Once a week, early enough that the sun has barely risen, a small group gathers outside Green Library for an hour or so and chats. Seated around a table at Coupa Cafe, they discuss typical Stanford things: what classes to avoid, what grad schools to apply for, what articles they’ve been reading.
Controversial social scientist Charles Murray and Freeman Spogli Institute senior fellow Francis Fukuyama discussed inequality and populism at the Hoover Institute on Thursday night in the second of four Cardinal Conversations, a program that aims to promote open political discourse on campus.
The event had visibly low attendance, with most of the back segment — around 100 seats — of the 400-person auditorium unfilled. Towards the front of the room, multiple reserved seats were left empty, as were several in the first row.
Meanwhile, across the street at the History Corner, “Take Back The Mic” counter-programming protested Murray and statements he has made regarding the relationship between class, race and intelligence.
Approximately 4 percent of Stanford Ph.D. alumni currently work for the University, according to a 2013 study conducted by Institutional Research & Decision Support (IR&DS) in collaboration with the Office for the Vice Provost of Graduate Education (VPGE).
Factor in non-Ph.D. alumni working at the University, and the resulting group spans numerous departments including the Haas Center, the Diversity and First-Gen Office and the computer science (CS) department. Despite their vastly different positions and years of graduation, four Stanford alumni who now work within these departments at the University cited similar reasons for making their return.
Last Friday’s event entitled How Stanford Works tackled issues related to the University’s processes for enacting campus-wide policy changes. The program is the first installation of the Institutional Change at Stanford series hosted by Lily Zheng ’17 in collaboration with the ASSU.
Undeniably, institutions of higher education are important engines for economic mobility. And while the goals of the University are certainly broader than fattening the wallets of its students in the future, the greater challenge remains: What is the University’s obligation to affect inequality within itself, and what does it still owe to its students in this regard?
The last time I wrote for The Daily was to express my grief over the acquittal of George Zimmerman for his murder of Trayvon Martin. The event that sparks my return to a column is the murder of yet another young black person that has similarly gone unpunished. Last weekend, a Florida jury could not…