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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.

Op-Ed: Kimiko and Bryce can get things done

I first met Kimiko at a meeting for the Students for the Liberation of All People, also affectionately known as SLAP. I came to know her as a dedicated activist, fighting for marginalized communities within Stanford and beyond the confines of campus. I met Bryce freshman year in my ESF seminar where I saw him be willing and unafraid to speak up for the things that were important to him. Over my past few years at Stanford, I have been able to witness both Kimiko and Bryce grow and develop into prominent change makers on campus. Based on their past successes, I firmly believe they will substantially improve the student experience at Stanford and address the concerns of Stanford’s most underserved communities. Simply put, Kimiko and Bryce know how to get things done, and that is why I am voting for them as ASSU Execs.

Editorial Board: A murky future for the Undergraduate Senate

This spring, The Daily interviewed and reviewed the platforms of 17 candidates running for the position of ASSU Undergraduate Senator. Of them, we ultimately decided to endorse six — roughly a third of our applicant pool. However, our vetting process revealed a concerning level of dissonance between many candidates’ perception of the Senate, as well as institutional processes, and the realities of how student government functions and interfaces with the University at-large. We suspect this dissonance is precisely what feeds into what is widely considered to be an inefficient and uninformed elected Senate.