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Execs to hire ASSU cabinet over summer

After five weeks in office, ASSU President Robbie Zimbroff ’12 and Vice President William Wagstaff ’12 have yet to make cabinet staffing decisions. According to Zimbroff, the two have been working on completing administrative tasks and will begin tackling larger initiatives during the summer.

“I think something we were reluctant to do is to rush into things just to say that we have them done,” Zimbroff said.

Zimbroff said he would assemble his cabinet over the summer by communicating with and interviewing potential candidates via Skype, phone calls and email.

“We’re just looking for people with good heads on their shoulders and who know generally how the campus operates,” he said.

In previous years, the ASSU Executive team has chosen to announce their cabinet selections before the end of spring quarter. Last year, former ASSU President Michael Cruz ’12 and Vice President Stewart Macgregor-Dennis ’13 announced their cabinet selections during the first week of June. In 2010, former ASSU President Angelina Cardona ’11 and Vice President Kelsei Wharton ’12 announced their picks during the second week of May.

Zimbroff and Wagstaff both said that they hope Stanford students understand that although their administration has not been sending out emails to alert students of their progress, they are getting things done.

“We’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work,” Zimbroff said. “We have to get the less sexy, more proscribed stuff out of the way before we can do the real work.”

He said at the beginning of the term “people dump a ton of stuff on your plate.”

“You have to clear that stuff off in order to move forward with what you want to do,” Zimbroff said.

One of the projects that Zimbroff has been trying to “clear off his plate” is the appointment of students through the Nominations Commission (NomCom), which Zimbroff said his administration has now completed.

“I don’t need to send a campus-wide email saying what I’ve accomplished,” Zimbroff said. “I think that’s something students don’t like about the ASSU.

“The majority of Stanford students aren’t going to be upset that the ASSU isn’t flooding their inboxes,” he added.

NomCom is responsible for screening and appointing student representatives to committees and boards across campus. During the previous ASSU administration, no new NomCom members were recruited because the ASSU Executives assumed that an amended constitution, which included a reformed NomCom process, would pass, according to Zimbroff. However, the constitution did not pass, leaving the ASSU with no way to appoint students to University committees.

“This wasn’t something we planned on or campaigned on, but it was something we needed to do,” Zimbroff said of appointing students through the NomCom process.

The ASSU Executives will be taking a break from ASSU activities over Dead Week and exam week in order to focus on their studies. However, once their academic obligations are over, the pair plans on resuming planning for the 2012-13 school year.

Zimbroff said that he and Wagstaff plan on talking with administrators about how to prepare for next school year while they are on campus over the summer.

“We see this summer as a great way to hit the ground running,” Zimbroff said.

One specific plan that Zimbroff discussed for the upcoming school year was to bring food trucks to campus or have better food-delivery options for students late at night. He said that, over the summer, he and Wagstaff will be negotiating with campus administrators and local restaurants in order to get these options ready for the fall.

The pair has also made a point of saying that although they do have plans that they want the ASSU leadership to spearhead for next school year, they also want ASSU leaders to feel comfortable in a supporting role on campus.

“I don’t feel compelled to roll out a slew of sustainability initiatives,” Zimbroff said, citing one example of the philosophy in practice. “I think the ASSU should play a supporting role for groups who are already doing a great job with sustainability initiatives on campus.”

Zimbroff stressed a need for practicality in the job of ASSU executive.

“You don’t always have to have a new revolutionary program and do it two weeks after taking office,” Zimbroff said. “You just have to do what works.”

  • Student

    I strongly disagree that student’s wouldn’t want a simple email highlighting what’s been done in 5 weeks. True we don’t want our inboxes “flooded” with emails, but communication with the student body has always been an issue that ASSU leaders have constantly tried to bring up. And let’s be real, emails are really one of the best ways to communicate. What about 2-way communication? Maybe suggestions from the student body as to what can be done? Simply put, students want accountability, to KNOW what their elected leaders are doing. Especially since funds from the budget has already been approved and allotted from the Senate.

    I’m a bit disappointed that cabinet positions are only being opened up over the summer. Past administrations have seemed to get their housekeeping “unsexy” stuff in order earlier as well as get cabinet positions out. Summer isn’t a time where students regularly read and respond to applications, and it’s a bit disappointing since students at Stanford  often do plan their extra-curriculars before the start of the new academic year.

    Sorry for the long remarks, but I haven’t yet found any other outlet to voice my opinions to current ASSU leaders.