Katie Hufker (Undergraduate Senate candidate)
- Candidate statement
Hi! My name is Katie Hufker and I am a junior majoring in Computer Science. I decided to run for Senate because I’m really interested in working with the administration to tackle big problems like sexual violence and mental health and making sure that student groups get the funding they need.
Through serving as the financial officer for the Band, Kids with Dreams, and the Undergraduate Catholic Student Association, I have gained a good understanding of how the current funding system works and have ideas on how to improve it. First, I want to proactively work with financial officers from a variety of groups to set funding policies that ensure that groups have what they need to be successful and are fiscally responsible. Second, I want to ensure that Senate is transparent with groups throughout the funding process to make sure they understand the process, are notified of any changes from previous years, and know as soon as possible what will and won’t be funded and why. In addition, I want to proactively help groups seek other funding when appropriate to help keep the activity fee from increasing.
I also want to make some changes to the Annual Grant process so that it ensures that students, not the ASSU, have the final say and groups can get the funding they need while keeping the activity fee as low as possible. This year, I successfully helped argue a Constitutional Council case against the Senate when they tried to deny groups from petitioning for things that went against the Senate's guidelines. While students must have the final say, I agree with the Senate's concerns that we still need to keep the activity fee as low as possible. I think both of these concerns can be addressed by making sure to recommend groups for necessary funding so they only have to petition for an additional increase or specific line items. This way, when people sign petitions, they won't be deciding whether a group should get any funding, but whether they should get a significant increase or whatever line item the Senate takes issue with. This will give the students more control over what is and isn't funded, which should keep the process democratic while preventing fee increases.
Sexual Assault is one of the biggest issues on campus and we have a responsibility to take steps to prevent it and support survivors. First, we should make sure that students are trained in bystander intervention techniques and are knowledgeable about the options available if them or a friend encounters sexual violence. Second, we must make sure that the university is objectively evaluating the pilot Title IX process and making changes based off of feedback. We should push to allow survivors to have more than one support person with them throughout the often long and difficult process. In addition, we should continue to look into options like Callisto that can make the process easier on survivors. Finally, we should make sure the university continues to support the SARA office and the confidential support team and work with student groups currently involved in activism regarding sexual violence to make sure they have the resources they need.
As Stanford can be a stressful place and many mental health issues emerge around the age when most students attend college, it is crucial that students are adequately supported. First, we should make sure that students are knowledgeable about basic mental health first aid and the resources available on campus. We should also encourage the university to increase mental health resources, such as by hiring more CAPS counselors from diverse backgrounds and putting them in accessible places around campus such as community centers and housing front desks. I will work to to increase campus dialogue surrounding mental health to help destigmatize it and encourage students to reach out for help. Finally, I will work to make sure that student groups actively working on mental health issues have the funding, publicity, and access to administrators that they need.
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