The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4,1968 had a ricocheting effect across the world and especially at Stanford. Although tragic, his death created an impetus for Stanford’s Black Student Union (BSU) to create change on campus.
Black Student Union
At the Feb. 26 meeting of the ASSU Undergraduate Senate, senators passed a bill to extend the ASSU elections declaration deadline from March 1 to March 8.
When it was founded in 1891, Stanford was ahead of its time: The school did not charge tuition fees, it admitted women and it had no religious affiliation. There were Asian American and Native American students in the first classes. But despite these measures, Stanford was, for the first 70 years of its history, overwhelmingly male – and even more overwhelmingly white.
“The ante has been upped emotionally for you with Trayvon Martin,” said Stanford parent and attorney Simona Farrise to an audience at the Black Community Services Center (BCSC) Friday afternoon. “We have become comfortable with police officers, under the color of the law, killing young black men — now we have gone another step and said, ‘An ordinary person who I might see in the grocery store, who has no training, no license, no right – nothing — can just shoot somebody down and it will be okay.’”
The Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) hosted an information session Thursday to discuss their endorsement process for ASSU candidates. About 15 attendees, almost entirely freshman, expressed interest in running for the ASSU Undergraduate Senate during the meeting.
It’s a wonder that students living in Toyon Hall ever get any work done. Performance groups of all types looking for a small venue with good acoustics gravitate to the all-sophomore dorm’s main lounge to host their events. The most recent group to throw their hat in the fray is the Black Student Union, whose event, “Let’s Stay Together: Black Love 2012,” packed that main lounge to capacity on Tuesday night.
Black History Month kicked off at Stanford Monday evening with a panel of three of the original Freedom Riders, civil rights activists who participated in the iconic Freedom Rides, a series of bus trips from Washington, D.C., to the Deep South in 1961.