Minutes November 15th, 2018
Montana State University
Associated Students of MSU Senate
November 15th, 2018
Minutes called to order at 6:00pm by Senate Speaker, Karl Swenson
Minutes recorded by Acting Senate Secretary, Jamie Baird
Excused: Branch, Horton, Reinhardt
Approval of Minutes
All in favor.
Jason Zayne, college of engineering student, supplies for success philanthropy event, people can donate school supplies that are then donated to local middle schools. Starts on November 26th, needs help getting the word out via advertising and communication with the greater student body. Will send information about this event to the senate.
Chase, RHA vice president, from college of Ag. Won Residence Hall Association (RHA) award at regional conference. Beginning to process strategic plan and how that will manifest for RHA, have made more of a presence at events like Bobcats Got Talent, told hall councils to bring in canned food for Can the Griz.
Director of Operations - Marianne Brough
Two things to talk about today, American Indian center is having a feedback session by the Ask Us Desk tomorrow. Want space to be accessible, and want student input on designs 11am-1pm, it’s important that we support them. RHA Senate traditionally meets on Thursday so it’s hard for ASMSU to interact. But RHA is one of the largest student organizations on campus, so it’s important that we collaborate with them. We asked them to move their weekly meetings to Wednesday so we can work with them, we will be looking for a Senate liaison to them soon. If you’re interested get in touch.The legislature is in January, so we will be setting legislative priorities and hiring a lobbyist, and then sending students to Helena to talk about why funding is important for us. We are in need of Eastern Montana Locals.
Johnson, is this a general call?
Brough, Yes, looking for an authentic connection to eastern Montana.
Murali, Where is RHA senate meeting?
Chase, In the basement of Johnstone in the Academic Center.
Business Manager - Andy Turner
Looking over the financials and going over budget templates for the spring. Heidi cleaned out the coffee pot, big kudos to her. Please fill out the evaluations that Lizzy Thompson sent out. We’re about ⅓ of the way through the year, so 33% of the budget should be spent. Two classified programs, the Preschool and KGLT are a little ahead of this because of their funding sources, they use our money first. Many things got misclassified in the budget reports, but this is being fixed. No concerned about classified programs. Many things in the student programs budget were misclassified as well, it looks like no money in the Diversity and Inclusion budget has been spent, but that’s not true, expenses have just been being pulled from PACE. Everything is on track. Taylor hasn’t spent anything, Lizzy hasn’t spent anything, we’ve spent $1,000 from the supplemental.
Murali, Lizzy spent money on the potlatch, why isnt that shown here?
Turner, These reports are from October so they don’t include those expenses.
Chief Justice - Mac Gwinner
Campaign Finance and Elections Policy and Procedures Manual will be coming to senate soon. Working with Taylor to hire Elections Director soon. We will be hiring two Justices soon, if you have questions please let me know.
Murali, How many applications for Justices have you seen so far?
Gwinner, One so far but we expect a few more soon.
Senate Speaker - Karl Swenson
What's the difference between a hippo and a zippo?
Killian, One is heavy and one is a little lighter!
Swenson, One week ago we had a feedback session for the Student Memorial, if you still want to give feedback that would be great. I will be sending out consensus on feedback by midday tomorrow. This will be emailed to the designer so hopefully we can pick one design. Budget oversight committee met yesterday afternoon. There was some extra money in the Procrastinator budget from Rocky Horror, it will now be used for an ugly sweater party before some of the Thursday throwback movies. There are two senate meetings left this semester. If you have something that you want to get through this semester your time is running out. Let’s kick some Griz butt this weekend, go Cats!
Brough, You can donate to Can the Griz online.
Senate Speaker Pro Tempore - Ambika Murali
Put in your shirt size in or else we will not order a shirt for you. The projected cost for this will be put into a request for Funding Board. NCUR committee is going well. Senate Holiday party at 4:30 on December 6th.
Swenson, You can wear sweaters to the meeting.
Brough, Bring a plus one or plus two to encourage people to run for Senate next year.
Johnson, Sat in for Lizzy in meeting for executive committee for American Indian Hall, info session tomorrow, formal public forum in the spring. No update from the naming committee, which will name the building and the rooms. Some Native American students are concerned about housing Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer, they are meeting with President Cruzado.
Dalvit, Did they mention working with students on designs?
Johnson, No this is the larger oversight committee.
Killian, CSAC is working on getting our school to bronze level with biking, trying to get excess food from the dining halls into the food pantry. I have been working with some designers on the basement of Leon Johnson hall, adding seating into it, where it was previously disgusting seating. Working as quickly as we can on this, Cell Biology and Neuroscience will be giving money to this, and I will be putting a reserve request in to Funding Board to support this. I will be creating a resolution in support of the remodeling of Romney Hall.
Mulvaney, We were awarded a bronze award for being a bicycle friendly university, it was posted on the Office of Sustainability website yesterday!
2018-R-22 – Greek Exemption
Reiman moves, Seconded
Grimsrud, Move to Amend, add “and” to line 13.
Murali, Move to amend “(FS)” after “sorority” in line 3.
Killian, Why did the housing exemption stop?
Hall, It is being phased out, but it used to be that qualified freshman could live in houses, this year only 5 freshman in each chapter will be allowed to move into each chapter.
Reiman, To increase senior retention.
Grimsrud, Residence Halls are Dry, sororities are not.
Killian, I talked to people out of Greek Life, was there a time where students could talk to administrators about this?
Reiman, Yes, but that input wasn’t taken into account.
Killian, This is interesting because it seems like an extra that other student organizations don’t get.
Grimsrud, This is only regarding moving into houses.
Elias, Is the certain GPA requirement different for each house?
Mulvaney, Can anyone speak to the regulations on Greek Life by the University?
Grimsrud, Campus has access to property, presidents have weekly meetings with Dean of Students.
Kothe, Move to amend, strike “certain” in line 17 and add “2.5” in its place.
Dalvit, Is there going to be a meeting with dean Kiares about the specific statistics regarding this before we vote?
Grimsrud, No, but we will be meeting in two weeks with Chapter Presidents, Dean Caires and others.
Abbott, Can you expand on what senior retention means?
Reiman, There is a lack of retention of older members, so theoretically getting rid of Greek Exemption would keep them in the house longer and increase retention.
Mulvaney, What is the push to pass this now? Will the meeting be open to the public?
Grimsrud, No it’s open to the public.
Mulvaney, That meeting might be an opportunity for us as Senators to learn more about this process and the reasoning behind them. We should consider postponing.
Johnson, I agree with Mulvaney.
Reiman, This resolution would help push forward student’s voices when they haven’t been listened to before.
Killian, This is like the sustainability meeting, I am leaning towards tabling this. Dean Caires can’t meet because of Board of Regents Meeting. This sounds like it could be something that would be good for houses, as an incentive, but I would be interested in postponing it.
Abbott, I would like more information about this, I am interested in tabling this. I would like to hear what Dean Caires has to say.
Lyon, When the semester end, students can move out of the dorms. This meeting is our last big push to say we don’t support phasing Greek Exemption out. Greek Exemption is unfair to students trying to move in, and students already in Greek Life. This is time sensitive and we want to see this push forward.
Mulvaney, Will students hear about Greek Exemption over Thanksgiving Break?
Lyon, No Winter Break.
Reiman, Applications for Greek Exemption are due December 3rd, and are processed after grades are posted.
Lyons, This change would take a long time to get rid of, if adopted.
Grimsrud, MSU had has about 5% Greek Life, which is small compared to other universities. Greek Life houses here have a hard time staying full, and this would put financial stress on people already in the chapter.
Murali, Based on previous communication with Dean Caires it seems like this isn’t a necessity to table. This would be a backup for students going to talk with Dean Caires.
Dalvit, Would seniors have a choice in moving out?
Reiman, No, this would force students to stay in houses no matter the circumstance, otherwise the chapter would be fined.
Dalvit, This seems like something we should vote on tonight.
Elias, Would the freshman be able to move in right away?
Grimsrud, No, they would be able to move in at the start of the spring semester.
Schmitz, Motion to Previous Question
Pelkie, We should work on the 5 person cap, but this isn’t really a time crunch. I would like this resolution to be more of an incentive to encourage Greek Life to raise conduct standards and GPA requirements.
Hall, We keep track of each member’s GPA, each house has lots of things in place to make sure members GPA’s are at a certain level. Member’s GPA’s increase once they live in a house. Fraternities that had conduct problems are no longer fraternities. Greek housing is often safer than living in the dorms, some houses are alcohol/drug free. They encourage students to stay in school.
Lyon, The school standard for GPA is 2.5, but students living in Greek housing often have higher GPA requirements to move in. Fraternities and Sororities keep people in check. Living in a house is a really cool experience. This is just one of the reasons why this resolution should go through.
Grimsrud, Part of the negotiations with Dean Caires I’ve been doing have included raising GPA requirements for chapters, and raising standards to qualify for Greek Exemption. Working on phasing hard alcohol out of fraternities by September 1st, 2019. Greek Exemption increases retention rates.
Kothe, All sponsors are Greek Life because this is most pressing to us, but Greek Life is very involved on campus, and if we keep this we will see increased retention in our freshman. There are many benefits overall to campus to Greek exemption
Johnson, Is the meeting next week about increasing the 5 person cap, or about the phasing out in general?
Grimsrud, This meeting is to show why we should keep Greek Exemption.
Johnson, Is this about the immediate changes next semester? I would like more information about this before we vote.
Grimsrud, No this is about the general phasing out.
Schmitz, Senator Johnson, what more information do you want?
Johnson, I want to learn more about the history of this, and about the concept in general.
Hall, Student’s concerns have not been taken seriously by the Dean and Assistant Dean of Students, this resolution will help them take these concerns seriously.
Johnson, Move to extend the limits of debate to allow four speaking turns per senator.
Johnson, We don’t know how Residence Life feels about this, Chase do you have any opinions?
Chase, Yes, this is information that Residence Life would really like to hear about this, consider tabling this and coming to a RHA Senate meeting and talking about this. This would be good for freshman to hear about.
Grimsrud, I’ve meet with Jeff Bondy about this, and he says this won’t affect them too much, but they’re still housing freshman in lofts.
Pelkie, I support this in general. I think it’s weird that we haven’t heard a solid reason for why this is happening, I’m not sure that the reasons Dean Caires has given us are the real reasons. It’d be good to table this and do some investigation.
Mulvaney, This meeting isn’t going to change what happens next semester. Many senators have expressed interest in attending this meeting, would a passed resolution or engaged senators be more effective at this meeting with Dean Caires?
Murali, One of the main issues here is that Dean Caires is not taking these concerns seriously, this resolution would be a strong support for students. This resolution has been posted for discussion for two weeks and Dean Caires has not talked to any senators about this.
Grimsrud, Dean Kaires says that he supports the phasing out of Greek Exemption because Residence Halls are alcohol free and it will increase senior retention in Greek Life.
Lyons, This is an issue specific to Greek Life.
Hall, Bed overflow, campus involvement, and recruitment make this pertinent to the entire campus.
Reiman, Dean Caires sent an email saying that things have changed since Greek Exemption was created, and since Greek Life has shown consistent growth and increased retention Greek Exemption will be phased out. If chapters have financial problems because of this individual chapters can petition the Dean of Students office to allow Greek Exemption. I don’t know why he would be in support of this.
Elias, Would a board vote on this or would it be Caires’ final say?
Grimsrud, It’s Caires’ final say.
Chase, If you aren’t going to table this, then could you bring this information to an RHA senate meeting?
Killian, After this discussion I am in support of this resolution.
Roll Call Vote:
2018-R-23 – Military Transcript
2018-B-15 – Campaign Finance
Grimsrud, If anyone has any more questions about Greek Exemption I will answer them
Killian, The Art Market was yesterday, It’s a cool way for students to get their name out there. ASMSU Arts and Exhibits is an efficient program
Mulvaney, Thanks everyone for answering all our questions, I thought this was a productive discussion.
Murali, Senator Killian I will be a cosponsor on your resolution if you want.
Abbott, Fix it Night by our Outdoor Rec program is going on right now.
Hall, Can the Griz bowling night is tonight at the Bozeman Bowl until midnight
Meeting adjourned by senator Killian