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ASSU maps out ARP plans, discusses lack of arts practice spaces on campus

ASSU senators discussed student life and academic affairs committee goals for the year, retroactively approved $500 in funding to the Class of 2013 for hosting the Row Tailgate on Sept. 27 and agreed to accelerate the timeline for discussing the Alternative Review Process (ARP) at the Oct. 9 Undergraduate Senate meeting.

Though Senate Deputy Chair Garima Sharma ’15 stated at last week’s meeting that the Senate would discuss attendance policies this week, they did not do so.

Senators received previous notice of two bills to vote on next week, one to approve the ASSU 2013 election dates — April 11 to April 13 — and the other to expel Ashley Harris ’15 from the Senate after she confirmed that she is taking a leave of absence.

Senators also agreed to begin discussion of the ARP, Stanford’s current policy on sexual assault or violence cases, next week after learning that it was not on the agenda for the Faculty Senate. Academic Affairs Chair Shahab Fadavi ’15 said he spoke with Assistant Academic Secretary Trish Del Pozzo, an administrator on the Faculty Senate, who said that it is “tradition” for the Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council to make a recommendation on campus issues affecting all students, such as the ARP, before the Faculty Senate discusses them.

“The ARP and the way we approach it is probably going to be the single largest task that the Undergraduate Senate will receive this year,” Fadavi said. “It is important for us to get the debate going once again so we can feel confident in making a recommendation to the Faculty Senate.”

President Robbie Zimbroff ’12 and Vice President William Wagstaff ’12 announced their plan to hold two town hall-style meetings to distribute information and answer questions about the ARP on Oct. 23 and 24. The Oct. 23 meeting will be geared toward undergraduate students and the Oct. 24 meeting towards graduate students.

“It’s going to be a great time to start that dialogue. It is a really difficult and complex issue and we have to consider it very thoroughly,” Zimbroff said. “We are going to do outreach and try to get people from across campus.”

Voting on the allocation of $3,000 in funding from the Traditions Fund to Mausoleum, an annual Halloween party, had to be delayed after junior class presidents Ashley Williams ’14 and Mary Raddawi ’14 said they would have to request an additional $2,500 in funding, bringing the total for the party to $5,500. The extra funding would be used for barricades that cannot be provided by campus security because of a football game the next day.

As a part of discussions on student life and academic affairs, Senate Communications Chair Viraj Bindra ’15 expressed interest in creating a charter organization connecting independent artists that would “represent [artists] as a body” and make it easier for them to negotiate practice space.

“[Musicians are currently] using spaces that they are not technically allowed to use,” he said.

“Every week someone comes up to me and Viraj [Bindra] and poses the problem of the lack of space for student bands to play and practice,” Fadavi said. “We want to make sure that as the Senate, as the student voice, we contribute whatever needs to be contributed.”

Nanci Howe, associate dean and director of student activities and leadership, suggested combining Bindra’s idea with several projects currently underway to create arts spaces in different residences.

“There is a lot of interest at the university for addressing and solving these issues,” she said.

Fadavi also announced that the academic affairs committee has reached out to Undergraduate Advising and Research to negotiate the process of petitioning to take over 20 units a quarter. He said the committee will look into the creation of an option in Axess that would allow a student to sign up for more than 20 units during the course shopping period.

“The way it is set up now involves a lot of bureaucracy,” he said. “We want to see whether it would be possible to reduce the amount of bureaucracy and make it more simplified.”

Senators also discussed transportation options for football games and continuing ASSU outreach to freshman dorms.

Senator Christos Haveles ’15 and Appropriations Committee Chair Nancy Pham ’14 were absent.