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The slow demystification of Stanford

As frosh, so many of us see Stanford as the paradise we want it to be. We go into our classes ready to learn, make new friends in our residences and student groups and revel in the social and academic opportunities that seem delivered into our waiting hands. We don’t need to think about the vast Stanford bureaucratic machine because all the cogs are turning quietly in our favor (Stanford really does value their frosh), and if they aren’t, our gratitude for being on this campus threatens to overwhelm any feeling of unease or discomfort here. Stanford starts out as a black box: through some magic we cannot see, the time and energy we put into campus life comes back out as thrill, excitement, satisfaction, and achievement.

Once more, the double life

It’s a little hard being at Stanford when the world is falling apart.

This summer, we watched as thousands upon thousands of Indigenous people and communities gathered to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. We mourned the seemingly endless deaths of Black and brown people executed by police across the nation, grieved for the queer Latinx people killed in the Orlando, Florida shooting, raged at trans whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s solitary confinement sentence after her suicide attempt.

Embracing the contradictions of change from within

I headed into the keynote address at the Graduate School of Education’s SWAYWO conference this past weekend fully expecting a non-controversial, vaguely inspirational talk on the importance of education and educators. So I was surprised to see Uma Jayakumar, an associate professor at the University of San Francisco, speak candidly and incisively on affirmative action,…

Why your brave space sucks

I can’t recall how long it’s been since I’ve heard the term “safe space,” but it’s clear to me that it has fallen out of favor among educators and academics. I remember when I started interacting with the idea in my frosh year, when I learned that a safe space was a place where individuals…