Tag Archives: Holly Fetter

Why I Majored in CSRE

by Holly Fetter, ‘13

IMG_4494Holly Fetter, a Senior graduating with a B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, was asked to give a speech at the 2013 CSRE Commencement. Here’s what she said.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m White.

I may have DJed a quinceañera and I might be an outstanding dancer, but alas, I am a person of pallor.

And, I’m a Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity major.

Given this unusual pairing, I always get one of two reactions from fellow White people who seem to forget that we have races and ethnicities, too.

The first is the classic, “Oh! Wow! That’s so… interesting!” This usually comes from confused people who are too polite to ask clarifying questions.

But the second, more common, reaction is a little more honest: “Race and what? Why are you majoring in that?” Given the apparent paradox of a White person studying race, this is usually followed by awkward laughter.

And most of the time, I just laugh along with them. Sometimes I’ll respond with a vague, “Yeah, it’s a great major.”

But as I reflect on my experience (at the wise, old age of 22), I realize that I’ve never really explained to anyone why I chose to declare CSRE – not even to my family.

So let me take this chance to explain to y’all why I chose this major, and why I now know it’s undoubtedly the best one at Stanford. Continue reading

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The Illusion of Isolation

by Holly Fetter, ‘13

This piece focuses on a post written by Jason Lupatkin for The Stanford Review, entitled “Why You Cannot Vote for SOCC.”  (The uncensored version is here, the updated version is here, and you can read a comparison of the two versions here).

The “Duck Syndrome” metaphor isn’t just for stress and health — we should use it to talk about race, too.

Sometimes, it’s easy to pretend that we’re a bunch of differently-hued ducks, floating peacefully in a multicultural pond of joy. We have FACES during NSO, “Crossing the Line” as awkward frosh, and we’re good to go.

But then the Jason Lupatkin ducks come along, and write blog posts like this one, and remind us that our diverse world isn’t so calm after all — there’s a lot of turbulence and chaos below the surface that’s rarely exposed.

If there’s one thing I appreciate about Lupatkin’s post, it’s that he had the courage to say what he said. Continue reading

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Stanford Students on Marriage Memes

by Holly Fetter, ’13

You’ve undoubtedly seen an onslaught of red squares in your newsfeed this week as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national LGBT rights organization, has encouraged supporters of marriage equality to display their politics via their profile photos. A red and pink version of the ubiquitous HRC logo has been consuming Facebook alongside many creative reinterpretations, including my personal favorite — the Tilda Swinton one. (Is it a political commentary? Is it a meta meme? We may never know).

But what do all these symbols mean? And what’s the difference between = and > and Paula Deen? I asked several Stanford students to share their thoughts on what these images mean to them.

>I have the ‘greater than’ symbol, as a symbol of solidarity with all those whose relationships and models of community and care are excluded from the state’s recognition of marriages, and a statement that our queerness neither begins nor ends at assimilation.  Marriage is not a ‘first step’ that has the potential to launch more conversation; it is, right now, an eclipsing step, that has overdetermined LGB politics in the US and erased much of the history of queer resistance pioneered by people of color, low-income queers, and trans* people.
—Alok Vaid-Menon, ’13

Continue reading

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Dispelling Myths about Stanford Activism

by Holly Fetter, ’13

I’ve seen quite a few dudes in The Daily making assumptions about activist communities on campus, so I thought I’d attempt to counter a few common generalizations. (Note that, as there is not one unified activist space on campus, I am only offering my personal perspective informed by my personal experience with political work at Stanford).

1. There is more than one definition of an activist.

As someone who runs a “blog for activists,” I think the word “activist” is often misused and misunderstood. It’s a useful container, and it can be a powerful source of identity and solidarity, but it means different things to different people. Personally, I think an “activist” is someone who has a certain political consciousness, developed intellectually and/or experientially, that inspires a vision of justice, and a dedication to realizing that vision, both on an interpersonal and institutional scale. But someone else’s unique understanding of that word could be way different than my own. Similarly, activism is not limited to rallies and protests, the typical image of political action. Activism can be art, it can be event planning. It can be having tough conversations about current events. It can even be having certain beliefs about how the world should be, and living your life in accordance with those values. It isn’t always loud, it isn’t always articulate, and it definitely doesn’t always take place in White Plaza. Continue reading

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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

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Microaggressions at Stanford

by Holly Fetter, ’13

Stanford is a pretty liberal place. It’s a sunny university near San Francisco, so everyone assumes it’s a happy place to be different. And it is! There are incredible resources for students of every background, and diversity isn’t just another buzzword on campus – it’s an integral part of the school’s identity. Stanford (unlike some of its peer institutions) has always been co-ed, racially integrated, and was even tuition-free for the first 30 years of its existence. It is, and always has been, an inclusive place.

But such a comfortable environment can make instances of prejudice even more pernicious. They’re much harder to identify, and if they are identified, the victim is often met with raised eyebrows or counterarguments. Many of us with privilege only see the dangerous “-isms “ (racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, etc.) manifested in blatant, infrequent, dramatic events, without noticing the subtle ways in which we all accidentally communicate prejudice, even if our intentions are good.

These less obvious occurrences are called “microaggressions.” All those syllables refer to “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward a particular identity group.” Continue reading

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Introducing STATIC Staff ’12-’13


This year, we’re excited to announce that our staff has expanded from 2 to 20! Here are the folks who make STATIC happen:

EDITORS IN CHIEF


Holly Fetter
is a Texafornian majoring in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity while pursuing her M.A. in Sociology. She’s also writing an honors thesis about civil society in China. She’s been involved with a lot of student groups, from FLIP to Las Hermanas to Stanford Students For Queer Liberation. She’s trying to figure out how to get people with privilege to talk about it. She wears a lot of blazers. She is the Managing Editor of STATIC online.

Jovel Queirolo is a junior from the San Francisco Bay Area majoring in Biology. She is interested in the intersections of the sciences and the humanities, particularly the patterns and themes that emerge in both. She’s really into ants. And Star Wars. She is the Managing Editor of Static in print.

FINANCIAL OFFICER


Lea Gee-Tong
is a senior studying Human Biology who is involved in queer student activism, education programming and outreach, and cultural competency health research and advocacy.

WEBMASTERS


Joel Kek
is very interested the intersection between technology and social change. Along these lines, he is also involved with Stanford in Government and Code the Change.

Leah Thomas is a senior majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in education. She is active in the queer community and seeks to create safe spaces on campus.

CONTENT EDITORS (BLOG)


Elizabeth S. Q. Goodman,
who also goes by her middle name “Quirk”, is a mathematics PhD student expecting to graduate in 2014. She admires cities as many admire “Nature”: strange humans and strange art are interdependent, powerful, beautiful. She enjoys living and volunteering in San Francisco, but is also excited to have joined Stanford Students For Queer Liberation.


Alex Nana-Sinkam
is a Senior studying International Relations, minoring in African Studies and (fingers crossed) Art Studio Photography. She currently feels strongly about: using art and other unconventional methods to address and articulate issues in international social health. She is currently into: honest words, pop chips, Frank Ocean. She is currently trying to: write more, eat breakfast, look forward to (rather than panic about) the future.

CONTENT EDITORS (JOURNAL)

Angela Cenzon is a senior majoring in Human Biology with a minor in Political Science and is excitedto support activism on campus after spending her junior year abroad.


Edward Ngai
 is a news and politics junkie who loves running, the Canucks, and oxfordcommas.

LAYOUT EDITOR


Dania Marinshaw
is a junior from North Carolina majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in Design for Human Performance and Wellness.

OUTREACH COORDINATORS


Raymond Luong
is currently a sophomore majoring in Management Science & Engineering. Aside from his major and STATIC, he’s interested in sociology, pop culture, digital media, and laughing.

Gabriella “Gaby” Moreno is currently a sophomore considering studying Anthropology and or CSRE with a concentration in community development. While at Stanford she’s worked for the College Board in improving student access to higher education. She has also worked with Street Yoga, a Portland Oregon non profit facilitating healing for youth and families at risk through meditation and yoga.


Thanh D. Nguyen
likes making art and owning pillow pets…for justice! He is primarily interested in refugee issues and international human rights.

Lina Schmidt is a sophomore interested in writing and playing music. She is also a member of SSQL and is excited to be on the STATIC team!


Caitlin Wraith
is a junior from New Jersey in Stanford’s Urban Studies program, concentrating in Education. In her free time not spent as the WestFlo PHE, Caitlin engages in queer and feminist activism on campus, reads biographies, watches documentaries, and spends time with friends.

COMMUNITY LIAISON


Kristian Davis Bailey
is a junior from New York studying Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. He’s interested in how to use media to discuss identity, privilege and power. He’s also interested in building a coalition of justice-minded students on campus.

STAFF WRITERS


Annie Graham
is a junior from Phoenix, Arizona majoring in English, and is a founding member of the group Stanford Athletes and Allies Together- ensuring that a safe space exists for queer and allied athletes, on and off the field of competition.


Abaho Katabarwa
is still doing this journey thing, but so far he was born in Uganda and has lived in Atlanta. As a member of EPASA, FLIP, and EJHS, he hopes to make his first step to increasing opportunity in underrepresented student populations.

Lewis Marshall is a Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering. He is the former president of Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics @ Stanford.

CONSULTANT


Ingrid Heller
, aka ABCrane, is the founder of Gungho Publishing company and has just released two nonfiction books on her economic philosophy and green franchising vision. She is currently collaborating with local musicians and theater professionals to launch her musical stage play, Kangaroo Fu, which reveals her economic model through song, dance, martial arts and an incredibly fascinating story line.

If you’re interested in getting involved with our crew, please email StanfordSTATIC@gmail.com. Frosh can apply to be interns using this form, and the deadline is October 10th at 10 PM (PST). We’re always looking for new Staff Writers as well, and you can find that application here.

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Why Indian Mascots and Costumes Are Never Okay

by Holly Fetter, ’13

From “Stanford Indians” sweatshirts to Indian-themed parties to reunion weekend paraphernalia featuring Indians skinning wildcats, it seems that we all need a little reminder of why it’s absolutely never okay to use Native American culture and people as costumes or mascots. Full disclosure: I’m a White girl who dressed up as Pocahontas for Halloween when I was 4, but I’ve since come to appreciate why it’s not okay to use an ethnic group to make parties and games more interesting. Here are just a few reasons why appropriation is inappropriate:

  • By using a caricature of an “Indian” to represent a team, you’re reducing an entire group of people to a mascot. That’s entirely dehumanizing, and offensive. It also speaks to the level of oppression and invisibility of Native people in U.S. culture: we would never use any other ethnic group as a team mascot, as it would be seen as blatantly racist, and yet a debate about whether or not to use the “Indian” image persists. Continue reading
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STATIC’s First Birthday

by Jovel Queirolo, ‘14, + Holly Fetter, ‘13
STATIC Co-Founders


One year ago today, STATIC was born. What started out as an idea and a WordPress page is now a real publication with 140 posts and over 60,000 views. We’re officially a Stanford student organization, we have a stanford.edu URL, and now we have an incredible staff of 20 students committed to expanding the progressive voice on campus. (Look out for an upcoming post introducing the new crew!) We’re also expanding to print form this year – we will be publishing our first print journal in January, after our merger with The Stanford Progressive. Our pieces have been cross-posted at sites like Racialicious and PolicyMic, and other universities have reached out to ask how they can start similar sites at their schools. Basically, we’re really stoked about how STATIC has grown over the past year. And this couldn’t have happened without each of you.

We thought we’d celebrate the site’s 1st birthday by sharing some highlights of the year with you. Continue reading

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Republican Party: The Official Sponsor of Hate

by Holly Fetter, ’13


I recently had the pleasure of accidentally attending the 2012 Values Voter Summit. Midway through a school-sponsored trip to the nation’s capital, our hotel was overrun by perky people holding signs that advertised the conference’s host, FRC Action. This organization is the lobbyist branch of the Family Research Council (FRC), a right-wing hate group. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, FRC “richly deserves” such a designation because it “engages in baseless, incendiery name-calling and spreads demonizing lies about the LGBT community.” Other hate groups include the Ku Klux Klan and Stormfront, Wade Page’s favorite website. The FRC is also anti-choice, anti-tax, anti-welfare, anti-pornography, anti-gambling, pro-school prayer, and they question the validity of global warming. Basically, they hate everyone who isn’t a middle-class White heterosexual Christian Republican that dresses modestly. Which is a lot of people.

I couldn’t gain access to the actual events during the conference, but my friends and I were permitted to browse the multiple rooms of organizations passing out propaganda for their various causes. We’re greeted by a large painting of Jesus kissing the Liberty Bell as we begin to make our way through the right-wing extremist version of a Stanford Activities Fair. Continue reading

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