We Stand For Diversity and Inclusion
We believe that the strongest advocates partner with groups rather than speak for groups. It’s important to us to bring diverse voices to the decision-making table and amplify voices that have historically been excluded from conversations. Our slate is uniquely positioned to represent the interests of both undergraduate and graduate students, something that has only been done once before and hasn't been done in the last two decades.
- Increase Community Center Funding - As our communities face continuous threats and challenges, we must ensure that students have the resources to be resilient and thrive. We will advocate throughout the University budget submission process to Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, to increase her request for community center funding. We know, however, that Provost Drell is the ultimate decision-making authority when it comes to the University’s annual budget and from day one we will meet with the Provost to emphasize the resources that community centers provide students and the need for increased funding for these communities.
- Institutionalize Student Center(ed) Perspectives - Members of my Senate started the first ever Student Center(ed) Perspectives event to increase dialogue between ASSU leaders and student staff at community centers. Shanta had the opportunity to attend this event and see first hand how valuable this exchange and conversation was to all who attended. We hope to institutionalize this event under the ASSU Executive Cabinet so that it can continue on next year and beyond because we know that transfer of knowledge and continuity between Senates is more challenging than transitions between ASSU Execs.
- Hold Office Hours in Community Centers - It is not the responsibility of communities to educate us, rather it is our responsibility to proactively seek input from students at community centers. We are committed to holding office hours as ASSU Exec to be accessible to all students, however, we hope to hold some of these office hours in community centers so that we are reaching out to constituencies that we care about and are better able to represent them.
- Academic Resources - We will also push for greater academic resources and consideration of FLI students at the school level, such as additional grants for summer research and internships as well as greater inclusion of FLI issues as part of both undergraduate and graduate diversity efforts.
- Diversity in the Field - The past 3 ASSU Executives have championed a "diversity in the field" initiative that has gradually produced meaningful classes that engage with diversity challenges in a variety of disciplines. Shanta had the opportunity to take one of these classes (ENGR 117) last quarter and experience first-hand how valuable this kind of curriculum is to students, especially students who are underrepresented in their chosen field and often feel alone. It is vital that as this initiative starts to pick up speed, next year's Exec continue to build upon this program and further expand it to other disciplines.
- Support Disability Community - We intend to partner with student advocacy organizations such as Power2ACT to advocate for improved resources for students with disabilities. In particular, we hope to uplift the voices of disability community members as they advocate for the development of a Disability Studies program at Stanford including an introductory class offered each year and, eventually, an undergraduate minor, continue the push for a permanent community center on campus for students with disabilities with a full time director, promote the principles of universal design in all new campus projects including for educational resources and physical spaces, and ensure the inclusion of disability in campus discussions of diversity and marginalized communities.
- Careful Vetting of Invited Speakers - While we echo the university’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas, we also believe in fostering meaningful conversations intended to promote critical thinking rather than those that may seek to increase division on campus and build solidarity around extreme, hateful positions. The opportunity to speak at Stanford University is a privilege reserved for only a limited number of invited guest speakers each year. It is up to our community to ensure that we invite speakers whose ideas are worthy of debate and who are open to challenges and intellectual discussion.
- Responsive to National Politics - ASSU Exec must be responsive to national politics and conversations and also prod the Stanford administration to be responsive if they are hesitant. As the Trump administration aggressively rolls back our civil rights and other protections, we must be prepared to support our student body that will undoubtedly be affected. We also have an opportunity, however, to use Stanford’s platform to challenge the narrative and lead the resistance when appropriate. The Stanford administration was very vocal in their opposition to Trump’s decision to end DACA and the portions of the tax reform bill that would have been detrimental to graduate and coterm students.