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Senate approves reversal of special fees policy

The 12th ASSU Undergraduate Senate passed three bills Tuesday evening, approving the reversal of a special fees rule enacted last year and confirming five nominees to the Constitutional Council and judicial panel pool.

Tuesday’s special fees bill would allow student groups that have previously received special fees to grow their budgets by 10 percent without petitioning to be on the special fees ballot, reverting the ASSU joint bylaws to their pre-January 2010 language. Last year’s bill required student groups to petition to increase their budgets by more than the inflation rate — approximately 3 percent. Yesterday’s bill requires the approval of the Graduate Student Council, ASSU’s other legislative body.

After several senators expressed concerns over a lack of spending regulations, the special fees bill was altered after last week’s meeting to include a clause saying the Senate would work with other ASSU bodies to format regulations within the coming week.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting, Lina Hidalgo ’13 discussed the progress of the ASSU Leadership Development program, which she co-coordinates, with the senators and Senate associates in attendance. Senate associates are just beginning rotations to attend Senate committee meetings.

Vivian Wong ’12, ASSU chair of disabilities and accessible education, discussed the results of a campus-wide survey and the launch of a mentoring program, open to all students, to promote a dialogue about life on campus for students with disabilities. (Wong is the managing editor of photos for The Daily.)

Among nominees, the Senate approved Brianna Pang ’13 to serve on the Constitutional Council. (Pang is a Daily writer.) The Senate also confirmed four nominees for the judicial panel pool: Sjoerd de Ridder, a graduate student in geophysics, and juniors Reagan Thompson, Tara Guarino and Elizabeth Rasmussen.

ASSU President Angelina Cardona ’11 praised Wong’s work in her update to the senators. She also discussed the recent ROTC town hall and ASSU wellness chair Taylor Winfield’s proposal for a wellness center on the first floor of Stanford Dining’s newest dining hall, to open this coming fall. Cardona also mentioned plans for a more structured VCI action grants program, which she hopes will offer resources to students without traditional sources of funding capital for their ideas on wellness, sustainability, domestic violence awareness and other topics.

On previous notice for next week are two bills by Senator Will Seaton ’13 to alter the method of recording senator student-group membership and to include technology in the title and mission of the Senate’s Communication Committee, which he currently chairs.

All funding bills for the evening were passed, including a budget modification for Stanford Outdoors.

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