News

All constitutional amendments fail for second year

April 25, 2022, 8:43 p.m.

All of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) constitutional amendments failed to pass for the second year in a row in this year’s ASSU election.

An amendment that would have transitioned the Undergraduate Senate’s election procedure to single transferable voting, which incorporates voters’ ranked preferences through a weighting process, was not ratified after neither attaining quorum nor receiving at least two-thirds of the vote.

Though amendments on non-discrimination and financial clarification and engagement cleared the two-thirds margin to be ratified this year, voters did not meet a 15% quorum of both undergraduate and graduate students required for amendments to pass.

ASSU Elections Commissioner Cameron Ehsan ’24 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ehsan is an editor for The Daily.

Of the five general constitutional amendments on the ballot that did not meet a quorum, all but one were also voted on in last year’s election, where they faced the same fate.

Amendment B: “Gender Neutral Language,” which would have changed the text of the ASSU Constitution to remove gendered language, received over two-thirds approval in 2021, but garnered only 63.37% of the vote this year, with around 23% abstaining and 14% voting against it.

Likewise, Amendment D: “Judicial Reforms” received only 57.76% approval this year after an earlier version of the amendment cleared the two-thirds barrier last year. The amendment would have edited the Constitution to clarify the jurisdiction and operations of the Constitutional Council, a body of ASSU president-appointed councilors that reviews constitutional challenges to actions by the elected branches of the ASSU.

The other two amendments that sought passage for a second year received over two-thirds of the vote, but they did not pass because quorum was not reached. Amendment C: “Financial Clarification and Engagement,” would have edited the language in the ASSU Constitution to clarify its financial system, and Amendment E: “Non-Discrimination Statement” would have added a section to the ASSU Constitution that explicitly prohibits discrimination, which currently exists in the ASSU Joint Bylaws only. 
The only new general constitutional amendment was Amendment F: “Inspector General.” It would have created a new Office of the Inspector General, an elected executive official authorized to investigate ASSU committees or other bodies to improve efficiency and determine compliance with ASSU policies, according to the text of the act.

Victoria Hsieh '24 is a Desk Editor for the Business and Technology Desk looking to major in Computer Science and minor in Political Science. She is from Seattle and thereby a caffeine and hiking fanatic. Contact The Daily’s News section at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.Jessica Zhu '24 is a Copy Editor and a Desk Editor for the Campus Life desk. She is majoring in International Relations with minors in Human Rights and French, and can be found at CoHo with at least three espresso shots in her system.

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