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October 14, 2010 Minutes

Cornell University Student Assembly
October 14, 2010
4:45pm — 6:30pm
Willard Straight Hall, Memorial Room

I. Call to Order

V. Andrews called the meeting to order at 4:4pm.

II. Roll Call

Representatives Present: S. Agard, V. Andrews, G. Block, A. Brokman, M. Danzer, R. Desai, C. Feng, M. Finn, A. Gitlin, M. Gulrajani, C. Jenkins, J. Kay, D. Kuhr, T. Lenardo, R. Mensah, A. Nicoletti, S. Pendleton, A. Pruce, N. Raps, J. Rau, U. Smith, A. Yozwiak

Representatives Excused Absent: A. Bajaj

III. Approval of Minutes

The minutes from October 7, 2010 were approved by acclamation.

IV. Open Microphone—Ray Mensah

Shamille, who works for Kaplan as an on campus representative came to speak. They are having a $200-off sign up for any class by Monday with a higher score guarantee. There is a $25,000 giveaway that goes toward grad school or anything to help a career. You enter around 6 lines about yourself and are entered into a sweepstakes, no strings attached. Any groups interested in entering please email her at, Kaplan is more than happy to sponsor events.

V. Announcements/Reports

1. SUNY Student Assembly

M. Danzer said that the SUNY SA fall conference is taking place Octeber 29–31 in Binghamton. He is unable to attend, and VP Mensah is unsure if he is able to attend. They are looking for at least one, if not two members interested in going. The costs are all paid for by the SA, so it would be a weekend representing Cornell in Binghamton. It is a good networking opportunity. Email him at if you are interested. The deadline is rapidly approaching.

2. Ivy Update

C. Jenkins gave an update on Ivy Summit. It’s occurring from Nov 12–14, ceo, treasurer. Apps to be on the main website, on Monday. Only sponsoring funds 15 people. If you’re interested, email cwj27 or fill out app. A.Nicoletti said that the Ivy Council requested 450 dollars, so by spending rules he and Vince have approved and are submitting this as an oral report. If anyone is not okay with it, they can request it go to Appropriations. There were no motions, therefore the expense was approved.

3. UA Announcement

They had a special meeting to discuss Cornell Child Care Center. He gave some background on the issue.

4. Dining Committee Update

J. Rau explained that there is to be a debate on cage-free vs. conventional eggs with the Dining Committee. A representative from D.C. and one from Food Science will be discussing the issue from 5:30–6 pm at their next meeting.

VI. Business of the Day

1. SAFC Appeals

The resolution was extended because they met three times in the past week and a half. A. Nicoletti clarified for everyone the role of the SA in the appeals process. Appropriations has to rule on determining if the SAFC erred. There is no language about how the SA does determinations, however, in the past, don’t abandon the guidelines when trying to make a decision. The guidelines are still important and should be adhering to them except for a real reason not to be.

Society for Natural Resources Conservation came to appropriations on Thursday and it was determined that SAFC did not err, so they have the ability to come and appeal to the SA. They submitted 2 co-org budgets and did not receive funding. Ileana, a junior and Denise Robbins, a junior came and explained their side of the appeal. D. Gusz said that they don’t allow for multiple co-sponsored events to spread the equity around so one group can’t have 50 groups on campus. It’s not really good programming to allow groups to do that.

R. Desai does agree that this isn’t exactly a logical rule to limit co-sponsorships, but in making a ruling but in our vote we can’t take into account whether we feel a rule is right or not, so while on this one may be something we don’t think is just, it’s not something we can disregard and it states exactly on the SAFC guidelines. An avenue to pursue might be other funding sources. SAFC did not err.

R. Mensah said to look at the rule. They should look at the intention behind the co-sponsor rule. They have a co-sponsorship so org can get more funds than if they were applying on their own. Being that they didn’t even reach their cap, it’s not fair to deny them the funds. He is frustrated that if this did happen, at a budget hearing, to make a claim that the SAFC looked over the budget, they didn’t criticize the fact that there were two budgets. He would vote to fund them for those reasons.

VP Raps spoke about her dislike for the rule and in favor of funding the group.

VII. Announcement and Report

1. President Skorton and V.P. Susan Murphy

President Skorton gave a brief overview of what’s been going on in the recent past and said that he still has to look at the resolutions.

U. Smith asked about formal programs through other colleges regarding mental health and student well-being. Susan Murphy explained the processes and what is going on around campus. M. Danzer explained a resolution recently passed regarding national anti-LGBTQ bullying. While he is aware that it was not looked at, he would like to know President Skorton’s thoughts. President Skorton is glad to re-affirm a very strong support of this particular aspect of the community and the whole community regarding student health and well-being. Bullying and such is from students and faculty and staff and we’re trying to make sure it doesn’t happen and is dealt with appropriately. He will make sure to look at that not only on time but that he is visible and audible on the resolution and it is very important. Susan Murphy said that this is an area that she would really welcome student perspective. What are the messages from students to students, but also what is heard from the administration? They need advice on how students hear a message that is so vitally important. Obviously one thing being looked at is zero tolerance for hazing but thoughts would be great. President Skorton said that the head of national endowment for humanities is on a civility tour around the country where he’s visiting places and discussing civility and he thinks there is concern about the lack of civility in certain aspects of our society around the world, campuses, and even at Cornell. Occasionally a horrendous circumstance will occur such as Rutgers but there are many levels we need to work on civility even if it doesn’t get to that level.

A. Brokman asked a question about a resolution issue from the UA and SA. Predient Skorton clarified what he actually said at the time.

R. Desai asked a question about the student experience. President Skorton and VP Murphy explained the issue.

A. Gitlin asked if they’re differentiating years when looking at the student experience. President Skorton doesn’t know the answer, but will follow through, as it is hugely important. VP Murphy said that they are looking at different things for first years vs seniors as their lives are very different. They have more work to do for sophomores and juniors.

VIII. Business of the Day, Part II

1. SAFC Appeals, continued

Parliamentarian Gould responded that there is no process outlined in the charter, bylaws or Appendix A to explain the exact SA Appeals process. He suggested that they change that in the future.

S. Agard said that if they worked closely with your finance person to submit budget, that means your finance person did miss an integral part. He doesn’t believe the SAFC did err. They do have a committee reviewing SAFC policies. A lot of what people have been saying is that’s the whole purpose of the ad-hoc. He called to question. There was dissent. He withdrew his motion.

A. Brokman suggested to fund them because of the “human element” and the fact that the event already took place.

M. Danzer made a motion to change the resolution allowing for funding the group. Many people expressed their agreement.

S. Pendleton motioned to amend the amendment to clarify the wording.

G. Block called to question. It was seconded. There was a call for acclimation. It was second. The amendment was amended.

C. Feng said that to preface, he is probably going to vote to give them their funding but there a few things to talk about. Basically people making decisions at hearings. The SAFC always tell them NO decisions are made at hearings. That’s the reason why the e-board and Terry check the budgets and there is bound to be errors. Second issue is a matter of the caps. They should promote organizations working with each other. They have caps because they want to fund as many organizations as possible not have as many events as possible from one event. He is not going to change the semantics, it’s moot and he doesn’t think the SAFC erred.

There was a call to question on the amendment. It was seconded. There was dissent. The vote to vote was 14 — 6, so the motion passes. They need majority vote to pass the amendment. By a vote of 14–4−3, the amendment passed.

There was a call to question on the entire resolution. By a vote of 17–1−3, the resolution passes.

IX. New Business

1. Resolution 23 — Fall 2010 SAFC Appeals, Part II

See above

2. Resolution 24 — Opening Up Academic Minors to All

G. Block said that this is something a lot of freshmen thought was a problem. A lot of the minors are restricted based on what college you’re in He thinks ff there’s such a demand for the minors, the school should provide them.

D. Kuhr thinks it’s a great initiative. Human Ecology allows any student to get any minor so long as the other college is okay with it, and vice versa. Have you spoken to anyone in the AEM department or engineering? Not yet, which is why he wanted to keep as business of the day before that.

U. Smith said that he looked on the website and ran into a few questions, because they’re not sure if they obtain or finish the course load, if they don’t do required events, it is all at the discretion of college or department and he was wondering if you were accounting for other requirements for these such as events or studying abroad and how difficult it might be. G. Block said that even if something is hard to attain, doesn’t mean it’s attainable, and from what he’s looked at, there aren’t a lot of requirements outside of classes. He believes it is just a matter of taking the classes.

J. Rau thinks there are a lot of reasons behinds colleges not being able to minor, contract vs. endowed, tuition amounts. Schools have different missions. It has to do with class sizes and years of precedence behind it. A mere SA resolution isn’t going to change it. He would be more in favor of opening debate or having an ad-hoc committee formed. Minors aren’t skill sets, classes are. Minors don’t appear on your transcript. What purpose does this resolution serve? G. Block said that this is to incentivize to take further classes. Contract vs. endowed does not matter, in his opinion, and he thinks that the goal of the SA is to do things to help students.

C. Jenkins asked if this was a Student Assembly or Faculty Senate issue. G. Block wants this to be the support of the SA.

X. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Brittany Rosen

Contact SA

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Cornell University

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