This past week, the ASSU debated a bill authored by the Director of Academic Freedom, Zintis Inde, that would force every student club to include a mandatory 120-word statement on all advertisements for their event. A paragraph-long statement may have to be included in every email, flyer and Facebook post regarding a speaker your club brings in the future, if this bill passes. If a club forgets to include the statement just four times over the span of two years, it could receive a “one year ban on funding,” according to an early draft of the bill. The statement itself is pretty basic: it notes that the ASSU does not necessarily endorse the speakers it funds, while simultaneously supports the value of free speech in campus dialogue. Even if we set aside for the moment the ethics of compelling groups to include this lengthy statement, one must question the necessity of the requirement itself.
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.
In its 13th meeting, the 20th Undergraduate Senate discussed a working group seeking to reform student group funding policies.
On Oct. 2, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) reintroduced the goals for its cabinet positions this year, with one of the positions being the newly created ASSU Director of Academic Freedom. Among the position’s stated goals is to work with University administration to ensure free exchange of ideas while making sure speakers invited by student groups uphold the Honor Code and Fundamental Standard.