Meeting Minutes

November 15th, 2010

  • Location: Sayles 251
  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Present: President Jinai Bharucha, Vice President Isaac Hodes, Treasurer Sarah Duane, and Senators Joe Marren, Jonathan Hillis, Kelsey Han, Noe Hernandez, Justin Jack, Asim Manizada, Semira Mohammed, Marc Boyce, Arnav Durani, Bill Brinkman, Justin Moor, Ned Heckman, Mackenzie Persen
  • Absent: Carleton Keedy, Sana Rafiq, Charlotte Turovsky, John O'Neil, Rhys Lindmark
  • Secretary: Adele Daniel

Budget Committee Recommendations

Appointment of Student Member of the Academic Standing Committee 

Setting the 2011-2012 Student Activity Fee

Anne O’Gara Vending Machines

Open Comments

 

Budget Committee Recommendations

The following requests were approved unanimously:

I. Poets, Inc

Amount Requested: $4,500 (for an event in April)

Budget Committee recommendation: $2,700

II. Carleton Graphic 

Amount Requested: $900 (for an event in April)

Budget Committee recommendation: $900

Bharucha: Is there nothing in our bylaws about people not requesting money for other terms? It is concerning that people come to you so early.

Hodes: Nothing in the bylaws.

Hillis: They need to book in advance.

Bharucha: I want to make sure that people don’t all start doing that. That could be a bylaw change.

Bharucha: That disadvantages people who aren’t able to plan a term in advance.

 

Appointment of Student Member of the Academic Standing Committee

Bharucha: Amy Kim from the Class of 2013. It makes sense to have someone younger who can be on the committee longer.

Hillis: What does the academic standing committee do?

Bharucha: They approve special majors and petitions for things and deal with academic dishonesty.

Han: Is there a senator on the committee?

Bharucha: No, we changed it last year. She is studying abroad right now.

Appointment is approved unanimously.

 

Setting the 2011-2012 Student Activity Fee

Hodes: Every year we have to approve the fee and the support fund. Last year we changed it from $231 down 1%. I’m proposing a 10% increase of $24 which is allows for the 4% increase. We run out of money consistently at the end of the term. Budget Committee awards more money at the beginning of the term. We have not been able to fund really cool events later in the term. With more money, we can stop worry about that and instead enable us to fund them fully. That is what the student activity fee is for. We keep getting more club sports. We had three added between spring and this fall, and there are two more on the way. It’s not been decided. Those cost a lot of money. They requested $115,000 and they got $105,000 and the costs are bound to go up even more.

Durani: It is required by members of club sports to pay dues?

Bharucha: No.

Durani: Do we give funding even if the participants do not pay dues?

Hodes: We don’t decide who becomes a club sport. Dues depend on the sport. We could ameliorate that at least a little bit. Spring Concert and Cave are also getting more expensive. We have regular clubs being chartered which also require spending. The Carleton Graphic apparently has been attracting attention outside of Carleton and we haven’t been able to fund them as much as we like. On top of all of that, which $24 would cover, one thing that I’ve been considering is CSA having a capital endowment fund which would be what Cap Reserves are now, but have the money which rolls over and could be invested, like our own endowment. It gives CSA more purchasing power for bigger more expensive items without such an impact on our immediate financial situation. When KRLX needs big purchases, we can’t necessarily do that now. Same with the Cave, and maybe some of the publishing groups will need computers. It also gives us more security when we are running low, because that will be there. Eventually, it might be able to supplement our income. Trinity College, and maybe others, does that, and can allow them to lower their student activity fee.

The student activity support fund, which was established two years ago, fund the people who are on financial aid and can’t afford the fee. We need to set that too. We set it by a per person amount. Last year it was $14.

Bharucha: This year 95 students received that, and it was about $13,500. A handful of people were rejected because they didn’t accept their self-help portion of financial aid.

Hodes: It comes from the $14 of the other student’s activities fee.

Bharucha: 95 people applied, $13,500 was applied.

Hodes: We funded roughly $25,000 for it.

Hillis: I thought it was more like $5000.

Bharucha: They told us that number. It was $14 per person on campus, with about 1800 of people. We only used $13,000. We could make it $8 or $9 per person. We publicized it a lot, and still only 95 students got it. We need to vote.

Hillis: $24 is a lot. There are a lot of things that we do that we don’t need to be funding as much. Club sports increases are a big concern will lead to some raising, but I feel like $24 is a lot. There are better ways to cut costs.

Boyce: Why are we raising the fee and lowering the support fee? You want to compensate for that.

Bharucha: We need to figure out how much we are wanting to cover.

Hodes: We would still have $9,000, even if a lot more people apply and we cover the increase.

Heckman: We lowered it last year and I haven’t noticed an unfair extra amount of budget committee request. It doesn’t need to go from a 1% decrease to a 10% increase.

Martin: We should keep it the same or lower it. The economic situation is difficult. We are part of an institution that can’t say no. It’s obvious that as we get bigger, nothing gets subtracted. Costs skyrocket. This is a low ranking priority, but it is an important message that students can send.

Manizada: Can you elaborate on why it was decreased?

Bharucha: I proposed the decrease last year.

Duane: We didn’t put a lot of thought into it. It was during the fall when we didn’t have as many requests.

Bharucha: Tons of people are enjoying the events, and we would like to fund them.

Manizada: How many years have we decreased it?

Bharucha: Just this past year.

Manizada: Some people are mad about some of things that we are funding. They didn’t like that we were paying and redistributing money that way. Given the climate, I’d rather not.

Hodes: I worry about taking anecdotal things like that and extrapolating. Budget Committee has cut down large amounts of things that could have happened. There are simply things that can’t be funded. We are taking from Cap Reserves for one event.

Boyce: We are doing that from Honorarium in April.

Hodes: We are clearly running into problems with funding. It is a small amount. It is a compounding fee. It has to do this. We need to go a little bit above inflation.

Durani: I don’t see a reason to raise it.

Duane: Any student activity fee is going to be redistributed unequally. That can’t be stopped. $24 sounds like a lot. I’m open to lowering that, but I will argue for an increase. I’ve never seen numbers go down to $0. For winter we have $7500 to spend. That’s not enough money. That makes me sad.

Hillis: I don’t think that decreasing is the right option. While there is a problem not saying no institutionally, I disagree that this isn’t something that can increase. The student activity fee is the best bang for the buck. On the other hand, there are a lot of other places where we can cut money. An increase is the right decision, but not one that large.

Martin: We have a budget committee because they can do the coolest stuff with limited resources. From freshmen year to this year, they have become more relaxed, and not cutting as much. It doesn’t make sense to increase it because we are being more generous.

Bharucha: We hear a lot of complaints from people not getting money from CSA. We can strike a balance between making judgment calls and making sure that students don’t hate CSA.

Mohammed: Big events are getting funding by going to departments, etc. 

Brinkman: Will this be for the whole year?

Hodes: Yes.

Brinkman: How will this endowment thing play out?

Hodes: Pretty much immediately.

Brinkman: So this is happening this year.

Hodes: Yes. We should look at the practicality and not the principle. What can we cut? Is it impossible to admit that there are more events that we should fund than we can fund?  More people come to the events that we fund than they expect. Departments are feeling the strain. There are a lot of generalizations from people who are not on budget committee. There are a lot of cool events that budget committee cuts.

Bharucha: When it takes BC more than 15 minutes to try to save $50, that’s a problem. If more students are having trouble paying for this, then they can apply for the support fund. The application was your name, your class year, and whether you are on financial aid, just to get $150. No one complains about it.

Hodes: If people can’t afford it, they can apply for the support fund.

Hernandez: We are forgetting that people hated CSA Senate because of how we funded stuff. How funding was done was not liked by the student body.

Boyce: I’m interested in why we increased it by 15%.

Bharucha: A lot of our bad PR comes from funding. That was a big problem. I haven’t heard as much of that in the last year or two. Events that do get cut, that contributes to anger.

Durani: Are there statistics about which groups use their money?

Duane: I can find that information.

Durani: A lot of groups don’t use it.

Duane: It goes back in to Cap Reserves. That is part of the reason that Cap Reserves is high right now.

Hillis: Hodes asked, where we can cut things? Pre-prepared food for the events, conferences, the Algol, SUMO. I would like to see cuts being made. I like that people are not feeling the heat of the fee. I would like to propose a 5% increase, which puts us above inflation. An increase of $15. It would be $228. We are spending $46,000 on SUMO and no one goes. I will be bringing that to Senate when they come to Senate. I can’t understand 10% and 15% increases compounding and setting that increase.

Bharucha: The attendance for SUMO has been good.

Duane: Right now there is $96,000 in Cap Reserves and there is supposed to be $65,000. I would propose a 5% by $12 and do the rest from that extra money from cap reserves. It would essentially be a 10% increase, and see if that works for next year. If we are left with extra money, we can lower it again. It is a compromise. It takes 5% from students and take the rest from CSA.

Bharucha: We would take the extra from CSA and raise the fee by $12.

Martin: I want to support the 5% increase. The idea that if people ask us for money and we give it to them, then people will like us, that’s true, but that’s not to the point. We need to make important decisions about things. The current system of funding fully events early on does not work. We are here to make decisions.

Manizada: SUMO was cut last year already by how much? How much funding is there for the people who apply for the support?

Bharucha: This year it was $150 total.

Manizada: If everyone on financial aid came and asked us for money, how much could we cover?

Bharucha: We could give 168 students waivers. We set that because the year before more people didn’t apply. If more people were applying we would allocate more money.

Duane: For SUMO, the amount we funded them was raised, but we funded less than their request. They had a complete program overhaul.

Moor: We take it out of cap reserves and if people are happier then we change it next year by 7%?

Duane: Yes, I would advise that.

Hodes: Last year, had we raised it 4%, and then raise it 4% again this year, then that gets us back on track. I don’t hear why 5% isn’t too much. Why is 5% better? This is where we would be if we raised it the 4% so we can account for the programs that we have added and club sports.

Hillis: My numbers line up with Duane, I’ll back that. In response to Hodes, we lowered it last year because there was no need to raise it. You have to base it off the perceived need. It is coming from the fact that we have increased expenses but we can make cuts.

Hodes: It’s 3% above inflation.

Hillis: Raise it to $240 and take $22,000 out of cap reserves.

Duane: My proposal would do that.

Hernandez: My biggest concern is that people did not like Senate before. A lot of cultural groups felt the strain. That’s where a lot of groups will feel the strain.

Martin: SASF. I didn’t know that it was there, and I’m pretty involved. I don’t know how it was advertised, but I didn’t know it was available.

Hodes: $252, with SASF being $14 of that.

Hillis/Duane: $240, with SASF being $14.

Jack: Is there a way we can give students the financial aid automatically?

Bharucha: Originally, our logic was that some students on aid would be okay with that. 50% of all students are on financial aid, and it is really complicated to scale it.

Manizada: How was SASF advertised last year?

Bharucha: Did class reps send out email lists? You had them the whole fall. It might not have been.

Duane: It was in a lot of other places, such as the NNB and all-campus emails.

Manizada: In the future, could we make it clear on the Tuition statement on the Hub?

Hodes: I will definitely ask.

Bharucha: We can’t give it to everyone on financial aid.

Hodes proposal for a $252 student activity fee with $14 going to SASF passed with

Hodes, Persen, Moor, Brinkman, Marren, Hernandez, Boyce, and Jack in favor.

Duane, Han, Mohammed, Heckman, and Hillis opposed.

Durani and Manizada abstaining.

 

Anne O’Gara Vending Machines

Bharucha: Anne O’Gara is back with the vending machines. We need to talk to her to move forward with the vending machines.

O’Gara: We have been working on the project since we met with you and Food Truth. We also met with Dan Bergeson, who is in charge of all of this. We need to find the locations. It is ultimately up to you. We need to come up with a resolution on the percentage going to CSA. We are selling 12-ounce cans of Blue Sky brand natural soda at a dollar a can. The price point will benefit both of us in the best way. More people are willing to buy this than the $1.25 bottles. We can anticipate volume more. We can look at from 10-15%. This allow for consistent contributing to the CSA fund. We are here to settle on that. Bergeson is ready to move forward.

Han: What are the locations?

O’Gara: There are seven possibilities. Myers, Watson, LDC, Boliou, and Mudd. Those are the best for traffic and possibility. The other possibilities that need more research are Goodhue and West Gym.

Durani: Did you mention Sayles? Because if you want a position in Sayles, the bookstore could be a location.

O’Gara: The bookstore sells soda already, and we are looking to provide a 24-hour service. It is a different kind of contract.

Hodes: Where did 10-15% come in? We get more from Coke and Pepsi.

O’Gara: You have a unique situation here with CSA getting the money according to Bergeson. He is in a weird position where you approve the contracts and he figures out the logistics. This is of gross sales and the other ones are of their net profit. It might come out to be the same. Pepsi and Coke have control over what their product costs, but we are buying wholesale. We want to be somewhere where the amount we give you is more fixed. The rest is what we deal with in terms of making the business work. We are taking into account insurance and transportation and the fluctuations in product cost.

Bharucha: Is this for one year?

O’Gara: We have settled on a year to start, starting in January of 2011. After that year is up will review it with you. That will also be different than with Coke and Pepsi. We can reevaluate after that year. If students don’t want to buy it, we’ll move on.

Bharucha: You gave us 6 locations that we need to choose, and we need to come up with a number between 10-15?

O’Gara: We were thinking 12 cents.

Bharucha: We need to decide if that is okay. In terms of stocking it, are you doing that daily or weekly?

O’Gara: We will be checking them regularly, about once a week.

Bharucha: We are not paying you anything. You are putting them in, and we are just getting some of the profit.  

O’Gara: We just need lots of people with sweet tooth.

Hillis: Can we ask them to step out when we make decisions?

Bharucha: Sure.

Han: Did you know we had a decrease in use in vending machines? We were thinking about doing a one-card reader.

O’Gara: We are aware that this is a declining industry. This is something different and worthy of a try.

Han: Will you mark the locations with existing machines?

Boliou and Mudd do not.

Brinkman: Are there disadvantages?

O’Gara: You won’t lose money. You could lose in utilities, but that would quickly be offset. These are sites proposed by Bergeson, with space and power capabilities.

Brinkman: The College are paying utilities, and that is it?

O’Gara: Yes.

Hodes: The only loss is the opportunity cost is if someone else approached us for the space.

Hillis: You have to assume that people are intending to pay for sodas. This is a potential decrease from the Pepsi and Coke revenue.

Bharucha: Since it is a one-year trial one, we voted, and senators would like to see 15% of the gross. We would like them in the LDC and Boliou. If so, we are willing to talk to Bergeson. It is up to the department, if they really don’t want it. Art students would really like that for their late nights. Mudd was second. It would be cool to have an update next term.

O’Gara: You will have an idea about how much we are selling. 15% is agreeable. I’m wondering about the changeover in Senate, can we make a notation for the future senators, that you chose 15%, which is on the high end?

Heckman: Most of us are underclassmen.

Durani: That’s why updates would be helpful.

O’Gara: We will meet with Dan to get to get this going.

 

Open Comments

Bharucha: Rafiq will be gone next term. We will appoint a new friend for Heckman at the beginning of next term. 56 people have taken the survey. We need more feedback. If each can get 10 friends to do it, that would be great. It is very easy.

Hodes: Class reps might want to do an end of term update like the vending machine update and the trayless Tuesday statistics with the survey.

Bharucha: We are getting some interesting feedback on the survey.

Hernandez: I’m working on the Town Hall for Winter term about the grievance procedures, how they happen on campus. Not modifying anything else, but we are trying to tell people what is in place. How to go about complaining about professors in a way that is fair for students and professors? We are trying to update students and then modify potentially.

Bharucha: We will talk about this officially next term.

Hillis: Admissions and financial aid committee is setting their agenda. Is there anything that you would like us to put on?

Bharucha: Is the STAR grant going to expire?

Hillis: We are talking about that and scholarships like it.

Bharucha: I saw some of the impact of what making up for those things would do for our budget. It is important to take that into account.

Durani: They are phasing them out for new students.

Bharucha: Figure out what is happening to keep up that enrollment.

Hillis: We are talking about the role that those play. If there is anything like that, talk to me about it.

Han: Are we continuing trayless Tuesdays in the winter?

Bharucha: We don’t want this to be just a CSA thing, because we want to keep our PR up. It is a wider decision of the student body. We will probably do some kind of referendum question.

Hillis: Weren’t we supposed to have a review of this?

Bharucha: Yes, before they enacted full trayless.

Hodes: It felt like that was in the spirit of the agreement to me. Bon Appétit and Bergeson are fine with it.

Bharucha: There has been positive and negative feedback. It is important to follow through on being sustainable.

Jack: Everyone I talked to hates it.

Bharucha: It is important to get that feedback and we will leave it up to the students.