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Op-Ed: Statement from the Students of Color Coalition

The Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) is an organization dedicated to ensuring that people of color and our perspectives are represented on the ASSU senate. We are comprised of the Black Student Union (BSU), Asian American Student Association (AASA), Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO), National Association for the Advancement of Colored people (NAACP), and the Muslim Students Union (MSU). Our endorsement represents our faith in a candidate’s ability to advocate on our behalf. We chose this Executive Slate because year after year candidates make well-intentioned promises that they cannot keep. Erica and Isaiah stand out as candidates who can truly make good on their promises, and actually improve the campus climate for people of color.

Throughout her career at Stanford, Erica has focused on reclaiming freedom of speech as an issue for marginalized communities. She has fought to uplift the voices of communities of color in the ASSU. As a SOCC-endorsed senator two years ago, she co-wrote a bill denouncing islamaphobia. She has also served as co-chair of the ASSU Working Group on Academic Freedom – created by the ASSU in response to speakers invited by SCR and Cardinal Conversations. In response to Donald Trump’s announcement to reduce funding to universities who “restrict freedom of speech,” she wrote an op-ed articulating her goal to “reclaim campus dialogue from those who insist on redefining it in narrow terms.” She has also written bills and spoken out about the use of the Fundamental Standard on campus and is involved in the reformation of Cardinal Conversations.

Reclaiming free speech on our campus is deeply important to the communities we represent. Freedom of speech has been something leveraged against communities of color for the past two years in response to speakers invited by Cardinal Conversations and the Stanford College Republicans. Hateful incidents, such as the doxxing of community members after Robert Spencer’s lecture, have resulted in material harm to members of our communities that often goes unrecognized and unresolved. In the lack of institutional response that followed these incidents, Erica stepped up to help lead a student response within the ASSU and other spaces.

Isaiah’s involvement in Stanford in Government and ResEd is testament to his ability to expand access to opportunities that would go unnoticed by our community members. His institutional abilities will allow him to make practical positive changes on behalf of our communities. His recent Op-Ed calling for improvements from Res Ed and his experience as an RA in Meier position him well to advocate for issues communities of color face within a residential context: the value of ethnic theme dorms, as well as inclusivity and belonging in the broader residential experience. Within Stanford in Government, Isaiah served as the Co-director of Diversity and Outreach, and has used this role to increase the amount of our community members who have access to funding opportunities working within government. He has also been involved in conversations around mental health resources for community centers.    

Erica and Isaiah have an indescribable synergy. Their dynamic combination of ASSU and administrative experience at Stanford gives them an unmatched ability to accomplish change at this university. Their commitment to reform within institutional spaces and their detail oriented approach to solving problems sets them apart from their competition. They are above all else, people who have committed to being a part of and learning from each community of color that our organization represents. Students of color deserve to have their voices heard. Erica and Isaiah can make that happen.


Students of Color Coalition Leadership

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