Stanford starts disciplinary referrals but allows encampment to remain

The University will start to issue disciplinary proceedings against demonstrators who participated in an attempted takeover of the mechanical engineering building May 20, President Richard Saller told the Faculty Senate at a meeting last week. Protesters entered the building, constructed barricades and vandalized the interiors.

In a follow-up statement released May 23, Saller wrote that disciplinary proceedings continue against students involved in the pro-Palestine encampment in White Plaza. The University is “putting the names of those who identified as having set up the camp through the OCS (Office of Community Standards) process,” Saller said. 

Students who OCS identified as participants in the May 20 incident in addition to the encampment — a second violation — will face suspension.

But Stanford won’t clear the encampment. Saller said observing unrest on other college campuses, including over an encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles, led him to believe that “forcible clearing of the camps has not been a permanent solution for peace on campus in the long run.”

“It is not the case that the only way to deal with these situations is to get police forces to take over the camps,” Saller said.

Graduate School of Business professor Jonathan Berk advocated for stricter repercussions.

“When are we going to say to these students that it’s a privilege to be at Stanford? If you continuously violate this many University rules, you don’t belong at this university,” Berk said.

As president, Saller said that he only holds the authority to suspend or expel students who directly threaten public safety — a criteria he said was met by the attempted takeover at the mechanical engineering building.

Faculty gather for the Faculty Senate meeting on May 23.
Provost Jenny Martinez presents a slideshow that details the 2024-25 annual budget report at the Faculty Senate meeting on May 23. (Photo: CHARLOTTE CAO/The Stanford Daily)

Provost Jenny Martinez introduced a $9.7 billion annual budget for the 2024-25 academic school year, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees in June for approval. 

Under the new budget, tuition rates will increase by 5% for undergraduates and 4% for most graduate programs. Room and board will increase by 7%.

Martinez said that the University will also allocate $2.1 billion of the budget to the non-discretionary General Fund and an additional $3.6 billion to the 3-year capital plan, which comprises all construction projects and infrastructure on campus.

The team of 14 faculty members who created the budget focused on enhancing teaching and research, implementing a stronger salary program for faculty, staff and post-doctoral candidates and saving “rainy day” funds for the future, Martinez said.

“We will continue, in the coming years, to look at how we … support our people and make sure that we’re spending the money in the best way possible to address those affordability issues and building some capacity in the long term,” she said.

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