Following an article published by The Stanford Review on the first day of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) elections, Students of Color Coalition (SOCC)-endorsed ASSU Executive candidate Michael Ocon ’20 denied allegations that he is affiliated with, and has received funding from, the conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA (TPUSA).
In June 2017, following the departure of Associate Vice Provost for Community Engagement and Diversity Nicole Taylor ’90, what was previously a unified unit of seven campus community centers under her lead was disassociated and replaced with an interim structure grouping some, but not all community centers. For community center advocates, that structural shift added to ongoing challenges in obtaining funds to meet centers’ needs 10 years after recession-era budget cuts.
Community centers’ push for increased resources – a perennial issue raised by student groups and representatives – has a long history. Challenges over the years range from a lack of professional staff and space for student groups to the threat of budget cuts affecting hours of operation and programming. This has led to a cycle of activism among students who hope to maintain and grow the community centers.
In order to move from these basic realities into more nuanced discussions on activism, resistance, survival, and healing, we must move past our fear of acknowledging racism. Only by confronting our own beliefs can we grow as individuals, as communities, and as a campus.
The ASSU Constitutional Council voted four in favor of Stanford Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) with one abstention on Wednesday after hearing arguments for “The Stanford Review v. SOCC” over the weekend.
When confronted with racial activism, rather than labeling it as overdramatic and annoying, consider that people of color have been fighting systems of oppression since the day they were born. And understand that their anger, no matter how aggressive, no matter how radical, and no matter repetitive, is justified.
Etchemendy’s comments prove that the university administration is out of touch with the conversations that have already been happening on campus and the struggle for justice worldwide. We have already transcended dialogue, and we’re ready for change.
Crying wolf on anti-semitism stifles legitimate open discussion and renders the term ‘anti-semitism’ severely weakened. As Jews, we must be vigilant in fighting anti-semitism on campus. We must be equally vigilant in fighting the abuse and misuse of the term.