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Senate Meeting Minutes

 

Minutes ASWNMU SENATE MEETING
(Recording of Meeting Tape 10A-10B)
March 20, 2001

I. Call to Order The meeting was called to order by Vice President Denton at 7:05 a.m.
   
II. Pledge of Allegiance
   
III. Roll Call Senator Amavizca, Castillo, Crosley, Gomez, Guevara, Kenny, Klell, Magnusson, Romano, Rutherford, Scott, Preston, Talimatasi, Urquijo were present for the Senate.
   
IV. Approval of Agenda Senator Urquijo moved to accept the agenda. Senator Preston seconded. Motion carried 14-0.
   
V. Approval of the Minutes Senator Crosley moved to accept the minutes of March 6, 2001. Senator Talimatasi seconded. Motion carried 14-0.
   
VI. Executive Council Reports
  A. President Murguia informed the Senate that the coarse for the great race has been set. A dinner and dance is also being planned for that week. Ideas for a menu are needed. Those with suggestions or ideas are encouraged to see him. He also informed everyone that a king and queen competition is also being planned. The fees committee met on Wednesday March 19th. Unanimous changes were made on the allocation of student fees (see attached). Finally, an Election committee has been formed. Elections will be held on the week of April 16th. This concluded his report.
  B. Vice President Denton Vice President Denton asked the Senators to find out when their committees were meeting. She asked that they fill out the proper paper work so that they may present the information to the Senate. This concluded her report.
  C. Secretary Zuniga Secretary Zuniga informed the Senate that the money that was allocated to her would not be used. She stated that because of other duties, she would not be able to make an ASWNMU newsletter as planned. This concluded her report.
  D. Treasurer Bocanegra Treasurer Bocanegra informed the Senate that the current budget is $6,901.00. This concluded his report
  E. Attorney General Hazlett Attorney General Hazlett reminded the Senators that the profile deadline has been reached and that all profiles were received. He informed the Senate that more standing rules were in progress. This concluded his report.
  F. Governmental Affairs Director Luna Governmental Affairs Director Luna informed the Senate of the events that took place at the lobbying session in Santa Fe. They were able to speak to Representative Taylor who is trying to get WNMU on a wish list. No money has been received yet due to vetoes from the governor. The New Mexico governor is aiming for a tax cut while the legislators are not going for it. As of now things are at a standstill. This concluded his report.
  G. Senate Reports Senator Guevara informed on the Great Race. She stated that people were needed to help out during the Great Race. Sharon Zuniga informed the Senate that the CDC was remodeling and a place was needed to house the children next semester. Those with ideas should contact Chris Casey.
   
VII. Old Business
  A. Summer Sessions Dr. Farren was present to explain the changes to summer sessions. Dr. Farren explained that the change from two summer session to one would make things easier. He explained that instead of two registrations there would now only be one with multiple sessions. The changes also allowed some to take classes Monday through Thursday with a three-day weekend. Changes in financial aid regulations were also taken into account when considering the change. In order to get financial aid one must carry 6 hours per session, which for some is difficult due to a time restraint. This change to one summer session would allow for students to extend their six hours throughout the summer school schedule. If students sign up for 6 credit hours then they are entitled to receive financial aid. However, because of the change in fiscal years, the upcoming summer session is counted as part of this year. Therefore, if those who received financial aid in August have already exhausted their Pell Grants or loans then they can not apply for financial aid again until next fiscal year. Those students who have exhausted their funds were notified through mail. He concluded by saying that the reason for the change was in respond to students' request of a more flexible schedule. Discussion: Dennis Luna inquired on why the students were not notified at an earlier date in order to allow them to plan for the summer session. He pointed out that the Financial Aid office hadn't even been notified until February. He expressed his concern that the students were not given an option on how to divide their money to cover summer sessions therefore, many will be left without any financial aid. He also informed everyone that teachers had been reluctant to turn in their schedules because they too were unhappy with the changes. Finally, he stated that the students had a right to know of these changes. Dr. Farren replied that Financial Aid changes would not greatly affect students and for the most part it would work out similar to past years. He reminded everyone that Financial Aid was not the only thing that changed but also federal regulations are different. This, among other things, lead to the change. Dr. Farren stated that the faculty was given the choice on how to schedule their classes. He also said that students were asked in previous years on whether they would like to set money aside for summer sessions and that most students turned this down. Student Lupe Cano inquired about the long hours that classes would have to run and the strain it would cause on both teachers and students. Dr. Farren responded that in his opinion teachers were pretty conscientious about this and that strenuous classes would not be scheduled for long hours. Lupe Cano asked about the interlibrary loans and the fact that material usually takes about four weeks to arrive. This affects grad students who need this material for their class papers. This would present a problem since some session would run shorter than this. Dr. Farren informed everyone that other options were available. For one, he suggested the use of the Internet. He said that today most research journals are available online and encouraged everyone to use them. He also suggested the use of libraries around Silver City, like that of Las Cruces or Albuquerque. Lupe Cano inquired about what students were asked if they wanted to divide their money in order to pay for summer school. Dr. Farren replied that those students who expressed their interest in attending summer school on their financial aid application were notified. Mr. Kelly also confirmed that those who planned to attend summer school were given the option to split their money to cover their schooling. He expressed the fact that now students were given the option to take only 6 credit hours with one summer session to qualify for financial aid. He explained that this change does mean that there will be no summer Pell Grants but work-study will still be available. Zeke Hazlett commented that the federal regulation changes were not final as of yet. He mentioned that the interlibrary loans were of great concern to many. Mr. Hazlett stated to everyone that here in Western New Mexico University students were at the starving end of the information food chain. He pointed out that the Administration was aware of the upcoming changes and inquired on why the students were not notified. This problem could have been avoided if only the administration would seek student input. Mr. Hazlett reminded everyone that we the students are the source of money here at WNMU, therefore the students should come first. Dennis Luna stated that the change in financial aid would greatly affect athletes that depend on summer sessions to keep them eligible to play sports. He reminded everyone that this change would mean a smaller budget to work from, therefore the students will be affected. Mr. Kelly confirmed that students would be affected by the change. Mr. Luna also stated that tuition was going up. He informed everyone that teachers were given the option on how to schedule their classes, which may cause some classes to conflict. Dr. Farren stated that the faculty chose their schedules according to what would benefit and retract more students. Second, he expressed that he felt the faculty would not intentionally jeopardize a student's education with unfair schedules. Next, he stated that all schedules had to be approved by both the chairman and the Vice President. Finally, Dr. Farren stated that the option was given to the faculty in order to give the students maximum flexibility in scheduling. Student Lupe Cano stated that she, as a faculty member's daughter, knows that not all the faculty was aware of the changes being made. Dr. Farren responded that the date of the memo sent to the faculty was dated in October. Senator Urquijo stated that he did not understand how the students' benefits would increase with the summer scheduling changes. Dr. Farren responded that the new schedule would maximize the time at which classes could be taken. Senator Crosley inquired on whether the new schedules would have conflicting classes and how this would affect graduate students. Dr. Farren responded that he was unable to answer that question at the time because the summer schedules would not be completed until the beginning of April. He said that if there are classes conflicting, then the old schedule will be used. Senator Crosley inquired on why the students were not told about the changes. Dr. Farren stated that one of the reasons was the long time it took to get the information requested back from the faculty. Dennis Luna pointed out that the administration had since October to inform the students about the changes. This gave them five months. Mr. Luna stated that the reason the faculty took so long in responding was because they were unhappy with the changes. Dr. Farren responded that the faculty was given the option on how to schedule their classes. Mr. Luna stated that the students should have been the first to be informed because they are more important than both the administration and the faculty. He felt that the new schedule would hurt the students. He said that Dr. Counts said himself, "if something doesn't work then don't use it." Finally, Mr. Luna expressed that many students felt that this system will not work. Dr. Farren responded that if the new schedule does hurt the students, then it would not be used. 8:00 a.m. - At this point Vice President Denton called a five-minute recess. Back or order at 8:05 a.m. Pro Tempore Preston moved to recess until this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. due to lack of time. Senator Urquijo seconded. Motion carried 14-0. President Murguia asked that we discuss New Business B. in order to present it to the Board of Regents this morning at 9:30 a.m.
   
VIII. New Business
  B. Fees - President Murguia President Murguia informed the senators that the Fees committee met the previous night to discuss changes in the allocation of student fees. Student Fees have been cut by $15.25. The athletic department received an increased from $22.00 to $23.50. Student Health Services received an increase from $19.50 to $25.00. Student Government increased from $13.50 to $15.50. Band received an increase from $6.50 to $7.00. Drama received an increase from $3.00 to $3.25. This leaves student fees to a total of $325.25. A new one-time fee was made of $5.00 to Special Needs in order to help them buy new equipment. Senator Urquijo moved to approve a one-time fee for Special Needs of $5.00. Senator Guevara seconded. Motion carried 14-0. Senator Rutherford inquired about how the increases were decided. President Murguia replied that those who asked for an increase were given top priority. Pro-Tempore Preston moved to approve the changes done to student fees. Senator Kenny seconded. Motion carried 14-0.
   
  Recess called at 8:25 a.m.
   
  Back to order by Vice President Denton at 4:35 p.m.
   
  Dr. Farren apologized for not involving the student in the summer session changes. Dr. Farren said that, although some student's financial aid would be affected, he favored one registration with 6 credit hours instead of two registrations with 6 hours each. He assured everyone that work-study money would be available. Those who are concerned about paying for summer school are encouraged to speak with Mr. Kelly in order to work their case out. Dr. Farren gave each of the senators a banner copy of the summer schedules. He stated that regular schedules would be available at the beginning of April. Senator Scott inquired about how students would be informed about the changes to the summer schedules and the options that they have. Dr. Farren stated that flyers would be posted. He is also asking the faculty to announce the information to their classes. He also asked ASWNMU to speak to students. Vice President Denton informed the Senate that a committee would be formed to look into the issue of summer schedules. The committee will consist of President Murguia, Vice President Denton, Floor Leader Gomez, and Senator Urquijo. Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to speak with any of these committee members. Dr. Counts and Dr. Farren will hear their final recommendation.
   
  New Business.
  A. Club Recognitons
  1. Art Club - Senator Talimatasi moved to recognize the Art Club. Senator Castillo seconded. Motion carried 14-0.
  B. Election Committee President Murguia expressed the importance of setting up the election rules for the upcoming elections. An Election Committee has been formed. Those on the committee are himself, Senator Crosley, Antonio McGowan, and John Stanton. Applications and flyers are being worked on. Senator Urquijo moved to accept the four members of the committee. Pro Tempore Preston seconded. Motion carried 14-0.
   
IX. Announcements
  Secretary Zuniga announced that volunteers are need to help plan activities for the kids of Grant County during the summer. This can be used towards student community service hours. Pro-Tempore Preston announced that there will be a Senate Caucus on Wednesday March 28th at 8:30 p.m. Judith Lawrence, Associate Vice President of Academic affairs asked those who had questions on the schedules given to the Senators to see her. Vice President Denton informed the Senate that the next meeting would be held April 3rd, 2001 at 7:00 a.m.
   
X. Adjournment Senator Talimatasi moved to adjourn at 4:50 a.m. Senator Guevara seconded. Motion carried 13-0. Minutes
   
   

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