UWM Student Association
October 29th, 2006
6pm Union West Ballroom
I. Call to Order/Roll Call
II. Approval Of Agenda
III. Approval of Minutes from September 24, 2006
IV. Comments and Questionsa. President
b. Vice President
c. Dean of Students
d. Chancellor or Designee
VI. Special Ordersa. Presidential Appointments to the Student Court
1. William Anderson
2. Amanda Schaeffer
b. Senate Vacancies
1. Freshman Senate Candidates (5 vacancies)
a. Amber Skattebo
b. Gavin Jackson
c. Erin Kruizenga
2. Letters & Science Senate Candidates (1 vacancy)
a. Joseph Ohler
b. Brian Averill
c. Senate Appropriations Committee Senate Appointment (1 vacancy)
1. Russel Scott
2. Calob Kopczyk
d. Union Policy Board Senate Appointment (1 vacancy)
1. Russel Scott
2. Tobin Huibregtse
VII. Senate Old Business
VIII. Senate New Business
1. Resolution to Oppose the Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2
2. SA Financial Transparency Act
3. 2006 SA Senate Bylaw Revision
4. Separation of Powers Act
5. Budget Reorganization
6. Senate Responsibility Act
7. The Fiscal Accountability Act of 2006
8. SFC Bylaws
IX. Open Forum
As was mentioned in my previous post, the meeting was adjourned during discussion of the Separation of Powers Act. But there are other interesting things that didn't get discussed. Here is a brief summary of the new business listed:
Resolution to Oppose the Proposed Constitiutional Amendment: This act puts the Student Association on record as opposing the proposed amendment to the Wisconsin State Constitution which would define "marriage" as between one man and one woman, and would not recognize a "legal status identical or substantially similar to marriage for unmarried individuals". These types of resolutions are a personal pet peeve of mine. I don't care if I agree or disagree with the stance adopted; the fact that the Student Association takes a stance is a disenfranchisement of some portion of the student body, which is not something I want from a body that's supposed to be representing me.
SA Financial Transparency Act: This act calls for an annual internal audit of the Student Association every year, to be initiated by the SA President. It would allow the Senate to inspect financial documents, including audits, on a majority vote.
2006 Senate Bylaw Revision: This would remove the Senate prohibition from serving in other branches. Since Senate Bylaws take precedence over all other SA bylaws, having Article VII, Section 1, subsections f and g in place effectively cancels the attempt to commingle the branches until it is removed.
The other changes appear to be attempts to allow the Senate to refrain from filling seats if they choose. It would put a requirement that the Speaker approve filling a seat, and it removes the provision that Freshmen Senator seats be filled at the second senate meeting in September.
Separation of Powers Act: This would force the 14 senators (by one count from a supporter of commingled branches) who are part of the executive branch to resign from one seat or the other within 5 business days. It cites the current bylaws as a reason for such a demand.
Budget Reorganization: This would "clarify" the line items for various offices, including the SA President. This would set the Presidential line item at $10,000.00 instead of $9,000.00. Even if this clarification were to take place, it would still mean that the current pace of Presidential salary would exhaust the line item well before the end of the term.
Senate Responsibility Act: Despite its high-sounding title, all this does is track senators' level of participation in senate activities and present those who achieve a certain level with a certificate at the end of the year.
The Fiscal Accountabiliy Act of 2006: This act has been slightly modified from the form presented here. The transaction that uses UWM Union money to bolster the Athletics Department is no longer called "illegitimate" but rather "possibly questionable". The section that talks about the permissibility of an audit no longer adds "and until such time as the audit can be completed the department must cease functioning" to the end of it. The section that stated, "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Student Association orders the operatios of these departments must cease immediately in order to comply with the University's interpretation of F20" was removed. And finally, the final section is modified to read, "BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Student Association order the President to use any and all private funds to ensure that we effectively address the constitutional crisis that our government has faced in the past few weeks and to seek the necessary legal counsel to ensure that the right of UW-M students to govern themselves without administrative tampering is protected."
Even with the new wording, it's still questionable. In the press release published on October 26, the Private Account, an account under the control of student government mandated by Article V of the Executive bylaws, "contains money that SA has fund-raised on its own and is not student money." While it may not be Segregated University Fee money, such money is for the student government to promote student interest. If it isn't student money, whose money is it?
Senate Finance Committee Bylaws: This covers the bylaws under which Segregated University Fee money is allocated. The changes proposed are numerous and require an article of their own to detail. I will do so at a later time. For now, the fact that the meeting was adjourned before dealing with this makes life interesting.