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Marc Tessier-Lavigne announces presidential bid

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Stanford’s current president, has announced that he will be opening an exploratory committee in what likely precedes a formal U.S. presidential campaign announcement. Tessier-Lavigne released his statement to service4all in an event that triggered many students to “reply all” and ask to be unsubscribed. Finally putting weeks of rumor to rest, Tessier-Lavigne aims…

Senate votes in favor of electoral reform, continues discussion on free speech in final meeting

At the last meeting of the 20th Undergraduate Senate, senators unanimously passed a bill certifying election results for the next term, continued discussion of a bill regarding the Associated Students of Stanford University’s (ASSU) role in free speech and passed a resolution standing in solidarity with the victims of police brutality on Yale’s campus.

Op-Ed: Ballot issues and the right to abstain

I voted in the recent ASSU election, and on many questions, the ballot prevented me from abstaining. For example, I only wanted to rank two of the Executive slates, but I was forced to rank all five. This led to my third, fourth, and fifth choices defaulting to the ballot’s random ordering. On the Annual Grants, I had to choose either “yes” and “no” for organizations I barely recognized. That can’t be the best way to allocate thousands of dollars.

Op-Ed: In support of Erica and Isaiah

If there is one thing that I walked away from my 19th Undergraduate Senate experience knowing for certain, it is that Stanford’s administration (President, Provost, Vice Provosts and their staff) requires student leaders who are willing to work collaboratively within existing systems to make change happen. This is not to say that existing systems should remain or that activism does not have a place in the ASSU, but rather that the most sustainable and lasting change comes about when students are able to bridge the gap between themselves and the administration. It is no coincidence that some of the movements that we have seen during the last years at Stanford have stalled while others, like the Serra-renaming, have moved forward. Activism is central to change on Stanford’s campus, especially as evidenced by SCOPE 2035 in the GUP process. However, the most effective models of leadership I have seen have been centered around a model in which the ASSU representatives have a different role than the activists: that of active student-administration collaboration within the university’s channels.