Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis (CMD) have followed up on their announcement of the shape of their Cabinet, releasing the list of names of its membership. As I postulated in my earlier post, it’s a big expansion. The list of names totals 16 Chairs and Co-Chairs, 18 members of the Community Board, 3 Directors 3 non-Cabinet appointments, and a new “Governing Documents” commission that will be composed of members from all branches of the ASSU (Senate, GSC, SSE, and Constitutional Council as well as the Executive), which will be evaluating the ASSU Constitution and by-laws for likely updating. All told, there are 41 names (23 names, exclusive of the Community Board), a dramatic expansion over the previous Cardona/Wharton administration and even dwarfing the Gobaud/Parker administration.
However, as I also noted, the CMD administration have also made new efforts to improve the span of control of their administration, creating new hierarchies within the administration in order to control the growth. The broad outline from before remains accurate overall, but there are also some new specifics about the division of work between Cruz, Macgregor-Dennis and Emma Ogiemwanye, the Chief of Staff for the CMD administration (look below the jump for details).
Before skipping ahead to the gritty details, I’d like to offer a few early thoughts. In an interview, the biggest goal identified by the CMD administration was to become “the world’s most innovative student government.” What does that mean? The first thing it means is that although the “Director of Design Thinking” and “Director of the Innovation Task Force” positions may seemingly be nestled deeper within the bureaucracy, that’s not likely to actually be how things play out. In today’s Daily piece, for example, the new Director of Design Nishant Jacob enjoyed a prominent role, explaining his position, something that I expect to continue going forward. It also means that the governing documents might be in for a fairly sizable revision – Macgregor-Dennis emphasized a goal of making the documents more accessible to students, which would entail a good deal of additional language or changes.
Another thought is about some of the new positions. Some of them offer exciting new possibilities: one goal mentioned for the Co-Chairs of Entrepreneurship is to start pushing for an entrepreneurship theme-dorm/house. Given the success of various start-up incubators, it seems extremely plausible that such an endeavor would be a runaway success (although it may have to get in line; the Lotus 1.0 “green” theme dorm has been in the works since 2003 and still has not been started). Some are a little less obvious. The Co-Chairs of Global Engagement (full disclosure: I know and like both incoming Chairs, Shadi Bushra and Jonah Rexer) will need to navigate a bit of tricky ground in terms of being relevant without replicating the work of other Stanford VSOs, such as the Stanford Association for International Development or Stanford University Students for UNICEF, groups in which Bushra and Rexer have been involved. One avenue is to spearhead ASSU Executive efforts to coordinate donations for disaster relief (e.g. Haiti, Pakistan, or Japan in the past few years), but beyond such contingencies, it will be interesting to see what results.
Finally, overall the fact that the ASSU Constitution is due for a revision is just exciting. Any changes must be approved by the Senate and GSC, then passed by a vote of the student body and finally signed by President Hennessy, but the opportunity to make changes is certainly wide open. The buzz-words that I heard when asking about this process involved discussing making the ASSU more “results-oriented” and using design-thinking, as well as learning from other student governments, to improve the ASSU. Ok, enough of my thoughts; on to the details.
As promised, here are all of the details, with descriptions for new positions that are not obvious.
Cruz will be overseeing several new positions:
- Ambassadors of the Association: tasked with reaching out to other student governments to learn from them and build connections
- Intra-ASSU Operations: FO of the ASSU and lead coordinator with the Class Presidents and “other branches of the ASSU”
- Governing Documents Commission: a combined task force of the Executive, ASSU Senate, SSE, GSC, and Constitutional Council assigned with reworking the ASSU, including its Constitution and by-laws.
Ogiemwanye will oversee:
- Chair of Leadership Development
- Chair of Sustainability
- Chair of Health & Wellness
- Chair of Public Service
- Chair of Student Life
- Chair of Food: aims to connect movements around food as a focal point; will not necessarily be the person to carry out some of the Dining Plan initiatives (think platform items eight and nine here)
- Chair of Communities: oversees the Community Board, which is meant to act as a focus group representing students from across campus with varied backgrounds and activities (the Community Board totals 16 people, as well as the Chair)
- Co-Chairs of Global Engagement: greater engagement with the outside world, especially internationally, was identified as a major student interest and this position aims to organize around that concept
Macgregor-Dennis will oversee:
- Co-Chairs of Entrepreneurship: entrepreneurship is a huge student interest, but has not had a unified focal point, which this position aims to correct
- Chair of Technology
- Chair of Student Group Affairs
- Chair of Social Entrepreneurship: again, aims to bring together social entrepreneurship efforts and to organize a social entrepreneurship challenge for Stanford students only
- Co-Chairs of Project Management and Implementation: point people for assisting with specific projects, working with the Directors and other members of the Cabinet
The number of Directors has been pared down significantly from the 10 positions originally announced, down to only three:
- Director of Design Thinking: attempting to integrate the principles of design thinking into the operations of the ASSU
- Director of Marketing
- Director of the Innovation Task Force for the Student Body: presumably working closely with the Director of Design Thinking to improve the innovativeness of the ASSU
The Community Board is working to improve the ASSU’s efforts around diversity and tolerance, but is still formulating its exact structure and developing a mission statement, which it aims to complete over the summer.