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20030918 Meeting Minutes

Student Assembly Meeting
September 18, 2003
4:45–6:30 P.M.
Memorial Room, Willard Straight Hall


The meeting was called to order at 4:55 p.m.


Present: Melissa Ariate, Steve Blake, Josh Bronstein, Jessica Feldstein, Erik Gilje, Michelle Fernandes, Jason Jendrewski, Ashley Higgins, Erica Kagan, Julia Levy, Toby Lewis, Timothy Lim, Nick Linder, Laura London, Lauren Martinez, Lisa Minich, Dena Ruebusch, David Skolnik, Orlando Soria, Stephanie Romano



Others present: S. Faguet (‘07); C. Heath (‘07); K. Colangelo (‘07); L. Goldberg (‘07); S. Garwin (‘07); E. Games (‘06); V. Gogish (‘07); L. Davies (‘07); B. Siasoro (‘07); D. Bean (‘07); A. Baum (‘07); G. Geffen (‘07); J. Goldman (‘07); J. Barerra; R. Hochbaum (‘07); A. Madnis (‘07); N. Brown (‘04); J. Sizkelco (‘05); J. Chou (‘07); K. Thomison (‘07); T. Nobles; T. Tsuei


The minutes for September 11, 2003 were unanimously approved.


There were no speakers for open microphone.


Executive Committee
S. Blake asked members to email him documents in text format. Meeting times have changed to every Monday at 1:15pm in 518F in WSH. He commended E. Kagan & D. Ruebusch on their jobs. A change in the agenda today will be R. 13 not being presented due to technical difficulties in getting the report out. Once the report has been passed out, please skim it before the presentation next week. It is a confidential report.

Appropriations Committee
E. Kagan said the eligibility of new groups were discussed. Next week authorization and funding level of new groups will be discussed. Please fill out the green sheets given out. We will be hearing from the Athletics department next week, their appeal form is in the office of assemblies if you would like to look at it.

Director of Elections
D. Ruebusch said that today is the official announcement of candidates for freshmen and transfers. She announced the candidates and said that campaigning officially starts at the end of the meeting. There will be a meeting after the SA meeting to discuss campaign rules and questions. On September 22, in RPCC on the 1st floor lounge there will be a candidates forum.

Internal Operations
D. Ruebusch said that she is still missing some committee meeting dates & times and needs it ASAP. Some liaisons to different groups are changing because some groups didn’t return their packets. She asked members to type up a one page summary on reasons for appropriating x amount of funds to pass out to the SA.


Appeal for exception to Appx A from the College Readership Program
N. Linder said he is stepping down as chair due to an inherent bias and S. Blake will be chairing.

E. Kagan explained the rationale. The appropriations committee met to discuss eligibility to apply for funding. They voted 0Y — 7N — 1A because it doesn’t map out in Appendix A. The readership program is not student led, student funded, has no Cornell employed advisor, and has not previously funded by SAFC, etc. The Office of Assemblies petition had 900–1,000 verifiable signatures. 600–700 unofficial petitions were not verifiable because no CU ID# was given and the committee was afraid that the students did not know what they were signing for since the petitions did not say how much the readership program would cost. The collegiate has decided to appeal the committee’s decision, which the rules allow them to do.

R. Irwin (USA Today) said they didn’t have a petition form or the criteria needed for a proper petition because they petitioned prior to April ‘03. They didn’t know how much money the program would cost so they just said it would be included in the student activities fee. They realized that seniors and grad students signers wouldn’t be eligible, so they came back to collect more signatures. She has 5 pages of testimonials that all show positive feedback for the pgoram. They had about 2300 signatures in support for it and will come back to get more signatures if necessary.

A. Higgins said she is on the appropriations committee and they felt that coming for by-line funding wasn’t the way to go and asked them to consider other options for funding. The problem was that there was no precedent for this and if they allowed invalid signatures for a petition, it could result in a slippery slope for future petitioners.

T. Lim asked who was the student contact, wouldn’t they have known the criteria? What other groups have been denied funding?

R. Irwin said that she worked with past president U. Asonye but it took a long time to just get a pilot program going and she’s also worked with N. Doyle and N. Linder.

E. kagan said the other 2 groups had 1600 and 2000 signatures on petitions.

D. Ruebusch asked if they have explored any other funding options?

R. Irwin said she met with Dean Hubbell and they said they want to see student support for the program first.

D. Ruebusch asked if there is any student involvement on campus right now?

R. Irwin said whoever she works with always ends up graduating — right now she is working with N. Linder.

J. Bronstein said this is his 3rd year on the SA and he was here when it started from the beginning. He doesn’t fault the appropriations committee for following rules and procedures but they should see that this is important to the students.

D. Skolnick said he agrees with J. Bronstein and asked is it possible to set up a debit program for the newspapers?

R. Irwin said Usa Today has set up a system where students can swipe their ID card to access the papers.

T. Lewis said he agrees with J. Bronstein and D. Skolnick and asked would it be possible to grant an extension for them if they comply to follow with the rules?

E. Kagan said that if we vote that they are eligible, then we will be making exceptions to appendix A and she wouldn’t recommend extending the deadline.

T. Lewis asked can we form a student organization so that they are eligible?

E. Kagan said it is up to them, they can if they want to.

M. Ariate asked if they could inform the body of the total costs of distribution?

R. Irwin said they recommended $5 per student for 1100 papers. She doesn’t feel like more is needed because papers will be passed back.

M. Ariate asked how do other schools pay for the program?

R. Irwin said a student activity fee.

S. Blake reminded the members that they are not voting on giving USA Today money, they are voting to grant them exception to rules in Appendix A.

O. Soria said he was at the meeting and he felt the main issue was the signatures. He thought the unofficial petitions were done in good will and recommends letting that technicality slide. He is in support of taking the signatures as being valid.

J. Feldstein the 1100 number makes her nervous, is it possible to increase the number of papers?

R. Irwin said it iwas up to the student acitivty fee.

J. Feldstein said she feels the readership program is a good group because it is one less thing that students need to run.

E. Kagan said we can’t give more money than they ask for.

T. Lim said he likes the program and is concerned with creating a precedence for the next by line funding cycle. They should form a student organization to help them comply with the rules.

J. Bronstein said it would be a waste of time to create a student organization because there will be exceptions granted to it anyway. He is not fearful of a precedent. He asked what are the other Ivies doing?

R. Irwin said Dartmouth, Duke, RIT, and Yale are new additions to the program.

A. Higgins said that the appropriations committee felt this is a good program and the major holdup was they were afraid to make exceptions for the petitions. There are already groups with exceptions, i.e. Athletics.

T. Lewis said they shouldn’t let setting a precedent affect their decisions. If we don’t grant them an exception this year, they will just return again next year.

A call to previous question was made and 2nded.

Melissa Ariate Y
Steve Blake -
Josh Bronstein Y
Jessica Feldstein Y
Erik Gilje Y
Michelle Fernandes Y
Jason Jendrewski Y
Ashley Higgins A
Erica Kagan N
Julia Levy Y
Toby Lewis Y
Timothy Lim Y
Nick Linder A
Laura London Y
Lauren Martinez Y
Lisa Minich Y
Dena Ruebusch Y
David Skolnik Y
Orlando Soria Y
Stephanie Romano -

The exception was granted, 15Y — 1N — 2A.

R. 12, Formation of ad hoc Committee on Athletics
D. Ruebusch said this would re create the ad hoc Athletic committee that’s existed for the past 3 years. It needs to be re-formed every year since it’s an ad hoc committee.

S. Blake said it would be a huge success if we can develop more communication between students and the Athletics dept. He thinks this is a great idea and commended it.

J. Feldstein said that college sports should be part of every college student’s life.

A call to previous question was made and 2nded.

Melissa Ariate Y
Steve Blake Y
Josh Bronstein Y
Jessica Feldstein Y
Erik Gilje Y
Michelle Fernandes Y
Jason Jendrewski A
Ashley Higgins Y
Erica Kagan Y
Julia Levy Y
Toby Lewis Y
Timothy Lim Y
Nick Linder -
Laura London Y
Lauren Martinez Y
Lisa Minich Y
Dena Ruebusch Y
David Skolnik Y
Orlando Soria Y
Stephanie Romano -

R. 12 passed, 16Y — 1A — 0N.

Call for Sense of the Body Regarding the WSH Poolroom
S. Blake said the Dean of Students wants to make changes in the poolroom and is asking the SA for their opinion.

L. Reynolds said that WSH is a dying building and she has been charged to re-create the Straight. There are financial implications and they need to generate money to support the building and need to meet the needs of the students. There have been talks of renovations, like Cascadeli, more program space and the ceramics room. The game room is deteriorating and is losing money. They have tried to get more student involvement. This is a national trend, pool/video game interest has decreased over the years. They are looking to try something else. This year they are facing a $20,000 deficit, which has financial implications for the building. Kinko’s responded with a bid and Roger Case from Kinkos will say why Kinko’s is better than having just an internal copy center.

R. Case said that Kinkos can provide the best services for student needs i.e. late night services. They have the best hours and prices and are focused on student services and customers. They are not looking to change the structure of the room.

J. Wu and J. Barerra from the Cornell Billiards club gave a powerpoint presentation as to why the poolroom should be saved. They said that WSH is for students, not for businesses and a survey they conducted found that 97% of students wanted to keep it. It is a Cornell tradition and other copy centers are available on campus and they challenge the SA and the Dean of Students to survey students on what they want.

S. Blake asked what is happening to the tables, can they be put elsewhere?

L. Reynolds said she welcomes the opportunity to keep some of them at WSH and perhaps putting tables on the 4th floor (ground level). Cornell owns the tables.

S. Blake asked are they planning on panting a Kinko’s on the ceiling?

L. Reynolds said no.

S. Blake asked will we be able to see the plans beforehand?

L. Reynolds said yes.

T. Lewis said he is for Kinko’s and asked will students be hired and what will be the hours?

R. Case said that they will discuss that during contracting but imagines hours will be something like 8am — 11pm.

L. Reynolds said while they were accepting bids, they emphasized student employment.

A. Higgins asked are there billiards anywhere else on campus?

L. Reynolds said that RPCC and Noyes have coin operated tables.

J. Barrera said that the point isn’t where to play but the tradition of the room.

S. Blake said there are 14 tables on campus and said they are exploring the possibility of adding more pool tables at RPCC and making them cheaper.

J. Levy asked what will be the impact of Kinkos on the copy center at Appell?

L. Reynolds said that center is more of an office product supplier than a service center. It is also a matter of central campus versus north campus.

R. Case said the center at Appell doesn’t have walk up copy service and not many hours.

T. Lim said we need this center on central campus and need to act in the best interest of the student body so he is in support of a Kinkos.

J. Barrerra said the survey says that students want the gameroom.

T. Lim said each survey says different things and the presidents of other organization want this.

J. Barrerra asked the SA to please take up their challenge.

D. Skolnick asked will there be a Kinko’s sign outside WSH?

L. Reynolds said no, they will respect the building, much like when ATM machines were installed. There is lots of history at WSH but things need to evolve.

M. Ariate asked does the room have to bring in money?

L. Reynolds said the room doesn’t need to, but the building needs the money.

D. Ruebusch asked what have recommendations been to generate money?

J. Wu said they’ve recommended RA programs to sponsor pool nights and worked out a deal for discount rates for billiards club members.

D. Ruebusch asked how do you like the idea of moving?

J. Wu said that Kinkos should move because the gameroom offers a different atmosphere.

J. Feldstein asked how many members are in the billiards club?

J. Wu said about 40.

J. Feldstein asked can people cornell card pool?

L. Reynolds said that Cornell won’t let cornell card happen because it is not a tangible item. They are looking at options to make things as easy as possible.

A motion to extend speaking time failed.

A call to question was made and 2nded.

L. Reynolds said they are basically asked if they can move forward or try to figure out hnow to make up for the deficit.

T. Lim asked if he can introduce a clause to deal with moving the tables?

N. Linder ruled it out of order, he can make a resolution to amend.

Melissa Ariate Y
Steve Blake Y
Josh Bronstein Y
Jessica Feldstein Y
Erik Gilje N
Michelle Fernandes Y
Jason Jendrewski Y
Ashley Higgins Y
Erica Kagan N
Julia Levy -
Toby Lewis Y
Timothy Lim Y
Nick Linder -
Laura London A
Lauren Martinez A
Lisa Minich N
Dena Ruebusch Y
David Skolnik Y
Orlando Soria A
Stephanie Romano -

The SA voted in favor of Kinko’s, 11Y — 3A — 3N.


R. 14, Resolution Regarding Venue Space
M. Ariate said the resolution is basically self explanatory. Lots of venues on campus that can be used aren’t allowed for student use right now.

R. 15, Recommendary Resolution Regarding Reinventing the Straight
S. Blake said this resolution is along similar lines as M. Ariate’s. The union needs to be the central part of campus and the resolution is asking the Dean of Students to make a task force to make recommendations to reinvent the Straight.


N. Linder adjourned the meeting at 6:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Tyng Tsuei
Student Clerk

Contact SA

109 Day Hall

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

ph. (607) 255—3715