GSC considers vote of no confidence in Stanford leadership for fourth week

Feb. 3, 2021, 10:12 p.m.

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) weighed narrowing the scope of a potential “vote of no confidence” in University leadership in response to the University’s decision to cancel on-campus winter quarter undergraduate housing at its Tuesday meeting. 

A vote, while largely symbolic, would be a statement that the student government legislative bodies have lost confidence in University leadership. The Tuesday meeting took less than 40 minutes, unusually short for the council.

This week also marks the fourth time the GSC has weighed a no-confidence vote — and a vote isn’t slated for the near future, with the council hoping to decide on the no-confidence vote by the end of the academic year. The council is working with leaders in the Undergraduate Senate to ensure that, in the future, the University does not make similarly impactful decisions without taking student input more heavily into consideration.

The University has committed to including more student voices in future decision making processes, and said that it will notify students of on-campus spring plans on March 1.

GSC co-chair and fifth-year theater and performance studies Ph.D. student Kari Barclay said that undergraduate senators and the student government executive team recently expressed interest in making the vote of no confidence “more targeted.” He added that the bodies want to identify what in the University leadership structure creates problems in the decision-making process.

“They were interested in more specifically focusing on the decision-making bodies that have been in charge of the decision for winter,” Barclay said, adding that the bodies wanted to “speak directly to the provost and Office of the President.”

Barclay said that the two legislative bodies are formulating a set of “asks” around inclusion in University decision-making. The groups plan to include reasons for the vote, as well as reforms, in the joint resolution that would include the vote of no confidence.

GSC’s last two meetings have lasted less than an hour, approximately half the duration of most of its past meetings this academic year. GSC co-chair Will Paisley said that, while there are fewer matters than normal to address, the Council is doing its best to enact positive change where it can.

“Right now it’s about trying to create continuity,” Paisley said. “I’m really looking forward to what can be done next spring. Hopefully things will be much more possible.”

Contact Tammer Bagdasarian at tbag ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Tammer Bagdasarian '24 is a Desk Editor for the Grad Student beat at The Daily, and is planning to major in Communication and Political Science. In his free time he likes to hang out with University Desk Editor Benjamin Zaidel. Contact the news sections at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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