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Proposed bill ‘admonishes’ ASSU President

Elections Commissioner Adam Adler ’12 submitted a bill titled, “A Bill to Encourage People to Do What They Should Already Be Doing” at the 13th meeting of the ASSU Undergraduate Senate Tuesday evening.

Adler, whose presence dominated the meeting as long discussions arose surrounding several bills he presented, sought to “admonish” ASSU Executive President Michael Cruz ’12 to appoint members to the Constitutional Council, in addition to admonishing the Nominations Committee to appoint solicitor generals and Senator Alex Kindel ’14 to make a current version of the ASSU governing documents available.

“I can’t enforce the regulations if I don’t know what the regulations are,” Adler said to the Senate.

Senator Janani Ramachandran ’14 objected to using the word “admonish,” noting it was “rude.”

“It’s not that they’re not doing their job. It’s just one part of their job,” Ramachandran said.

Adler rejoined that he felt the word was justified.

The bill would be voted upon in two weeks as a result of Thanksgiving Break, but both Adler and Senator Ben Laufer ’12 said the Senate would not have to pass the bill if these positions were filled during that time, rendering the point moot.

Adler also presented a bill seeking the Senate’s help in clarifying multiple sections of the governing documents.

“When you look at the joint bylaws, they’re an incoherent mess,” Adler said. “There’s a general sense of carelessness in the documents I have.”

The bill seeks to address several inconsistencies and vague language, as well as an apparent violation of current law.

The bylaws prohibit groups that apply for special fees from having money in different, non-ASSU accounts unless a special exemption is granted every year, and an independent auditor must review those accounts.

For instance, Adler said The Daily receives special fees, but that there is no independent auditor or exemption issued every year. Cruz said that a previous University president amended the constitution to specifically exempt The Daily from a yearly check.

Adler responded that he was simply raising the issue to the attention of the Senate, and that it was up to the governing body to determine the legitimacy of the apparent inconsistency.

In addition to these updates, the Senate briefly discussed various advocacy groups the senators are involved in personally, though not directly related to official Senate business. Senate Chair Rafael Vazquez ’12 encouraged all senators, especially Queer Coalition candidates, to attend Intersections Week at Stanford.

Senator Shawn Dye ’14 discussed a program to promote social justice and stand in solidarity with UC-Berkeley students against police brutality. A march of Stanford and Berkeley students is scheduled to take place on the Saturday of Big Game and is currently being marketed with the slogan, “Social Justice is bigger than Big Game.”

More time was spent discussing this topic than the others, as senators questioned how to best address various issues, including whether Saturday’s march will serve as an endorsement of the Occupy movement. Discussion was cut short by Senate Deputy Chair Dan Ashton ’14.

“I don’t think we should be wasting our time discussing it when it’s an individual thing,” Ashton said.

Senator Dan Delong ’13 disagreed, but Vazquez moved discussion forward and told senators to contact Dye later for more information.

Laufer updated the Senate on the conclusion to the University of Southern California (USC) football game ticket reimbursement program, reporting that 242 students sought reimbursement, nearly filling the allotted 250 spots. Checks will likely be processed and distributed in the Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE) offices in the coming weeks, Laufer said.

About Brendan O'Byrne

Brendan is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. Previously he was the executive editor, the deputy editor, a news desk editor and a writer for the news section. He's a history major originally from New Orleans.