Widgets Magazine

Senate to sit on Stanford Title IX panel before OCR

The 18th Undergraduate Senate passed bills on diversity and cultural awareness in addition to discussing the recent controversy with Title IX decisions in their first meeting of the new year.

The Senate is focusing on efficiency and building relationships with administration this year through efforts like sitting on panels with student groups and arranging for administrators to hold open office hours for all students.

Title IX investigations

The 18th Undergraduate Senate met for the first time in the new year on Tuesday (EDER LOMELI/The Stanford Daily).

The U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will be visiting Stanford to discuss the handling of the four ongoing Title IX investigations, due to recent complaints.

The Senate was invited to sit on a panel to discuss the recent rulings, as well as faculty, administration and student members of the Title IX office. Senate Chair Shanta Katipamula ’19 and student body Vice President Amanda Edelman ’17 will be two members of the panel.

“They’re coming to campus to interview to really get a broad sense of what is happening,” Katipamula said. “We are there to convey what we’ve heard from other people.”

The Title IX office will also create a position for another investigator.

In addition, Deputy Chair Mylan Gray ’19 and Senator Gabe Rosen ’19 have been working together on an ASSU sexual assault training initiative to combat campus sexual assault.

Campus diversity

ASSU Executives met with the Faculty Senate to discuss improving overall diversity at Stanford as well as diversity within the major, giving examples of current initiatives such as Stanford Women in Business.

The Resolution in Support of Stanford’s Native Community through Recognition of Indigenous People’s Day passed unanimously in the Senate as well as in the Graduate Student Council.

Elections and waivers

ASSU Financial Manager Jelani Munroe ’16 announced the new election system based on enrollment status with the University, which will be led by the elections commission. The ASSU legislative body will hold a mock election with a draft ballot next week to practice the new procedure.

There will also be a new process for waivers through the ASSU website, making it easier for senate to view and handle student group waivers. The budget will be open Jan. 13-27.

Administration office hours

Katipamula said that the University president and provost are working to make themselves more accessible to students, with the help of the new administration office hours. According to Katipamula, future Provost Persis Drell already made statements about being more accessible to the student body.

The office hours started Jan. 9 and include various major figures in University administration, ranging from the vice provost of undergraduate education and dean of students to the chief of police and Vaden health director. The office hours are designed to build closer connections between students and staff, according to Katipamula.

“The administration really wants to make an effort to connect more with what the student body is concerned about,” Katipamula said.

Sustainability initiatives

Fossil Free Stanford (FFS) reached out to the Senate, encouraging members to write letters to President Marc Tessier-Lavigne about divesting. FFS members are also writing letters.

Another bill introduced by Senator Matthew Cohen ’18 is working on a resolution to install drinking water fountains promoting sustainability in Florence Moore Hall and Crothers Hall. Cohen plans to talk with Residential Dining and Education in the coming weeks, but has already heard a lot of great feedback from students about sustainability and convenience.

“Hopefully we get the ball rolling on this infrastructure,” Cohen said. “If you asked anyone in West Flo, they would say it is a significant issue.”

Stanford Band suspension

In response to a recent move to suspend the Stanford Band, Senator Romeo Umaña ’19 has been talking with Band leadership about appealing the University’s decision with Senate assistance.

“We are figuring out a lot of courses of action that Senate could take, especially financially,” Umaña said.

According to Umaña, financial support goes to helping the Band with forming appeals.

 

Contact Gillian Brassil at gbrassil ‘at’ stanford.edu.