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[Special Fees] [electcominternal_1213] Fwd: [UG-Senate] Agenda for the March 12th Meeting of the UG Senate

Brianna Pang bpang at elections.stanford.edu
Tue Mar 12 16:24:30 PDT 2013


Hi all,

I am writing with the updated versions of the bills to be presented in
Senate tonight.  Dan Ashton and Billy Gallagher have notified me that there
are significant changes since the version listed on the agenda that I
previously cited. Here they are below.

https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1cikW4VXgBMVE9Idk3iYSaLpdCMTDUWKD-VnNUmZDp_A/edit

https://docs.google.com/a/stanford.edu/document/d/1WkW3eomd0BkngGTU9pWJPv3gk2D0J-YHwcpKhfrgHVk/edit

Some key changes from the previous bill, as noted by one of the bill
writers, Dan Ashton:

"Amendment A: now, Amendment A just creates the Constitutional authority to
do something with unspent undergraduate money. It's now very narrow and
doesn't create the President's Discretionary fund. The proposed fund is
under the control of the Senate, and they need to write the Joint By-laws
that will manage it. If the Senate and GSC determines that it wants to
return all the money to the groups, they can; if the bodies want to give
the money to events that bridge communities and bring Stanford groups
together, then it can; if it wants to return the money to the students that
overpaid, then it can (it can't right now).

The bill only affects General Fees and the Buffer Fund next year. It will
affect Special Fees starting the year after, since the Special Fees were
collected from students under a different set of rules. We don't want to
change the past and we don't want to hurt groups that depend on their
reserves. Current Special Fee reserves won't be touched.

The bill requires the ASSU to make the overseeing Joint By-laws is done by
the end of this year, to make sure that it actually gets done.

Basically, the first Amendment gives authority to the Senate to figure out
what to do with the leftover cash from the year before. Right now, that
money goes into a hundred different accounts and is generally unusable by
students. This way, the money can be accessed by the students every year.

Amendment B: the amount (five) has changed to be determined within the
Joint By-Laws. As a result, we don't have to argue over 4 vs. 5 vs 10 right
now, but that number can be determined next quarter and can be adjusted
with student need over time. The ASSU's needs may change over time, and
this change reflects that."

*A note on impartiality of the Elections Commission: *We do not hold an
opinion on whether or not these bills should or should not pass.  We are
tasked with conveying information to special fees groups and candidates.
 The previous email was only intended to update special fees groups and
candidates on current legislation going through the Senate and its key
changes from the status quo.  I apologize if the message offended anyone in
the Stanford community, because our intention with the previous email was
not to take a side nor to convince special fees groups or candidates about
any aspect of the bill.

If you have any questions, please direct them to bill authors Dan Ashton (
dashton at stanford.edu) or Billy Gallagher (wmg2014 at stanford.edu).

Thanks,
Brianna


On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM, Brianna Pang <bpang at elections.stanford.edu
> wrote:

> Dear Special Fees Groups and ASSU Elections List Members,
>
> I just wanted to bring your attention to two amendments proposed to the
> Undergraduate Senate tonight. Amendment A may affect your group and your
> group's reserves in the future (if it gets on the ballot and students vote
> yes).  Amendment B will affect Senate races.  The proposed bills are
> requests for the Senate to put these amendments to the ballot for student
> voting in the spring elections -- it still is subject to student body
> approval.
>
> Some possible implications for undergrad-only special fees groups:
> Amendment A-
> - your group's unspent funds (at the end of the year) are redirected from
> group's reserves account to the ASSU president's discretionary fund
> - your group's reserve accounts can only contain 25% of the budget you
> received last year (currently it is 100%) - anything over will be
> redirected to the president's discretionary fund
> - your group future reserves accounts would have to be re-approved by the
> Senate -- the account would be subject to Senate approval
>
> Amendment B-
> - reserves 5 seats specifically for upperclassmen in the Senate
>
> If you would like to speak in support or in opposition of the bills
> (pasted below), please voice your opinions at the UG Senate meeting tonight
> at 7pm in Nitery 209.
>
> Thanks,
> Brianna
>
> ---
> *Brianna Pang*
> *Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU)*
> Elections Commissioner 2012-13
>
> *
>
> Amendment A: An Amendment to the ASSU Constitution
>
> to Create the President's Undergraduate Discretionary Funding Account
>
> ASSU-W2013-11
>
> Undergraduate students at Stanford pay exorbitant student fees: at
> $420/year, we pay more than 2.5x the average student activities fee, and
> the highest among our peer institutions. Even worse, every year, about 30%
> of our fees - almost $1 million of our money - does not get spent. That
> unspent money contributes to ever-growing reserve accounts, instead of
> making our Stanford experience better.
>
> We, the undergraduate students of Stanford University, want to get our
> money's worth. Instead of putting unspent money into reserves, we want the
> President of the ASSU to have the duty to spend it in ways that benefit the
> undergraduate population of Stanford University. This amendment changes the
> ASSU Constitution to create a new account (called the President's
> Undergraduate Discretionary Funding Account) that receives all the unspent
> money that came from undergraduate students at the end of the year; and
> this amendment charges the President of the ASSU with spending that money
> on the undergraduate students.
>
> Eligible population to vote: Undergraduate students only.
> Sections of the Constitution affected: Article V, §5.D; Article V, §6.
>
> Action requested by the Undergraduate Senate:
>
> Previous notice, followed by ⅔ approval. (ASSU Constitution, Article VII,
> §1.B.2, §1.A, and §1.B.3)
> Action requested by the Elections Commission:
>
> Placement on the ballot for undergraduate students. (ASSU Constitution,
> Article VII, §1.A)
> Action requested by undergraduate students:
>
> ⅔ approval for ratification. (ASSU Constitution, Article VII §2)
>
> Text of the Amendment:
>
> The ASSU Constitution, Article V, §5.D is amended to read:
>
>    1. If the total amount spent from a Graduate Special Fee, Graduate
>    General Fee, or Joint Special Fee is less than was allocated, then the
>    Financial Manager shall transfer the remaining funds into a Reserve Account
>    for that fee.
>       1. The Financial Manager may distribute funds from the Reserve
>       Account of a Special Fee group to that group upon authorization by the
>       relevant Association legislative bodies. In this case, relevant shall be
>       determined from the funding status of the group during the current fiscal
>       year. For the Undergraduate Senate, this authorization shall require a 2/3
>       vote; for the Graduate Student Council, it shall be by a procedure
>       specified in the Graduate Student Council's By-Laws.
>    2. At the close of every fiscal year, all remaining funds that were
>    derived from undergraduate student fees shall be transferred to the
>    President's Undergraduate Discretionary Funding Account.
>       1. If the total amount spent from a Undergraduate Special Fee or
>       Undergraduate General Fee is less than was allocated, then the Financial
>       Manager shall transfer the remaining funds into the President's
>       Undergraduate Discretionary Funding Account.
>       2. If any surcharges were applied to undergraduate student fees,
>       the Financial Manager shall transfer all remaining funds derived from those
>       undergraduate surcharges to the President's Undergraduate Discretionary
>       Funding Account.
>       3. Where an account is funded from multiple sources and only some
>       of those sources are derived from undergraduate student fees, the Financial
>       Manager shall use an equitable procedure to determine the amount of funds
>       remaining that are attributable to undergraduate student fees, and transfer
>       that amount to the President’s Undergraduate Discretionary Funding Account.
>       4. A student group receiving Special Fees may apply to the relevant
>       legislative body to retain some of its unspent funds derived from student
>       fees in a group reserve account. The Joint Bylaws shall contain policies
>       for approving and using such reserve accounts, subject to the provisions of
>       this section.
>          1. Such reserve accounts shall not contain more than 25% of the
>          funds that the student group received in student fees the last fiscal year,
>          and the legislative bodies may approve lower limits as may be appropriate.
>          2. Such reserve accounts may only be spent upon the approval of
>          the relevant legislative body.
>          3. At the time this section is enacted, any current Special Fee
>          reserves will not be affected, and will retain their balance; however, no
>          additional funds may be added to those accounts except as authorized by
>          this section and applicable policies specified in the Joint Bylaws. The
>          existing funds may be transferred with ⅔ approval from the Undergraduate
>          Senate.
>       5. Nothing in this section shall affect monies that are not derived
>       from undergraduate student fees.
>
>
> A new section E is created in the ASSU Constitution, Article V, §6, with
> the text:
>
> E. The President's Undergraduate Discretionary Funding Account & Budget
>
>    1. The President's Undergraduate Discretionary Funding Account (the
>    Fund) contains all monies that were originally derived from undergraduate
>    student fees, but were unspent at the end of the previous fiscal year.
>    2. The Fund is allocated at the discretion of the President of the
>    Association toward projects, services, and groups that benefit the
>    undergraduate population of the Association.
>       1. It is the intent of the Fund to be spent fully by the end of
>       Spring Quarter every year.
>       2. The Fund shall be spent within the educational purposes of the
>       University, within the mission of the Associated Students of Stanford
>       University, and within all University regulations and restrictions relating
>       to funds derived from University-collected fees.
>       3. The primary purposes of the Fund shall be: 1) to fund major
>       annual traditions that are enjoyed by a large majority of the undergraduate
>       population, and 2) to fund new initiatives, services, and groups that do
>       not have sufficient funding opportunities.
>    3. As soon as practical, and by October 1 each year, the President of
>    the Association shall approve a budget detailing the projects, services,
>    and groups toward which the Fund is to be allocated.
>       1. The Fund budget shall always be published publicly in as great
>       of detail as practical. The minimum level of detail required for each
>       allocation is: a description of the project, service, or group to which the
>       Fund is to be allocated; a description of how the allocation will benefit
>       the undergraduate population of the Association; and a full budget
>       detailing line-items for the allocation, their amounts, and a brief
>       description of the line-item.
>       2. The Fund budget may be amended from time to time at the
>       discretion of the President of the Association.
>       3. Within seven days of initial approval or any subsequent
>       amendment, the President of the Association shall distribute copies of the
>       new budget to the Undergraduate Senate and make a public announcement of
>       the approval or amendment. The President of the Association should
>       specifically highlight any new items
>       4. The Undergraduate Senate may reject the budget or any of its
>       line-items by 2/3 vote, provided that previous notice has been given for
>       such rejection. Upon rejection of any part of the budget, the Chair of the
>       Undergraduate Senate shall inform the Financial Manager. The Financial
>       Manager will not distribute any funds from those line-items, and to the
>       maximum extent practical, will reverse distributions already made.
>    4. No expenditures may be made directly out of the Fund; all monies
>    must be allocated to specific project, service, or group accounts prior to
>    being expended.
>    5. The Fund shall not be used to pay any salaries, nor to make any
>    capital expenditures, without the approval of the joint legislative bodies
>    of the Association.
>    6. The Financial Manager may refuse to fulfill any distributions or
>    expenditures that appear to have a conflict of interest with the President,
>    the Vice President, and/or his/her cabinet. If the Financial Manager
>    refuses to fulfill an action authorized by the President, the President may
>    petition the joint legislative bodies to approve the expense. Upon receipt
>    of a bill authorizing the expenditure that was passed by a 2/3 majority of
>    each body, the Financial Manager shall fulfill the expenditure.
>    7. All unspent monies allocated from the Fund shall return to the Fund
>    at the end of the fiscal year.
>
> **
>
> Amendment B: An Amendment to the ASSU Constitution
>
> to Create Upperclass Senate Seats
>
> ASSU-W2013-12
>
> Undergraduate students have long complained about the lack of
> representation across class years in their Undergraduate Senate; many
> Senators have historically been elected as Freshmen and serve as
> Sophomores. We, the undergraduate students of Stanford University, want to
> increase representation across class years within the student body. We want
> to allocate up to five seats for upperclassmen on the Undergraduate Senate,
> in order to increase upperclass interest in running for Senate and create a
> more equitable representation of our student interests.
>
> Eligible population to vote: Undergraduate students only.
> Sections of the Constitution affected: Article II, §3.A
>
> Action requested by the Undergraduate Senate:
>
> Previous notice, followed by ⅔ approval. (ASSU Constitution, Article VII,
> §1.B.2, §1.A, and §1.B.3)
> Action requested by the Elections Commission:
>
> Placement on the ballot for undergraduate students. (ASSU Constitution,
> Article VII, §1.A)
> Action requested by undergraduate students:
>
> ⅔ approval for ratification. (ASSU Constitution, Article VII §2)
>
> Text of the Amendment:
>
> The ASSU Constitution, Article II, §3.A is amended to read:
>
>    1. The fifteen members of the Undergraduate Senate shall be elected
>    from and shall represent the undergraduate population.
>    2. Each member of the undergraduate population voting may cast one
>    vote for as many Undergraduate Senate seats as are assigned to the
>    undergraduate population.
>    3. The upperclass candidates who receive the highest number of votes
>    among the upperclass candidates shall become members of the Undergraduate
>    Senate.
>       1. An upperclass candidate is a candidate who will, at the
>       beginning of Fall Quarter of his/her term, hold academic status as an
>       undergraduate junior or senior, as defined by the University.
>       2. There shall be a maximum of five upperclass candidates elected
>       under this section. Any upperclass candidates who are not elected under
>       this section may be elected under section 4.
>    4. After the upperclass candidates have been seated, all remaining
>    available seats shall be filled by the remaining candidates who receive the
>    largest number of votes, up to the maximum fifteen members.
>    5. If at any time more than one-third of the Undergraduate Senate
>    seats are vacant, the Undergraduate Senate shall immediately call a special
>    election to fill all vacant seats.
>
>
> The subsequent sections are renumbered accordingly.*
> *
> *
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Branden Crouch <bcrouc at stanford.edu>
> Date: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 6:43 PM
> Subject: [UG-Senate] Agenda for the March 12th Meeting of the UG Senate
> To: assu-senate at lists.stanford.edu
>
>
> To all,
>
>  Attached is the agenda for the March 12th, 2013 meeting of the
> Undergraduate Senate.  This will be the twenty-fifth official meeting of
> the Fourteenth Undergraduate Senate. The meeting will be held in Nitery
> 209 *at 7:00 PM**. *
>
> Clicking the link below will send you to the live agenda on googledocs:
> **
> *
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/12psoQtdvo7vNTYrxlX6N-aoEhnZZi27jBQjs6UfC4Os/edit
> *
> **
> Sincerely,
> Branden Crouch
> Chair of the 14th Undergraduate Senate
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> electcominternal_1213 mailing list
> electcominternal_1213 at lists.stanford.edu
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/electcominternal_1213
>
>


-- 
--
*Brianna Pang*

*Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU)*
Elections Commissioner 2012-13
510-318-1325 | alt email: bkpang at stanford.edu
elections.stanford.edu

Please send questions to elections at elections.stanford.edu for the quickest
response.
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