Widgets Magazine

Senate to vote on transition today

The ASSU Undergraduate Senate is set to vote today on whether or not to dissolve the current Senate on May 11 and swear in the senators-elect, a move that usually happens in the fifth week of the quarter. The decision could be postponed another week in today’s meeting.

According to Senate Parliamentarian Alex Katz ’12, the current Senate has delayed dissolving because of a need to focus on budget discussions and Senate bylaws, which haven’t been updated in four years. Katz also said the Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, had concerns about needing more time to handle the transition to next year’s influential committee.

“We have business that still needs work, including continuity in Appropriations and sustainability initiatives,” said Senate Chair Varun Sivaram ’11. “But a late transition will really set back the incoming Senate — they’ll be really pressed for time.”

A Senate committee was also talking as recently as last week about ethics reforms, spearheaded largely by Senator Shelley Gao ’11 (who is also a Daily columnist); a green events checklist is also still in committee talks.

Current Senator Mohammad Ali ’10 said he believes the Senate is postponing dissolving to avoid discussion of a potential divestment bill. Ali co-wrote the bill to dissolve May 11.

“Senators are saying that the new Senate’s not ready,” Ali said. “But from what I know, the Senate’s only postponing because they want to push a vote about this issue [divestment] until next year.”

Ali is also an organizer for Campaign Restore Hope (CRH), a coalition of students whose mission is to raise awareness about perceived human rights violations in Israel and Palestine and encourage divestment from four specific companies.

On Sunday, a hard-copy petition was distributed under the doors of some residences on campus from CRH, asking students to write a sentence of support for the initiative and to deliver the petition to their “dorm representative or RA.”

The petition’s goals include passing “an ASSU bill urging our University to disinvest from these companies” that violate human rights.

No such bill has been introduced in the Senate. CRH organizer Fadi Quran ’10 said the campaign intends to introduce a bill to the incoming Senate.

A group of students tied to the Stanford Israel Alliance denounced the emergence of CRH’s petition on Monday.

Senate bylaws dictate that once a bill is introduced, the Senate must wait at least one week before voting on it. Since the Senate is not required to meet during dead week or finals week, if the Senate postpones dissolution until the eighth week, the incoming Senate would not be able to pass any bills unless it chose to meet after the ninth week.

Stanford is currently in the sixth week of spring quarter.

About Ellen Huet

Ellen Huet is currently a senior staff writer at The Daily; she joined the staff in fall 2008 and served one volume as managing news editor in fall and early winter of 2010-2011. Reach her at ehuet at stanford dot edu. Fan mail and sternly worded complaints are equally welcome.
  • Fadi Quran

    Dear Ellen and Stanford community,

    This article mistakenly misinterprets the goals of Campaign Restore Hope. We are calling for divestment from companies that violate human rights in the region. The companies we are proposing are not all Israeli companies. I will include information below to clarify our goals. I urge you to change “divestment from Israel” to “divestment from companies that severely violate human rights and cause substantial social harm with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in this article ASAP.


    These violations include:
    Violation of the Right to Education:
    i) Assists in disrupting the education of over 53,000 college, elementary and high school students .
    ii) Assists in preventing 6832 college, elementary and high school students from receiving an education .
    Violation of the Right to Access to Water:
    i) Complicit in blocking access to water. As a result a population of 3.5 million is only allowed to consume 48% of the World Health Organization’s recommended amount of water per capita. This leads to the spread of disease, and the destruction of agriculture and industry .
    Violation of the Right to Freedom of Movement:
    i) Directly complicit in preventing a population of over 100,000 civilians from accessing families, farms, and their work places .
    Violation of the Right to Health:
    i) Ensures the obstruction of 40,000 civilians from accessing doctors and hospitals in emergencies. Policy has resulted in prolonged human suffering, trauma, severe health complications, and death .

  • Fadi Quran

    Violation of Basic Labor Rights by :
    i) Leaving laborers on 10-20 feet high trees for 7 – 10 hours per day, forcing them to eat, urinate, and defecate while on trees, and calling them “monkeys.”
    ii) Not recognizing labor unions, and punishing those who decide to organize.
    iii) Theft of agricultural land from indigenous farmers.
    iv) Financially and economically assisting in the perpetuation of violent conflict and oppression that results in indigenous unemployment rates of 23% – 40%.
    v) Ignores worker health and safety regulations.
    vi) Abuses child laborers.

    Corruption : Diversion of International Aid for personal use.

    Publishes anti-Semitic hate speech and incitement.
    Publishes materials supporting violence against innocent civilians and women.

    Campaign Restore Hope Guidelines:
    Dear fellow Stanford students,
    Who are the Members of Campaign Restore Hope?
    We are a rapidly expanding coalition of Stanford students, Black, White, Hispanic, Native, and Asian; Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists; Democrats, Independents, and Republicans; American and International. We are students just like you.
    We really need your help:
    We need your help to restore hope to millions of people.
    How? By ensuring that we are not lending ourselves to the severe violations of human rights mentioned on the back of this page. Our University is unknowingly violating its long standing ethical standards by financially assisting in human rights abuses in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, and thus providing economic incentives to those who seek to derail the peace process. President Obama said that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is “costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure .” People in the region are suffering and rapidly losing hope in peace and a better future. We can make things better. As a community, we must make sure we are not complicit in any way.
    What are Our Campaign’s Objectives?
    1. To educate the University and increase dialogue on this issue.
    ( First TEACH IN Thursday May 6th Toyon Hall (7 – 9 PM))
    Weekly dialogue meetings with professors, teach-ins and interfaith prayer sessions for peace and justice. We will visit your dorms this week. Our website provides easy access to a large list of resources: campaignrestorehope.blogspot.com
    2. To ensure that our University is not invested in the companies on the back of this page, and other companies that violate human rights in the region.
    To pass an ASSU bill urging our university to disinvest from these companies.
    3. To develop new creative ways that will help end this conflict.
    (Learn more: Visit campaignrestorehope.blogspot.com).
    What Can I Do to Help?
    Write a short sentence of support for students in the region. These notes will be hand delivered. Submit this document to your assigned dorm representative or RA. Thank you for your support!

    For general convenience, if you DO NOT support us and our 3 objectives fill out this box and submit this document to your dorm representative or RA. Please provide your criticism for further improvement. Come to our Weekly Teach- Ins to learn more.