For ASSU Senate: Miles Seiver

Name two goals that you will have accomplished by the end of your Senate term. Please be specific with your policy recommendations.
The ASSU needs to do a better job advertising or else risk losing all relevance to the student body. My main goal in office would be the creation of an online portal to ASSU and Stanford services. That resource will not only make the ASSU relevant to the Stanford student by presenting its services but will also provide important analytics on which ASSU-sponsored programs are visited least and may need to be either restructured or eliminated. I will encourage Executive cabinet members to become associate members of relevant Senate committees. Resources are being wasted as individuals in each ASSU branch pursue redundant projects.

Which two current ASSU initiatives or programs would you push to eliminate? Why?
The tradition of a new website for each ASSU Senate is very costly ($600+ for this year’s) and carries no meaningful benefit. The 2010-2011 Senate did not have a website until mid-Winter quarter. I would eliminate this yearly process and instead advocate for using the current Senate website from our first day in office. The ASSU Tech Consulting service pays students to provide technical services on campus. Sound familiar? That is because the service is already provided by your friendly Residential Computing Consultant. ASSU Tech Consulting is completely unnecessary and a total waste of funding.

In what ways would you seek to work on the following policy areas within the Senate?

  1. Free speech
    Education on free speech rights at Stanford needs to be a mandatory part of Residential Assistant training. Speech is being unlawfully chilled in dorms because staff are largely unaware of relevant law such as the clear statement made by The Santa Clara Superior Court when it ruled a Stanford speech code unconstitutional in 1995. The ASSU should publish a concise document outlining student rights on campus. It should include everything from free speech to information on the fantastic legal counseling offered to Stanford students for free from the ASSU.

  2. Wellness
    The new Arrillaga Family Dining Commons offers a major opportunity for innovation in campus dining and I plan to foster a close relationship between the ASSU and Stanford Dining as it decides how to focus the new facility. The Stanford Wellness Room is a project with great intention but poor execution. Few students have the time to travel to Old Union to relax in the midst of more pressing responsibilities like homework and sports practice. Instead, wellness at Stanford should come to you though active outreach like guided yoga sessions during dorm meetings.

  3. Appropriations policy
    ASSU appropriations would benefit drastically from increased transparency. Many Senate committees and the Executive receive discretionary budgets. Funds are allocated from these accounts with as few as three votes in a committee meeting. This year the Executive made the respectable decision to publish its discretionary spending history on a Google Doc. Unfortunately, this spreadsheet has not been updated since November of 2010. This lax attitude is representative of the ASSU when it comes to money. I find it totally inappropriate and will work hard to increase fiscal accountability through more accurate budgetary reporting.

  4. Academic life
    Tutoring is underemphasized at Stanford. Each student has a unique learning style and one-on-one interaction is the best way to customize teaching so it is most effective. Right now, there is little well-advertised tutoring available besides the Hume Writing Center. Even creating an appointment at Hume is a difficult process due to a confusing site that is hard to access. Therefore, I will push for the creation of tutor.stanford.edu. This site would allow tutors to meet tutees much more easily as well as serve as a central place for finding information on professor office hours.

  5. Diversity
    I will push for a ASSU-mediated campus-wide conversation regarding Stanford community centers. There are strong and conflicting feelings on campus about what sort of role community centers should play at Stanford and I think all parties involved would benefit from better understanding. Until such a discussion takes place, hostility from both sides of the debate will continue to undermine the goals of the community centers–to foster community–by separating the Stanford student body into two camps.

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