Guzman-Mahoney Referendum Demanding Action (G-MRDA) Executive Slate: Austin Guzman and Patrick Mahoney

Opinion by Guest Column
April 5, 2010, 12:32 a.m.

Guzman-Mahoney Referendum Demanding Action (G-MRDA) Executive Slate: Austin Guzman and Patrick MahoneyOur student body should be its own greatest resource.

With its membership of 14,000 students, strong organizational framework, the talents of its representatives, and its massive budget, we should expect our student leaders to make real improvements to the collective life we share and love here at Stanford. More than just “discussing” problems, the entire point of this union of students is to wield the ASSU’s collective power to tackle those capital-P Problems we students share in common but cannot fix individually.

With all due respect, Guzman/Mahoney believes this is not the case with the ASSU, at least as long as we’ve been here.

The students demand action. It’s a bitter pill that the ASSU has to swallow, and the overwhelming majority of our support has been built by those students now pushing for the Guzman/Mahoney ticket because they are tired of another round of elections which sugarcoat the fundamental and persistent problems that have a real impact on our student body. Guzman/Mahoney believes these issues won’t go away with campaign promises to “discuss and evaluate” the same issues they did last year, and the year before that.

The Guzman/Mahoney approach is opposite; we built and grew our team from the grassroots. We have consciously chosen to construct our platform – NOT by the ASSU’s past agenda – but by asking the mass of ASSU-weary students about which issues are of greatest concern. Essentially, the answer was a Referendum on the following issues: Fixing the Crime Problem, Holding Housing Accountable, Advocating for Student Groups, Revitalizing the Row, and Creating Real Transparency.

That’s straight from you guys who contacted us personally about the changes you demand. That’s from those of y’all who have now become our supporters, who think that – for all the resources it commands – the ASSU elections should bring more substantive issues to the table than whether there are enough plastic bubbles in the Wellness Room. This is YOUR referendum. Here’s a preview, but see ( for the full platform.

FIXING THE CRIME PROBLEM – Theft keeps rising every year. The Stanford PD took action, and as a result we have a still-rising number of thefts, except now literally doubled the number of MIP citations. Negotiating a contract for an organization with over 14,000 participants – all members of a valued market demographic – the Guzman/Mahoney Executive will negotiate a bidding war between real solutions to Stanford’s laptop theft problem (laptop LoJack, RFID tags, etc) and keep our possesions safe. As well, Guzman/Mahoney demands that University Alcohol education should be supplemented to educate about the law and how to dodge it, to keep us safe from gratuitous MIPs.

HOLDING HOUSING ACCOUNTABLE – Guzman/Mahoney would spearhead a grievance procedure specific to student housing, as well as an arbitration board to resolve disputes between the unionized interests of wronged students on one hand, and ResEd/Housing on the other. There is no recourse specific to Housing if they throw your possessions away, incorrectly charge you for extra days, or if Housing/ResEd transfers/terminates without appeal. Any public housing authority would have this, and the ASSU should be dedicated to protecting your interests with collective action.

ADVOCATING FOR STUDENT GROUPS – The hugest anxiety for student groups is tightening budgets, and new student leaders aren’t sure how to handle it. Paradoxically, each group competes for funding but they’re all going to feel the crunch and all need common leadership strategies to combat it. Guzman/Mahoney will transform and expand the roles of the Executive cabinet into VSO-advocacy positions whose job is to coordinate between groups of similar stripe (Entertainment, Service, Publications, etc) to minimize redundant expenditures and lobby alternative sources of funding with shared access, and coordinate joint events. As well, Cabinet leaders will host how-to monthly pizza workshops for VSO leaders to help navigate new changes and new challenges.

There’s more to the Guzman-Mahoney Referendum Demanding Action. Check it Contact Austin Guzman at al[email protected] and Patrick Mahoney at [email protected].

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