Graduate Student Council passes judicial charter, honor code revisions

April 27, 2023, 12:28 a.m.

The GSC voted nearly unanimously to approve the Stanford Student Conduct Charter of 2023 and the revised Honor Code during their meeting Tuesday night. Proposed changes to aspects of academic integrity and discipline include restructuring the judicial process for students and researching the possibility of exam proctoring.

The Charter and proposed Honor Code changes were the result of efforts from the Committee of 12 (C-12), a group of students, faculty and staff who have spent the last two years making recommendations to update the Honor Code, Judicial Charter and Process and interpretations of the Fundamental Standard.

“I feel like we climbed a mountain or ten, and we’re coming down on the other side,” C-12 representative Jamie Fine said after both the charter and the honor code passed, with no questions for the representative. “Cross your fingers, we’re moving on to the next student group after this.” 

In a later vote on Tuesday night, the honor code failed to pass twice in the Undergraduate Senate (UGS). The Board of Judicial Affairs had previously unanimously voted to approve the new honor code. Despite the GSC’s support for the Honor Code updates, the UGS vote leaves the future of the proposed updates unclear.

The GSC also voted to pass a bill to change the structure of the NomCom (Nominations Committee), a body of the ASSU tasked with appointing students to committees, such as the Board of Trustees, the Office of the President & Provost, Academic Council and Student Affairs structure. The NomCom Bylaw Changes bill was created to improve the commission’s process by increasing transparency and collaboration within ASSU and to the student body, as well as to provide guidance on committee maintenance.

Regalia cost concerns

The GSC discussed concerns about high expenses for graduate student caps and gowns. According to members of the council, for commencement in June, outside suppliers are contracted for caps and gowns, with costs this year totaling $983 for students. Steve Gaeta, co-manager of the Stanford Bookstore, said the bookstore works with whichever distributor is contracted for that year’s graduation. He said last year’s contractor was Herff Jones.

Affordability has remained a priority for members of the GSC, with students calling for policies such as salary raises and the expansion of public transit options on campus.

Explaining the cost of graduation gear, Gaeta said, “There is a lot of process that goes into distribution and intricate washing.” According to Gaeta, the bookstore itself holds little control over the pricing process. “As far as overall pricing, it’s set by our corporate office,” he said.

GSC co-chair Jason Anderson said that he finds the bookstore prices unaffordable. “I refuse to buy any Stanford paraphernalia from the bookstore due to the high costs.”

Gaeta countered that the bookstore carries expensive brands with prices that are inflexible. “We try to be comparable to [other brands] … I can’t afford the pricing [at the bookstore] either,” he said.

Gaeta told the graduate student that if they believe the cost is too high, they are allowed to purchase or rent regalia from a non-official vendor. “You want to walk, you want to get in there with your class, do what you got to do,” he said.

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