January recap: Here’s what you need to know from the Undergraduate Senate

Feb. 2, 2023, 6:58 p.m.

The Undergraduate Senate (UGS) unanimously passed two resolutions addressing on-ramp STEM courses and sexual violence and harassment from faculty during their January meetings. 

On-ramp STEM courses

In their first meeting of winter quarter, the UGS unanimously passed a resolution introduced by former Senator Cayla Withers ’24 in May 2022 calling for the development of comprehensive courses which would act as preparation for popular introductory classes like CHEM 31 and CS 106A. 

Senators noted that many students entering Stanford have varying degrees of experience in these subjects, particularly influenced by the resource level of their high schools. These “on-ramp STEM course[s]” would allow for students from diverse backgrounds to feel more prepared in pursuing STEM majors.

The measure passed unanimously in the Graduate Student Council (GSC) in December 2022 and Withers expressed optimism that it would also pass the Faculty Senate. 

Joint resolution to address sexual violence and harassment from faculty

During their Jan. 19 meeting, the Senate passed the Joint Resolution to Address Responses to Sexual Violence from Faculty. Co-authored by GSC co-chair Emily Schell, a fifth-year developmental and psychological sciences Ph.D. student, UGS co-chair Amira Dehmani ’24, and Faculty Senate Representative Gurmenjit Bahia ’24, the resolution calls for the University to institute a “swift and transparent faculty-specific” process for reporting sexual assault.

The resolution also urged the University to remove faculty members under investigation for sexual assault or harassment from “student-facing work.” In October 2022, UGS passed a related resolution calling for the firing of faculty with reported acts of sexual violence, specifically mentioning tenured associate professor Vincent Barletta, who has been the subject of at least three Title IX cases in the past decade, and has yet to be removed from his position. 

This comes on the heels of criticisms of University response to a string of sexual violence incidents that occurred on campus this fall. Two reports of rape on campus occured between August and October, sparking demonstrations and Senate resolutions.  Students told The Daily that the Title IX reporting process is still a “mess.” 

Funding

All January funding requests (a total of 50 quick grants, 13 reserve requests, and 5 standard grants) were unanimously approved. This funding went to a variety of different groups, ranging from a Motorized Couch Project for the Stanford Moonshot Club to additional funding for Club Water Polo.

Contact Zoe at News 'at' stanforddaily.com.Oriana Riley ’24 is a News Managing Editor at The Daily. Every once in a while, she drops an iconic Campus Life article. Outside of The Daily, Oriana enjoys running a lot of miles and eating a lot of food. Contact Oriana at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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