ASCMC Senate Beat: February 22, 2016

After a hiatus last week, students debated and voted on a funding request, a budget update, and a proposed smoke-free policy at the ASCMC Senate meeting Monday night. ASCMC's funding committee, Administrative Affairs and Appropriations (AAA), presented a $200 funding request from students in a Pitzer Asian-American Studies Course to buy supplies for Zinefest, an event organized to create and distribute mini magazines that focus on social justice and art. The class, called Zines, Creativity, and Community, plans to hold the event Saturday, April 16 in the village. After discussing a realistic expected CMC student turnout, the Senate unanimously voted to fund the request in full under the condition that the event be marketed on CMC's campus by hosting a table outside Collins and reaching out to Asian Pacific American Mentors (APAM).

President Pro-Tempore Michael Irvine '16 then proposed a change in the budget regarding the ASCMC spring party, McKenna Palooza. Vice President of Student Activities Christine Horne '17 suggested the event as a change from a ticketed, evening EDM concert to a free day-long music festival with a few headlining artists. The Dean of Students expressed willingness to pay for it. The initial budget estimated a revenue of $10,000 for the EDM event and expenses of $15,000, and the proposed budget zeroed the estimated revenue due to lack of tickets and lowered expenses to $10,000 if the College helps pay for it. The $5,000 difference would come from ASCMC's budget. The proposed changes to the budget passed unanimously. McKenna Palooza will likely be held Saturday, April 2.

Following the budget proposal, Alec Lopata '19 proposed a smoke-free campus policy. Pulling up a model policy from Americans for Non-Smokers' Rights, Lopata asked Senate to either endorse and recommend it to the administration or forward it to Campus Improvements Committee to investigate further. A discussion ensued regarding the necessity of a smoke-free campus due to second-hand smoke concerns, the practicality of enforcing such a policy, and the effect of endorsing this. Lopata and others advocated a policy to address concern over the health hazards presented by second-hand smoke and suggested that this could act as encouragement for current smokers to quit. Other senators countered that enforcing a smoke-free campus was unrealistic and unnecessary. Senators debated whether or not this policy would be enough to bring people out of the habit of smoking, and if creating certain designated smoking zones on campus might work better to address second-hand smoke concerns. In the end, a motion passed to forward the proposal to the Campus Improvements Committee.

In other updates, ASCMC is preparing for its upcoming elections, which will be held a week from today, by finalizing a handbook of all the appointed positions that will be available. Open Senate committee spots were also announced. Additionally, a survey about how to spend the $30,000 surplus in budget will be sent to the student body today. Regarding the non-compliance with California non-profit law, the ASCMC Executive Board passed an amendment Sunday night but is still waiting to consult a lawyer before finalizing the changes.