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CAMPUS SAFETY REMAINS A PRIORITY FOR ASM LEADERSHIP

September 27, 2013

MADISON, WI — The following is a statement from Associated Students of Madison’s Chair David Gardner, Vice Chair Mia Akers, Representative Carissa Szlosek, and Representative Genevieve Carter:

“ASM is committed to ensuring students are safe on campus. We are collaborating with UW administration, UWPD, city leadership, the Greek community, and other student organizations to reduce further criminal activity. Currently, we, and other members of ASM, are reaching out to campus to gather input from the entire Madison community.

“A collective effort from UWPD, Madison PD, the Dean of Students, and UW Transportation Services is needed to provide an effective, readily available, and financially sustainable solution for students. Prior programs involving segregated fee subsidized cab rides proved to be ineffective in reducing crime in the community, however ASM is dedicated to pressuring campus and community leaders to support a solution to the root issue of on-campus and near-campus crime.”

Please direct all press inquiries to Grace Bolt at 763-291-2711.

 

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DESPITE FISHER, STUDENTS SUPPORT DIVERSITY AT UW

June 24, 2013

MADISON, WI — On Monday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court sent Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that had the potential to change admission and financial aid policy at UW-Madison and at universities across the country, back to the lower courts. The following is a statement from Associated Students of Madison’s Chair David Gardner on the ruling’s impact on UW-Madison. 

“In light of the Fisher opinion that the Supreme Court issued today, I would like to reaffirm that the Associated Students of Madison is always dedicated to diversity on campus. We will continually support policies that enrich our campus with diversity, because students value a diverse campus environment.

“ASM’s Diversity Committee and Shared Governance Committee are currently working with UW-Madison faculty and administrators on a new Diversity Plan for campus. This plan will help allow for underrepresented demographics of students to attend this university, and it will help diversify the Wisconsin Experience by including groups of students who have not previously been represented on campus. Students are an integral part of this process, and will continue to be.

“As we wait for a final decision on the matter, I urge administrators to pursue policies that respect diversity, and to include students in efforts to improve the Wisconsin Experience through a diverse campus.”

Please direct all press inquiries to Grace Bolt at 763-291-2711.

 

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SENATE PASSES STATE BUDGET, NO AMENDMENTS

June 21, 2013

MADISON, WI — The Wisconsin State Senate passed the State Biennial Budget on Friday, June 21 with no amendments. The following is a statement by The Associated Students of Madison’s Chair David Gardner:

“I’m disappointed that the Senate legislators did not amend the budget to unfreeze allocable segregated fees, and to reinstate the mandatory refundable fee (MRF) that supports and funds the United Council of UW Students. Both of these items explicitly undermine the power of shared governance given to students in state statute 36.09(5).

“By freezing allocable segregated fees, the legislature is forcing UW-System Student University Fee Allocation Committees (SUFACs) to reallocate to groups on a budget, which would be a process that would have clearly violated the standards set for viewpoint neutrality as outlined in US Supreme Court Case Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System v. Southworth. Additionally, this item in the budget takes away shared governance rights clearly given to students in 36.09(5), by taking away the student right to allocate segregated fees through SUFACs.

“The elimination of the mandatory refundable fee essentially eliminates the United Council of UW Student’s main source of income. The removal of UC eliminates the unified student voice that protects the interests of all students in the UW-System. Without that voice, students are left without the most important tool that we have when it comes to campaigning and lobbying for student rights and student interests.

“Basic student rights are under attack, and it is vital that Governor Walker line-item veto the allocable segregated fee freeze and the elimination of the mandatory refundable fee.”

Please direct all press inquiries to Grace Bolt at 763-291-2711

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WITHDRAWAL OF NOMINATION PROVES NEED FOR SB 157

June 13, 2013

MADISON, WI—The Associated Students of Madison’s Chair, David Gardner, responded to Governor Walker’s withdrawal of his recent student regent nominee with the following statement:

“Governor Walker’s recent nomination and withdrawal of a UW-Platteville student to the UW System Board of Regents highlights the overly politicized nature of the appointment process that has plagued not only this administration but all previous administrations. UW System regents should be those individuals qualified and knowledgeable enough to hold UW administrators accountable to the public.

“ASM has been working on this issue, and strongly supports a fix to this problem: mandate student vetting of student candidates prior to the Governor’s selection of a nominee, as is done in most other states. The bipartisan bill to accomplish this, SB 157, would change just one word in state law, mandating, rather than permitting, the Governor to select a nominee from those already put forth by elected student government representatives.

“Students need to be a part of this process to ensure student issues are represented in the Board of Regents, not partisan ones.”

Please call the Governor today at 608-266-1212 and ask him to support SB 157 in order to take the partisan politics out of UW System oversight.

 

Please direct all press inquiries to Grace Bolt at 763-291-2711.

ETHNIC STUDIES ROUND TABLE SUCCESS

February 20, 2013

MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison’s Diversity Committee and the Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Society and Politics branch co-sponsored the Ethnic Studies Round Table Dinner on February 18, 2013 at Union South. The event was organized to provide students an open space to express their opinions and concerns about the current Ethnic Studies requirement. Two UW student performers, Dominique Ricks, and Michael Penn were featured, and both are First Wave Scholars at UW. The round table was highly attended, and students and faculty from across campus provided many perspectives.

 

Students and faculty in attendance discussed the current requirement, how the University operates it, as well as how it was originally created. Small group discussions continued over dinner, and many students discussed concerns with the current requirement, and brainstormed ways they would like to see it revised in the future. Some ideas brought up included making the requirement more applicable to different majors, and requiring students to take more than one course. The most commonly mentioned topic was making sure students wanted to take an ethnic studies course, rather than taking a course simply because it is required.

 

Participants wrote their ideas on notecards, which were collected after the event adjourned. These ideas will be taken back to Diversity Committee, which will read, and discuss the results before sending them on to the Ad-Hoc Diversity Plan Committee. The Ad-Hoc committee will take these results and suggestions into consideration during the discussion about the upcoming Diversity Plan.

 

Diversity Committee will be holding a debrief of the Ethnic Studies Round Table Event next Monday, February 25 at 5:30PM in the Caucus Room on the 4th floor of the SAC.

 

 

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ASM PASSES FIRST CONSTITUTION VOTE TO STUDENT BODY

February 8, 2013

MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Council met on Wednesday, February 6 to discuss an ASM Bylaw update to match the Board of Regents’ current policy on the Mandatory Refundable Fee for United Council, as well as the introduction of a new ASM Constitution. Student Council voted against the Bylaw update and in favor of the new Constitution, which will be voted on for a second time at the next meeting.

 

The United Council Bylaw update would have changed the current ASM Bylaws to match the Board of Regents’ current policy on the Mandatory Refundable Fee (MRF) for United Council (UC). The current policy requires ASM to hold a referendum biyearly to decide whether or not to continue allowing the MRF of three dollars.

 

Chair Sean McNally introduced a new Constitution to the ASM Student Council. The new ASM Constitution proposed a Legislative Branch with a Student Senate, President’s Council, and grassroots, a Judicial Branch similar to the pre-existing one, and an Executive Branch including a President and Vice President. As well, the Constitution would consolidate appropriations to smooth the fund distribution process. This new legislation would be tailored towards ASM expanding outreach to campus and improving financial processes.

 

Representative McNally stated: “I was very excited to announce this step towards a more successful and communicative ASM, and I’m very happy that Student Council voted in favor of this legislation. I believe that with this new Constitution, ASM will be able to listen to the student voice more effectively, and work together with groups and stakeholders on campus to be more successful.”

 

Student Council will vote for a second and final time on the new Constitution at the meeting of Wednesday, February 13 at 6:30pm in the SAC Hearing Room.

ENERGY AND WASTE TO BE FOCUS FOR SUSTAINABILITY CAMPAIGNS

February 8, 2013

MADISON, WI – The Sustainability Committee at ASM has elected to concentrate its campaign efforts for the semester toward University energy and waste use. The campaign for energy will aim to both educate students on energy usage and audit the University on energy usage, to advocate for more sustainable practices. The second campaign adopted today focused on Waste on campus, will look to increase recycling and work with other groups on education initiatives around recycling.

 

ASM Sustainability Committee Chair Colin Higgins said, “We are fortunate enough to be able to work on two meaningful campaigns this semester. Both of the campaigns will be very beneficial to the student body and to our community. Issues of sustainability are relevant on today’s campus and we are glad to be able to work on them.”

 

The committee also elected Will Mulhern as Vice-Chair and Michael Quesnell as Secretary. Quesnell worked last semester as an ASM Intern for Legislative Affairs Committee.

 

ASM Sustainability Committee will meet next Tuesday in room 3155 of the Student Activity Center. Please direct all further inquiries to Jesse Pollans at 847-542-9892. 

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