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GSC discusses diversifying graduate admissions, rebranding ASSU and SSE

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In a brief meeting Wednesday night, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) discussed a new initiative to diversify graduate student admissions and an update on the rebranding project piloted by the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) and Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE).

Fourth-year mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Yiqing Ding announced that councilors are have initiated conversations about remodeling race and ethnicity in graduate student applications. Fourth-year immunology Ph.D. student Lawrence Bai met with the Asian American Activities Center (A3C) assistant director and graduate admissions to discuss this project.

“We want to allow students to further talk about their identities in surveys as well as diversity the graduate student body,” said fourth-year theater and performance studies student Kari Barclay ’20, who is working alongside Bai.

Councillors decided to discuss the topic at future meetings.

SSE Marketing Director Amy Kang ’21 and ASSU Financial Manager LoMo Phillips ’17 presented the progress made towards their rebranding project announced last year, which reflects an effort to unify both groups under the same fundamental values.

In the presentation, Kang discussed five core values that SSE and ASSU will share: accessibility, transparency, advocacy, equity and growth. Several councilors, including fourth-year law and international policy student Julia Neusner J.D. ’20 M.A. ’20, felt the word “growth” should be changed to reflect the goals of the two organizations.

“The word that I came up with is enrichment, as opposed to ‘growth,’” Neusner said.

Kang and Phillips also discussed new brand messaging pillars, which represent the goals of both the SSE and the ASSU. They then asked graduate students to critique these pillars.

Second-year law student Chris Middleton ’21 proposed that these pillars should discuss efficiency.

“In general, a lot of my peers who didn’t come here as undergrads still don’t know how things work,” Middleton said. “For them, orientation wasn’t enough to give them a full understanding of Stanford, and I think that efficiency is important to address.”

Kang concluded the presentation by stating that the SSE and ASSU are looking at logos through their design agency. She hopes that these new logos will come out by the end of fall quarter and announced that events will be held to lead up to the official rebranding.

R&DE representatives spoke primarily about the Escondido Village Graduate Residences (EVGR), stating that there will be a community update meeting on Wednesday to provide specific details regarding parking.

The representatives also confirmed that rates for these residences will be published online in the middle of next quarter.

Ding expressed his interest in touring Escondido Village, which the R&DE representatives say may be possible in the future.

“I live off-campus, and my friends and I want to see what the EVGR will look like,” Ding said. “A lot of students that I talk to want to move on campus, and a tour would be a great way for us to know of our options.”

R&DE representatives agreed to further look into tours and told councilors that they would work on using a 360-degree camera for virtual tours once the residences are furnished.

Contact Camryn Pak cpak23 ‘at’ stanford.edu

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Camryn Pak '23 is a desk editor for news. She is majoring in American Studies with a focus on Inequality, Media and the Law. Contact her at cpak23 'at' stanford.edu.