Nine of the 16 Special Fees groups required to petition for at least a 10 percent increase in funding from last year fell short of the 695 signatures required to appear on the ballot in April, according to the web site of the ASSU Elections Commission. The final deadline to gather signatures was today at 4 p.m.
On Feb. 14, Stanford’s Green Living Council (GLC) began its fourth annual Conservation Cup, which will run through March 15. The goal of the Conservation Cup is, according to the GLC website, “to use teamwork and the competitive spirit to promote sustainable behaviors while engaging the campus community in a fun event.” This is clearly a laudable goal, but there is little evidence that the Conservation Cup as it is currently structured is an effective way to achieve it.
The Stanford Flipside has recently begun a Special Fees petition in order to bypass the ASSU’s rejection of their original budget. The Flipside staff argue that they have decided to include a Segway in their budget as a way to bring to light the absurdity of what they see as other groups’ wasteful spending.
Each year, millions of dollars in special fees are given to a broad array of student groups on campus. This week, the Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council (GSC) will vote on a proposal to reform the process by which these funds are distributed. They should reject efforts to repeal the improvements made last year, but approve a measure to close the loophole that allows students to enjoy free services even if they request ASSU fee refunds.
While most student groups receive funding from ASSU Senate and GSC general fees collected from students, Volunteer Student Organizations (VSOs) must rely on special fees for their larger budgets. As stipulated by the 11th Undergraduate Senate, groups must petition for signatures from 10 to 15 percent of the student body to be on the special fees portion of the spring ballot if they wish to grow their budgets by more than inflation, which is approximately 1.5 percent. The bill under discussion would return the joint by-laws to the way they were before, allowing student groups to grow their budgets up to 10 percent plus inflation without petitioning.