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Cornell University Student Assembly
April 22, 2010
Willard Straight Hall, Memorial Room

I. Call to Order

N. Kumar called the meeting to order at 4:46pm.

II. Roll Call

Voting Members Present: I. Akinpelu, V. Andrews, C. Basil, A. Brokman, M. Danzer, M. DeLucia, R. Desai, A. Gitlin, N. Junewicz, N. Kumar, A. Latella, A. Nicoletti, S. Purdy, N. Raps, J. Rau, U. Smith, K. Welch, H. Yang

Non-Voting Members Present: A. Cowen, A. Raveret, R. Salem

Voing Members Excused Absent: J. Min,

Voting Members Unexcused Absent: Z. Glasser, C. Moreno

III. Open Microphone

N. Evensen announced that GPSA had elected a new president and vice president.

IV. Announcements/Reports

1. Campus Life Student Advisory Committee—Nikhil Kumar and Adam Gitlin

N. Kumar said that the CLSAC is looking for members for next year.

A. Gitlin said that they had discussed issues pertaining to housing at their last meeting.

N. Kumar said people interested in getting involved should contact Gitlin.

2. Accreditation Committee—Nikhil Kumar

N. Kumar announced that V. Andrews would serve on this committee next year.

3. End of the Year Summaries—Vince Andrews

V. Andrews said that all SA members should send him the 200 word summaries of their accomplishments from the past year so that he could put them in the newsletter by the end of the year.

4. Dining committee update- Alex Latella

A. Latella said that the committee had discussed the issue of stealing in the dining halls and they are forming a task force to discourage students from stealing.

5. Student Library Committee update- Emily Cusick ‘12

E. Cusick said they had discussed issues with confidentiality and library records at the last meeting. Additionally, administrators are currently reviewing various libraries across campus, so if anyone wants to voice their concerns about this process, they should email their dean. Also, a new exhibit on Mark Twain is opening soon and renovations on Uris Library will begin in June.

A. Gitlin asked if there are any students on these library advisory committees.

E. Cusick said there are various students providing input.

U. Smith asked what was being renovated on Uris.

E. Cusick said they will be installing more handicap assistance and improving the fire safety of the building.

N. Kumar asked if there will be any other meetings this year.

E. Cusick said there is one more.

V. Unfinished Business

1. R. 65-Revision of University Inclement Weather Policy 8.2—Ulysses Smith & Andrew Flye ‘11

U. Smith said we need to accommodate people with disabilities in the event of inclement weather. This resolution recommends what the University should do in such situations.

There was a call to question. Seconded with no dissent. By a vote of 11–0−1, the resolution passed.

2. R. 66- Revision of Student Disabilities Services Procedure for Inclement Weather—Ulysses Smith & Andrew Flye ‘11

U. Smith said this resolution encourages people to file an inclement weather plan so that the grounds and facilities staff will clear the paths that are frequently used by students.

There was a call to question. Seconded with no dissent. By a vote of 11–0−1, the resolution passed.

3. R. 72- SAFC Guidelines Reform—Dan Gusz ‘11, Charlie Feng ‘11, Justin Min, Roneal Desai, and Vincent Andrews

R. Desai said that this resolution would split groups applying for special projects funding into two separate groups: people who could only apply for administrative fees and people who filed full application. This is a safety net for people who forgot to turn in a full application.

A. Nicoletti asked what the current criteria is for special projects funding.

V. Andrews said that an organization receives special projects funding when it has already been granted money for an event, but realizes it need more money to actually hold the event. This also applies if a sports group needs more money to make it to a tournament.

R. Desai said groups in the new category will not have to provide extra paperwork.

V. Andrews said this resolution does not create multiple funding periods.

There was a call to question. By a vote of 15–0−0, the resolution passed.

4. R. 73- Appendix B Revisions—Chris Basil

C. Basil said there are a number of revisions to appendix B. These include the Cornell Cinema’s usage of bank accounts, capping Haven’s Filthy-Gorgeous contribution, having the OSC change the convocation speaker to undergrad student trustee, mandating that Outdoor Odyssey creates a financial aid program, havng MCFAB bring in multiple acts rather than single act. Motion to make an amendment.

A. Brokman asked if this resolution does anything with tickets.

C. Basil said the tickets are moved into the general guidelines.

N. Kumar asked if everyone approved of Basil’s amendment.

The amendment was improved.

R. Desai asked about the issue of the Cornell Cinema receiving funding although they are not entirely student run.

C. Basil said is says in appendix a, that in order to become eligible to receive SAFC, an organization must be student led. However, Cornell Cinema has ‘grandfathered in’ to not being a student run organization.

Desai asked about the MCFAB amendment.

C. Basil said both CCC and MCFAB thought that the mandate that they work together on a concert wasn’t a good idea. However, CCC has internal expertise with concerts, so hopefully a natural relationship will arise.

I. Crovisier ‘10 said he is the head house manager of Cornell Cinema. He came to voice his concern about the resolution. He disagreed with the hodgepodge, confusing nature of the resolution. He suggested that the SA think about how these changes will affect so many organizations.

U. Smith said he is a supporter of Cornell Cinema, but he was under the impression that the Cinema would be in constant contact with Basil over these revisions. However, the first time they responded to an SA email was earlier in the day.

C. Basil said he was confronted with a confusing budget for the Cinema last year and wanted to make it easier to associate the budget parts with the student activity fee. He wants to be able to see exactly what is being to provided to the Cinema and what they are using it for. Therefore, it will be easier to do this if there is one bank account rather than ten.

V. Andrews asked if Basil had sent out emails to the groups that are affected by these changes.

C. Basil said he emailed all of them

V. Andrews asked Crovisier how the SA could have been more transparent, although they had sent out an email.

I. Crovisier said the Cinema director was stranded out of the country and likely could not respond to the email.

V. Andrews asked Crovisier if he ever tried to reach out to Basil.

I. Crovisier said he was under the impression that they were going to be contacted by the SA.

M. Danzer said he feels as if every time the SA tries to change things with the Cinema, they are told something different. What goes into the bank accounts is important to know for a student-funded organization. Therefore, he fully supports this resolution, especially the changes to Cornell Cinema.

R. Desai said he thinks the SA has been as transparent as possible in this process and he even received an email regarding these changes.

C. Basil said the student activity fee can only be spent on operating expenses, meaning student salaries and not staff salaries.

There was a call to question. By a vote of 16–0−1, the resolution passed.

5. R. 74- SA Special Projects and Appropriations Committee Charge—Chris Basil

By a vote of 16–0−1, the resolution passed.

VI. New Business

1. Charter Revisions—Alex Cowen and Charter Review Committee

A. Cowen said the Charter Review Committee met this past week and there were a couple of redundant sections in the charter. Some inconsistencies were removed as well.

M. Danzer said one of the major changes is that there are no more by-laws.

A. Cowen said that the charter will be just one document, and not as complicated as before. Some sections of the charter that don’t belong in the charter were placed in a separate document.

N. Kumar said that there were many charter changes, so he encourages all SA members to review them in the coming week.

V. Andrews said he suggests everyone looks over the changes line by line to see if any issues arise.

A. Epstein said he has a lot of questions.

V. Andrews said the resolution would be voted on next week, so they should be able to address all questions then.

A. Epstein said he doesn’t think that it would be possible in so little time. In the past, every time the charter has been changed, it has been a more intensive process. One main concern with these changes is the elimination of the mandate that all SA policy be approved by the president. He doesn’ t think that President Skorton will approve this resolution without this clause.

V. Andrews asked if it would be possible to vote on this in two weeks.

A. Epstein said they would have to discuss this in detail later.

M. Danzer said they tried to include where they had made all of the changes, but there were so many that the document ended up looking messy and hard to read. SA members should put this revised edition beside the current charter and compare the changes. Read it over during the week and anyone with questions should bring them up at the next meeting.

N. Kumar tabled the resolution until next week.

2. R. 75- Appendix B Changes—Matt Danzer and Mike Wacker ‘10

M. Wacker said they are trying to include some first amendment protection.

M. Danzer said the difference between this resolution and resolution 44 is that this prohibits the SA from removing an organization altogether. However, they can strip the group’s funding if agreed upon by a 2/3 vote.

C. Basil said he likes the balance that has been struck.

U. Smith asked if this resolution conflicts with 44 at all.

M. Danzer said there are a number of differences. For instance, part A provides more flexibility for groups that only let their executive boards vote and choose future executive board. Also, part B allows a group to create standards as long as these standards are protected by first amendment and don’t impede current rules.

R. Desai asked why sub-section B was removed.

M. Danzer said they decided it was redundant with sub-section B.

V. Andrews asked how this resolution would have worked with last year’s chi alpha controversy. Also, who would evaluate these standards?

M. Danzer said the SA would evaluate them. No organization could create a written statement that says: “I will not be black/gay/straight.” Additionally, if someone came out, their group wouldn’t be able to say that they can’t be a member anymore.

A. Brockman said sub-section B seems like a contradiction to what Wacker was describing.

M. Danzer said organizations have to follow both university policy and the first amendment.

Nicoletti asked who would update by-line funding and which clause would be put in.

M. Danzer said the Appropriations Committee would decide what is in there. They would not be laying out a specific clause for groups to include, but clause O is suggested if they’d like.

U. Smith asked if someone started lying to their organization, could they be kicked out?

M. Danzer said they could be. Under current rules and 44 you could be kicked out as well.

N. Kumar tabled the resolution to next week for a full debate.

3. R. 76- Appendix A Changes—Chris Basil

U. Smith said this resolution would eliminate some of the problems with people claiming they didn’t know deadlines.

C. Basil said the VP of finance will be required to meet with groups before they turn in their budgets. This will force each committee to analyze their budget and put it in a clear format. That way, it will be more of a collaborative process between the VP and the groups

N. Kumar tabled the resolution to next week.

4. R. 77- Requesting Information from Cornell Dining—Vishal Vijay ‘13, Jullia Park ‘11, Adam Gitlin, Rachel Greenspan ‘12

Motion to move to business of the day. Motion passed.

V. Vijay said he is a member of Cornell Hunger Relief. His group is trying to alleviate hunger problems in the greater Ithaca area by donating leftover Big Red Bucks to charitable causes. He has noticed a large waste of BRB’s with regard to unspent BRB’s and students buying lots of food at the end of the semester to get their money’s worth. Therefore, the group is requesting information from Cornell Dining on how these BRB’s are spent. They also want to enourage students to donate their remaining dollars to the community.

J. Park said students should be able to go to Bear Necessities or Jansen’s to buy food and drop it off. Then, CHR will distribute this food to the Ithaca Youth Bureau and will be working with the public service center to reach out to those who need help.

V. Vishal said they are requesting a monthly break down of how BRB’s are spent in a semester.

B. Basil said he encourages CHR to work with next year’s dining committee.

A. Latella said Cornell Dining would definitely be willing to release this information. However, the issue also needs to be taken up with the state of New York because it involves untaxed food.

J. Park said they have already spoken with Cornell Dining and they want people to buy food themselves and drop it off for distribution.

A. Latella said there are stipulations about this as well.

A. Gitlin clarified that the purpose of the resolution is to obtain information, not to actually implement the plan.

M. Danzer said that even if each student has 5 cents left in their account, it would still raise a lot of money. He fully supports the resolution. Call to question.

By a vote of 12–1−2, the resolution passed.

5. R. 78- Establishment of the Student Assembly Public Service Committee—Adam Gitlin, Albert Lee ‘10, Anna Carroll ‘12, George Hornedo ‘13, Jacob Kose ‘13, Mavis Bortey-Fio ‘11, Maya Koretzky ‘13, Nathaniel Houghton ‘11, Rachel Greenspan ‘12, Rammy Salem ‘10

A. Gitlin said a public service ad hoc committee was established a couple of months ago. This committee has been involved in a number of different projects, working with the public service center and the Greek community among others, to make a meaningful change and engage the student body more.

N. Kumar asked how this committee’s members will be selected.

A. Gitlin said it will select its own members.

M. DeLucia asked if the committee would be open to as many people who want to join.

A. Gitlin said it would be, as permitted by the charter.

M. DeLucia asked if is main purpose is for organizing philanthropic events.

A. Gitlin said Cornell is large and there are many small groups who will now be connected together to make a significant impact.

Motion to adjourn.

VII. Adjournment

N. Kumar adjourned the meeting at 6:31pm.

Respectfully submitted, Allison Bazinet

Contact SA

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Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

ph. (607) 255—3715