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February 4, 1999

Minutes
STUDENT ASSEMBLY
February 4, 1999
Memorial Room, WSH

I. CALL TO ORDER

President J. Kang called the meeting to order at 4:50.

II. OPEN MICROPHONE

Kristin Ruether, co-president of the Cornell Greens, and Frankie Lind, president of United Progressives, asked the SA to recognize the administration’s lack of compliance with R.26, Resolution on Recycled Paper, passed in March 1998. K. Ruether stated the resolution explicitly called for the University to use 30% post consumer recycled paper for all of its functions, as well as cease to carry any un-recycled paper no later that January 1, 1999.  The resolution also called for the creation of a default in which computers in the CIT labs would no longer print a cover page on Net-Print.  In November 1997, President Rawlings signed his “Statement on the Environment,” which also stated its support for the use of recycled paper.  She then stated that nothing has been done, therefore, the University is failing to comply with the resolution.  She argued that there exists a myriad of documentation signed and passed supporting the use of recycled paper, yet nothing has been done.  The Cornell Greens will continue to work on this issue until the University complies.  Lastly, she requested the SA’s support on this issue.

Jonah Zern stated that Governor Pataki’s budget cuts to higher education include several major cuts to American Education System. He stated that the latest budget proposal will force another tuition hike, and will cut Tuition  Assistance Program(TAP) rewards by nearly 50%. The budget proposal, as set by Pataki, will call for $131 million in cuts to the TAP rewards. He added that 43% of the value of the proposed changes affecting SUNY students will be borne by the students with an adjusted gross income of less than $4,000 annually, and 79% will be borned by students with an adjusted gross income of less than $20,000 annually. He went on to state that it is up to us as students and leaders of New York State to make sure our education stays intact and our schools remain open to those less privileged. He asked SA if anyone would be willing to work on a resolution against Pataki’s budget cut. Lastly he stated that on March 2nd there is a statewide lobby meeting in Albany and asked for SA funding for a bus in order that Cornell students can attend to support higher education.

-J. Kang responded that the SA would work on the issue of recycled paper.

-Y. Pawluk replied that the Joint Assembly Financial Aid Review Committee would be working with the Office of Government Affairs to get a concerted effort for the State Lobbying Day and hopefully seeing what can be done on campus to promote higher education.

III. ANNOUNCEMENTS

CLC Code

- C. Marocco reminded the SA that there will be a Forum on Monday, February 15th from 7:30 to 9:00 in Goldwin Smith Lecture Hall D and stated the importance of student turn-out.

Ivy Council

- R. Anderson asked members of the Assembly to help by submitting some topics for the Spring Conference and trying to get Cornell’s issues heard at the Ivy Conference in April.

Leonard Peltier

- B. Perry stated Cornell has a long history of involvement with Native American issues. He announced that February 6th will be a National Day of Solidarity for Leonard Peltier who is a Native American activist who spent the last 23 years in jail after being wrongfully accused of killing two FBI agents following a shoot-out on the Pine Rich Reservation in South Dakota. Perry then read a statement, which described Peltier’s situation. He added that there will be a small rally, and a memorial service in the Commons on this day. B.Perry noted that more information on this could be obtained at the Leonard Peltier Defense Council’s website, www.lpsg-co.org.

Proxy Committee

- M. Galin stated that the President’s response to Resolution 17, the Reinstatement of the Proxy Committee, allows for a committee to be established that can be run by students in which research can be done, but they are not a voting body. He admitted that it was a step back in student empowerment. He asked if the SA had any questions or ideas. Information is available in the SA office.

L. Rudofsky stated that Fred Rogers or one of the other senior administrators, said the students could have this committee if they wanted it. He then asked why this changed?

C. Morocco answered that most of the time the administration lies to the SA.

Y. Pawluk noted that this was a time for announcements instead of opinions and that the SA had no time to debate things that had already been passed.

K. Dealy mentioned to L. Rudofsky that if he had anymore questions they could meet afterwards to discuss this issue.

Oath of Office

- Connor Galvin took the Oath of Office

IV. ROLL CALL

Present:R. Anderson, M. Hanson, J. Kang, L. Rudofsky, C. Tupino, M. Brown, R. Jacobs, C. Patel, M. Schaffer, J. Werner, B. Detrick, D. Mahon, Y. Pawluk, A. Singh, M. Galin, K. McNamera, B. Perry, J. Stirling, C. Galvin, C. Morocco, P. Righter, E. Tsourounis

Others Present: J. Zern, K. Ruether, F. Lind, B. Pease, P. Carr, S. Kate, M. Benard, J. Kleinbaum, A. Emblodge, D. Frleta, W. Savage, M. Moschella, K. Mayo, N. Wilson, C. Gardner, A. Ntambi

- J. Kang stated that before moving on, the SA would need to work harder and give everything they had so in the future there are not so many cases where SA resolutions are not enforced.

V. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

November 23, 1998 M. Hanson requested that the minutes be amended to read that he was present and that D. Mahon was added as co-drafter to R. 31.

The minutes of November 23, 1998 were approved as amended.

Minutes of January 28, 1999- the minutes for January 28, 1999 passed as presented.

VI. COMMITTEE REPORTS

Residence and Community Life

E. Tsourounis informed the Assembly that the groundbreaking for the new buildings will take place in October 1999. It will be an 18-month project with a fall 2000 planned completion date. Several months following October 1999 the Community Commons, the new planned community center on North, will have its groundbreaking. Balch Dining will close in the year 2000–2001. They are presently looking to keep Risley Dining open, but no decision have been made yet. RPCC is presently being renovated and the dining area will be renovated in the summer. The newly renovated building will be open next fall. There has also been an architect retained to look at renovation to the first floor of Donlon. There will be renovation to Dickson, including an entrance at the center of the building, which will have stairs leading up to increase student space. The Program Houses are going to be moved: MCLLU will be moved to Dickson Hall next fall, JAM will move to Low Rise 9 in 2000, MCLLU will move to Comstock in 2000, and the Language House will probably move to Boldt Hall in the year 2000. The new buildings will be handicap accessible. There is also talk of a new all-female residence hall. Last he stated that there is a new reporting procedure dealing with race bias on campus.

Elections

B. Perry reported that there are petitions signed out for every college except AAP. For the University Assembly, there are only two petitions signed out. He encouraged the Assembly to push the UA. He then informed the Assembly Referenda are due on Thursday, February 11th. He hasn’t yet heard any feedback about the candidates forum that is scheduled for February 25 with the Editorial Board of the Daily Sun. Without any objections, the Sun will moderate that event and have focus groups for each constituency. B.Perry then asked members to speak about elections in front of at least three big lecture classes. He noted that there was also a list of large classes that they would like members to quarter card at. He passed around out a sign-up sheet to members.

-R. Jacobs asked if someone ran for the UA, could they also run for the SA and if the SA was still going to assign delegates to the University Assembly.

-B. Perry responded that he did not know, but according to the other representatives the answer is no.  He said there are six student positions on the UA four elected and two appointed by the SA.

-M. Schaffer asked members of the Assembly to sign-up to help during the elections including putting up posters and handing out flyers.

Dining Committee

C. Morocco reported on the Dining Committee meeting at Jansens which discussed keeping Jansens open later and keeping both Risley and Balch Dining open. She then stated that the next meeting was in two weeks when the architects for the dining halls on North Campus will present their plans.

-B. Perry asked if rumors that Dining would be out-sourced to the Marriot, a non-unionized outsource as well an organization with a history of racial discrimination were true?

-C. Morocco responded saying that was not going to happen.

SAECO

C. Morocco announced that she was the new chair of the SAECO Committee and encouraged SA involvement. She also announced the next meeting would be Wednesday February 10, 1999 with the location TBA.

Women’s Resource Center

K. McNamara explained that the Women’s Resource Center for the first time on Monday February 1, 1999. They discussed elections they would hold internally next semester. She also stated they talked about how they respond to letters written about them in the paper. She promised to keep the Assembly updated as to what will happen next.

Trustee Meeting

K. Dealy reported on the annual Trustee Meeting with the Board of Overseers of the Medical College of Cornell. She told the Assembly that some of the information from the sessions was confidential but she would be happy to answer any questions regarding the reinstatement of the Proxy Committee and share any other information that was not confidential.

-L. Rudofsky asked what should the Assembly make of the fact that the conversations were confidential in regards to the Student Activity Fee?

-K. Dealy responded that it was a task force meeting from which she reported the results to the Academic Affairs Committee. She then explained that members of the SA, GPSA and she drew up a draft in November that now requires revisions. When the revisions are finished and accepted by the task force, they will present the results to the SA and GPSA.

-S. Rockwell informed the Trustees of the racial incidents that happened recently on campus and challenged President Rawlings, the Board of Trustees, and the administration to take an active role by engaging with the community in a discussion on race.

Executive Committee

M. Galin- announced that the Executive Committee may have an informal meeting next week to discuss the 30th Anniversary of the Willard Straight Take over that happened in 1969. The aim of the meeting is to find out what happened, the setting, and what has come of it. He asked the Assembly to e-mail him and express their ideas about the idea.

-E. Tsourounis reminded the Assembly that most of the information on the racial incidents on campus was available on the e-mail he sent out through the list-serve and encouraged the Assembly to express any ideas they had.

-M. Hanson added that any information they received from the Assembly would be greatly appreciated.

-B. Detrick stated that he thought the decision had to be made by the whole Assembly and expressed some concern about timing. He asked the Assembly whether or not they should take a vote today in order to decide if they wanted to carry on with the decision or not.

-M. Galin stated that normally the Assembly did not vote on an informal meeting and said that it was not necessary to vote on everything on the agenda. Lastly he said the informal meeting was a way to find out how the Assembly felt about the controversial issue.

-R. Anderson stated that B. Detrick could make a motion if he wanted to whether it was an executive decision or not because that was the checks and balances of the system.

- After a short discussion, J. Kang felt that the issue was not one they could vote on.  He suggested after the meeting the SA have more discussion on the issue and then take a vote.

VII. BUSINESS OF THE DAY

R. 3, Draft 4

M. Galin reviewed changes made since the last draft. Members last semester were not comfortable with the fact that an organization could be so easily zero-funded. As a result they changed the resolution. If after two times coming to the full Assembly, the representatives are not unable to come to a decision, a committee to include the Executive Committee and three members of the Appropriations Committee, will meet to figure out the appropriate level of funding. This discussion will be brought back to the Assembly to be voted on.

-C. Patel reviewed the other changes. He said that originally they were going to allow for the final budget to be amended by of 100%  the SA, but after debate they decided to make it 20%. 

-M. Galin stated that they had been working on this resolution since August and a lot of work has been done on it. He encouraged the Assembly to read it thoroughly and not vote on it hap-hazardly.

-J. Stirling asked what the 20% meant.

-M. Galin explained that if a group is funded $100 the Assembly could change that amount by $20 up to $120 or down to $80, but not higher or lower.  

-C. Patel went on to explain that with the amendment the Assembly itself, within a 20% range, could change the amount of funding without sending the decision back to Appropriations.

-M. Hanson questioned the relation of Student Health insurance to the SAF in Article 7.

-C. Patel agreed that the wording needed to be changed.  It was agreed, however, that check-off options were a bad idea.

-M. Hanson asked Rep. Galin and Rep. Patel to explain how they arrived at the process in Article 2. Section B.4.

-M. Galin explained that the VP for Finance or the Chair of the Appropriations Committee would appoint the three members of the committee in any way they chose.  They would then meet in a very informal setting with the Executive Committee. The President on the SA would chair the meeting and a decision would be made.

-C. Patel added that the Executive Board would have a sense of what the SA would want and would hopefully bring back something to the SA that would help them get to the final budget.

-M. Galin responded that the SA would be making the 20 % amendment, no one else.

-Y. Pawluk questioned that in Section 4, Paragraph B where the special committee gets a referral from the SA and the 20% amendment process does not put this responsibility directly in the hands of the SA.

-Y. Pawluk noted that there seems to be many limitations put on the SA and wondered if these limitations would impede the mandate of the SA.

-C. Patel replied that to get a fee amended by the 20% the SA would still need a 50% vote, so there is still a majority of people agreeing. With the special committee, the fee still has to go back to the SA and get a majority vote before a final budget can be approved. In the end, they still need 2/3 of the SA to give consent to the SAF.

-L. Rudofsky commented on the final 2/3’s vote. If an objectionable group were to pass by a majority in the first process, some people would obviously want to vote against it in the final round requiring 2/3 approval. But there maybe parts of the fee that they would want to pass. He said that in order to vote for some, and against others they would have to split up the question.  He felt using this process the Assembly would run into the same problems it ran into last year. 

-C. Patel stated that that was a good point and something they had not thought of.

-M. Galin said that “dividing the question” might be a good answer.

-L. Rudofsky asked if the SA have to vote three times not to fund an organization?

-C. Patel answered if a funding a group was that controversial, hopefully the Appropriations Committee would give no money. He went on to say that the Appropriations Committee should know what the SA wants and if the SA keeps denying funding the Appropriations Committee would know.

-B. Perry expressed concerned for the final vote and the need for the 2/3 vote.

-M. Galin asked what is the rational for a majority?

-B. Perry cited a situation where a minority of SA members can hold up the entire process since only nine votes are needed to block a 2/3 vote. He then questioned why the 2/3 vote at the end was required when there have already been four votes.

-M. Galin answered that if there were such a contentious issue, splitting it up would be the best thing to do and expressed the importance of a 2/3 vote.

-C. Patel added that there would be a lot of pressure to pass a budget because otherwise they would “screw” a lot of groups.

-R. Anderson stated that, as in times in the past, some members might set a politically minded majority. She then asked whether the small committee could color that process?

-C. Patel answered that the decision would still have to get the approval of the 2/3’s SA vote.

-R. Anderson asked whether they had taken into consideration the fact that the process had to be done in one semester.

-C. Patel said that hopefully the process would move fast and that most groups would get through the first time.

-K. Dealy  added that the Task Force has been working on a time line and the reinforcement of it.

-E. Tsourounis asked whether they had asked Counsel Mingle about the legalities that come with such documents.

-M. Galin stated that many e-mails had been sent out about this but there is only so much they can do. They will try to continue to inform the Council Mingle.

-K. Dealy added that he has been working with the Task Force and has seen everything to date.

-D. Mahon asked whether it would be easier for organizations to be zero-funded now because only 1/3 of the SA is needed to deny a group funding as opposed to the previous system?

-M. Galin responded that at the end of the process, if the whole budget doesn’t get passed, the fee will go back to the previous funding level which means they would have the same funding as in the prior two year period.

-S. Rockwell asked what groups would receive funding in the new cycle and why a group needed a 2/3 vote to be funded more and 1/3 vote to be funded less?  He inquired as to whether an affirmative vote was needed for de-funding.

-C. Patel answered that a 2/3 vote is needed to lower someone’s funding because they still have to go to the final SAF and need 2/3 from everybody.  He added this was put in so groups who do get lower funding can’t hold up the whole process.  He emphasized that this puts pressure on the Assembly to get things done. 

VIII. OLD BUSINESS

Resolution 30

M. Galin added a last Be it Therefore Resolved Clause to include a question about being a member of the Cornell community on the application. The amendment is to read

-K. McNamara stated that this question would be a good idea because Cornell is a diverse group and it is difficult to bring such a diverse group together. She felt this question would give applicants and members of Admissions something to look forward to and to think about. 

-B. Detrick motioned to divide the question to vote separately on the old resolution and the newly added referenda question.

-Y. Pawluk expressed the importance of the question and urged the Assembly to vote yes.

-M. Brown said the question has good sentiment and represents a good statement of goals but it is not a reality. He then proposed an Amendment adding a resolved clause to state the SA commits itself to upholding the ideals expressed in this statement and ensuring that our principles of community are forever a tangible reality.

The motion was found friendly and the following will be added to read:

Be it therefore resolved: That the SA commit itself to uphold the ideals expressed in this statement and ensure that our principles of community are forever a tangible reality

-B. Detrick motioned to divide.

The motion to divide the question passed by a vote of 11–4−0

-J. Stirling stated that it was hypocritical to say that this was what Cornellians strive for when in reality that is not the case.  He, therefore, will not vote for it. By voting yes, he believes, would cover-up a bigger problem.

-J. Werner stated that if this is going to be voted on by referenda the students should pass the statement before the SA passes it.

-M. Galin replied there are two different things. The referenda question is whether or not to put a community life question on the application and does not have anything to do with the statement on community.

-C. Morocco questioned if the referendum could be put on the ballot by concerned community members being that it is on behalf of the SA.

-J. Werner motioned to put this on the referenda for this election rather than pass it. He also recommended striking the Be It Therefore Resolved Clauses and insert “Be It Therefore Resolved That this be a referendum question on the next election.”

-J. Kang asked members of the Assembly whether they would like to vote  on the referenda section and after that is passed or defeated they can debate on the statement.

-R. Anderson called the previous question

-B. Perry motioned to postpone R. 30 until after the elections and submit it as a referendum question to the Elections Committee.  The result of the referendum will be ? back to the SA.

The motion to postpone passed.

Resolution 34

C. Morocco stated that some of the wording has changed in the “Resolved Clauses.” An official university holiday is no longer mentioned because they are not asking for time off from school. They are asking for programming and being excused from classes she reported that the sponsors decided against adding holidays other than Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.

Resolution 34 passed by a vote of 17–2−0

Special Meeting

-C. Patel motioned to spend the last 15 minutes of the meeting on the special meeting and if there is anytime remaining, orders of the day will be called.

-Motion was seconded

-E. Tsourounis discussed the 30 year anniversary of the Willard Straight Takeover and what roles the students could play. He suggested the Assembly talk with Dr. Turner about what happened and help members of the community be more aware of what happened through education.  He asked the Assembly whether or not he should invite Dr. Turner to attend the meeting next Thursday.

-L. Rudofsky stated that the takeover was an issue that needed to be dealt with and whether or not members of the Assembly agreed with the takeover, there was no reason not to have the meeting with Dr. Turner.

-Y. Pawluk said that he initially thought that the SA was not a good place for such a forum but then he decided that dialogue was good. It could only help.

-M. Brown stated that from the perspective of a new student having Dr. Turner come may be helpful, but Dr. Turner’s perspective would have to balanced out by other perspectives.

-J. Stirling moved there be at least two speakers with opposite perspectives invited to the February 11 meeting of the Student Assembly.

-M. Hanson reminded members that the Assembly had not had an informal meeting since October and that they should have one. 

-M. Galin stated that he did not think this meeting should be in the form of debate, but that a multitude of speakers would be a good idea.

-B. Dietrick motioned to discharge the decision from the Executive Decision.

Orders of the Day were called at 6:30

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