ASUAF Recap- October 9, 2012

Senators present

Will Collingwood, McKinley Zakurdaew, Virginia Miner, Nathaniel O’Connor, Matthew Dakus, Andy Chamberlain, Sarah Walker, Blake Burley, Rusty Young, Bryant Hopkins, Ayla O’Scannell, Michael Golub and Olivia Bowen

Senators absent

Charles Allison and Micheal Magnan

Officers present

Mari Freitag and Dillon Ball

Directors present

Corey Boiko, Joshua Banks and Fred Brown


Members of the UAF chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers came to support legislation that would allocate $8,000 to SAE. JR Ancheta took photos of the senate. Josh Hovis, Student Organization Coordinator of LIVE attended the meeting to give the senate insight on SAE’s budget.

To represent the students

Olivia Bowen was appointed to the senate after taking the oath of office.

Let’s switch places

O’Connor stepped down as chair of the student affairs committee due to a busy schedule. O’Connor nominated Magnan to take his place as chair of the committee. Magnan accepted the nomination via proxy. If a senator is not able to attend a meeting, they can submit a proxy sheet that includes information on how they will vote for legislation and what nominations they will accept. The senate unanimously approved the nomination.

Actually, we would like to reconsider that veto

The senate discussed overturning Freitag’s veto on “SB 179-004 Startup Funding for SAE.” Golub and Zakurdaew sponsored the legislation, which would allocate $8,000 to SAE. The club would use the money to buy parts for the projects they build for competitions. Since the club receives funding that equals $8,000, after they have competed, the $8,000 allocated by the senate would help them before they compete. Once they receive the money from their competitions, they would replenish the money in the account that ASUAF allocated to them.

The senate passed the legislation by a vote of 5-2-3. Miner and Dakus voted against the legislation. Zakurdaew and Magnan abstained. Freitag vetoed the legislation afterward. Golub presented a PowerPoint presentation detailing SAE’s budget. The senate discussed how overturning the veto would affect ASUAF’s public image. Hovis stated that allocating $8,000 to one club would not be fair since not all clubs will receive that amount of money.

ASUAF allocated enough money to SAE last semester that it covered approximately ten percent of SAE’s budget. SAE receives most of their funding through donations, scholarships and club members’ monetary support. Hovis said that SAE is currently $1,500 in debt and the club’s account has been frozen.

The senate voted on whether to overturn Mari’s veto of the legislation.  The veto was not overturned by a vote of 2-9. Chamberlain and Burley voted for the against the veto.

Um, I think that’s conflict of interest bro

During the discussion about the SAE legislation, senators discussed how Golub and Zakurdaew’s sponsorship of the legislation was conflict of interest. Golub is currently the president of SAE and Zakurdaew is a club member. Golub did not abstain from voting during the last meeting, nor did he abstain during the May 6 meeting when the legislation was voted on in the 2012 spring semester. Golub planned on voting in this meeting because he did not see how it was a conflict of interest.

Golub said the legislation would not directly benefit him. Zakurdaew abstained from voting during the last meeting when the senate voted on the legislation and also the previous legislation. Zakurdaew also planned to abstain from voting during this meeting.  Zakurdaew made a motion to remove his and Golub’s voting rights on the legislation. Chamberlain seconded the motion. The motion passed with a 6-2 vote. Collingwood and Burley voted against the legislation.

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6 Responses

  1. Andrew Sheeler says:

    Wow. You mean SAE president Michael Golub doesn’t have a conflict of interest in a bill that awards SAE $8,000? Was there enough room in senate chambers for Mr. Golub’s gall?

  2. Sophia G20 says:

    The UAF SAE team is looking to find funding for a $76,000 budget. While it can be argued that a conflict of interest could be in this case, his vote would secure funding for a project that brings innovation to a competition.. A better example of a clear conflict of interest would be a Juneau trip where one members vote would allocate approximately $3,000 for a trip for two (one being the senator whose vote was a tie breaker) on ASUAF’s dime to lobby. In Senator Golub and Zakurdaew’s instance, the conflict of interest is not so black and white. In a vote where there is no clear beneficiary, the senate uses their knowledge to discern that decision then vote or table the legislation if they do not fully reach a consensus, or until they receive more facts. SAE has past experience of entering this competition and having won last year in an overwhelming majority brought prestige to UAF and attention from the international community. Furthermore, we intend to replenish the $8,000 because the very same competition awards money to the winning team. While it may be irritating to discern truth from hearsay, SAE will continue to find funding. Perhaps the dismissive audience and silent senators lack the panache and dialog of a senate with a backbone?

  3. Ryan says:

    Since when does a journalist highlight their own opinion in an article, bro?

  4. Andrew Sheeler says:

    I don’t care if SAE has won the bloody Nobel prize, it’s a blatant conflict of interest and Golub should’ve recused himself. Juneau lobbying trip strawmans notwithstanding.
    This is nothing more than attempting to use the ends to justify the means.
    And what if SAE doesn’t win? There’s money well spent.

  5. Andrew Sheeler says:

    Excuse me, I meant “strawman.”
    As in, “Sophia G20 deployed a strawman about the the ethics of voting for a Juneau lobbying trip to deflect the rightful blame placed on Sen. Michael Golub for voting on a blatant conflict of interest.”

  6. sheelermanspeaksthetruth says:

    Sheelerman speaks the truth.

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