At the annual meeting of the Academic Council, Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Vice Provost Presisis Drell and members of the Faculty Senate presented on the three overarching themes in Stanford’s Long Range Plan (LRP)
On Wednesday night, Vice President for Campus Engagement Matthew Tiews led a town-hall brainstorming session to hear from first-generation and/or low-income (FLI) students about the ongoing Town Center Project.
Stanford Town Center Project’s design team aims to “reimagine the region around White Plaza as the heartbeat of the University,” said project lead and Associate Vice President for Campus Engagement Matthew Tiews.
In 1998, nearly one thousand Stanford graduate students staged a rally and camp-in protesting unaffordable campus housing options and financial insecurity. In the cold and rain of night, they pitched tents in the middle of Main Quad and covered them in signs that read, “Look Mom, no housing” and “Rent plus Ramen equals stipend.” Over 20 years later, the issues they raised continue to create significant hardship for many.
As student representatives, we seek to center student voices in everything we do. When we ran for ASSU Executive President and Vice President last spring, it was with three collective years of experience in working with administrators between the two of us. In so many of our meetings, we saw over and over that most University committees were content to do the bare minimum—if they had students on their committee their input would be considered, and if we were really lucky, the ASSU leadership would also be given an opportunity to provide input. We ran for our ASSU executive positions to counter this practice, and ensure that more student voice is heard than just ours as critical decisions are made. While many committees continue to struggle with this, ResX is one of three committees that’s gone above and beyond any other committees we’ve ever worked before.
Stanford’s off-campus engagement was a central theme of its Board of Trustees’ Feb. 11 and 12 meetings.
Monied clusters of Greek organizations, geographically segregated ethnic houses, and nepotistic, thematically-lifeless Row houses plague Stanford’s housing system, bemoan University administrators. Stanford has consequently adopted the belief that a vast overhaul of campus housing is the cure-all for these ills: the University’s ResX Task Force — a branch of Residential Education (ResEd), has recently been discussing what they call “the ideal neighborhood concept.” Substantive details on this proposed housing restructure are scarce. Nonetheless, we believe it would be useful to infer what the consequences of such systematic changes might be.
The Affordability Task Force is soliciting the input of faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and staff for its first Affordability Assessment to seek ways of easing the impact of Bay Area financial burdens.