Stanford Reorientation Guide 2009


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Stanford Reorientation Guide 2009




Stanford, California

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“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world.
Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

–Margaret Mead
The history of Stanford University contains many parts.
The purpose of this guide is to tell a part of the story and our
history that isn’t often heard. As Stanford students, we are
often told that we can change the world and make it a better
place, if we try hard enough. Well, we can also make Stanford
a better place. The history of student activism at this school
is incredibly rich. As students, we have a degree of power
and that power can be (and has been) used to lead to positive
change, both on our campus and in the local community.
In the classroom, we are taught about the importance of
critical thinking and the power of analytical tools. It is important to apply this critical thinking to our own environment,
just as students before us have done. The Disorientation Guide
(as it was previously called) was originally published in the
1990s up until 2005 (copies of some of the old guides can be
found in El Centro Chicano). Formerly disseminated during
NSO, the guide presented another side of Stanford that wasn’t
typically discussed by the larger Stanford community. The Reorientation Guide is meant to serve a similar purpose; in this
guide you will find concrete examples of change and activism
driven by Stanford students. We hope you find these stories


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

thought-provoking, interesting, and inspiring.
This guide is meant to tell a part of our history as students
of this university. It is only a prelude to a much larger and
more complex conversation and does not claim to cover all of
the stories that need to be told within the Stanford community.
It is, however, a start, with histories and resources, questions
and currents of thought that can inspire and lead us toward
change. In assessing the issues and struggles we are passionate
about, it is important to see the larger systems of oppression
that unite us and connect us to the world outside of the bubble.
At the same time, we hope these stories portray the differences
and diversity that exist in social justice work that we must
acknowledge and respect.
Approach these pages with an open mind. What we hope to
give you is a new perspective on the history of this institution,
its current structure, and your role in it – in short, a Re-orientation. While you don’t have to agree with everything that is
written in this guide (and we encourage you to take a critical
perspective), read this guide as it was written: with an ear to
the past, a heart bent towards truth, a mind open to the future,
and eyes intent on change for what you believe to be right.


Table of Contents
Part I: Get Involved! Stanford in the Past Few Years
Introduction .............................................................................................................2
Who Is Our Faculty? .................................................................................................5
Stand Up: Read Change, Targeting Root Causes ........................................................6
A Look Into the Acts of Intolerance Protocol ..............................................................7
“Professor War-criminal… err… I mean, Rice…” .......................................................9
Promoting Sustainability On and Off Campus .........................................................10
Latina/o Faculty Retention: The Case of Prof. Luis Fraga .........................................12
Notice a Community Center Missing, Anyone? .........................................................13
Being Dead: Reflections on the Campaign for Marriage Equality ..............................15
Fasting for a Living Wage .......................................................................................17
Part II: Learning from Our Past
(articles taken from The Disorientation Guide, 2005)
Respect for All: Students and Workers UNITE! ..........................................................18
CSRE After 35 Years ...............................................................................................20
Chicano Students Go on Hunger Strike! ..................................................................21
SUCCESS! The Women’s Center is Funded ...............................................................22
Health Care With Harm ..........................................................................................23
No Legacy Here ...................................................................................... ...............24
The End of the Grape Boycott .................................................................................25
Takeover ’89 .........................................................................................................26
Fight War, Not Wars: Books Not Bombs ...................................................................28
The Fight for the A3C .............................................................................................30
Think About It…......................................................................................................31
Queers of Color ......................................................................................................32
Before the Tree ......................................................................................................34
Stanford Anti-War and Justice Movements (1966-1969) ..........................................35
Part III: Resources and Extras
The Hierarchy of the University ..............................................................................37
Some Places to Start ..............................................................................................38

The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010


Of Stanford’s 1,878 faculty members ...

79 % are white

15 % are Asian (276)


3 % are Hispanic/Latino (60)

3 % are African American/Black (47)

<1 % are Native American/Pacific Islander
% are female
473 women


75 % are male
1,405 men

Of Stanford’s 6,812 undergraduates ...
676 are African American (10%)
187 are American Indian/Alaska Native (3%)
1,563 are Asian American/Pacific Islander (23%)
495 are Mexican American (7%)
334 are Latino/Other Hispanic (5%)
2,628 are White (38%)

3,384 are women (49%)
462 are International (7%)
Financial aid to more than
75% of undergraduate students from a variety of sources.

Of Stanford’s 8,328 graduate students ...
255 are African American (3%)
57 are American Indian/Alaska Native (<1%)
1,088 are Asian American/Pacific Islander (13%)
422 are Hispanic/Latino (5%)
2,885 are White (35%)

2,998 are women (36%)
2,726 are International (33%)
About 86% receive non-loan
financial assistance from Stanford or external source

Data from December 2009. Source:


Stand Up: Real Change Targeting Root
By Shara Esbenshade and Dave Mitchell
Stanford Stands Up! is a newly formed coalition of activists and groups at
Stanford that have come together around four ideals: accountability, transparency, democracy, and the right to dissent. Throughout our years of fighting for
economic justice, peace, equality, and the myriad other intertwined causes we
are involved in, we have recognized the violation of these ideals as both the
source of the injustices we fight and the reason it is so hard to achieve far-reaching change--whether conservative or liberal--from the bottom up.

So just what do these words mean to us? By transparency, we mean a
mechanism in which the decisions on issues implicating the Stanford community and how they are made can be accessed at any time by any of its members.
By accountability, we mean a system of checks and balances in which leaders
making decisions by proxy for the rest of the community are answerable to
the community members they represent. By democracy, we mean a system in
which there is equitable power in decision-making and all Stanford community
members are involved, ensuring that every voice can be heard and that minority
opinions are considered. By right to dissent, we mean the ability to voice constructive criticism of the status quo through whatever media and means deemed
necessary (beyond the 12-1 availability of White Plaza). Since students, faculty,
alumni, salaried staff, and workers paid by the hour all fill positions vital to the
functioning of this university, we consider them all to comprise the Stanford

Just like the specific issues we are active on (e.g., achieving a sweatfree campus, adopting a true living wage, or trying to get Stanford to be more
accountable for some of the companies it’s invested in), transparency, accountability, democracy, and the right to dissent are also interconnected. Transparency makes accessible those decisions made by others in judgment of our own
priorities. Under truly democratic governance, these decisions should represent
our values, and there would be no need for decision-makers to shroud them in
mystery. Accountability allows us to revise decisions made on our behalf when
they do not match our true priorities and also lets us remove decision-makers
from positions of power when they do not heed the will of the community.
Democracy is an onus on all of us once we have achieved the previous two principles: only through engagement can our trustees and administrators fulfill their
responsibility of making representative decisions. In such participation, we must
be allowed the right to dissent. Without it, there is no way to provide constructive criticism of actions past and pending in order to mold them to our ethics.
There are many arguments in favor of realigning our efforts toward these four
ideals with regard to campus activism. First, if one of them is lacking, we are


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

left only with counterproductive “non-tools” of change such as whining, mud
slinging, and frustration; the alternative we advocate for is engagement with the
source of injustices in the decision-making process. Second, adhering to all four
principles allows the entire Stanford community to mold decisions to their morals, effectively improving how accurate representatives’ representation is. We,
the members of SSU!, believe that the soliciting of minority viewpoints--no matter whose or what they are--is crucial. = Only then can we “exchange error for
truth” if minority opinion is in the right, or gain a “livelier impression of truth”
if we feel it mistaken. Third, centering these principles is also a matter of efficiency. For an ounce of effort, we can help a pound of causes since they all stem
from a lack of transparency, accountability, democracy, and/or right to dissent.

A Look Into the Acts of Intolerance
By Michael Tubbs
While delivering invitations for the Black Student Union’s freshman convocation in Otero I was effectively treated as an “other” on my own campus.
As soon as I entered the dorm, I wasn’t met with the usual Cardinal smiles but
rather with questioning. “Who are you? What business do you have here?,” four
Caucasian students interrogated me by the ping-pong table in front of the door.
The stigma I was to feel that night, however, had not yet come to an end. As I
went up the stairs and started delivering the messages I turned and noticed that
a couple of the guys were still following me. Confused, and unable to continue
with my initial task, I sat, thought, prayed, listened to a brief apology from one
of the guys, and finally left. In short, I suffered IN SILENCE.
My rationale for exposing this silence is four fold. Firstly, as a person with an
intimate knowledge of the shame that ignorance can cause, I wish to let victims
of similar acts of ignorance know that their feelings of distress are valid, that
intolerance does exist at Leland Stanford Jr. University, and to encourage them
to submit their stories to either myself ( or Assistant Vice
Provost Sally Dickson ( so others can be made aware
of this ugly reality of life at Stanford. The submission will be wholly anonymous but will go a long way in starting a dialogue. It is only by sharing these
stories that the Acts of Intolerance Protocol can be used, and the community
as a whole, victims and victimizer alike, can be healed. Secondly, I wish to let
my fellow students know, as I now do, that Stanford is still a microcosm of the
world around it, and many of the tensions that plague the American landscape,
especially in regards to race and difference, pervade the social environment of
our university. Thirdly, I want to let people who don’t see anything wrong with
situations like these or who have been purveyors of similar acts of ignorance


know that these actions have real psychological consequences, to the effect of
having me question my very presence at this university. Finally, I want the entire
university community to know that the silence and awkwardness we feel regarding these issues has the effect of trivializing them and allowing them to fester. It
is only by speaking up, that progress can be made.
Since the incident, I have been in close communication with Sally Dickson,
Vice Provost of Student Affairs, Greg Graves, Jan Barker Associate Dean of
Students and Director of the Black House, and Carlous Brown Assistant Director
of the Black House in how to make this a teachable moment for the campus and
to engender discussion regarding acts of intolerance on campus. To that end,
the Black Student Union held its first general body meeting on Acts of Intolerance at Stanford and highlighted events from the past as well as my own and
the one that happened at Hillel. Well over fifty people attended this meeting and
all walked away feeling empowered to report Acts of Intolerance. Additionally,
some students from Next Gen brought up a pervasive classism at our university,
an issue that is seldom talked about. Following this meeting, I worked with Sally
and Greg on including class as one of the protected classes in the Acts of Intolerance Protocol and on developing an online system for reporting Acts of Intolerance, thus streamlining the process and making it more efficient. (This should be
out in January)
Finally, the most compelling part about my incident is how it empowered
other students to share things that had happened to them on account of their
difference. Countless students have submitted Acts of Intolerance Forms that
BSU developed or have sent me an email, sharing how they have been made
to feel othered on this campus. Stories range from elected Senators of color
who were told before they entered a frat party, “you better not steal nothing,” to
the African-American female student who shared how she walked around this
campus with a frown on her face because of the way she’s been treated, to the
oft heard story of students harassed in dorms or even not being let in, to minority
males feeling targeted by the police. Although my speaking out led to some trying to villainize me, the stories I have heard and the healing that has taken place
since the incident tells me that I made the right decision.

For more information about the Acts of Intolerance Protocol, go to:
For information on the University response to reporting an Act of Intolerance, go to:


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

“Professor War-criminal… err… I
mean, Rice…”
by Farah Weheba (written for Stanford Says No to War)
Stanford Says No to War (SSNW) is a group of students and members of
the Stanford community who have come together to work for peace and justice.
Believing in fundamental human rights and the preciousness of all human life,
they welcome all people who oppose aggression, militarism, war crimes and war
criminals. They aim to, through nonviolent and peaceful means, make Stanford:
free of war criminals, free of war profiteers, a place of knowledge and learning
for peaceful ends, and aware of the role that the university, and more broadly the
United States, plays in the world. SSNW believes war has only increased violence
against Americans and made the world less safe while diverting resources from
pro-social programs, and that war is the total failure of the human spirit.
SSNW seeks to actively educate the campus body about foreign policy and provides up-to-date information about domestic and foreign affairs on their website at
Condoleezza Rice officially returned to the Hoover Institution on March 2,
2009 after working for eight years as National Security Advisor and then Secretary
of State in the Bush administration. SSNW is concerned with her actions these
past eight years— not her academic beliefs, party affiliation, or scholarly pursuits,
but specifically: serious allegations that Rice has violated our constitution, domestic laws, and international law and endangered the American people.
SSNW also seeks to amend the University’s unequal expectations for conduct
of its students versus its faculty, as outlined in the Stanford University Faculty
Handbook, sections 4.4.B (1), Faculty Appeal Procedures (4.1), Academic Freedom (4.2), Faculty Discipline (4.3), and Appointment and Tenure (4.4). SSNW
believes faculty and students alike should be held to the Fundamental Standard, of
showing “both within and without the University such respect for order, morality,
personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens. Failure to
do this will be sufficient cause for removal from the University.” SSNW believes
it is absolutely inappropriate to dismiss Rice’s crimes simply because they fall
outside the realms of “a finding... of substantial and manifest incompetence” or a
“determination pursuant to the Statement on misconduct only for actions taken in
association with the faculty member’s academic duties and responsibilities,” such
as “dishonest or unethical behavior in the faculty member’s own teaching or research,” “sexual harassment” and the “neglect of University-related duties and responsibilities,” currently the only grounds for removing a tenured faculty member.
SSNW asks you to consider: how can we hold our students to such a high standard
when the standards for faculty are so inadequate? By increasing awareness and
generating discussion about Condoleezza Rice’s actions, SSNW challenges the
idea that Stanford University should be a safe place for war criminals.


Promoting Sustainability On and Off
Students for a Sustainable Stanford by Molly Oshun
Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS) is Stanford’s largest environmental
student group, a broad coalition of undergraduates and graduates dedicated to
decreasing the human footprint on our earth, both at Stanford and in the greater
community. The group serves as an umbrella organization for students interested
in green building; organic and local foods; paper, energy, and water use reduction; environmental education; political activism; green business; animal rights;
and environmental law. We help channel these interests toward an observable
reality on campus through a practical and professional approach.
Current projects include partnerships with Stanford Dining and the Campus
Garden initiative to create a ‘Real’ Food System at Stanford, ongoing collaboration with the university administration on a campus climate plan, and active
involvement in the development of the Green Dorm Project, what will be the
first sustainable dorm on our campus.
Each year, SSS plans and coordinates GreenFest, an Earth Day celebration.
Last year, the GreenFest team successfully brought Major Carter and Denis
Hayes to campus and hosted a Sustainable Fashion Show (giving birth to the
Sustainable Fashion Collective: a new student group). As with all SSS events,
GreenFest aims to celebrate the diversity of sustainable lifestyles through art,
music and action. With your help, this year’s GreenFest can be our most fun and
inclusive event yet! Students for a Sustainable Stanford is always looking for
people with enthusiasm and inspiration to pursue their own sustainability initiatives on campus!

Joining SSS by Suzie Bartram
I came to Stanford as a freshman last year wanting to get involved in a group
with a focus on living symbiotically within one’s environment. This not only
involves promoting green acts such as recycling and unplugging common appliances, but living as a community with peers who feel just as strong about environmental issues as you do. I found this community in Students for a Sustainable
Stanford- SSS. Rather than just speaking about concerning issues, action was
taken from day one. I entered the first meeting and was faced with numerous
activities to sign up for and get involved in.
So what does SSS do for me? I have found SSS to be one of the largest and
broadest environmental groups on campus. If I’m looking to attend conferences
and become an active proponent of initiating green changes across campuses


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

while networking with others, I can
talk to the off-campus coordinators. If
I am interested in the water issues that
California is facing, I can talk to the
“water-group.” Maybe I just want to
learn more about environmental issues
and projects going on close by… then
I will listen for announcements made
by the on-campus coordinators about
collaborative projects and upcoming speakers. Best of all, though, is
the fact that I want to get involved
NOW- why wait? In SSS there are
also subcommittees such as Group
RRR (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) or the
Food group, which focus on specialty
projects. I have found these to be fun,
inspirational, and rewarding. Last year
I went “dumpster-diving” and learned
just how much waste is generated and
how much of it could be composted
if people were more conscientious.
Many projects such as this serve as
an opportunity to open your eyes and
learn more about your environment.
Best of all though, I have found every
member to be supportive and collaborative- if you have an idea and
dedication, you can see great changes


Latina/o Faculty Retention:
The Case of Prof. Luis Fraga
By Lisa Llanos (MEChA)
In Fall of 2006, Stanford students, alumni, and faculty were appalled to learn
that one of the most beloved professors on campus, Professor Luis Fraga, would
be leaving his position in the Political Science department. This decision came
after Professor Fraga did not receive a comparable offer to a position offered to
him at the University of Washington.
The news came as a blow to Latino students and all students of color, not to
mention the countless CSRE and Urban Studies students who had had the opportunity to take classes from Prof. Fraga. Throughout his time at Stanford, Fraga
was a rock for the Latino community at Stanford, as well as to the entire undergraduate community. He was a source of support and advice for Latino students
advocating for change within the University. He served as academic advisor for
countless undergraduates, encouraging many to write theses or pursue graduate
education. He continues to be one of the leading scholars in his field, examining
issues of race and urban issues in the US.
The Stanford community was angered by the administration’s failure to act
to keep Professor Fraga at Stanford. Current students and alumni came together
to push for Stanford to present him with an offer that represented his academic
worth and his value to the Stanford community. Hundreds of emails were sent
encouraging alumni to speak out, and a petition was generated for people to express their support. After the petition gained more than 1,100 signatures, a rally
was organized to deliver the petition to the relevant offices on campus. Hundreds
of students marched to the PoliSci department, to Hoover tower, and to the
President and Provosts offices.
However, the Stanford administration seemed unmoved by the cries of their
students and alumni. Prof. Fraga did not receive a comparable offer and announced his decision to move to the University of Washington. It seemed that
the Stanford administration did not want another professor encouraging students
of color to stand up and organize for what they know is right. They did not think
that the issues of race that Fraga studied – issues that affect most of us every
day - were important enough. And they weren’t dedicated towards maintaining a
diverse faculty at Stanford.
There have been some encouraging developments since Fraga’s departure. A
new position, called the Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity,
was created and given to Chicano professor Al Camarillo. Professor Camarillo
has since seen to the appointment of several new faculty of color in various
departments. However, the numbers remain dismal, and we are too far from the
day when students will be taught by a faculty body representative of the diversity of our country.


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Notice a Community Center Missing,
By Farah Weheba
Blacks. Asians. Hispanics. Native Americans. If for some reason you do
not directly fit into any of these categories, it is certainly to your advantage
to kindly pretend that you do while at Stanford. That way, you’ll have access
to the wonders of your own community center, including a full time staff,
wall of fame celebrating Stanford legacies that share your ethnicity, a plushy
sofa sectional, decorative cultural textiles, literature, a TV, printing, a space
that is unconditionally yours, and a place to remind you to take pride in
your heritage. Oh, and with your cooperative assimilation into one of these
four minority groups, you’ll also find an ethnically themed dorm celebrating your culture on a daily basis, and perhaps even an Academic, Language
and Culture House. And let’s not forget the possibility of a representative
psychologist at CAPS, so that you have the luxury of speaking with someone
knowledgeable of the intricacies of your special and unique culture, to better
assist you.
Stanford would like to emphasize that it hasn’t forgotten about its German
students. Please enjoy the amenities of Haus Mitteleuropa, the Central European Theme House! Oh, and to the beloved Italian students, we give you:
La Casa Italiana, celebrating Italian language and culture. Never fear, French
students! For you, we have La Maison Francaise, more commonly known
as French House. And we didn’t forget about you, dear Eastern European
students; for you, we present: Slavianskii Dom, the Slavic/East European
Theme House. And because we feel we really can’t reach out enough to our
Hispanic and Asian students, we offer you Yost, the Spanish Language and
Culture House, and EAST, the East Asian Studies Theme House, respectively.
And to our Middle Eastern and South Asian students: aren’t you all
Muslim anyway? Dontcha like your Islamic amenities on the third floor of
Old Union? Surely your culture and religion are so hopelessly intertwined
that you do not need your own cultural community center! When was the last
time you met a Christian Arab? Sure, they’re out there, and dozens of them
are probably on our campus, but come on…be cool, Arabs and South Asians.
You know, some schools don’t have Islamic facilities for students to pray or
worship at all. Where’s your gratitude? What we’re really trying to say is­we hope you don’t take it personally, but surely you could just wiggle your
way into one of the various aforementioned ethnicities. After all, all Stanford
students are welcome to use any of the cultural facilities as guests in these
community centers. Enjoy being a guest, asking permission to enter any of
these facilities at another student’s convenience. Enjoy feeling obligated to


thank entitled hosts for letting you borrow their facilities. Enjoy your slight
but consistent anxiety that you are overstaying your welcome and depleting
limited resources. Enjoy feeling like a guest on your own campus. Enjoy our
institutional racism.
Where is the Middle Eastern/South Asian Students Community Center? I
am Middle Eastern-American. And I am being neglected and institutionally
ignored by Stanford University. I can no longer hide my disappointment in
Stanford for making me feel unwelcome as a Middle Eastern student on campus. As a sophomore, I’ve come to realize, after living in Ujamaa and visiting Hillel, El Centro Chicano, and the Black Community Services Center for
numerous events, the sorts of outreach and support those minority students
have. While I am happy these communities are being served, I’ve grown
angry that my own minority is at such a disadvantage in comparison. As an
incoming freshman at admit weekend, I went to the Black Student Welcome,
giggling to myself, “well, close enough,” still riding the natural high of
being freshly admitted. Now an ugly disillusionment has set in. By denying me a community center of my own, Stanford University is denying me
and my fellow Middle Eastern/ South Asian students a second home, a place
to gather, bond, connect, celebrate, teach, and learn. Stanford is denying
that my culture is unique and distinct enough to be its own entity, while it
simultaneously serves hummus, pita, dolmas, and baklava in its dining halls
and cafes. I’m sick and tired of my culture being significant only in terms of
novelty finger foods, and I’m sick and tired of Stanford institutionally confusing Middle Eastern and South Asian culture for Islamic religious practice.
I am a proud practicing Muslim, but I have no place to go to meet Middle
Eastern/ South Asian students of other faiths, and in turn, these students are
completely alienated from the Muslim majority of this ethnic group.
The next wave of giggling, freshly admitted Middle Eastern and South
Asian students, sitting alone as guests at their own mismatched Admit Weekend welcome ceremonies, will also eventually wake up and cease giggling.
Stanford, it’s time to acknowledge the Middle Eastern/South Asian minority
formally and equally.


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Being Dead: Reflections on the
Campaign for Marriage Equality

By Jamie Tam

On May 15th, 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on
gay marriage, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the state. 18,000 valid
same-sex marriages were performed. California Proposition 8 was a proposed
constitutional amendment that threatened to revoke the right to marry for LGBT
couples. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, students at Stanford led a
fierce effort to fight Prop 8. Stanford student’s campaign against the proposition was widely recognized as the largest student-led campaign in the state. In a
series of guerilla theatre performances, campus rallies, and phone banks—culminating in a Mega-phone bank with a record 270 student callers in the LGBT
center—students mobilized in what one campus administrator called the highest
level of political activism at Stanford since the 70’s.
Then on November 4th, 2008, the passage of Proposition 8 marked a devastating blow to members of the LGBT and allied community. The next day,
350 students, faculty and staff marched from White Plaza to the Intersection of
Death for a sit-in. In pure open-mic format, members of the Stanford community
blocked bicycle traffic and expressed their rage.
With the passage of Proposition 8, there was a renewed passion for queer
activism. And now more than ever, allies felt as though they were a part of
our movement. The following is an open letter extending thanks to those who
struggled with us throughout the campaign.
Proposition 8 has changed me forever. It made me wake up. And bigotry
makes the world an ugly place to wake up to. I spent the days leading up to
Nov. 4th wondering whether the world was falling apart or coming together.
I fell apart and came together too. I quickly gave up on sanity. I also gave up
on reason. And bureaucracy. And “playing it safe.” I didn’t want to play it safe
anymore because my ENTIRE BEING told me that this was the right thing to
do---the ONLY thing to do--and it simply HAD to be done. Sure, there were
rules. F*** the rules. I stopped thinking and started DOING. So I chose Action, not Anxiety. I learned to lead with the heart, because it’s stronger. It’s fire
and rage and hurt and most of all, it’s love. It’s also extremely effective. As I
said at the Intersection of Death, “We did s**t.” And we did a damn good job.
We did our best, and we are not done Doing. This campaign broke me down.
Sometime mid-October Jamie Tam died. The old me with my old ways of thinking and leading and campaigning were buried into the ground. Then Kill Bill,
Uma Thurman-fist-through-the-ground-style, I rose UP and I fought. I wasn’t
even alive. I was an angry dead person. And when I surfaced, I found all these
other cool angry dead people above ground, standing and fighting alongside me.


To my angry dead people: You make me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt in
my whole 20 years of living. I feel closeness with you. And the feeling hasn’t
stopped! I feel it in class when I see you still wearing your purple “No on Prop
8” shirt. I feel it when you invite me to bazillion different facebook groups
demanding for the repeal of Prop. 8. I feel it when we guerilla protest for queer
youth. I feel it when you attend the national protests. I feel it in our conversations. You are my favorite person. Do you know that? Do you know how much
love-solidarity-goodness-wonderful-awesome I feel for you? Do you know how
you’ve inspired me to be a better person---a better fighter? See, I’m not really
in the mood to go back to sleep. Pretend like nothing happened and go on like
things are normal again. Forget blissful ignorance; I’ll take this new anger, this
new power that you’ve given me. Election Day has passed. You have convinced
me that the world is actually coming together. We will win because our victory
is inevitable and because we are that badass. Thanks for reading this. And thanks
for being dead with me.


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

By Lisa Llanos

Fast for a Living Wage

On April 12, 2007 four members of the Stanford Labor Action Coalition
(SLAC) began a fast demanding a living wage that would apply to all Stanford
workers. A living wage is an hourly wage that is based on the current cost of
living in an area. Since the Bay Area is one of the most expensive areas to live in
the United States, a living wage is necessary to ensure that the workers that keep
Stanford running can live respectable lives.
A 2003 fast had lead to the adoption of a living wage policy; however, it contained several restrictions that excluded many low-wage workers from benefiting from the policy. The Presidential Advisory Committee, consisting of faculty,
administrators and workers, had recommended that if Stanford were to have a
living wage policy, it should cover all workers. However, despite a consistent
and escalating campaign from SLAC, university administration would not lift
the seven restrictions and subcontracted workers continued earning as little as
$8.50 an hour.
The demands of the fast were simple: to remove all of the restrictions on
Stanford’s Living Wage Policy for Subcontracted Workers so that all Stanford
workers would be earning a living wage. SLAC members announced the fast at
a town hall on Thursday and immediately set up a tent city in White Plaza. For
the first days of the fast, administrators refused to meet with SLAC. However,
after a large turnout at a protest for Stanford’s Community Day that Sunday and
an occupation of the Main Quad, administrators agreed to a meeting. A negotiation team of SLAC members met with administrators, but found that administrators were not willing to make adequate changes.
As the fast reached a week, support for fasters grew and students, faculty, and
community members showed up in large numbers to demand the removal of restrictions. Several supporters actually joined the fast, and at one point there were
twelve fasters. Hundreds of students signed up for a one-day solidarity fast.
The negotiation team continued meeting with administration, who began to
negotiate based on pressure from the Stanford alumni and growing press coverage. Finally on May 20th, after nine days of fasting, SLAC came to an agreement with the administration. The agreement removed several of the restrictions
from the living wage policy so that it no longer excluded workers due to the
duration of their contracts, hours worked, or duration of employment. It also
extended coverage to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
However, there is still work to be done. Most importantly, some restrictions
remained on the policy, including one that excludes unionized workers from the
living wage policy. As a result, many unionized Stanford workers are still not
earning a living wage. In addition, the process for determining the actual wage
needs to be made transparent. Students need to continue organizing and demanding to ensure that everyone working at Stanford can live respectably on their


Respect for All: Students and Workers
By Anna Mumford (updated by Lisa Llanos)
As students and members of the Stanford community, it is our responsibility
to ensure that all members of this community are treated with respect. For the
workers that keep our university running, this includes earning wages to sufficient to live decently and support themselves.
However, for many workers at Stanford, the wages they earn aren’t enough
to cover basic living expenses in the Bay Area. There are hundreds of workers
at Stanford who earn less than Stanford’s living wage. This includes people who
do not qualify for the living wage due to restrictions on the policy, including
unionized workers like ABM janitors, and workers whose employers function as
tenants, at places like the Treehouse or various cafés throughout campus. It also
includes workers who qualify for Stanford’s living wage and regardless, have
been excluded, like Colony Landscaping employees.
Because of the low wages they earn, many workers at Stanford are forced to
take on a second or third job in order to cover rent and many workers are unable
to save money to invest in their future or the futures of their children. In addition, many low-wage jobs at Stanford don’t provide health care, so workers and
their children are forced to rely on the emergency room for their health care
While there are other employers in the U.S. who do not pay their employees a
“living wage,” Stanford University is an influential institution and therefore has
the responsibility to strive towards being an exemplary employer. Our founders
believed so as well. In a letter to the Board of Trustees, Leland Stanford wrote,
“I want an institution to deal particularly with the welfare of the masses. The
few very rich can get their education anywhere. They will be welcome to this institution if they come, but the object is more particularly to reach the multitudes
– those people who have to consider the expenditure of every dollar.”
While there are many injustices across the globe, it is important to remember the injustices that occur on our own communities. As Stanford students and
members of the Stanford community, we have a responsibility to ensure that all
members of this community are treated with respect. We have been privileged
with a certain degree of power; it is our responsibility to use this power to show
the Stanford administration that it is important to us that Stanford workers are
treated with dignity. As our hard work in the past has shown, we can make concrete changes at Stanford that affect the lives of Stanford workers and their families, people who make daily sacrifices to make possible our lives on “The Farm.”


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

November 1998

SLAC is founded at a student labor conference organized by SEAS and

Spring 1999

SLAC helps organize a march that shuts down Campus Drive as part of
the Justice for Janitors campaign to support ABM janitors.

Spring 2000

SLAC conducts a survey of over 200 Stanford service workers.

Fall 2001

SLAC establishes Habla La Noche, a student-run ESL tutoring program for ABM janitors.

Fall 2001

Six students are arrested in a sit-in at the Stanford Hospital to stop the
subcontracting of janitorial jobs. After the arrests, President Hennessey
agrees to meet with SLAC for the first time, and proposes a livingwage standard for subcontracted workers.

Spring 2002

SLAC organizes a four-day “sleep-out” in the Main Quad to support
fair wages for cafe workers at Tresidder. As a result, the subcontracted
cafe workers earn wage parity with Stanford dining workers, resulting
in significant raises.

Spring 2003

SLAC and the Coalition for Labor Justice (a coalition of student
groups) organize a weeklong hunger strike, which ends when Stanford
agrees to establish the Presidential Committee on Labor Policies to
make recommendations on new labor policies at Stanford and to hire a
worker who was fired because she spoke up for her rights at work.

Fall 2003

SLAC supports workers at the Stanford power plant as they fight for a
fair contract.

Spring 2004

SLAC establishes the Student And Labor Alliance (SALA), which
brings together unionized and non-unionized workers together from
difference parts of campus.

January 2005

President Hennessey releases a statement concerning which Presidential Committee recommendations he will implement. This statement is
extremely vague and outlines no concrete policy changes.

Winter 2005

SLAC supports service workers striking for a fair contract, organizing
a boycott of Stanford dining halls and workers on the picket lines.

Spring 2007

After years of delay, the university administration refuses to follow the
recommendations of its own PAC. In response, students, workers, and
alumni fast for 9 days, stopping when the university agrees to expand
its living wage policy.

Spring 2008

SLAC organizes student support for janitors at Stanford and across the
Bay Area striking for a fair contract.

Fall 2009

SLAC organizes in support of Colony Landscaping employees, who
have been denied a living wage despite qualifying under Stanford’s
Living Wage Policy for Subcontracted Workers.


CSRE After 35 Years
Sources: Justice and Hope by Steven Phillips; The Daily
April 1968: Four days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
seventy members of the Black Student union walked onto the stage of Memorial
Auditorium interrupting an address by University Provost Richard Lyman called
“Stanford’s Response to White Racism.” The students took over the podium and
issued a set of ten demands challenging Stanford to prove its commitment to
fighting racism. After issuing the final demand the BSU students walked out to a
standing ovation. Within two days, the university agreed “in substance” to nine
of the ten demands.
1969: Stanford established a program in African and Afro-American Studies.
For the next twenty years, students argued passionately and compellingly for
Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, and Native American Studies,
but the university contained student momentum in an endless cycle of proposals,
petitions, committees, and meetings.
May 1978: After a backlash against the student-led movement to replace the
freshman “western Culture” requirement with “Cultures, Ideas, and Values”
several student organizations formed The Rainbow Agenda, which issued seven
demands requiring the university to meet commitments to “ethnic minority life
at Stanford” and launched a major demonstration at the university’s Centennial
ceremony. In March 1988, the Faculty Senate voted in favor of the new CIV
May 1989: Takeover ’89. Demands included professorships for Asian
American Studies and Native American Studies.
1994: Asian Pacific Islander students disrupted a faculty senate meeting and
demanded Asian American Studies, and in May, Chicano/Latino students went
on a hunger strike for among other demands, Chicano/Latino Studies.
November 1996: After three decades of student struggle, resistance, and
action, the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to approve a new program in
Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
1997: Stanford students are finally able to declare a major in Asian American
Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, or Native American Studies.
2005: CSRE expands to include Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA) as a


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Chicano Students Go on Hunger Strike!
By Maribel Ledezma (Updated by Ada Ocampo)

The 1993-94 school year was especially difficult for Stanford’s communities
of color. During winter quarter, students feared that their ethnic and community
centers would either be closed because of budget cuts or merged into one. As
those fears subsided, a worse scenario unraveled for the Chicano community.
Budget cuts were said to be behind the April firing of high-ranking administrator and community leader Cecilia Burciaga. She and her husband, José Antonio Burciaga, had previously served Stanford’s Chicano community as Casa
Zapata’s Resident Fellows.
News of the firing reached students when they returned from Spring Break.
For over a month, students protested the firing, demanding to know how someone who had dedicated her life to Stanford could be dismissed so easily. Then
on May 1st at Sunday’s Flicks, a second incident escalated the frustration and
disrespect felt by Chicano students. As a short film, “No Grapes” was shown
at MEChA’s request to inform Stanford students about pesticide use and other
issues surrounding the United Farm Workers’ boycott of table grapes, students in
the audience began to shout “Beaners go home!” and other racial epithets. That
night students met to plan a response to the attacks they were experiencing.
On May 4, Chicano students camped out in the center of Main Quad at daybreak and began a hunger strike protesting the administrators’ lack of compliance with their demands, which included: a formal apology to Cecilia Burciaga
for the way she was treated in her firing, the formation of a Chicano Studies
major, the building of a community center for East Palo Alto, and a universitywide ban on grapes in solidarity with the United Farm Workers. Later that day,
sixteen Chicano faculty members sent letters of support for the protesters’ demands. On the third day of the strike, professors volunteered to be part of Aztlán
University teach-ins. While this was going on, a team of student negotiators met
with the administration to come to a resolution on the strikes’ demands. At 11:30
that night, an agreement was finally reached and the fast ended. On Saturday
President Gerhard Casper and Provost Condoleezza Rice signed the agreement.
What was gained by the hunger strike? There was no formal apology for Cecilia Burciaga; the President and Provost only agreed to recognize her contributions to Stanford. They agreed to establish a committee to investigate the issue
of grapes on campus and make recommendations for the University’s policy at
that time. After months of meetings and committee recommendations, the policy
remained the same—each dorm would vote whether to serve grapes or not in
their dining hall. The President and Provost both promised to consider fundraising efforts and other support for a comprehensive service program in East Palo
Alto. However, to this day, there is no such program. Finally, the lasting effect of
the strike was the creation of Chicana/o Studies at Stanford with the first group
of Majors graduating in 1999.


SUCCESS! The Women’s Center is Funded
By Cathy Rion

In the spring of ’96, the Collective (now the Women’s Coalition), MEChA,
SAIO, and other groups lost their primary source of funding for the following
year: Special Fee elections. Despite the fact that over 60% of those voting voted
“Yes” for each of these groups, less than 15% of the student population voted on
these particular groups, meaning an automatic loss of special fees funding.
While all three of these groups won the campaign for Special Fee funding
in the spring of 1997, the loss in 1996 meant a year of low spending for each
of these groups. Given the large population of women on campus (at the time,
53% of undergraduates, 33% of graduate students), it seemed ludicrous that the
Women’s Center be funded primarily through the Special Fee process for student
Realizing this, the Women’s Center community came together after the election to campaign for a University-funded Women’s Center. The tactic: thousands
of flyers with statistics about women at Stanford taped to the ground in converging paths to the Women’s Center. Some paths began at President Casper’s office,
others at Escondido Road, Mayfield and the Oval.
Although the fliers were all gone the next morning (facilities removed our
fliers, but left those advertising a fraternity party), we attended Casper’s tea time
the following afternoon decked out in “I support the Women’s Center” pins,
armed with a few hundred signatures and many questions, and taping a new path
of flyers right up to Casper’s podium.
Amazingly, Casper asked us to write a proposal for funding that afternoon.
Six months later, the Women’s Center was thriving with a half-time graduate
coordinator, 5 paid student interns, and enough programming and administrative money to keep the Center alive and well, leaving the Women’s Collective to
spend its time and money on other projects.
In the fall of ’99, three and a half years after the Women’s Center community
rallied for funding and partly as a result of the LGBT-CRC’s long campaign
for a full time director, the Women’s Center finally got a full-time professional
director. Unfortunately, the new director resigned after one quarter, leaving the
Center again with a part-time interim director while a search committee looked
for a new one. The new director, Laura Harrison, was selected and began work
in May 1999. University funding has institutionalized the Center, but it also
lends credibility to the Center and those who worked to build it over 25 years.


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Health Care with Harm
By Louise Auerhahn and Adrianna Hernandez-Stewart

Up until December 10, 2001, the sole remaining commercial medical waste
incinerator in California sat in the middle of a low-income community of color in
East Oakland. Operated by the Integrated Environmental Systems (IES)/Norcal, the
incinerator collected and burned waste from hospitals across the state. This process
resulted in the release of dioxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known. People
United for a Better Oakland (PUEBLO), a multi-issue, multi-ethnic group had been
battling IES and regulatory agencies for years.
These incinerators were a classic case of environmental racism: a systematic and
often unconscious bias resulting in low-income people of color bearing a disproportional burden of the nation’s environmental contamination. In this case, a hazardous
and laxly regulated facility serving the whole state was located in the East Oakland
community, transferring the risks associated with medical waste away from the
communities that produce it and onto East Oakland. The Bay Area Air Quality
Management District (the permitting agency for IES) consistently overlooked IES’s
numerous violations even in the face of community efforts to make the accountable.
“The trash that I throw away on my unit is actually causing people to get the cancer
and reproductive problems which I’m then treating,” stated Susan Forsyth, R.N.,
formerly of Stanford Hospital.
SEAS, a student group dedicated to environmental and social justice, got
involved when we learned that Stanford was paying IES to dispose of its medical
waste in Oakland. Working with PUEBLO and other organizations, we researched
the issue, spoke out at public hearings, and talked with community members. In
February 2000, we released a 25-page proposal calling on Stanford Hospital to stop
sending its waste to IES and outlining alternative waste disposal methods.
Winter and spring of 2000 we focused on campus education and a series of publicity actions, with over 400 students and medical staff members and over 150 East
Oaklanders signing postcards demanding a switch from IES.
Despite repeated meetings and demonstrations of community support, Stanford administrators refused to commit. In the fall of 2000 we decided to step up the campaign. We
intensified campus education and applied direct pressure to our target, administrator Lou
Saksen, by flyering at the hospital itself. Our efforts culminated in an October 31st rally in
White Plaza after white a group of students, including SEAS members and representatives
from other concerned student groups, headed over to the hospital for an accountability session with Lou Saksen. This time, we were determined to direct the meeting and to force him
to respond affirmatively or negatively to each of our three demands. Visibly startled by our
large and assertive presence, Saksen agreed to all three demands and got down on his hands
and knees to sign a paper verifying our complete victory. The publicity generated from
Stanford’s break with IES contributed to the ongoing campaign of the Oakland coalition. In
December of 2001, after eight years of community struggle in response to increasing pressure targeted at IES and the BAAQMD, the incinerator shut down!


By Yang Lor

No Legacy Here

When I first stepped foot on Stanford’s campus during Admit Weekend 2004,
there’s only one work for how I felt: alienated. Almost every event I attended
felt tailored to a particular group of students from a particular background, and
that background was not mine: a working class, immigrant, first generation college student. Sure they admitted me, but that doesn’t mean I felt like I belong
To this day, that feeling of alienation still follows me around. I feel I have to
suppress who I am, since so few people can relate to where I’m coming from.
Unlike other Stanford students, I attended an under-funded, underperforming
high school that had only one counselor for 400 graduating seniors. Even if one
was lucky enough to graduate from high school and avoid getting involved with
gangs, future prospects remained limited. Attending college, let alone Stanford,
was an option available to very few students. Coming from this place and being
the first one in my family to attend college, it has been difficult trying to reconcile these drastically different communities.
Fortunately, there exist places like the Asian American Activities Center,
which I have come to consider my home away from home. It is at the community centers and in the student organizations that I am able to build supportive
friendships with other students who listen to my struggles, share their own, and
are able to understand and relate. But in its commitment to student diversity,
Stanford needs to do a better job of supporting students whose background does
not fit the typical Stanford profile. It must learn to support students from a variety of socio-economic and racial backgrounds. After all, what good is a university that claims a diverse student body but is unwilling to provide the necessary
resources to support these students’ unique needs and concerns?
• First generation and low income students are estimated to be 24% of the student body
• 17.5% of the Class of 2012 is made up of first-generation students, and that number has
gradually increased
• 13% of students receive PELL grants (federal grants for low-income students)
In 2008 Stanford undertook initiatives to improve the Stanford experience
for first generation college students and students from low and middle income
families. Later, because of budget cuts, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs did not
renew the director position of the First Generation Program and put on hold other
projects and resources. However, Next Gen, a campus organization that puts on
programming for low-income and first-generation students, still exists and remains
as a resource for first-generation and low- and middle-income families.


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

The End of the Grape Boycott
By Gabriele Rico (Updated by Ada Ocampo)
The most memorable experience of my term as MEChA (Movimiento
Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan) Co-Chair was ending the campus-wide Grape
Vote/ Boycott campaign with a bang. For five years students spread awareness
about farm-worker rights, unfair labor practices, and exploitation of the Mexican migrant labor force in California to the general student body. This was in
preparation for the annual vote that determined whether grapes would be served
in dining halls and houses or boycotted.
The Stanford administration officially eliminated the Grapes Education Program after the UFW called an end to the 18-year boycott on grapes. Despite increasing apathy and hostility towards what was deemed a “dead issue,” the 2000
grapes campaign was highly successful. During the last year of the campaign,
MEChA and the Grapes Coalition employed new awareness-raising tactics including the “caranuval” Theatre Project, the Candlelight Vigil for Farm-Worker
Rights and the Rally for Grapes Awareness, all of which were hugely successful
and well-attended.
Taking a different approach from previous years when outreach was more
grassroots-based via dorm presentations, MEChA decided to personalize the issue in 2000. We aired stories of Stanford students - the parents and grandparents
of whom were farm-workers- through many media outlets, including the Daily,
mass e-mails, and even the Stanford Review. We felt that this type of outreach
could add another perspective to students’ views regarding the boycott, encouraging them to reconsider their apathy towards farm-workers who have been
consistently exposed to dangerous pesticides. This new approach resulted in a
53% dining hall boycott no grapes after a 20% decline in support for the boycott
the previous year.
Although the UFW surprised even MEChA by calling for an end to the boycott (mostly due to monetary restraints), the 2000 Grapes Boycott / Campaign
was nonetheless highly successful. MEChA stressed that the boycott’s end does
not indicate substantial progress in the area of farm-worker rights. According to a 2002 report on pesticides by the United Farm Workers and California
Rural Legal Assistance, approximately one-third of pesticides reported used in
California are known to be toxic carcinogens. Additionally, grapes hold the highest record of reported pesticide poisonings. While MEChA supports the UFW’s
decision to end the boycott, we remind the Stanford community that labor issues
are as critical to address now as ever.


Takeover ‘89
From Justice and Hope
Justice and Hope is a comprehensive history of the Black Student Union and
the event that led up to its inception. Borrow a copy from the Black Community
Services Center.
Takeover ’89 was the result of months and years of frustration and anger at
the slow pace of change and the low priority given to the concerns of students
of color. On May 15, 1989, that anger exploded.
At 7:40 a.m., more than sixty Black, Chicano, Asian American, Native
American, and white students took over President Kennedy’s office to demand
action on a long-standing list of demands relating to multi-cultural life at Stanford. After holding the office all day, fifty-four students were arrested. Local
journalists and campus administrators commented that the protest was unlike
anything they had seen at Stanford since the 1971 Hospital sit-in.
The takeover created an extremely volatile and tense situation that presented
both great dangers and tremendous opportunities for change. Its impact will be
felt for years to come.
Background Information
The roots of the takeover stretch far back into the history of students of
color at Stanford. For all of the participants, the decision to take the building
stemmed from extreme frustration at University intransigence and inaction on
very key and important issues. Asian American students had been working to
create an Asian American Studies Program at Stanford since 1972. They spent
the entire 1988-89 school year circulating petitions, writing letters, meeting
with administrators and committees, and trying to affect the University bureaucracy. One month shy of the end of the school year, all efforts were detailed
explanations of budget restrictions and comments such as “Asian Americans
haven’t been in America long enough to merit an academic discipline.”
Chicano students had been struggling since 1987 to have democratic
decision-making and control over El Centro Chicano. What was supposed to
be a center for the Chicano community where students could come and hang
out with their brothers and sisters in a comfortable and reinforcing environment
had become just another University building where white sorority meetings
sometimes displaced Chicano students. The University had promised to provide
a full-time assistant dean for the community, but had made no progress on the
issue after an entire year. MEChA determined that another year could not end
without a breakthrough in their efforts to give control of the center back to the


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Native American students had struggled for years as an “invisible minority.”
Only with the demonstrations during the Rainbow Agenda did they achieve
significant progress on staffing issues, but they still lacked Native American
Studies or even a Native American history professor. The alienation of those
students was compounded by the annual indignation caused by the attempts
of alumni to resurrect the degrading Indian mascot. For Native Americans, the
issue was basic respect.
The Black students who participated in the protest had simply had enough.
As Fannie Lou Hamer used to say, they were “sick and tired.” Many were
freshmen who had watched as racist incidents occur and go unpunished while
the University proclaimed its commitment to protecting racist speech under the
banner of the First Amendment. The administration had taken no action on the
Mandate for Change. No Black faculty had been hired, valued Black faculty
and staff members were leaving, and Kennell Jackson, Chair of Afro-American
Studies announced that he was stepping down because he could not get adequate University support. The right of Black students to obtain an education
free from racist harassment seemed to have become a secondary concern, and
the Black protesters were determined to put the struggle against racism at the
top of Stanford’s agenda.
Dozens of white students also risked their academic careers to support the
issues of the students of color; they also advocated for increased funding for
teaching assistants, greater democracy in decision-making, and more relevant
By mid-May, the patience of Stanford’s students of color had run out. A
coalition, the Agenda for Action Coalition was created, and shortly thereafter,
business as usual came to a halt at Stanford. The takeover was tumultuous, chaotic, and very, very powerful. Like any risky venture, it was full of both danger
and opportunity.
The action was dangerous because the potential consequence—arrests and
expulsion—were great. The University response to Takeover ’89 was swift and
severe. From the early hours of the occupation, the administration asked no
questions about the demands and refused to negotiate. Instead they threatened
the protesters with felony charges and expulsion from the University, and called
out the Santa Clara County riot police who proceeded to arrest dozens of Stanford students later that day.
After the protest, the hard line response continued into the early stages of
the disciplinary process. Administrators from the Office of Vice-President and
General Council openly talked about how they expected penalties to result from
the process, and protesters were warned at a dorm program that any comments
made could be used against them. After questionable disciplinary proceedings,
eight students were singled out for “especially egregious” charges even thought
the offenses were never specified. In the ultimate irony, all four of the students
from Ujamaa who were arrested in the protest were charged with the “espe-


cially egregious” violations in their action to protest racism while the perpetrators of racist acts in Ujamaa in October had not been charged under the same
University code of conduct (the “especially egregious” charges were eventually
dropped and all the students were treated equally in Stanford’s internal disciplinary process receiving seventy-five hours of community service).
Stanford’s history has shown that the greatest strides toward change have
come about as a result of protests led by students of color. From the BSU taking
the mike in 1968 to the Rainbow Agenda sit-in to the CIV victory, Stanford has
moved forward only at the insistent urging of students of color. The takeover
provided another such opportunity. Since the nature of the action was on a scale
not witnessed in almost two decades, there was excellent potential for making

Fight War, Not Wars: Books Not Bombs
By Derek Kilner
On March 5, 2003 the Stanford campus came alive. With the likelihood of
war in Iraq rapidly accelerating, Stanford experienced its first student strike
since the Vietnam War. Over a thousand students on campus participated in a
national student strike to voice their opposition to the impending invasion of
The day began at 9 in the morning at the Clock Tower, where instead of
finding students frantically biking to their first classes, there was a crowd of
hundreds standing in solidarity with students across the nation in opposition to
unilateral U.S. war in Iraq. After some opening remarks by student leaders and
faculty, the students marched around campus and into a Main Quad that had
been transformed by dozens of students working through the night with banners, artwork, and antiwar signs.
Over the course of the day on the center stage were student performances of
spoken word, poetry and music. Students also broke into discussion groups to
talk about issues ranging from militarism to globalization to institutionalized
racism. During the Books Not Bombs Strike, over sixty professors signed on in
solidarity either by excusing students from or altogether canceling their classes
and many joined us in the Quad to lead teach-ins on a spectrum of issues relating to the Bush administration’s advance to war. The action attracted major
media coverage, from BBC, CNN, & Reuters, down to local media outlets.
More significantly, it brought the Stanford community together, provided a day
for students to step outside their normal routines, and pushed the issue of U.S.
militarism to the fore.
That year was marked by an extended campaign against the Hoover Institution (after all Rice & Rumsfeld have strong ties to Hoover, and 8 of 31
members of the Defense Policy Board were Hoover fellows), including several


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

rallies, marches, speakers, teach-ins, and street theater performances. The start
of the war further spurred activism. Over a hundred students traveled to San
Francisco during finals to engage in civil disobedience and many participated in
a direct action protest at the Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale.
Part II: The University Cracks Down
Books Not Bombs also marked the expansion of an ongoing effort by the
University administrators to disrupt and stop student protest. Prior to the strike,
University officials attempted to bribe organizers into moving the event away
from the Main Quad, offering $2000 in exchange for holding the protest in an
indoor auditorium. Administrators also introduced the prohibitive “Main Quad
Policy,” which students contested for not having been on any website or printed
in any University publication until a week before the strike.
Throughout the day, students were in constant communication with the many
high-level administrators present to minimize the impact on Memorial Church
services and classes. However, university officials proceeded to intimidate
students who went on stage and used the microphone with threats of judicial
and legal action. In addition, plainclothes police officers were present during
the demonstration, pretending to be TV reporters with video cameras, recording both the event and those involved in the organizing. Later, administrators
brought the videotape to student affairs staff in hopes that they would identify
the student organizers of the strike.
These efforts by the administration to control and identify organizers culminated in the investigation of six students on alleged Fundamental Standard
violations, even though the only complaints were filed by administrators and
a single member of the College Republicans. The investigation conveniently
ended during finals week when the six students were charged with breaking
University policy. During this time, the administration threatened legal action
against the students, offered plea bargains, and otherwise sought to isolate the
students and break solidarity. Despite these attempts at intimidation, students
continued to organize and protest the unjust war through teach-ins, demonstrations, and a commemoration of the one-year anniversary in Books Not Bombs


By Timmy Lu

The Fight for the A3C

The history of the A3C demonstrates the importance of student power
in forming community centers. Early Asian American community spaces at
Stanford were formed as reactions to white racism. The Chinese and Japanese
Clubhouses were formed by Asian American students seeking refuge from a
racist campus environment. Similarly, the predecessors of Okada House and the
A3C were founded after student campaigns demanded spaces for Asian American students to meet and congregate as a community.
From its inception in 1977, A3C was located in the Old Fire Truck House
before its renovation. Ironically, the building itself was a fire hazard and had
already been condemned. Indicative of the lack of university concern regarding
the Asian American community at Stanford, the building would house the A3C
for over a decade despite its dilapidated conditions.
During the 1980s, the rising tide of Reagan conservatism made university
campuses increasingly hostile to students of color. A series of hate incidents
rocked the campus, and progressive student activists of color mobilized in coalition to demand institutional changes at Stanford.
In 1987, students of the Asian American Students Association (AASA), the
Black Student Union (BSU), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (MEChA), and Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO) formed the “Rainbow
Agenda” which was a list of ten demands to improve conditions for students of
color at Stanford. Over sixty students interrupted Stanford’s centennial celebration that year to present the demands, which included a larger space for the A3C,
a permanent rejection of the racist Indian mascot, the creation of an ethnic studies graduation requirement, and a high-level administration position dedicated to
serving ethnic minorities.
In 1989, over sixty students of color and white allies, under the name “Agenda for Action Coalition” occupied then-President Kennedy’s office and again
presented their demands. As a result of “Take-over ’89,” dozens of students
were arrested, and eight were unfairly singled out for especially serious charges.
However, the action won significant victories, including the hiring of more faculty of color, the creation of a university committee to address minority issues,
and expanded funding and space for El Centro Chicano and the A3C.
Since 1989, the place of the community centers has been by no means secure.
Gains for the community centers have only been accomplished by student pressure, as in 2002-2003, when Black students successfully convinced the university to allow the desperately needed expansion of the BCSC.
The early history of the A3C shows the power of students to achieve their
demands through activism and community solidarity. But change will not occur
if we do not fight for it. Institutional memory can show us past tactics, warn us
of challenges, and inspire another generation of activists. But it is up to us to
ensure that those struggles were not wasted and that history not forgotten.


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Think About It...
By Jessica Lehman

How many of your friends live upstairs in dorms or houses
without elevators?

Have you ever missed a class due to not being able to find the
room because the room numbers weren’t in Braille?

Do you have professors who talk and write on the board at
the same time? Does it drive you nuts that you can’t see their
mouths to read their lips?

Do you usually get a syllabus on the first day of class? When
do you start the reading? Do you have to wait a week to receive
the books you need on tape because of your learning disability?

Does it bug you that no one in your dorm knows sign language?

Do you like to have a cup of coffee in the morning? How far
ahead of time do you need to plan to go to the bathroom?

Do people ever assume you can’t hold a job because you have
a developmental disability?

Has a parent ever pulled a child away from you or scolded the
child not to look at you or ask you a question?

At Stanford I don’t mind the extra time it might take me to go in my wheelchair from my dorm to the quad. What I do mind is taking hours of time that
could be spent writing that paper or meeting someone new to convince someone
that my needs are genuine or to get a group meeting moved to an accessible
location or to fight to have an elevator installed so that I can be included in
campus life. It makes a huge difference when disabled and non-disabled students
work together for improved access. It matters when you say that you want
money spent on installing Braille and building ramps. It changes people’s lives
when you ensure than an event is accessible to everyone.

Maybe you’re curious about disability but don’t know how to find out.
Ask. Don’t expect everyone to want to talk about their disabilities; respect people’s preferences and ask someone else. Start educating yourself. Think about
people’s needs. People with disabilities need sensitivity and support but not pity.
We need you as an ally in the struggle for equal access and equal civil rights.


Queers of Color
By Chester Day & Shin-Ming Wong
Part 1
Since my freshman year, I have been an active member of both queer and
Asian-American communities. Like many other people of color, I feel comfortable identifying myself as both “queer” and “Asian-American” here at
Stanford. However, my Stanford experience has taught me that the racism
and homophobia in American society at large still operate on our campus to
make many queer people of color uncomfortable with their sexuality or racial
Dis-orientation is a common experience for queer people of color. When
ethnic groups “orient” us, we often feel like the only non-heterosexual in the
community. At their conferences, dinners, and parties, compulsory heterosexuality erases our identities and ignores our issues. When queer groups “orient”
us, we often feel like the only non-white person in the community. At their
workshops, socials, and dances, the norm of whiteness marks us as “Other,”
renders us invisible, and commodifies us as exotic. Two communities claim
us and reject us simultaneously because of racism and homophobia. The gay
community and the ethnic communities welcome you on paper, but exclude
you in person – that is the ultimate dis-orientation.
The silence of the closet and the history of racial oppression both bear
heavily on the shoulders of queer people of color. Our very existence forces
the dominant culture to reconsider how community is defined. These unspoken
definitions reserve queerness for the “white middle-class” and equate ethnicity
with “heterosexual Christian men.” Stanford University assigns its students a
label, an identity, and an occupation, but dominant discourses lack the vocabulary to discuss queer people of color. Unlike straight people of color and white
queers, we do not have the “privilege” of making opposition to racism or
homophobia the center of our political, social, and cultural identities. We view
racism and homophobia as different sides of the same struggle, our lifelong
struggle to recognize and end all forms of discrimination.

We refuse to choose our cause, accept our label, compromise our values, rank our priorities, or quantify our multiple identities. Marginalization is
a qualitative experience, one that cannot be measured, homogenized, diluted,
packaged, or explained. We inhabit hostile borderlands at the intersection of
race, sexuality, class, gender, disability, and nationality. We demand a space
that crosses boundaries, that defies categorization, destroys stereotypes, and
celebrates diversity.
Diversity at Stanford is not about dividing the Stanford community any
further. Instead, the goal of diversity is to make all students comfortable with
themselves and welcome in any community with which they choose to iden-


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

tify. As queer people of color we are not helpless victims – we have agency
and bear some responsibility for the state of our marginalization. Actively
crossing boundaries and forcing the LGBT CRC and ethnic community centers
to accept us in their midst is part of our ongoing struggle to make Stanford
safe for queer people of color.
Part 2
At home, I am Chinese, in Stanford, I am Asian, in China, I might be Cantonese. Race markers dart about and vary in their absoluteness. The arbitrarily
defined racial groups we are identified with each encompass cultures, ethnicities, and histories so diverse that there’s no reason to take classifications based
on race seriously. People still do.
Activism and identity have conveniently been classified into various categories of opposition to a presumed norm. Disorientation occurs when one is
forced to choose between two or more “identities,” each of which is affected
by a particular aspect of discrimination.
We do not have the “privilege” of focusing on one pre-defined issue alone.
We have an impetus, therefore, to realize that all forms of discrimination share
a common origin and essence, and that what is of ultimate importance, what
we are all responsible for, is equality for every person of every color, language, sex, gender, nationality, disability, sexuality, class, and religion. This
equality extends beyond mere equal protection under the law, which does not
and cannot mandate social change. This equality is not a bourgeois luxury, but
a protection from tyranny. A society fractured along a thousand demarcations
and loyalties is wide open to being exploited (a time-honored tradition).
Diversity at Stanford is not about dividing the Stanford community any
further. Instead, the goal of diversity is to make all students comfortable with
themselves and welcome in any community with which they choose to identify. As queer people of color we are not helpless victims – we have agency
and bear some responsibility for the state of our marginalization. We can help
make Stanford a safe space for all.


Before the Tree
By Denni Woodward
Come Big Game time, expect to hear some alumni clamoring about the
bygone days of the Stanford “Indian.” The “Indian” was the mascot for
Stanford’s athletic teams from 1930 to 1970, its most common representation
being a caricature of a small Indian with a big nose. In November 1970, a
group of Native Americans including Dean Chavers, Chris McNeil, and Rick
West presented a petition objecting to 19 years of live performances at athletic
events by Timm Williams, or “Prince Lightfoot.” The students believed the
performances to be a mockery of Native American religious practices. In January 1971, the Native American students met with University President Richard
Lyman to discuss the end of the mascot performances. This first collective
action established the Stanford American Indian Organization.
In February of 1972, 55 Native American students and staff upped the ante.
They presented a petition urging that “the use of the Indian symbol be permanently discontinued” to the University Ombudsperson, who, in turn, presented
it to President Lyman. The petition further stated that the Stanford community
was insensitive to the humanity of Native Americans, that the use of a race’s
name as entertainment displayed a lack of understanding, and that a race of
humans cannot be entertainment. The mascot in all its manifestations was, the
group maintained, stereotypical, offensive, and a mockery of Native American
cultures. In response to their outcry, President Lyman permanently removed
the “Indian” as Stanford’s mascot. Since that decision, nearly every year people campaign to bring back into fashion their Indian sweaters, headbands, and
Halloween war paint under the justification that being chosen as the symbol
of a great university is an honor. Thankfully, the University has maintained its
position every year, saying simply that the mascot issue is not up for a vote.


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Stanford Anti-War and Justice
Movements (1966-1969)
By Dave Pugh ‘70
Many activists in the Stanford anti-war movement had taken part in the civil
rights struggle and the 1964 Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. As the
Vietnam Way rapidly escalated, Stanford students educated themselves – and
took action. They laid the foundation for a rapid expansion of the movement
when the anti-war and Black liberation struggles reached a “high tide.”
Spring-Fall 1965: First Teach-Ins on campus after U.S. President Johnson
sends Marines to South Vietnam. Committee for Medical Aid to Vietnam solicits
blood donations and money for medical supplies for victims of U.S. bombings;
speakers in White Plaza rally are pelted with garbage by ROTC students.
May 1966: Three day sit-in (a first!) at Stanford President’s office to protest
Stanford’s administration of the Selective Service Examination.
Spring-Fall 1967: Over 100 students sign statement: “We Will Not Fight in
Vietnam and Further We Will Not Be Conscripted Into the Military.” Former
ASSU President David Harris goes to jail for draft resistance. In October, Stanford students join “Stop the Draft Week” outside the Oakland Induction Center.
Some experience arrest and jail for the first time.
May 8, 1968: 250 students occupy the Old Union for 3 day protests the
suspension of students who had disrupted CIA recruitment on campus. Faculty
votes to lift suspensions!
October-November 1968: Stanford Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
issues demands that Stanford and its wholly owned Stanford Research Institute
(SRI) end all military and Southeast Asia-related research. Trustees refuse to
discuss demands.
January-February 1969: 50 SDS members “open up” a closed meeting
of the trustees in Tressider. 29 students are tried – and found guilty of “disruption” – by the Student Judicial Council. The SDS defendants treat the trial as an
educational event, explaining why the Trustees should be on trial for materially
assisting U.S. war crimes in Vietnam.
February 1969: The Black Student Union (BSU), with support from SDS, issues demands to hire more Black faculty, provide increased financial aid to black
students, and establish an Afro-American Studies Department. President Pitzer


passes up a meeting to discuss these demands.
Spring 1969: The Women’s Liberation Front is formed on campus. Key issues include Stanford’s refusal to sell contraceptives to unmarried students, the
need for a childcare center, and discrimination against women in admissions and
faculty hiring.
Spring 1969: Stanford students join in strikes and demonstrations at Berkeley and SF State – where Black, Chicano and other Third World Liberation Front
students are demanding ethnic studies departments and increased admissions of
non-white students.
March 11, 1969: 1500 attend debate at Dinkelspiel, a major turning point
in the anti-war movement at Stanford. Speakers produce evidence that extensive classified military research is being done on campus; trustees Hewlett and
Ducommon insist that Stanford does not make “political decisions.” [Former
Provost Condoleeza Rice made similar claims in 1999.]
April 3-9, 1969: 14 liberal and radical groups meet and pass demands for an
end to military and counter-insurgency research at Stanford/SRI, and for closer
control of SRI by the Stanford community. This becomes the April 3rd Movement (A3M). After Trustees refuse to act, 900 students meet and vote to seize
the Applied Electronics Laboratory (AEL).
April 9-18, 1969: AEL Building Occupation: Hundreds of students are
involved in small working committees. Up to 1000 attend general meetings,
broadcast live over KZSU. Bobby Seale, Chairman of the Black Panther Party,
speaks at AEL. After the Judicial Council threatens discipline, 1400 students
sign a Solidarity Statement that they, too, are part of the occupation!
April 18-22, 1969: A3M votes to leave AEL after the faculty promises to end
classified research. Four days later, faculty votes to phase out classified research
at Stanford – the culmination of 3 uphill years of anti-war organizing.
May 16, 1969, 7am: After A3M votes to demonstrate at SRI facility, 500 students, organized in affinity groups, blockade Page Mill Rd. and Hanover Street.
The SRI office is surrounded and shut down.
1970: Anti-war students launch a successful campaign to halt Reserve Office
Training Corps (ROTC) programs on campus. After Nixon orders U.S. troops
into Cambodia in April 1970, student strikes sweep across the U.S. Black and
white student demonstrators are shot at Jackson State and Kent State. At Stanford, police are called into campus 13 times that spring… but that is another


The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Director of Diversity and Access Office: Rosa Gonzalez
Vice President of Human Resources: Diane Peck
Ombuds: David Rasch

School of Earth Sciences: Pamela Matson
School of Education: Deborah Stipek
School of Engineering: James Plummer
Graduate School of Business: Garth Saloner
School of Law: Larry Kramer
School of Medicine: Philip Pizzo
School of Humanities and Sciences: Richard Saller
SLAC: Persis Drell
Religious Life: Rev. Scotty McLennan

Vice Pres. for Development: Martin Shell

Vice Pres., Bus. Affairs and CFO: Randall S. Livingston

Director, Gov’t and Community Relations: Larry Horton

Director of Hoover Institution: John Raisian

Vice President and General Counsel: Debra Zumwalt

Vice President for Public Affairs: David Demarest

CEO, Stanford Management Company: John Powers


Faculty Senate

Vice President
Andy Parker


David Gobaud

John Etchemendy

John Hennessy

Board of Trustees

Student Affairs
Vice Provost for Student Affairs: Greg Boardman
Director of Athletics: Robert Bowlsby
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid: Rick Shaw
Registrar: Tom Black
Contin. Studies & Summer Session: Charles Junkerman
Residential Education: Deborah Golder
Residential and Dining Services: Shirley Everett
Vaden Health Center: Ira M. Friedman
Haas Center for Public Service: Thomas Schnaubelt

Vice Provosts
Academic Affairs: Stephanie Kalfayan
Vice Provost, Dean of Research: Ann Arvin
Budget & Auxiliaries Management: Timothy Warner
Undergraduate Education: John Bravman
Faculty Development & Diversity: Patricia Jones
Graduate Education: Patricia Gumport

Wanna change something? Target the right person. Some
of these folks are great allies, others won’t budge even if
you break down their door—but they’ve all got power.

The Hierarchy of the

Places to Start
These are just some of the organizations and places to get
involved with activism here at Stanford…
Student Groups:


Asian American Students Association (AASA),
Black Student Union (BSU),
Coalition for Justice in the Middle East,
Emma Goldman Society for Queer Liberation,
Farming and Eating for Equality and Diversity, farmersandeaters@mailman.
Men Against Abuse Now (MAAN),
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA),
Muslim Student Awareness Network (MSAN),
Pilipino American Student Union (PASU),
Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO),
Stanford Beyond Bars,
Stanford Immigrant Rights Project (SIRP), immigrantrights-core@lists.
Stanford Labor Action Coalition (SLAC),
Stanford National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Stanford Says No to War (SSNW),
Stanford Theater Activist Mobilization Project (STAMP),
Students Promoting Ethnic and Cultural Kinship (SPEACK),
Students Taking on Poverty (STOP),
Students Confronting Apartheid by Israel (SCAI),
Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS),
Women’s Coalition,
Stanford Faiths Acting in Togetherness and Hope (FAITH),

The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

Community Centers:
Asian American Activities Center (A3C)
Bechtel International Center
Black Community Services Center (BCSC)
El Centro Chicano
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Resources Center
Native American Cultural Center
Office for Religious Life
Women’s Community Center

More Good Stuff:

The Bridge Peer Counseling Center:
Stanford Peace of Mind:
Alternative Spring Break,
Sexual Health Peer Resources Center (SHPRC),

This is just a small list of some of the cool resources on campus. For a listing of
all registered student groups, you can search

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1. Direct Action
2. Direct Service
3. Advocacy
4. Education…
All are necessary – but alone, each is insufficient.

The Reorientation Guide 2009-2010

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