Senators unanimously voted to place an amendment to create a single transferable voting system on the 2021 Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) general election ballot during Monday’s Undergraduate Senate meeting.
Under the Single Transferable Vote method, each voter would rank Undergraduate Senate candidates on a single ballot, which “maximizes the effectiveness of students’ votes, as votes cast for a particular set of candidates will be transferred to other candidates based on each voter’s preferences,” according to the Spring 2021 Interim Report of the Constitutional Review Committee.
In addition to passing a bill that would potentially change the Undergraduate Senate voting system, senators unanimously voted to place the Gender Neutral Language Amendment on the general election ballot, which would remove all references to gendered language from the ASSU Constitution.
Senators also unanimously approved three addendums to pre-existing policies during the meeting. The first addendum would make the Constitutional Council more accessible to the ASSU by clarifying its jurisdiction and laying out its formal procedures; the second addendum would make the constitutional language describing ASSU’s financial system clearer; and the third addendum would add language to the Constitution that explicitly prohibits discrimination in the ASSU because, as of now, this language is only included in the Joint Bylaws.
As a result of Senate approval, these addendums will be placed on the general election ballot. If approved, the proposed changes will be enforced.
Senator Emily Nichols ’23 also proposed using ASSU discretionary funds allocated to the Undergraduate Senate to establish a mental health and wellness fund for students.
The Undergraduate Senate has $3,295 left over in discretionary funds and can choose what to do with the funds, according to Senate treasurer Tim Vrakas ’21.
Nichols said that she envisions students being able to use the funds for individual mental health support, such as paying for transportation to get to appointments and for co-payments, and for students to host self-care activities.