Op-ed: Stanford Conservative Society and the Refund Rate

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While eating dinner in Wilbur on Jan. 19, I spotted a flyer on the table announcing that there is only one more day to request a Student Activity Fee refund. The flyer was sponsored by the Stanford Conservative Society. I am curious as to why an American flag was featured prominently on the flyer. Is this implying that it is patriotic to request a refund?

I have nothing against conservatives on campus; many of my close friends are conservatives. However, I am appalled by the association of the Stars and Stripes with not supporting student groups on campus. I understand that students do have the right to request their money back, but is it the “American” thing to do? Are we not defending freedom by funding groups that express a variety of opinions, some shared by us and some not, ranging from music groups to club sports teams to cultural and political groups (for a full list go to elections.stanford.edu and view election results)? These groups are what make our community so vibrant and encourage us to examine our own viewpoints and better understand those of others.

While we may not be directly involved in many of these groups, they still affect us. The band plays at our games, we are serenaded by musical groups and the SHPRC and The Bridge are always there for us. Our student groups are a microcosm for American culture, a beautiful mural of diverse ideas; one of the greatest benefits of attending college is to be challenged by diverse ideas, is it not?

Reed Thayer

Class of 2013

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