GSC Meeting 2014-03-05

Minutes:

Approved by consensus

 

VSO Requests:

Stanford Irish Assoc: Retracting Funding Application

 

Stanford Alpine Project:

Academic group, every 2 years they run a field trip / geology related to a location of interest. Last year they went to Italy, in 2 years planning to go to New Zealand. Requesting money for Pie Day next Friday, Pie eating competition, people will bring pies and they will eat pies. Recommendation is for $450, which is $400 food and $50 event services. Event is being advertised through GSC calendar, Facebook Event. They expect about 100 grad students to their events. Voting for $450, unanimously.

 

Stanford Youth Cultural Exchange Initiative

Applying for funding for 2 events in remainder of the quarter, will be teaching adoptees from Asia traditional Chinese painting, will have small exhibition at the end for the kids. Funding will cover all supplies and materials needed for these 2 events. Recommendation for $850, $450 event services, $200 honoraria, $200 food. Asterix for stipulation that group provides satisfactory quotes before meeting, which they did. Event this Sunday. Voting, passes unanimously.

 

Turkish Student Association

Planning Turkish dinner this Sat. in Bechtel. Total budget is $915, which is $450  Bechtel, asking for $465 from GSC for fod. Recommendation is $465 dollars, group not pursuing extra $31.50. Expecting 63 attendees, very specific number. Voting, passes unanimously.

 

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

INFORMS is a world wide organization, will hold panel discussion tomorrow at 7:30, have 4 previous MS&E graduates coming to talk (from Google IBM and Lyft). Requesting food money. Recommendation is for $175 food. Event is open to everyone, has mailed to Stats EE MS&E mailing list, on FB page and on GSC calendar. Expecting at least 25 graduates. Voting, passes unanimously.

 

Women in Electrical Engineering:

Cosponsoring a speaker for Slicing Pie, by Mike Moyer. About startup equity splits. Event taking place on Friday Mar. 7 from 4-5pm in Packard 101. asking for $400 honoraria and $160 food. Voting, passes unanimously except David H. who abstains.

 

Joint Special Fee Group Budget

Stanford African Students Association: Requesting for joint special fees, roughly 40% grad students, 60% UGs, have 1 main event the entire year (cultural show). Will bring in international renowned performers from Africa. Most costs just go to honoraria, travel fees, accommodation. Usually 300-400 people attend show. Also requesting fees for event venue. Group has gone through 2 rounds of reviews, final recommendation from funding committee is $25,200. Addy asks how much money they are asking for, and would they consider getting Lupita N’Yongo on campus. They said maybe next time. No more questions. Voting to put group on ballot for special fees, passes unanimously.

 

Stanford Anscombe Society VSO Request

Eduardo motions to reconsider the funding to reconsider the funds to SAS. David H. and Petr seconds. Requires 2/3 vote from GSC members, currently 14 members present, so 10 people needed to revoke funding. There’s microphone in the room, want to make it a conversation rather than speeches from individuals. People can line up at the mic, limit speech to 2 minutes so everyone has option to talk. People who disagree with the view will raise hands, Trevor can call them and offer rebuttal. Adrienne asks for Trevor provides overview of GSC. GSC has 3 roles: funding, programming (like grad formal), and advocacy (like Caltrain passes, but sometimes maybe advocating for marriage equality). From GSC’s funding point of view, primarily trying to fund events for graduate students to go to. In situations like this, GSC may want to advocate for free speech on campus (but we might not have right of free speech on private campus), or encourage diversity of viewpoints. But would not want funding to go to event that advocates disccrimination, which is main point of today’s meeting. Should we consider broader goals of group, or event itself? Finally, perception. IN many ways, we have funded events on both sides of the issue, maybe not about marriage equality, but could fund issues which are controversial today. Want to hear people’s opinions. Want respectful.

 

Jeff speaks first, VP of GradQ. They have met with leaders of SAS, Judy, Irene, and Lisa, they share similar values and goals. Want Stanford to be safe space, have everyone be treating with respect. Yesterday, invited SAS to cosponsor an event. Jeff goes over a list of speakers and what they have advocated for before. Oscar Lopez said “Lesbian moms allow the source of their children’s sperm to run off and be unbothered, saying to themselves, those 2 dykes will care for my kid”. Speaker Ryan Anderson has equated homosexuality to alcoholism and pedophilia, and has also lobbied on behalf of sexual orientation therapy, which is illegal in california and has resulted in suicide. Inviting outside advocates of discrimination into stanford community will not convey values or goals that SAS leaders have expressed to Jeff, it is divisive and will make stated goals farther from reach. He invites Judy and SAS to cohost the events, he wants them to make a progress at Stanford community together. Asks them for an opportunity to collaborate. He gives Judy a hug.

 

Judy thanks everyone. Says this is understandably controversial event. First comment to Jeff. Thanks him for heartfelt and sincere extension of offer to cosponsor. It is an offer that SAS really gratefully accepts. But cannot accept offer to put on event that will supplant current conference. Reasons why: 1. purpose of conference is twofold. First is to educate attendees on public policy issues surrounding marriage and family today. Second is to enable people who hold these beliefs to articulate respectfully the values they hold. It is a very personal issue near and dear to her heart. Saw her uncle dying from HIV infection in a hospital. So she wants to believe that she does not have invited speakers who hate this person that she loves so much. Says SAS best able to articulate position and help people who have this view to appreciate the other viewpoints, want to move away from hateful bigoted speech, want to do that in this conference. They have allowed for a few concessions. Issue at hand is $600, GSC voted last week to fund, with provision to open most controversial speaker to community. Says Eduardo says to her that they are putting $600 in hands of people who are stripping away human rights, they don’t agree but respect his opinion. Saying that they want to take the $600 and give it to Timothy Reckart, whose short film they said was “very cute”. So offers to put $600 to him, and will also open up Ryan Anderson Talk to entire Stanford society.

 

Jeff responds. Very specific question. They bonded last night and what she said is that her goal was not to be considered a bigot or hated. Jeff will make that happen and they can work together on it. Won’t she give this a chance first and then try? she asks try for what? He says organize a joint conference together, peaceful option to give community a chance.

 

Judy says from logistical standpoint, venue booked and speakers invited already.

 

Jeff tells people to look at papers that were handed out.

 

Lorenzo next speaker. He would like SAS to discuss better what the proceeding of conference and understand LGBT point against this conference. What are speakers going to be speaking about? The papers say what they’ve said before, but what is conference really going to be about?

 

Irene responds: says misunderstanding is that SAS are people who advocate position that marriage is between man and woman, have nothing to do with anti-gay or anti-LGBT bigoted or anything similar. Difference in opinion in what makes a marriage. People who are both straight and gay can both hold that opinion. This conference is to help them understand who are these people who are part of SAS, who are these people who believe that marriage is between man and woman.

 

Jeff responds to question: the speakers are openly gay, but why can’t they come to conference? Jeff says can only use evidence of what these speakers have said recently. What they say are hateful.

 

Brianne: Want to touch on SAS’s point that what they are doing is not discriminatory. If you take minority group and strip them of their civil rights then that is discriminatory. On website the conference is to train them how to make secular arguments on why not to have gay marriage in US. Finds that this event will hurt members of LGBT members at Stanford and provide an unsafe space for them. She personally came from Utah to Stanford and this event would make stanford unsafe as it stands now. Jeff and GradQ have offered to cosponsor event, they don’t want Stanford to be unsafe.

 

Eduardo responds: Thanks everyone for coming and expressing support for one side or another. By SAS’s own admission, they are organizing event to promote their values. One value is to promote “marriage and sexual integrity”. When they say marriage between one man and one woman, and if promoting this, does it not imply that what ever formula that does not fit your definition does not have integrity? It does. This event is not only discriminatory, but badly organized for the purpose for it’s serving. It’s supposedly serving to teach people on campus that people who hold anti-marriage-equality views can hold these views and be ok. If they are inviting these people to teach them that people who are anti-gay are not bigoted? It does not promote safe space on campus. Who would feel comfortable going to this event? Explicit funding guideline, we will not fund any event that makes anyone feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. It is an explicit guideline. GradQ has been very gracious to have meeting with SAS with Nanci Howe, it was most productive meeting that he had at Stanford. GradQ and GSC reps, Nanci Howe, and Anscombe, and Sally, sat down with them and GradQ said they are interested in actually making them less bigoted, by helping them make the conference to serve this purpose. They gave them several options. 1. Come back with another funding request for money for another event for more acceptable use of our money. He would be first to vote for that event. They can choose to hold conference as is without our funding. Option 2. resubmit event with GRadQ after making conference more safe for queer students. Option 3. Remove funding request, have it or not, and work with GradQ for a future event. All 3 options optimize their purposes of seeming less bigoted. For Anscombe society to collaborate with queer group would make natioinal headlines, they would see less bigoted. Only people who would be affected would be GSC because they would not have to vote on it. This current event is promoting an intense and uncomfortable situation.

 

Addy responds: wants to point out that, as GSC which is part of ASSU, in the past has sponsored events with keynotes speakers being dictators, convicted rapists. Don’t necessarily have to agree with what someone is saying. Also important to think why they see that way. Doesn’t think it is GSC’s place to pass judgment on content of event. That is reason why we applaud the funding of the event, we are applauding initiative not the event. It’s very clear that conference in current state does not feel welcome to go to. Think we should use our resources to help them build their event, and build on top of it to make it a more welcoming thing.

 

Judy responds: what exactly would that look like? Does it mean eliminating every speaker who has the viewpoint that marriage is between one man and one woman?

 

Brianna: wants speakers who don’t advocate for conversion therapy or compare them to KKK.

 

Ben Holston: chair of UG senate. There’s been massive fallout over $600 request. They are asking for $5000 for UGS, $3000 honoraria, so he doesn’t think the offer to remove the $600 to make that go to a more appropriate speaker, the results of that would then to push the issue on the UG senate. They’re happy to do it, but would like to see a resolution reached tonight. His personal opinion. This is an event that hurts the stanford community, to express a belief that, for some reason this event is not discriminatory, is completely off-base. This event as it stands, given the speakers, and given that they have said the event is supposed to “promote one man one woman” which promotes stripping away rights of people in this room, is unacceptable on Stanford campus. Wants them to withdraw their funding. If they are asking for Senate funding, will see them on Tuesday.

 

Judy comments: GSC has previously funded speakers like Richard Dawkins. GSC has also provided $6000, which goes to conference to progressive young lawyers, has a conference fee.

 

Jeff: Study how environment affects individuals. GSC responsibility is to make sure that structure makes safe space here. To make the argument that speakers on campus has been controversial. Doesn’t think people who believe in one man one woman has been killed or murdered in the world. Position in power in society that they need to take into consideration. Hopes they can understand, their viewpoint kills people. He is really bothered by the idea that their conference is trying to create better ways to deliver message. If you look at racism or oppression of woman, we have learned how to speak on this. The idea that they are learning how to deliver their message scares him.

 

Karen: thanks for concerns. Can see why something like this is scary. But this is not only issue that deals with human lives. (redacted personal story out). She wanted to say that SAS is not the only ones that do this.

 

Jeff: agrees with her completely. People should be respected. GradQ willing to collaborate.

 

Ashveer: Question as a member in GSC: first question: in looking at organization, how much is this event being organized with partnership in larger society? Is this just student-led initiative?

 

Judy: Student initiative, her own idea. Communicated to the team, thought it would be a great idea. Have a lot of grad students involved. Asking for advice from a larger parent organization.

 

Ashveer: In the event that they want to do something with GRadQ in the future, would parent organization exert pressure not to?

 

Judy: No, they said that they want to partner with GradQ.

 

Ashveer: Last week, gave advice about cheaper venue. Have they looked for cheaper ones?

 

Judy: No, they don’t assign classrooms during first week of quarter. Secondly, they had already signed contract for venue last week which serves their purposes. If they cancel, someone would lose $1000. Venue in Oberndorf.

 

Ashveer: What’s great about Stanford University is that they are willing to suspend rules.

 

Judy: Is that fair?

 

Ashveer: it would have saved them a lot of money, especially that she did not listened to his recommendation.

 

Brendan: President of GradQ and on Stanford Pride. As President of GradQ, there is no event they could hold that could equal this. Speakers that SAS has invited have spewed hate speech in the past. Spewed hate on right to marriage, to adopt, to be served in restaurants or businesses. Understand that SAS has very strong values for family and sexual integrity, and do not want to be perceived as bigots, and that is why they invited them to modify conference to remove bigoted speakers.

 

Irene: Thanks Brendan. She was alarmed when she heard about speakers’ comments last night. She could only find it on GLAAD and no other website, and link on GLAAD leads to nonexistent website. Comment on other speaker, she was just making an analogy and the anger.. it’s not an analogy to the KKK, just saying that black people like her would not have to be photographed for KKK event.

 

John: from UGS. Want to touch on earlier point. Point was talked about that it’s not the GSC’s role to cast judgment on event. Just want to say, his role is to read through ASSU constitution, all representative authority of ASSU, and by extension the students of Stanford, is in the ASSU. To say that it is not GSC’s role to take a stance on this is irresponsible. Part of our role is that we do have that authority to represent students. Each piece to legislation to fund an event is a separate legislation. When we are making the decision, remember they are representign all the graduate students at Stanford university.

 

Karen: from Berkeley, have a law degree. Got an A in constitutional law. Want to point out, as an outside observer. Said that she understands what it’s like to be a minority. When we talk about “representing a minority”, we have funded Women in Electrical Engineering, or what about Turkish Students assoc, what about Armenians? We’ve really defamed other people here, suggesting they would be harmed by exchanging of idea.

 

Steven: second year law student. Not affiliated with SAS. Speaking in support of awarding funding to them. First point. It’s worrying that, even in an environment like Stanford, holders holding a majority viewpoint running a minority viewpoint out of town. If people are wrong, bring them to the table, explain them how they have gone astray, don’t hold them from talking. Also, saying that LGBT are being asked to walk a higher road, asking people to bring them on, if you bring them on. Last thing: he’s heard Ryan Anderson speak. Many people challenged him. You have to be able to tolerate dissent. Troubling when people cannot tolerate dissent.

 

Brendan – they offered to hold tolerance event right here!

 

Eduardo: he’s sure that a lot of slave owners had a lot of black friends. Secondly. Although the hate speech argument is sufficient to deny this group funding, it’s not necesary. This event could be inviting an entire group of pro-LGBT speakers. If the purpose of the event is to take the arguments of LGBT people, and to turn it around and to train people how to oppose LGBT marraige, because when he endorses the event, it’s saying that a purpose of an event like this is worth his money. Second thing: calling these speakers controversial is an understatement. Saying  that Richard Dawkins was here, the purposes of those events was not to promote ideas that Christians should not be able to come to table, etc. Those were not promoting discrimination. Also, just because a group was approved by SAL, does not mean GSC have to approve funding. We have 2 meetings to evaluate the event for a reason. No one is denying SAS the right to free speech. We are not discussing censorship, we are discussion the potential of endorsement, which are very different.

 

Lorenzo: He mentioned about religion, but if anyone has read Richard Dawkins, he does not support religion. These people are just discussing their point on marriage, just the legal definition. GSC has supported plenty of controversial speakers.

 

Eduardo: They are trying to de-legalise it.

 

Becky: grad student in MechE. First, effort to promote joint event is well received, however to use that effort to prevent them from holding their event is discriminatory. As a female in engineering, she knows from first hand experience what it’s like to face discrimination. As member of SAS, have never seen such discrimination against them. They are being implied that they have hatred and bigotry against these people. 4 years ago, stood in solidarity with LGBT people when they were faced by Westboro Baptist Church, does not support bigotry, or discrimination. Just accusations. Sad that they face such marginalization and isolation because they are ideological minority. Opportunity for one side to be heard. Welcome such events from other side as well.

 

Eric: Stanford’s policy is nondiscriminatory policy that protects race, sex, sexual identification, etc. They are trying to remove other people’s rights. They have a right to speak, nobody is stopping them. But violating nondiscrimation policy bylaws of the student senate.

 

Vivian — defending soon, i care about these issues.  both sides feel attacked right now. Rather than talk about discrimination, gsc guidelines of inclusiveness. When a event is potentially religious or has the potential to make a community feel threatened, it has to be inclusive. We can agree on that.  it has to be inclusive.  this event as designed is not meeting that demand otherwise we are not making this discussion.  The event is currently marketed as a 30 dollars for networking with like-minded individuals. What is needed is the joint event as proposed, would fulfill need for divergent views. As a body, with our own guidelines, we need to fund events that are inclusive, and support divergent views in a way that is constructive, because right now this is not constructive.

 

Judy:  Thank you.  Like i said earlier, i want to tell GSC to be consistent.  If you are going to interpret that particular guideline and revoke funding for our event, this will establish a really dangerous legal precedent, whenever a certain body of people is threatened by a particular event on campus, whether political or potentially religious, must be careful. Secondly, student fee is $15, it is not particularly expensive. Thirdly, talking to people with similar views, from our marketing perspective is bad, so we changed that.  we are genuinely open to safe dialogue

 

Trevor — three GSC members will speak now.

 

Daniel — first year phd student, member of lgbtq medical student association. I think the point here is not the layout is the problem  — it’s not that we don’t want to allow different opinions on campus, it’s written in the guidelines, the inclusiveness.  If graduate students have a problem with any event, they can come to GSC meeting to say that they don’t think event should be in guidelines.  We should have  right to have a word in funding.  If sufficient people say that they do not agree with this, these people should be able to say their opinions. We are trying to resolve this issue, we should work towards what should be done to resolve this issue in a way that’s acceptable to everyone rather than just battling each other with out different views.   The current layout there is no way for compromise between lgbt and pro-traditional marriage, must change conference in that respect.

 

John– we are hearing the same things.  please make motion to vote.

 

Trevor — Lots of people want to speak, given line is that long. It’s not about the money, point has been made over and over.

 

Adrienne: had question. read some materials, want to know full definition of marriage. we’re focusing on LGBTQ part, but that’s being overemphasized, what about other views from other constituents like chastity premarital sex, etc, different kinds of drugs, same faith marriage, different beliefs that are very unpopular.

 

Judy: SAS promotes 3 things: marriage, family, and sexual integrity. Marriage = one man and one woman for life. Children united to mother and father. Believe in basic unit of society. Encourage chastity. Huge part of their work. Only get media coverage when they talk about same sex marriage. Also deal with pornography, all sorts of things. Don’t take a stance on same-faith marriage, had event which discussed (2 years ago) various dating and courtship practices from various faiths.

 

Petr: Has 3 questions for GradQ members. Trying to understand issues. Safe vs. unsafe environment argument, want GradQ to explain what is “unsafe” about it, elaborate?

 

Jeff: there’s a lot of research published in top psychology journals that have looked at university environments, both positive and negative. An event such as this would be a negative event, in schools that have negative events there is a statistically significant increase in suicide. Minority students, simply by being at Stanford, are targets for discrimination. Someone spoke said about the last time the speaker came and they wanted to kill themselves.

 

Petr: Follow up question. Layout of event is a series of speeches and sessions and workshops that help people with these views to better articulate their understanding of these issues, which would allow for more conversations. Is that not what we want?

 

Jeff: it’s exactly what they want, and offer still stands for joint event to create this as a safe space for everyone. Current conference is not safe space. Ryan Anderson has advocated for sexual conversion therapy, which is when you take someone who’s gay and sits them down in front of therapist and try to convert them, which has been known to lead to suicide according to the American Psychological Association.

 

Brendan: Views that they are advocating for is discrimination, is abridging our civil rights, past hate speech made by speakers makes homosexuals on campus feel less than equal to others.

 

Judy: She personally knows Ryan Anderson. His book is cited by the Supreme Court. 2. he has lectured at Stanford Law School before. 3. GLAAD hyperlinks to CNN, it’s like reading articles on Obama from Fox News. It’s misrepresentations. Want to bring them on campus.

 

Paul: First, wants to apologize for Turkish Student Association for being drawn in. Second says ASSU constitution does contain a free speech clause, so when he swore oath to Constitution he swore not to violate freedom of speech. Also Supreme Court has ruled on this issue before in Rosenberger vs Rectors of U of Virginia that University cannot deny room according to viewpoint of speaker, it is violation of freedom of speech.  It is a private university, but when students at Stanford agree to this free speech clause which governs us, they incorporated that into their agreement. Second point about having representative authority, that authority is limited, we have completed authority to speak on behalf of the students, but we are precluded from exercising this authority to speak on issues outside of the university on issues that do not affect the students. That’s something that we cannot do. Third point is that guidelines are appendix to bylaws, if this is freedom of speech issue, it overrides the appendix and the guidelines inclusiveness clause.

 

David Z. — I am responding to the law student.  Joel Minor, I’m speaking for him, third year law student — He wrote a statement, I’m not going to read all of it. Supreme court has long recognized that viewpoint neutral conditions attached to student group funding by public universities is supported by the First Amendment. See various cases, hastings vs. martinez. Rosenberger says that public schools cannot deny student group funding based on viewpoint, but enforcing viewpoint neutral policy that denies funding for hate speech is an entirely different ballgame. Even if Stanford was a public university, it would be perfectly legal to deny funding to events that make LGBT community feel unwelcome. It would be the same for Stanford to hold a conference on why heterosexuality is abhorrent, and to strip the right away from heterosexuals, and it’s equally unacceptable to host a conference to strip homosexuals of their rights.

 

Adam: question for SAS, during last meeting they mentioned that regardless of whether or not we provided $600, they were going to have this meeting anyways, and is that true regarding the UGS as well, because he is surprised to learn that they have made all their reservations and entertainment, but are still not sure about whether or not they will receive the money from the undergrads and GSC.

 

Judy — They have alternate funding to the tune of $5000, approximately $2400 from Stanford.  We have confirmed certain speakers with that amount, but we do need a certain amount to be able to afford about 3 additional speakers, and they need the money. They are determined to look to local businesses, after they exhaust on campus sources of funding.

 

Dan Ashton — assu presidents, i need to give personal opinion, i would hope that 65 years ago and the last year before blacks could marry whites, he could stand up there and say that althought we do have the responsibility to hear the speech that is free, we do not have the responsibility to fund hateful speech.  Personal viewpoint, this event seems to be hurtful to community, we need to be more cohesive.  i would encourage gsc and senate to not fund this particular circumstance, encourage us to think about other solutions that’s better.  i would commit 3 grand from my discretionary budget for a gradq and sas co funded event. Want to develop solutions that could be more constructive than what they have now.

 

Trevor — Bryce and I would match funds from our discretionary for same event, would heal this committee, because a lot of people are hurt by this event.

 

Karen — i really like the idea of dialogue.  i do have a technical question — every time we host a controversial event, do we need to invite the other side?  If it’s a pro-life event, we need to bring pro-choice people there and vice versa? Because sometimes she feels uncomfortable at events like that if they don’t agree with her.

 

Jeff says yes. Talk to GradQ, they know what it’s like to be discriminated against, and they will stand beside her in solidarity.

 

Maria — member of SAS, 2 main points. She hasn’t been involved in planning of this at all, not a member of SAS. But as a person who plans lots of events, seems unrealistic to expect an event of this size to fundamentally change in a month. It doesn’t seem like a concession, but could actually change this conference. This joint event in addition seems a lot more realistic and seems a lot more popular.  But these events should be separate.  Also I’m anxious because there is a lot of feeling espousing the view that marriage is between man and woman is, at the least discriminatory, at worst hate speech — this conversation is happening in our legislature across the country. For us as students not to be aware of it, we need to be aware of the things that are being said for and against it, to say the least. Last thing, lots have been said about speakers, I believe that another thing in bylaws is that controversial topics must be addressed in historical representation. There’s a talk called the historical representation of marriage, as well as short film talk.

 

Jeff agrees that this is something that should be brought to campus, we should work together and bring it to campus. Says he agrees with her point and sits down.

 

Addy says — modifying the contents, would like to assert that conference needs to be modified in way that builds upon the efforts, so maybe adding speakers, so that it comes across as more balanced. Second, important to recognize that bigotry, ignorance, discrimination works both ways. Important to recognize that, when you have the anti-abortion, anti-divorce, anti-same-sex-marriage, if you do espouse them, it’s important to recognize that your morality and your intellect are attacked and held in contempt. That’s an aspect that works both ways. Thirdly, I want to ask the GSC voting members, you dont vote because of what you think, you represent your people.

 

Jeff says — unpopular views are discriminated against, sexual orientation discrimination is akin to religious discrimination, talks about how hard it is for religious people to be at Yale.

 

Trevor — four more speakers.

 

H — this debate is about intellectual freedom, but i want to touch on something personal, i came out as gay at 20 years old, i went to thailand, i met h, we fell in love, we were in thailand for 8 months, and then i left to start stanford.  we lasted aruond 2 years and 4 months we were so in love we lasted, my heart was really sad, i would have to move to thailand and hopefully get a visa to work there.  he couldnt’ get citizenship, i wanted to be with the one person that i loved.  i wanted to see that my love for him was just an important for man and woman to love eachother, when i am thinking about traditional love, i’m terrified i cant sell health insurance with my husband, i’m afraid i would have to pay large amounts of estate tax … there are a lot of ways i feel discriminated against with traditional marriage. Just wanted to talk about that.  thank you.

 

Fay — 4th year.  i’m not involved in SAS but they are really open, i have just gone to a couple of meetings, they provide lots of different references. They are very open, lots of things to read,  even if they are a little bit harsh, its very interesting to talk about these things.   I have a friend who is lbgtq society who supports SAS views.  I like learning about why he likes learning about things — marriage isn’t just one man one woman, but they also talk about what is marriage? Is it insurance, is it taxes, is it love?

 

Ben — neuroscience grad.  i have a lot of friends is lgbt, my boyfriend is lgbt, so it might surprise you all because i am going to argue in favor of funding SAS.  One core missin of GSC is that they educate, it is providing diverse viewpoints. We live in Stanford bubble, very lgbt friendly, has heard arguments that this would not be a safe space, but we dont hear these views directly, but we never have chance to engage with these people one on one.  I think the event should be as inclusive as possible, GSC could designate the 600 dollars to one speaker who would be inclusive. Logistics aside, what bothers him the most is that — In the name is tolerance, we are silencing and taking away support from a view that we don’t agree with. These views are out there, we should listen to them. I totally disagree with these people, but we need to hear what they have to say.  We need to hear SAS.

 

Yonathan — this event is to help people better convey hateful messages, you dont want to support this.  Petr said the conference is to help better artriculate their views, but it’s not better articulating, rather  camoflaging discrimination and hateful messages, it’s just better camouflage, it’s not articulation. It’s a conference for better camoflage.

 

Vladimir — third year graduate student, SAS defines marriage as between one man and one woman — define family between one man and one woman. Defining marriage is one thing, defining family is something different. Marriage is a social construct, family is the reality. Right now many people who are in LGBT families, so denying family like this, this is denying existence. There is a question on safety.  We have enough personal stories, so just going to say how he feels.  I feel I’m Russian — maybe you’ve been reading about it, it’s not a happy place for lgbtq  people, but Stanford is a happy place. When his fees go toward GSC funding, and then GSC takes that money and puts it toward bringing speakers to campus, speakers who… like doctor, who says that so-called gay committed relationships are a myth.  Anderson: explicitly compares homosexualtiy to alcoholism and pedophilia. When graduate fees are used to bring these speakers on campus,  This is when Stanford stops being a happy place and a safe place.

 

Jeff — a lot of emails that were sent were not from people with Nanci last night, but he sat down with SAS, and doesn’t think that we want to silence views that we don’t agree with, all they are saying is that they want to work together on conference that helps communicate values that SAS expressed to GradQ. Got an email from leader of SAS today declining that request.

 

Eric — There was talk on is this event inclusive event or safe space. But it goes to how the event is organized, there’s 150 people with a registration fee, but would any members of the LGBT community want to pay toward an organization that doesn’t support their beliefs?  They said that 20-30 graduate students, 30-40 undergrads, and the rest of the audience is off-campus. They did say they are moving one event to bigger venue, but registration fees make it feel not welcome, they would not fund an organization that’s trying to take away LGBT fundamental right, This is a main reason why graduate community is against this, we aren’t trying to silence the views, it’s because it’s an exclusive conference bring them together, make hate speech and package more appropriate box, and that we are not welcome. This event is small and exclusive, this doesnt make us feel in community welcome, we don’t feel included.

 

Judy — registration fee is generally a notion that, we need a head count, if it is free, we can’t provide food, it’s difficult to plan logistically. Secondly, GSC has funded previous event to tune of $6000 with big registration fee with completely different ideological viewpoint, SAS has a right to put a registration fee. Don’t think that you are not welcome, you are most welcome to come.  We will also reserve seats for members of the graduate community for the most controversial talk.

 

Trevor — we are letting us all talk.

 

David H. – thank you for coming .  I have three things I would like to say. First thing is to address SAS’s point that we have funded similar controversial conferences in the past, I was here during last 2 votes for Shaking the Foundations, and we saw nothing like this, in fact the room was quite empty, wishes I saw more people because I’m never seen so much opposition to an event.  Unanimous vote for Shaking the Foundation, don’t think there was any controversy. Would welcome comments on why that event is offensive to any people? Also, conference registration fee is 5 dollars, yours is 15 dollars, but that’s a moot point.  About the inclusivity clause — I do think, I originally supported conference, but I am going to revoke the funding just because of this, because while i do believe in the power of free speech, we are funding the conference, and even though we are giving our money to this speaker only, or whoever we are funding, symbolically, we are funding the entire conference, and saying that this conference is a good conduit for free speech, and I don’t believe that, because numerous speakers have said before that it’s not really inclusive.  My third point — a lot of times, you may not think the viewpoint you hold is discriminatory, but if that viewpoint spreads, it can have a lot of unintended consequences.  I would consider this discrimination, I’m really sorry.  I do think this is discrimination, and if SAS doesn’t see that, it makes me worried about tone and nature of this conference.

 

Ashveer — Just a procedural note, I would encourage SAS and all other groups to think about budget and securing funding before speakers come in, and not forcing graduate students to have to…  ASSU needs — it’s a farce, you already have the institutional support from an outside institution, and you have already booked big-ticket speakers, so you’ve put us in tighter spot because you’ve already booked these speakers, and with SAL guidelines, it makes it hard for us to suggest changes to event, like putting it in a bigger venue, when you do this kind of planning ahead of time. Wants to make everybody aware that next time before you book speaker, you figure out all the funding.

 

Petr — So, I’m in favor of sponsoring events that are inclusive and are open in an academic space, because we are a university and this is a safe space for academic debate. That said, one of the things that worries me — there seems to be a rigidity about changing the formatting of event.  I would like to see an event like this go through.  One thing worried about is that, there doesn’t seem to be ability to alter anything in the event, for example the line-up of speeches, could it be a panel that’s moderated by a more neutral speaker?   Could it be somehow more inviting in terms of format, without changing content?  This is my thought.

 

Adrienne: As social chair, it’s not our place to provide guidance on the details of other people’s events. It’s hard enough planning our own events. Not our job. The generosity of our suggestions to all groups should just be taken as is — just suggestions.

 

David H. — this is just for GSC members, it is very important that we do listen to our constituents.  So many e-mails.  We are glad to be almost done with this issue, but the vast vast majority of those emails are very negative. Although we may not have absolute mandate, we do have to represent the students, because this is going to be funded in part from their money, and they should have a way to express their opposition, which they are today en masse.  My second thing that SAS event will happen with or without money, so for those worried about free speech and are interested in going to the conference, they should go to the event.

 

Paul — we are also listening to our constituents, but by following constitutions which does include a free speech clause, we are also listening to our constituents who enacted that in the constitution and who has the authority to amend it.  My second point, we’ve heard a lot about harmful effects on the community this event could have, but there are also effects of denying funding.  There is the chilling effect.  Some people might not get planned, or be planned differently, because they are worried about speakers’ past statements being inflammatory.

 

Eduardo — “let me sleep” so lets vote on this.

 

Trevor — I think that, this situation is contentious, regardless of how we end up voting on this issue, one good thing that could come out of this, if LGBT groups and SAS can work together on events in the future, then maybe this could be avoided. Understands this has no bearing on this vote, but thinks that if that comes out of this, we would consider this a success.

 

Bryce —  REVOTE has been thoughtful, GSC has put lots of time and energy into this topic, in past 3 weeks have seen several hundreds e-mails. GSC in part is helping students communicate, enhance diversity of people on campus, we understand that people sometimes speak or say things that are controversial or objectable. We work hard to find balance to express topics that are important to them in creating an environment that is safe and respectful. In this environment we face a challenge balancing individuals’ desires to express themselves, and recognizing that this conference may have consequences elsewhere.

 

Eduardo — I appreciate your coming out, understatement to say this is stressful.  I want to clarify — I have worked with the people on this council and have nothing but respect for these people.  This has been a very difficult issue that walks a fine line between free speech and promotion of discrimination — doesn’t believe any member of this council has any intention of curtailing the former or promoting the latter. Any decision that is made, every one of these votes will be with the benefit of the overall graduate student body in mind. Encourage any response to vote to be respectful, remember that we are all working for the well being of this community. Thanks.

 

Trevor: Objections to a roll call vote? Adrienne asks for a description of a roll call vote. Secretary will read out name, they say yay nay or stay. Trevor says issue is that vote is sequential, so have concern about that. Adrienne says we’ve already subjected this funding request to unusual scrutiny to break procedure on this. No second for roll call vote. Motions for a hand vote, where all members who want to vote on way will raise their hands when that option is mentioned. To clarify, will vote on revoking funding from SAS. Voting IN FAVOR is to remove funding from the group. Requires 10 members voting in favor for that to take place. Just to clarify, if you’re voting in favor, you’re voting to remove funding. Abstentions don’t count toward vote count, will lower threshold. Stephen makes sure there’s 14 members present.

 

Voting takes place. With a vote of 10 for, 2 against, and 2 abstaining, the funding to Anscombe Society has been retracted by the GSC.

 

Grad Formal

Adrienne circulated bill. Why do we have to vote on it this week, Trevor asks? Because we have been holding off venue guy. It’s on May 3rd. Need to pay vendors and don’t have enough funds yet. Reason why we need to vote on this now is because they don’t want to pay vendors first and then if bill doesn’t pass then lost all the money for vendors. Adam asks, do reserves need UGs to vote? They say no, it’s reserve. Compared to last year, this year is $10-15k more, but will make up with greater ticket sales and break out to be even, and will slightly make a profit – $2-5k. Adrienne says last year made too much money and that was a problem. Ticket costs between early bird $20 and late at the door $40. Have about $400k in our reserve. Rule suspended, Trevor motioned and Bryce seconded. Passes. Rule suspended. Voting to allocate $15k from reserve for grad formal. Voting, 9 for, 2 abstaining.

 

GSC Funding Guidelines

At this time of year, usually amends funding guidelines for next year. Whatever we pass will not come into effect until July 1st. Overview of changes, some very trivial (formatting and grammar), others do affect what students can get from us. Third category about closing loopholes on guidelines. Initially guidelines were developed in parallel to the bylaws. What used to be guidelines were not reflected in bylaws. Last year Sjoerd really wanted to bring Bylaws up to date with what we’ve been telling people so there’s legislative support for what we told people. So we put guidelines into appendix 2 of bylaws. We closed some loopholes but a lot still remain. One of the email threads, one of the funding bylaws say that we cannot impose penalties on groups which violate the rules. Changes that are proposed are broad and cover a lot of different things and some may require more discussion. So would like to put those things in different bill, this bill only things we are ok with. If there’s some things that are controversial, will put in separate bill. Will vote on first quarter of next year. She’s talking about changes. All allocation of funds over $250 requires approval ==> all funds require explicit approval in minutes. Right now, $6k hard cap including groups which are eligible to receive funding from UGS, seems unfair. Change is specifying that $6k for VSOs that have 70% graduate members, related to 70-30 rule which says that if group membership more than 70% graduate we fund all students, if less than 30% then UGS funds all, anything in middle then we use percentage of graduate students to calculate how much they are eligible for. Item E trying to reflect that in the hard cap. Percentage of membership is self reported, is a loophole, but this at least tries to close the loophole a little more. Inclusiveness clause addition. History: funding committee has had rocky history, maybe 5-6 years ago the GSC funding system used to be poorly regulated and money was being allocated inappropriately. Wendy talks about past history, it has been unofficial guideline that anything controversial will be “recommended” by FC because as a small group, they will not be target as personal retaliation, so GSC alone can decide on the group. This clause: for groups whose events are controversial, FC reserves rights to protect members by providing recommendation. GSC must provide due diligence in looking through more details of event. Petr asks does this mean we will curtail something about the event? Wendy doesn’t know. Trevor asks is it worthwhile to say that it should be that, for controversial events, instead of just barreling them through funding process, they should consult with the GSC? Wendy says that’s what she’s saying, this is just to preserve the pipeline of process. Eric says, maybe saying “subjects that are controversial needs to come to GSC for a vote?” Wendy say, make GSC voting a 2-step process? Paul says: “the funding committee’s recommendation is not a recommendation that the event is not a judgment that the event is not in compliance with the inclusiveness guideline.” Second point Paul wants to make, seems she can solve problem by emailing out funding recommendations to list with more details. Meredith clarifies, FC supposed to ensure that all guidelines are valid except for inclusiveness? Sebastian says that it just means the FC judgment on #12 is not binding. Wendy says under honorarium, FC would like to add extra item which says that FC reserves right to request evidence that recipient that honorarium person is requesting the amount of funds. Rational is that, Sam brought up point that if group really only needs $500 for honorarium, since groups can provide own matching amounts, and group can say that speaker wants $1000 and they will pay the other $500. Sam says that groups can say that they are paying $1000 and are paying $500, but currently FC has no ability to check this amount. Sebastian says that right now, under $100, do not require matching funds, so between $100-200 is weird? Eric says that some speakers want honorarium because it’s more contractual obligation. Adding car/van rental line item. If group intl students, they don’t have cars, but sometimes they need to rent cars to buy food and equipment, sometimes restaurants deliver but equipment needs to be returned, so they have to rent a car and cannot get reimbursed for it. The FC can recommend 3 hrs of car rental in total, if they want more than 3 hours then must come to GSC for approval. Eric says, he’s currently in Science Bus, they drive twice a week. Sometimes people can’t drive because of extra expense. If need to jump through a lot of hoops, would be hard. Wendy says, reason for guidelines is to prevent misuse. Personally feel that effort of renting a car is sufficient. Trading off convenience for getting reimburse. David says that because these are tied to events, we should not worry about people gaming the system. For Auditing, previously says that Funding Chair can meet with financial officer. This came out of this year’s audits. Want to specify that large irregularities (>$500) has to be brought to GSC for discussion, so that there is understanding for what large irregularity is. Anything lower than $500, if auditor deems it necessary, it will also be brought to GSC. Also, added that internal auditor reserves right to refuse to audit events of controversial nature.  What if GSC makes controversial decision and makes auditor goes to event that they do not want to go, for any reason? Eric says we could just stipulate that it has to be another member of the GSC. Sebastian says, if there’s an event where auditor feels uncomfortable, then shouldn’t be funding the event. David asks if there’s currently anything that says the auditor must go to event? Wendy says no. It’s up to the auditor. Usually the funding chair tells the auditor which events to go to. Not sure if should be specified. Wendy says her personal experience is that audits are not really useful, prefer to audit receipts. Additional section about GSC auditing and penalties. She added a section that says GSC can impose penalties for violating funding conditions, and GSC can audit events which they deem necessary. Adam says SSE has system, if have advanced payment and don’t use thing for what it’s supposed to be used for, then they will freeze account. Trevor says it’s too complicated to be tied to SSE. Wendy wants to give the GSC the freedom to decide what type of penalty it wants to impose. Not comfortable with imposing penalties. David asks about past precedences for funding violations, would GSC have had to deal with many things, is it common? Meredith says small discrepancy are pretty common, but are small. For example, tax discrepancies, sometimes forget to divide tax that is between food and programming items, etc. wendy says most common types of discrepancies is to reimburse out of wrong line items, food out of programming or programming out of food is most common. Also cases where people use money left over from previous events for either a new event that’s been approved (or not) byt the GSC. Eduardo says, what about requiring people to split their receipts. wendy say, another one is that people came to GSC meeting but didn’t have MyGroups application submitted, and went ahead and spent the money anyways, so spent the money and got reimbursed through account anyways even if funding not allocated.

 

Advocacy

Petr says, he’s been meeting with Farah for last few weeks, turns out there isn’t a fund for unpaid internships on campus and VPGE deferred issue to department, and department deferred to program, and program does not have funds for this. She’s been in touch with people in program to find funding, but there’s no body that is able to fund this. Trevor said she submitted a 30k challenge application. Ashveer working with UGs on Tresidder to bring rates down. Bryce and Trevor organizing a retreat next week. Petr got our questions about graduate populations on SAL lists. Adrienne asks if retreat is additional to winter retreat? Bryce says yes. Sebastian says, there are some events which are more targeted toward grad students, would this change how they operate? Trevor says no, same thing. wendy said had cases of joint events between 5 joint christian groups on campus, every year they take turn rotating for funding, one year it was 100% UG group, but their attendance has 35% graduate students, so they were asked to withdraw funding and to have graduate group apply for it.