GSC Agenda: Mar 3rd, 6:00-8:00pm – FOOD @ 5:45!
Graduate Community Center – Nairobi Room
1) 5:45 FOOD (thanks Drew!)
2) 6:00 Welcome with introductions and Announcements (Nanna)
i. Please be aware that all meetings are audio recorded and will be made available on the GSC website.
ii. Approve minutes from the last meeting (02/24//2009).
iii. The last meeting before spring break will be March 10.
iv. Proxies of the week: Crystal Yin for Janet Zhou, Joanna Lankester for Addy Satija,
Krystal St. Julien for Bryan Chen, Amy Askin for Nanna Notthoff.
3) 6:05 Funding Committee (Justin)
* Stanford Alpine Project
* Stanford Students for Life
* French Stanford Student Association
* Stanford Student Biodesign & Biopharma
* Israeli Student Organization
* Jewish Graduate Student Union
4) 6:20 ASSU Update (David)
5) 6:25 Programming Update (Jess)
6) 6:30 Elections Commission Update (Quinn)
7) 6:35 Approve Retreat Driving Reimbursements (Eric)
8) 6:40 Constitutional Amendment (Andy)
9) 6:55 ASSU Executive State of the Association (David)
i. 6:55 Brief Introduction re: Exec Oversight Bill (Eric)
ii.6:56 David Presentation of Exec Role, Exec Thoughts on Oversight Bill (David)
iii.7:06 Q & A for David – 10 minutes (David)
iv. 7:16 Debate on Exec Oversight Bill (Eric)
10) 7:40 Joint Special Fee Group Discussion (Ping)
11) 7:50 Senate-GSC Funding Bill (Robert & Ping)
12) 8:00 New Business (Nanna)
To Amend the Constitution to Define and Protect the Freedom of Speech
Authors: Adam Creasman, ASSU Undergraduate Senator
Andy Parker, ASSU Vice President
Co-sponsor(s): Shelley Gao, ASSU Undergraduate Senator
Varun Sivaram, ASSU Undergraduate Senate Chair
Submitted: 1 March 2010
Action Requested: Approval by 2/3 of each legislative body
WHEREAS the Founding Grant of the University defines as its purpose “teaching the blessings of liberty regulated by law, and inculcating love and reverence for the great principles of government as derived from the inalienable rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,”
WHEREAS Article 1, Section 3, Subsection 2 of the ASSU Constitution prohibits the Association from enacting legislation “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,”
WHEREAS the First Amendment to the United States Constitution similarly prohibits “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,”
WHEREAS the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) that “[d]iscussion of public issues and debate on the qualifications of candidates are integral to the operation of the system of government established by our Constitution,”
WHEREAS the Supreme Court has further ruled in Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214 (1966), that “there is practically universal agreement that a major purpose of that Amendment was to protect the free discussion of governmental affairs, […] of course includ[ing] discussions of candidates” and “[t]he Constitution specifically selected the press, which includes not only newspapers, books, and magazines, but also humble leaflets and circulars, to play an important role in the discussion of public affairs,”
WHEREAS in more than one instance, the political expression of members of the Association has been abridged on University grounds, ostensibly to protect the University’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status,
WHEREAS the Association recognizes and shares the University’s interest in preserving its status as a tax-exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3),
WHEREAS Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code provides for the exemption from Federal income tax of organizations that are organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes and that do not participate in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office,
WHEREAS Revenue Ruling 72-512, 1972-2 C.B. 246 of the Internal Revenue Service expressly allows universities to require student participation in political campaigns as part of a political science curriculum if “[t]he university does not influence the student in his choice of a candidate or control his campaign work [and t]he university is reimbursed or paid for any services or facilities provided to the students for use in connection with the campaigns,”
WHEREAS Revenue Ruling 72-513, 1972-2 C.B. 246 of the Internal Revenue Service expressly states that “the provision of facilities and faculty advisors for a campus newspaper that publishes the students’ editorial opinions on political and legislative matters does not constitute an attempt by the university to influence legislation or participate in political campaigns,”
WHEREAS advisory IRS documents indicate that “whether the provision of facilities to a group for the conduct of political campaign activities will constitute participation or intervention in a political campaign by the college or university will depend upon all the facts and circumstances, including whether the facilities are provided on the same basis that the facilities are provided to other non-political groups and whether the facilities are made available on an equal basis to similar groups,”
WHEREAS the University’s Administrative Guide Memo 15.1 exhorts “[i]ndividuals taking political positions for themselves or groups with which they are associated, but not as representatives of the University, [to] clearly indicate, by words and actions, that their positions are not those of the University and are not being taken in an official capacity on behalf of the University,”
WHEREAS Article I, Section 6 of the ASSU Constitution explicitly establishes the Association’s body and finances as independent from control by the University,
WHEREAS the Association solely controls the financial and political operations of Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs),
THEREFORE BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATIVE BODIES OF THIS ASSOCIATION:
THAT a proposal be submitted to the members of the Association as an amendment to the ASSU Constitution, adding the following Article:
Article IX: Freedom of Speech and Political Expression
Section 1. Enumerated Freedoms
1. Neither the Association nor the University shall, in word or deed, abridge the right of members to freedoms of speech, press, expression, or political advocacy which citizens of the United States are granted by law. The rights defined herein shall henceforth be known as “Protected Freedoms.”
2. Protected Freedoms extend to both individual members of the Association and voluntary associations of members, including Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs), subject to Section 2.
3. Protected Freedoms include but are not limited to speeches, meetings, phone-banking, and political appearances organized solely by members of the Association, but only under the following conditions:
a. Events at which candidates for political office appear must be planned and directed substantially by members of the Association, without stipulation or interference by external political campaign operatives.
b. Political events at which candidates for political office appear must be of reasonably educational value.
4. Protected Freedoms are expressly permitted in any public space equally available to any student or VSO.
a. Such spaces include but are not limited to rooms in Old Union, rooms in any university library accessible to all members of the Association, and White Plaza.
b. If applicable, any public notice or advertisement posted by a member or VSO that might be construed as portraying an endorsement by the University for a partisan political issue or candidate must include a disclaimer pursuant to Section 2.
Section 2. Disclaimer
1. Individual expressions of political advocacy are presumed not to reflect the views of the University.
2. Expressions of political advocacy by a VSO are presumed not to reflect the views of the University, provided that:
a. Any political events which might be construed as representing a partisan or legislative endorsement by the University must include a disclaimer (“Disclaimer”) that the views of the hosting student(s) or VSO(s), as well as any views expressed during the event, do not necessarily reflect those of the University.
b. The University shall determine the exact content and manner of the Disclaimer for any event occurring on its property.
Section 3. Restrictions
1. The University may restrict the time, place, and manner of Protected Freedoms, provided that:
a. Any such restriction is as narrow and tailored as possible to achieve legitimate University interests, including exclusively the avoidance of disruptions to teaching and learning, the protection of University property, the preservation of public safety, and adherence to the Fundamental Standard.
b. Any other restriction is prohibited unless the relevant judicial body provides declaratory relief pursuant to Section 3.
2. No part of this Article may be construed either to allow the use of University facilities for political campaign fundraising or to compel University employees to participate in political campaign activities.
Section 4. Termination
1. In the event that any part of this Article violates local, state, or federal law, or reasonably places the University in jeopardy of losing its tax-exempt status under IRC 501(c)(3), emergency suspension of the offending clause(s) may be immediately effected by a 4/5 vote of each legislative body, provided that:
a. Any such suspension is as narrow and tailored as possible to achieve the sole objective of avoiding the loss of the University’s 501(c)(3) status.
b. Any such suspension must be ratified during the next student election as an amendment to the Constitution, or else expire.
2. In the event that a request for an emergency suspension is denied by one or both legislative bodies, the University may unilaterally suspend this Article, provided that:
a. The University must post a full justification of its actions, online and in a full-page notice in that student newspaper with the largest circulation.
b. A student referendum on the unilateral suspension must be held within two months of such action.
c. Sections 4 and 5 of this Article shall survive any such suspension, unless prohibited by law.
Section 5. Interpretation and Supremacy
1. The interpretation of this Article, as well as requests by the members of the Association for declaratory relief from any speech restrictions, shall fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Council.
2. Pursuant to Article I, Section 6, Subsection 2 of this Constitution, this Article supersedes any other University policy.
Voting Members present:
Business: Janet Zhou (proxy Crystal Yin present)
Education: Jon McNaughtan
Earth Sciences: Mary Van der Hoven
Engineering 1: Robert Hennessy
Engineering 2: Addy Satija (proxy Joanna Lankester present)
Law: Eric Osborne
Medicine: Jessica Tsai
Natural Sciences: Bryan Chen (proxy Krystal St. Julien present)
Social Sciences: Nanna Notthoff (proxy Amy Askin present)
At Large 1: Justin Brown
At Large 2: Ryan Peacock
At Large 3: Aleksandra Korolova (proxy Ping Li present)
At Large 4: Andrew Kennedy
At Large 5: Noa Lincoln
Voting members not present:
Other people present: David Gobaud (ASSU President), Andy Parker (ASSU VP), Ping (Funding Committee Chair), Brianna Pang (Stanford Daily), Quinn Slack (Election), Crystal Yin (GSC Secretary), Krystal St. Jolien, Adam Beberg.
Listen to this segment
1) 5:45 FOOD (thanks Drew!)
2) 6:03 Welcome with introductions and Announcements (Nanna)
i. Please be aware that all meetings are audio recorded and will be made available on the GSC website.
ii. Approve minutes from the last meeting (02/24//2009).
iii. The last meeting before spring break will be March 10.
iv. Proxies of the week: Crystal Yin for Janet Zhou, Joanna Lankester for Addy Satija,
Krystal St. Julien for Bryan Chen, Amy Askin for Nanna Notthoff.
3) 6:08 Funding Committee (Justin)
* Stanford Alpine Project
They are requesting $400 for snacks for an event in which people will bake pie.
Q: Is it a fund-raising event?
Approving funding $400 passes by consensus.
* Stanford Student Biodesign & Biopharma
It is the largest bio-engineering organization at Stanford. They are requesting funding for the most important initiative: one day conference. They are bringing industry members from the area to talk about the most cutting-edge innovations in the field. They are also brining in researchers from Stanford, John Hopkins, and University of Pennsylvania, etc. They are requesting $1469 in total from GSC. They are seeking 50% of the funding from the GSC, and the rest would be from the undergraduate senate.
Q: Is this the first time you organized the event?
Approving funding $1469 passes by consensus.
* French Stanford Student Association
They are requesting $300 for an event that is a French tradition to bake crabs and share them.
Q: Where is going to be?
A: In the Rain’s lounge.
Approving funding $300 passes by consensus.
[Finishes this item at 6:15]
4) 6:15 Programming Update (Jess)
Jess and Addy are working on graduate formal.
[Finishes this item at 6:16]
5) 6:16 Elections Commission Update (Quinn)
The previous commissioner has stepped down, and Quinn has laid down the ground work for this new elections commission. This person will be in charge of increasing graduate turn-out, and would be the contact person for graduate election issue to the media, etc. Quinn has put out an application with three questions, and anybody in GSC is eligible as long as he/she is not running. A significant amount of work is going to be in the spring break and next quarter. Mary and Eric have expressed their interests.
Q: If we have only two applicants, can we make it a shared position?
There is a graduate exec slate, Jonathan Bakke and Ryan Peacock. Please sign up before Friday. You do not have a petition deadline, which means you can sign up any time after March 18th.
Eric: Have Ryan and Jonathan secured the number of signatures required for being put onto the ballot?
Quinn: No. Right now you can see special fee groups only.
Robert: How many people have declared for GSC elections?
Quinn: We now have Krystal, Eric, Ping, Jessica, Justin and Drew. Others please hurry up to declare.
[Finishes this item at 6:21]
6) 6:21 ASSU Update (Andy)
Not much. Steven Chu is coming down.
[Finishes this item at 6:21]
7) 6:21 Approve Retreat Driving Reimbursements (Eric)
We have agreed to have $75 to reimburse each driver in the retreat, including driving to and from the retreat hotel and taxi fees to the dinner place. We are doing this to avoid dealing with many receipts from taxi. Approving reimbursing $75 to each driver passes by consensus.
[Finishes this item at 6:22]
8) 6:22 Constitutional Amendment (Andy)
This comes out from the frustration over the years of lack of free speech rights from the university. Cases included the university step in using cell phones to interrupt the sound equipment on white plaza. This is a rough draft which is seeking input from you.
Mary: Money does not equal free speech. I will not vote for anything that does not explicitly says that.
Robert: Are you going to set an explicit limit for the money being spent?
Adam: Nothing written in the bill draft is changing the case right now. This amendment, even if we are going to achieve free speech, that is going into the university policies. Only certain people in Stanford are telling you that you are not supposed to do certain things out of the intention of kindness. We should not necessarily go to the elaborated process to address that.
Andy: Yes, maybe we are guilty of redundancy but this is very necessary.
David: The point of putting things onto the constitution is that if it passes it gains weight. That is the whole point.
Jon: I am worried on Number 4 says that “Protected Freedoms are expressly permitted in any public space equally available to any student or VSO. Does that mean that the students can go to any public place and start shouting out their beliefs? Library is also public space.
Eric: In part I, “Neither the Association nor the University shall, in word or deed, abridge the right of members to freedoms of speech, press, expression”, as United States law and money equals speech for ASSU, people have the right to give unlimited corporate money. This will have huge impact.
In part 4, it is said that “Protected Freedoms are expressly permitted in any public space equally available to any student or VSO.” People may go to libraries to have meeting/ gathering any time anywhere I want. How do you define public places? Is dormitory public?
The statement that “Political events at which candidates for political office appear must be of reasonably educational value” is extremely vague and the university may be subject to lawsuit for that.
The statement that “Any such restriction is as narrow and tailored as possible to achieve legitimate University interests, including exclusively the avoidance of disruptions to teaching and learning” can be used in the previous case. Phone making on white plaza is disruptive to teaching and learning. You are writing the bill in a way that would completely undo what you are trying to achieve.
Adam: I am going to work with you guys if you conclude about what your goals are. Maybe there needs amendments here, let us try to find out a solution.
Eric: If you change this, do we need to have another session to vote?
Quinn: My understanding is that you do not need a week.
Jon: They can make changes and we can vote next week.
Mary: What is the urgency?
Robert: They need to get on the ballot.
Adam will work with Andy to work out the things.
[Finishes this item at 6:38]
9) 6:38 ASSU Executive State of the Association (David)
i. 6:38 Brief Introduction re: Exec Oversight Bill (Eric)
Eric passes out three bills from the retreat. There is concern in GSC regarding the cabinet overall efficiency, due to lack of legislative oversight. We come out with three bills to increase the oversight, which include cap of $500 for the cabinet positions other than chief of staff, progress report requested at the end of fall and review, etc.
ii.6:42 David Presentation of Exec Role, Exec Thoughts on Oversight Bill (David)
David passes out the presentation. The information is available to assu.stanford.edu/sota.
Each cabinet member manages and guides a team of up to 10 people and their time commitment is about 10-15 hrs/week, and the positions are year round and many of them work over summer. We have organized many town halls, which turned out to be huge success with over 300 graduate students turned out. We literally went to knock on the doors of graduate students to make them come. There is significant representation of graduate students on the cabinet. We are working on many initiatives that are very helpful to graduate students.
For team of disabilities and accessible education, they have disabilities.sanford.edu website, and they connect people and collect resources.The Disabilities and Accessible Education (DAE) team has created a prototype website that connects all disability resources available for students with disabilities, pro-fros with disabilities, and faculty. This website will be the new hub for disability information, connecting the Office of Accessible Education, Diversity and Access, LIME Inc., Students with Disabilities at Stanford, and the ASSU Executive DAE branch. It also has a comment box for issues on campus, which the DAE Chairs will read and address in a timely manner. We are currently working with the ASSU Executive Technology Team on finalizing the layout and plan to launch the website soon. The DAE is initiating a dorm accessibility project to gather information about the most “disability friendly” dorms on campus. We will collect information about each dorm’s individual accessibility and post the findings on our disability website. The goal is to ensure that students with disabilities will be able to make an informed decision about their housing for the next year. We hope to complete this project by the beginning of Disability Draw in Spring Quarter.
For sustainability team, they have made remarkable progress. The first project headed by Leslie Cachola, Co-Chair of Sustainability, was making Tresidder and Old Union 0% waste. Through collaboration with Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS) and Stanford Hospitality and Auxiliaries (SHA), three campus dining locations are now 0% waste areas. New compost bins are now in place at Union Square in Tresidder, The Axe & Palm, and the new Russo Café in Munger, and these three facilities are using compostable and recyclable materials. The compost bins are accompanied by recycling bins for glass, plastics and paper, as well as signs to help diners sort waste into the appropriate receptacles. We are now working with CoHo, Treehouse, and Ray’s to implement the program. In addition to these many projects, the Sustainability team has also created an alliance among the different sustainability student groups on campus, known as the Green Alliance for Innovative Action (GAIA). Headed by Sonali Chopra, Co-Chair of Sustainability, the Sustainability team hopes to unite the different sustainability efforts on campus under one movement. Current partners of GAIA include Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS), Green Living Council (GLC), Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), Energy Crossroads, Solar and Wind Energy Project (SWEP), and IDEAS. GAIA will be hosting two major events this year. The first event featuring Steven Chu will take place on Monday, March 8th. This event features issues facing global energy. This event is be followed by a half-day conference hosted by Energy Crossroads. The event essentially cost $0, thanks to the sponsorship from the partners. This event itself is sustainable. Also related to this event is a student body government sign-on letter supporting Obama’s RE-ENERGYSE proposal. Currently, the Sustainability team is contacting student body presidents so that they may sign the letter which will be sent to national legislators supporting the proposal. The second event, named FutureFest, taking place on April 17, will be a social movement that addresses sustainability issues by celebrating the influences and accomplishments of our culture (or local and global community) and demonstrating it in an environmentally sustainable fashion. This one-day festival will be the product of a unified front, showcasing the confluence of backgrounds and skill sets that are needed to create holistic mobilized solutions. FutureFest will consist of five primary elements that will be complemented by dynamic festival activities. These elements include (1) the transformation of White Plaza, headed by SSS, (2) a rally in White Plaza featuring Van Jones, headed by the ASSU Executive, (3) a multimedia exposition headed by the partners of GAIA, (4) a concert featuring a prominent musical artist, headed by SCN, and (5) community outreach into the bay area, headed by Stanford in Government (SIG). At the end of FutureFest, a panel of students will come together to create a document defining how students will be a part of Stanford sustainability and clean energy efforts moving forward. The sustainability team is also working with PSSI (Peninsula Sanitary 3 of 9
Service, Inc.), the Office of Sustainability, and faculty from various departments to facilitate communication between students and the administration.
For team of service, they have get non-traditional public service on board. They donated the time worth $100,000. In the 2009-10 academic year, the Public Service team has spearheaded three major initiatives:
First, they developed and launched the Frosh Service Ambassador program in collaboration with the Haas Center. This program aims to give freshmen not only the opportunities to involve themselves in public service, but to provide them with leadership training, mentorship and support as they explore service at Stanford and in the surrounding community. The program currently has 51 Frosh Service Ambassadors (FSA), with one or more representatives in each freshman dorm. As part of the program, each FSA is responsible for completing a collaborative service project with their dorm.
Second, the service team is working on launching Impact Pages in the each academic departments’ website. These impact pages will profile alumni from the particular department who have made a contribution to the public sphere using skills and knowledge learned in their academic discipline. These pages will be useful to students choosing majors and minors and will enable them to see the impact, broadly defined, that they can make with the skills learned in a particular major. They are running a pilot program with 10 academic departments and hope to have these pages implemented in 40 academic department websites by the end of the year.
Third, as a formal continuation of the Service Summit held at Stanford last spring, the Service team has is working with the Haas Center to institutionalize quarterly State of Service meetings on Education, Poverty and Health. These meeting will comprise a coalition of VSO student leaders that aims to improve communication and collaboration among student organizations on campus dealing with similar issues. Together, they will work to create a vision for the future of their issue area on campus and explore avenues for coordination and communication. In addition, we will help them assess the impact of their respective groups as well as initiatives in each issue area at Stanford as a whole. This coalition of groups will revisit the vision 2020 goals set during the Summit and collaborate to build a stronger and better-connected community of students, VSOs, and faculty who are interested in enhancing the quality of service, education and activism for students on a local, national, and global level. These meetings will be institutionalized to give leaders working in these issue areas an opportunity to meet formally on a quarterly basis to discuss their organizations’ activities, goals and avenues for collaboration and more effective public service leadership both at Stanford and beyond.
The Public Service team has worked on a number of other projects as well:
They organized and ran the Haas Center Strategic Planning Town Hall which engaged students from a wide variety of backgrounds in the Haas Center’s strategic planning process. (Refer to 2 articles in the Daily for more info on the town halls/strategic plan).
They set the groundwork for providing students from non-traditional service backgrounds to engage in public service. Currently, they are working with the Computer Science Department to incorporate senior projects that benefit non-profits and the public good more broadly so that CS seniors can use their skills for the public good.
For the Haiti relief, the ASSU Executive started a national college fundraising challenge (http://assu.stanford.edu/haiti/) that now has 25 partner schools and has raised over $300,000. We are working to continue raising funds in addition to working with our partner schools to now start a national student coalition that is going to work on long term Haiti relief.
“Looking Beyond the Earthquake: Rebuilding Haiti” Panel of Professors that will address the student body and greater Stanford community with information on the crisis and innovative ways in which they can help.
For Graduate Outreach, they have been working on fostering relationships between graduate students and undergraduate students, as well as inter-graduate student socializing. We have been working on a website that will launch in spring called Grad Connect which will be a discussion board where graduate students can answer any questions that undergraduates may have about applying for graduate or professional school. We are excited to see students take advantage of this. We are also working closely with the Graduate Student Council and plan to continue to keep the relationship between the Graduate Student Council and the ASSU Executive strong. One other project we are working on is an Immigration Town Hall where John Pearson, the Director of the Bechtel International Center, will be speaking and answering any questions that students may have about immigration and the services that Bechtel offers for international students. The town hall will be Monday February 22 at 5:30 PM in Old Union Room 200. We are also collaborating with the Stanford Immigrant Rights Project on hosting an event with former Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall, a major author of the upcoming immigration reform bill, to discuss the political, social, and economic aspects of the bill.
For health and wellness: One of the most important things that the Graduate Health & Wellness Team has focused on is collaborating with Health Promotion Services (HPS) to continue their excellent health-related work on campus and to fulfill the charge of their grant that requires them to reach out to all students. The Graduate Health team is helping HPS to accomplish their goal by encouraging graduate students to use their services and attend their workshops, as well as increasing the visibility of HPS in the graduate community.
In addition, the Grad Health team is assisting the Undergrad Health Team to launch a mental health campaign on campus. Mental health is important for all the students here at Stanford, and is not limited to mental illness, but encompasses the day-to-day cognitive wellness of each of us. We will strive to join our efforts with the undergrad health team to make the mental health campaign a success.
Another one of our up-and-coming projects is a healthy cooking class, where students would learn more about nutrition and how to cook healthy, but delicious meals at home. Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in Americans and we are all aware of the growing diabetes and obesity epidemics. This class hopes to combat those health threats by teaching an affordable way to cook that avoids fast food and teaches people health cooking habits for their future. We hope to collaborate with Stanford Dining Services and their executive chefs to make this class a success. The first class will begin this winter and we hope to have a monthly class thereafter, with a focus on a particular style of food or specific dish. As the class gains popularity, we hope to attract reputable chef’s from around the area to volunteer to teach the class once a quarter.
In addition, the Grad Health team has helped build important connections and bridges with the Wellness Room. A strong effort has been put in to reach out to multiple stakeholders on campus, including the Wellness Room, Vaden Health Services, and BeWell (Athletics Department). In particular, Eric Stein from BeWell has been quite a resource in pushing more graduate wellness related activities. It will be important to determine what sorts of resources and relaxing activities the graduate community would like to put in place. We will also continue conversations with Health Promotions Services, in order to inform graduate students of the plethora of resources that exist there in regards to student health.
For Graduate Social, they assisted with a Homecoming tailgate, organized a Vegas trip for MLK weekend, and collaborated with Cafe Russo in hosting weekly dinner events. Current projects include organizing an event to raise funds for Haiti and planning a Las Vegas spring break vacation for Stanford student. We are currently working on hosting smaller events to facilitate inter-professional school/grad/undergrad mixing in the spring as well as looking into possibly planning a winery trip and a white water rafting trip.
For Undergraduate Social, this year the Undergraduate Social Team has worked diligently focusing on a few aspects of Stanford life: supporting student groups, throwing study breaks, and hosting fundraisers. In the fall, we focused on Big Game Week, planning and publicizing events. We also helped organize road trips such as the one to USC and viewing parties, both in the Stadium Sky Box as well as in the Axe and Palm, where free food was offered to students. During the NFL Playoffs and Stanford away basketball games, we again worked with the Axe and Palm to offer discounts on food to students during the games. Future projects possibly include a study break sponsored by Chevrolet, where students will get the opportunity to ride in Camaros and other Chevy vehicles to local fast food restaurants during finals. We’re looking forward to a productive and successful rest of winter quarter and to continue the momentum into the spring.
For Undergraduate Health & Wellness team, they have dedicated itself to ending sexual assault and relationship abuse and improving mental health and wellness on campus. In the fall, we developed an advertisement for athletics events to raise awareness about violence against women and to inform people about campus resources. It debuted at Big Game and played during several athletic events. Since then, the team has been working to develop a sexual assault and relationship abuse poster campaign. Posters will be in all undergraduate and many graduate residences by the beginning of spring quarter. The team has also partnered with other VSOs, including Men against Abuse Now (MAAN), Fraternity Men against Violence, and Silent Nights, to develop and distribute publicity materials, co-sponsor events, and build group websites. The team also helped establish the student Coalition to End Violence against Women (CEVAW).
This quarter, the Undergraduate Health & Wellness team also planned Wellness Week 2010: Finding Balance and Happiness. The week consisted of 11 events developed involving five different student groups, Health Promotion Services, and Counseling and Psychological Services. Some events were light-hearted and carefree, such as the Puppy Study Break and Wellness Party. Others, such as the SPOM Panel and STAMP Monologues were a bit more serious and thought-provoking. Overall, students completed over 900 wellness activities throughout the week!
Our efforts would have been impossible without the support of numerous organizations and the administration’s support. The team would like to thank the Stanford Partnership to End Violence against Women, the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness, Vaden Health Promotion Services, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Office of Student Affairs, the Bridge Peer Counseling Center, Stanford Peace of Mind, Stanford Theater Activism Mobilization Project (STAMP), Project Love, the Sexual Violence Advisory Board, and the Wellness Room.
For Undergraduate Life, Academics, Cost of Living, and Equality team, they have worked on many projects this year including revitalizing The Axe and Palm’s menu with lower prices and better options using feedback from students and hosting a salary and benefit negotiation workshop with The Rainmaker Network. Some of the projects we are currently working on are outlined below:
Working with Student Activities and Leadership to see that the Old Union Advisory Board begins to function in the hopes of making Old Union a livelier and better student union.
Collecting student feedback on where they study and the currently available student study space so that we can work on securing better group study spaces with more convenient times for students.
Launching a Life@Stanford website that will have all the essential information for life as a Stanford student.
Working on installing more technology in Old Union such as large screens and printers. In collaboration with Academic Computing Services, two large screens were recently installed in Old Union rooms 121 and 122.
For Undergraduate Outreach and Legislative Liaison team, they have been working closely with the Undergraduate Senate on important issues including free speech on campus and implementing election spending caps for ASSU elections. In addition, we have organized listening sessions (http://assu.stanford.edu/listeningsessions), multiple town halls (http://assu.stanford.edu/townhall), and support the entire Executive team in distributing information to the student body and specifically undergraduate students.
For Marketing and HCI team, they have created numerous flyers, logos, and graphics to support the entire ASSU Executive team. In addition, we have created a WordPress template that makes it easy for the Executive to launch easily customizable and editable sites like the ones for Wellness Week (http://wellnessweek.stanford.edu), ASSU Diversity & Tolerance (http://assudiversity.stanford.edu), Match Maker: Valentine’s Day Edition (http://assu.stanford.edu/matchmaker), and the Green Alliance for Innovative Action (http://gaia.stanford.edu). We will continue to support the entire team and develop innovative solutions to get information out to students in an easily accessible manner.
For Technology Team, they have been supporting the Executive team with their technical needs and is currently working on numerous projects some of which are outlined below.
1. Student Jobs – Created a Student Jobs resource page (http://studentjobs.stanford.edu) to teach students how to use the CDC’s job database to search for on-campus jobs and also teach administrators how to post student jobs to the database.
2. Book Exchange – Continuing to extend the functionality of the Book Exchange http://bookexchange.stanford.edu. Recently, we have added a feature to look up book information by ISBN number. We are currently improving the look and feel of the website.
3. Online Old Union Room Reservation System – Created the online room reservation system being used right now for Old Union (http://assu.stanford.edu/oldunion) and plan to expand it to the Nitery later this quarter.
4. LiveScreen – Developing a web-based application to power the digital billboards currently lying dormant in Tresidder and several dining halls. For free, student groups will submit e-flyers via a web interface and they will display on a rotating basis in prominent locations around campus. This project will open to student groups a different marketing channel than traditional mailing-lists and wasteful paper flyers.
5. Grad Connect – Brought together representatives from the Undergraduate Senate, and Stanford’s graduate/professional community to develop plans for a “Graduate Connect” Q&A website which seeks to unite undergraduates seeking mentoring and advising about graduate issues with graduates willing to provide those services. Now that these plans have been finalized, we will begin to implement the site, with a projected launch date of spring quarter.
6. Life@Stanford – Currently developing the customizable Stanford student homepage called Life@Stanford, which will feature a variety of informative widgets.
7. Compiling Resources – Currently compiling the many resources available to Stanford students (e.g. room reservation services, technology services) in one place and organizing all of the information in a coherent fashion that makes it more easily known to and accessible by Stanford students. Although we are prioritizing Stanford tools and services first, we also have an External Links menu on the ASSU website that points to resources that are not hosted on Stanford domains but are developed for and are useful to Stanford students.
8. Tech Consulting – Started the ASSU Executive Tech Consulting Program that assists student groups with their technical needs such as website development and setup.
Andy: This is just a small sample of the cabinet work. We hope to underscore the fact that without them we would be very ineffective.
David: I suggest everybody read the agenda (assu.stanford.edu/agenda) we are sending out. Specific regarding the bill:
First, you the Graduate Student Council, an independent legislative body,
have allowed yourselves to be led like sheep by the Undergraduate Senate
which has become corrupted by a vocal rogue minority with a partisan
political agenda that they have had all year. This minority has
unfortunately been able to control the Undergraduate Senate because the rest
of the senators have not spoken up or taken their job seriously until
Now, after the prompting of the Undergraduate Senate, you propose a bill
that encroaches upon the key concept of separation of powers that exists in
our government and you work to control the Executive branch and expand your
very own power by imposing unprecedented and nonsensical limitations and
rules on an independent branch of government.
I will now address these proposals individually.
1. You propose requiring legislative approval for any discretionary expense
more than $1,000. This is a tremendous and unprecedented encroachment into
the Executive branch. The Executive discretionary funds are designed to be
spent at the discretion of the Executive Office – that is why it exists. I
have heard various reasons for this that have come up and they are all
unfounded. For example, some believe we are spending all of our
discretionary funding on the spring sustainability summit. To clarify, we
have spent $0 so far and it may well end up costing us $0 because we have
been able to raise over $26,000 do the vast partnership we have formed known
as the Green Alliance for Innovative Action. However, we agree with the
requirement that Executive financial records be made public every quarter.
This is something we started this year and strongly believe it should
2. You propose capping cabinet compensation. Cabinet salaries, excluding the
chief of staff who gets twice as much, are currently paid $950 or less which
we announced last spring, which we strongly believe is reasonable and
acceptable for the amount of work. These positions require an average of
10-15 hours of work per week. A couple members of the cabinet have also told
us privately that they would have trouble doing the job without the stipend,
because they are on financial aid and the time required by this job takes
the place of another on-campus job. We believe that providing these stipends
not only ensure that every student on campus is able to participate in the
ASSU, regardless of financial status, but we also see no problem with using
small stipends to incentivize participation in student government. In a
perfect world, many people would be willing to do the work for free, but
that isn’t the case. In addition you pay the GSC Co-Chairs a combined total
of $7,200, a secretary $1,500, a financial officer $2,250, and an equipment
master $1,000. I agree with defining compensation in the approval process
and this is something we did when we setup our cabinet last spring.
3. You propose a new progress report and cabinet compensation
reauthorization program that duplicates and further increases your power. I
remind you that there is already a constitutionally mandated State of the
Association presentation that not one of you attended. For the State of the
Association, we had each cabinet member prepare a summary of their major
accomplishments for the year and which each team presented during the
address. In addition, following up on our promise to be more transparent and
open, we live webcasted the event and posted a video and transcripts of the
speech and handout online immediately after the event and emailed it out to
all of you to read at your convenience. Today we are providing you with
printed copies for you to review that expand in detail what we covered in
the presentation. In addition, the legislative bodies already have the power
to fire a member of the cabinet and even remove the Executives from office.
This is nothing but more excessive and unneeded rules and regulation.
Now, most troubling of all the concerns that have been raised by this body
are the complaints about paying $500 from my personal salary, which I
donated, to pay the Haiti Relief Czar. This student is working to utilize
the momentum from the enormous success of the national student fundraising
challenge we started that has raised over $300,000 and been joined by over
25 schools to support Haiti in the long term and work to educate students
and raise awareness about the situation. Do not think that the suffering in
Haiti is over just because it is no longer breaking news. I remind you that
Haiti is the only nation in the entire world born out of a slave revolt and
you complain about spending $500 to support it after having over 220,000
people killed by a horrendous earthquake. The recent earthquake in Chile
that was 800 – 900 times stronger and had approximately 800 deaths compared
to the 220,000 in Haiti demonstrates the infrastructure problems that exist
in Haiti that date back to its days as a slave nation. You sit here and
spend $9,500 a year feeding yourselves and $1,000 a year on a food czar to
ensure that your food arrives hot and on time in addition to spending $6,500
on retreats to wine, dine, and lodge yourselves in places like Napa but
complain about me donating $500 to support Haiti.
In addition, I remind you that I was elected by a an almost 2 to 1 landslide
election victory with almost 4 to 1 graduate student support and have a
mandate from the student body. In particular, the two biggest parts of our
platform were sustainability and truly representing graduate students at the
Executive level. Now you work to dismantle the new graduate positions on the
cabinet I created by donating $2,000 from my salary in addition to objecting
to hosting the spring sustainability summit which will be one of the biggest
events of the year on campus. The Green Alliance for Innovative Action
initiative we started has been enormously successful, been joined by 6
partner student organizations and is now conducting the sustainability
endorsements for the upcoming ASSU Elections in addition to raising over
$26,000 for our sustainability events which goes to demonstrate its success
in a quantitative manner which is why we might end up spending $0 on it. In
addition, it is hosting U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu this coming
Monday in an event that has generated enormous student interest. We have had
to turn administrative and faculty units down that have requested more
tickets because there is so much interest.
I implore you to rethink your actions and give serious consideration to
encroaching upon an independent branch of the student government by imposing
excessive and redundant restrictions.
iii.7:13 Q & A for David – 10 minutes (David)
Justin: We have a social cabinet member Hari. However, for the events they are organizing, many people on GSC, serving as CAs, on GSPB organize similar things for free.
David: This bill is just adding to the red tape, and duplication of the current legislative oversight.
Andy: We do not take this as personal insult, but we would appreciate if it is raised in a different manner, such as an update request before such legislative manner.
Mary: Do you think it is a personal?
David: I do not think so. Something happened in the retreat. I also did not include the amount of money you guys spend on the retreat.
Q: For the MLK weekend Vegas trip, are you aware of the fact that Hari did not do much except setting up a Google document and booking hotels. We bought the tickets ourselves, and he did not arrange almost anything at Las Vegas. Are you aware of that?
David: Yes, you are right. I am aware of that because it was a trip initiated by the group of medical students, and the coming spring break one would be different.
Mary: I think this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. The ASSU cabinet are very effective and helpful and open. We should not have any involvement with this.
Robert: Yes, this executive slate has been very good, but previously things were not the case and there was clearly a lack of legislative oversight. David has set a high bar and we hope to hold the bar.
Jon: I understand what this bill is coming out. But I agree with Mary that we should separate the student bodies.
Ryan: In section 6 where we have $1000 discretionary spending oversight, I do not think anybody has a problem with that.
Andy: I think anybody working on it would be smart enough. I do not think that it addresses any issues, and the only thing this does is to give the legislative body the power to disagree with how the executive spend their money.
Ryan: How many times you have spent over $1000 in a single event?
David: Only 1 time.
Adam: The stuff happened some time several years before. We need to fix the process; it is not about you two. We are a three-branch government. The senate is just the senate. This isn’t a big deal, let us just move on.
Mary: I totally agree whatever Adam is saying. It is not about these guys, it is about the integrity of the student bodies.
David: I will be absent for the next week, can you vote in a meeting when I am here?
Eric: We can table for even a further meeting. There is no urgency here.
David: I think 6 A is bad, 6 D should say “everything on ASSU”. 7C is redundant.
Eric: We will do a straw poll about whether there should be a number that should be approved by the Senate and GSC.
Addy: Discretionary means Discretionary.
Ryan: There is logic behind it, even for discretionary account we need to approve by case basis.
Mary: Discretionary is discretionary. The nature of GSC is very different from ASSU. Just because we vote for our discretionary, does not mean that we need to make them do it?
Robert: Shall we make it a public notice instead?
Andy: What does that accomplish then?
Eric: The thinking was there would be a huge spending that may eats up the money. This is out of good faith.
David: I am all for the public notice. The problem is the approval from a nother legislative body is not acceptable.
Ryan: We are stripping that legislative body.
We do a straw poll limited to voting members on whether there should be a number/ cap above which the executives should seek approval and the results are 7 yes: 5 no: 0 abstension.
We do a straw poll limited to voting members on previous notice, and the results are: 8 yes: 4 no: 0 abstension.
We do a straw poll limited to voting members on the cap for executive spending are: 5 yes: 4 no: 2 abstension.
[Finishes this item at 7:44]
10) 7:44 Joint Special Fee Group Discussion (Ping)
The goal of this talk:
1. Update the budget information of all the joint special groups
2. Ask everyone’s opinions about the budget, wish everyone could vote for every funding recommended
3. How we are going to split the funds between the Senate and the GSC for joint SF group.
Total 6 joint special fee groups
The total budget they request: $670,000, recommended $580,000. Among this 6 groups,
Three out of six groups got what they request: Speakers Bureau, Cardinal Free Clinics, Stanford Outdoors
Reason for the remaining groups not getting everything done are:
Stanford Club Sports: Officer Salary (This New Year’s funding by law had a restricted rule about salary), Honory Fee (According to the joint by-law, those the accommodation for the speaker, and plan ticket has included in the honory fee And there is a soft cap of $10 for each student’s attendence). Registration Expenses (This year, for per event, it get capped for $40)
Legal Counseling: Legal Fee, is the fee they charge for Stanford student, so they somehow want to get paid less to do the work.
Sunday Flicks: Officer Salary, even though it seems like thay’ve done a great job, in the interview process, the vote decided to give them $100 per person for quarter.
We have 6 special fee groups. Three get whatever they want. There are three groups did not get what they want. For standfor dclub sports, they did not get what they want because of the officer salary, honoraria fees, registration expense, for legal counseling, the difference comes from the legal fee, for Sunday flicks, the difference comes from the officer salary.
Addy: Did the legal counseling group were legally dropped its liberty or was this discussion mean by voter as well?
Ping: This is not by vote.
And here the Sunday Flicks, they decided to go through partition, for the reason they thought their officer need to get paid more (Ping agreed with it personally)
Mary: What was the officer salary?
Ping: $1500 for the president per year,
Justin: Every person that does something, like the people we do marketing, finance. The officers of the ordinary student group did not get paid(1:45:30), there are some of those positions that do require a lot of hard work, other students groups do not get paid for this, so can I did a trade off?
Ping: So right now they decided to go through partition, which means they want enough student sign for them so they can get the full salary for the officers. That’s topic now. So that means now I’d like to get every voting member’s appealing for the remaining 5 groups. Because that is the part of the information we want to provide to the student voters, when all these groups entered ballot.
There are two votes. The first is to get the fast type of the ballot, the second vote which is your first vote recommendation of what you consist to do.
So this is not your opinion vote, but a fast track.
The first set of vote is about whether we want them to go through the fast track, which means they do not ask student for partition, and directly enter the ballot. The first group, is speakers bureau. And then we recommend them $175,712.
Q: There is no representative as many groups here tonight?
This is an ordinary student group.
Now we proceed with the voting on the fast track, which means they do not need to go through the petition and they can go to the ballot directly with the recommended budget by funding committee.
Q: How many signatures would they have to collect?
A: 15% – 10%, depends (Ping), so right now if they are going to ender the ballot using the yellow bar, with the number we recommend them, then they need to get 10% from the respective student body, signature right. But if they decided to go through partition, such as Sunday Flicks, then they may have to use their original budget, which is the blue bar here, then they need to get the 15% signature from both student bodies. Both grad and undergrad student.
If they go to the ballot with the recommended budget, they need to get 10% signatures from the students. If they go directly into the ballot through petition with the original budget, they need t get 15% from both student bodies.
Quinn: So as to both student bodies, the way it has been done in past few years is, for joint special fee groups, it has been the joint populations rather than considered separately.
Ping: So if everyone here approved the yellow bar, then they do not need to go through partition, but they still need the signatures from student. That is for the voting part.
Q: If we approve Sunday Flickers for the yellow bar and they decided they want to go to the blue bar, they can still collect signature?
A: Yes, 15%.
We proceed with voting for all the groups.
The results for Speakers Bureau are: 11 yes: 1 no: 0 abstension, which passes.
The results for Stanford Club Sports are: 10 yes: 1 no: 1 abstension, which passes.
The results for Stanford Outdoors are: 12 yes: 0 no: 0 abstension, which passes.
The results for Legal Counseling are: 11 yes: 1 no: 0 abstension, which passes.
The results for Sunday Flicks are: 12 yes: 0 no: 0 abstension, which passes.
For the next set of voting, we decided to vote next week.
Ping: Third question: how we gonna split the funds between the senate and GSC?
Before I got to that topic, let’s first get some information about how banking system works in SSE. From Christina, who is the capital group director this year, for special joint groups, they have account there in SSE, and then say if there is a 20% of the attendance of the undergrads, and 80% of the attendance of grads, then they are going to transfer 20% of their total budget from the senate’s account, and then transfer 80% of the budget from the GSC account, then together, they put the money together and give it to the joint groups. And then after that, the joint groups are going to split it and allocate it among different items, so giving that title background, then which means all we need to do here is to decide what percentage we are going to fund. What’s the percentage of total budget GSC are going to fund. Which means we haven’t numbered here, it is around $175,712, then we are going to decide what is the percentage GSC is going to transfer the money from our account to these groups’ account.
There are different ways to split the budget, for this part as I know, it has not been written down in the joint by-law, so I would suggest we just include it in a new bill where we would drop it by now about the joint special fee processing. The first way is to use the percentage of the graduate attendance as the number. The second way is to use the percentage of the graduate student among the Stanford population, which means here at the Stanford University undergraduate, has like 46%, and graduate has 53%, so we are going to use this 53%. And the third way is for only Stanford club boss we use percentage for graduate student, and for other groups we are going to use the percentage of graduate student among the total Stanford population as multiplier. Personally… we use the last method, in I believe last year, although people I am not sure we can use that because of discrimination, so I do not think it is a good way to do that, so personally, we would recommend you to go through the first way, for it is a lower cost for us, which is very important. The second reason for this is it is a more precise way to control the number of percentage.
Ping introduces how banking system work in SSE, if 20% of the attendance is undergraduates, and 80% of the attendance is graduate, they will draw 20% of the money from the ASSU account and 80% from the SF account. They altogether make up 100%.
Robert: There is no way that Flicks get 60% of grad students.
Addam: This is set in stone.
If there is rejection on, we will table it.
Adam opposes, and thus the discussion is tabled.
Eric: We will table the issue to next week.
Adjourned meeting 8:10