Council passes activity budget
Representatives award initiatives $17,000, discuss committee to increase graduate membersí participation
At its representative body meeting yesterday evening, Student Council passed a budget which allocated about $17,000 to fund summer and fall initiatives for the next few months. Council members also approved the introduction of an ad hoc committee which would review and overhaul Council bylaws.
Council's revenue is generated from both student activities fees (SAFs) and non-SAFs from the 2011-2012 year, both of which are then distributed among the 13 presidential Council committees and programs such as the fall activities fair.
Vice President of Administration Ann Laurence Baumer said Council formed the budget using the previous summer's budget as a jumping-off point.
Council also approved the formation of an ad hoc committee which would redesign the bylaws' attendance requirements to lessen time commitments for graduate students while also allowing them to adequately represent their respective graduate schools.
Discussion at a recent Graduate Student Affairs Committee meeting first brought the scheduling problems facing Graduate representatives to Council's attention, causing Graduate Arts and Sciences Rep. Adam Lees to propose the initiative yesterday.
Law School Rep. Brian Park said the proposal did not mean graduate students "don't want to come to meetings." Instead, he said the stringency of the graduate school exam schedule would make an attendance policy revision necessary only in special circumstances.
"For example - during exam time, life outside of studying basically stops at the Law School," Park said in an email. "[In] late November and late April, it is a little difficult for us ... to attend all of the meetings."
Once formed, the ad hoc committee would propose bylaw changes which would aim to codify the accommodations for graduate school representatives. The committee would then submit the changes to the representative body for approval.
Representative Body Chair Alex Reber said Council members acknowledged some aspects of the bylaws need to be updated, although he added it takes four weeks to change bylaws.
"Our bylaws are 50 pages long, which is kind of extreme," he said. "It may benefit from a reorganization."
Council will finalize the new committee at the body's last meeting of the semester next Tuesday.