Students question provost on discipline of pro-Palestine protestors

Students who disrupted a Family Weekend event in February received service citations, which require several hours work at the Farm, in addition to other potential disciplinary consequences.

Undergraduate Senator Dawn Royster ’26 shared the update at the Senate’s Tuesday meeting, based on information from a Monday conversation with Provost Jenny Martinez and Stanford American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) social justice chairs. Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) representatives on the executive team and Undergraduate Senate (UGS) were also present at the conversation.

According to Royster, student representatives questioned administrators about the disciplinary action process when students violated University free speech policies. “They didn’t give me too much of a description of what the next level citations are,” Royster said.

Pro-Palestine students who established an encampment at White Plaza may face suspension and possibly legal action, according to a recent update from Martinez and President Richard Saller.

Senators echoed questions from student protestors about the scope and nature of disciplinary action, as negotiations continue between the University and pro-Palestine protestors, who hope to see the University divest from companies tied to the ongoing Israel-Gaza war and a statement of solidarity with Gaza.

Senators also encouraged students to complete the Higher Education Sexual Misconduct and Awareness (HESMA) survey.

ASSU Executive President Sophia Danielpour ’24 emphasized the survey’s importance: “It’s a great way to influence University policy as it relates to sexual violence prevention,” Danielpour said.

The HESMA survey is released every four years to evaluate how students understand sexual misconduct issues on campus. Students receive a $25 gift card as incentive to increase completion rates.

Senators also continued an ongoing conversation about legacy admissions, as UGS Co-Chair Diego Kagurabadza ’25 introduced a resolution that recommended Stanford end legacy preference. The resolution reaffirmed one passed last fall on affirmative action, which also called for an end to legacy admissions.

Another bill presented by Kagurabadza would create an advisory committee to review spending by volunteer student organizations. The aim of the committee is to encourage student leaders to be more mindful and ethical in funding decisions, especially as the ASSU is responsible for much of the student body’s spending, Kagurabadza said.

“The intention behind this bill is to [allow] students to provide concerns about how the funds are being used,” Kagurabadza said.

The committee would be responsible for three main tasks: Identify vendors alleged to have engaged in potentially unethical business conduct, investigate allegations and share recommendations with funding committees and the Stanford Student Enterprises board of directors on how to use allocated funds.

Danielpour took issue with the notion of establishing a “small group of students” to advise on ethical spending. She said the bill could potentially come across as “virtue signaling,” especially because the committee would only have the authority to provide advisory recommendations rather than requiring changes.

“The democratic process is a better way to adjudicate ethics,” Danielpour said.

Kagurabadza defended the bill. While the committee was only advisory, it would aid student leadership in avoiding unethical decision making on funding, he said. Senators tabled further discussion to another week.

The bills on legacy admissions and ethical spending were both also presented to and debated by the Graduate Student Council on Tuesday.

Elections Commissioner Amira Dehmani ’24 also presented a bill to senators that would certify the ASSU election results, which were preliminarily released on Sunday. The UGS will vote on the bill next week.

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