UHS and CHMS ask for feedback

The University Health Service and Counseling and Mental Health Services are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Every three years, the Joint Commission conducts a reaccreditation survey to evaluate the organization’s compliance with the nationally established Joint Commission standards. Our first reaccreditation survey is scheduled for May 2 and 3, 2002.

Anyone believing that they have pertinent and valid information about quality of care issues and the safety of the environment in which care is provided may request a public information interview with the Joint Commission’s field representative at the time of the survey.

Requests for a public information interview must be made in writing to the Joint Commission no later than five working days before the survey begins and must indicate the nature of the information to be provided in the interview.

Such requests should be addressed to Ambulatory Care Service Team, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, One Renaissance Boulevard Oakbrook, IL 60181. The interviewee will be notified of the date, time and place of the meeting.

If you are not interested in scheduling an interview with a surveyor but have comments or suggestions about the care or services provided by UHS or CMHS, please contact Linda Dudman, UHS Patient Advocate at x35770 or Ralph Manchester to discuss your concerns.

Ralph Manchester, MD, FACPDirector, University Health Service

Linda DudmanHealth Education & Communications Office University Health Service

Issues with the new constitution

I have been reading the CT Online for several months now and have only in the last few weeks become aware of the ongoing work at rewriting the Students’ Association Constitution. I was the speaker of the SA Senate in 1990 and Chairman of the Constitution Committee in 1989 that wrote the current version which is available online at sa.rochester.edu/senate/constitution/.

After reading the online draft of the constitution and the heavy lobbying above it which is called “information,” I feel the responsibility to make a few matters clear.

The current SA Constitution was ratified at the spring SA election in 1989. It is not 30 years old.

The one citation of a conflict that is difficult to fix having to do with the timing of Senate speaker election, is an issue with the bylaws, not the constitution.

The SA president was given a limited role in the current version. This was increased from no official duties in the previous version.

In drafting the current SA Constitution, we chose specifically not to follow the direct formula of the U.S. Constitution.

The preamble to the current SA Constitution was one of the most significant changes. It replaced a version, much like the currently proposed one, which sounded nicely reminiscent of the U.S. Constitutions’s Preamble, but which was vague as to why a student government should exist.

We tried to point out all of the responsibilities of a student government to act as a guiding mission statement to all members of the government.

Additionally, I would like to point out that we set the bar high for ratifying and amending the constitution. We made an effort to get the students interested and to turn out for a general election. We did not resort to asking students to vote at registration. Does this mean graduating seniors can’t vote?

We also made copies available in Wilson Commons well in advance of the referendum and distributed copies to every dorm room on campus since e-mail was a novelty at the time.

These points made, let me say that change is not all bad. At the time the SA president did not have a cabinet and tended often to be someone who had not been involved in the government. As such, the senate tended to function as legislature and executive.

We tried to restrict the senate some and give more scope to the president. Clearly this has worked as you seem now to have an active and efficient cabinet system working for the president.The old constitution seems to have allowed this to develop.

Further, I would point out that the current constitution clearly defines the senate as the sole legislative body and gives the president three specific executive duties.

“Section 3: The Students’ Association President shall be the official spokesman of the Students’ Association. The President shall be responsible for the oversight of Students’ Association groups and organizations. The President shall also have the responsibility of enforcing and executing the legislation of the Students’ Association Senate in accordance with the bylaws.”

The restriction on standing committees to the senate was intentional. At the time there were only four standing committees and it was felt five would be sufficient. There is no limit to the number of committees that the Senate can create to deal with specific tasks. However, they should not last forever.

The final provision that “A team of students, elected concurrently with the ratification of this Constitution” will be granted huge authority to completely rewrite the bylaws of the SA is horrific.

Who are they? Is there a slate? There is actually nothing written here to prevent this group from eliminating the presidential cabinet and creating a senate with only one member.

From what I have been able to read, all the changes that the current government wishes to make can be made by changing the bylaws ? a generally easy task to accomplish in the Senate ? and with two amendments to the current SA Constitution.

An amendment to more clearly define the presidential cabinet which is currently vaguely defined within the terms of presidential advisors.

Raise the limit on standing committees in the Senate to seven.

The continuing revision of the proposed new constitution should make it quite clear that it is not ready for ratification. It may be near completion, but if it is to be a lasting document, it needs to be finished.

The document I helped draft has lasted 13 years. Will the new one last even one without amendment?

I hope this is informative, I only wish I had been aware of this process sooner. With four days left, I wonder if anyone will even read this before the votes are taken.

John Hutzler Class of 1991

Defense of the new constitution

The current Students’ Association Constitution is essentially 30 years old.

There were a few changes made in 1989 which were integrated into the document, instead of being added as amendments, but the current structure is one that we’ve endured for 30 years.

We have set the bar for ratification of this Constitution even higher than the current one, which was a majority of votes in an election where a majority of students voted. Our standard is an absolute majority of the student body.

Starting yesterday, all students including graduating seniors can vote via Telnet.

The current Constitution does not give any real powers to the Students’ Association president, except for a veto of marginal utility. It does require the president to oversee groups ? but that conflicts with the Students’ Association Senate’s ability to appropriate money to groups and to establish bylaws.

It is the Government Restructuring Committee’s belief that one does not reign in the power of a government body by setting a numerical limit on the number of committees it can create. Such a limit has been totally ineffective in restricting the scope of the Senate’s responsibilities.

The former Senate speaker is not familiar with the problems currently afflicting student government. The Government Restructuring Committee is, and we feel that the new document is one that deals with those issues and will make government more efficient and effective than ever before.

For more details and arguments in support of the new Constitution, please visit sa.roc

Ryan WaltersAll-Campus Judicial Committee Chief Justice

Miller presents only one side

I was very disappointed, upon reading Alissa Miller’s essay “Wandering into warfare.” In her essay Miller presents a very one-sided outlook on the Middle East conflict, which I feel is particularly dangerous when the survival of two peoples are at stake.

As the Israeli army continues to occupy Palestinian territory thousands of people are being rounded up and displaced, adding to the millions of Palestinians who have been removed and have been living in refugee camps for years.

How has this situation come to pass? The state of Israel was officially declared in 1948. The Jewish state was created as a solution to the persecution of the Jewish people that had lasted for thousands of years.

During the Diaspora the Jews were often violently forced to leave their homes and sent into exile in foreign lands. The Israeli solution to this problem has been to violently force the Palestinians to leave their homes and send them into exile in foreign lands. The nation of Israel was born and the Palestinian nation was discarded.

The current Middle East conflict cannot be divorced from this context of recent history. To do so blatantly turns a blind eye on the facts and supports one nation over the other based upon misleading and incomplete propositions.

Miller describes the Palestinians as “a politically motivated group who will be forceful in the evasions of private life in order to have their point heard.” This has nothing to do with politics or getting one’s point heard.

The Palestinians want their homes back. Period. It’s really not as complicated as Miller portrays it. To continue to vilify the Palestinians and support their ongoing displacement from their homes is to sustain one of the most outrageous and hypocritical events in human history.

Karl Wright Take-Five Scholar

Miller’s piece needs more research

[Alissa Miller’s] article is understandable given that it mimics the wide-scale reporting of the mass media. However, I also believe that it does an injustice to fair reporting and good investigative journalism. Not everyone believes the status quo standard response to a disgusting situation.

It is my belief that there is another side to this story that does not see the light of day. When a young girl takes her life with a bomb in an effort to take out a few of her oppressors, one should not only condemn the act, but also one should try to understand what drove that young lady to take such an undesirable end to her young life.

That would be a great story to read when done with an unbiased view of the situation.

It may be unpopular, but the truth is not always palatable. Perhaps, you can do a little independent investigative reporting on your own and post an article that exposes the truth and makes people think.

[Miller] clearly cares about what is going on in Israel and I applaud [her] for reporting on the poor young lady who took her life. I would just like for the automatic mask of terrorist to be lifted and question the motive of Israelis who are literally committing the same atrocities that Hitler carried out against the world during Word War II.

Joseph FarageAlumnus

ARAMARK tries to run a good business

What are the two problems that any UR student will identify promptly and emotionally when asked? Well, food and housing of course. While I can say nothing about hope for the latter I am working very hard on food here.

As a Students’ Association senator I have a contact in the administration, and mine happens to be one of the Directors of ARAMARK here at the university ? Bill Myers.

This year I have worked very closely with him in addressing student concerns about the food quality, price and variability. Despite the ridiculous price of Danforth Dining Center nowadays, it is really only 50 cents more expensive then last year, all things considered, and the quality has risen significantly.

They did this by bringing Kevin Fuchs over from the Meliora, and changing some of their menu items and having an open manager’s door policy.

ARAMARK is a business, and they want to do good business. They have an interest in making money, keeping their contract with the university, and they do that is if they make you a happy customer. You are spending good money for this food, and it is important for you to tell a manager when employees are messing around, the waffle mix is out, or the Pit workers are being especially rude or unresponsive.

All the managers that I have met with personally are receptive to one-on-one constructive comments. Kevin Fuchs holds monthly chats in Danforth, free of charge on the last Wednesday of each month.

If you have any specific problems with food at the university or any suggestions, please feel free to drop me an e-mail at ab002j@mail.rochester.edu.

Andrew BaukneyClass of 2004

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