September 27th, 2004
- Time: 7:07 pm
- Present: Seth Cooper, president, Lilly Shields, treasurer, Abhinab Basnyat, CJ Griffiths, George Kachergis, Nate Law, Jumal Lewis, Alejandro Mendoza, Jesse Moreno, Andrew Navrartil, Dan Rubenstein, Brandon Sun, Jim Watkins, David Wiczer, Kilang Yanger, Cole Zimmerman, Ben Olsen, Colin McLain
- Absent: Becca Stark, Sara Ganaha
The meeting commenced at 7:07 with attendance.
President Cooper began the meeting with a discussion of committees and presented senate a list of all the committees and the names of students recommended to be appointed to each committee. A motion was made to approve all of the recommendations and was passed unanimously.
President Cooper asked the audience if there was anyone present to discuss Coke with the senate. Lauren Miller answered that she was, but as her partner was not present, she would be willing to present her information the following week.
Next, the senate moved on to committee reports
Treasurer Shields, reporting for the BC, presented a list of requests approved by the committee. The first request was from the photo coop for $108.31. The motion to approve the BC’s recommendation was passed unanimously. The next request was from DESI wanting to bring a South Asian singer to campus, as opposed to the usual practice of leaving campus to attend such events. The group had already prepared all of the bookings and arrangements. They asked for $800 from Dif and $100 from AltBev. The motion for open discussion was passed 10:1
The discussion below followed:
Sen. Moreno: Is senate would be paying for performance or travel
Trs. Shields: Senate would be paying for travel; what was left after the Multicultural affairs funding
Sen. Wiczer: Is the travel budget an estimate?
Trs. Shields: The travel budget is what the speaker told them
Robin Hart: The performer is booking his own flight, but that is the cheapest rate that we found. The singer lives in India, but happens to be in the US now.
Sen. Wiczer: I have done that trip before and the amount seems expensive
The fact that the ticket would be one way and would involve specific schedule was discussed
Sen. Lewis asked about taxi fare
Trs. Shields: Taxis cost between $75 and $85 and if they don’t spend it we get it back; budget committee thought it was reasonable
Sen. Lewis asked about a campus driver
Trs. Shields said they looked into it, and there is a stipulation that if they can get someone they would do that instead.
The motion to approve was passed unanimously.
The next request was from Carls For Choice for $30 for transportation to Minneapolis to see words for choice. Treasurer Shields said that normally there was no retroactive funding, but the committee didn’t meet last week so this was the soonest the funding could be requested. The requested funds were to cover gas
A motion to discuss was defeated, and a motion to approve was passed, 14:1:1.
The next request was from Emily Levine for Sustainable Campus
Treasurer Shields said that a speaker was contracted for the opening of the wind turbine, and Ms. Levine was under the impression that the school would cover the cost of $4000. However, due to a miscommunication, the school had not paid for the honorarium, merely the transportation. Ms. Levine only discovered the error after it was too late to cancel the speaker. She looked for other sources of funding including the president’s office, facility, and the dean of students. After process of voting a $3000 bid won BC’s recommendation.
A move to open discussion was passed.
Sen. Navrartil: what was the rational for $3000?
Trs. Shields: Emily said that the absolute minimum was $2500. $3000 was given because the $2500 was the worst-case scenario. She will be able to find the 1000.
The $2000 was by Sen. Stark because CSA doesn’t make up for mistakes. $2000 would be impossible for Ms. Levine to find, $1500 very unlikely, but $1000 would be possible. Also, senate probably wouldn’t get another request this week, so they would stay on budget.
Sen. Lewis agreed with Sen. Stark’s rationale: I wouldn’t want to set a trend for people who made a mistake. Mistakes happen, but you should do your research and figure out exactly where things are coming from. If we fund this we might get another genuine cost and not have the money.
Sen. Basnyat: I’m still not clear on what part of the program it is going to
Pres. Cooper clarified that the money is for speakers.
Ms. Levine reiterated that the speaker’s fee was $4000.
Trs. Shields pointed out that if senate voted to lower the amount, Emily was working on the assumption that she would get $3000, and it would be unclear if she could scrape together more.
Sen. Moreno agreed with Sen. Lewis, noted the problem with funding that happened last spring, and reiterated the need to conserve funds.
Sen. Wiczer noted that the funding should be discussed on merit of the speaker: Sounds like the speaker did a great job, and there were lots of difficulties. Since this leaves us on target, and that this was a very good speaker for a good event, it would merit the $4000 in the first place.
Sen. Navrartil: What are the honoraria? Does it cover more than just the keynote speech?
Ms. Levine explained that they only paid for the speech, but the speaker agreed to other events afterward.
Sen. Sun asked if she talked to the ENTS department.
Ms. Levine: They paid as much as they can with small budget.
Sen. McLain responded to Sen. Lewis. He said that there was no way to know that it was Ms. Levine’s mistake and noted that she had made every attempt and attended the first budget meeting. He praised the speaker and the wind turbine. Reiterated Sen. Wiczer’s statement.
Sen. Mendoza: Ditto Sen. Moreno
Lauren Miller Noted that the fee was a good price for the speaker. Also, the intern informed Ms. Levine that the speaker was being brought to campus by college relations and only just last week that it was learned that he was mistaken
A motion to call to question was passed 12:6, and a motion to approve $3000 passed 9:7:1.
The next request was from Drag King Extravaganza for $750 for an academic conference hosted by Colombia. The purpose was to learn about drag, and transgender issues through performance. The event applies to campus because it is something that people can bring back; also three out of the five people signed up are freshmen.
Move to open discussion passed 10:6
Due to lack of speakers, a motion to approve was made and passed without discussion.
The report from the college council followed, Sen. McLain noted that windmill was producing 30% more power than they thought it would, and that alumni giving was still #1: $21 million. The council was delaying the art museum by 3 months, to make sure that it is in line with liberal arts philosophy.
Sen. Lewis noted that it is not very liberal to limit the museum.
Sen. Navrartil asked for clarification on the delay.
Dean Govoni: The President asked the committee to reconsider some of the doctors involved in the design, he wants to give some thought to where the M&D could be placed and thinks that the committee should think more broadly about the design and whether we want to stay with the architect.
Sen. Wiczer: does that have to do with laird?
Senator McLain continued with his report. He mentioned the diversity initiative group, and talked about a restructuring of college; there will be no more dean of budget and instead there will be a vice president and treasurer.
Govoni noted that the car policy was not working last year. They are looking more deeply at the policy. Forming committee interested talk to him about everything from thieves to enforcement to parking lots. Requested that we bring the policy up to date and clarify it.
Sen. McLain noted that the handicap policy has been reviewed recently, but not much has come of it to produce methods to ensure that we are compliant or address complaints about handicap accessibility
Pres. Cooper asks if other committees have anything to report
Sen. McLain: is anybody not happy with his or her committee?
Sen. Navrartil: I was nominated for 3; I think that because of time constraints I only want to do chartering and governance.
Sen. Lewis volunteered for task force.
Robin Hart introduced herself as the other administrative liaison to senate: I am director of campus activities. I try to be accessible. There was a lot of interest in bringing back a true homecoming. I have been working with student athlete advisory committee, and wanted to give a rundown to get people excited about it and volunteer.
Homecoming will be Oct 11-15. The Upper Sayles bulletin board will have a display recognizing athletes. Banner making materials will be distributed to all residence halls so that there can be banners for a variety of sporting events. Notes for Knights will be good luck notes for their favorite athlete. Spirit bands: printed rubber bands for wrists
There will be a casino night in great hall and she needs people to run it needs people to run it. Winners will get raffle tickets for prizes whole variety of things. There will be a Saturday night dance with an 80’s cover band. It is going to be homecoming with Carleton twist, the theme is “cool days hot Knights”
A brief discussion of homecoming kings and queens and the specifics of the prizes followed
Next, Pres. Cooper moved on to the election. Nate Law and Cole Zimmerman are the new senators. The VP race was a tie. Pres Cooper said that the problem is that because of problems with counting the votes a recount, as specified in the bylaws, is impossible. The options listed were to hold a new election, or to continue same election and keep online polls open until Friday. A precedent was set in the spring to keep polls open longer. Discussion proceeded as follows:
Sen. Basnyat: Will it be a fresh election? Will people be able to vote again?
Pres. Cooper: We still have paper ballots for some of them but some people just voted online. You can’t differentiate between the two.
Sen. Navrartil mentioned that he had a problem with the online system not accepting freshmen.
Sen. Kachergis: It must have been just a mistake in the system.
Sen. McLain suggested new Monday through Friday online ballot, and if people have problem voting, they could send Sen. Kachergis an email.
Sen. Yanger suggested having a fresh election and putting icons on public computers.
Sen. Wiczer said that he asked people how online voting went, and received only positive responses.
Sen. Law mentioned that online one couldn’t tell who was voting. Wouldn’t there be a problem for people who voted, but it seems like there was a problem?
Pres. Cooper: The program only lets an ID number vote once
Sen. Rubenstein: It would be fairer to continue voting period. Questioned advantage of a fresh vote
Sen. McLain: There were problems and it was so close.
Sen. Rubenstein: Could we fix things before taking next vote?
Sen. McLain: We could put it all online
Sen. Rubenstein: If we could find a way to make sure that these problems don’t happen I would be in favor of continuing the election
Sen. Watkins said he was in favor of fresh votes because of ones that wouldn’t register
Sen. Basnyat: Ditto Watkins
Sen. Navrartil: Disagreed about having new elections. Cited bylaw issues. If we can’t have a recount, that doesn’t mean we invalidate the result. Also, bylaws say that election announcement is supposed to be made 3 weeks prior to date
Pres. Cooper noted that is only for a regular election.
Sen. Navrartil said that there would have to be more paper ballots and questions where the authority for a new election comes from. He suggests taking the online result and looking again at the rejected paper slips.
Sen. Moreno asked what the candidates preferred
Pres. Cooper said that they preferred a recount, but if not a new election.
Sen. Navrartil said that the bylaws call for a recount, otherwise called for a new election.
Sen. Lewis: Ditto Navrartil, expressed concerns about losing face
Sen. Mendoza: Ditto Lewis
Sen. Sun called for a new election. He noted that a couple of people came to vote but did not know enough about the VP candidates to do so.
Trs. Shields said that she opened in Sayles during 2a, but didn’t have laptop. She had no platforms and even after she got Sen. Mendoza’s platform she was still missing Mr. Evans’ was still missing so she could not give them out.
Sen. Wiczer expressed concern over administrative costs of new election.
Sen. McLain said that the administrative costs would be the same for new or continued elections.
Sen. Kachergis: Michael Moore agrees that we can’t really recount the votes
Mr. Evans: Is there any reason to think there was a miscount?
Sen. Kachergis said that there might have been a problem with clicking on the correct candidate
Sen. Basnyat asked what was done with the things that were not entered?
Pres. Cooper said that all ballots have been saved, but if ID number is unreadable they can’t do anything
Sen. Navrartil reiterated his previous point and questioned whether a new election was being considered because of low turnouts or because of the close results.
Sen. Watkins said that he did not separate the invalid paper ballots from the valid ones.
Sen. McLain pointed out other issues with a recount.
Sen. Navrartil: Raised questions about when the voting would end At this point a move to recess for 5 minutes was passed. The Senate reconvened at 8:35 An observer said during the discussion about voting, something to consider, it is all in how you define recount. Can say that a recount is in this case how you define. A motion to cap the speaker’s list at the following speaker was passed unanimously.
Sen. Yanger advocated a runoff election completely online.
President Cooper listed the options and a discussion of how best to do the voting followed. The following are the results of 3 rounds of voting
Brand new election: 4
No more votes: 6
No more votes: 5
Thus, a runoff was decided upon. After a discussion it was decided to have the new runoff election take place from Friday thru Saturday of that week, (Mr. Mendoza will not attend his study break floor so Mr. Evans will not be at a disadvantage). It was also decided to have only online ballots. Sen. Yanger volunteered to put ads in NNB. Sen. Wiczer was assigned to give them to Sen. Kachergis and Michael Moore so they could put them online so people could access platforms. Sen. Yanger suggested PR committee put up table tents, and Sen. McLain was assigned that job. Treasurer Shields volunteered to talk to ITS about the computer icons. President Cooper asked the senators to email him when they were free to table in Sayles. David Holman talked about putting online polls on the webpage.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:58.