Monday, September 25, 2006

Just when you thought there was nothing there...

Remember when I asked if anyone was going to try to come in at 6:00 and run the meeting that was never announced? Well, that's what happened. Despite the fact that the Fireside Lounge was reset to its original configuration, the Student Senate came in, pushed some chairs around and approved everything.

Actually, "approved" is a bit of a misnomer, since there wasn't much going on beside Speaker Rueden asking if there were any objections to the things presented, and pushing them through. While this makes for short meetings, it defeats the work of the Senate as a deliberative body, where ideas are given a full hearing to weed out the bad ones. Here the bad ideas stayed without objection, even to the point where the Senate Allocation Committee bylaws now require the desecration of its leaders.

People who are monitoring this are encouraged to report any news they find.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Vanishing Student Association

The meeting of the Student Association Senate, scheduled with Reservations and Event Planning Services for 3:00 p.m. today, has been canceled. This is despite the fact that the SA website lists the meeting as beginning at 6:00 p.m, not 3:00. Anyone who has information about whether people arrive at 6:00 to a room that will likely be reset to its original configuration by then is encouraged to share.

In any case, the agenda for this meeting (linked to the above tag) listed the approval of the Senate Allocation Committee (SAC) bylaws as an item to be done. Although a rewrite is promised, there has yet to be any assurance that the most onerous provisions are being removed. These would include the large amount of documentation that a student organization would need to provide in order to receive and retain funds, the provision that student organizations get renewed at the discretion of the SAC Chair and Vice Chair (the document says "desecration", but I don't think that's what they really want -- if they do, I have goat's blood ready to smear on both of them), and the attempt to divorce themselves from Student Court oversight (not that it matters if the Court will never get enough members to function, but it's still good to at least pretend there is an overseeing body).

By my count, the Court is non-functional, the Senate is canceling meetings, so that leaves only one branch of Student Government that at least attempts to function. That's a recipe for disaster if I've ever heard of one.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Haven't we seen this before?

Despite the referendum to expand the number of Student Court justices, we once again have too few available to do anything. Amazing how this happens just as there is a serious challenge to the power of a student governmental body that needs the Court attention. There are plans to deal with this crisis; more as they unfold.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Update and Question of the Day

Well, in response to the last update (see this article for more details), there will be two session of a "Student Organization Town Hall Forum" this Tuesday September 12. One will be at noon, and the other at 5:00 p.m. Both are to be held in the former Student Association office, Room 363.

This is certainly an improvement, but there are a few things that need to be said. First, if this is meant to be a fulfillment of the legislation requiring a town hall meeting every semester, why is it listed as a "Student Organization Town Hall Meeting"? I thought the legislation was to provide dialogue between the students and their representatives. What do the student organizations have to do with this? Second, if Student Association wants to help the organizations, why don't they just remand 363 back to the Union Policy Board for division into more student office space? (On another note, I can't find any mention of if or when UPB ceded that space from their control in the first place.) And finally, what's the idea of holding it on the same day as an important primary election for several offices, such as Sheriff and Attorney General? Are they trying to depress the turnout? Now that you know about it, feel free to attend yourself and post your comments about it here.

Question of the Day
Why is the ashtray that's under the overhang between EMS and Physics located inside the 30-foot no-smoking zone of the door leading to the 24-hour computer lab? As readers may know, I have thought the whole process has been pushed through without sufficient student input, and even then, the 38% of students who opposed this in the survey that was taken form a substantial minority that needs to be adressed. But now that the rules are in place, shouldn't the people who made them stop creating situations that encourage violations?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Doesn't SA believe in following its own legislation?

Whatever happened to this?

Senate 2005 - 2006

S06 – 019

SA Town Hall Forum Accountability and Access Act

Author: Senator Brostoff

Sponsors: Senator R. Duncan

Whereas the Student Association of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee is the representative body of the student body; and

Whereas, the Student Association is responsible to the student body to help address their concerns and problems; and

Whereas, the Student Association should be accessible to the student body at large at all times; and

Whereas, the Student Association exists to serve the needs and interests of the student body; and

Whereas, the needs of the student body can best be expressed with an open dialogue between the students at their representatives;

Therefore be it resolved that the Student Association host a town hall forum with the expressed intent to receive input from the student body at large at least once a semester, and the aforementioned forum will be separate from the State Of the Students Address (SOSA), and

Be it further resolved that the Fall semester forum occur in September or October and the Spring semester forum occur in March or April, and

Be it further resolved that both the officers of the Legislative and Executive branch must participate in the forum, and

Be it further resolved that the Deputy Speaker of the Senate (or designee) be charged with organizing the forum including logistical support, scheduling, marketing, and ensuring participation by both the Legislative branch and the Executive branch.

I have been assured by people that this was passed and signed by SA, yet the proscribed Town Hall events never happened. What is going on here?