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.
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.
Unlike last year, the organizers decided not to be formally affiliated with the National Women’s March this year in an effort toward inclusivity and in light of the controversies surrounding the organization.
On Thursday, members of the Stanford community gathered in a rally to support the rights of intersex, transgender and gender-expansive people in opposition to a recently leaked Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) memo.
Wednesday’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) meeting focused on discussions about how to support gender inclusivity on and off of Stanford’s campus.
On Thursday, the Stanford Historical Society and Roble resident fellows Jeffrey Ball and Becky Bull hosted a discussion on Roble’s history of equality and diversity, to celebrate the dorm’s centennial anniversary.
On Aug. 15, the Green Earth Sciences Building introduced the University’s first multi-occupancy, all-gender restrooms to be in a academic or administrative building. This is a departure from the University’s prior practice of converting only single-stall public restrooms into gender-inclusive spaces, as required by California state legislation Assembly Bill (AB) 1732 since Mar. 1, 2017.
Stanford will rename the Serra freshman dorm and Serra House, two campus buildings honoring California mission system founder Father Junipero Serra, who has drawn sharp criticism for his mistreatment of Native Americans.
Stanford will also seek to rename Serra Mall, pending the approval of Santa Clara County and the U.S. Postal Service. This would change the University’s official address, which is currently 450 Serra Mall. If approved, Serra Mall will become Jane Stanford Way in honor of the University’s co-founder.