Senate names committee members

May 26, 2010, 1:04 a.m.

The 12th ASSU Undergraduate Senate held its first full-length meeting on Tuesday, confirming the 2010-11 ASSU executive cabinet and the membership of the Senate committees.

The Senate first confirmed Michael Cruz ’12 as chair and Madeline Hawes ’13 as deputy chair; it also finalized the selection of the members of standing committees. Taking ranked preferences into account, Cruz and Hawes assigned senators to five committees: Administration and Rules, Advocacy, Appropriations, Communications and Student Life, Housing and Education.

The Senate voted unanimously to approve the following positions:

Hawes, Deepa Kannappan ‘13, Rebecca Sachs ’13, Will Seaton ‘13 (also a Daily writer) and Juany Torres ’13 will serve on the Administration and Rules Committee.

Pat Bruny ‘13, Cruz, Daniel Khalessi ‘13, Robin Perani ’13, Kamil Saeid ’13 and Rafael Vasquez ’12 will serve on the Advocacy Committee.

Hawes, Ben Jensen ‘12, Stewart Macgregor-Dennis ‘13, Saeid, Carolyn Simmons ‘13, Torres and Vasquez will serve on the Appropriations Committee.

Khaled Alshawi ‘13, Cruz, Khalessi, Macgregor-Dennis, Perani and Seaton will serve on the Communications Committee.

Alshawi, Bruny, Jensen, Kannappan, Sachs and Simmons will serve on the Student Life, Housing and Education Committee.

The Senate then moved to appoint the 2010-11 ASSU executive cabinet, chosen by ASSU President Angelina Cardona ’11 and Vice President Kelsei Wharton ’12. John Haskell ’12, who will lead as chief of staff, said he sees his position as a supportive role for the cabinet and a chance to “promote activism on campus.”

Ryan Peacock, a doctoral student in chemical engineering who came in second when he ran for executive earlier this spring, will serve as chair of graduate student issues.

When asked about the lack of any other graduate students in the cabinet, Cardona noted that only three of the 56 applicants to the cabinet were graduate students.

Theo Gibbs ’11, outgoing co-president of Students for a Sustainable Stanford, said she looks forward to her role as sustainability chair to continue efforts begun this year by the Green Alliance for Innovative Action (GAIA), promote the green events checklist and examine Stanford’s food systems.

Elise Geithner ’13, who will be chair of campus organizing, referred to her position as a means for the ASSU to reach out to the general student body, from freshmen to students participating in Greek organizations to student athletes.

Amanda Mener ’12, chair of student life, academics and cost of living, referenced her experience working with the Axe & Palm to lower prices and update the menu and talked about plans to improve Old Union and the student book exchange program.

Taylor Winfield ’13, chair of health and wellness, spoke of creating a “happiness coalition” made of students committed to putting their own wellness first as a model for others. Winfield plans increased wellness-related events and an awareness campaign on mental health resources on campus.

Chair of disabilities and accessible education Vivian Wong ’12 spoke of plans to expand her program to include mental and learning disabilities as part of her larger goal to create a community for students with disabilities. Wong is planning a speaker series as well as a “little sib/big sib” mentorship program for students. Wong is also a photographer for The Daily.

Other cabinet members include Taylor Savage ’13 as chair of technology, Neveen Mahmoud ’11 as chair of service, Warner Sallman ’11 as social chair and Demetric Sanders ’10 as chair of marketing and design.

Viviana Arcia ’13, chair of women’s issues, spoke about reinvigorating the Women’s Coalition and creating dialogue about domestic and sexual abuse. She mentioned using resident assistant (RA) and Peer Health Educator training to promote this dialogue.

Tenzin Seldon ’12, who will serve as chair of diversity, tolerance and equality, also mentioned RA training as a valuable tool in spreading tolerance.

Seldon also came to the meeting in her capacity as co-president of Friends for Tibet, which received an emergency transfer of funds for its event this Friday, featuring Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the Uighur minority in China and Clayborne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute.

Next week, the Senate will vote on former Senator Alex Katz ’12, executive editor of the Stanford Review, and Alice Nam ’11, current co-editor in chief of the Claw magazine, as Publications Board director and assistant director.

The Senate discussed a resolution supporting the creation of Queer Studies through the Feminist Studies Program, including a queer studies minor, major and Ph.D. minor. Peacock suggested the authors separate the undergraduate and graduate components in a future resolution to the separate representative bodies.

About the first full meeting of the 12th Senate, which will meet again next week, Cruz said, “I think it went well and I’m pretty happy.”

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