Council Clippings

This edition of Council Clippings covers the UHR and GSS meetings from Feb. 3, 2009.

Mars Society

The Mars Society requested funding to help build a rover and enter it into the Mars Society International University Rover Challenge held at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah.

The bill originally asked for $4121.84 to pay for parts, travel expenses for eight members and registration fees.

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) asked that the rover parts be paid for with the capital outlay budget, the travel expenses be reduced and the cost for hotel rooms be removed from the bill.

Both the UHR and the GSS incorporated the JFC recommendations into their versions of the bill.

The Mars Society submitted their bill last November, and through an error in the SGA billing system, their bill ended up being lost for the entire fall semester. Recognizing this error, the bill was quickly brought up into the early sessions of the SGA.

Several members of the SGA apologized to the members of the Mars Society for the billing error.

The final total of the bill came out to $3594. The GSS passed the bill 24-2-0 and the UHR passed the bill, with little discussion, 32-1-0.

Condemnation of the AA

Members of the UHR debated on whether to pass a resolution that would call out the Athletic Association for its handling of its broadcasting situation with WREK radio.

Supporters for the resolution argued that although the Athletic Association acted rightfully in its desire to obtain a station to replace WREK’s broadcasts of football and men’s basketball games, they did not provide WREK with fair warning about this change in direction.

The result of losing the Athletic Associations business, WREK lost around $30,000 or about a third of its budget.

Some representatives defended the right of the Athletic Association to make business deals that suited their own interests and added that WREK should have realized the risks of its contract situation.

The debate in the room went on for several minutes, with arguments revolving around whether the Athletic Association demonstrated ethical business standards.

In the end, the UHR passed the resolution, voting 16-9-6.

Black Leadership Conference

The African American Student Union (AASU) put forth a bill requesting money to help fund their annual Black Leadership Conference.

The sixth annual conference would feature prominent Princeton professor Cornel West. AASU expects their highest attendance ever, exceeding their normal numbers of 250 to 500 registered guests. AASU representatives also mentioned that the conference ha garnered financial support other Tech organizations and outside corporations.

In the GSS, the bill was passed 22-3-0. In the UHR, with no discussion on the issue, the bill was passed 30-2-0.