Senate Endorsement 2010: Rebecca Sachs

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

My primary goal is to increase student input on university policies and decisions. I am particularly interested in increasing input on issues like student life, housing, and academics. I plan to lobby and negotiate with the administration for student-backed reforms. I will also ensure that the Senate develops an agenda of reforms, and that the 100+ students who advocate for students on university committees are familiar with this agenda.
My second goal is to improve accountability in the Senate.  I will push for the full Senate to have control over discretionary spending and make sure a greater emphasis is placed on the Senate’s constitutional duties.

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

I would push to eliminate the Wellness Room in Old Union. The room drains funds and hasn’t performed up to expectations. The resources going into the physical space need to be put towards expanding more effective student health programming. I would also cut ASSU Exec programs like the Valentines Day matchmaking service and Spring Break trip to Las Vegas. Other student groups should sponsor these social events. The ASSU Exec should be focusing their time and effort on best representing students.

Notable Issue Positions:

Free Speech:

I want to expand students’ rights to free speech outside of White Plaza, Stanford’s designated “free speech zone.” The administration has allowed certain student groups to hold protests outside of White Plaza on multiple occasions. I believe free speech around campus shouldn’t be left to the administration’s discretion; it should be every student’s right. The current two-week registration process for events in White Plaza prevents students from engaging in spontaneous expressive activity. I will lobby SAL to adjust the registration rules. I will also explore how the Fundamental Standard can better protect free speech and fight to allow political speakers on campus.

Appropriations Policy

The policies implemented this year need to be more transparent in order to benefit student groups. Next year I will make sure the funding guidelines are written objectively line-by-line. This will provide greater clarity for financial officers and leave fewer funding decisions to the Appropriation Committee’s discretion. I also plan to better publicize the policies and provide more resources for student leaders throughout the process. Finally, I will work to implement a review procedure for groups that feel they have been mistreated and reform the refunds process in a manner that doesn’t infringe on students’ rights.

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