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.
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.
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.
MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison’s Legislative Affairs Committee hosted District 8 Alder Scott Resnick on Monday, February 4. Resnick is a Common Council Alder, and addressed concerns about campus safety and new housing developments.
Legislative Affairs Committee is working with the city in developing measures that will improve safety on campus. Particularly, the Committee has been talking with Alder Resnick about improving lighting on campus, and the group has done walkabouts to determine areas of campus with poor lighting.
The Committee also discussed housing initiatives, and lobbying for legislation that protects students from landlords that neglect city ordinances. Resnick discussed his work to push for laws that require building inspections and ensure security deposits are protected. In addition, the committee has worked with city officials in educating students on housing rights, including holding the Housing Fair, which provides students with housing opportunities and educates them about their rights as tenants.
Legislative Affairs also began assembling budget packets to send to 30 State Senators and Representatives addressing the state biennial budget, which will be announced by February 20, 2013. ASM is currently lobbying for a tuition cap, and increases in need-based financial aid, among other things. Students are writing personal letters to state legislators to provide a face, story, and practicality to the numbers the legislators already have.
The conversation will continue at Legislative Affairs’ next committee meeting Monday, February 11 at 7PM on the 4th floor Caucus Room of the SAC.
MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison Student Services Finance Committee Thursday night approved budget changes to the ASM Student Judiciary, and heard proposal from the Student Activity Center and Child Care Tuition Assistance Program.
The ASM Student Activity Center Governing Board proposed a $389,520 budget, which included improvements and alterations to the SAC. In response to the SAC rebranding project, Katie Cary, the current Chair of the SAC, is proposing to add TV/Projector areas in the SAC as a way to change the identity of the activity space as a collaborative atmosphere. The remodel is also set to convert small offices into medium offices, as groups have been demanding larger offices. As well, frosted windows and a PA System are in the proposal as safety initiatives.
The Student Judiciary demonstrated its need increased funds to the Student Election Commissioners and to keep the SEC Chair stipend at its current level. The budget was reconsidered to alter the previously approved version, which reduced the stipend of the SEC Chair by 50% and eliminated the Commissioner positions. These positions assist in planning and running elections for the Associated Students of Madison in the Spring and Fall semesters.
CCTAP’s budget was proposed at $1,046,100 and will be voted upon next week. The budget is a $1.75 increase per student from last year, to accommodate more students in the program and the addition of an ‘Infant Care Access’ line to provide additional accessibility resources for children in the program.
MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Council met for the first meeting of the Spring Semester on Wednesday, January 30. At the meeting, Student Council appointed Michael Jackson to Co-Chair the Ad-Hoc Diversity Plan Committee by unanimous consent.
Michael Jackson is a graduate student at the UW-Madison School of Business. He is studying Marketing and Advertising and has worked on multiple diversity initiatives on campus in the past, and served as an alumni representative at a diversity event in the fall. In addition, Jackson works with multiple student governing bodies on campus.
ASM Shared Governance Committee Chair Britt Moes stated, “I’m very excited to have Michael Jackson serving as a Co-Chair on the Ad-Hoc Committee. I know he’s going to be an excellent addition to the conversation, and that he’s capable of tackling the challenges that are presented throughout the semester. This committee is a massive success for students, and I can’t express enough how much it means to have students voicing their opinions on something that will influence their future at UW.”
Shared Governance Committee will discuss this initiative further at their next meeting on Thursday, February 7, in the Caucus room on the 4th floor SAC at 5:30PM.
MADISON, WI — “The proposed ‘May 4th Event,’ an initiative led by the Wisconsin Union which has been working in collaboration with the Associated Students of Madison, the Dean of Students Office, and other groups in UW Administration, will release details soon on the progress of meetings to formulate the May 4th Event. The location, funding sources, and structure of the event have not been released at this point. As well, thus far no Segregated Fees are currently or planned to be spent on the event.
“ASM will always aid in initiatives to advance campus safety at UW-Madison, and working with this event is an opportunity for ASM to continue lobbying on behalf of the student body. ASM members have been involved with the Committee for several weeks, to ensure efforts are supportive of our mission to aid in campus safety. This event is one of many that ASM is involved with and will continue to be. We always encourage members of the student body to contact us with their thoughts on campus initiatives.
“The Associated Students of Madison Student Council passed a resolution on December 6, 2012, supportive of the end of the year collaborative event that exemplifies the values of the ASM Campus Safety campaign, which will involve a campus wide collaboration to provide a fun event for student body. Chancellor David Ward, Dean of Students Lori Berquam, Vice Chancellor Vince Sweeney, Chief of UWPD Susan Riesling, and numerous officials have all expressed support for the event.”
Inquiries on this statement should be directed to David Gardner at 952-356-5807.