During last night’s two-and-a-half-hour meeting, the Associated Students Legislative Council discussed buying laptops for A.S. members.
The council talked about the A.S. goal of going completely wireless by buying mini Dell laptops to be shared by Finance Board and Legislative Council members during their weekly meetings.
On-Campus Representative Ashley Day said it would be careless of A.S. to spend student money on laptops during the current economic crisis.
“We’re sitting here and debating the administrative tax,” Day said. “So how do you feel that spending student money on mini laptops will be a good use of student fees?”
However, A.S. President J.P. Primeau said the laptops would save them money in the long run. According to Primeau, it would take 10 laptops at $300 a piece to break even with the cost of paper copies made during the year.
“Paper copies cost $4,000 a year for Leg Council and Finance Board,” Primeau said. “This would alleviate the need for large Finance Board agenda packets. The laptops will cost $3,000 this year, but will save us money next year and the year after. If you guys see that this will cause you to be less effective, even if it does save us money, it will not be worth it because our goal is to increase efficiency.”
Primeau also said the Finance Board and Legislative Council chairs would have the liberty to control the sites the board members visit to make sure that laptops are not used for social networking or homework purposes.
Primeau brought in a sample laptop for one of the board members to use for a week and to report back to the council on whether or not it was effective at increasing productivity, but it died during the meeting because it would not charge.
Additionally, council members discussed the implementation of an environmental GE requirement.
According to Representative-at-Large Faris Shalan, the Undergraduate Council passed the resolution last year, but has not yet instituted the new GE. Shalan said the GE would fall under special subjects – not in general areas – and would only apply to incoming freshmen.
“We’re pushing the Academic Senate to look at the GE requirement and provide a list of classes that would fulfill the requirement, but not implement it yet,” Shalan said.
Representative-at-Large Paula Reever said the GE was unpopular among council members last year because it added yet another load to students’ already hectic lives.
“One of the big reasons people were opposed to this last year was because of the [Minimum Cumulative Progress],” Reever said. “We have more undergraduate requirements than any other UC or state school. I don’t want to call it a burden, but it’s yet another thing to fulfill.”
The council also re-tabled a bill to create an A.S. Commission on Student Well-Being, which would focus on mental health issues on campus.
Some council members questioned the motive of Active Minds, a mental health group on campus, for joining A.S.
Off-Campus Representative Topher Kindell said he approached the group to join A.S. so they could not possibly be joining with the intention of spending A.S. money.
“Active Minds didn’t come to A.S. asking us to be a [Board, Committee and Commission],” Kindell said. “I went to them for help because they have knowledge of mental health.”
Day said she was worried organizations already exist that serve the same purpose as the A.S. Commission on Student Well-Being.
“I do have a concern that it will overlap with the services already provided,” Day said. “What is it going to do extra?”
Reever, on the other hand, said the new organization would aim to reduce mental health problems and not react to them like other student organizations currently do.
“The only other group on campus that has similarities to this is Active Minds,” Reever said. “Active Minds reacts to people and situations on campus. The Commission on Student Well-Being will be proactive and prevent things from happening in the first place. … With such high rates of people with anorexia and bulimia on campus, more than any other campus, we can educate and help the students who have these problems.”