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ASSU receives 35 applications for NomCom

The ASSU Executive Board received 35 applications for seven seats on the 2012-2013 Nominations Committee (NomCom), the group of students responsible for selecting and appointing student representatives to more than 40 University committees and organizations.

ASSU President Robbie Zimbroff ’12 M.A. ’13 said that the pool of applicants — half graduate and half undergraduate students — is diverse and capable.

“There will be a very qualified NomCom,” he said. “The group of seven…will be really solid and will come from all corners of campus.”

Last year’s ASSU President Michael Cruz ’12 and Vice President Stewart McGregor-Dennis ’13 deferred their obligation to appoint students to NomCom because they anticipated that a revised ASSU Constitution — which, among other changes, reorganizes the NomCom structure — would be ratified before the end of their term.

When opposition from current and past ASSU members stymied the passage of the new governing documents, the 2012-2013 ASSU was left without any mechanism for incorporating student perspectives into University committees.

The 14th Undergraduate Senate, which had its first meeting on May 1, 2012, passed a bill assembling an interim NomCom. The group — made up of past NomCom members and current ASSU officials — was tasked to select and interview students for over 40 University committee spots in less than three weeks.

Zimbroff, who was one of the members of last year’s interim NomCom, said that, because of their limited timeline, the committee was only able to recommend student representatives for about 85 percent of open spots on University committees and groups. He called the failure to fill all positions “disappointing,” while senators described the overall process as “not ideal,” “tough” and “shitty.”

By starting in February instead of May, Zimbroff said that he is confident that this year’s NomCom will do a better job than last year’s interim group at ensuring the student body’s voice is heard on all levels of the University’s operations. He cited the Office of Community Standards, which oversees judicial proceedings with panels partially composed of students, as an example of an office requiring greater student engagement.

“One of our priorities for this year’s NomCom, and why we want to get it started early, is so that they have ample time to advertise and really recruit strong students — and the full allotment of students — that have been requested for different committees and groups on campus,” he said.

A joint working group composed of several senators and Graduate Student Council members will read applications, interview candidates and submit a bill to both legislative bodies with appointment recommendations. According to Senator Daniela Olivos ’15, a member of the working committee, the bills will be submitted no later than February 26.

In addition to seeking committed and responsible students that are aware of Stanford’s many diverse communities, Olivos explained that the working group wants NomCom members who can recruit vocal student representatives.

“We’re looking for [NomCom candidates] to understand what the students’ position in a university committee entails,” Olivos said, “[They should] be able to find students who are willing to speak up for the undergraduate body and the Stanford [graduates] as well.”

Zimbroff said that he hopes this NomCom will be able to solicit applications from students through the end of spring break and begin interviewing in the first couple of weeks of spring quarter.

All members of NomCom earn $900 and the Chair and Vice-Chair make an additional $500 and $300 respectively, according to Zimbroff.

“[The process has been] a lot cleaner — it’s going as it should go,” Zimbroff said. “We’re just doing the things we think we need to be doing and should be doing to be functional. Hopefully everything continues to go as smoothly as it’s been going.”