Dear Mr. Swalagin:
I am writing to follow up on my March 23, 2009 letter responding to the Report and Recommendations on Charge S-0107, Recommended Revised Referendum Guidelines, as adopted by the University Senate on November 21, 2008. As you know, many students and alumni associated with The Daily Targum voiced opposition to the recommended revisions, and Vice President for Student Affairs Gregory Blimling has been working with student groups to try to reach agreement on the proposed referendum guidelines. I am pleased to report that the controversy surrounding the funding of The Daily Targum led to a positive dialogue between the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) and the editorial staff of The Daily Targum. Over the course of several months, the student leadership in RUSA and The Daily Targum reached agreement on a RUSA resolution that recommends certain modifications to the revised procedures proposed by the University Senate.
I asked Vice President Blimling and Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jonathan Alger to review the University Senate and RUSA resolutions and to consider these recommendations within the scope of the 1986 Board of Governors (BOG) resolution and policy statement. Their findings are as follows:
1.    The BOG policy statement authorizes two funding procedures for “special student organizations,” and without action by the BOG the number of funding procedures cannot be reduced to one as recommended by the University Senate.
2.     The BOG policy statement specifies that referendum approval requires an affirmative vote of 25% plus one of the eligible student body of a division to adopt funding for an organization. Without approval of the BOG, the University Senate recommendation that referendum approval require a majority vote of at least 35% cannot be adopted.
At this time, I do not wish to accept recommendations that would require changes to BOG policy. These include the single funding procedure recommended by the University Senate and the recommendation that the minimum percentage of eligible students participating in a referendum vote be increased from 25% to 35%.
The BOG policy requires that students be provided with a refund mechanism at the time any special student fee is paid, but it does not prescribe a particular refund mechanism. The proposal agreed to by The Daily Targum and RUSA provides that a refund “be made available on-line through The Daily Targum website for the first two weeks of every semester” and that refund checks be issued “within two weeks of the end of the refund period.” I believe this recommendation is reasonable and should be included in the revised procedures.
In addition, I would like to consider some other minor modifications to the Procedures for Special Student Organizations in order to address some internal inconsistencies in the document, reflect our current administrative structures, and clarify issues related to the submission of plans and reports. I have asked Vice Presidents Blimling and Alger to extend their careful review of these procedures and to prepare an amended document that is consistent with the Board of Governors’ 1986 policy and that incorporates the changes referenced above. Upon completion, the amended document will be shared with the Executive Committee of the University Senate for its consideration.
Sincerely yours,
Richard L. McCormick
copy:      Gregory Blimling, Vice President for Student Affairs
                Philip Furmanski, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
                Jonathan Alger, Senior Vice President and General Counsel