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Nap Time!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Well spent

What does the ASUC Senate do with our money?
Ms. Duong said she wanted to wish Sen. Wu a happy birthday.

Mr. Rhoads said he just wanted to say that he was glad to see everybody that evening, and to say that he was happy.
I hope there's a really funny joke behind this.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 11/27/2007 07:16:00 PM #
Comments (11)
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That has nothing to do with what the ASUC Senate does with our money. That has to do with what they do with their time.
The quote doesn't come from a charity transcript.
would the transcript cost less if they didnt make that comment?
This particular comment, no. But the hundreds of such comments add up to a significant amount of time, and yes, the longer the meetings go, the more the transcripts cost.

If you feel that the appropriate thing for the Senate to do during its Senate meetings, ostensibly designed to allow the Senate to conduct official business regarding the ASUC and to represent student interests is to sit around wishing each other happy birthday or noting that they are happy, then I suppose I can't argue with you. But the ASUC Senate meetings are not free. ASUC Auxiliary employees show up and have to pay attention, staff members on stipends show up and have to waste their time on crap like this. The very existence of the Senate is definitely not free, and anything they do is on our dime, even if they aren't explicitly in the process of spending money.

If the interest of Senators is to just kick back and chill and have fun, please return my $55 a year.
There's a good case to be made about waste in student government, but when you bring up negligible and almost comical issues like these, you make yourself look silly. Are you really complaining about the "cost" of a happy birthday wish that probably took 20 seconds?
You people are missing the greater concern, here...that these people obviously don't take their position seriously. The ASUC is a professional organization, and if its officials can't be trusted to act in such a manner during the only time they're required to take care of ASUC business, there should be concern as to in what manner they handle our money. Do they handle it professionally, or do they just do with it whatever will make them "happy"?
lawls. because obviously, wishing someone a happy birthday is indicative of a weak work ethic & lack of responsibility.

have you worked before? people make jokes and small talk in meetings too, and you know how 'efficient' those corporate capitalists are.

i don't think the senate does anything especially meaningful, but as yaman said, this is pretty silly.
and to respond to beetle, my argument isnt that it's appropriate. The argument that it's trivial. What would be more interesting to write about is the abysmally small percentage of campaign promises fulfilled.

But no, i don't begrudge people the ability to wish each other happy birthday. I'm not payin them by the hour.
Each of these are trivial, but there are a shitload of these kinds of events and occurrences. When the Senate takes breaks to eat leftover food from JP's meeting, or to listen to the Cal fight song, or whatnot, I'm not impressed. If I was an employer, I wouldn't care, and may very well encourage these activities. But these are not employees. They are people who declare themselves to be doing work so fucking important that I and every other student should be forced to give them $55 a year. Maybe they can show a little respect, and keep their fun off the Senate floor.

By the way, this isn't unrelated to the tiny percentage of campaign promises filled.
anonymous @ 1:06am on Nov26: Dude, I don't think you realize that the minutes for that meeting were FIFTY PAGES LONG. These are 4 lines out of that amount. Even if these statements are not directly related to their duties as Senators, it is not inappropriate. Have you ever watched C-Span (not that the Congress is an amazing model that should be emulated), or been to a meeting for any organization whatsoever? These kinds of niceties are fairly commonplace. They make the meetings a little more bearable. It's easy to poke fun from the outside, but if you've ever sat at one of these things for longer then 10 minutes, you'd be glad that somebody is trying to lighten the mood. These kinds of things also don't prevent the Senate from doing other work. They can't actually end their meetings, except by vote, until all Senate business has been covered. One of their meetings lasted until 3 or 4 in the morning, and they frequently last until at least midnight. That is on top of some of the long committee meetings held on Mondays, as well as the fact that all of these people are still students.

Beetle, I highly doubt that campaign promises remain unfulfilled because of happy birthday wishes. Last week I placed campaign promises of each Senator on their individual profile pages at asuc.org/offices/senate.php. Many of these promises are either 1) way over people's heads, which they don't realize until they've been in the Senate; 2) ambiguous enough that people can argue they've been fulfilled; or 3) kind of trivial like officially naming a day or a week or the like. In this scheme trivial promises are "fulfilled," ambiguous people can claim everything the Senate does to their credit, and those who have made substantial promises can spend the entire year researching and laboring away, only to lose their fight. There's a little more to this scheme than whether or not promises are fulfilled. You also have to consider the substantial behind the scenes work that goes towards fulfilling such promises.
I rarely bother with whether promises are fulfilled or not for the reasons you note. I used to give out awards for the most idiotically vague promises. In any case, campaign promises are tools to get elected. Without any kind of memory, it makes no difference whether or not senators even know what their promises are.

The problems with the ASUC are cultural, and things like this bother me because they reflect a culture of disrespect for the student body. No, they aren't too busy telling folks how happy they are, but comments like this reflect an attitude among Senators that they don't understand what it means for students to have to give them $55 a year under threat of expulsion. There is a real gravity to that, and if the Senators think the time they are supposed to be making those decisions is the appropriate time to make comments like these, it's a cultural reflection. That cultural disconnect between power and responsibility is why senators make those ridiculous promises in the first place, and why they go unfulfilled.
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