ASM Constitution has a blog

September 25, 2008

The ASM Constitutional Committee has established a blog to help facilitate feedback and despurse documents related to the proposed constitutional changes. 

Make sure to check it out and contribute.

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Wisconsin- falling behind in Higher Ed

September 24, 2008

It is not a secret that recent cuts by the state legislature over the course of the last decade has significantly gutted the UW-System.  The precipitous decline in state funding remains a contributing factor to Wisconsin’s low faculty pay and faculty flight: The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The Wisconsin State Journal reported today that indeed, the State of Wisconsin is far behind the curve when it provides funding for our UW-System. 

State spending on the System has remained about the same since the beginning of this decade, at around $1 billion.

But in “real” dollars, adjusted for inflation, spending has decreased since 2000, according to the report.

The largely ad hominen attacks which have been exchanged between System/ University Administration and the State Legislature have only served to exacerbate the situation.  I feel like the situation has escalated to a power struggle, where the State Legislature is dangling funding over the university as a tool to punish them for their “liberal indoctrination.”

Meanwhile, support for public education is waning, faculty pay is not keeping up with inflation, and the quality of our education is put at risk.

[Edit- BH article in today’s paper]

ASM Releases Constitution Draft

September 23, 2008

Yesterday, ASM released a draft of their new Constitution:

Here is the proposed set up-

Here are some highlights from the document:

SECTION 2: POWERS & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EXECUTIVE

Subsection 2(a): The Executive shall oversee the administration and execution of government directives established through law and executive orders.

Subsection 2(b): The Executive shall represent the Student Government in official capacity to the ASM, university administration, the state legislature and the public.

Subsection 2(c): The Executive shall maintain records of executive functions.

Subsection 2(d): The Executive shall establish a mechanism to communicate to the media, student body and the public.

SECTION 2: POWERS & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SENATE

Subsection 2(a): All Senators are granted one (1) vote in the Senate.

Subsection 2(b): The Senate shall provide directive to the ASM through legislation pursuant to Section 5.

Subsection 2(c): The Senate shall establish bylaws, pursuant to Section 6, in order to define all structural questions of the student government, not established in the Constitution.

Subsection 2(d): The Senate shall appoint members of ASM to all appointment, unless designated to the Executive branch in § V.1(b).

Subsection 2(e): The Senate may establish Rules of Procedure to govern internal operations. Rules of Procedure cannot contradict the ASM Constitution and Bylaws.

Subsection 2(f): The Senate may pass non-binding resolutions with a majority vote establishing an opinion of the Senate.

Subsection 2(g): The Senate shall appoint a Speaker to preside over Senate meetings, represents the Senate on official matters, and to perform any other duties established in the Bylaws.

Subsection 2(h): The Senate shall maintain records of all legislative procedures.

Subsection 2(i): The Senate shall ensure communication to the student body. Each Senator shall represent and communicate with their constituents.

Subsection 2(j): Senators may not hold another formal position established in the ASM Bylaws or Constitution, in another branch of the Student Government. The Senate Speaker and Committee Chairs may not hold any position, formal or informal, in another branch of the Student Government.

Click here for a copy of the full document.

“Wisconsin Lounge” To Start….

September 19, 2008

Following the example from current State Treasurer Dawn Sass, the “Wisconsin Lounge” will now be officially declaring days in honor of something. In fact we are proud to declare September 23rd will be Jack Voight Day in honor of Wisconsin’s former State Treasurer. According to “The Lounge” – We are Proud to make a day commemorating a person who stood up for the integrity of his office and fought to keep it independent and responsible to the voters of this great state.

Jack Voight Day

Jack Voight Day

For more information on the great Jack Voight.

“Wisconsin Lounge” will be hosting festivities beginning at 10 am.

ASM Branding

September 18, 2008

The blog, Letters in a Bottle, made the observation that in an earlier post by the Wisconsin Lounge, ASM was referred to as Student Government. Given the changes that facing ASM in the near future, this observation was very apt.

In fact, currently ASM is working on reframing how students student think about the organization. This has been evident in a number of the recent emails that have come from ASM.

For example:

An email about open seats on ASM:

Your Student Government Involvement Opportunities

(Email sent 9/3/08)

or

Are you interested in getting involved in one of the most powerful student governments in the country?

Join the Associated Students of Madison, the official student government of UW-Madison, for their Kickoff event…

(Email sent on 9/15/08)

There were some complaints in ASM a few weeks ago when an email was sent out concerning the bookswap and did not provide any information on what ASM stood for

ASM is trying to re-brand themselves as the student government. While the name will not change with the new constitution, there will certainly be many more references to the Student Government of the Associated Students of Madison.
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After the botched coup 3 years ago, it was hard to call ASM- Student Government. However, the transitory nature of campus has allowed ASM to try to move away from its ambiguous acronym and move towards a label which plainly states what the organization is.

A couple observations from today’s paper

September 18, 2008

There are a couple interesting things to note in today’s paper.

The first is the absence in either paper of the ASM Kickoff.  Last night ASM held their fall kickoff with over 160 people.  This would have been a great opportunity for ASM’s Press Office to jump into action.  They could have met with the press and have a great picture of 3650 Humanities filled with students interested in Student Government.  However, it seems that ASM, true to form, dropped the ball.  This is just another example of ASM’s failure to capitalize on positive events and to avoid negative coverage.  There has yet to be any images in the press that replaces the image of the empty State of ASM address.

Second, there has been a several recent articles in both the BH and DC concerning veteran’s services on campus.  As you may know, Vets for Vets was denied GSSF eligibility last week. It was deemed that their service of Veteran’s benefit counseling was not aimed at reaching all UW Students.  Since that point, there has been several articles discussing the university’s efforts to increase services to veterans: “Veteran Affairs works to reach young soldiers”, “New assistant dean to aid veterans”, and “Campus officials seek to improve student veteran academic services

It seems that if funding is going to be a contentious issue between the University and Vets for Vets, the university is taking preemptive measures to wage this one in the press.

Stop Complaining about Delgado

September 14, 2008

Recently, there has been an outcry in the campus media calling for the resignation of Senior Class Officer/ Cat-thief Oliver Delgado.  If this was a position of any importance, I would be prone to agree with this sentiment. However, Senior Class Officers are completely powerless positions with virtually no influence on the campus.  

First, the only difference between the Senior Class president and any other Senior Class officer position is strictly nominal.  In terms of responsibilities all the officers are essentially the same.  These positions are essentially ceremonial.  The only responsibility of Senior Class Officers is composing a list of potential commencement speakers.  However, it is the Secretary of the Faculty who actually finds the speaker. Given that there is no honorarium for the speaker, the commencement address is usually delivered by someone near the bottom of the list. 

The Senior Class President controls no money, they have no power over campus affairs, and are not expected to speak for the students.  If Oliver Delgado made any difference I would be joining the chorus demanding his resignation, but as it stands, the issue is not worth the time I invested in this post.

Are you surprised we returned? We are.

September 13, 2008

Welcome to the 2008-2009 school year. For many of us at WI Lounge, this promises to be our last years at this great University. But before we leave our college careers behind, we still have one more year to use this blog as a soap box. We are all returning from various summer endeavors varying from Park Rangers to Interns for the Governor…or Jeff Smith.

The staff of this blog will bring a variety of past experiences and inside knowledge regarding this university and local government. Our staff includes the current Chair of Madison’s student government, former Chair of Student Services of Finance Committee, current leader of the Committee on Student Organizations, student activists, four Badger Herald columnists (zero daily cardinal writers), and various members of the Constitutional Committee.

Over the course of our last year here we will try to keep you informed with the inner workings of the bureaucratic beasts of Madison’s student government, the University itself, and local government. No doubt along with informing you will be useless observations and angry diatribes from our staff.

All of our posts will be anonymous to allow us to hide behind ambiguity.

We will respond to bribes and if you would like a story done just sent us an email to WILounge@gmail.com.

P.S. Typos are just part of the fun.

SUMMER HIATUS FOR THE WI LOUNGE

June 8, 2008

Until the new academic year or important event “The Wisconsin Lounge” is on summer hiatus.

Cheers.

Update on SigEp fire

May 13, 2008

We stopped back at the scene of the fire a little after 3 a.m.  It appears that things have calmed down.  There were some cops eating a pizza off the hood of a squad car and firefighters starting to put the hoses away.  

They have cordoned off the area with yellow tape, so we were unable to get too near, but from our vantage point we could tell that the building was at least still standing.  There was also considerably less smoke.  

I snapped a couple pictures.  The quality is still bad.  All they really show is that the area was cleared and that they had begun to clean up the scene.