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ASUAF Recap – April 13, 2014

Kaz Alvarez / Sun Star Reporter

April 15, 2014

Senators present
Matthew Carrick, Eli Barry-Garland, Jordyn Houlton, Kemper Chabotte, Shane Poindexter, Ashley Strauch, Daniel Strigle, Sarah Walker, Lida Zakurdaew and Mickey Zakurdaew

Senators absent
Brix Hahn and Cordero Reid

Officers Absent
Michael Mancill and Ayla O’Scannell

Guests
Amber Cagwin, Robert Kinnard, Celie Hull and Jennifer Chambers

Student Code of Conduct
Amber Cagwin, the Dean of Students Office coordinator presented potential changes to the Student Code of Conduct. A self-assessment was done at the UAA campus, revealing that no the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula campuses; and the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management are reviewing the current document. Their suggestions will be compiled and sent to each school’s chancellor cabinet for approval and then the Board of Regents.

The team intends to revise the language of the document to remove the legalistic language so that it is easier for students to understand. Processes will be further clarified and additional examples of how conduct categories can be violated.

Students can view suggested revisions and submit their own suggestions at http://bit.ly/1qWcZ0d

Concerns expressed
Jennifer Chambers, a second year graduate student in Chemistry and former ASUAF senate chair, is concerned about what is going on in the state legislature in regards to funding a new power plant. The senate passed their budget with $157.5 million set aside for the project through state and university bonds. Chambers is concerned about a clause written into the bill that would place a $60 surcharge on UA students. “At the very least, it would be nice to send something out through the listserv that this could be going on to alert the students.” Chambers said. “Last thing is that it seems like, with respect to the bill, where you want to bring a guest speaker up for $1,500, it seems like it is a little irresponsible to pull out from the rollover funding.” She also requested more advertisement of candidate forums for ASUAF elections.

Student regent report
During the April 3-4 Board of Regents meeting in Kodiak, a uniform calendar has been approved for the entire UA system effective 2016. The Board of Regents also passed a resolution asking faculty to create uniform general education course expectations throughout the UA system. All general requirements should receive the same course number, description, title and goals.

Enright also reported on the status of Alaska’s capital budget. Funding passed the senate and will go before the house. The budget, as it stands, gives full funding for the UAA Engineering building, but not the UAF engineering building. $157 million in bonding has been granted with a circumstance. There will be the possibility that students can be charged a fee to pay back the bonds. This is not a mandatory section in the bill. It is partially funded in cash and partially funded by savings from having a more efficient plant. When you count on savings, nothing is guaranteed. The potential fee for students was put in to save the legislature from footing the entire bill. If a fee is implemented, it would be approximately $60 per student within the entire UA system.

For the good of the senate
Walker told the senate that Senator Begich will be visiting Rural Student Services April 16 at noon. An audio system will be set up for call ins.

New member for Coalition of Student Leaders
The floor was opened for nominations. Matthew Carrick nominated Hull. Strauch nominated Saraya Coburn. Walker nominated Vernae Angnaboogak. Hull declined her nomination. Coburn was confirmed as the new representative for UAF with 8 votes. Angnaboogak received 1 vote. Strauch abstained.

Funding for career development workshop
Senators Chabotte, Houlton, Carrick, Hahn and Lida Zakurdaew sponsored “SB 182-010 Funding to Bring a Guest Speaker to UAF for a Career Development Workshop.” The bill allocated $1,500 from senate rollover funds to bring Karen L. Kelskey Ph.D. to UAF.

Chabotte received word from the student coordinator of the event that the Graduate School committed to sponsoring the event ensuring that the majority of their expenses are paid for, with the exception of the $1,500 provided by the senate bill. Kelskey will provide workshops, a keynote lecture and a lunch event.

Chabotte yielded time to Chambers to allow comment. “I’m sure this will be a great event,” Chambers said. “But the event organizer is not sure he has the money and he already has flyers advertising the event. This is a really cool event but is it an appropriate use of rollover funds? I disagree with that as a student that has paid the ASUAF fee for seven years. I think that rollover is more appropriately used for things that have a lasting impact on campus.”

“I understand where Ms. Chambers is coming from,” Carrick said. “If we had a long lasting project there, that would be a great thing to spend money on.”

The bill passed 9-1-0. Mickey Zakurdaew was in opposition.

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