Having a BBQ this weekend for all members. It’s going to be an indoor BBQ, asking for $400 in food and $75 for event services. Recommendation is $400 food and $75 event services. Isa asks, do people need to RSVP? They say no. Isa says if they decide to, the link needs to be on the calendar. Isa also says, Durand might be locked, so what will they do about that? They say that usually the stairs are open, but she can put her phone number on a sign so people can come in. Ateeq says that that’s traditionally what’s been done. Voting on recommendation, passes unanimously.
Stanford Polish Student Assoc:
-Easter event. In Poland it’s probably mroe important than Christmas. Easter sunday is most important day, usually gather for breakfast, have special dishes and cakes that they eat. Want to recreate the spirit of Easter here at Stanford. It’s Sunday Mar 27 (Easter Sunday). Recommendation is $300 food and $20 event services. Location TBD. Last year it was at the Slavic house, this year it’s at Kennedy commons. Voting, passes unanimously.
-Organizing a beer and stew event next Sat Mar. 12 at Bechtel. Provide Belgium beers and some stews to students. Got some funding from Bechtel, but need more funding for alcohol and event services. Recommendation is $350 alcohol and $20 event services. Green store is gone so now they need more money for event services. Expecting 45 attendees. The RSVP link on the calendar says that it is currently sold out, but they got put on the GSC calendar early last week and got filled up. Voting on recommended amount of $370, passes unanimously. Voting on the last $5 event services, passes unanimously.
Bill to add Budget Modification Funding Policies to GSC Bylaws
Same bill, but some extra things. Whenever any modifications come in, the chairs of the GSC will be notified. We can overturn the financial manager on anything. These are the additions to the bill from last week. Voting on bill for budget modifications. Passes unanimously.
Bill to ensure Long Term financial viability of the GSC
Sam has a bill to raise student fees. After last week’s discussions, added some minor edits to the grammar, added stuff to say that on the ballot will say that the fee which is currently $24 will be increased by $5. Sam says that the GSC’s budget used to be $250k split between the VSO and programming budgets, but now we’ve added $100k more due to the partition. Sam is proposing this measure because the GSC partially funds the budget out of the reserves, to about $100k every year. But we are going to need to stop doing this in the next few years, so proposing that we put a measure on the ballot so that grad students can vote on this. Isa says that, recently student bodies got ahold of the the story from the Fountainhopper and it was about $100k. Thinks that grad students could find out about this and wonder whether the fee that is being voted on has something to do with the salary of the CEO of the SSE. Wonders if this is the year to pass this bill or not. Gabe says that issue is separate from this, that had to do with the SSE and not really about our budget. Whether or not the compensation is appropriate has nothing to do with this. Isa says that, maybe from the perspective of the grad students, they would think that the $100k number might throw off the grad students. Sam says that he believes that if this bill does not pass this year, then someone will have to do it next year until it passes. Gabe asks, if we don’t do this/it does not pass and the budget has to be slashed, then how much more would we need to raise the fees? Sam says that if we need to increase out reserve funds, then we would need to raise the fees from even more. Sam says that the reserves right now are operating under a 1 year budget, which is a good amount to have in a rainy day fund for the GSC. If we can get it passed this year, then we can keep the account at roughly that amount. The reserves might fluctuate a little bit with this fee increase, but doesn’t think that this would raise the reserve. Gabby says that if we want to do this, we should be very clear at explaining that we have slowly been funding more VSOs because the number of events have grown and the number of groups coming has also been growing. Sam says he has also written an op-ed for the Daily to advocate for this. We should also be sending this to VSOs, because the alternative is cutting funding to groups. Gabby says that we need to tell people that this is a good thing and that our grad life will be very adversely affected if we can’t pass this. Terence wants to ask, it seems that we are making these claims that we are funding student groups more, but it would be nice to see the data year-to-year to see which groups are asking for funding every year. Dorian says that, we can put this on the ballot, but we’ll need to be able to explain it. It’s hard to explain that we’ve had more programming because of this $100k from our reserves, but it’s not going to be there next year, etc. Jieyang asks, how did we come up with this $5 fee increase number, is that just enough to cover the reserve amount? Sam says yeah, just making it an integer number that can cover the reserves. $4 might have gotten us close, but $5 gets us above that number. Jieyang says it might also be good to explain where that $5 is coming from. Sam says that yeah it’s not explicitly written out in the bill, and Jieyang says that it needs to be explained more to the public. Gabe says that there’s also a box that pops up on the ballot so we can put something on there too. Anne-Laure is here, she was the funding chair from 5 years ago. Trevor asks, what are we spending more on now? Anne-Laure says it’s probably alcohol. Trevor asks are there any other events that exist now and that didn’t exist back then? Anne-Laure says that there were events that tried to let non-students come in, and they used to crack down on that. She says, by applying the rules to every one, at that time they were able to stick to $140k without turning away people. For bigger events, if we saw that there were special events, we would take money out of discretionary funds for things that the GSC really cared about, so that’s an alternative. She said that she believes that all $100k is going to funding events, more money is being funded per event. Gabby says that there is a temporal element to this, there’s inflation, and cost of things jump from year to year, such as event services. Trevor asks how much has student population jumped in the last 5 years? Sam says that the University has also started charging more money to rent rooms in the past recent years, and that’s an expense that groups never had until a few years ago. Anne-Laure says that this was a concern at the time, and at that time they worked with student groups to get free rooms on campus. Sam said that probably limited the large events, because there are probably very few rooms that could hold more than 200 people legally without running into fire codes. Gabby says that a lot of bureaucracy has been coming up, for example outdoor events have a lot of requirements now that can easily go up to $20k. Now you need a lot more money for events because of room fees and caterer requirements. Ateeq says that part of the reason why we started renting equipment was because student groups were being charged a lot for equipment and it was cheaper for us to buy it and rent it out. Dorian says that, the issue for him personally is that, personally it will go on the ballot, and these discussions are important because we need to be able to educate people on this issue. Doesn’t feel comfortable saying that we need to raise fees because this $100k temporary income is going away and we need to charge more, while we should be fixing budget instead. Sam says that the GSC used to run out of money. Dorian says that we should be able to query the number of events that we are doing now vs. 4 years ago, and put it on the ballot so that people know. For example, how much are we spending on events now, on rooms, on number of groups, on how many events, etc. Trevor volunteers to work with SSE to figure that out. Dorian says that it is important to find trends, such as if event services do have fees that have grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Anne-Laure said that back then they had this data and the university didn’t care, which is why we had to work around them. She says that back then the funding committee would work with the groups line-by-line so that their requests would fit within the guidelines. Isa says that she agrees that grad students should be able to go to the website and check how much events have been funded and how much money has gone to the events, and also see how much money each VSO has received. David says that the caps, both soft and hard cap, has stayed the same since that time. Dorian says that this is a good thing and shows that we are funding more VSOs and more events, instead of spending more per event or per group. Gabe says that the issue. Trevor moves to vote, motion passes unanimously. Voting on bill to put student fee increase on the ballot, bill passes unanimously. Gabby says that this is all of our responsibility to tell our constituents that this bill is beneficial. Gabe says that we need to use the email lists that we have access to in order to get word out about this. Anne-Laure says that we should have a strategy in place in order to deal with the situation in case it doesn’t pass. Isa says that, she remembers that when she voted for this year’s budget, she wondered how they decided it. Gabe says that he can add an agenda item to talk about the budget before the transition. David says that we need to stop taking money out of the reserves. Sam says it’s already in the bill.
This resolution says, right now Malala Yousafzai, who champions education for everyone especially for women, is one of the more inspirational women in the world. Background, the Taliban tried to kill her for her efforts, and she redoubled her efforts. Right now she is deciding where she wants to go to undergrad. Her 2 choices are Oxford and Stanford. Sam wrote up a resolution, basically the one clause says that the ASSU recommends to Malala that she attends Stanford for her undergraduate education. Sam is going to try to mail this resolution to her. Ateeq says his close friend is friends with her dad. Terence wonders if this would lead down a slippery slope, what about Malia Obama? Sam says that he actually thought about doing that. Gabby says she approves of this, thinks that it’s a nice message. Isa says that she usually uses the slippery slope argument, but Malala is a unique case and deserves this. Jieyang says he doesn’t think highly of this idea, slippery slope is 1 thing, another thing is that we are exerting unnatural pressure to Malala, also everybody is unique and how are we deciding who is “more unique”? He agrees that Malala is a very amazing person, but don’t see the logic that, for certain really amazing person we should send a message, and for other students they don’t deserve formal recognition from the GSC. Gabe says, just because we are encouraging her, that doesn’t mean we are slamming the rest of the incoming class. All this says is that we encourage her to attend Stanford. It’s basically saying that we respect and admire this person and the work that she is doing. Sam says that he used language that is not designed to exert pressure of any kind. Dorian says, he does think if we start voting on this stuff, what does that mean? This is more about the image of the graduate student council. It seems to show that the GSC community is not taking things very seriously. Sam says that this is supposed to balance out the sexual assault resolution that is coming up this week too. Isa is checking the ASSU constitution to see if there is anything regulating this.
Sexual Assault Prevention Bill
Sam and Gabe have been working hard on this bill for 4 months. Have solicited feedback from many entities, students, sub-offices, focus groups, etc, to try to understand the mentalities of survivors at Stanford. This is a list of recommendations that they feel could help benefit prevention education, which is the element of the Provost’s task force which seems to have the best chance of reducing sexual violence at Stanford. Want to say that, through all these conversations, he’s gained an appreciation of what the administration has done. This is not meant as telling the administration that they are doing anything wrong, and that has been put in the writing. Introduction talks about the problem at Stanford, indicates that there are several elements in dealing with sexual assaults, and talks about addressing the sexual assault prevention. This will also be introduced as joint bill with the undergraduate senate. Elements of the proposal directly affects undergrads and have been taken into account already. First, mandatory series of inter-residence training that is taught by trained advisors from the SARA office. The list of topics that the Provost task force is extensive. Sam thinks that the 1-2 hours currently allocated is not enough. Undergrads in their first year/quarter, which is the most dangerous time for undergraduates, must attend these sessions. This will address sexual/relationship violence and stalking. Sexual violence is most important in UG community, while in graduate community it’s relationship violence more. Secondly, for grad students, this resolution says that the current sexual assault training for grad students be made mandatory and required for all grad students. This would be done with all grad students’ first 3 quarters of study. Also, financial support. They’ve had conversations with the director of the SARA Office, found out that the SARA office only has 1 full time employee. It’s concerning that it seems to affect/ include reduced bandwidth for graduate prevention education. Item 2a indicates that we want the university to commit to finding full-time staff that are qualified to train students. Right now we are concerned that there’s no bandwidth for that. So we are requesting full time staff in the office. Maria says that there are also currently departmental courses where these concepts are introduced. Third element, changing the definitions of sexual assault. These definitions have sexual misconduct as having the encompassing term, while right now they are mutually exclusive. Sexual assault is a subset of sexual misconduct. There’s also an element of relationship violence, which currently does not include emotional/verbal abuse, or cohersion/threats. Want to change the definition of relationship element to reflect that. Last element, want University to form committee that includes faculty, administration, and students, which would be charged with taking student feedback (questions, concerns, etc) and improving the survey. This would also give the students a chance to, in an orderly fashion, take those explanations and communicate them to the student body. Recommended the Executive Committee to serve, but doesn’t need to be. Trevor says, it would be helpful in the 3rd part that they put the previous definition of the sexual misconduct / assault. Sam says that he would put it in the footnotes. Second thing is that he is sympathetic to the SARA organization only having 1 administrator, but his general philosophy is that admins on campus have grown exponentially, and there’s a lot of offices that deal with this, such as the Title 9 office. Sam says the Title 9 office does compliance and adjudication, not prevention. Trevor says there seems that there are many offices on campus that can run this, why are we focused on SARA? Gabe and Gabby says that there are not enough resources and staff to handle this. Sam says that this is an effort to centralize all the different offices which are doing this and to put them in the same place. Trevor wants to know, these other offices, they don’t have anybody working on this right? Gabe says that , for example in GLO, the staff are not specifically trained on handling sexual assault. GLO’s response on thing is to refer people to different offices, and they would refer sexual assaults to SARA. Sam says that SARA is the only office that does sexual assault prevention education. Terence says, in the “education for grads”, is there support from the administrators? Sam says he doesn’t know, he’s leaving it as a recommendation and we don’t know what they will actually do with it. But thinks that there is a high chance that if the GSC passes this that it would be enacted. Dorian thinks that this is great, us passing this compared to 4-5 weeks ago when we were debating re-doing the survey, we are at a good place. Question, the “most likely time” of sexual assault (red zone), should we make a mandatory component in new student orientation? Sam says that that already happens, but it’s only a small component of the current new student orientation and the message might not be enough. Sam reads a passage from the bill which talks about all the different types of assault that are covered by this, which is very extensive and cannot be covered in an hour at the orientation. Gabe says, originally there was another clause about a mandatory class, but he was convinced by many people to do it in the residences instead, because this stuff is not happening in the classrooms. Sam says that there was a worry about the topic becoming very academic, instead of realistic. Trevor says that there is an app now for this. Shawn says, why did graduates get 3 quarters? Sam says that some grad students are not around for 4 quarters, so changed it to 3. Isa says that, one of the whereas says 5-10 hours per students, but not clear if it’s grad students or undergrads. It also doesn’t say whether or not that has to be repeated every year. Sam says that the whereas clauses are explanatory and are not the action items. Maria thinks it is good that the phrasing isn’t clear, because it’s not necessarily the case that the victims and perpetrators are both undergrad.
There’s going to be 4 social events this quarter: speed-friending, de-stress day, finding off-campus info session, and grad formal. Speed-friending, we are partnering with the alumni center on this. Outdoor bbq, using ballroom there to. Room is set up with 160 chairs in 2 circles of 80. Doing this through eventbrite. We can accommodate 540 ppl at this event, thinks that will accommodate everybody. Gabby is looking for a DJ too, is dead set absolutely against Spotify. Also need student volunteers to be ushers. Want to promote it the week of Mar 29. Terence asks if it will be put on the calendar? She says yes, on Mar 29.
Gabe wants to mention the GSC transition 1 more time. Wednesday 4/13 we will invite the new GSC members to our meeting to observe, do swearing in at the end of the meeting. 4/20 we are going to talk about officer roles. He is also writing a letter to Santa Clara County planning commission about the new housing project. Will send out a letter about this tomorrow.
SSE CEO Situation
Ateeq says he cannot comment on some of the questions that have been brought forth. They are determining whether they need to submit a modification to that in the future. Sam sent out a letter. Fred has submitted his resignation on Mar. 7, the board accepted his resignation. The Financial Manager search committee has been working in the past 2 months to find the next candidate. Found over 30 candidates, narrowed it down to 14 interviews, 7 candidates after the second round, 3 candidates after that, now the committee is deliberating and trying to reach a decision on who to nominate as the candidate for the CEO financial manager position. They hope to reach decision by the end of the week. Trevor asks, is SSE doing anything internally to find out what happened internally, is there a committee investigating this? Sam says basically 2 things happen, first is inappropriate hiring, which was investigated internally and actions were taken, and this is considered resolved now. This is regarding the position that was to be created. They are trying to find out a timeline to figure out whether or not they can reveal that information or not. Second allegation that was brought forth (unconfirmed at the time) was a conflict of interest regarding employment at a separate entity. That had begun being investigated, but the investigation has been closed with the resignation. Isa had a question about, she remembers a couple of months ago there were flyers looking for a new CEO financial manager position. Gabe says his term was due to expire anyway so that’s what that was for. Ateeq says that the way the nomination process is set up is that a candidate has to be proposed to the legislative body by the end of the quarter, so the selection process has to begin in the winter quarter. The way it is set up is that once the legislative body approves the person, they becomes the associate financial manager and they immediately start training in the SSE. The resignation of the SSE financial officer, when is that supposed to take effect? They will check and see if they can talk about it. Dorian said, they said the investigation ended because he resigned, but are we continuing so that students have more faith in this organization, are students going to see whether or not what happened was legal or not legal. IT seems that we should keep investigating. Ateeq asks about what “faith from the students” mean. Dorian says that, it seems that there could have been multiple investigations into the conduct of employees in this organization, 2 separate investigations, it seems that these are important investigations to understand what is going on, and if we need more oversight over this group and if things need to change, if we let this go by the wayside because someone resigned, the students could start asking questions about what is going on in this organization. Sam says, perhaps they should not be saying that the investigations is closed for certain. Right now the SSE board is just trying to figure out the next person. If this is something that needs to be investigated further, there’s not going to be any hesitation to investigate further. Trevor asks, who is running the day to day operation of the SSE right now? Ateeq says that they are currently working on determining who that person will be. As soon as they know, they will be sharing information with the relevant stakeholders. Sam says they are just trying to figure out so that they don’t break any laws. Sam wants to make one more clarification. Wants to make it very clear that SSE’s endowment is not a student fee. This is not funded by student fees. The mechanisms by which it is funded is hard work and good investments. Want to reiterate that it is not funded by student fees. Trevor asks if we are allowed to see the SSE salaries? Ateeq says he is not sure about that, it is a good question and he will look into it. Trevor says that he doesn’t know how we are supposed to be the oversight body without being able to see it. Ateeq says that one person from the GSC sits on the SSE board (Sam), and that person knows all the details and they are overseeing the process. Ateeq says that he will consult with the council and get back to the GSC about this. Isa says, we never got an orientation on what the SSE does. Where does their revenue go? Sam says that this info is not private, someone can organize it and do it, and we can request “SSE Money 101″, where they come in and talk about it. Ateeq says that he will get an updated version of “SSE Money 101″ presentation and send it to the GSC.