The Graduate Student Council (GSC) unanimously confirmed Lindsey Williams ‘23 to the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Constitutional Council during its Wednesday meeting.
The Council is responsible for ensuring that “the ASSU acts in the best interests of students and within the guidance of the ASSU Constitution.”
ASSU president Christian Giadolor authored the bill nominating Williams. Williams has previous policy experience, including working as a member of a human rights council in Salem, Oregon, where she developed policy and judicial knowledge analogous to her potential work on the Constitutional Council. She also serves as an editor for the Stanford Undergraduate Law Review and was a research assistant at Stanford Law.
Williams emphasized her respect for Constitutional Council case law, stressing that it needed to “establish for itself the respect owed to Council decisions,” especially given the small number of cases it has previously taken.
She acknowledged, however, that the Council would have to “pass its own judgment” with regard to the “rare case” where circumstances may have sufficiently changed since a previous case such that a different ruling on the case may be possible.
“Giving a great deal of respect to the existing case law is necessary in order to create a tradition of the Constitutional Council being an instrument of constitutional interpretation,” Williams said.
Councilors also continued their conversation with Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) about the elimination of to-go boxes from dining halls. According to Executive Director of R&DE Stanford Dining Eric Montell, R&DE’s decision to phase out its to-go program was partly motivated by concerns about cost, as well as the increase in food waste, especially since a significant portion of compostable waste was disposed of in the landfill.
Councilor and third-year aeronautics and astronautics Ph.D. student Jason Anderson also raised several student complaints about missing flat mail and packages with R&DE. According to Executive Director of R&DE Student Housing Operations Imogen Hinds, one explanation for the missing flat mail might be that some mail is not addressed in the exact manner preferred by the United States Postal Service, although R&DE is working to find more information about the issue. R&DE is also working to find more information about the missing packages reported by students and has reached out to Stanford’s Department of Public Safety for help, Hinds said.
Councilor and fifth-year modern thought and literature Ph.D. student Jamie Fine briefed councilors about the Nominations Committee, an ASSU branch responsible for “nominating students to university committees,” which she said was able to fill all of its available graduate student positions with the exception of a few committees. According to Fine, the GSC will likely receive a Senate bill with the new representatives in the near future. She also lauded councilors’ efforts to boost graduate student participation.
“They had a very good showing among grad students,” she said. “So all of you who worked on that one, thank you.”