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Meeting Minutes

May 24th, 2010

  • Location: Sayles 251
  • Present: President Jinai Bharucha, Vice President Isaac Hodes, Treasurer Sarah Duane, Senators Chase Kimball, Hannah Heavenrich, David Heifetz, Rebecca Gourevitch, Marc Boyce, Arnav Durani, Justin Moor, Gabe Davis, Christa Owens, Peter Ladner, Ned Heckman, Kelsey Han, Noe Hernandez
  • Absent: Charlie Liu, Ted Longabaugh, Mouhamadou Diagne, Sana Rafiq
  • Guests: Nadine Sunderland
  • Secretary: R. Orion Martin

Budget Committee Recommendations and the Case of CANOE’s Canoes
Class Dinner Update
Bylaw Amendments and Spring Allocations Approval
Open Comment/Announcements

Budget Committee Recommendations
Senate reviewed the BC recommendations from last week. The minutes can be found here:

From the minutes:
“During a disastrous winter term CANOE, three canoes full of equipment were lost. They need to replace the canoes, which will cost $700 each. Canoe has a deposit policy where you must put in a deposit. For canoes the deposit is $300. All of the members that were on the trip are paying those deposits.

CANOE has reviewed its policy on canoe trips. From now on there will be extra steps before trips will be approved. Trips will not be allowed if the water level is high as defined by the DNR. Also, the deposit collection system has been improved.”

Owens argued that the actions of the students were irresponsible. For CSA to pay is condoning their mistakes.

Hernandez agreed that forcing the students to pay would reflect the consequences of their actions.

Bharucha commented it that it would be difficult to hold the students accountable if CSA wanted to make them pay. Duane added that she didn’t think the students would actually pay. It might be possible for Campus Activities to put a hold on their graduation.

Arnav wondered why no students were here to represent themselves.

If the students had checked out the canoes using the proper channels, CSA would still be asked to pick up the cost of the lost canoes.

The students have already paid the $300 deposit, but the canoes cost $700 each.

Heavenrich commented that it’s not right to deprive the campus in order to punish students.

CANOE hopes to buy the canoes on sale at the end of summer. Therefore, the request is time sensitive.

Kimball was on the CANOE trip where the canoes were lost. He commented that the purpose of the deposit system is to hold students responsible when mistakes happen. Organizations lose and break equipment. The students involved are taking adequate steps.

Hernandez argued that the behavior was reckless and irresponsible. The students simply should not have been on the water during high water.

Kimball responded that there were issues with how the canoes were checked out and how the trip was approved. Those issues have been addressed. The role of senate is not to punish students but to improve the system. That has happened.

Durani asked who should have been held responsible. There is a new policy in place that students won’t be allowed to make trips when the water level is high.

Duane emphasized that this has nothing to do with previous senate experience with CANOE.

Durani recommended funding two canoes and waiting to fund the third until CANOE proved it had put proper measures in place.

Kimball responded that those policies had already been implemented before CANOE requested funds to replace the canoes. Hodes clarified that in the future the gear manager will be held responsible. There were experienced CANOE members on the trip.

Heavenrich wondered if senate is really able to judge the policies that a student organization puts in place.

Hernandez argued that the most important issue was that the students did not ask before taking the canoes out.

Duane responded that the students have taken responsibility by paying the down payment.

Owens urged the creation of some mechanism that could monitor the progress of CANOE’s reforms.

Kimball responded that it would be very difficult to monitor the success of CANOE’s organizational reforms. The organization has taken this event very seriously and is determined not to let it happen again. Responding to Hernandez’s point, the students involved, which included CANOE members, have taken responsibility.

Boyce agreed that it would be inappropriate to punish them further. He argued that this is the only right thing to do and that all of these issues were addressed in the Budget Committee meeting.

Senate voted on the original BC recommendation for full funding. The voting was as follows:
In favor: Duane, Moor, Boyce, Heavenrich, Han

Opposed: Heifetz, Hernandez, Owens

Abstaining: Heckman, Durani, Ladner, Kimball, Hodes

The recommendation was not approved.

Durani made an $800 bid reflecting two canoes. The voting was as follows:
In favor: Moor, Durani, Boyce, Heckman, Duane

The bid was not approved.

Heavenrich recommended asking the students to pay the deposit plus $50.

Ladner commented that such a request doesn’t make sense under the deposit system.

Hodes moved to close the discussion. The motion passed.

The other requests were approved unanimously.

Class Dinner Update
The class dinners were planned for this Thursday but there wasn’t enough time to finalize the details. The dinner will be next fall. It would be easier to have 4 huge picnics and close all the dining halls.

Durani added that there seems to be more enthusiasm for such events happening at the beginning of the term. The menu has been decided. It will happen.

There won’t be any freshmen representatives at that time. They could be appointed the first week of the term.

Bylaw Amendments and Spring Allocations Approval

Spring allocations were approved unanimously.

The Bylaw Amendments were posted all week and there were no comments.

The constitution lost by three votes. This was closer than ever before. There needs to be a tracked changes PDF. It’s something that could be voted on in the fall.

The bias of the question might have worked against the senate. The question is supposed to be short and simple.

Owens commented that referendum questions are often longer and provide more context.

Han commented that the lack of context might have been detrimental to the question.

Open Comment/Announcements

There are a huge number of appointments to do. Students on senate cannot be appointed to committees.

The appointments will be publicized in the stalls.

Carleton is hiring a new Director of Energy and Sustainable Management. Also they hired a firm to come up with an Environmental Action Plan.

Bharucha recommended doing something fun for the next meeting. Stop by to find out what!