By Sean Chen
On Wednesday night, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) passed a resolution to support professional development opportunities for University service workers. The resolution passed in the Undergraduate Senate on Tuesday night.
Presented by Undergraduate Senator Lizzie Ford ’20 and Francisco Preciado ‘07, executive director of SEIU Local 2007 — a union that includes many Stanford employees — the resolution aims to create a service workers’ training and development plan on the University level.
Currently, individual departments can autonomously decide how — or whether — to provide professional development opportunities for service workers on campus.
“[I] wanted to make sure that [service workers] have the opportunities to … be released in a timely and consistent manner in order to attend programs,” Ford said.
The Council discussed whether a clause in the resolution expressing support for dining workers’ concerns about understaffing, an ongoing controversy between SEIU and Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), should be included. Ford had initially stated that her resolution “basically has nothing to do with R&DE.”
The GSC ultimately decided to pass the resolution as presented. Council member and Ph.D. candidate Melanie Malinas said that removing the reference to dining hall understaffing might mean that the GSC would not be able to pass a separate resolution regarding “the dining hall issue” specifically.
The GSC also determined the future relationship between the Diversity Advocacy Committee (DAC) and the previously proposed Advocacy Committee.
DAC representatives spoke to the GSC and presented their plans for the future of the DAC given the GSC’s pending establishment of an advocacy subcommittee. Given that the DAC is currently under the GSC umbrella, DAC member and current Ph.D. candidate in Modern Thought and Literature Kristin Wilson stated that “it is not productive to have two committees doing the same thing.” Wilson described DAC leadership’s decision to dissolve the DAC in order to more efficiently allocate resources dedicated to advocacy-related matters.
Kristin also cited a lack of communication with the GSC last quarter as having contributed to the DAC’s decision.
GSC councillors discussed whether the dissolution of the DAC was necessary and whether the intended mission of the group would overlap with the work of the advocacy committee. GSC Social Chair Gabby Badica argued that “committees and names and whatever” matter less than actually getting advocacy work done.
After further conversation, Malinas proposed integrating the GSC advocacy committee into the DAC as well as directing the people and resources initially marked for the advocacy committee to the DAC. The merger would be accompanied by increased GSC involvement in and communication with the DAC. The GSC agreed upon this solution; a plan to merge the two committees will be discussed further in next week’s meeting.
The GSC also discussed plans for their Grad Formal event, which is currently scheduled for May 4.
Contact Sean Chen at kxsean ‘at’ stanford.edu.