In order for the Associated Students of Madison and its various committees to play an integral part in representing the student body, attendance is key, and most committees reflect that, according to records obtained by The Badger Herald.
According to the records of four key committees — Student Council, Student Activity Center Governing Board, Student Services Finance Committee and Finance Committee — for the fall 2009 semester, the committees all posted attendance records of more than 65 percent, with some committees doing better than others.
SSFC currently has an attendance policy in which after five unexcused absences the representative is automatically kicked off.
According to the records, no current member had more than five absences out of the 27 total meetings from Sept. 3 to the end of the semester.
While there were many excused absences, there were only seven unexcused absences among SSFC members, excluding former Rep. Kyle Szarzynski.
Szarzynski strung together five unexcused absences, activating the rule that automatically removed him from his seat.
Of special note are seven members who joined the committee later in the semester. While Rep. Coffey Zhang had two unexcused absences, the rest had near perfect attendance, with only one person having an excused absence.
The attendance of SSFC is also the most chaotic out of the large committees. With multiple members resigning, having their term expire or being kicked off in the middle of the semester, the attendance record is not as straightforward as other committees’.
SSFC Chair Brandon Williams said the committee has strict standards for missing meetings, and overall he has been happy with the representatives’ attendance.
He added though there are some people who are on the threshold being kicked off for five unexcused absences — mainly Rep. Jake Burow who currently has four unexcused absences — many committee members have posted great attendance records.
In addition, SSFC saw three resignations: former Chair Carl Fergus, current Student Activity Governing Board Chair Katy Ziebell and Rep. Ashleigh Michael.
All told, SACGB had an attendance record of 81 percent.
The committee consists of 14 members and it takes attendance at the beginning and the end of every meeting, not differentiating between excused and unexcused absences.
According to records, SACGB had 148 instances of a member being present to 34 total absences, with three members resigning toward the end of last semester. There was only a difference of one absence in attendance tallies taken at the end of the meetings.
Four committee members had perfect attendance records, including Rep. Carl Fergus before his resignation, Rep. Andrea Nichols, current Chair Katy Ziebell andVice Chair. Brianna Barth.
With an attendance record of 74 percent, Finance Chair Matt Beemsterboer, who held a perfect attendance record, said he was satisfied with his committee’s attendance, calling it “overall pretty good.”
The smaller Finance Committee had six members at the start of the semester, picking up another in November. Starting from Aug. 22, the committee met 15 times. During that time, 70 “presents” were counted in roll call, while 24 absences were registered; only two of the absences were unexcused.
“Just about every committee member makes an effort (to come to the meetings), and the only time they can’t make it is for conflicts — usually class,” Beemsterboer said.
Student Council, the main legislative body of ASM, had an attendance record of 66 percent, with excused absences or leave of absences accounting for 54 percent of the absences.
Attendance records for the opening roll call had 220 instances of a member attending the meeting and 112 absences. Of those absences, 60 can be attributed to either excused absences or a leave of absence.
Seven members maintained perfect attendance records on Student Council for the fall semester, including Rep. Jamie Bemis, Secretary Kurt Gosselin, Legislative Affairs Chair Adam Johnson, Rep. Maxwell Love, Rep. Erik Paulson, Vice Chair Tom Templeton, Rep. Matt Tobelmann, Rep. Matt Beemsterboer, Rep. Theo Sharpe and Rep. Jonah Zinn.
As some Student Council meetings are prone to be long, a number of meetings held more than one attendance tally, as it needed to be determined if enough members were present for quorum. Every meeting also held a closing tally, determining how many people were present at the end of the meeting.
There were only minor differences in the tallies of most of the quorum and closing tallies.
ASM Chair Tyler Junger said overall the attendance of the committee has been good, and of all of the meetings held last semester only 45 minutes of meeting time were delayed due to lack of quorum, which is the number of members necessary to conduct committee business.
Junger said the attendance last semester has been an improvement from the previous year.
“Overall, I think the Student Council has done a good job of representing the students,” Junger said. “There have been a few members who have had problems and I hope they know that.”