ASSU Executive Endorsement: Bennett Hauser and Matthew Sprague

What are the two main points of your platform?

Without a doubt, financial leadership is the main focus of our platform.  We strive to use our financial experience to lead the student body through these difficult times at the University and revolutionize the way the ASSU approaches student interests. Our unprecedented financial experience uniquely qualifies us to represent all student voices in the next round of budget cuts.

Matt is the Director of Capital Group, the banking/funding/ecommerce/investment arm of the ASSU. He oversees the finances of over 400 student groups, and looks after assets totaling well over 10 million dollars and manages a team of over 15 student employees.

Bennett is the General Manager of the Stanford Student Store, and has generated over $200,000 in profits for the entire student body during his two- year tenure. These proceeds will contribute to the ASSU’s endowment for generations to come, and reflect Bennett’s dedication to Stanford and commitment to hard work.

Make no mistake – next year, the shadow of budget cuts will loom, and the quality of life for all students will inevitably drop. We plan to continue and improve the budget feedback process that Jonny and Fagan started this year. It is clear that the student body needs two leaders who know the ASSU’s finances inside and out, and have the business acumen and experience to ensure that student priorities remain well funded.

The second main point on our platform is project leadership. Currently, there is simply not enough communication across all bodies of the ASSU. We intend on having strong channels of communication across the UG Senate, GSC, and Cabinet, tying them together into a formidable problem-solving force. This process will start with the selection of our Cabinet, which will be composed of expert student representatives. We know that we will be especially effective leaders of our Cabinet. Combined, we currently manage over 30 student employees. We will use our established leadership and management skills to ensure that our team is efficient and effective at serving the student body. Our Cabinet will constantly communicate with the other bodies of student government to ensure that the entirety of the ASSU is working towards the same goal – tackling projects to best serve the Stanford community.

In which ways can the ASSU most effectively advocate for students?

The current ASSU advocacy process seems ad-hoc, and is not utilized by nearly enough student interests. We have outlined our plans to have a clearer advocacy process, which includes Senators, GSC members, class cabinets and the Executive cabinet working hand in hand. Our Cabinet’s Advocacy Chair will serve as an accessible resource which will serve students by collaborating with all ASSU bodies to ensure that the student voice is heard. We intend on creating a more formalized advocacy process, which will incorporate the bodies most appropriate for a given student advocacy issue.

What shortcomings currently exist in the ASSU, and how can they be reformed?

The ASSU has great potential to do tremendous work on behalf of Stanford students. As far as the ASSU Executive goes, Jonny and Fagan have made this abundantly clear – their dedication and overwhelming work on behalf of the student body have accomplished tremendous results.

One of the huge inefficiencies that currently exist in the ASSU is the gap between the Executive Cabinet and legislative bodies. All too frequently, these separate ASSU bodies will be pursuing similar agendas independent of each other. This weakens the student voice, and wastes valuable manpower. 
Furthermore, the current ASSU system is set up in a way that excludes class presidents from some of the more broad issue that face our students. These individuals should be reached out to and encouraged to lend their services and expand upon their traditional roles in the ASSU.

Lastly, a perpetual shortcoming in any student government is that of strong leadership. Strong and visionary leaders are needed at every step of student government, as only they can ensure the efficacy of the ASSU. We look forward to applying our leadership skills and vision for Stanford to steer the ASSU towards more prosperous times, as efficiently as possible.

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