Senate passes 2 bills and amendment, discusses ROTC advisory vote

March 30, 2011, 2:02 a.m.

The ASSU 12th Undergraduate Senate passed two bills Tuesday evening, confirming Zachary Warma ’11 as director of the ASSU Publications Board and passing an amendment to the non-discrimination statement of the ASSU Joint bylaws. Senators Carolyn Simmons ’13 and Ben Jensen ’12 attended the meeting via conference call.

The bill, authored by ASSU Publications Board Assistant Director Alice Nam and sponsored by Senator Madeline Hawes’13, nominated Warma, a former Daily staff member, to replace former director Alex Katz ’12, who resigned on March 18. As the new director, Warma will oversee funding for student publications on campus.

Following his unanimous confirmation, Warma’s first course of action was proposing, with Nam, a high tech center in Old Union where student publications would have access to publication software such as InDesign that is not available in computer clusters on campus.

“The goal is not to have it be for publications specifically,” Warma said. “It’s to create a high tech center where publication needs are met–a layout room with a lot of software that a lot of these publications don’t have.”

If approved, the room would likely be located in Nitery 209, where the Senate meets each Tuesday. Warma and Nam will meet with Nanci Howe, director of Student Activities and Leadership, in the near future to discuss more details of this plan.

John Haskell, ASSU Chief of Staff, reported that the Green Alliance for Innovative Action (GAIA) is requesting $2,000 to reach the $14,000 needed to invite musician K’naan to speak at Vision Earth and FutureFest. Haskell clarified that K’naan would be answering questions and not performing.

Senator Stewart Macgregor-Denis ’13 suggested the possibility of using money from the ASSU traditions fund if the Senate deemed that Vision Earth and FutureFest could become Stanford traditions. After disbursing money to the junior and sophomore classes, the fund had $2,500 remaining to subsidize the cost of inviting the musician. The senators agreed to conduct an email vote after they have more time to consider the topic.

Macgregor-Denis then shared with the Senate an iPhone version of the ASSU website and solicited feedback on the app.

Kannappan and Senator Robin Perani ’13 then motioned to move the meeting start time to 7:30 p.m. Both have classes end after the current 7 p.m. start time. They requested this change so that they could attend more than half of each of the four remaining meetings in order to retain their position. The Senate unanimously voted to move the meeting to 7:30 p.m.

Perani initiated a lengthy discussion when she moved for a suspension of the rules of order so the Senate could reconsider the ROTC advisory question that will appear on the general elections ballot next week.

Perani argued that she did not have enough information when the issue was first put to vote and would have voted differently with the information she has now. The initial bill, proposed by ASSU President Angelina Cardona ’11, was passed unanimously last month.

“I was under the impression that there had been a lot of discussion with the transgender community and with the LGBT community, that there was an agreement and that this would be beneficial to it,” she said. “But this was clearly not the case.”

Senator Daniel Khalessi ’13 echoed Perani’s sentiments.

“I don’t even remember voting for this bill,” Khalessi said. “It was two minutes. We steamrolled through it with a meeting we had with the GSC, we didn’t really discuss it.”

Despite over an hour of debate, the motion to suspend the rules of order failed to garner the 10 votes necessary to reach the two-thirds majority required to pass the motion. The advisory question will remain on the ballot; voting begins on April 7 at 12:01 a.m.

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