Make Election Day a holiday, Senate says

Sept. 16, 2020, 12:11 p.m.

At its first meeting after summer recess on Tuesday, the Undergraduate Senate unanimously passed a resolution that endorses designating Election Day as a holiday and a joint resolution in support of accommodations for online education across time zones.

Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Chief of Staff Jianna So ’21 also told the Senate that to uplift the work of Black student organizers, the Vice President Selection Committee plans to prioritize Black candidates in the search for a new ASSU vice president. Following the resignation of former President Munira Alimire ’22, former Vice President Vianna Vo ’21 assumed the president position and vacated the vice president role. 

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution written by Senator Jonathan Lipman ’21 endorsing the designation of Election Day as a holiday for students, faculty and staff.

As reasons for making Election Day a non-instructional holiday, the resolution cites making it more likely that students vote, promoting civic awareness and “signalling that Stanford University values civic participation.”

Currently, for regular, full-time employees, supervisors authorize up to two hours of paid time off to vote, according to the Stanford Administrative Guide

The Senate also unanimously passed a joint resolution seeking to ensure equal access to online education for students in different time zones.

The resolution calls on the University to prioritize “all Stanford students’ rights to education and academic success no matter where they are during this pandemic,” and for instructors to record lectures and discussions, refrain from considering attendance in grading and set time windows for assessments of 24 hours or more, among other stipulations.

The Senate unanimously voted to confirm the nomination of Stanford Law School student Colin O’Brien to the ASSU Constitutional Council. The council is tasked with interpreting the ASSU Constitution in disputed cases.

O’Brien said he was motivated to join the council “by a desire to be active in and contribute to the school community.”

This article has been corrected to reflect that the Senate resolution endorses making Election Day a holiday. A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that the resolution makes Election Day a holiday, and also incorrectly characterized the resolution as a bill. The Daily regrets this error.

Contact Sarah Maung at smaung99 ‘at’

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