ASSU Senate talks new campus climate survey, elections

Jan. 13, 2016, 11:41 p.m.
(MCKENZIE LYNCH/The Stanford Daily)
(MCKENZIE LYNCH/The Stanford Daily)

In its second meeting of the quarter, the ASSU Senate passed a bill to appoint the 2015-2016 elections committee, discussed a resolution in support of a new campus climate survey, and discussed a bill to confirm Luka Fatuesi ’17 and Sean Means ’18 as ASSU Assistant Financial Managers. In addition, the ASSU is working on updating its website.

Climate Survey

Administration and Rules Committee Chair Matthew Cohen ’18 proposed a resolution in support of a new campus climate survey.

“The previous climate survey had some really concerning elements to the report,” Cohen said. “The way they classified sexual assault and misconduct caused numbers significantly lower than peer institutions.”

This bill proposes that Stanford use the American School Climate Survey, which Cohen says is used by peer institutions and provides a comprehensive report of findings.

“We owe it to Stanford students, especially those directly affected, to give them the truth,” Cohen said. “We are walking into this issue with blinders up. It’s not a PR issue; it’s a question of the truth. The bill is not meant to be combative towards the administration but to make sure that students receive honesty.”

Cohen sent out an email after the meeting containing a petition for students to show their support for the resolution.

Elections Commission and other bills

The bill to appoint the 2015-2016 Elections Commission passed unanimously, installing Eric Wilson ’16 as Elections Commissioner and Habib Olapade ’17 and Elise Kostial ’18 as Assistant Elections Commissioners.

Senator Hattie Gawande ’18 raised concerns about issues with the election last year, including delayed election, funding issues and technical problems with the ballot that made it susceptible to hacking. Wilson indicated that these issues were due to miscommunications between Senate, the Graduate Student Council, Voluntary Student Organizations and election commissioners and that these issues would be avoided this coming election season.

The ASSU also discussed funding bills from the ASSU Sustainability Committee, the International Fraternity Council and Stanford UNICEF.

The ASSU Sustainability Committee working under the Executive Cabinet Exec requested $2,000 to help sponsor Stories of Sustainability. The event, which will be held in Dinkelspiel auditorium on Feb. 5, will feature performers and speakers and will focus on the personal impact of sustainability and environmental issues. The vote to approve this funding application passed unanimously.

The Senate motioned to end discussion on a request from the IFC to fund bus transportation to the Tequila Lounge for students who attend a basketball game in order to increase attendance at basketball games.

The ASSU motioned to vote on Stanford UNICEF’s $120 request for funding to provide food at their event.

Additional updates

Financial Manager Frederik Groce ’14 M.A. ’15 indicated that fee waivers are expected to be a little lower than they were in the fall. In addition, the Financial Manager selection committee is currently finding potential candidates to replace Groce next term.

The ASSU website is also getting ready for an overhaul, spearheaded by Communications Committee Chair Eni Asebiomo ’18.

“The website structure is ready and everything is up, we just need to fill in content,” Asebiomo said. “We are also working on a new document system for the constitution to make the constitution and bylaws available to the public.

In addition, the Senate Appropriations Committee is implementing a new office hour system to review funding requests and answer questions. The applications are reviewed by the Committee on Sunday and approved at the following Tuesday Senate meeting. Requests must be brought to office hours at least one week before the event at hand.

The Senate closed their meeting by brainstorming projects for the coming term in the areas of mental health, sexual assault, sustainability, transparency, racial justice, first generation and low-income students and Senate structure.

Initiatives that the Senate has accomplished this term include the new climate survey resolution, the sustainable dining hall bill, increased transparency and campaign funding for low income students.


Contact Pallavi Krishnarao at pallavik ‘at’

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