Undergraduate Senate discusses website, attendance policy

Oct. 2, 2012, 11:54 p.m.

In a short, 25-minute meeting yesterday, the ASSU Undergraduate Senate unanimously approved more than $10,500 in funding for student groups. In a hitch distributing the funding bills for review, Appropriations Chair Nancy Pham ’14 copied the Stanford Conservative Society’s funding request twice on the email among senators. Because senators lumped all their appropriations in a single vote, seven funding bills were approved even though only six groups requested funding.

Senators also discussed updating and restructuring the ASSU website. Shahab Fadavi ’15 pointed out the presence of inaccurate information on the senate website, suggesting hiring a student to ensure the website was consistently updated.

Senate Communications Chair Viraj Bindra ’15 said that the website will be updated by a senate webmaster Daniel Holstein ’13 by the end of Thanksgiving.

“We should be… managing the content, mak[ing] sure it’s accurate… but we should consider it a work in progress,” he said.

During the meeting’s open forum former senator Alon Elhanan ’14 acknowledged the complexity of the Senate’s governing documents and appropriations process while urging senators to begin planning events. He encouraged current senators to reach out to him and other past senators for help understanding the regulations and bylaws of the ASSU.

“It’s a really tough job,” he said. “I know it’s the beginning of the year, but you should already be getting into planning events or doing whatever you want to do, because naturally you put [events] off and then they never fully get started.”

At the end of the meeting, senator Garima Sharma ’15 encouraged the senators to reconsider the Senate’s attendance policy. The policy, which was used last quarter, allows each senator two excused and two unexcused absences each quarter from the Senate’s weekly meetings. The rule thus permits a senator to miss four of the Senate’s total of ten meetings. In an interview after the meeting, Sharma said that she hopes to amend the policy to require attendance at least two-thirds of meetings. It was unclear whether this would mean six or seven meetings.

“We’re kind of concerned about [the attendance policy] because it’s almost half of the meetings each quarter,” said Senate Chair Branden Crouch ’14.

Senator Ashley Harris ’15 has been absent from both of the Senate’s first on-campus meetings this year. Additionally, President Robbie Zimbroff ’12 and Vice President William Wagstaff ’12 were also absent, and thus unable to give an executive update.


In “Undergraduate Senate discusses website, attendance policy” (Oct. 2), The Daily incorrectly reported that a student volunteer will update the ASSU website. In fact, Senator Viraj Bindra ’15 is spearheading the project which will be completed by paid Senate Webmaster Daniel Holstein ’13. The Daily regrets the error. 

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