ASSU Executive intends to shrink cabinet, spend less on stipends

The 2012-2013 ASSU Executive cabinet will be significantly smaller and cost less money, according to incoming ASSU President Robbie Zimbroff ’12.

“This year’s cabinet is going to be much leaner than last year’s,” Zimbroff said in an email to The Daily. “The target number is around three or four people.” That’s a significant cut from the 19 appointed by 2011-2012 ASSU Executive Michael Cruz ’12 and Stewart Macgregor-Dennis ’13.

“[The change] also coincides with a shift in philosophy,” he said. “The main impetus for change is… common sense, just doing what will work… instead of having a ‘Chair of Food’ or a ‘Chair of Social Entrepreneurship.’”

Noting the need for greater diversity, Zimbroff and his vice president, William Wagstaff ’12, have not designated specific cabinet roles on the application. “We are looking for people that come from diverse academic and co-curricular backgrounds,” Zimbroff said.

“Our cabinet members will have experience interacting with administrators and the resourcefulness to handle student issues in several different areas,” Wagstaff said. “One of the best things cabinet members can do is have a sense of ‘the bigger picture,’ how all the moving parts of student life fit together.”

Along with fewer cabinet members, salaries are expected to change as well. $7,000 was set aside for the executive cabinet from the past fiscal year’s budget, and Zimbroff believes the full amount will not be used this year because of the changes.

“How much of [the budget] we actually use to pay our cabinet depends on the [exact] number of people we end up hiring,” he said. “The money unused for… stipends will be allocated back to student activities during the year.”

“Generally, the cabinet members will be paid more, because there are fewer of them,” he added.

A third change that will occur is the separation of the Community Action Board (CAB) from the ASSU Executive. According to Wagstaff, the CAB will now function as an ASSU-chartered organization under the advisement of Tommy Lee Woon, associate dean of educational resources.

“The idea behind this change was to make the CAB a stable body at Stanford, independent of the changing priorities of the ASSU Executive, and to increase the institutional knowledge with support from administrators,” Wagstaff said.

With the changes to the CAB, decreasing salary payout across the cabinet and a decrease in the number of people involved, Zimbroff and Wagstaff hope to stress teamwork and create a streamlined, balanced Executive.

“The goal is to create a tight-knit team,” Zimbroff said. “Strong teams work well balancing individual and group efforts, and that’s what we’re shooting for here.”

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