Widgets Magazine

ASSU Senate moves forward from divestment revote

In a two-hour meeting Tuesday night, the 16th Undergraduate Senate briefly discussed a proposal to place the divestment resolution from last week’s revote on the spring ballot so the student body could vote on the resolution.

The author of the bill, Senator Eric Theis ’16, proposed adding a divestment-related question to the ballot to encourage public dialogue over the text.

This discussion follows a statement President Hennessy made last week at a Faculty Senate meeting that University policy does not contain provisions for formulaic divestment. Hennessy also said that current policy allows the Board of Trustees not to act on any proposal that is likely to have “negative consequences for the University.”

Student vote is generally considered the final say compared to the Senate’s vote.

“The student body has authority over us,” Senator John-Lancaster Finley ’16 said.

Last year, the Undergraduate Senate passed a resolution in support of fossil fuel divestment only to see this resolution revisited on the spring ballot, where it passed by a student vote.

Ana Ordoñez ’17, who is the chair of the Senate, expressed concern that if the resolution were to be added to the spring ballot, this topic would shadow discussions about other important issues on campus affecting student life. Ordoñez ultimately removed this resolution from previous notice.

“It should be the author’s decision to come to us,” Ordoñez said. “I feel like we should really focus on other things that we do as senators.”

This desire was echoed by other senators who prefer for authors of the bill to play a leading role in bringing the ballot forward. Other senators opposed the bill because they thought the current wording of the resolution introduced voter bias.

On another note, the Senate upheld their recent decision this year to deny a cappella groups’ coverage on travel fees.

“We are confused why we were denied travel fees this year,” said a representative from the Mendicants. “Traveling is an awesome part of being an a cappella group.”

The Senate has a current policy of rejecting requests from special fees groups to cover travel expenses because they believe that these requests do not benefit the student body as a whole.

A cappella group representatives from the Mendicants and the Harmonics questioned senators about why Alternative Spring Break and club sports were allotted funds for similar activities. The Senate is currently looking for alternative funding sources to support Alternative Spring Break and club sports.

Contact Alexis Garduno at agarduno ‘at’ stanford.edu.

  • My thoughts

    Ana Ordonez is an impediment to democracy. During the first divestment debate, she failed in promoting civil discourse among the meeting’s attendees. Then she changed her mind and made everyone else do a revote just one week later, barely giving students time to organize. Now she shuts down a proposal to simply research what the student body thinks about divestment.

    I don’t know her, and she’s probably a nice person, but she is a poor fit for the position of the Chair of the Senate. As I see it, she should resign.

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