ASCMC Exec Board Beat: Constitutional Changes and Mid-Quad Hammock Lounge, Nov. 5


This week, ASCMC Executive Board voted to hire an additional Events Commissioner, discussed changing the ASCMC constitution to make it more transparent, and debated a funding request for a hammock lounge. The Board debriefed the “Night of the Dead” TNC that took place on Thursday, Nov. 2. Events Commissioner Andrea Amaya ‘20 was in charge of the event, which was co-hosted by Mi Gente. Amaya said that the event did not have a great turnout, which was in part due to its location in McKenna Auditorium. Despite this, Amaya favored co-hosting TNC with Mi Gente and that the Events Commissioners want to continue co-hosting events with clubs in the future.

President Pro Tempore Thomas Schalke ‘18 introduced a motion to hire an additional Events Commissioner, bringing the total to 5. He clarified that this change, according to the ASCMC Constitution, will only be for the current semester. The Board voted 9-0 to allow for the hiring of two new Events Commissioners. Schalke also updated the Board that ASCMC has hired seven security staff for events.

The Board debated between two proposed wordings of a Constitution clause that makes email chains public. Schalke projected the changes he had written regarding ASCMC transparency for everyone to see. His proposal stated that pertinent emails should be made public to students at the discretion of the President Pro Tempore and the request of students. CMC Senator Dina Rosin ‘20 also wrote a proposal for the changes. Rosin emphasized that the difference between her phrasing and Schalke’s was its approach to transparency. She clarified that Schalke’s phrasing makes it difficult for students to know what to request; Rosin said that there should be a “presumption that [all communications] not [marked] ‘closed’ are ‘open.’” Sophomore Class President Bryan Carlen ‘20 echoed these sentiments, saying that “everything should be presumed public for the sake of professionalism.”

After lots of discussion, the Board members agreed that, in its commitment to properly ensure transparency, they were not yet ready to vote and will bring the issue up again next week. Biniyam Asnake ‘20 and Executive Vice President Patrick Elliott ‘19 presented a funding request of $3,500 for a hammock lounge in Mid Quad. He explained that students have been using hammocks all over campus in dangerous locations, which forces Resident Assistants and Story House to reprimand them. If the Board splits the $4,950 cost with Senate, it would give students a safe place to use hammocks.

ASCMC Chief Financial Officer Whit Lippincott ‘19 said that this would not be a smart financial decision for the Board at this time. Asnake explained that both the Dean of Students and the Board of Trustees support the plan. The Board asked Asnake about the cost of maintenance, durability, and cost flexibility of the structure. At the request of the Board members, Asnake agreed to return next week with more information, when they will further discuss the issue.

During Open Forum, Lippincott asked the Board for $164 to buy a new printer for check stipends. The Board voted 8-0 in favor of the request, with Lippincott abstaining.