly, September 19, 1996
Memorial Room, WSH

Members Present
Colleen Akehurst, Gobind Akoi, David Cooperman, Maiysha Edwards, Kristina Eng, Luis Fernandez, Brian Gaither, Heather Holliedge, Angela Jones, Ken Lee, Eli lehrer, Heather Mahar, Thomas Mullins, George Orti, Denny Rogers, Komal Sadhwani
Others present
C. Gardner, A. Gronquist, D. Ford, J. Chon, K. Esquivel, B. Glanz, L. Farrell, A. Hutman, M. Acostavalle, K. Lew, N. Wilson, S. Chen, B. Kronk, M. Hilderbrand, A. Bova, S. Brown, C. Holmes, E. Tsourouis, F. Fitzpatrick

Call to Order

  • S. Rockwell called the meeting to order at 4:47pm

Open Microphone

  • No one from the community spoke

Announcements

Elections

  • N. Horowitz announced that the candidates forum, held Monday, went well. She announced that the new members are Silas Willoughby, Jason Redlus, Julia Gordon, and Jeff Kozlow. She stated that they will announce the newly-elected SA members during the homecoming game on Saturday. The new members will be seated at the meeting next Thursday.

Informal Meeting

  • H. Hollidge stated that they want to discuss goals and issues surrounding the Statement of Community at the informal meeting next week. She encouraged SA members to invite students to the meeting. S. Rockwell stated that the discussion will be a first step in determining ways to build community at Cornell and honor their vision statement.

Faculty Senate Update

  • C. Akehurst reported that the Faculty Senate met the last two Wednesdays. She announced that they discussed departmental reviews and are currently discussing tenure procedures. She asked members to see her for details.

SAFC

  • S. Rockwell thanked the SAFC commissioners for the long hours they put in doing hearings and allocations last weekend. He also thanked the presidents and treasurers of clubs that made the effort to come to the hearings and the workshops.

UA Meeting

  • K. Eng announced that there is a UA meeting on Wednesday, September 25, 1996, at 4:30 p.m. in the Art Gallery of WSH.

Gannett Psychological Services

  • H. Hollidge raised a concern from a constituent about the ten dollar co-pay for group therapy that shows up on students’ bursar bills for Gannett psychological services. She stated that she feels it is important for students to receive these services without this information automatically showing up on the bursar bills. R. Bakelaar reviewed what services the ten dollar co-pay is used for.

Approval of Minutes

  • The minutes of the meeting on September 12, 1996 were approved with the following correction on page 4, E. Lehrer’s statement was changed to read that there are less IBMs being marketed on campus than MACs

Committee Reports

Communication Committee

  • H. Mahar reported that the committee met the last two weeks. She asked that ideas for the newsletter be submitted by Saturday morning at 10 a.m. She noted that the newsletter will focus on four things that the SA has accomplished and four things the SA is working on. She explained that the communications committee will vote on the topics. She reported that the Communications Committee is also working on postering and chalking, publicizing the 24 hour study lounge, featuring representatives and offering students a prize for identifying them, and obtaining better pictures for the web page. B. Gaither proposed a community outreach program in conjunction with the Communications Committee. He explained that panels of SA members will go out to meetings on campus for clubs and residence halls to speak with various groups and students on campus. He asked for the members to write down when they are free during the week. He also suggested that they take some color photos for the web page because he would like to see his bald head in technicolor.

Residence Life

  • A. Jones reported that while the full committee has not met, she has met with Don King and she has had informal meetings with the undergraduates on her committee. She announced that the committee will meet some time over the next two weeks.

Committee on Multicultural Issues

  • R. Cantor stated CMI met on Tuesday at 4 p.m. She noted that none of the SA members on the committee were there. She reported that the committee established several goals for the semester which include doing another leadership retreat like the one K. Lee organized last year. She stated the committee would also like to do a culture fair or culture week and support making some diversity training available to groups on campus.

Committee on the Environment

  • N. Horowitz announced that SAECO met on September 10, 1996, in Day Hall. She reported that the committee discussed the objectives and philosophy of the committee and what they want the committee’s purpose to be. She noted that the committee will continue to do education on campus and review the university’s environmental policies. She stated that she will be drafting a resolution to change the Charter to reflect the change in philosophy. N. Horowitz reported that the committee also discussed the incinerator, plans for a more international Earth Day and ways to work on basic environmental problems on campus. She noted they will also be working on a transportation resolution to extend incentives to students to not bring their cars to campus. S. Rockwell asked members to speak to him about joining the SAECO.

BUSINESS OF THE DAY

Student Assembly Oath of Office

  • S. Rockwell lead the Student Assembly Oath of Office with all the SA members reciting the pledge. The pledge reads: In view of the trust the Cornell community has vested in me, as well as my own personal sense of honor, I the undersigned, do solemnly affirm to fulfill my reponsibilities as a student-elected representative. if a conflict of interest arises in which I, as a Student Assembly member, have the opportunity to incluence the Student Assembly in ways that could lead to personal gain or advantage of any kind, I will relinquish my right to participate in the decision making process. In executing my office, I will seek out and voice effectively the interests and concerns of the student body, so as to offer the student body a vehicle through which to address issues and improve the quality of life at Cornell for all students.

OLD BUSINESS

R.3 Resolution Concerning the Student Advantage Card Money Allocation

  • K. Eng stated that the resolution is very straightforward and proposes that the SA wait until they sell the cards to decide how to spend the money. She stated that there will be a difference in how they will spend the money depending on how much they make.
  • B. Gaither read the following statement: As to the postponement of a decision on how we shall spend the receipts from the Student Advantage Card, I must make a few comments. This SA now stands at a moment in time in which it must show itself to be responsive to the needs and desires of its constituency. It must also show itself to be a body responsible enough to adequately determine how it will dispense of any receipts from the sale of this card. To postpone such a decision while two distinct but visible proposals are laid before it, will show this body to be as sluggish and unprepared to deal with its business as it has historically been. Ample opportunity was given to each representative to discuss this issue with his or her constituent group and bring all possible suggestions before this body assembled. How much more time will be necessary to make a decision? How long shall we frustrate our attempts to proactively assess and handle out constituents’ concerns when we choke our agendas with unsettled business? It is argued that we need to wait until we have a concrete sum before we proceed. Why? Are we not competent enough to cope with any contingencies that are consistent to the two resolutions which are presented? I say that indeed we are! However, I shall have serious doubts about our competency to be effective when faced with greater issues if we cannot, at this moment, make a simple and timely decision on how to resolve this lesser one.
  • R. Cantor stated that she feels that the resolution before this body is very prudent and makes the most sense because the SA does not know how much money they will have. She suggested that the SA discuss what to do with the money outside of formal SA meetings. She encouraged everyone to vote for the resolution.
  • E. Lehrer stated that he feels that this is a bad resolution and that the only problem with his resolution is that CRESP would need the money as soon as possible.
  • T. Mullins related that he feels that you shouldn’t spend your money before you have it. He stated that he feels that the resolution is very responsible and the SA should vote on what to do after they know how much money they have.
  • N. Horowitz stated that she feels having a cause ahead of time will help them sell the cards. She noted that it doesn’t matter how much money they make because they can still make a donation. She feels the SA could advertise the cause all along and they do not have to make a big presentation at the end. She urged members to vote for a particular cause.
  • D. Cooperman moved to amend the resolution to add a second Be It Therefore Resolved clause to read that students want to know where the money is going and we should give them the option of getting the money back if they want it or to make suggestions for what should be done with the money.
  • K. Lew asked why not just sell the card for fifteen dollars? It was explained that the SA is under contract to sell them for 20 dollars.
  • B. Glanz stated that he feels that it is silly to return a small amount such as five dollars assuming that every student would want the rebate. He urged the SA to support the resolution and responsible spending.
  • The amendment failed by a vote of 4–12–2.
  • G. Ortiz stated that he supports the resolution, but that the SA’s interests do come out and it is easy to see how they are influenced by special interests on campus. He again stated that issues of money and the SA led to the creation of the SAFC and that this is where the discussion of use of monies belongs. Further, he pointed out that this will be time consuming and needlessly divisive for the SA. He stated that he does not believe that it is in their best interests to be deciding what to do with any money that is raised.
  • A. Jones gave her support to the resolution due to the fact that there is some question as to what would happen with the funds if neither of the other options pass to support the mural restoration and/or CRESP. In which case the SA will have to go back again to come up with something to spend the money on.
  • K. Lee urged everyone to vote no on the resolution because he thinks that students should know up front where and how the money should and will be used.
  • L. Fernandez made a friendly amendment adding the following: Be It Further Resolved that the SA surveys the students at the time of purchasing the card as to how they would like to see their money spent. When a certain amount of money is allocated to a certain cause, the student body will be informed of said allocation.
  • R.3 Resolution concerning the Student Advantage Card Money Allocation passed by a vote of 14–5−0.

R.4 Resolution to spend all Monies from the Sale of the Student Advantage Card Towards the Cleaning of the Mural in the Lobby Willard Straight Hall or to Promote the 24 Hour Study Facility

  • Resolution 4 was postponed until such a time as the SA knows the amount of monies generated by the sale of the Student Advantage Cards.

R.5 Resolution Concerning Allocation of Funds Raised from the Sale of Student Advantage Cards

  • Resolution 5 was postponed until such a time as the SA knows the amount of monies generated by the sale of the Student Advantage Cards.

Changes to Rules for Student Organizations

  • B. Gaither moved to join the Changes to Rules for Student Organizations, Changes to the Willard Straight Hall Programming Board Charter, and Changes to the Postering Policy.
  • The joining of the three documents was passed by acclamation. The documents include Changes to Rules for Student Organizations, Willard Straight Hall Programming Board Charter, and Changes to the Poster Policy were approved as presented and amended by acclamation.

Charter Changes for the Student Activities Forum

  • C. Akehurst moved to amend the Charter by adding the following: Section 2: This includes the review of the Program Document and making recommendation to the Student Assembly for final approval.
    • Section 4: The Student Assembly and the Dean of Students.
    • Section 5: the Student Assembly and the Dean of Students.
  • The amendments passed.
  • C. Holmes stated that she approved of the amendments.
  • The Charter Changes for the Student Activities Forum were approved by acclamation.

NEW BUSINESS

R.6 Recommendation to Administration Regarding Dining

  • L. Fernandez presented the resolution. He moved to suspend the standing rules to move this item to Old Business. The motion passed. He noted the addition of a last Be It Therefore Resolved that the SA commends Dining and Retail Services for doing everything they can and have done to alleviate this problem and for working with the SA committees on Dining Services in the past to try and resolve the problems forseen with the closing of Sage. He stated that the closing of Sage has been a problem and that the administration knew what would happen and they still didn’t do what they needed to do to alleviate the problem. He stated that all the short term solutions have been put into place but there is still a problem. He noted that the resolution urges the administration to step in and do something. L. Fernandez commented that in 1991 the SA voted to have a new dining hall up before another one was closed. He pointed out that the SA is asking the administration to do something about the dining problem and do it soon.
  • T. Mullins spoke in favor of the resolution. He stated that he has heard of this problem all over campus and that he spoke with L. Fernandez regarding the possibility of including independent franchises on campus and other important things they can do to alleviate this problem.
  • K. Eng commended them for a well researched resolution and urged the SA to pass it.
  • B. Gaither stated that the resolution offers neither an alternative or a specific date or timeline. He suggested that the SA cooperate and find out what the administration needs of them; he feels the SA should not pressure them but work with them.
  • M. Edwards supported the resolution for her constituency which deals primarily with ridiculously long lines at Trillium. She thanked L. Fernandez for his expediency regarding this.
  • H. Hollidge stated that as the SA it is their job to recommend action to the administration regarding Dining. She noted that this has been a long-time problem and that it does not encourage community.
  • A. Hutman stated that the resolution is the beginning of the process for the SA but for the administration this has been going on for a long time. He stated that part of the administration’s consideration about the importance of certain issues is how much outcry there will be from the students. He urged the SA to make sure the issue does not go away and to continue to mount pressure on the administration. He recommended that they keep the pressure loud and noticeable.
  • K. Lew stated that he ran for New Student At Large and everyone he spoke with was dissatisfied with the dining services and that this resolution is a great first step.
  • F. Fitzpatrick stated that he would look at the model of the 24 hour study facility that got resolved in a good way. He noted that they should form a committee chaired and staffed by SA members, attend those meetings, and be in contact with S. Murphy. He noted that S. Murphy and P. Roger are doing everything that they can and their hands are tied due to a lack of space. He stated he thinks this is a good step and suggested that this is a priority for the assembly to get together and pressure the administration in order to get what is needed.
  • R.6 Recommendation to Administration Regarding Dining passed by a vote of 17–0−1

Adjournment

  • S. Rockwell adjourned the meeting at 6pm

Respectfully submitted,
Amy Gronquist

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