Tag Archives: Associated Students of Madison

Response to “Legal Deal” memo: Apologies Needed

By now many of you have probably read the NPS post about graduate school Representative Thom Duncan’s “Legal Deal” memo. If you haven’t please click the link here to read the post.

I don’t think I have ever been more offended in my 4 years of service within ASM. Not only does he personally attack trusted friends and colleagues (Matt Manes, Brandon Williams, Sarah Neibart, Tyler Junger) he also bashes my entire constituency. (the students of Letters and Sciences)

In the document Duncan reveals why he has reservations regarding the creation of a Student Legal Service Center for all students at UW Madison:

 “Possible question one subquestion could be: were you fuckin’ wasted and did something adolescent?  Were you subject to your unchecked testosterone induced rage or lust and act inappropriate?  Will no one bail you out, again?  Did you trash the shit out of your apartment and expect someone else to clean up for you?

Are we really sinking this kind of cash in for 19 year olds who can’t handle their liquor or can’t present themselves relatively decent in public?”

As a representative of undergrads in L&S I have never and will never think of my constituency as ‘adolescent’ or having ‘uncheck testosterone induced rage or lust’.  The students of Letters and Science are the backbone of this institution and to belittle them and to deny them legal services are actions unbecoming of an elected representative.

On behalf of the students of the College of Letters and Sciences I am asking for Duncan’s full and sympatric apology immediately to the undergraduate students he offended. Additionally an apology is due to my colleagues, Manes, Williams, Neibart and Junger. Their service to the students of ASM has been unparalleled. As it was noted at NPS their combined service includes but is not limited to 3 SSFC Chairs, 2 SSFC Secretaries and 2 ASM Chairs.

On an aside, Duncan states  “I have serious reservations about this “service,”  because of its vague nature at this point, and I’d argue that we should employ stall tactic”.

Here you will find a link to the 51 page document outlining the plans for the Student Legal Services Center. Hope it’s not to ‘vague’


Oh Hey you Can’t do This Either…

Another piece of legislation being introduced at tonight’s council meeting is a motion to rescind ASM’s endorsement of The New Badger Partnership. The sponsors (Representative Pan and Representative DeQuattro) have issues with process in which the 17th session voted on this a few weeks ago. (Even though it was 100% legal)

Below is the actual language that the 17th session voted and passed. It seems as if Representative Pan and Representative DeQuattro are against the following:

“Be it resolved that, the ASM Student Council supports the proposed public authority model so long as it:

  • Maintains Shared Governance as articulated in 36.09(5), including control over the disposition of student fees and the right to organize as students see fit.
  • Includes 2 students on the Board of Trustees.
  • Maintains cost to continue for UW Madison
  • Supports an increase in need based financial aid.
  • Supports fairness in hiring and pay equity, unequivocally supports academic freedom, ensures fairness in agreements with private entities”

What’s more is that 18th session CAN’T do this. What this legislation is essentially looking to do is rescind someone else’s opinion. According to simple parliamentary procedure this cannot happen. Given that not everyone is as up to par with parli pro I’ll give some slack there however I’m a little baffled by the logic in what they are attempting to do. How can you rescind an opinion that you never made? Seems like a purely politically motivated action to me.

Well This Can’t be Legal…

In order to better serve my constituents and be as transparent as possible I want to post something real quick about a peice of legislation certain 18th session council members (Representative Akubeze, Representative Billeaux, Representative Magallon) are trying to slide through during finals week.

Here is the legislation entitled “Save WISPIRG” in which the above council members are looking to add $128,378.59 into ASM’s internal budget in order to fund WISPIRG in full.

At first glance this seems to me to be highly illegal and could be some of the the most blatant corruption I’ve seen in my now 4 years being involved in the organization. After being denied funding through SSFC this year and then the Student Judiciary upholding this decision, two of the three bodies in ASM have ruled on this case and I see this as skirting the entire funding process and the checks and balances of the organization to take this to council.

If this is not illegal I see two possible options of council moving forward with this.

1)  Council will have to cut $128,378.5 from the budget from other services, positions, or grant money in order to pay for WISPIRG.

2) This would have to go to SSFC and seg fees would need to be raised. (something, if I remember correctly, these individuals campaigned against)

Regardless of all of this I would like to know where the transparency and outreach was on this issue? A majority of the elected council members this session ran under the “I will Vote” slate who shared a common vision. I’m not too sure if they are holding up to their campaign promises. What’s possibly the most ironic is that only a few months ago current ASM Chair, then WISPIRG Secretary Allie Gardnar criticized ASM for not doing outreach and not being transparent on big ticket issues.

As always please post your thoughts, reactions and questions below.

Politics as Usual

It was recently brought to my attention that a blog post by Max Love had wild accusations about me conspiring with the administration against student interests. Where I’d like to say I’m surprised, I’m really not. This nothing more than politics as usual for Love, who likes to smear any possibly of a paranoia type conspiracy theory.  This has nothing to do with Chair Williams or Vice Chair Johnson. These were my actions alone and in no way is a conspiracy. Furthermore, his post is taken grossly out of context.  Yes I did say I would keep the documents ‘secret’ and in retrospect maybe that wasn’t the best word choice, however the goal with conceding this point was to at a minimum get some form of information from  the Chancellor’s office. (Compared to nothing if I had promised to spread the documents widely). Additionally, my willingness to hold these documents close reflects Martin’s desire to keep things not public because they were not ready for public consumption and she was still negotiating with Governor Walker. It’s important to note the New Badger Partnership is a working proposal so some things were not actually Martin’s policy yet.

I implore you all to read all the emails in their full context. If you do you can note a few things. Without my email to Chancellor Martin’s Chief of Staff on that date regarding this issue a few things would have never happened. Most notably:

  • An immediate meeting with Provost DeLuca, Dean of Student Lori Berquam, and Legislative Assistant to the Chancellor Don Nelson. (In which all the parties cleared the schedule for the day to meet with top ASM leadership)
  • Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell, Dean Berquam, and Don Nelson present at a student council meeting to answer questions regarding the NBP.
  • Chancellor Martin to come to the open forum on January 24th

You know, I bet it’s really easy for Max Love to lob bombs from the sidelines. After all, when he’s not being caught by Jason Smathers anonymously commenting about campus politics, he’s too busy trying to create ASM drama. His position on the outside looking in lets him avoid producing a serious alternative vision to the Badger Partnership. By not engaging in a serious debate but instead, rushing to his favorite fetish – creating paranoid theories about student government – he has taken the serious debate and poisoned the well.  I’m the Chief of Staff to the Chair of ASM. I have to navigate the political waters to get things done. But Love and company need to take a serious look at themselves. This is how far they’ve come? They don’t have a coherent intellectual framework to oppose something intended to help UW-Madison so they came up with this. Another failed political attack. Look how far it’s gotten them over the years.

I’ll stick to getting things done.

Badger Partnership: ASM Leadership on the ball

I wanted to give a quick shout out and thank you to Associated Students of Madison Chair Brandon Williams and Vice Chair Adam Johnson on their great work putting pressure on the UW administration, (most notably Chancellor Martin, Provost DeLuca, Dean of Students Lori Berquam, Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell, and Don Nelson) to release more information regarding the Badger Partnership concept. Today after weeks of talks campus officials updated the website and released the this document outlining the different state statues that affect the university in a number of ways.

The question is now, how will student council respond tonight when they take up a vote on Rep. Zinn’s poorly written legislation demanding just this? Zinn’s legislation is wrought with incorrect statements and overall shows a gross misunderstanding of the state budget process. I anxiously await for tonight. In the meantime I’m glad to have strong leaders like Williams and Johnson at the head of ASM.

Big Ten Conference Wrap Up & Conclusions

Last weekend I had the fortunate opportunity of attending the Association of Big Ten Students (ABTS) Summer conference at THE Ohio State University.  I learned a lot about how other Big Ten student governments are structured and how they govern.  This was Wisconsin’s first appearance in many years and the rest of the Big Ten seems quite happy that Wisconsin sent a delegation. Continue reading