Approved unanimously with 1 abstention.
Bill to Certify Elections Results
Executive, council seats, and a few joint fees on this bill. Dorian says that nobody in the GSB seems interested in taking the new seats, he’ll talk to some GSB people to see if he can convince anyone. Gabe says that the new chair will need to try to find someone who is interested. Voting on bill, passes unanimously.
Motion to include new members in the budget discussion as ex-officio members. Motion seconds, passes. Voting, motion passes. The new elected members can stay for the budget discussion. Gabe motions to close the meeting, David seconds. Voting to close the meeting, voting passes.
Italian Student Society
- Having Aperitivo May 1, expecting around 250 people. Event will start around 6:30pm until 11:30pm, at Bechtel. Requesting $1750 for alcohol, $1350 food, $125 event services, and $300 for DJ. Also getting $800 for Bechtel, which will be used exclusively for food. Recommendation is $1350 food, $1750 alcohol, $125 event services, $300 honoraria. Total of $3525. It is now on the calendar. Voting, passes unanimously.
- Hosting Cardinal Classics, largest west coast dance competition. April 23. All day dance event, already have several dance groups signed up. Having a big showcase, inviting USA current champion to perform. Expecting about 180 ppl to attend. Event breakdown is $5235 for judges, $565 event services, $200 food. Total is $6000. Sam says that when they came last time, they stated they had a lot of undergrads in the group, originally we recommended $3000 only. How many grad students do they actually expect? They say expecting 180 grad students to come, with 400 students in total there. The honoraria is for 9 judges, and other people too. Recommendation is $200 food, $565 event services, $4635 for honoraria. Total is $5400 for recommendation. Voting, passes unanimously with 1 abstentions.
Russian Student Assoc:
- Celebrating Victory Day on May 8, 5-9pm in EV village center. On the calendar. Will be food, drinks, and some cultural content like a movie. Expecting 70-80 students, mostly grad students. Requested $250 food, $125 alcohol, $25 event services, for $400 in total. Recommendation is $25 event services, $250 food, and $125 alcohol, total is $400. Voting, passes unanimously.
Stanford Africa Business Club
- Stanford Africa Business forum happens every year, last year GSC gave $3600. Event is this Saturday, right now we had about 240 people signed up. Last year 80 grad students attended. Breakdown is $2000 honoraria, $1000 food, $600 event services. The honoraria is partially going for 35 speakers. Recommendation is $2000 honoraria, $1000 food, $600 event services. Total is $3600. Voting, passes unanimously.
Scandinavians at Stanford
- Event called Ballpark. Typically Scandinavian celebration in the spring. This is an annual event. Planning to have food, serve alcohol and other drinks, play lawn games. Requesting $400 food, $400 alcohol, $160 event services. Recommendation is $171 event services ($80 is capital goods purchase), $398 food, $400 alcohol. Total is $969. Apparently they bought food from Ikea last year. Voting, passes unanimously.
Turkish Student Assoc:
- Organizing a film series. A few years back they were doing film series, trying to revive it this year. Movies are all Turkish movies, the catch is that these are movies that are typically not shown in the US. They did a screening last Wednesday, and there was a lot of attendance by grad students. Planning on showing another movie next Wednesday, requesting $50 event services. Recommendation is $50 event services, $200 food. Isa asks, are the movies subtitled? He says yes. Voting on $250, passes unanimously.
Bill to fund the Stanford Grad-wide Block Party
Duncan, Rains head CA is here. May 6th, 9pm-1am is the block party. Last year they had roughly 900 students attended. Last year they requested $1500 to cover the cost of alcohol and EANABs, total event cost is around $3200. Total cost this year is similar. On previous notice. Isa asks, will they be doing a whole dinner this year? They say no, because they got additional funding for that last year from the GSPB but this year they didn’t have enough money to pay for it. Music system is outdoors, about the noise ordinance they are meeting with the OAPE next week. Bill is on previous notice.
Bill for Appointing Interim Financial Manager of the ASSU
Unfortunate circumstances has led to the financial manager of the SSE not being confirmed by the undergrad senate. But they need an interim FM during the time during which they are finding a new candidate. Sam thought the undergraduate senate discussion was very frustrating, because the UG representative was not present the entire time during the candidate selection process, so eventually this representative was replaced by Brandon Hill. Can’t comment on the closed session in the UGS, but it didn’t last very long, and the UG’s even breached their own rules to talk to the Daily about what happened during the meeting. The amendment was done to this bill in closed session. This bill that originated says that he will be appointed interim financial manager, it just came out of the closed session. Sam doesn’t know what the UG’s angles on this is. They want this to be passed by both legislative bodies. Clauses says that, Luka is appointed as temporarily interim financial manager, until a candidate is found. The language makes it sound like the undergrads can subvert the financial manager committee confirmation process. If we passed this, they can put the person they want as interim financial manager, and they would not need to care about what the GSC wants. This is not a reflection on Luka at all, it’s just that it does not involve the GSC at all. Trevor asks if we could just amend it by adding the GSC into the bill? Luka says that it would definitely be a good thing to do, it’s important that the GSC be involved in oversight of the SSE. He thinks that we should also pass a statement saying that GSC would stand by our decision to confirm him, if we do decide to appoint him at interim financial manager. But it’s definitely important that the GSC be included in the amendment. The 5 members of the FM selection committee is composed by 2 chairs of the legislative body, 2 from president’s committee, and someone else. His concern is that, because there’s no single figure responsible to the legislative bodies, the financial manager would not be able to make these decisions. Eric asks, how would they have an executive committee without a financial manager or chairs? Jenny asks, is the non-confirmation of the FM binding? The assistant FM’s say no, they could be nominated again, but they might run into the same issue again. Dorian asks, was this lack of confirmation based on real rational decision-making, and if not, are we reading too much into this amendment for this bill? Ateeq says, if we pass this today, we lose our power to appoint the interim financial manager in the future. Dorian says, but yes, we could start our process again to choose another financial manager, what is behind the UGS decision to do this? Eric says, it is immaturity. The 17th Undergraduate Senate isn’t as good as the 16th. The chair of the 17th senate did not fulfill his duties at all, did not properly control the room, their committees had streams of no updates for many weeks. Instead of having a senator properly resign as they should have, changed the rules to let them stay on. They break rules, and generally you’ll need to check them, and even if they do, they might not care. Sam says, in general he felt disrespected by the undergrads. The Daily article includes Ateeq’s relationship to the candidate and the candidate’s qualifications that the GSC would love to have addressed, these were not things that we were hiding, we are not professionals and we are volunteers. This is a process where we were student leaders tasked to find someone where the requirements was that they had to be a recent graduate or a current student. We had 5 candidates with an established relationship, because we are students trying to hire students. Everyone knew about this on the selection committee. This isn’t something that we tried to conceal. We also couldn’t leak out the information because of confidentially, and the undergrads have totally broke the confidentiality by talking to the Daily. Ateeq wants to say, we went to the Senate yesterday, and while he can’t talk about the specifics, they were called into a closed session, they made a decision and informed them about the decision, and the allegations were that there was a existing relationship. They were involved in the same organization, but that was it. Ateeq only got 1 email once from the UGS chair saying that he couldn’t make it. Given that everyone else who was involved in the process knew about the pre-existing relationship. Sam says also, the UGS made all this information public, and never even bothered to talk to the GSC about it. We received virtually nothing from them during this whole process. Ateeq says, John Lancaster Finley and Brandon Hill (outgoing ASSU execs), Sam and Ateeq were all on the committee. JLF sent a letter saying, he finds the decision very disrespectful. Ateeq reads out the rest of the letter. Ateeq says, these are the types of people who we are dealing with, who are putting this bill forth to cut out the GSC with this power grab. Sean says, yes all this other bad stuff happened, but we should not let it color how we want to add the additions to this bill. We should make changes that the GSC are comfortable with, that we have a check on the UGS and the UGS have checks on the GSC. There is disrespect around, but we should focus on whether or not the GSC agrees with this bill or not, and moving forward how we should proceed. Jieyang says, there is some blank holes in the information that we received, can we call a closed session? Chair says no. Trevor moves to add the GSC onto the amendment, Isa seconds. Gabby says this bill is confusing. What is the GSC addendum? Luka says, he drafted the GSC addendum because he thinks that it was important for us to assert our authority in this matter. He is afraid of politization of a procedure. We are talking about the continuity of the SSE and its ability to do its job on a day to day basis. This is basically what the addendum is speaking about. If we want to talk about each specific point, that would be fair. Motion to suspend the rules of order. Seconded by Dorian. Trevor says, he wants to add, “Confirmation by the 18th undergraduate senate AND THE GRADUATE STUDENT COUNCIL…” to the bill. All in favor of adding the amendment to the bill, passes unanimously with 1 abstention. Amendment is added. Isa asks, “subject to permanent affirmation until a replacement can be found..”, what is the goal of this? Luka says, that is one of the amendment that the UGS put forward, he is also confused by the language as well. He asked Senators to clarify what they meant by this language, it seems that this is a re-confirmation. They are appointing an interim, but they also want a re-confirmation of the interim a week afterward. They are creating an “interim interim” position. This goes back to his point about the politicization of procedures. The assistant FM’s have held off on decision making abilities in the past because they have not been “formally” allowed to do it. But someone needs to be the custodian for the ASSU and the SSE until the FM is found. Luka says, the VSOs would still get their money etc, but long-term decisions cannot be made without a FM. Things like that would need to be made by the FM. Gabby says, she understands that things have to move ahead, but want the UGS to clarify their language. This is an important thing. Trevor says that the undergrads have already passed this bill, and so far nothing will happen if we do not vote on this right now because this bill requires that we vote on it. Luka says we should feel free to amend it, excise whatever language we want from the bill. The bill is on previous notice, everyone should read the bill. Bring it back next week, we can discuss it. Sean says, the UGS has voted on the bill, and nothing happens until we affirm it. If we do end up changing this bill, nothing will happen until both bodies have voted on the same version of the bill. Maybe some people from the GSC can reach out to the UGS to see what their intentions are. Also, the people who passed the last bill are not the same people as the people who are on there now. Gabe says, they don’t have a chair yet right? Luka says they should have a chair by next week. Eddy says that he doesn’t know if there was a plan for us to put out something in the Daily. Gabe says he would support it if someone wants to. Sam says that he was insulted by the Daily article’s wording, especially the word “corruption”. Eric says that one of the Senators is a member of the Review, and every time something happens in the UGS shows up on the Review, it’s because of John (a member of the Review who is on last year’s UGS).
Retroactive Funding Bill
This was sent out with the agenda. Qian says, it’s almost the same as last time, except she took out the clause that the event must be in the same fiscal year, also raised the cap from $1000 to $2000, which would include almost all VSO events that we fund. She thinks that retroactive funding, we shouldn’t give up too much ground on this. Just to remind everyone, we retroactively funded a Stanford Indian Association event from October, and we decided that we needed guidelines to talk about waht we should do in these situations. There are also inconsistencies in what we tell VSOs about retroactive funding, so we are writing this bill so we can clarify it, so we are basically treating VSOs equally on this process. Isa asks, she was looking at the GSC guidelines on the website, and she thinks that’s the old one. Kali says that she needs to talk to the webmaster to make sure that the version on the website is right. Isa says we need to make sure that we update the website version to reflect this new version. Gabe says he wants to point out one thing, the whole thing with the Stanford India Association didn’t need to happen, because we actually already funded them back in August. Trevor says that he doesn’t support this bill because the GSC can have discretion on giving out money already. Qian says, the rationale for this bill is that members of the GSC had differing information, if this was not in the guidelines already, we should standardize it so that everyone had the same info. But if we never set the precedence, she supports not passing this bill at all. David says, he believes this issue is about providing information equally to all the groups. Maria says, if we do not follow the guidelines, we support people not reading the rules and affirm that people should try to elbow their way through the rules that are set down. Isa says that she supports still passing this bill. David and Qian says that we do not support voting on this bill anymore. Dorian says, maybe a group will come next year to talk about retroactive funding, how will we deal with it then? He prefers that we have this coded in the guidelines. Jieyang says that he supports Isa, we didn’t make the mistake about passing that bill, we just put it on the agenda. Last week we passed it erroneously, and nothing has changed between last week and this week. David says that he was supportive of this bill before it was revealed that we did not pass the fee increase. Luka says he has faced this in the past with the undergraduate senate. The UGS has a very stringent policy about no retroactive funding, because retroactive funding was the reason why they had a financial crisis his year. Maybe graduate student groups don’t behave in the same way, but in the undergrad senate, it became a discretionary deal that was evaluated case-by-case, but when a student come to you and says that they exceeded a cap and they are out their own money, can you make an exception, the previous senate had a very difficult time saying no. That led to a depletion of the programming fee, buffer fund, and reserves, because they had to find money to fund this. Considering that our fee has not been raised, he would advise us from a financial perspective in making this part of our funding guidelines. Isa says, she wants to propose we change it to the version as last week, keep it in the same fiscal year, don’t say $2000, keep it at $1000, if we want we can lower it to $500. She wants to propose we make this amendment to the bill. David says that the 180 days is already in the bill. Isa wants to amend it to change to $1000, motions to do it. No seconds. Gabe motions to vote on the bill, passes with 4 abstention. Voting on the bill, 6 in favor of 5 opposed, 1 abstaining. It passes, now it is on the guidelines.
Social Event Updates
Had Off-campus housing event this past Monday. Had a full house at the Havana room. Counted 100 people. Was helpful to have the housing office there. The lawyer from the housing office was great. She is emailing people who couldn’t attend the info from the session. She thinks that we should put this event in our institutional memory so that students are informed and protected about their rights and responsibilities. Isa suggests we talk about adding this as a line item on the budget. Jieyang says he had a couple of friends who went to the housing workshop, they gave extremely positive feedback. He really thinks that the GSC should find a way to highlight it so that we have it in the following years too.
Next event is this Saturday, de-stress day from 1-3 in Havana room. The signups are full. Please come and it will be good, she has a security person coming too. Will have chocolate fountain there too.
Big event is grad formal, this event is almost done except for outstanding bills and things that she has to order. Will come in right around budget. Starting sales this Friday. Have caterer, DJ, event services. There will be a possibility that grad formal will be this good again. Expected price range will be around $30-35-40 for early bird-regular-in person. Masks will be provided.
Gabe thanks us for our hard work this year. We clap. He will send out a list of officer positions along with their salaries and a description of the position. He wants all the new members to consider new positions they are interested in. It’s critical that we have a chair next week. The elected members take an oath. Rosie Nelson, 2nd year doctoral candidate in Education. Studying sociology in higher education. Have bachelor’s degree from other school across the bay, has 2 Master’s degrees from U of Mississippi. Voting Rosie in, passes unanimously.
Campus Climate Survey
It’s been hitting the news a lot this week, for example on the HuffPost. The undergrads have passed the resolution. She wants the grad student voice on the issue. The old members of the GSC had Michelle Dauber come give a talk. Campus climate survey was administered last spring. It was criticized, mostly for the 1.9% number which represented grad students who have experienced sexual assault. What is more problematic is that the way the statistics were gathered is not comparable to any other university in the country. There is a survey called the American Association of Universities which has been administrated at 27 of our partner schools. It was the same surveys so you can compare results from different schools. They find an average of 21.6% of undergrad women experience sexual assault before they graduate. In comparison, 6.5% was the definition that Stanford found. Stanford restricted the definition of sexual assault to only penetration, nothing about touching through force or incapacitation, which is used in the AAU surveys. These are also felonies under California law. This data, Stanford actually collected when they did the survey, bur they actually categorized it in a way that we cannot access that data. Another problem is that Stanford did not specify that incapacitation might result from drug use or alcohol use, even though other surveys did this. This could be a big source of discrepancies. There are a few more issues too that make our data hard to compare with other schools. The ASSU undergrad senate passed a resolution last winter, and offered a referendum with the election, for undergrads to vote to switch to the AAU survey in the future. This was passed by 90.6% of undergrads who voted, which was about 2000 undergrads. Since then the administration has said that it will not use the AAU survey despite this support. This ignores the students who are part of this community, many of who know people who have experienced this or know of people who have experienced this. Faculty have already shown their support through a faculty letter. The alumni have also written a letter. The undergrads have shown their support through voting. The grad students support is missing. They want the GSC to pass a resolution to affirm what the referendum wants. The referendum says, that the survey should be done every 3 years, during the future / the next time the survey is conducted (which is a minimum of 3 years after the last one), Stanford move to use the AAU survey so that we have results that we can compare with peer institutions. Jieyang asks, what is the reason why the administration is giving for not acknowledging the referendum? They said that only 30% of undergrads voted on the referendum so they don’t think that’s valid, they haven’t had a strong counterargument to it. Gabe says that there was a joint resolution that was passed between the UGS and GSC, which includes forming a committee of grad students and undergrads to talk about the climate survey. Sam says, he finds the administration reasons very compelling. He says the administration is not going to budget on this, the next GSC can continue to work on this if they want, but it doesn’t sound like the AAU survey isn’t particularly great because it also have flaws too. He doesn’t know why the administration hasn’t given an open session about what their arguments are. He wants to talk about fixing the campus climate survey instead of just using the AAU survey. He recommends that we go about forming a committee to discuss how to improve the survey. He would love to come back to talk about how the survey is done or adjudicated in the future. He does have to say that he doesn’t support re-doing the AAU survey. Jenny says, what the rep is putting forward is not to redo the survey, but just that in the next iteration, changing the survey. She thinks having an administration that responds genuinely and thoughtfully to the demands of the student body is very important. This should be considered at least. Gabe wants to give some context. What happened earlier this year is that the undergrad senate passed a resolution condemning the flaws of the campus climate survey, and also calling for the university to immediately re-administer the campus climate survey. The resolution came to the GSC, and it was clear that it was not going to get any support here. There were a few reasons, one being the cost, which we believed could go to better uses to prevent sexual assault, and also it seemed that the senate did this without any consultation with the GSC. Sam and Gabe did a lot of research into this issue, and came up with a huge plan on changes in the education, definition, and funding for sexual assault prevention. The sexual assault (SARA) office only has 1 staff member, so trying to get funding to get more staffing there too. The new GSC has a couple of options. We can work with Chloe to come up with a resolution if we feel strongly about passing something like this and pushing the administration to go with the AAU survey, which would involve drafting the resolution and bringing it to the GSC. Or we could stick with what’s in the past resolution that passed, which was to form a committee to discuss future plans. Speaking personally, Sam found the administration’s argument compelling, but Gabe did not agree with their arguments, even though they made sense. Chloe says, the way that the data is presented and analyzed does show that the university does not think it is a problem. In the AAU survey there are 27 universities, the lowest number that they got was 14% and ours is 6%. So she thinks it does minimize the issue. She also wants to clarify that we are not asking Stanford to change their definition of sexual assault and misconduct, just want to create categories like other universities. David asked, is it possible to vote on this after we have the administration come in to talk about this? Chloe says sure, although it’s getting a lot of traction in the media. Gabe wants Chloe to send the version of the letter that is being distributed around faculties. Jieyang says, he has advice for GSC members, they can make decisions based on your own logic, but make it independently and not due to pressure from other groups. At the moment, we might want to vote yes because of pressure. If you vote yes, try to make the decision based on the own reasoning and not because of pressure. Gabe says, we felt that we shouldn’t do the survey so soon because it would make the survivors feel like they are guinea pigs. But for changing the AAU survey, he does feel that the university should be more accountable to the people who are actually affected by the data. Chloe wants to reiterate that this is not for redoing the survey until 2018. Sean asks, is there language that she will send for the GSC to approve? Gabe says he will email it out. This will be a resolution and not a bill.
We will be having a joint GSC retreat before the next quarter. Expect a Doodle or something coming up.