Senator-Elect Jensen Withdraws from Berlin

During tonight’s meeting of the Undergraduate Senate, Senator-Elect Ben Jensen announced that he will officially be withdrawing from the Berlin study abroad program for the Fall of 2010.

Jensen’s announcement came after a speech delivered by Senator Anton Zietsman, who encouraged the reconsideration of a bill proposed by Senator Alex Katz last week, mandating the presence of Senators on campus for the entirety of their term.

The room sat silent as Zietsman touched upon both personal and practical reasons as to why he believed the bill should go into effect for the 12th Undergraduate Senate and apply to Jensen.

Zietsman’s argument was based upon his own decision to not seek re-election this year as he will be studying abroad in Washington in the fall, student feedback opposing Jensen’s plans to serve while abroad, and his belief that Senators cannot serve effectively while abroad without compromising the credibility of the Senate.

Senator Wanyoike echoed Zietsman’s points, as he, too, did not run for re-election because of his plans to study abroad in Beijing in the fall.

Ultimately, however, the Senate voted to pass the bill, but without Zietsman’s suggestion. He was the only senator to vote against the bill.

Jensen eventually disclosed that he will be withdrawing regardless and instead re-applying in the Spring of 2011. Jensen explained that being able to travel is a huge opportunity for him. Zietsman reiterated:

“Life at Stanford is filled with opportunities, each one better than the next. Everyone would want the chance to take advantage of these opportunities in order to truly maximize their time at this university. However, all of these opportunities involve trade-offs, which entail decisions.”

And Senator-Elect Jensen has made his.

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