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ASSU finalizes ARP recommendation

The Alternative Review Process (ARP) subcommittees of the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate Student Council (GSC) finalized their recommendation on the ARP at a joint meeting Tuesday night.

According to the subcommittee’s chair Viraj Bindra, the recommendations will include an expansion of the ARP review panel to five members from four, requiring a 4/5 majority to convict. The standard of proof under the subcommittee’s proposal will not change from preponderance of evidence.

After several separate meetings, the subcommittees had four joint meetings in the past two weeks to discuss potential changes to the ARP, Stanford’s judicial review process for sexual assault cases.

“The discussions flowed and we have all been very good at working together, so it definitely hasn’t been difficult,” said Senator Lauren Miller ’15.

Miller said that the Senate’s ARP subcommittee will present the recommendation to the Senate for a vote during its Jan. 8 meeting. The Senate will suspend the rules of order to vote at the meeting, as the bill should have been on previous notice this week. Senators will receive the bill over winter break to review it before they vote.

When ASSU Assistant Financial Manager Stephen Trusheim ’13 asked whether this expedited process was really necessary, Miller noted that the senators wanted enough time for their recommendations to be reviewed by the Board of Judicial Affairs before the Faculty Senate’s meeting in March.

Miller also said that senators on the ARP subcommittee would like to spend their time working on other projects.

“This committee has taken up a really huge amount of our time. We don’t want to be working on this; we want to get other stuff done,” Miller said. “The GSC feels the same way.”

If the Senate and the GSC both approve the subcommittee’s recommendation, it will be passed along to the Board of Judicial Affairs, which will then return the bill to the Senate and the GSC with any changes.

If the Board of Judicial Affairs, the Senate and the Graduate Student Council can come to a consensus on the ARP by the March meeting of the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Senate will vote on it. If the Faculty Senate approves the bill, the revised ARP will remain in effect.

During the Senate’s regular Tuesday meeting, senators passed a bill creating a pilot grant program for student groups that do not receive special fees funding.

The bill states that groups will be able to apply for grants for winter or spring quarter events. The grant program will be funded with $80,000 taken from the general fees reserves, with $40,000 allocated to events each quarter.

According to Deputy Chair Garima Sharma ’15, the Senate Appropriations Committee will be considering each group’s financial need as well as the quality of the proposal while evaluating grant proposals.

The Senate passed the bill after making several amendments resulting from debates among senators, Trusheim and Associate Dean and Director of Student Activities and Leadership Nanci Howe. Senators took a recess in the middle of the meeting in order to discuss the bill and unanimously approved it after reconvening.

The bill originally stated that $40,000 would be allocated to groups planning events in winter quarter only, and that groups would be able to apply for a maximum of $5,000.

One amendment removed the $5,000 cap, though the bill still states that the average grant will be $5,000. Another amendment created separate proposal deadlines for winter and spring events.

At Trusheim’s suggestion, senators also added a note stating that the purpose of the grants is to enhance existing student events and revised the name of the bill to “Redefining Student Life: The 80K Challenge.”

Trusheim, who advocated for the removal of the $5,000 cap, suggested that the bill be used to create a brand for the Senate.

“Limiting yourself in the text of the bill would be very strange,” Trusheim said. “I would encourage you through this challenge to get the word out about the ASSU Undergraduate Senate as a funding source.”

The meeting was the Senate’s last meeting of the quarter. Senators also unanimously passed bills allocating $200 to Stanford Says No to War and $450 to Robber Barons Sketch Comedy.