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In its weekly meeting, 19th Senate prepares for 20th

The 19th Undergraduate Senate. (ALYSSA DIAZ/The Stanford Daily)

In its 25th meeting, the 19th Undergraduate Senate focused on the forthcoming transition to the new class of Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) representatives. Discussion covered a change to election rules that would allow campaigning to continue up through the voting period, a bill to institute Rosenberg’s Rules of Order in Senate meetings and a bill to allocate funding for the new Senate leadership class.

ASSU President Justice Tention ’18 reported on the Sexual Violence Coalition’s penultimate meeting, in which the group discussed Stanford’s first Annual Title IX/Sexual Harassment Report. Tention also noted that the cabinet’s current focus is on “finishing up the cabinet’s projects and transitioning it over to the next [cabinet].”

ASSU financial manager Jelani Munroe ’16 next reported that the Student Activities Fee waiver process is now open for its usual period at the beginning of the quarter. Citing cost overruns in the past quarter that led the Senate to reduce funding for annual grants groups, Munroe asked Senators to remind students to “waive responsibly.”

“The [waiver] process exists,” said Munroe, “but it can potentially impact groups that [the students waiving fees] are a part of.”

Senate Chair Kojoh Atta ’20 spoke about a key change in ASSU election rules from previous years: candidates will now be allowed to campaign from Monday, April 2, through the end of the voting period on Friday, April 13. Elections results will be announced on Saturday, April 14.

Lizzie Ford ’20, Student Life Committee chair, reported that AlertSU has agreed to a Student Life Committee request for them to restructure the format of alerts to make the content clearer, as well as to add a phrase before alerts concerning sexual violence.

The motion to fully recommend the Appropriations Committee recommendations on this week’s Quick Grant funding bills passed successfully.

Much of the Senate meeting was spent discussing bills to replace the Undergraduate Senate Rules of Order with Rosenberg’s Rules of Order and to allocate discretionary funding to the new Senate leadership class.

The purpose of the first bill, authored by ASSU assistant financial manager Luka Fatuesi ’17, is to tackle issues of clarity in Senate proceedings.

“The great thing about Rosenberg’s Rules is that it’s very direct, it’s very straightforward,” said Fatuesi.

He noted that Rosenberg’s Rules offer more structure for the meeting’s chair to address issues that often appear in current Senate debate, such as having multiple motions on the table at once. Fatuesi noted that he brought the bill to the 19th Undergraduate Senate so that they could test-pilot the rules before the 20th Undergraduate Senate is sworn in.

Senate debate also centered on a bill authored by Senator Katie Hufker ’18 that would allocate funding for a spring quarter leadership class designed to train incoming student leaders. Hufker requested $2000 to provide dinner and supplies to the participants.

The leadership class is a partnership between Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) and the ASSU. SAL will be providing partial funding, but the bill requested an allocation from ASSU’s discretionary fund to cover the remainder.

Senator Aamnah Khalid ’20 questioned the necessity of the funds, noting that other committees, such as Academic Affairs, lack funding for their initiatives. Instead of spending $2000 of discretionary funding “on food for a thing that we could arrange food for…by shifting the timing of this entire meeting,” Khalid said the funds could be spent on things like sustainable initiatives benefiting first generation and low-income students.

 

Contact Michal Leibowitz at michalgl ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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