Sunday, 4:00PM, September 23, 2012
Riggs Room, Linde Activities Center
Status Updates (and how you feel about Memo of Understanding)
VP – Thought MOU was reasonable. Close to quorum, security issues with election were pointed out but as long as people vote on WPA it should be safe. 336 votes, 390 would be quorum. Also people need to sign up to bring snacks. After security problem is fixed, we are going to have frosh and junior class elections.
Case – Good, MOU is adequate.
Juniors – I think MOU is good, juniors are doing well but there have been several cases of stolen bikes and I sent a reminder to lock bikes more securely.
South – Good, we are still trying to buy a TV. I think the MOU looks fine.
JB Chair – Sent out case summaries today. MOU is shorter than most I have seen so it looks great.
CAP – We are starting to plan events for fall break. Last year we gave DOS money and had them plan it but this year we are doing most planning. MOU is good.
East – MOU is good, no reports. One person peed on dorm during foam.
Atwood – Good, we are going to go through a purge of bikes on bike racks, some have been collecting dust. MOU looks adequate.
Linde – Good, cake is almost cleaned up. MOU looks fine.
West – Fine, MOU has some serious issues we need to discuss.
Social – Foam was a party to say the least, we haven’t been able to talk to camp sec or Mike to get a full story, we swiped until it was shut down last night. We met with 5C social chairs and the calendar is pretty much set. We’re gonna talk to CMC social because apparently there is a feud. MOU is fine.
Seniors – Seniors are swell, MOU fine by me.
North – Cleaning from foam, I thought MOU was fine.
Off Campus – Great, we are fine with MOU.
Athletics – Good, fine with MOU.
Sophomores – Doing okay, MOU seemed fine to me.
Sontag – Fine, MOU seemed fine.
DAC – We’ve been discussing card swipe policy further. We are tentatively thinking about updates once a month and a 10 people per resident limit. We are looking over problems with the housing agreement. MOU looks fine.
Dean Maggie – DOS is good, I have campus safety report on foam. Otherwise we’re good.
Treasurer – I have checks for dorms, in terms of getting ASHMC money, this week I got 81,000 of dues, that’s about 652 students, but there are 787 students attending Mudd and we only have 2000 left based on what we’ve given out. I didn’t see any major problems.
President – Good, I made an executive decision to continue with election as is. If anything goes wrong it is on my head, I don’t expect anything to go wrong. Haak should talk to CIS about SSL. We are almost out of money but otherwise we are swell.
Discussion of MOU
West – I’m not sure if this is something that can be resolved, but the budget thing that we just heard underscores this. I see the MOU as a one-way street of responsibility. We are beholden to HMC for different things, and I don’t see any responsibility from HMC to ASHMC. That’s a pretty serious misstep on their part and I don’t know if MOU is sufficient or strongly worded enough for us to have the responsibility to go both ways. Every once in a while there are issues with budgeting, example being the mentor program running out of money last year, but none of us knew until it was too late. We weren’t told about it or consulted, but if we were running out of money we would have to be reporting to DOS. I’m not sure what we can do about this.
Social – Is this what Margaret wanted out of the MOU? We never saw what came out of her working on it.
President – I haven’t made any edits.
Dean Maggie – This is the version of the MOU that I have Margaret at the beginning of the year last year. As far as I know she made no additional changes.
DAC – What is the legal status of this document?
President – This is the document which defines our legal status with relation to the college.
DAC – These stipulations are legally binding?
President – Yes.
Atwood – Do we have to have this approved today? Or can we consider what Adam said?
VP – Margaret had comments but no edits. She doesn’t know where they went.
President – If HMC violated the agreement, we could technically sue them.
Atwood – Because we haven’t passed a new memo, their actions (late payments) still fall under the old memo.
Dean Maggie – It’s the same in the old memo.
Treasurer – Anything that would give us leverage against the college would set up an antagonistic relationship with the administration. I’m not interested in setting up something resembling antagonism.
President – Realistically, if either one of us violates this agreement then we can either talk to them about it or sue them, like in a business agreement. We’re all reasonable, honest people, and we’re also abiding by the honor code.
West – What you’re saying is reasonable, and I think if we go to them and say it’s not transparent enough and that we want them to add things, I think that’s nicer than us making changes and sending it back to them.
Atwood – We’re talking about a legally binding contract, and we can’t just assume that both parties are reasonable, we’re not trying to be aggressive but that’s what actual contracts are, “just-in-case”.
President – The purpose isn’t to have it be a last resort, this is a first step in resolving any dispute.
Treasurer – Some of the business affairs office doesn’t know that ASHMC is a separate entity.
Dean Maggie – Pretty much everyone that I know in the administration knows that ASHMC is separate.
West – What we have here is an opportunity to define who we are as a governing body, and we can either make the case that we are serious and we want to be taken seriously and to be a separate entity with all the rights and responsibilities that that entails, or we can “play” a government. It seems like we are getting jerked around by the financial department.
Atwood – I don’t personally know enough about the situation (missing Margaret’s notes, haven’t seen the old one), so I can’t make a decision and I think we should wait a week and discuss it then. I’m motioning to table this.
West – Can we agree that during the week we will get in touch with all parties and everyone will read through the document carefully so that when we come back we are ready to discuss?
President – Business affairs is very willing to talk to us.
Motion to table
(16, 0, 2)
Quizbowl came in last week with a budget request for costs incurred last semester when Julie went to nationals last school year. They couldn’t come in earlier at club budgeting because of scheduling errors on our part.
How much exactly was requested?
I believe 975 dollars. 650 for air ticket, 150 for registration, 125 for hotels, 50 for food, we were at the competition for two days.
I booked the flight two weeks beforehand, it was direct. It took us a long time to figure out whether everyone could go.
Can you explain why ASHMC should foot your entire bill?
At the time I and my teammate were told we would be reimbursed. I traveled as a representative of the 5Cs and as a Mudd student.
I told her she would be reimbursed.
Part of the reason that we expect reimbursement is that it is hard to go to these tournaments, and we don’t ask for the money beforehand because we aren’t sure if we are going to go.
Can you elaborate on how you represented us?
You have to qualify in your region, we came in top in our region for qualifying. We managed to place midfield. We are beating schools like Caltech.
Can you explain why it was so urgent for you to go?
When you first go, we qualified in Division 2. The subsequent years you go into Division 1, which is very hard.
Was the other person who went with you a Mudder?
No, it was from CMC.
Have you talked to CMC about reimbursement?
Were there any publicities about your activity at the tournament? Have you talked to admissions or other portions of the school for reimbursement?
No and no.
You said that you expected to be reimbursed, was there precedent for that?
I was under the understanding that ASHMC had done that in the past.
Is there a reason you were hesitant to ask for it?
If we were to ask for over 1500, it would have to go to student body, we were worried that we wouldn’t get anything.
To clarify, we will not give you no money, and you can at least get 1500 before student vote.
If these guys didn’t expect that they would qualify, it seems unreasonable to expect them to ask for money that they didn’t think they would need.
How many active members does quizbowl have?
At the end of last semester, 11 HMC students and 4 other 4C students. We are going to have to make two days for practices.
We gave them 536 this year.
We spend the money on registration fees and gas.
You said the team earns money by hosting tournaments?
We are hosting two tournaments in the fall. We may get 100-500 per tournament.
What was the budget last year?
We gave them 300 two years ago, last year we gave them 550.
I thought we had 900 total last year.
I want to explore other options for revenue, I think other college functions like admissions or DOS could foot some of the fees incurred.
I don’t know what the process is for requesting funds from them.
If the council doesn’t approve the full amount, do you feel that would be an undue burden?
We would pay her costs as a club, but we believe ASHMC should help us pay for the costs.
You believe you got about 1200 from budgeting, if you had to pay for some of these costs from this years budget would it hurt your ability to compete this year?
Do your members pay dues?
President – Did you (Alex) initially try to present this budget before the tournament?
It was after.
Atwood – What was the date of the tournament?
It was late March, money was spent mid to early March.
Motion to table budget
New Fiscal Club Policy presented by Atwood
We think that this issue should be considered in 3 parts, there is underlying problem that this isn’t the first club that has done this. What should happen with leaders? What should happen with money that was spent?
We believe that we aren’t effectively communicating our decisions to the student body. Technically everyone can read the minutes, but I don’t think that we can reasonably expect the students to all read the minutes. When the council makes an important decision, the secretary should send out a notification to students-l. We couldn’t find the relevant minutes that referenced this decision. If we had told them about the decision beforehand, I’m sure they would have handled this differently.
In terms of dealing with the leadership of this club, maybe he should have done research on this (retroactively asking for money) but he was told that that was the way it had always been done, we seem to have done this before. I don’t personally think it is on him, however if ASHMC decides that he should have known that this was wrong then we believe this should be sent to JB/DB chair, its not our jurisdiction to punish him.
We made a resolution last semester that we weren’t going to do this anymore, and so if we are going to hold to this it needs to be stronger than just a resolution. It makes sense we shouldn’t retroactively approve money. I have a draft of a rule.
“No reimbursement request shall be approved unless request is made before money is spent, except if club can demonstrate good cause for retroactive request”
If we approve this, it should be sent out to student body so they know about it. In light of new rule, we can look at situation and apply this new rule. Quizbowl would fall under good cause because they didn’t know they needed to request it beforehand. The fact that it happened before we made our resolution speaks to this as well. If we forced them to pay out of their budget, it would force other students unrelated to this case to not compete.
Case – Are the people requesting money supposed to know beforehand whether they have a reasonable excuse?
Atwood – If we don’t have a clear rule, how can we expect to communicate clearly to the student body? The reason we wrote it out this way is to set tangible precedent.
Juniors – How do we verify “undue hardship”?
Atwood – That’s a common phrasing in real law. It’s hard to make hard and fast rules because council changes every year.
South – Do they have to ask for money, or have it approved?
Atwood – It should say “approved”.
West – We really should be separating whether we are going to approve or consider a request, because your clause should be about even considering the budget request. If they had presented it, we might not have approved it at all.
DAC – I have a few issues to each part of rule. The leadership shouldn’t be responsible: on our forms, we specifically ask for presidents for next year, implying that he was involved with budgeting for next year. Also, there is a list specifically for minutes, which anyone can subscribe to.
Atwood – We should have a procedure where we tell people when we make an important rule. We could make a motion to send the decision to students-l.
Off Campus – Clubs know full well that there is a chance that we won’t approve all of the money.
Atwood – Would you have that a club that doesn’t expect to use the 1000 to have to ask for it anyway?
Off Campus – That’s why ASHMC is here to make that decision.
Treasurer – I agree that ASHMC should do a better job of being visible to student body, we could send monthly status updates. I think clubs should be held accountable for when they go over their budget. It seems like retroactively asking for money is a way of “elbowing” ASHMC for more funds. The reimbursement rule needs to be more defined. For example, we could need a supermajority vote to agree on undue hardship.
Atwood – The important part of the wording is good cause. If the club is doing this solely to get more money, that’s not good cause.
East – If we want to set a precedent, not knowing about a law shouldn’t be justification for violating it.
DAC – I was going to suggest a ¾ majority vote.
Off Campus – We don’t execute laws well enough. Committee should do something like what social did this year like a budget planning seminar.
Atwood – I agree ignorance of the law isn’t a good reason not to follow it, but we couldn’t find the law when we looked.
West – There was a JB case in the email where the club overspent their budget.
Atwood – In that case they were warned before to not do that again.
South – Undue financial hardship is a form of punishment.
Motion to table the new fiscal policy
(12, 4, 2)
Motion to pay Quizbowl $975 (full amount)
(3, 9, ?)
Motion to pay Quizbowl $400
(4, ton of people, ?)
Motion to pay Quizbowl $825
(4, 8, ?)
Motion to pay Quizbowl $700
(10, 6, 2)
President: "Make a list of What you want to do with MOU & Fiscal Policy "
"Atwood send out their Fiscal Policy thing presented"