Widgets Magazine

Cardona authors advisory bill on ROTC

ASSU President Angelina Cardona ’11 recently authored a bill to add “advisory referenda” regarding ROTC to the April ASSU elections ballot. She proposed the bill to be voted on by both the Undergraduate Senate (UGS) and the Graduate Student Council (GSC) next week; it will need majority approval from both bodies in order to be included on the Spring 2011 election ballot.

If passed, the bill would add “Measure A-Advisory Question” to gauge student opinion concerning the potential reinstatement of ROTC. The ad hoc committee currently investigating the issue reported to the ASSU several weeks ago.

“The presentation was extremely informative,” Cardona said.

“It was a two-way conversation during which the committee answered questions that senate had and they received input from senators and other leaders,” she added.

The committee also hosted an open letter campaign, a campus-wide town hall and a meeting with faculty and stuff to continue dialogue and address concerns about the issue. Cardona hopes this measure would provide a representation of the student body’s opinion on the matter.

“The idea of [the bill] came shortly after the town hall that the ASSU co-sponsored, and it was clear that was the beginning of a larger conversation.

“A lot of senators and other leaders are very supportive of asking this question,” Cardona said. “They think it gets at the core of what student government should be doing.”

Cardona said that after listening to the debate at the town hall and seeing the committee’s presentation, she realized that “there are many different opinions on this issue.”

“I see my role as president to synthesize all of these,” she said.

The bill proposes three options from which students can choose: support return of ROTC, do not support or abstain. Cardona said that the current bill is the result of several drafts with “more neutral” language. She said that psychology professor and committee chair Ewart Thomas was consulted and is supportive of the advisory measure.

“The newest version has a more neutral approach and hopefully will yield better responses from the pool,” she said.

Cardona said that she reached out to Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) president Alok Vaid-Menon ’13 and other leaders in the LGBTQ community when drafting the language of the bill.

“I see it as a concrete platform for both sides to talk to the wider student body about these issues and give the students a deliverable,” she said.

Cardona also mentioned that when the decision was made to remove ROTC from campus, there was a campus wide student vote. She said that the administration takes into account students’ opinions.

She stressed that the results of the vote would be a “piece of the larger conversation and debate,” and the outcome would not be indicative of the committee’s findings.

  • Robin Thomas

    Come to think about it, having a referendum ought to have been one of the first things that happened. Kudos, Angelina, on bringing it up!

  • Anonym

    A less leading survey would feature the options: support the return of ROTC, abstain, oppose the return of ROTC. “Do not support” does not mean a student opposes or even minds the return – thus a student might say “I don’t care if ROTC returns; it doesn’t bother me. However, I don’t actively support it,” giving an extra vote to do not support that should belong in the abstain group.

  • FYI

    Daily typo – I think you meant to to write “I see my role as president…” not “It see my role as president” FYI

  • Jim

    I find it interesting that Angelina reached out to SSQL on the wording. Does anyone know if she also reached out to someone on the other side? Anonym has a good point on the wording of it.

    In all though, I think it will serve as a better data point than the other surveys and petitions cited recently that are difficult to give much weight to.

  • Mark

    This article asserts that Professor “Ewart Thomas was consulted and is supportive of the advisory measure”. After listening to Professor Thomas when he presented to the undergraduate senate a few weeks ago, while he was supportive of the idea, I don’t quite think the ad-hoc committee is committed to using the vote in the decision making process – to me, it came across that the vote wouldn’t matter. Professor Thomas explained that the ad-hoc committee deadline is in May, and thus, by the time the ASSU voting was complete (in April), most of the decisions and recommendations by the ad-hoc committee would already have been made by then.

  • Joseph

    Why doesn’t Angelina Cardona just put up a ballot on the ASSU website that uses SUNet authentication?

    Because the ASSU Executive is in the dark ages. I miss the Gobaud days.

  • @Jospeh from a student

    Because it’s a referendum. Not an online survey.

  • @a student

    Are you stupid? I didn’t call it a survey. There’s no reason to only have ONE vote per year for every elected official / group special fee / issue.

  • @Jospeh from a student

    Yeah, actually that is a good point. That’s some pretty 1-dimensional thinking by Cardona.