No on Measure A: The ASSU is silencing its critics

Measure A is an amendment to the ASSU Constitution that would correct some typos in the Constitution, update the Constitution to allow the ASSU to use email for official business, and change the approval rules for joint Special Fees.

The first two aspects are innocuous, but the third is far more questionable. Currently, student groups petitioning for joint undergraduate and graduate Special Fees have to receive 50% of the total vote. Measure A amends the constitution to require that they receive both 50% of the Undergraduate and 50% of the Graduate Special Fee.

Because of far lower Graduate student turnout in ASSU elections, it becomes quite easy to torpedo a student group’s Special Fee candidacy by getting a relatively small additional number of Graduate students to turn out and vote against it. The group most directly affected by this is the Stanford Daily, whose joint Special Fee has been approved by under 50% of Graduate students in the last two elections.

This is not surprising. The Daily is relatively critical of the ASSU, and has been particularly critical of the SOCC. For several years, the Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council spending committees have denied that Daily’s funding request, and it has had to petition for more than two thousand signature to be put on the April ballot, more than any other group.
While we are advocates of independent journalism and ourselves receive no ASSU funds, we also oppose the ASSU’s attack on its critics and in this instance encourage you to vote No on measure A.

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