Grad Life Bill:
-Events that we do in the winter quarter. This will also be publicized to off campus families. Two events: Ice skating event, where we rent rink in Palo Alto, can only have 75 people at a time so need to do lottery. Families can go on the ice with strollers, so it’s very family friendly. Second event is a Valentine’s Day dance for families and kids downstairs in the Havana Room. Last year they had an event for teens and pre-teens. There is about 100 kids who are in elementary/middle/high school that live in family housing. This quarter they are doing laser tag and rock climbing. Unfortunately they have to rent the facility because they are not a VSO (which will be at Arrillaga). Laser tag will be at Mountain View. There are volunteers that help transport the people. Usually ice skating has roughly the same number of people as the lottery, so it’s pretty close. Most people get in. Gabby proposes we suspend rule, Terence seconds. We are voting to suspend the rules, passes unanimously. Now we vote on the bill to fund the family events bill, passes unanimously. Rules reinstated.
Hellenic Students Assoc:
-3 events. Traditional religious celebration that marks the last day before Easter fasting. Large BBQ event with lots of meat. They expect attendance of around 150 ppl, minimum 95% will be grad students. For food they need roughly $1300 and for event services it is around $75. Requesting $425 from GSC, rest will be covered by Bechtel. Thinking about collaboration with Iberia as well for the next event. Next event is Margarita, which is part of the Easter celebration. Easter is one of the most important religious celebrations in Greece. 2 Events on Sunday, early in morning and in afternoon. Dinner gathering event where they serve a traditional meat soup but also have vegetarian options. Expecting 50 grad students, requesting $825. Last event is Greek Easter, second event for celebration of Easter. Large number of Greek students get involved. Last year they had more than 150 grad students participating. It is a lunch event where they roast the whole lamb and have lots of Greek dishes. Requesting a total of $1250. Date is set for May 1 2016. Recommendation is $2400 food, $105 event services. Sam notes that some of the events are not on the calendar yet. They should put the events on the calendar before the meeting ends. Voting on the funding contingent on the event being on calendar, passes unanimously.
Hong Kong Students Assoc:
-Requesting 3 events. Games night (Jan 22), people get together and play board games, some chinese games and some not. Other 2 events, Chinese New Year Celebration lunch (Feb 6), provide food for students to eat and socialize. Final event is Annual hot pot night (Feb 27). Bring pots to campus and buy ingredients like soup, noodles, fish balls, etc. Tends to be biggest event of the year. Capital purchase for hot pot night, they are asking for $130 event services, which is $30 zip car rentals, $50 gas for stoves, $50 for utensils. Last time they turned on all the electric stoves at once and blew the fuse, so this time they are relying on gas canisters. Games night is going to be in A3C couch room, the lunch will be in Old Union, Hot pot night is TBD but potentially in one of the dining halls. Last year they held it in Murray. Recommendation is $130 event services, $1570 food. Voting, passes unanimously
Black Grad Students Assoc (Joint with Black Engineering Student Assoc, Black Business Student Assoc, Society for National Medical Association):
-Event is a holiday party that all the black grad student assocs are putting on. First event had 120 people, but they are expecting closer to 100 people this time because the finals for the law students. BBSA is asking for $200 food and $150 alcohol. SNMA is asking for $500 food. BEGSA is asking for $350 for event services and $50 alcohol. BGSA is asking for $400 food and $100 for Christmas tree and lights. Artificial tree is roughly $41. We are adjusting to move the $100 event services (for trees and lights) to BBSA. This will be at the Black Community Services Center. The party is this Friday. Expecting only grad students, no undergrads. Voting, passes unanimously.
Israeli Student Assoc:
-Organizing a Hannukah party on the 12th. Mostly grad students. Will be in one of the Rains lounges, ask for $300 alcohol, and $180 for food. There are traditional donuts for the holidays. $30 for event services and some decorations. Expecting around 60 people. Recommendation: $300 alcohol, $180 food, $30 event services. Voting, passes unanimously.
Persians Student Assoc:
-21st December, Persian traditional to celebrate Winter Solstice. Expecting 200 people, which is 110 grad students and 20 undergrads, rest are public. Asking for $1300 food and $100 event services. Have also requested $300 from Bechtel. Recommendation is $100 event services and $1300 food. This event is going to be held at Bechtel. Voting, passes unanimously.
Challenge Accepted Funding Bill
Program to increase the number of black grad students in professional programs in grad school through mentorship with current grad students. Collaborating with grad students from most schools on campus, including law, business, biosciences, med school, and engineering. etc. to bring together a diverse group to expose high school students to professions they may not think about. Requested funds for 5 sessions, each one will run 3-4 hours. Different activities, such as building paper microscopes for engineering. Asking for funds from VPGE ($2000), and Stanford Biochemistry Department ($1000), also some funds from small fundraisers. The same 20 high schools students are being brought to campus each week, but the mentors will change. Bringing students from East Bay, and all around the Bay Area, adds up quickly. How will students be selected? They’ve developed an application, and people are going to schools to pitch the program to students. Want to get a broad range of students at different skill levels. The current thinking for transportation is reimbursement-based gas using Stanford’s calculations ($0.55 per mile), doing calculations from South San Jose to here. They didn’t reach out to the School of Engineering because of issues and complications. Program dates start from last week on January, through all the weekends of February. They’ve combined the different departments into 5 sessions. This bill is on previous notice.
Family Representation and Housing
Sam says that we’ve talked a lot about the grad student housing programs. There are representatives from grad family who are here to talk about their perspectives on the new housing projects. Bryan Merrill and Zach Rodgers are here to talk to us. We have a dire housing situation. New housing project should be constructed by 2019 if everything works. Student family perspective on this. There are several hundred students who are parents and have children, from single parents to full families. The project took families by surprise because there was no prior communication, so families started to learn about it through an obscure email that had a link which vaguely identified the location of the housing. Rumors started going around and families started becoming more upset. Several concerned students met with R&DE to ask for more info, and were told that the project was a done deal, and there would be some feedback on the amenities that would be offered, but the project was going through by demolishing family housing. Townhall was vaguely announced and families was asking R&DE when this would occur. Another thing that exacerbated the situation is that email for town hall went out on the Friday before the town hall and the partners didn’t get it. A lot of families realized that this might be the only time they can speak up. They were told that site selection was a done deal and this wasn’t what the town hall was for. The town hall was packed, over 200 people. Format of the town hall appeared to be in line with what families had heard before the town hall, which is that they weren’t there to hear about site location. The demolition was announced for this summer, that’s when the family units will be taken down. One student who wouldn’t be affected by this really cared about the courtyards went out and counted the number of housing units that would be left, and counted the housing lottery numbers, and found that the numbers do not add up, was concerned that there was something about the plan that was not being mentioned. The project presented at the townhall would have cut two different courtyards in half. Families didn’t know why that site had been selected. All the families would still be able to have courtyard housing after the construction is finished, there are enough units for that. There are 260 families that are housed on campus in courtyards right now. In order to accommodate moving in and out, housing lottery says that they would probably need closer to 280 units in order to fulfill moving in and out of people, 300 units would be a comfortable buffer. Plan A that they presented at the townhall, which the grad students counted, would leave 244 family housing with courtyards (counting courtyards that are cut in half, and Area 51 which could probably be converted back into courtyard units). This was a big point of contention at the first townhall. An additional 18 could come from fencing off other sections. An additional 88 would be EV south would be converted into courtyards. Current concerns with this proposal is that those areas are not genuine courtyard equivalents. The courtyards have the bike path around, so adults can walk around it and kids can ride bikes around it. Playground is in the middle for young kids, fields for older kids, picnic tables for social gatherings, patios that face out onto the courtyards which allow you to sit in patio and let kids play outside. There are the play aspects, stress relief of having green space, good environment for children to play, kids get to mingle with other kids. Prior people who grew up in EV courtyards have expressed that they liked it. In EV South, the ratio of green space to units is lower. Also there are issues with converting this area, which is surrounded by single grad students who might be loud, into family housing. Families recognize that there are issues that require new housing. But just worried that this would destroy a community that exists already. Families want a transparent project that considers different options and, and want opinions from family representatives to be taken seriously as alternatives. If sacrifices do need to be made, they are willing to do it. But they just want all the options to be considered. For example, why not place the housing units across the street where the recycling plant is located? It is marked in the most recent publicly available campus master plan for possible residential development, and for more square footage than Escondido Village, which appears to have already met its planned increases with the Kennedy dorms. It doesn’t seem like other options have been considered. They want to reiterate that they are willing to make sacrifices if they are needed, but all the options should be considered first. They are going to attend the GHAC meetings in the future. In talking to R&DE, it is understood that they are acting on a very accelerated timeline, so families are concerned that the next board of trustees meeting they can submit the final plans for the housing project. They say that they will provide that, which will be in the first or second week of January. One of the deans said that not even he really knew about this until a week or 2 before this, and he’s been trying to push for a different site since he knew about the plans. His best opinion is to put the new housing units over by Lyman, but he says that nobody seems to be even considering this idea before tabling it. They would like a discussion / document to show that R&DE are considering other options. They say that since the townhall, it’s been better since they gave concrete numbers, changed their plans to shift the housing down so they are preserving the courtyard. Also the San Jose Mercury news got involved, and Stanford’s responses to the paper were different than the responses to the families.
Thanksgiving Dinner Feedback
Gabby thanks Sam and Ateeq for getting the check so fast. Food was ready to go in time.