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University Assembly Meeting, September 30, 2009

University Assembly Meeting
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
4: 30 6:15 p.m.
316 Day Hall

I. Call to Order

R. Orme called the meeting to order at 4:37 p.m.

Roll was taken via sign-in sheet. Present: I. Akinpelu, J. Cetta, K. Laden, J. Spiegel, A. Brokman, E. Strong, S. Zhang, L. Lawrence, R. Orme, M. Hatch, E. Loew, E. Sanders, C. Walcott, R. Wayne, B. McKinney, M. Walsh Not Present: A. Nicoletti, B. Webb-Binder, K. Speiser, W. Ghiorse, A. Craig Also In Attendance: T. Fahey, D. Roth, A. Epstein, A. O’Donnell, Y. Zhang

II. Call for Late Additions to the Agenda

A. Brokman brought up the resolution he drafted regarding the UA members’ voting right clause. The resolution is about possibly deleting the exclusion clause in the UA charter.

III. Approval of Minutes from May 6 & Sept 2 Meetings

M. Hatch moved to approve both sets of meeting minutes. C. Walcott seconded. Some UA members had not arrived at this time, so voting was delayed until near the end of the meeting, when the members voted and the minutes were approved 11–0−0.

IV. Cornell Climate Action Plan Resolution

Professor Tim Fahey introduced Cornell’s plan to help solve the climate change problem. Dan Roth from the Sustainability Office provided a powerpoint presentation to give specific details and numbers from the plan. He encouraged members to view the Action Plan’s website as it is a great resource for additional information.

The plan is seeking UA’s endorsement and has already been endorsed by the trustees and the GPSA. T. Fahey gave a brief overview of the plan, which will save Cornell money in the long run due to the rising costs of carbon and energy resources. The plan includes increased research and broadened education as well as community outreach. T. Fahey and D. Roth explained the President’s climate commitment and its principles and answered questions from UA members. M. Hatch motioned to move the resolution on the table. L. Lawrence seconded.

R. Wayne asked to have the word “extension” added before “outreach missions and programs” on page 2 of the resolution. M. Walsh noted this resolution, as it was, had already been approved by the GPSA and the EA.

E. Sanders said this plan is very technology-oriented and doesn’t mention more campus improvements like less parking lot space and re-planting trees.

D. Roth and T. Fahey gave a little bit of explanation on how transportation methods are addressed in the plan.

E. Strong called the question. There was no dissent.

With a vote of 10–0−1, the resolution passed.

V. Revolving Loan Fund — Sustainability Committee

M. Hatch read and explained the revolving loan fund resolution and motioned to move the resolution on the table. R. Wayne seconded.

E. Loew asked if any state buildings would be eligible for this fund. C. Walcott explained that funding for state buildings is very complicated and the UA should stand on general principles.

M. Walsh said that this issue has been looked at before and might have trouble getting implemented. He said there was an associated fee and that has been re-worded. He noted he has reservations about the associated fee. J. Cetta agreed and said it is not explicit enough. He would like some added transparency to the spending process.

R. Wayne asked about the “opt out” wording. D. Roth said it is there to provide examples only. M. Hatch agreed to add “for example.”

E. Strong said he could not vote yes for this resolution without talking to more people.

A. Brokman said the examples throw the focus off the main goal. He asked if the administration is in favor of this resolution. D. Roth replied that some committees and the utilities department have shown interest.

J. Cetta asked to put in wording that said “to include students, faculty and staff throughout the process.” M. Hatch disagreed with this suggestion and said that would put undue pressure on those people if they have to come up with the money. He said he was willing to remove the examples in order to simplify the resolution.

There was more discussion about where and whom the funding could benefit. M. Walsh argued for a simpler version that would take out the last two “whereas” and the two examples. M. Hatch found this friendly.

E. Strong then moved to delete the phrase “spent on whatever the University sees fit” because the money could end up coming from students without their concert or knowledge. There was more discussion on whether or not to remove the phrase. M. Hatch called the question.

By a vote of 10–0−0, the amendment passed. By a vote of 6–4−1, the phrase “spend on whatever the University sees fit” was removed from the resolution. K. Laden clarified that the phrase was removed from both places in the resolution where it appeared.

By a vote of 11–0−0, the resolution passed.

VI. Family Services Committee Documents for Childcare Services Committee

B. McKinney, the employee elected trustee and the new chair for the Family Services Committee, explained the vision statement. She explained she was now bringing it to the UA for their approval and forwarding.

M. Hatch moved to endorse this vision statement. S. Zhang seconded. The vision statement was approved by a vote of 10–0−1.

The Affordability and Accessibility document also came up. E. Strong said it concerns some grad student problems. C. Walcott moved to table the document and explained he wanted more time to read it over.

VII. Late Additions

A. Brokman had a resolution to strike the clause in the UA charter so UA members could vote in committees meetings and could serve in leadership roles on committees. This resolution will be presented at the next meeting.

J. Cetta reported that CJC met yesterday and will try to meet again next week. The CJC wants more time and explained they will not make the Oct. 14 deadline for the response to the President because the CJC feels it’s too important an issue to rush.

M. Hatch said that at their next meeting they should review the assembly’s role in campus governance. A. Brokman agreed that they should start looking at this and other possible revisions to the charter.

VIII. Adjourn

M. Hatch motioned to adjourn the meeting. C. Walcott seconded. R. Orme adjourned the meeting at 6:15 p.m.

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