16th ASSU Senate convenes for last meeting of the year

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The 16th Undergraduate Senate met for the final time on Tuesday.  (NICK SALAZAR/The Stanford Daily)
The 16th Undergraduate Senate met for the final time on Tuesday. (NICK SALAZAR/The Stanford Daily)

On Tuesday night, the 16th and 17th ASSU Senates met for the last time and the first time, respectively.

 

The 16th Senate

The 16th ASSU Undergraduate Senate met for its last time on Tuesday, as the new Senate will begin its role next week. Senators voted on financial items and final items to wrap up their term before swearing in the 17th Senate, whose newly elected members were also present at the meeting.

The main item during the meeting was the approval for the Operating & Overhead Budget for next year’s fiscal year. The final sum included administrative costs for running the ASSU, and the budget will go to the Graduate Student Council for approval.

During voting there was also discussion about the salary for next year’s Senators, and some Senators expressed strong opinions against the proposed budget in which only Senators with leadership positions would be given salaries.

Senator Luka Fatuesi ’17 believes that every member of the Senate puts in a lot of work and should be compensated for their time and energy.

“While I do think that the leadership does do a lot more and because of that I’d be fine with them getting paid more, I still think that every Senator and every member of this body should at least have some sort of salary,” he said.

The budget was amended to include a minimum salary for all Senators while certain leadership positions were compensated more. Some members of the 16th Senate suggested employing creative incentives to reward hard work and effort. This was advised as a topic of discussion for future Senators to consider.

Newly elected ASSU Executive and Senator John-Lancaster Finley ’16, who abstained to vote on this particular item due to conflict-of-interest, noted that he has been interested in an incentive program, rather than keeping the same salary for each Senator.

“I’ve never thought that salary should be attached to title, but I do think compensation should be attached to work,” Finley added.

A motion was passed to approve a 15 percent increase in the Undergraduate Student Activities Fees, which supports ASSU funding for many student groups. The 2015 Spring Quarter General Election Results were reviewed and certified.

There was also a discussion about a bill to censure the Elections Commission on the grounds of a lack of communication and readiness, and reports of security breach and the “ignoring of legislative order,” according to Finley ’16. Ultimately, the censure was not voted on.

 

The 17th Senate

The 17th Senate met officially for the first time during this meeting after members were sworn in by a representative from the Constitutional Council. The new Senate also elected leadership roles, including Sina Javidan-Nejad ’17 for Senate Chair.

Over the previous weekend, the 16th Senate had held a training session for the new Senators to prepare them for the inauguration.

 

Contact Alexandra Bourdillon at abourdil ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Alexandra Bourdillon '18 is a freshman from Cupertino, CA. When she's not eating waffles, she can be found reading tea leaves or quantifying the land-speed velocity of a swallow (African, not European). After Stanford she hopes to explore the world, although the Bay Area will always be her home. To contact Alexandra, email her at abourdil ‘at’ stanford.edu.