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Senate passes bill to create a joint legislative committee to review buffer funds and expenditures

During its final spring quarter meeting, the 16th Undergraduate Senate discussed two bills pertaining to funding. (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily)

During its final spring quarter meeting, the 16th Undergraduate Senate discussed two bills pertaining to funding. (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily)

The 16th Undergraduate Senate convened Tuesday night for its fifth and final meeting of the spring quarter. The Senate discussed two bills on the floor, both authored by the financial manager and assistant managers of Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE).

The first bill regarded the creation of an Association Joint Legislative Committee on buffer fund expenditure policies. The bill, which requires majority approval from both the Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council (GSC), passed Tuesday in the Senate.

According to the bill, the Joint Legislative Committee will be created for several reasons: to review past expenditures, to evaluate the size of the buffer funds and to redefine fiscally responsible policies that are considered appropriate.

The joint legislative committee can only recommend policies to both the undergraduate ASSU and the GSC.

Assistant Financial Manager Olivia Moore ‘16 discussed the bill with the GSC, who positively responded to the bill.

Parliamentarian John-Lancaster Finley ‘16 was voted onto this committee by other Senators, and he will serve alongside Appropriations Committee Chair Jackson Beard ‘17 as well as the chair of the funding committee from the GSC. In addition, Frederik Groce, the ASSU Financial Manager for 2014-15, and another senator from the GSC will be serving as committee members.

The second bill concerned the establishment of new undergraduate general fees policies. The bill puts a $100,000 cap on general fees allocations for fall quarter; the cap will be removed if the Senate establishes new general fees policies.

However, many Senators felt this was an unnecessary restriction. During the summer, Beard, along with few other senators, will be devising a new general fees funding system before the beginning of 2014-15 academic year.

“The debate was over whether or not it was necessary to put a cap in ourselves,” said Chair Ben Holston ‘15. “The prevailing sentiment seemed to be that there will be a new general fees policy created before fall quarter.”

The bill failed to pass in the Senate on Tuesday. However, if the Senate does not come up with a new general fees funding plan — which is highly unlikely itself — Holston plans to reintroduce the bill during fall quarter.


Contact Peter Moon at pmoon ‘at’ stanford ‘dot’ edu.

About Peter Samuel Moon

Peter is currently a deputy desk editor and a freshman majoring in economics (anticipated). He enjoys soccer, basketball, and fitness.