November 28, 1972
Mr. Scott Burke
Associated Students of Stanford University
Tresidder Memorial Union
Dear Mr. Burke:
The President, by delegation from the Board of Trustees, is empowered to approve all amendments to the ASSU Constitution. This letter is to inform you of my approval of the amendments to the ASSU Constitution passed by the student body on October 5 and 6, 1972, and to describe procedures for their implementation which I believe are relevant and necessary to ensure that the procedures of the ASSU are in accord with University procedures. I ask that this letter be incorporated with the text of the Constitution.
The amendments concerning changes in the Student Senate and new recall procedures for ASSU officers are accepted without interpretation. I hope that these changes will help the ASSU Senate to be an effective voice in the Stanford community.
I accept the revision to Article II, 9A with the understanding that it applies to the ``nomination'' of student members, with appointment made by the Board of Trustees as has been the practice.
The amendments to the ASSU fee assessment procedures must be implemented so that they mesh with the University procedures for the collection of approved fees. There are two administrative requirements. First, the results of the referendum authorizing a fee, properly certified in accordance with the ASSU Constitution and By-Laws, must be approved by the President. Second, the Registrar must be notified of any such approved fee at a time sufficiently in advance of the end of a quarter so that he can include information about the fee in the advance registration materials if the fee is to be collected in the following quarter. At present these two requirements make it necessary that the President be given the certified results of a fee referendum no later than three working days prior to forty days before the end of the quarter preceding the quarter in which the fee is to be collected. This time requirement may be changed if the Registrar agrees that he needs less than forty days notice, the time now required, in order to get the fee information into the advance registration materials. In the event of such an agreement the certified results should be provided the President three working days before the deadline established by the Registrar.
It should be recognized that these time requirements necessitate the initiation of any fee referendum very early in any quarter if it is intended that the fee is to be collected in the following quarter. Indeed, it seems that the ASSU Constitutional requirements of notice, plus the requirements of certification, approval and notice to the Registrar could (given the current needs of the Registrar), most likely be met only if the process leading to a referendum were begun two quarters in advance of the quarter in which the fee is to be collected. In this connection, attention should be paid to the fact that Spring Quarter is usually the shortest quarter, about seventy-three days. It would thus be difficult at best to meet the ASSU notice requirements and the Registrar's current needs if the process for collection of a fee in Autumn Quarter did not commence until the beginning of Spring Quarter. I understand that you are presently in consultation with the Dean of Student Affairs with regard to how best to schedule referenda for the remainder of this year. It would be prudent if each year the ASSU officers agreed with administration representatives on the scheduling requirements. This could avoid misunderstanding at some later time.
I wish to emphasize that the burden of complying with these amendments rests solely with the officers of the ASSU. We will not consider the results of a referendum until they are formally transmitted to the President by the appropriate ASSU officer, certified in accordance with ASSU procedures. The Registrar will not include any notice of the fees, and the University will not collect said fees unless the officers of the ASSU meet the necessary time requirements. This stipulation supports the autonomy which is fundamental to the effective functioning of the ASSU.
Finally, I am happy to express my best wishes to the Association
in its new attempts for vitality and prosperity.
William F. Miller
Vice President and Provost
and Acting President