During the meeting, Senators voted on and unanimously passed two pieces of legislation, one of which confirmed Saturday’s preliminary election results. Additionally, two new bills, regarding campus free speech, were introduced and the bill on electoral reform, introduced at the last Senate meeting, was further discussed.
Following conservative outcry over protests of right-wing speakers on college campuses, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that threatens the denial of federal grants to colleges who do not uphold free speech on their campuses.
On Saturday, President Trump announced his intention to issue an executive order requiring American universities to maintain “free speech” on their campuses and threatened to withdraw federal funding from noncompliant institutions. Practical considerations aside – it’s not clear how this plan would be enacted – Trump’s message should trouble Stanford students because of the ways it mischaracterizes the state of free speech at schools like our own. These mischaracterizations feed into a narrative that has the potential to stifle, rather than protect, free speech on Stanford’s campus.
While Stanford is a private university, its website notes that “the federal government sponsors approximately 80 percent” of its 6,000-plus externally sponsored projects.
Turning Point USA’s newly formed Stanford chapter hopes to distinguish itself from its national organization and the Stanford College Republicans by acting as a mediator between left and right, chapter executives told The Daily.
The ASSU also noted that it would be hosting a Town Hall with the Undergraduate Senate on Jan. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in White Plaza.
In its fourth and final meeting of the quarter, the Faculty Senate heard a panel addressing the nuances of free speech and academic freedom in the campus setting.
In the aftermath of scandal and controversy, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole, three faculty advisors and certain student organizations are set to oversee the renaming and restructuring of the high-profile speaker series.