Special fees bill stumbles with grads

Jan. 20, 2011, 2:02 a.m.

At Wednesday’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) meeting, members welcomed a new voting member, discussed winter quarter programming and voted on a bill passed by the Undergraduate Senate.

Opening the meeting was the swearing in of Fanuel Muindi, a graduate student in biology, as a voting member of the GSC. In previous years, Muindi has been an active participant at GSC meetings, often acting as a proxy for other members. Muindi will fill a vacant seat in the voting contingency.

Addy Satija, one of the GSC’s programming coordinators, said the programming committee is in the process of finding a venue for the spring quarter Grad Formal. Satija invited other members to brainstorm ideas and dates for an additional winter quarter activity. Headed by Justin Brown, GSC co-chair and doctoral student, and Imeh Williams, education representative, a small committee formed to plan the Pajama Jam-E Jam, a nocturnal-themed party slated for Friday, Feb. 18.

The GSC approved funding requested by the Graduate Student Programming Board on behalf of Rains community assistants. The Rains staff hopes to extend a campus-wide invitation to its annual Karaoke Night and has arranged to have a higher-quality karaoke machine for the night. After a few brief concerns were addressed, the GSC awarded funding to the event.

“Does the system have YouTube capability?” asked Satija. “There are always people who want Katy Perry and ‘The Sound of Music’ at the same time.” This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 28.

In the evening’s final proceedings, the council turned its attention to a special fees bill passed by the Undergraduate Senate on Tuesday. The bill sparked a debate about the GSC’s position toward special fees. Zachary Warma ’11, who is also the Daily editorial board chair, attended the meeting to persuade the council to vote against the bill, which would allow student groups that have received special fees in the year prior to the election to grow their budgets by 10 percent without petitioning to get on the ballot. Passing the bill would undo a measure approved by the Undergraduate Senate last year, when Warma was a senator.

“To be perfectly honest, it’s an almost 100-percent undergrad issue that this bill was trying to address,” said Krystal St. Julien, GSC funding committee chair. “Since it’s such an undergrad issue, I would just say that we should support what the Undergraduate Senate needs. If they believe that enacting this bill is the right thing to do, then that’s where I put my support.”

But eventually, seven voting members voted in favor of the bill, four voted against it and two abstained from voting. The bill did not receive the two-thirds majority required for approval by the GSC.
Contact Anna Schuessler at [email protected].

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