GSC passes campaign finance reform bill, funds Valentine’s Day party

Jan. 24, 2019, 12:01 a.m.

In its weekly Wednesday meeting, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) unanimously passed bills lowering spending limits for student government campaigns and granting funding to a GSC Valentine’s Day party.

The first bill, titled “A Bill to Amend the Joint Bylaws to Reform Campaign Spending and Executive Slate Public Financing Policies,” lowers the spending limits for executive slates from $1,000 to $500 and for class presidency slates from $400 to $100. Authored by Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Elections Commissioner Jacob Randolph ’19, the bill also reduces the number of graduate student signatures required to qualify for public financing from 100 to 50.

At the Council’s meeting last week, when the bill was on prior notice, Randolph said the intention was to make spending limits “more proportional” to the offices to which they apply. The bill passed without question or comment.

The second bill, titled “A Bill to Fund Stanford Valentine’s Day Party,” authorizes $5,000 for a graduate student celebration on Feb. 15. The bill, written by GSC Social Chair Gabby Badica, a Ph.D candidate in the Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, also passed unanimously.

“I don’t think I’m going to need all of our $5,000, but I’m not sure yet,” Badica said, explaining that exact costs were paid out in response to invoices coming after the event.

The Council also considered “A Bill to Fund the 2019 Stanford Chinese New Year Gala” on prior notice. Also authored by Badica, the bill would authorize $5,000 for the event, which is also supported by the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Stanford (ACSSS), Stanford Chinese Sing, Stanford Chinese Women Collective and Stanford Chinese Music Ensemble. The Council will vote on the legislation next week.

Badica compared the three-hour gala, which features short acts from many different performers and is reportedly attended by as many as 1,700 students, to Eurovision or a “mini Grammy awards.”

In open session, the Council briefly discussed the progress of affordability initiatives.

Badica, a member of the Affordability Task Force  said graduate students would receive an email next week from University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell, with a survey about affordability at Stanford. The Affordability Task Force is a branch of the University’s Long-Range-Planning efforts that aims to make Stanford more financially accessible to faculty, staff, academic staff, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

“Please tell everybody to complete this,” Badica said.

Ana Tarano B.S. ’13 M.S. ’15, Diversity & Advocacy Committee (DAC) co-chair and aeronautics and astronautics Ph.D candidate, also spoke briefly on efforts to support trans, intersex and non-binary students.

She expressed her desire to ensure that the Council was “keeping true” to commitments made in a recently-passed bill expressing solidarity with trans, intersex and non-binary students. Tarano said that she had reached out to Queer Student Resources (QSR) about how the Council can most effectively support trans students. She warned that news of the Supreme Court’s revival of a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military could be “very triggering.”

“Be there, show kindness if you can,” she told councillors. “Use the desired pronouns of people, declare your pronouns in your email signatures if possible, and respect others as much as you can.”

In brief updates, GSC chair and cancer biology Ph.D candidate Amy Tarangelo mentioned working with Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) to widen graduate students’ dining options. In social updates, Badica discussed working on Chinese New Year, the Valentine’s Day party and EEPROM, the Graduate Students in Electrical Engineering’s (GSEE) annual gala. In DAC updates, Tarano discussed the formation of a gender-inclusivity-focused task force and this weekend’s upcoming diversity summit, which she said “should be really productive.”

The council also approved minutes from its last meeting and approved funding requests from the Christian Legal Fellowship, the Alpine Club and the Persian Student Association.

Contact Charlie Curnin at ccurnin ‘at’

Charlie Curnin '22 is the editor-in-chief of The Stanford Daily. Contact him at eic 'at'

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