Amid Palestine Awareness Week, the cartoons of incoming speaker and political artist Eli Valley — posted last week in dorms and common spaces — have elicited widespread debate about community standards and the presence of anti-Semitism on campus. The flyers were posted and later voluntarily removed by Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and…
This past week, the ASSU debated a bill authored by the Director of Academic Freedom, Zintis Inde, that would force every student club to include a mandatory 120-word statement on all advertisements for their event. A paragraph-long statement may have to be included in every email, flyer and Facebook post regarding a speaker your club brings in the future, if this bill passes. If a club forgets to include the statement just four times over the span of two years, it could receive a “one year ban on funding,” according to an early draft of the bill. The statement itself is pretty basic: it notes that the ASSU does not necessarily endorse the speakers it funds, while simultaneously supports the value of free speech in campus dialogue. Even if we set aside for the moment the ethics of compelling groups to include this lengthy statement, one must question the necessity of the requirement itself.
A resolution requesting more mental health resources was passed, and four bills were introduced on prior notice in an unusually packed meeting including students recently elected to the GSC.
During the meeting, Senators voted on and unanimously passed two pieces of legislation, one of which confirmed Saturday’s preliminary election results. Additionally, two new bills, regarding campus free speech, were introduced and the bill on electoral reform, introduced at the last Senate meeting, was further discussed.
Following conservative outcry over protests of right-wing speakers on college campuses, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that threatens the denial of federal grants to colleges who do not uphold free speech on their campuses.
On Saturday, President Trump announced his intention to issue an executive order requiring American universities to maintain “free speech” on their campuses and threatened to withdraw federal funding from noncompliant institutions. Practical considerations aside – it’s not clear how this plan would be enacted – Trump’s message should trouble Stanford students because of the ways it mischaracterizes the state of free speech at schools like our own. These mischaracterizations feed into a narrative that has the potential to stifle, rather than protect, free speech on Stanford’s campus.
While Stanford is a private university, its website notes that “the federal government sponsors approximately 80 percent” of its 6,000-plus externally sponsored projects.