Undergrad Senate approves Vrakas as ex-officio Senator, talks ResX Task Force

Oct. 17, 2018, 12:02 a.m.

At the ninth meeting of the 20th Undergraduate Senate, Senators voted on a bill to appoint Tim Vrakas ’21 as an ex-officio Senator. Chairs of each Senate Committee also presented updates on their individual projects regarding ResX, sexual health and budgeting, respectively.

The bill to appoint Vrakas as an ex-officio Senator passed by a vote of 13-1, with two absent. As ex-officio, Vrakas will have all the privileges of a senator except the ability to vote.

“I’m currently interested in some environmental things,” Vrakas said when asked about what projects he’d work on as an ex-officio Senator. Specifically, he mentioned the wasteful disposal of University printers as an issue he’d like to solve.

Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Executive Shanta Katipamula ’19 also reported on her presentation last week to the ResX Task Force, stating that ASSU goals are aligned with those of the Task Force (which is charged with redesigning Stanford’s residential experience). 

Student Life Committee Chair Martin Altenburg ’21 said that his committee is now focused on residential staff training regarding sexual health.

“We’re focusing … more on staff training and how that relates to birth control access and education because we feel … that’s something people aren’t discussing as much, especially within the freshman dorms,” he said.

Altenburg also expressed an interest in getting the rest of the Senate behind focusing on accessibility of birth control and contraceptives this winter.

Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Gabe Rosen ’19 announced the beginning of the standard grant application window for Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs). Standard grants can exceed the $1,000 cap of quick grants, allowing VSOs to get more funding for the upcoming quarter. The window to apply for standard grants this quarter will open next week and close on Nov. 9.

Additionally, Deputy Chair Jianna So ’21 announced the start of the Senate Associate Program (SAP) this week, a program in which student Senate Associates are paired with a Senator to learn more about the body.

Four Senate Associates were present at the meeting and expressed interest in focusing on humanities representation in the academic community, mental health support and the connection between the student government and the student body.

Senator Michal Skreta ’21 advised the members of the program, “You’re in a fantastic position … [SAP] is a great way to learn about the Senate, and we need your help. We will always find something for you to do.”


Contact Zora Ilunga-Reed at zora814 ‘at’ stanford.edu

Zora Ilunga-Reed is a columnist and a junior studying Philosophy & Literature. A native New Yorker, she was a Copy Editor, Desk Editor and Staff Writer in volumes past. Read her column if you want to hear her thoughts on the woes of humanities students, tech culture and more.

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