By Ellie Bowen
In its 16th meeting, the 19th Undergraduate Senate introduced a joint resolution to support professional development for service workers on campus. The resolution encourages the University to promote learning opportunities for service workers, stating that the inconsistent and long work hours of employees — especially in dining halls — currently prevents them from accessing professional development. The joint resolution will be introduced to the Graduate Student Senate tomorrow night and voted on next week.
The resolution also endorses a professional development proposal created in collaboration with Habla, Tutoring for Community and SEIU Local 2007 which demands that the University execute a training and development plan for service workers. Both the proposal and the resolution affirm the key role Stanford service workers play in facilitating a healthy and productive environment for all community members and points out that many service workers have stated that professional development programs such as English language and GED tutoring have direct applicability to their jobs.
Senator Lizzie Ford ’20 authored the resolution and is also helping to craft the proposal. Ford stated that a second resolution regarding professional development will be presented next week. The new resolution will be geared specifically towards dining hall workers as this subgroup has different needs than the general service workers population.
Ford added that there is strong faculty support of the proposal and resolution, stating that “there’s definitely faculty in line with our views on empowering workers here at Stanford.”
The resolution will be voted on in next week’s Tuesday meeting and is likely to pass unanimously, according to Senate Chair Kojoh Atta ’20.
“They serve us our food, they make sure our campus is clean and looking as beautiful as it is,” Atta said. “I definitely think that any way we can support them … as a Stanford body is very powerful, and I’m glad there is so much student support and attention to this issue.”
Atta also encouraged Senators to “push through and finish strong” in their remaining time with the 19th Undergraduate Senate. Atta and Senator Remy Gordon ’20 are working to establish that legacy in collaboration with President Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s Chief of Staff Megan Pierson, who is currently leading many long-range planning (LRP) initiatives. Through meeting with Pierson, Atta and Gordon hope to keep the University accountable to the student input they received regarding LRP proposals, especially in regards to the potential Redwood City expansion.
“When we first arrived as senators we had a long laundry list of requests and recommendations that the student body had [for long-range planning],” Atta stated. “We want to see how our input is being utilized.”
Annual grant funding and fee waivers
In the meeting, Senators emphasized that the annual grant application window for student groups is currently open on their website and will close on Jan. 26. Senators are working to promote the annual grant time period, and encourage student groups to apply before the deadline to receive ASSU funding for the year.
Senators also discussed the ASSU student fee waiver, which allows students to choose not to fund certain campus organizations through the Student Activities Fee, which is otherwise automatically charged to any Stanford student enrolled in degree-granting programs. Senators recommended that students think carefully before deciding to waive the fee, as doing so could affect student groups’ budgets and students’ ability to participate in and benefit from group resources.
Contact Ellie Bowen at ebowen ‘at’ stanford.edu.