Senate Endorsement 2010: Rahul Sastry

**Name two goals that you will have accomplished by the end of your Senate term. **


In order to fix the current appropriations crisis, I want to impose limits on special fees requests that are voted on by students, communicate more effectively with FOs, establish meaningful funding precedents and restructure the process so that special fees groups can utilize general fees. In order to make Stanford more sustainable, I will work with university officials to ensure that emissions targets are being met; I also want to increase sustainability programming and encourage the cost-effective adoption of green standards for non-ASSU sponsored events.


**Which two current ASSU initiatives or programs would you push to eliminate? **


I would lobby the executive to eliminate the wellness room. Currently, the wellness room has a budget of $5000 and large amount of space in Old Union, yet it fails to adequately assist in improving campus mental health. Measures such as ensuring the viability of peer counseling or supporting initiatives such as FACES would be preferable and more economical. Additionally, I would push for the elimination of nearly all senator salaries; senators are representatives of the student body, and paying them to inform student groups that funding is tight seems to be a laughable hypocrisy.



Appropriations Policy:

Currently, the ongoing economic crisis and the recent drastic increases in special fees charged to students have led to a spike in refund requests, threatening the solvency of student group funding. To fix this problem, I would encourage tighter limits on budgets presented to students for approval, as there is currently no incentive to cut costs if a budget is rejected by appropriations. I also want to apply less-stressed general fees to special fees groups; this would have the benefit of allowing mergers that would otherwise violate current budget-increase rules, as well as provide reliable funding that would be outside the reach of student refunds.


Free Speech:

Current university policy has had a stifling effect on campus political discourse because it is often difficult for student groups to invite relevant speakers out of fear of partisanship. Additionally, the school’s vague and non-objective standards have been applied inconsistently. If elected, I would encourage a new dialogue between the university and students regarding the future of free speech at Stanford. The goals of such a dialogue would be to loosen restrictions on speakers, to clarify existing rules so that they can be applied fairly, and to expand the number of available free speech zones.

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