Posts Tagged ‘assu elections’

Enough is Enough: the ASSU Titanic

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

This article reflects my opinions on the current student government and the upcoming ASSU election.

I’m pulling the Brett Favre clause and coming out of retirement on writing about the ASSU.

Why?  Because, at a certain point, misconduct and misrepresentation become so blatant that something must be done.  The current ASSU Vice President should not be reelected.  Period.  Freshmen: this is for context.  Upperclassmen: for the love of God and Stanford, please vote.

This is the man who brought you forty page life plans.  The man whose laundry list of goals included bringing the most entrepreneurial animal to campus.  Whose student government claimed the title of “world’s most effective and innovative student government” before the school year had begun.  Whose campaign of “transparency” produced emails that were cut off due to exceeding Gmail length limitations.

Those things were harmless and mostly just lame.  But recent discoveries have surpassed the realm of the pathetic and entered that which is morally dubious and downright reprehensible.

Coming soon to a Newsfeed near you. (photo credit: Sam D'Amico)

Consider the following:

If the ASSU President serves as the face of the Stanford student body, is this the face we want?

In the words of philosopher George Santayana, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  We will all live with the consequences of this year’s election for a year to come.  Make your voice heard and VOTE on April 12 at  

To use your own words, Stewart:  #BOOM.

The Moral Implications of Special Fees

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Student election season is here again, which mostly means that a bunch of freshmen are scrambling to find rides to Kinko’s to print their best puns. Regardless of which 15 undergraduates are elected to the ASSU Undergraduate Senate, this year’s campaign season has brought to light a far more interesting, and far more contentious, aspect of the elections process: student group special fees.

I think it is fair to say that just about everyone is confused about special fees. Special fees is an amorphous vat of money outside of general fees to fund student groups that can’t be funded through normal bureaucratic channels, and as such it is inherently confusing: since it is essentially impossible for the average student to try and understand the intricacies of the ASSU funding system, let alone each of the 600 student groups’ funding needs, voters are unable to understand why or for what a group should receive special fees.

If this chimpanzee had applied for special fees, he would likely have been violating the principle of universalizability.

Because of this system, groups take advantage of the system and stretch the boundaries of special fees legitimacy. This issue was brought to light by the special fees petition of the members of the Stanford Flipside, in which they requested 7,000+ dollars to buy themselves a Segway scooter. The Flipside’s satire attracted a fair amount of attention, and certainly achieved its satirical mission: it made clear that the special fees process has enormous, easily exploitable loopholes. The Flipside has exposed the problems with special fees that other groups have been abusing for years. The actions these groups are taking are, in my opinion, wrong: it is immoral for students to game the special fees process at the expense of other students. But why?

After thinking about this issue, I believe it is possible to create a coherent moral justification for rewarding special fees money. There are right and wrong actions for student groups requesting special fees to take, independent of other student groups’ actions or the rules of special fees. Just because the law does not prohibit an action does not make it morally justifiable, nor does the fact that other groups are acting immorally condone one’s immoral actions.


TUSGraph: Election Time

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010