Tag Archives: diversity

Why You Should Take CSRE 26SI

by Holly Fetter, ’13

One of the most distinctive factors that sets Stanford apart from other universities is its diversity — diversity of perspectives, experiences, identities, origins, beliefs. It’s a word that’s used so often that it almost lacks meaning, like “multicultural” or “entrepreneurial.” Even the Dictionary.com definition is wack — “Diversity: the state of being diverse.” Roughly half of Stanford students self-identify as people of color. Unlike certain East Coast institutions of higher learning, this campus has been open to all genders since its founding. 15% of Stanford students are the first in their families to attend college, and 75% students receive some form of financial aid. Yes, our student population represents a variety of different identities. We coexist in residence halls, student groups, frat parties. We’re a very “multicultural” mix.

But are we really equipped to handle our differences? What do we do when it gets messy? How do we deal when we’re not sure if our words are accidentally transphobic, or that our actions make students from different class backgrounds feel uncomfortable? It’s super important that we each go beyond being best friends or “colorblind” classmates, and make the effort to educate ourselves on how to be active allies in the face of prejudices, both subtle and overt. An “ally” is someone who supports members of community/ies to which they do not personally belong, through interrupting injustice at a personal and/or institutional level. Learning how to be an ally can help us through those awkward encounters with -isms and -phobias that might otherwise leave us feeling powerless and uncomfortable. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Contemplating the Contemplation Center

by Holly Fetter, ’13

I’d like to go on a brief rant about a piece of news in today’s Daily. The following headline fills the top right corner of the cover page: “Trustees pass funding for new center: Board signs off on 4.2 million for ‘contemplation center.’”

At first glance, I thought this was a Flipside article. 4.2 million dollars? For a “contemplation center”? What does that even mean?

But alas, it’s real. The Stanford Board of Trustees has allocated $4.2 million to build a 4,000 square-foot contemplation center “where people can sit and contemplate” while enjoying abstract expressionist art. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Blasting the Canon: On the Need for Inclusive Syllabi

by Jovel Queirolo, ’14

As an overeager high school senior, I unknowingly submitted myself to four years of stereotypes and no years of the dreaded IHUM – I decided to do SLE. Structured Liberal Education (SLE) is a Stanford program that offers first year students the opportunity to learn about history, literature, philosophy, and art without having to leave their dorm. At this time last year, our SLE cohort excitedly began the treacherous journey into modernity. I expected that the spring quarter readings would really resonate with us Millenials, but I found myself disappointed. For my final paper, I decided to review my intellectual experience in SLE in an effort to understand the dissonance I was feeling between my life and those we studied. I analyzed our “great books” syllabus and found that 6 out of 60 authors and thinkers were women, and predominantly white, upper class men filled the other 90% of the curriculum. With the ratio of female and male students and section leaders at about 1:1, I began to wonder what it means to receive a liberal education that so blatantly excludes other identities in this postmodern era. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,