We are proud to announce our Students of Color Coalition Endorsed candidates for this upcoming Election! Please remember to vote on Thurs, April 12th and Fri, April 13th on ballot.stanford.edu!

“Vote SOCC”
for TOLERANCE, DIVERSITY, TRANSPARENCY,
and most importantly COMMUNITY.

VOTE YES ON SPECIAL FEES FOR:
AASA, BSU, MEChA, MSAN, NAACP, SAIO

VOTE FOR ASSU SENATE:
Ashley Harris
Branden Crouch
Brandon Hightower
Christos Haveles
Daniela Olivos
Garima Sharma
Ish Menjivar
Jack Weller
Janhavi Vartak
Kimberly Bacon
Lauren Miller
Nancy Pham

VOTE FOR ASSU EXEC:
Robbie Zimbroff & Will Wagstaff

Stanford Daily Op-Ed (April 5, 2011)

How many times have you heard these words uttered on campus: “I feel like we’re disjointed!” or “There’s just not enough unity on campus?” Despite all the efforts of student groups and their leaders, there remains an underlying feeling that we are not the united Stanford that we want to be. It is daunting to hear how often this sentiment is expressed.

There is something each and every one of us can do, though. Blessed with the opportunity to attend a university rich with diversity, we should make our Stanford experience whole by learning from the lives of our fellow students. To not do so is to squander the rare opportunity to revel in true diversity. The Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) sees this challenge and organizes around it.

Comprised of the Asian American Students’ Association (AASA), the Black Student Union (BSU), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), the Muslim Student Awareness Network (MSAN), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO), the leaders of our groups know what it means to learn from and through diversity. To us, the strength and sovereignty of our communities is essential, as diversity is impossible to have if every participant forfeits his or her own ideas. But we not only maintain our individual identities, promoting understanding and unity from within each of our communities – we also work together to combat injustices and advocate for social change. SOCC realizes the strength and value of unity. Originally founded as the Rainbow Coalition in 1987, during a time when cultural and ethnic diversity seemed a low priority, SOCC has worked to protect and promote the values of students of color on campus. Since then, we have naturally expanded our mission to advocate for campus diversity of every nature – diversity of thought, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, political ideology, geographic origins and religious beliefs. SOCC represents the continuation of a long tradition of student leaders and their communities fighting for systematic changes that allow all student groups to provide the programming and support they need to continually strengthen our vibrant communities.

In the larger scheme of things, ASSU elections seem like an obscure way to effect such a change, but year after year, we engage with the ASSU, the elections and its leaders because these are the most direct ways of strengthening Stanford’s diversity and protecting the interests of student organizations across campus. Who better than our elected leaders to forge a voice for all voices, give a face to all peoples and make a space for everyone at the table? SOCC understands the value in bringing people together not to exclude, but to edify all associated students of our dear alma mater. There is strength in peoples united. There is value in student leaders thinking critically about how to truly engage the incredibly diverse life experiences and sources of wisdom that exist within us all. This is why we build coalitions. This is why we invite you to join in our coalition. This year, SOCC endorses 15 Senate candidates and one executive slate who we believe demonstrate the greatest commitment, knowledge and passion about student body issues and will fully represent the richness of Stanford.

This election cycle, let us do away with sayings like “our campus is fragmented.” As you look towards the upcoming April 7 and 8 elections, please recall SOCC’s commitment to service, leadership, student advocacy and community. A vote for SOCC is a vote for you.

Tina Duong, Asian American Students’ Association Community Liaison
Justin Lam, Asian American Students’ Association Community Liaison
Van Anh Tran, Asian American Students’ Association Financial Officer
Yvorn Aswad-Thomas, Black Student Union Co-President
Alryl Koroma, Black Student Union Co-President
Ingrid Hernandez, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán Co-Chair
Aracely Mondragon, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán Co-Chair
Mai El-Sadany, Muslim Student Awareness Network President
Navid Chowdhury, Muslim Student Awareness Network Vice President
Matt Miller, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Co-President
Autumn Williams, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Co-President
Lia Abeita-Sanchez, Stanford American Indian Organization Co-Chair
Janet Bill, Stanford American Indian Organization Co-Chair
Milton Achelpohl, Students of Color Coalition Liaison
Tiq Chapa, Students of Color Coalition Liaison
Minh Dan Vuong, Students of Color Coalition Liaison

Over the years, the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) has been able to successfully advocate on behalf of individual candidates and campus advocacy issues important to Stanford’s communities of color. These issues, unlike vague promises of campus betterment, are based on the principles at the heart of the SOCC doctrine: social justice, equal opportunity, and tolerance.

It is thus important to note that SOCC is not an organization based on racial or ethnic exclusivity. We are but a continuation of a long tradition of students working hard to uphold the values upon which this university was founded. SOCC is proof that student leaders, together with their communities, can ensure that the values officially espoused by Stanford are demonstrated in the university’s policies and reflected in our everyday lives.

Our history as a progressive coalition committed to improving various aspects of student life demonstrates this. The first incarnation of SOCC emerged in 1987 as the Rainbow Coalition. This pioneer organization issued the Rainbow Agenda, a set of demands that included increased recruitment of students and faculty of color, improved curriculum and ethnic studies, a permanent ban of grapes, and a renewed commitment to discourage Indian mascot fanatics.

In 1994, the Rainbow Coalition was renamed the Student of Color Coalition. That year, it called for the creation of a Chicano/a Studies academic department and the establishment of a community center in East Palo Alto. At that time, campus cynics deemed some of these demands as either unattainable or unnecessary. They were not, in fact. Today, Stanford enjoys some of the most impressive undergraduate diversity statistics nationwide. Among its academic programs, it counts Chicano/a Studies, Asian American Studies, and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, all established as a result of student mobilization. Thankfully, we have also abandoned the offensive, former Indian mascot, a symbol of the university’s commitment to tolerance.

Just as it has occurred on the national political stage, our issues have evolved with the times. Faculty and Graduate Student Diversity remains an integral part the SOCC agenda. Stanford has indeed improved with regards to certain academic areas. However, the faculty selection process remains extremely decentralized and the university has continually refused to adopt a timeline of binding commitments. The Acts of Intolerance Protocol has not been adequately implemented at a university-wide level. Outreach about Acts of Intolerance is minimal and embarrassingly poor. With the passing of Thom Massey, students of color, LGBT students, and women must be reassured that they are being adequately defended.

The protection of community centers is critical, as was shown by the Mental Health and Wellbeing Task Force Report. Our community centers are integral to our experience at Stanford, and their priceless contributions must be properly acknowledged by the administration. ASSU transparency and accountability is sorely needed. Once our elected representatives take office, most students feel unable or unmotivated to ask what these students are undertaking. If candidates make promises on the campaign trail, no avenue is provided to ensure that they are following through. Workers’ rights, whether on campus or in the sweatshops producing Stanford apparel, must be defended. Finally, public and community service organizations, and the students heading them, need more financial and logistical support than what is currently being provided by either the ASSU or other campus bodies. SOCC has always promoted initiatives to increase Stanford presence in our surrounding community, particularly in East Palo Alto.

To ensure that we tap into all of Stanford’s communities, SOCC endorsement applicants undergo a transparent and open selection process. We do not only endorse students of color. Instead, we strive to select students with a proven track record of public service, a deep commitment to and understanding of SOCC issues, and the potential to capably do the job. Our candidates of course come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. More importantly, they have their own individual ambitions for senate that extend beyond SOCC’s hallmark issues. Collectively, their interests range from sustainability and student housing to mental health, relationship abuse, and LGBT rights.

We know that there are numerous candidates who care about SOCC issues. However, our `endorsees represent those individuals who have demonstrated the greatest commitment, knowledge, and passion about these issues. They also reflect the diverse interests of the undergraduate body. What SOCC candidates do share is a progressive ideology and agenda with respect to specific issues. Our history, our legislative and executive track record, as well as the countless student leaders that we have produced over the years, are a testament to SOCC’s presence and to the support we have received from the student body.