By Jordan Payne
In its eighth meeting, the 19th Undergraduate Senate approved funding requests from student groups, deliberated general guidelines for funding and heard project updates from individual senators.
During open forum, senators discussed the practice of funding student group retreats in response to funding requests for off-campus retreats, ultimately deciding to continue funding such retreats so long as the proposed activities are related to the mission or identity of the student group.
After the Senate’s discussion, the Caribbean Students Association and the Stanford Outdoor Outreach Program received funding for off-campus trips. The Stanford Bicycle Project, Kappa Alpha Theta, Stanford Synapse, Stanford Hospice and Palliative Care, Spicmacay and Stanford Bitcoin Club also had their funding requests approved.
The Senate also unanimously approved bills to allocate discretionary funding to the Senate Associate Program, which gives non-senators the opportunity to attend Senate meetings and take part in projects.
Individual senators reported on their personal projects at the start of the meeting, from making textbooks more affordable for students from low-income backgrounds to responding to the potential repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Individual projects have been mandatory for senators since a bill proposed by former senator Matthew Cohen ’18 in 2016, which also requires biweekly updates from each senator.
Cole McFaul ’20 reported on the progress of FLIbrary, a bank of free textbooks for students currently located in the Diversity and First-Generation Office. According to McFaul, textbooks and other books donated by students last spring are now freely available at FLIbrary for students to rent out for the quarter.
Doris Rodriguez ’20 said she is exploring different courses of actions for supporting Stanford community members affected by recent threats of DACA repeal. So far, she has arranged informational meetings with interested student groups as well as administrators such as Lisa DeLa Cruz, lead resident dean and Stephanie Kalfayan, vice provost of the Academic Council. Possible courses of action include a Senate bill to declare Stanford’s Memorial Church a sanctuary church.
ASSU Executives Justice Tention ’18 and Vicki Niu ’18 also reported on their plans to coordinate disaster relief in the wake of several natural disasters in the past months.
Before adjournment, the Senate discussed the new funding guidelines, including changes relating to T-shirt and honoraria funding for guest speakers at student group events.
Contact Jordan Payne at jpayne1 ‘at’ stanford.edu.