Friday, May 06, 2005

Too Many Things at Once

One of the perennial problems of blogging is getting behind. A few events happen that are worthy of public comment, but for one reason or another you fail to write it down... and then a few more events come by your way, only this time you don't post because you're still looking for some time to write about the earlier events. And then it builds and builds until you either sit down and reconstruct the now several day delayed stories or just cut your loses and pretend as if that period of time never happened. I'm going to strike a middle ground and detail a few of the highlights.

SBA Elections

A few weeks back the Student Bar Association held its yearly elections. As with any small student group, the races are decided well before the voters have anything to say about the issue. By the time the polls had opened, of 18 races, only ONE was contested. Its the natural consequences of having to know and see your opponent. No body wants to lose to a friend (or win over a friend) so for the few weeks prior to the election everyone dances around until all the races are decided. This year one individual didn't want to play by the rules, so we had a contested presidential election... but the outcome went as predicted. As for me, I won a second term as GPSS Senator.

ASUW Elections

In other less mature, yet more sophisticated, elections news, the ASUW has started its yearly circus. Because this is a campus wide election, where all sorts of candidates emerge from the woodwork, the positions are generally contested and emotions run high. I've never run in the ASUW Elections, but may of my friends have, so I know the experience well. This year is unique because there are only two actual tickets, with few spoiler candidates... which provides the first real opportunity in the past three years to have non-greek voters to put all of their votes behind a non-greek ticket. Not sure how that's going to play out.

One tragic development in this year's ASUW elections is the endorsement of candidates by UW Leaders (recently renamed ASUW Leaders). I have a long standing beef with this group, but that's not the point. There has always been an understanding that ASUW entities do not endorse candidates. So when UW Leaders issued their endorsement I immediately looked to find the rule against the behavior... but to my shock, no such rule exists. So I wrote a Resolution of Student Opinion on the subject. However, my somewhat tongue-in-cheek approach has upset many of the candidates and elements of the Senate Leadership. I tell ya, people take things far too seriously.

Preliminary SAF Deliberations

The Services and Activities Fee Committee has one more meeting to go where we do the formal pomp of voting and final decision making. But prior to that meeting the members have a meeting where we hammer out the real issues and set the allocation levels. Since its a public meeting, and anyone could have been there, I feel no shame in revealing to my expansive readership the juicy details. Student Counseling Center, who made there first every pitch to SAF this year, is getting on $40,000 of the $178,000 they requested; Recreational Sport's capital budget is getting only $100,000 of the $150,000 requested; the Ethnic Cultural Center is getting $14,000 less than requested (out of a $500,000+ budget... I'm expecting to be called a racist); UWCares, our night escort program, is being cut entirely; and best of all, the Fee itself will be reduced (for the first time EVER) from $97 to $94 per quarter.

GPSS Treasurer

As of today, I am the only candidate for the GPSS Treasurer position. The GPSS Treasurer is one of four GPSS Officers that run the Graduate student government. Its a pretty exciting job in that I keep my seat on SAF, I take direct authority over the GPSS $250,000+ budget, I get my own assistant, and free tuition! Not to mention it is a great position from which to encourage needed structural change in the Senate.

Mock Filibuster

This is crazy idea I picked up from a few news articles about on campus filibuster events. Students, professors, and whoever all get together and talk for 9 hours straight in a show of support for the filibuster. Although the idea is still in its infancy, Lindsay and I are trying to make this happen by the end of this month. More news to come as we figure out what's going on.

Gillmore v. Ashcroft Gonzalez

Attended an interesting mock trial event yesterday where the plaintifs in Gillmore v. Ashcroft (since renamed) presented their arguments before a mock panel of 9th circuit judges. The case deals with an unpublished security directive requiring photo ID to board an airplane. The problem with the case, as I see it, is the plaintiff doesn't want to have to show his ID, period, but their only real legal argument is the rule is unconstitutional if it is unpublished. Should they win on that issue, and Gillmore has his written piece of paper with the law on it, I don't believe Gillmore will have accomplished the goal he set out to meet.

The Broadcast Flag

Good news in the technology front. This morning the DC Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Broadcast Flag imposed by the FCC. This means the content industry will NOT have a say as to what kind of electronics consumers are allowed to buy. Having failed to get satisfaction from the FCC, Hollywood, et all., will turn on Congress for statutory authority. It will be interested to see if they can wield that kind of power on the Hill. If last year's session is an indicator of anything, I would suggest they have a very tough battle ahead of themselves.

1 comment:

srcastic said...

Candidate for GPSS executive board? Say it isn't so! If you make it, I hope you bring some much needed reform.

Congrats on the SBA election!