In its meeting Tuesday night, the 18th Undergraduate Senate discussed problems with enforcement of a bylaw that requires the Senate to record its own meetings. Senators also revised the language of a bill opposing President Trump’s travel ban targeting majority-Muslim countries and passed several funding requests.
Recording of meetings
During the open forum, Chair Shanta Katipamula ’19 expressed concern that the Senate’s method for recording its meetings has been “haphazard” despite being required in a bylaw. A discussion ensued about who is responsible for recording as well as the point of recording meetings in the first place.
Although several senators argued that meeting notes are generally sufficient, others said that recording meetings is important for transparency.
“It’s a contingency mechanism in the event that something was said, and someone wants to know exactly what it was,” said Hattie Gawande ’18, who suggested putting the action of recording in each week’s meeting agenda.
According to Gabe Rosen ’18, the communications chair is responsible for recording the meetings, sending them to the committee and drafting summaries for social media. Katipamula noted that this has often been overlooked throughout the quarter, in part due to absences from Communications Chair Junwon Park ’19, who was not present at the meeting.
Jasmin Espinosa ’18 argued against repealing the bill in full, noting that the problem lies in not having someone to record meetings rather than the bill itself.
The Senate will discuss amendments to the bill in subsequent meetings after the Communications Committee convenes.
Executive Order resolution
The Senate revisited a joint resolution with the Graduate Student Council that was put to a straw poll last week. The resolution asks for the University’s active response in repealing Trump’s travel ban, which targets seven countries.
Rosen urged his peers to raise their voices individually beyond the bill and take a stance against the negative policies enacted by the new presidential administration. He praised the efforts of student organizations such as Women in Politics that are participating in the political process through phone banks and other initiatives.
“In our individual capacities, we should also be reaching out to communities that are under threat,” Rosen added.
Regarding the resolution itself, Espinosa asked to change the language away from the narrative of the “exceptional immigrant,” which implies that only scholars should be allowed to emigrate. The Senate went on to edit the resolution to make its language more inclusive, though senators noted that “faculty and staff” were already explicitly named in addition to “students.”
A representative from a Latino-interest fraternity focused on community service, brotherhood and academics successfully requested funding for the group to attend their national convention in Sacramento. Espinosa, representing Lambda Theta Nu Inc., successfully requested funding for the group’s yearly Latina Youth Leadership Conference.
Luka Fatuesi ’17, assistant financial manager for Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE), clarified that funding cannot be given to support political campaigns but can support endeavors to overturn specific policies. Gawande thus requested funding for weekly “action evenings” at Columbae that aim to oppose the Muslim ban and other negative policies. Her request was approved.
Contact Eder Lomeli at elomeli ‘at’ stanford.edu.