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December 5, 1996 Minutes

Student Assembly December 5, 1996
Memorial Room, WSH

Members Present
Colleen Akehurst, Gobind Akoi, David Cooperman, Maiysha Edwards, Kristina Eng, Luis Fernandez, Brian Gaither, Julia Gordon, Heather Hollidge, Natalie Horowitz, Angela Jones, Jeff Kozlow, Ken Lee, Eli Lehrer, Heather Mahar, Thomas Mullins, George Ortiz, Jason Redlus, Stephen Rockwell, Denny Rogers, Komal Sadhwani, Silas Willoughby
Others Present
C. Gardner, A. Gronquist, D. Ford, D. Wagda, A. Hutman, J. Sabia, A. Noel

Call to Order

  • S. Rockwell called the meeting to order at 4:45pm

Open Microphone

  • No one spoke


SA Card

  • N. Horowitz reported that the SA sold only 3 Student Advantage Cards to dae

AIDS Quilt

  • B. Glanz reported that the AIDS quilt has been in the Memorial Room this past week and has been a great success

Approval of Minutes

  • The minutes of the meeting on November 21, 1996 were approved as submitted

Committee Reports

Ivy Council

  • B. Gaither announced that those SA members who went to Ivy Council are still taking comments regarding U.S. News and World Report rankings. He stated that they would be meeting at 4:30 on Friday to further discuss the issue. He announced that some of the email debates are posted in 103 Day Hall


  • N. Horowitz reported that they discussed the budget a the last Elections Committee meetings and they talked about computerizing the elections for next fall’s election


  • K. Lee announced that the SA will be briefed from two byline funded groups, Athletics and Cornell Cinema. He also announced that next semester the committee will work on guidelines for byline funded groups

Student Activity Forum

  • B. Gaither related that the Student Activity Forum met a few weeks ago and discussed U.S. News and World Report rankings and will soon discuss Slope Day


  • E. Lehrer reviewed that the IT committee had set four goals: to have students have their own web pages, more IBM machiens, legislative authority over CIT, and improving computer labs. He announced three goals for next semester: decreasing the busy signals, rewriting the rules to reflect the SA’s authority, and resolving domain name problems


  • S. Willoughby announced that the Committee met and that they have university task force status. He noted that they will address the following issues: the social climate for undergraduates, investigate a variety of non-alcoholic social options, consider the role that the University has taken in the past in relation to social planning. Then based on this information, the committee will recommend a philosophy to guide the University in its orientation toward student social options.
  • A. Hutman noted that the committee will not support either side of the alcohol consumption issue and that input from the SA is welcome.

Risk Management

  • K. Eng commented that the committee has been well received. She stated that she got together a group from facilities and walked around the Agricultural and Life Sciences quad to make it a safer area with more lights.

Student Briefing

  • Peg Lacey, Director of Campus Life, Campus Life Update
  • P. Lacey reported to the SA about Campus Life. She reported that there are specific areas that they have been involved with such as the NOYES renovation. She announced that it was renovated and opened on time and they have received good comments from the students for the major change that occurred. P. Lacey stated that there are still some technology pieces they have to install but that the changes were made to the computer lab and it is now permanently a 24 hour facility. She stated that the computer facility is heavily utilized almost around the clock.
  • P.Lacey commented that the Robert Purcell computer facility is also heavily used. She announced that she would have a usage report for the SA in January so they will know how many students are using it. She explained that there is a capital project regarding renovation of Robert Purcell that they are investigating for the first and second floor. She noted that this is a conceptional plan in which games will be moved from second floor to the first floor, the computer lab will be expanded, the game room will become multi-use space, and there will be a grocery and a small cafe. She stated that the mail room will be downstairs but different, more similar to NOYES. She noted that because Robert Purcell is heavily used in the summer, the plan will be phased in slowly.
  • She stated that another suggestion from the SA was to install soap dispensers and hand dryers in the dorms. She announced that Campus Life did put in hand dryers and soap dispensers as part of a two year project. She stated that there are hand driers in Cascadilla and Sheldon Court and that all class halls will have them by the end of this semester and Baker and the gothic towers will be done next semester. She announced that all the others will be installed next year. She noted that they originally installed them in two residential halls, they did not have vandalism, and they have continued to get positive comments from students.
  • P. Lacey stated that some of the SA members will be attending the Residential Communities Steering Committee meeting next Monday from 4–7:30 p.m. She stated that she does not know the exact membership, but that it will consist of no more than 24 people. She noted that most of the work will be done on four subcommittees which will select additional people to help them. She listed that four subcommittees: residential options, increasing the number of upperclassman living in residence halls on campus, faculty participation in residential communities, and the first year experience. She stated that the committee will provide a comprehensive report with recommendations. She noted that if the committee can implement some changes ahead of time they will do so.
  • P. Lacey stated that her office is preparing a Residential Communities Information Book which will include statistical and demographic information as well as how they compare to other institutions. She noted that her department has had a busy fall with many challenges from fires to power outages. P. Lacey stated that the staff rose to the occasion and kept students informed.
  • L. Fernandez asked if Campus Life will oversee the renovations of WSH? P. Lacey stated that currently there is not a final conceptual plan for WSH, but if it was just dining than it would be under the jurisdiction of Campus Life or it could be a joint project with Dean of Students Office. She noted that they do have more conceptual designs on WSH than on any other building on campus.
  • E. Lehrer asked what would be done for dining within the RPU renovations? P. Lacey replied that as they move forward it will be a priority, but plans for dining changes are not on the table at this time.

Business of the Day - Byline Funded Organizations


  • Mr. Noel with Athletics, presented his budget and report. He noted that he has met with the SA Athletics Liaison, N. Horowitz. He provided the SA with some attendance statistics showing that hockey and volleyball attendance have increased, but football attendance has decreased as well as other sports. He stated that he would much rather come to the SA with reports of increasing attendance overall. He stated that athletics has a lot of work to do to remedy this situation and asked for the support and help of the SA in dealing with this challenge.
  • B. Gaither asked the Athletics Department insure that advertisements on buses reflected the SA’s subsidizing the cost of athletics with the Student Activity Fee. A. Noel stated that, if this has not been addressed, he would certainly work on it as it would benefit both the SA and the Athletics Department.
  • B. Gaither asked about the correlation between the events being free and the attendance? A. Noel stated that certainly they expected more students to attend. The truth is that less students are attending and it is very disappointing. A. Noel declared that increasing attendance will become a greater priority for the Athletics Department.
  • J. Kozlow asked why basketball attendance was so high in 1987–88? A. Noel reported that Cornell won the Ivy League championship that year and enthusiasm was high for the team’s success. He stated that the bottom line is that they need more competitive teams so students will see some success to get those crowd numbers up.
  • C. Gardner noted that in 1994–95, the first year that the free athletic events were offered, attendance numbers increased significantly. She also pointed out that graduate students do not get free admission and the distinction needs to be made clear in the advertising so that only undergraduates are admitted free. In the past, graduate students have gone to athletic events thinking it was free, only to be turned away at the door when they didn’t have the admission money.

Cornell Cinema

  • M. Fessenden, Director of Cornell Cinema presented the budget and report. She thanked the SA for their support for Cornell Cinema. She stated that without the Activity Fee money Cornell Cinema could not function the way it does. She commented that in her opinion Cornell students do get a lot for their money and that Cornell Cinema is one of the top programs in the country. She stated that attendance last year was 64,000, and they anticipate over 74,000 this year. She commented that they hosted different guest speakers this year that attracted lots of students. She stated that operationally it has been a transitional year, but they are settling into a new structure. M. Fessenden mentioned that they are seeking out the opinions of students by having six student representatives on the board. They are also offering more information, which is part of their educational role, about their programs while staying in a single sheet calendar format to save money. She noted that they did have a deficit last year, but they covered it out of their own general reserve. She noted that initially they thought that they could replenish it this year, but because they will have some major capital expenditures such as upgrading the sound system in Uris this will not be possible. She noted that they are really still struggling to maintain financial well-being after losing a National Endowment for the Arts grant. She concluded by announcing that there will be a free sneak preview at 8 p.m. Tuesday night of Jerry Maguire and tickets are available at WSH.
  • D. Wagda asked what demands are there for providing morally objectionable films if students can receive a refund for their money? She stated that this is money used for the general good and that overall you cannot pick and choose things out of that program. She suggested that D. Wagda not attend those events which he finds objectionable since no student is forced to attend any of their programs.
  • J. Kozlow asked about the attendance of students for guest speakers? She stated that it depends on the speaker, sometimes the attendance is 40–50 people, and other events are sellouts. She stated that they do charge admission for speakers.

Old Business

Elections Budget

  • N. Horowitz stated that this has been fixed to reflect the changed ad prices and the total requested is now $3,769.00.
  • The Elections Budget passed by acclamation

Cornell Concert Commission Capital Expense

  • S. Aronson spoke with the SA about this need a few weeks ago. K. Lee presented the proposal to purchase a new computer because they need the SA’s approval to make a capital purchase from their own funds.
  • The Resolution to Authorize a Capital Expenditure for Cornell Concert Commission passed by acclamation

New Business

Continued Sales of Student Advantage Cards

  • B. Gaither presented the resolution. He explained that because they did not sell the cards very well it was proposed that student clubs and groups sell them. He stated that the clubs will get the rebate and they can use those funds however they would like.
  • N. Horowitz stated that the cards are good until August.
  • C. Gardner queried if the authors had talked to the SAFC regarding whether or not they can handle this additional task. B. Gaither replied that he had not spoken to them yet.


  • H. Hollidge recognized J. Gordon for chalking last night even though it rained.
  • J. Redlus recognized G. Ortiz for his holiday cards.


  • S. Rockwell adjourned the meeting at 5:45pm
  • The SA moved to Executive Session

Respectfully Submitted,
Amy Gronquist

Contact SA

109 Day Hall

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

ph. (607) 255—3715