GSC plans for Thanksgiving, debates funding recommendations

Nov. 18, 2010, 2:00 a.m.

Graduate students geared up for the upcoming Thanksgiving vacation at this week’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) meeting. Environmental sciences doctoral student Mary Van der Hoven, this year’s Thanksgiving coordinator, anticipates at least 1,200 attendees at this year’s dinner. Based on estimates from last year’s dinner, 20 percent of the dinner’s food will be catered to vegetarian diners.

Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE) chief executive Raj Bhandari M.S. ‘10 reported that the Stanford Student Store held a Thanksgiving sale earlier on Wednesday.

“We tried to flash-flier everyone the day before because we thought that would be more effective,” Bhandari said. The store plans to have a holiday sale in three weeks.

The GSC approved eight nominees for various University committees recommended by the ASSU Nominations Commission. After a unanimous vote to recommend the nominees, GSC co-chair Jessica Tsai reminded council members to encourage their peers to participate in student government.

Also joining the GSC was Jamie Pontius-Hogan from the Judicial Affairs Office. Pontius-Hogan updated the meeting’s attendees about the office’s recently initiated self-review. Representatives of the Judicial Affairs Office plan to bring in an outside consultant, conduct a self-study and form an internal review panel. A survey of faculty and students about the Honor Code is forthcoming as part of the review.

“We’re doing a lot with benchmarks,” said Pontius-Hogan. “We’re bringing in ideas from other universities.”

Out of a shared interest among GSC members to investigate the intricacies of funding procedures, GSC co-chair  Justin Brown appointed Addy Satija and Adeel Arif to head a committee looking to poll student groups’ financial officers about their experiences with obtaining funding. This motion corresponds with questions that several council members have raised about the group’s recommendations for funding.

“I think we should be really open to just saying, ‘Hey, can we postpone that until spring quarter? We’re not saying ‘no’ outright, but we’re just delaying the decision,” said education representative Imeh Williams.

Williams questioned the validity of funding for vaguely defined end-of-the-year events that are recommended for funding during the fall quarter. While other council members shared his concerns, some supported long-term planning by student groups.

“We do really want to encourage people to come with us with annual budgets,” said Krystal St. Julien, a graduate student in biochemistry.

Contact Anna Schuessler at [email protected].

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