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Op-Ed: The choice is clear: Erica and Isaiah for ASSU Exec

As the student body will soon head to the polls, the decisions to be made are becoming clearer. I, Kojoh Atta, endorse Erica and Isaiah for ASSU Exec and believe they will best serve Stanford students through their combination of earnest energy and experience. As a first-generation and low-income student, the current co-president of the Black Student Union and former chair of the 19th Undergraduate Senate, I have had many amazing opportunities to learn, collaborate and grow with many different communities on campus. However, I also firmly believe that your resume alone does not serve you well in a role like ASSU Exec. I search for leaders who look forward with a clear and creative vision about what they would like to achieve, rather than simply resting on their “laurels.” What I like most about Erica and Isaiah’s vision for their term as Exec is that they emphasize community-building through uplifting others, and will not simply take credit for the hard work of others’ for their personal benefit. Having worked with both Erica and Isaiah in various forms, I am confident in their commitment to communities of color and FLI students at Stanford. Erica and Isaiah have a clear understanding of what is and is not feasible to achieve in a single year as Exec. They are passionate about achieving solutions to the needs of students, not just about empty rhetoric or virtue signaling. They are focused on achieving clear deliverables to the Stanford student body through diverse and team driven efforts to realize their various proposed policies and projects.

An effective inside and outside strategy is key to realizing change. There must be clear communication and collaboration between the activists who create the necessary outside pressure and student representatives who negotiate with administration officials to realize effective change. Throughout their time as undergraduates, Erica and Isaiah have shown their prowess in effectively addressing and communicating the concerns of the student body. While serving on the undergraduate senate with Erica, she worked with the Student Life Committee to reform the AlertSU process to include reforms such as trigger warnings which were a part of broader changes which made the alert system more consistent and professional. Erica and Isaiah have shown strong support for the FLI community here at Stanford as seen in their current work to clarify new 2019-20 financial aid policies which include the ability to receive reimbursements for extraneous class-related fees, their push for subsidized bus transportation to and from the airport and their vision for a ResEd fund for FLI students. They are also solid advocates for communities of color on campus as they have called for increased representation among faculty and TAs, hiring practices that reduce implicit bias and institutionalized diversity and inclusion trainings. There are many other reasons which I could discuss to explain my endorsement, but in order to save time and ink, I will end with on this note: When the polls open this Wednesday and Thursday, the choice for ASSU Exec is clear, and that choice is Erica and Isaiah for ASSU Exec.

— Kojoh Atta ’20

Contact Kojoh Atta at eatta ‘at’ stanford.edu

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