Honor code revision proposal fails Undergraduate Senate vote

The senate approved the Committee of 12’s recommended changes to the Stanford Judicial Charter, which would overhaul the University’s academic integrity discipline policies

April 26, 2023, 1:01 a.m.

At their Tuesday meeting, the Undergraduate Senate (UGS) voted on two separate proposals presented by the Committee of 12 (C12), voting in favor of the Stanford Judicial Charter of 2023 and twice declining to approve the updated Honor Code language coupled with a study into what proctoring could look like at Stanford.

For the proposals to the Honor Code be enacted by the University, they would need to be approved again by the Board on Judicial Affairs (BJA), Undergraduate Senate, Graduate Student Council (GSC), Faculty Senate and Stanford President.

The UGS’s negative vote on the Honor Code leaves the proposed revisions to the text effectively dead in the water. Senator Priyanka Shrestha ‘24 said that any improvements that the proposed Honor Code and proctoring changes would, in practice, have changed very little. “I don’t see it as an improvement to the status quo, currently,” she said.

Meanwhile, after successfully being approved by the UGS, the Stanford Judicial Charter of 2023 will be voted on by the Faculty Senate in its April 27 meeting and will require eventual approval by the Stanford President to be adopted by the University.

The vote came after a years-long process looking into academic integrity and discipline policies at Stanford which included meetings with student leaders, community office hours and a prior vote of unanimous approval by the BJA.

Jamie Fine, a sixth-year Ph.D. student studying modern thought and literature serving as the C12 student co-chair, said that the two proposals before the UGS came as “the culmination of years of work.” Fine noted the importance of the proposals as a compromise between matters such as restorative justice and procedural efficiency.

BJA student co-chair Glen Husman ‘23 said similarly that compromise was core to the changes before the UGS.

“I didn’t vote for these things because they’re perfect,” Husman said. Rather, the proposals represent “community responsibility and overall positive change.”

The UGS initially failed to reach a two-thirds majority to pass the proposed Judicial Charter. However, UGS Parliamentarian Diego Kagurabadza ‘25 called for the senate to reconsider the charter and after hearing arguments by Kagurabadza — who serves on the UGS’s BJA Committee — a reconsideration vote was held that resulted in the revised charter’s approval, with some senators who initially voted against the proposal then choosing to abstain.

UGS co-chair Amira Dehmani ‘24 voiced concerns that the proposed mid-tier of the Judicial Charter, which uses a “clear and convincing evidence” standard to successfully charge a student, focuses too much on efficiency in procedure rather than restorative justice matters for students.

Senator Joy Molloy ‘25 said that the balance of efficiency and justice that the C12 sought to strike was “a proper step in the right direction.”

Senator Gurmenjit Bahia ‘24 said “I think there’s still work to be done on this topic.”

Certifying the 2023 ASSU election results

The UGS also voted to certify an amended bill on the results of the 2023 ASSU Spring General Election, certifying all annual grant requests and election outcomes except for this year’s UGS races. 

The decision to not vote on the UGS races was based on the pending case before the ASSU Constitutional Council, Election Commissioner v. Chen (2023) in which Ivy Chen ‘26 faces charges of violating ASSU campaign finance rules. The Council voted to accept the case, which it is set to hear on May 1, prior to the UGS vote on the election results. 

Kagurabadza expressed an interest in filing his own amicus brief — an independent filing by someone who is not a party to a case and wishes to provide another perspective to arguments — on behalf of Ivy Chen.  

Healthcare advocacy committee

The UGS tabled a resolution to create a Healthcare Advocacy Committee (HAC) to address various issues related to healthcare on campus. 

Shrestha cited requests from the Graduate Student Council (GSC) for a more comprehensive bill on the issue on the matter of the resolution’s delay to next week’s UGS meeting.

Clarifications to the Annual Grant process

The UGS tabled for its meeting next week a bill which would revise aspects of the process by which Annual Grants are approved. The bill codifies current UGS Appropriations Committee practices and seeks to further clarify its procedures. The bill outlines that a Voluntary Service Organization (VSO) may only submit a single Annual Grant in an academic year, the normal practice. 

The bill, as per the ASSU Constitution empowering the Committee to “modify requests as it sees fit,” puts into writing procedures of Annual Grant revisions. Kagurabadza, the author of the bill and a member of the Committee, wrote to The Daily that “The Committee has allowed VSOs to give their input when making these revisions so that the process is more collaborative and transparent.”

The funds that a VSO presents to the student body in the form of a petition to contest the decisions of the Committee, as newly outlined by the bill, would have to “be identical to the one originally presented to the Appropriations Committee, meaning before modification or revision.”

Changes to the structure of the Nominations Commission 

The UGS discussed a bill that would modify aspects of the ASSU Nominations Commission, the body of students tasked with appointing students to numerous University committees including the Board of Trustees, the Board on Judicial Affairs and the Office of the President & Provost. 

The bill establishes a Maintenance Division for the Nominations Commission meant to support “the student committee representatives with their service on University committees.” The UGS passed the bill unanimously. 

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the UGS meeting was on a Monday and that Diego Kagurabadza is a student member of C12. The Daily regrets this error. 

This article has been updated to clarify information about the Annual Grants bill.

Sebastian Strawser ‘26 is an Opinions contributor. He also writes for Humor and The Grind. His interests include political philosophy, capybaras and Filipino food. Contact Sebastian at sstrawser 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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