Widgets Magazine

GSC approves 3 of 4 special fees reforms

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) unanimously confirmed former Senate Chair Michael Cruz ’12 as the new ASSU Vice President Wednesday and passed most components of a special fees reform bill authored by Cruz.

When introducing her bill to nominate Cruz as vice president, ASSU President Angelina Cardona ’11 described him as “the best choice” and said he had been involved with the ASSU his entire Stanford career.

Cruz resigned as senate chair at Wednesday’s GSC meeting, and will replace former vice president Kelsei Wharton, who is currently taking the quarter off. At Tuesday’s Senate meeting, former Senate Deputy Chair Madeline Hawes ’13 was selected to become Senate chair. In a nine to five vote, the Senate selected Pat Bruny ’13 to serve as deputy chair.

The GSC also passed three of four main components to special fees reform legislation. The first component, which stipulated a timeline for the creation of special fees policies, passed unanimously. It also changed the reserve policy for student groups, allowing them to hold in reserves an amount equivalent to 100 percent of their expenditures in the previous year.

The second component allowed student groups to increase their budgets by up to 10 percent plus inflation without petitioning the student body. It passed 11-2, with GSC co-Chair Justin Brown and Addy Satija, one of the GSC’s programming coordinators, voting against it.

“I find your position on this incredibly disrespectful of their time,” said GSC Secretary Erik Lehnert, arguing that student group leaders’ busy schedules make petitioning difficult.

The third component of the bill failed, with eight votes against and five abstaining. It would have permitted the release of information about students who request specials fees refunds to student group leaders.

The fourth component of the bill passed with 12 in favor and one abstention.

Stephen Trusheim ‘13, ASSU elections commissioner, said he does “worry about the implementation” of the bill because it affects the upcoming elections. Cruz responded that the Appropriations Committee of the Senate is open to holding more budget meetings to help student groups adapt to the changes.