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ASAP Press Release 04-8-14 (1)

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For Immediate Release: April 8, 2014 1,300+ UW-MILWAUKEE STUDENTS SIGN PETITION TO CHANCELLOR LOVELL IN SUPPORT OF TRUE SHARED GOVERNANCE; CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM HAPPENING NOW — number of UWM students supporting new Student Association referendum is over 5 times more than the number of students that support the Administration’s Board of Trustees; shared governance fiasco created by UWM Administration continues — Milwaukee, WI: On April 4th, UWM students Samir Siddique, Taylor Scott, and Emma Borkowski hand delivered 1300+ UWM student petition signatures to the office of outgoing UWM Chancellor Michael Lovell. The petition language called for a referendum on a new UWM Student Association Constitution. This new constitution, written by a collective of UWM students, seeks to replace the Board of Trustees’ Constitution that goes into effect May 1st after receiving the support of only 242 UWM students, and disenfranchising approximately 1500. On March 27th, the student organizers sent a letter of intent to Chancellor Lovell regarding the petitions, subsequent referendum, and organizing under Wis. Stat. 36.09(5), asking for access to equitable resources moving forward. Chancellor Lovell’s reply was dismissive and misinformed regarding the statutory rights of students. After a week of petitioning and gaining the support of over 1300 students, the student organizers delivered a response and the signatures to the Chancellor’s office. All relevant letters are attached hereto. The UWM Student Association Constitutional Referendum is going on right now and open to ALL UWM Students. The duration of the referendum is 12:00am 4/6/14 to 11:59pm 4/12/14. Public notices have been posted online and on public notice bulletin boards in the UWM Union. The extralegal UWM ‘Board of Trustees’ d/b/a Student Association is moving forward with its elections April 15th-17th, notwithstanding the superior number of students organizing in opposition. If the new UWM Student Association Constitution passes then a two week period will start for nominations/campaigning for legitimate UWM Student Association representatives per the new constitution, with elections slated to occur April 29-May 1st. The larger concern is that if Chancellor Lovell refuses to recognize that the students have organized under a new system, there will be two Student Associations at UWM — one with access to student segregated fees and other university resources such as office space, but with only the support of 242 students; and another with the support of 1300+ students, but with no access to university resources. We hope that in good faith, and in support of the concept of shared governance, outgoing Chancellor Lovell accepts the organizing of the students so that students have a legitimate, elected voice and so all shared governance groups at UWM can work as equal partners to forward the collective goals of the institution. -- To see ASAP member Taylor Scott’s statement on Lovell’s departure, go HERE. A summary of the concept of shared governance can be found at: http://asap-4-uwm.tumblr.com/sharedgovernance Previous press releases regarding the ongoing issues at UWM can be found HERE. An explanation of recent concerning events regarding shared governance at UWM can be found at: http://asap-4-uwm.tumblr.com/yourvoice and HERE in an open appeal for action. For any further information please contact ASAP at asap4uwm@gmail.com # # # The Alliance of Students Achieving Progress (ASAP) is a movement, currently active in the UW-Milwaukee campus community. ASAP has had a long history as a party in UW-Milwaukee Student Association Elections and in student advocacy for 20+ years. Previously known as ‘Achieving Student Action through Progress’, the name may change but our progressive values and integrity in student and shared governance advocacy will not. We remain a united movement of like-minded individuals standing up to
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  For Immediate Release: April 8, 2014 1,300+ UW-MILWAUKEE STUDENTS SIGN PETITION TO CHANCELLOR LOVELL IN SUPPORT OF TRUE SHARED GOVERNANCE; CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM HAPPENING NOW    —    NUMBER   OF   UWM STUDENTS    SUPPORTING    NEW   S  TUDENT   A  SSOCIATION    REFERENDUM    IS    OVER  5 TIMES    MORE    THAN    THE    NUMBER   OF    STUDENTS    THAT    SUPPORT    THE   A  DMINISTRATION  ’ S   B OARD    OF   T  RUSTEES  ; SHARED    GOVERNANCE    FIASCO    CREATED    BY   UWM A  DMINISTRATION    CONTINUES    —     M  ILWAUKEE , WI:   On April 4th, UWM students Samir Siddique, Taylor Scott, and Emma Borkowski hand delivered 1300+ UWM student petition signatures to the office of outgoing UWM Chancellor Michael Lovell. The petition language called for a referendum on a new UWM Student Association Constitution. This new constitution, written by a collective of UWM students, seeks to replace the Board of Trustees’ Constitution that goes into effect May 1st after receiving the support of only 242 UWM students, and disenfranchising approximately 1500.  On March 27th, the student organizers sent a letter of intent to Chancellor Lovell regarding the petitions, subsequent referendum, and organizing under Wis. Stat. 36.09(5), asking for access to equitable resources moving forward. Chancellor Lovell’s reply was dismissive and misinformed regarding the statutory rights of students. After a week of petitioning and gaining the support of over 1300 students, the student organizers delivered a response and the signatures to the Chancellor’s office. All relevant letters are attached hereto.  The UWM Student Association Constitutional Referendum is going on right now and open to ALL UWM Students. The duration of the referendum is 12:00am 4/6/14 to 11:59pm 4/12/14. Public notices have been posted online and on public notice bulletin boards in the UWM Union. The extralegal UWM ‘Board of Trustees’ d/b/a Student Association is moving forward with its elections April 15th-17th, notwithstanding the superior number of students organizing in opposition. If the new UWM Student Association Constitution passes then a two week period will start for nominations/campaigning for legitimate UWM Student Association representatives per the new constitution, with elections slated to occur April 29-May 1st. The larger concern is that if Chancellor Lovell refuses to recognize that the students have organized under a new system, there will be two Student Associations at UWM  —   one with access to student segregated fees and other university resources such as office space, but with only the support of 242 students; and another with the support of 1300+ students, but with no access to university resources. We hope that in good faith, and in support of the concept of shared governance, outgoing Chancellor Lovell accepts the organizing of the students so that students have a legitimate, elected voice and so all shared governance groups at UWM can work as equal partners to forward the collective goals of the institution. -- To see ASAP member Taylor Scott’s statement on Lovell’s departure, go HERE.  PAGE | 1  A summary of the concept of shared governance can be found at: http://asap-4-uwm.tumblr.com/sharedgovernance  Previous press releases regarding the ongoing issues at UWM can be found HERE . An explanation of recent concerning events regarding shared governance at UWM can be found at: http://asap-4-uwm.tumblr.com/yourvoice  and HERE  in an open appeal for action. For any further information please contact ASAP at asap4uwm@gmail.com    # # #   The  A  LLIANCE    OF   S  TUDENTS   A  CHIEVING   P  ROGRESS   (ASAP) is a movement, currently active in the UW-Milwaukee campus community. ASAP has had a long history as a party in UW-Milwaukee Student Association Elec- tions and in student advocacy for 20+ years. Previously known as ‘Achieving Student Action through Progress’, the name may change but our progressive values and integrity in student and shared gov- ernance advocacy will not. We remain a united movement of like-minded individuals standing up to ensure everyone has a voice. We believe in a truly shared system where all governance groups under WI Stat. §36.09 work together to advance the goals of their respective Institution, the UW-System, higher education, and the Wisconsin Idea. PAGE | 2 For Immediate Release: April 8, 2014 1,300+ UW  -  MILWAUKEE   STUDENTS   SIGN   PETITION   TO   CHANCELLOR    LOVELL   IN   SUPPORT   OF   TRUE   SHARED   GOVERNANCE ; CONSTITUTIONAL   REFERENDUM    HAPPENING    NOW     1 | Page March 27, 2014 Chancellor Michael R. Lovell University of Wisconsin  –  Milwaukee Chapman Hall 202 2310 E. Hartford Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53201 Cc: UWM Faculty Senate, UWM University Committee, UWM Academic Staff Senate, UWM Classified Staff Council Dear Chancellor Lovell: The purpose of this correspondence is to express formal student concern regarding the lack of legitimate student shared governance at UWM and numerous issues surrounding the 2014 Student Association Constitution Referendum  conducted by Student Association Professional Staff (SAPS) Director David Stockton and the “Board of Trustees” in the aftermath of your decision to “not recognize” the results of the Student Association 2013 -14 General Elections. On May 3, 2013, you asserted  that “while the UWM administration fully respects the students’ right to self  -govern under 36.09(5), we must  also be certain  that the Student Association, as the sole recognized representative for governance purposes of all UWM students, is, in fact, open and accessible to all UWM students such that official UWM recognition of it as the students’ sole representative is warranted.”  [ Emphasis added  ] You have implemented this benchmark and rule for students to obtain what you call “official UWM recognition” by administration, regardless of whether this is necessary regarding the rights of students prescribed in statute. Moreover, you have determined that this criterion must be met with certainty in order for results to be considered “valid” and for recognition to be achieved. We reject this premise that the Chancellor of a UW Institution can decide whether or not to bestow “ University recognition ”  to the elected officials of shared governance groups who have the statutory right to organize and select their representatives as they see fit. We request a thorough and credible investigation of the “ Board of Trustees ”   January    2014 Student  Association Constitution Referendum to determine whether this referendum was conducted in a fair, open, and accessible manner consistent with the principles and standards you set forth to establish whether results should be considered valid”, for   reasons discussed below. We also call for an immediate investigation into allegations of UWM admini stration’s involvement in “ minimizing ” and   excluding certain students or groups of students from participating in student shared governance at UWM; in particular, those comments made by, and the conduct of, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Laliberte more-than-suggesting extralegal undue administrative influence in shared governance, specifically student shared governance. This suggestive interference, among the other issues stated here, is exactly what was discussed in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court Case  Student Association of U.W.-Milwaukee v. Baum  , 74 Wis. 2d 283, 246 N.W.2d 622   (1976). It states, in relevant part:   “ If the right to organize and to select representatives is seen as two distinct rights without an integral relationship to each other, the possible effect could be the negation of one of these rights. For example, if a chancellor retains the right to dictate students shall be selected by election with two from this organization and one or two from other organizations, or persons with special interests, as was done here, the right to organize becomes meaningless. While students retain their right to organize, the administration can thwart the authority of the organization and deal with other students more to its liking. It can deal with two  2 | Page  students from the dorms, two from publications, and others. This may be much easier. While those motives are not present in this case, an interpretation which does not recognize the right to organize and select representatives as integrally related could result in such a situation in the future. In addition, if the chancellor retains the power to direct, students shall be elected from some organization or another, does he not also have the power to say a  particular committee requires that students be in the upper ten percent of their academic class. And if this power is  present, the students’ right to select their representatives could be only an illusion. If the students’ right to organize themselves and select their representatives is viewed as two different rights, the purpose of the statute may not be carried out. In order to give effect to the legislative intent of this section, the right to organize and select representatives must be seen as one right, which must be free of administrative interference if it is, in reality, to be a right. ”  Furthermore, we call for an immediate investigation into the allegations that Administration, upon information and belief, extralegally changed, without notice or ability to appeal, Student Association final allocations of allocable segregated university fees (SUF) before transmitting them to the UW-System Board of Regents. Such 2013-14 fiscal year allocations being for the Student Association Professional Staff Office, which the Student Association decided not to fund, and full-time UWM students are now paying $5.30 a semester  for regardless of that determination. Further, we request that this investigation   look into Student Association Professional Staff (SAPS) Director David Stockton and his role in extralegal undue administrative influence in shared governance, and in particular allegations that Mr. Stockton seemingly “modified”  Student Association Election Party Registration Forms prior to the Spring 2013   election that you chose to “not   recognize.”  In your abovementioned letter, you expressed concern for the fundamental fairness of student processes as it relates to adhering to what is outlined in governing documents. The University Student Court is and remains bound by its bylaws and more importantly the constitution, a legal contract as prescribed by the students of UWM. We are troubled to hear that there has been an unprecedented disregard for the rules as this goes against the very standard you set forth for achieving “administrative recognition”. The University Student Court, in collusion with UWM  Administration, has gone as far as creating a fictitious court case and indefinitely suspending     the Student Association Constitution without authority to do so. These actions weaken the very foundation of student organization at UWM and call into question the legitimacy of the new structure . We are troubled to hear of issues regarding the ability of all students to participate in the formulation, review and approval of the new constitution . The ability of outside students to participate was marginalized due to a lack of transparency, openness, accessibility, fundamental fairness and integrity in the process. The new constitution was created “over the past 7 months” and brought forth by the Board of Trustees under the “guidance” and “significant involvement” of Student Affairs/SAPS staff without any real consideration for, or meaningful input from, the students of UWM. The UWM student body first learned of a new constitution and structure on January 13, 2014 and was given more or less a week to review and become familiarized with a completely new structure. In fact, the content of the constitution draft changed shortly before the referendum without general notice to students. This new constitution was advertised with deceptive messaging, such as SA is now more open and accessible to all students, yet many students will not qualify to participate under the new structure. The eligibility requirements present in this new constitution  will undoubtedly prevent a very large amount of students from having the ability to hold an official position or even serve on a university committee. Moreover, the Board of Trustees/SAPS disenfranchised students by releasing this information over winter break and during the Spring student enrollment and registration period. There were issues with the Board of Trustees/SAPS not following their own referendum timeline and ballots being issued late. This created a situation where the ability of students to participate in the referendum was lessened under false pretenses further marginalizing voter turnout.
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