UGS addresses term limits and airport shuttles

Jan. 18, 2024, 12:39 a.m.

The Undergraduate Senate (UGS) debated a resolution to remove term limits for the ASSU financial manager, a move to make airport shuttles permanent and updates on the presidential search at their Tuesday meeting.

Currently, the financial manager can serve for a maximum of two years. UGS Co-Chair Ritwik Tati ’25 introduced a bill to hopefully create continuity not only in budgetary practices, but also leadership. 

“As you guys all know, Jas has been extremely helpful, at least since I’ve been here on Senate, so we do want to keep them on,” Tati said of the current financial manager, Jas Espinosa ’18 M.A. ’19.

Although Tati said everyone he had spoken with so far had wanted to keep Espinosa on, he clarified that the passing of this bill would not solidify her reappointment as the financial manager. The future manager would undergo the full selection process. 

“Our ultimate nomination might end up being someone else,” Tati said. But “two years seems very limiting for someone to fully emphasize what they’re capable of as a financial manager and Jas has been great. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”  

The Senate also discussed a joint resolution that would call for Stanford to institutionalize an airport shuttle service. Currently, Students for Sustainable Stanford (SSS) provides a airport shuttle service, but the bill would call on the University to organize services. 

“It’s a big burden for [SSS] to have to carry on this university-wide initiative for students,” said Senator Ivy Chen ’26.

Senators said the resolution intends to mitigate the expenses students face when traveling to and from the airport. Many expressed concern that Uber or Lyft rides are often upward of 50 dollars, and students currently don’t have good alternatives.

“We arrived at a solution … to make transportation institutionalized by the University,” Chen said.

UGS Co-Chair Diego Kagurabadza ’25 said there was a potential update on the horizon from the presidential search committee. There may be “an announcement from that committee coming soon,” Kagurabadza said. 

Senators also heard from ASSU Executive Sophia Danielpour ’24, who addressed questions on the recent University announcement that students will no longer be restricted by neighborhoods in the housing draw. Further information will be released incrementally by Residential Education, Danielpour said.

The UGS additionally debated counting student-athlete “associate acts” — such as the Leland Stanford Junior Marching Band (LSJUMB), the cheer team and the Stanford Dollies — as student-athletes

According to Ava Tiffany ’26, who is chair of the communications committee, these associate acts are “typically overlooked when getting academic accommodations” for travel. 

Senators also discussed the recent extension of Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center’s weekend operating hours, as well as efforts to extend its weekday hours.

Kagurabadza talked about the Town Center Project, an initiative that began in 2019 to redesign White Plaza as a more welcoming space for community gatherings. The project has hosted a few focus groups with student leaders, and aims to release a public engagement campaign to solicit feedback from the broader student body.

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