ASSU Exec claims 25 percent of platform completed

Oct. 18, 2011, 2:30 a.m.

The ASSU Executive recently announced it has completed over 25 percent of its platform. The announcement came in a campus-wide email ASSU President Michael Cruz ’12 sent on behalf of the Executive on Monday, Oct. 10.

“We are being accountable to the promises we made,” Cruz said about the email, referencing the Executive’s goal to “engage the community and measure results,” as described on the Stanford 2.0 website.

The percentage was calculated using the platform points upon which Cruz and ASSU Vice President Stewart Macgregor-Dennis ’13 based their campaign last spring. “Checklist 2.0,” a public Google Doc used by the Executive Team, outlines the Executive’s platform and action steps in promoting overarching themes such as diversity and sexual health. Thirty-five of the 113 platform points were listed as completed on the spreadsheet.

Completed changes counting toward the 25-percent mark, and directly mentioned in the campus-wide email, included continued access to email addresses for recent alumni, the promotion of non-fried options at Late Nite and the creation of an arts presence online.

Cruz said the arts-dedicated website is still under construction.

Holly Harrison Cohen ’86 of the Interactive Services Department of the Alumni Association spoke positively of the Executive.

“There has been general student interest in maintaining the email address for some period of time and this change allows for a longer transition,” she wrote in an email to The Daily. “Our customer support team has received positive feedback.”

As for non-fried options at Late Nite, the Executive listed meeting with the campus nutritionist and dining hall chefs as completed action steps.

Of the 113 items on the platform, one, a plan to create a “Diversity Peer Educator” position, was listed as “discontinued.”

The Executive had hoped to create the dorm position of a diversity peer educator, but discontinued the effort after noting on its spreadsheet, that Residential Education was “not keen on the idea of a diversity peer educator.”

“I would consider us making good progress,” Cruz said. “A lot of our projects are now in the implementation stages. We’re working on outreach. We’re working on a variety of initiatives, ones that were on our platform in addition to new ones that we’ve worked with our team and with the community to really form.”

Some students expressed concern that the completed platform points represent the completion of exploratory meetings and research, with no guarantee of tangible changes.

“Mak[ing] the meal plan optional for all students” was listed as “completed” despite the Executive reporting in its notes, “After exploring possibilities, optional meal plans are not financially viable.”

The Executive platform is separated into different categories of campus life, such as “Arts,” “Career,” “Dining,” “Green” and “Queer.”

Of the “Serve Stanford 2.0” plans aimed at promoting community service on campus, none have been marked as “completed” or “in progress,” while every action plan for “Dining Stanford 2.0” has seen progress, according to the spreadsheet.

According to Cruz, this apparent imbalance does not necessarily indicate where the Executive’s focus lies.

“Our Chair of Public Service… has been hard at work,” Cruz said, adding that some tasks might take more time to complete.

One change, initiating first-generation, low-income events at New Student Orientation, resonated well with students.

“I think that the discussions during the program were pretty meaningful,” said Chi Ling Chan ’15. “It prompted me to think about first-generation students from a new perspective, in a new light… It never occurred to me that first-gen can also be an identity that you carry along with you.”

“As the year goes on, there are new initiatives that will be brought up,” Cruz said. “There are projects, initiatives, issues that are brought to our attention. We want to try to integrate that into our goals.”

“I was surprised because it has only been a couple of weeks,” Tatiana Kuzovleva ’15 said of the Executive’s progress. “I thought it was just a nice way to keep on track of what they were doing, that they weren’t just sitting there, eating up money, but that they were actually doing something.”

Other “in progress” initiatives, according to the Checklist 2.0, include creating an online menu where students can “like” meals, subsidizing Caltrain tickets for students and encouraging large student groups to train ‘sexual violence monitors’ to make campus parties more safe.

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