“…and to all those who died, scrubbed floors, wept and fought for us.”
Despite advertising itself as a university that values diversity, equity, and inclusion on official websites and recruitment materials, students of color at Stanford often have a difficult time finding spaces where we actually feel included. Historically, students of color have have experienced violence and racism on this campus, necessitating safer, more inclusive spaces for these students. Recognizing a need for spaces dedicated specifically to center the experiences and healing of students from historically marginalized communities navigating Stanford, students advocated for the Ethnic Community Centers and Ethnic Theme Dorms we have today. The four Ethnic Theme Dorms (Muwekma, Okada, Casa Zapata, and Ujamaa) serve as spaces where students of color know that they will not only be included, but will be celebrated for their diverse backgrounds with an opportunity to engage critically in issues that affect communities of color. Ethnic Theme Associates (ETAs) serve as pillars of the Ethnic Theme Dorms, cultivating a community that engages in academic discourse, dialogue across difference, and the unpacking of political issues with personal ramifications. For us, these conversations are not just abstract academic concepts — they are discussions about, and informed by, our very own lived experiences. Given the normalization of racism and intolerance in today’s political climate, our communities are under attack more than ever, and the very existence of our ETA position and our dorm communities have been questioned and invalidated.
Monied clusters of Greek organizations, geographically segregated ethnic houses, and nepotistic, thematically-lifeless Row houses plague Stanford’s housing system, bemoan University administrators. Stanford has consequently adopted the belief that a vast overhaul of campus housing is the cure-all for these ills: the University’s ResX Task Force — a branch of Residential Education (ResEd), has recently been discussing what they call “the ideal neighborhood concept.” Substantive details on this proposed housing restructure are scarce. Nonetheless, we believe it would be useful to infer what the consequences of such systematic changes might be.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be disappointed to see the state of racial and social justice at this institution today. Disgusted, even. King would be disgusted by the fact that people of color—students, faculty, and workers—still must fight to be heard and supported on this campus and within our larger community.
Student sightings of a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle at the Oval Monday afternoon set in motion a wave of concern for the safety of undocumented students and workers on campus. The reason for the vehicle’s appearance on campus remains unclear, though no students or workers are known to have interacted with Border Patrol agents thus…
As part of Stanford’s ongoing Long-Range Planning process, the ResX Task Force has been working to develop a series of recommendations for improving residential life that will be presented to Provost Persis Drell at the end of fall quarter.
“The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes” (1988) by José Burciaga is one of Stanford’s most controversial murals. Its critics have raised a fuss over Burciaga’s choice to have socialist revolutionary Che Guevara depicted as a hero despite the atrocities he committed against Cubans during Fidel Castro’s rise to power. Residents of the Chicano/Latino theme dorm…
The Review’s article contains several serious misconceptions about ethnic theme housing at Stanford, and I’d like to present my own perspective from having lived in ethnic theme housing for a year and a half.