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Pluralism and politics: seeing democracy at its best

During spring break, I co-led an Alternative Spring Break trip to Washington, D.C. on the theme of “Pluralism and Politics: Exploring Faith-Based Advocacy in American Society.” Before the trip, I wrote a reflection on my preliminary understanding of the role of faith in public life, hypothesizing that religion “illuminates our moral commitments,” “motivates us to act on our values” and “galvanizes productive engagement in democracy.”

Foreign Policy in the United States

The United States faces an increasingly urgent challenge: reevaluating how we choose and implement foreign policy. Currently, our government’s approach to foreign policy is paradoxically too democratic and not democratic enough. Presidents’ decisions to use force are strongly influenced by electoral incentives, but citizens have few opportunities to directly influence a specific decision about the…

Give frosh more all-campus options

On weekends here on East Campus, you will see a horde of frosh leave their dorms and begin the cold, hard journey to whatever fraternity is hosting an all-campus. I am often among them, wearing far too little in terms of clothing, muttering to myself, “It’s cold out, but I’m still dressing like a thotty ’cause a hoe never gets cold,” à la Cardi B.

Pluralism and politics: An optimistic hypothesis

In just a few days, winter quarter will be a fading memory and I will be on a plane to Washington, D.C.—the spring break destination of every Political Science major’s dreams. Over a year ago, my close friend Eliza Steffen ’20 and I decided to apply to lead a brand-new class for Alternative Spring Break (ASB), a program that offers a variety of intensive service-learning trips centered on a particular issue area or community experience. By integrating some of our favorite Political Science coursework with insights from advocacy experiences in our own faith communities, we sketched out an aspirational syllabus and itinerary for “Pluralism and Politics: Exploring Faith-Based Advocacy in American Society. ” To our pleasant surprise, the ASB team took a chance on our brainchild; a Google Doc that we’d dreamed up during spring break 2018 was to become a 1-unit course and weeklong trip for up to a dozen students.

American political celebrity

At a recent event for a 2020 Democratic hopeful, I was struck by a question from the audience. Cloaked in a floral dress and cool demeanor, the woman ever-so-slightly raised her hand. “I saw you speak in New York a few weeks ago. You were different – subdued, diplomatic, placating. Is this just the California version of you? Who’s the real you, Senator?”

The unbearable flakiness of being

In my experience, the longer one spends at Stanford, the flakier one gets. Maybe the correlation arises because we get busier, dealing with real-life concerns like too many darn internships to apply to and a p-set we should have started four days ago. Maybe we do it because, hey, this person flaked on me once, and morality is relative, so I can flake on them. So we can just shoot the subject of flakery a quick text (So sorry but…) and get back to the grind, supposedly.