Tag Archives: community

Celebration, Culture, Community

by Hiroshi Ishii-Adajar, ’16

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I was recently working on homework amidst the rush of preparation of Pilipino Cultural Night (a showcase of Filipino culture through theatre and dance), and I read Sammie Wills’ stance on why cultural shows make her cry.  Her thoughts prompted me think about the evolution of my take on culture, especially after entering college.

As a high school, I despised what I perceived as “culture.”  This dislike was partially fueled by the way it tempered the lens through which people viewed me, a.k.a the stereotype.  Even deeper than that, however, the word “culture” seemed to imply to me that everyone belonged to one; as a man of mixed descent whose “cultures” have little in common, and one of which has oppressed the other, I could not identify strongly with any established culture.  “So create your own,” one might say.  But what is a culture that only you belong to?  Most people just call that a personality.  So I festered in my moral relativistic distaste of my cultural heritage. Continue reading

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Class Confessions on Campus

by the FLIP Leadership Core

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The Stanford First Generation and/or Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) recently hosted a workshop called “Class Confessions” where students of all class backgrounds were invited to discuss our socioeconomic status secrets and share ideas for how to move toward a more honest and inclusive campus community. Over 50 students showed up, eager to engage in Stanford’s first cross-class discussion space.

Before the event, we asked people to submit their “Class Confessions,” or instances in which they had covered their class identities. We displayed these anonymous revelations at our workshop, where attendees could read and reflect on their peers’ class secrets. Here is a sampling of the more than 80 confessions, which were split evenly between students who identified as having class privilege, and those who did not:

  • When I was abroad, I pretended to be extremely sick because I wanted people to stop asking me why I couldn’t buy a plane ticket to explore nearby countries during a long weekend.
  • I use my knowledge about financial aid to pretend that I receive it when talking to friends and acquaintances.
  • I bought a smartphone and pay for the much more expensive plan to fit in with the rest of my friends whose parents pay their phone bills. Continue reading
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Teaching Students to Give Back

by Sarah Moore, ’15 + Josee Smith, ’15

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There are many student groups on campus devoted to improving the academic lives of elementary school students in subjects like reading, math, and computer proficiency, for example.

While we understand that this academic support is beneficial and important for the child, we also believe that it is important to promote the values of giving back to one’s community.

We are interested in expanding the outlook of local children’s lives to include more than just their friends and families, but also the other people in their communities, such as senior citizens, un-housed individuals, and the underprivileged.

With this goal in mind, we would like to start a student group to lead a local after-school program dedicated to teaching elementary school kids about the importance of becoming an involved member of their community, through various activities such as community service, lessons on character enrichment, the promotion of helpful attitudes, etc. Continue reading

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