Name two goals that you will have accomplished by the end of your Senate term. Please be specific with your policy recommendations.
Two areas I plan on focusing on are mental health and increasing the transparency of the senate. I wish to expand upon this year’s Exec’s increased commitment to mental health through collaborations with the Bridge and SPoM, to have more frequent, better attended panels of student speakers. I also wish to create a Senate that is more transparent and accountable to the student body, by collaborating with an all-campus publication or source of information to give regular updates on what initiatives the Senate as passed, as well as a basic idea of what these bills truly mean for students.
*Which two current ASSU initiatives or programs would you push to eliminate? Why? *
I would like to eliminate the suggested change in the new Constitution to revisit the Constitution every 3 years. I believe that such a guideline might get the Senate wrapped up in discussion of legalese simply related to its own operations (see question 4) rather than focusing on true student issues. I would also like to eliminate the “Senate Education” initiatives, as I would rather focus on discussing and implementing student issues than learning how to write a clean bill, even if the presentation of these issues is not in perfect bill format.
*In what ways would you seek to work on the following policy areas within the Senate? *
I would like to continue the Senate’s existing project of an online Petitions Platform. In light of this year’s Suites’ Dining and Schedule Change controversies, I would like to better publicize to students the Senate’s online webpage that will allow them to bring these issues and petitions directly to the Senate, so that the Senate can advocate for the interests of students with respect to these issues in a timely manner. This way, the Senate can represent Stanford students when discussing these problems with the administration, so that the voice of students is considered when the administration makes future decisions.
To create more open dialogue regarding wellness, I would like to propose the initiatives I have stated above involving the Bridge and SPoM. In addition, I would like to foster a more cohesive and tight-knit Stanford community through promoting more schoolwide events as part of the Student Life committee. One example of this can be promoting a sold-out blackout event at one of our home football games. The sky is the limit with creating fun activities that bring the community together, and I think this along with a more open dialogue regarding mental health is necessary for student wellness.
I particularly enjoyed reading about this year’s $80k challenge. I would like to continue this grant program for VSOs that, in particular, show specific and tangible policy goals that increase collaboration with other VSOs and bridge the gap between organizations on Stanford’s campus. In addition, I would like to propose appropriating funds not just to formal VSOs, but also to groups of previously unorganized students who might have a tangible idea that benefits the Stanford community and who require funding to make this idea come through, provided that they can report to the Senate on the progress of their project.
I would like to propose allowing students in the Schools of Humanities and Sciences to once again create Individually Designed Majors. As one of the pioneers in both vocational learning and liberal education, Stanford is a great place for students to chart their own path of learning, and we are disadvantaging students each year by not giving them the option to form their own path of learning, if they find that their path transcends a specific major. I would also like to propose initiatives that allow more freedom in selecting freshman year liberal arts requirements and GERs.
I want to encourage students to explore all forms of diversity. Through a committee on the Senate (Advocacy), I would like to advocate for issues in diversity beyond (but still including) the questions most frequently broached on this campus, such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. I would like to encourage students to appreciate all forms of diversity through promoting more student panels, giving VSO’s a space to highlight their diversity and unique contribution to Stanford, and advocating for the diversity represented by each of these VSO’s by advocating for their individual goals.