Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Practice what you preach, Karns

In Hannah Karns’ article (“Time to shape up, ASM representatives,” April 9) she forgot one crucial point. The acronym ASM is wrong. It should read “RPA,” for Resume Padders Association.

The Associated Students of Madison is flawed on so many levels, however Hannah Karns — or, should I say, paid ($3,500) Chair Hannah Karns — wished not to bite the hand that feeds, but rather the people who cared. ASM can claim to have done nothing this year, absolutely nothing, unless you count spending large sums of money sating itself.

She asked to be held accountable. Well, here goes. In the job description for her position it lists one duty as, “Constantly reports to the ASM Student Council and ASM Coordinating Council and is an active participant in each body.” Where were you, Ms. Karns, for all the Student Council meetings this year? In fact, you have been absent for more meetings than me, go figure. I went to every Student Council meeting until it became obvious that Student Council ceased to exist in any meaningful capacity. I can remember you actively participating in only two meetings.

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Here is one example of the apathy of Student Council from the Dec. 5, 2007 meeting minutes: “Chair Gallagher motioned to moved (sic) the [General Student Services Fund] packet to the floor. A second was provided by Chair Soulier. Chair Soulier then moved to call the question. A second was provided by Representative Walsh.” This would have led to an immediate passage of the budget without review if I hadn’t objected. It explains the “dedication” of the Student Council to managing segregated fees, the motto of Student Council should be: “Just pass it, bill students.” Without “a little more time reviewing” — as the ever-absent Ms. Karns would put it — this was a motion to approve all student organization budgets before the committee at once, without even looking at the budget. No review, no debate, no discussion. What is the point of even meeting?

A lack of judgment pervades ASM at Student Council. Like the attendance by only seven members of Student Council at a November meeting — I was one. Once again, Ms. Karns was not present. After that, it was obvious that the leadership was ineffective and ASM is for this year, again, a failure.

Since I quit Student Council there has been no graduate student representatives on the council. I don’t know how you can call it a student council if there are no reps for 15,000 of the 40,000 students on campus. The “student council” didn’t deserve my resignation letter; it had ceased to exist last fall when the leadership failed to address the multitude of issues with ASM.

I will gladly watch as next year your “student council” slowly degrades under the incompetence of leadership, lack of structure and failure to address student issues again. Maybe you will try to get a tanning salon or tattoo parlor in the new Union South to go with the grocery store that no one asked for.

Once again, ASM is irrelevant to all issues on campus. If ASM entirely shut down there would be no net effect on students as the organization serves only itself.

If you really want to make a meaningful change in ASM, make your first motion one that places a referendum before students asking for ASM to be disbanded. That would be real change — change students could count on to make a positive impact on campus.

Brent Maddux

Graduate student

[email protected]

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