Subvert the Dominant Paradigm! Stanford University Disorientation Guide Stanford 1996-97

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Subvert the Dominant Paradigm! Stanford University Disorientation Guide
Stanford 1996-97

Date

1996

Place

Stanford, California

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DISORIENTATION
GUIDE

STANFORD UNIVERSITY

1996-97

GET DISORIENTED!
During Orientation week Stanford dazzled you with images of
harmony, prosperity, and unity. However, just as with every other
major social institution, Stanford University requires the vigilance of its
community, to speak out about the injustices that it commits or perpetu­
ates with its silent assent. Stanford’s image as an oasis of academic
excellence, social prosperity, and social harmony is unsuitable when we
consider some of the university’s inhumane and insensitive practices.
From the article about Webb Ranch to the story about the vandalizing of
the "Gay Liberation" statue, you will recognize that the Stanford commu­
nity has much growth to do before we can truly claim to be a respectful
and socially responsible community.
The articles within the Disorientation Guide were written to
educate and spark action and dialogue among ourselves, as Stanford
students and socially conscious activists. The Disorientation Guide
presents an alternative image of our immediate Stanford community
which will hopefully provoke you to question the moral integrity of our
community, yourself, and this planet’s institutions. Further, we hope to
present you with past struggles that will inspire and support you as you
engage the university in your own efforts to shape it, use it's resources to
benefit greater society, and work to bring about greater social responsi­
bility from your peers and institutions.
We encourage you to read the whole Disorientation Guide and to
learn about the issues students like you have worked on and debated
from the past to the present. Don’t just mentally masturbate ....

Get
Take action.

Get

invol

What good is knowledge if we don’t apply
it to our lives and the lives of others?

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Stanford's Amorality
Prop. 209
Start the Dialogue
SHAC: the unshowered smell
of disorientation
The Economic Justice Council:
Political Power in Fresh Hands
All Housing is not Created Equal
¡No Grapes!
Women Defending Ourselves
A Call for Asian American Studies
Asian American Studies
We never asked to be mysterious
Stanford, Inc. Quiz
Bloody Money
Caspar: Deaf to Student Voice
Stanford-Hoover Connections
Stanford's Shame
Crossward Puzzle
Welcome to Polio's!
Labor Fights Back!
Union Yes!
When the "Indian" Was Mascot
Students Protest in Solidarity
against Police Brutality
Homophobes Get Off Easy
From the Mountains of the
Mexican Southeast
Lost Opportunities...
Contact Lists

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Stanford's Amorality
Editors' Note:

Excerpted from

Faces

We live in a terribly amoral society and a terribly amoral school.
Note that I didn’t say: immoral, just amoral: without morals. Very few
people here are out to cause any harm. We are indifferent. We focus on
our classes to get into grad school, to get a good job, to live a sturdy life.
If we do community service, it’s an annoyance and something we
have to do. We get drunk on weekends to have fun. Mostly, we pass the
time until we can move on, hoping that we will beat Cal, that we will get
an A on our chemistry mid-term and that we can continue steaming
down the track that most of us are on, to a successful, indifferent life.
What I want to ask is for each of you to join me in trying to step out of
this box and this mold. Join me in trying to figure out an underlying

HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, WE

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WHILE OTHER NATIONS BASH
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moral sense where good and bad aren’t measured in touchdowns,
field goals, GPA or sexual allure.
Join the many students here who have fire burning in them about
issues that cut: about the California Civil Rights (Wrongs) Initiative ,
about whether or not Stanford should invest its endowment in corpora­
tions that support brutal dictatorships in Burma, about toxic waste in
East Palo Alto and social and racial justice. Join the many students who
know that their lives are consequential.
Don't block all of this out and decide that it is better to be happy
on a superficial level than to question and to be possibly disconsolate on
a profound level. This is what I thought freshman year- running
robotically back and forth in a swimming pool. It’s not what I think
now.We are some of the most intelligent, powerful and privileged people
in the world. We have an incredible amount of power, energy and
potential as young people, as students, as Stanford students. Let’s use
what we have and knock that wall of indifference down.

Prop. 209
Editors' Note:
working

together

Currently
against

at Stanford,
Prop.
209.

In California, citizens can initiate proposals for changing the
state’s constitution. If the backers can gather enoiigh signatures, the
proposals appear on the ballot for popular vote in the state’s general
elections. Theoretically this system is a great way for people to have a
direct impact on their lives without the mediation of (generally corrupt)
politicians. However it also allows the very rich and powerful, who can
afford massive advertising, to promote and often pass proposals that are
poorly thought out and have hidden effects. It’s like having a bunch of
legislative Ross Perots on the ballot at every election. Proposition 209 is
such a proposed amendment to the California constitution, and it is on the
November 5 ballot.
The crowd of quasi-academic rich old white men in Orange
County that drafted Prop. 209 call it the “California Civil Rights Initiative
(CCRI).” Who wants to vote against Civil Rights? Very few people. But
this bill is not about opening doors for everyone - it’s about ending
affirmative action:
Neither
the
State
of California
or agents
shall
use
race,
sex,
color,
eth
criterion
for
either
discriminating
again
treatment
to, any
individual
or group
system for public
employment,
public
Nothing
in this
section
shall
b
fide
qualifications
based
on sex
which
normal
operation
of public
employment,
contracting.
Under current laws, discrimination on the basis of race, color and
national origin are already proscribed. Discrimination on the basis of sex
is only allowed in the case of “compelling government interest,” the most
stringent legal standard. “Reasonableness” is open to wide interpreta­
tion, and lower than the standard for discrimination against women
deemed federally acceptable. Affirmative action, however, is not only
allowed, it is the standard legal remedy for current gender and color
discrimination, both personal and institutional.
How does affirmative action do this? It allows public agencies
and schools to follow loose goals and timetables to address disparities,
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and to consider race and gender as factors in hiring, promoting,
contracting and admitting. This does not mean using quotas, which have
been outlawed since 1978, (EXCEPT by judicial order in extreme cases)
nor does it mean accepting unqualified candidates, nor does it mean
“reverse discrimination.” Of the 90,000 discrimination cases filed with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 3,000 were filed
by white men, and only 6 of these were found valid. Affirmative action
programs, like minority recruitment programs at universities, expand
pools of applicants to people who might not ordinarily apply. Other
initiatives force wider advertisement of job availability, to give everyone
an equal chance at getting an opening, and actually increase candidate
quality by enlarging the candidate pool. Currently, 86% of available jobs
are not advertised, but fill by word of mouth - the old boy’s network.
The white men of this network dominate the power-structures of
our society: they overwhelmingly hold the most powerful, recognized,
and highest-paid positions in schools, corporations, public offices, and
businesses. Schools in white areas have more experienced teachers and
get more funding than those with a majority of people of color. Girls
don’t get as much classroom attention as boys.
A well-financed campaign to protect this power has been taking
over California, and the rest of the nation. Last year, the UC Regents’
board voted to end affirmative action on the basis of race and sex tellingly, sports recruitment remained unscathed. Our own Hoover
Tower’s Glenn Campbell threw his full support into the measure. Many
of the same people behind this movement and Proposition 209, like Gov.
Pete Wilson,his appointee Regent Ward Connerly, and Orange County
based proposition authors Glynn Custred and Tom Wood, were major
supporters of Propositions 187 and 184. Proposition 187 denied almost
all public services, including school and immunization programs to
undocumented immigrants and their children, and required service
providers like doctors, teachers, and counselors to question all people
“suspected” of not having papers, and to report all undocumented people
to the INS. Proposition 184, as a “three strikes” law, targets especially
young African-American, Latino/a and Asian youth, who are far more
likely to be convicted of crimes by our criminal court system than their
white counterparts.
These men dare to claim allegience with the goals of the Civil
Rights Movement,with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Were they out on the
streets supporting it? What these people mean by a color-blind society is
one in which they do not have to confront their own privilege.
For
more
information,
subscribe
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Join the fight against Proposition 209

Start the Dialogue
Late in the spring of 1996, members of RAGE opened a meeting
called Start the Dialogue for all Stanford people interested in
progressive student organizing. The meeting enabled students involved
in various organizing activities to meet one another, share experiences,
discuss practices in campus organizing and recruitment, and also worked
to combat the intermittence of student organizing efforts caused by school
vacations.
The meeting, held at El Centro Chicano, began with a home cooked
pot-luck meal. Over 80 students attended, and each briefly discussed
what s/he was involved in and what s/he hoped to take away from the
meeting. In small group discussions, organizers developed new strategies
and shared information regarding the range of organizing occurring on
campus.
Start the Dialogue was unique in recent Stanford history. It brought
students together to discuss practice, without attempting to
organize around a specific issue. The intent was to promote activism by
providing support and information. Start The Dialogue invited students
to attend as individuals interested in working for social justice, rather than
as representatives of groups with specific goals and set agendas.
The two hour meeting brought a renewed commitment to campus
activism, and provided a space for people to get involved. This
year’s Disorientation Guide is largely a result of the efforts of people who
attended that meeting to continue a tradition. The organizing against
Proposition 209 across campus groups owes a large debt to the networks
established at Start the Dialogue.
Organizing in the 1990's relies on coalitions and careful analysis of
activism and the policies it advocates. Start the Dialogue initiated
the conversation among the campus groups. Now we must continue to
pursue its goal of information sharing and cross-group organizing.
For
more
information,
suscribe

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SHAC:
the unshowered smell
of disorientation
Disorient yourself. Have you come to Stanford hoping to find a
new world of broadening possibilités, only to find that you've just set foot
into another microcosm of limited experience? As you walk across
campus, look around. What sort of people do you see? Stanford prides
itself on its multiculturalism and pluralism of ethnicity, but what about
the spectrum of economic income? Ever hear anyone talk about
Stanford's "invisible labor force" or catch a glimpse of someone stooped
over a bed of grass pulling up weeds? Or maybe you've noticed a
slightly scraggly individual wandering about in the coffee house,
strangely out of place. Here at Stanford, we have a hard time reminding
ourselves that there are many people in the world and here on our campus
who are either homeless or teetering on the edge of financial displace­
ment. The Stanford Homelessness Action Coalition works with homeless
and low-income people in the surrounding area through projects of
political advocacy, direct service, creative expression, you name it, to
create as many of the opportunities for these people as have been given to
Stanford's students.
Let us emphasize that we are not a student group with highminded ambitions that goes out into the community trying to make a
name for itself. We are a coalition. Pre-dating our hopeful influx of new
recruits, SHAC currently consists of more homeless people than students.
And we think this means a lot. Students in our organization often spend
time hanging out in front of Starbucks on University Ave. just chit­
chatting with some of the low-income minority of Palo Alto to find out
what life's like in their scene. There are things to be learned from people
other than professors. Sure, we can't idealize the homeless. They come
up with as many silly ideas as the students. But out of the mish-mash
have come some stellar gems.
We're currently working on several projects. One of the real
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beauties is what's going to be called the Economic Justice Council.
(See article, page 7.) It's basically a coup-de-grace of political represen­
tation for low-income people in the Pedo Alto government -- not just a
soap box, but a real birthing ground for community development propos­
als. Then there's employment, a basket of several eggs. There's a pilot
jobs program for homeless people that the city is running right now, but
unfortunately it's a pretty bare skeleton, so we're working with local job
development agencies to beef it up. There's entrepreneurialism, of which
our favorite example is David "Cadillac" Wormley, who's got a bike
repair/dealing operation in effect. We had nothing to do with it, but we
think for all the gearheads on campus, we should be able to find him a
cohort. If we could get some webheads, we'd like to set up an informa­
tion/referral service that could act as a hub for connecting homeless
people skilled in home maintenance with Palo Alto residents who need
some work done. Housing? Employment doesn't go very far without a
roof over your head, so Margaret Ash, one of SHAC's community
leaders, has been working hard to increase the number of low-income
housing units in Palo Alto. Surely, you think, that covers the bases. Of
course not. Homeless people, like any people, aren't just about labor and
shelter. What about projects involving nature and the arts? Several
homeless people, including SHAC member Larry Duncan, worked
tirelessly over the past few years to develop a wonderful organic garden
which is currently operated by Urban Ministry of Palo Alto. The garden
will hopefully expand now with the vision of its "denmother" Thea, a
woman who has inspired us to start exploring the possibility of develop­
ing an arts and crafts center alongside the garden.
As you can see, we're not a bunch of good-intentioned-butunproductive hotheads propugandizing about the global crisis of human­
ity. OK, we speak the speak. But we're also about grassroots projects in
our local community. We try to turn a hodge podge of do-gooders and
politicos, sweetwater and hellfire, into a joyous revolution that gives
everyone a warm fuzzy feeling in the end. From ongoing dialogue
ranging from "Bomb the City Council!" to "Can’t we all just be friends?,"
we've managed to build a coalition that will hopefully have a sustainable
spirit long after the rallying cries have faded. If you let your life be
invaded, if you let your knees buckle just a little during that moment of
dizzyness, you just might find that disorientation can give your life a
whole new direction.

For

more

information,
-

8

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contact

The Economic Justice Council:
Political Power in Fresh Hands
For those of you interested in politics, at least the good kind, wow,
do we have a treat for you. Picture this: a collective group of homeless
and low-income individuals who meet as an official advisory committee to
the Palo Alto City Council regarding issues of poverty in their community.
And they call themselves, the "Economic Justice Council.”
How did this come about? Last January, due to rising complaints
from respected Palo Alto residents, the Human Relations Commission
formed the Homelessness Task Force to study the problem of
homelessness in their city. The task force was comprised of concerned
community members, a Stanford professor, SHAC member Jon Miller,
and several homeless people. One of the key points the task force dis­
cussed was the question of representation of homeless people in local
government. Despite the ongoing struggle of Jon and Larry Duncan, one
of the homeless reps, to include the recommendation of a "Poverty Coun­
cil" among the proposals, the other members of the task force overruled
the idea. Yet undeterred, on a late night in September, at the presentation
of the task force proposal to the HRC, several SHAC members in the
audience raised the issue again. Much to their surprise, the HRC agreed to
the creation of such a council. To top off the agreement with a gesture of
his political saavy, former task force member, Joe Baldwin, suggested the
title "Economic Justice Council."
In purpose, the Economic Justice Council will serve several
functions. As a fledgling creation with no political clout, the bullypulpit

This is an opportunity for people to start
taking a proactive role in directing the
forces that control their lives.

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has been discarded as a productive form of expression. Instead, we
are preparing the council to be a means for actual implementation of
long-discussed ideas. For instance, people continually discuss the need
for a multi-service center in Palo Alto that could provide anything from
showers, storage and laundry to human services like job development,
discussion groups, alcohol/drug rehab etc. You can't just go before the
City Council on a Monday night, give them your little shpeil and then
expect something to get done. Soon the low-income population will
have a group that will have the organizing resources to transform their
ideas into reality. This is an opportunity for people to start taking a pro­
active role in directing the forces that control their lives.
If you'd like to get involved in the formation of this council,
there is still a lot to be done. The Human Relations Commission has
given SHAC, both homeless community leaders and students, the goahead to put together the initial group of council members, so we've got
limited time to do a lot of footwork. Right now we're planning on doing
extensive advertisement and interviewing throughout the various housing
complexes and low-income neighborhoods to broaden the constituency
as much as possible.
For
more
information,
contact

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All Housing is not
Created Equal
Mia
Though all freshmen are assigned to traditional, University
operated dorms for their first year on campus, once you venture outside
the Branner dining hall you may begin to notice that all University
residences are not created equal. The Row Houses- the ones where you
might attend some of your first Stanford parties- are the most coveted
group of residences for undergraduates in the Spring housing Draw. It's
easy to understand why. After all, the luxury of two room doubles and
private cooks isn't lost on your average Frosh who has spent the year
marooned in a Roble quad. But Row housing is not equally available to
all.

Women and men do not have equal
access to the same type of housing.
And that type of housing just happens
to be the best housing on campus.
While Fraternities are housed on campus and offer undergradu­
ate men the opportunity to live in style on the Row, undergraduate
women compete for a smaller number of Row slots in the non-Fratemity
Row houses, which provide equal slots for men and women. And
although Stanford provides an equal number of men's and women's beds
in all undergraduate residences to insure the barest legal compliance
with Title IX ( which bans discrimination based upon sex in educational
institutions) it is immediately apparent to any woman who has gone
through the Draw that women and men do not have equal access to the
same type of housing. And that type of housing just happens to be the
best housing on campus.
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It is important to recognize that the current system is the result of
many obscure historical details and events; for example, although
Stanford owns the fraternity houses (with the exception of Sigma Chi)
some of the fraternities relinquished their houses to Stanford under the
condition that as long as they played by the University's rules, they
would be eligible for a house. Such facts require a nuanced discussion and negotiation - of this issue. But as an educational institution, Stanford
has a fundamental obligation to provide its female students with
equal educational opportunities- which includes equal access to good
housing. To set aside University land and buildings for the Fraternity
system is to mandate a discriminatory housing system. University
officials have discussed some facile solutions to the dilemma - for
example, working with several Sororities to discuss the possibility of
providing them with housing- but this simply provides a legally conve­
nient solution to a larger problem. No student - male or female - should
have something as integral to their quality of life as their housing depen­
dent on their decision to become part of the Greek System.
One would hope that the University would take steps to rectify this
disparity, but in fact, the Administration seems intent on perpetuating it.
Due to an archaic grandfather clause, the University is taking steps to
provide the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity - which at last count had barely
enough members to fill a History Comer seminar room - with a house of
its own. The University's inaction on this issue is particularly galling in
light of the Administration's eviction of Women's Self-Defense classes
from the campus three years ago on the grounds that single-sex
classes constituted a violation of Title IX. But what is most unfortunate
about this particular variety of inequality is both its blatancy as well
as its apparent acceptance with many undergraduates, who continue to
see the current sexual division of housing resources as at most an unfor­
tunate fact of the status quo, and whose response to it extends only to
complaining about Draw results over dinner.
The question remains, what is to be done? Write letters to the Daily
in response to Greek-related issues. Go to town hall meetings, ASSU
meetings, and Tea and Cookies with our favorite Germanic legal scholar.
Get involved with the Women's Center. Raise the right questions with
the right people and make housing an issue at Stanford.
For
more
information,contactmia@leland.

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¡ No Grapes !
In a self-sacrificing act of protest, 42 hunger strikers began
demonstrating in the Main Quad on the morning of May 4,1994, some
camping out under tents and banners for three days, to voice their de­
mands and gather support.
The Hunger Strike was rooted in frustration over the treatment of
people of color in the US in general, and Stanford’s consistent refusal to
acknowledge the concerns and demands of its students of color. The event
was sparked specifically by the layoff of Cecilia Burciaga, one of the few
high level Chicana administrators and a mentor for many, and by an
incident which occurred at Flicks. During an informational film on the
conditions of migrant farm workers Stanford students yelled racial slurs
and generally belittled human suffering.
The protesters, mostly members of the Chicano/a student organi­
zation MEChA, listed four demands on the administration. Four of the
protesters refused to eat until these demands were met. The strikers
asked for the reinstatement of Burciaga at a high level position, Univer­
sity support in organizing a community center in East Palo Alto, the
creation of a Chicano/a/Latino/a studies program with more financial
support for Chicano organizations on campus, and a University wide
boycott on grapes to protest the treatment of grape workers, who are often
forced to work in pesticide-soaked fields and who must live under
wretched housing conditions.
After three days of fasting, during which more than 100 other
students also fasted at least one day in solidarity, the protesters decided to
eat again, after long negotiations with President Casper and University
Provost Condoleezza Rice.
The administration agreed to allow University resources to go
into the planning of an EPA community center, although it felt the
demand still too vague to endorse absolutely. Casper also appointed
people to examine the viability of a Chicano studies program, and created
a ten member committee to investigate the need for a grape boycott. The
administration, however, did nothing about Burciaga, hardly even ac­
knowledging her importance to students and her efforts to recruit people
of color.
The Grape Policy Committee, headed by Political Science
professor and Castaño RF Luis Fraga, consisted of four faculty members,
two senior staff members, two graduate students, and two undergraduates.
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IF YOU'RE NOT
OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT
PAYING ATTENTION!
The comittee examined scientific and social literature on the topic, in
an effort to understand the extent of toxic pesticide use in the field, and the
effects it has on workers and consumers. It heard from representatives from
United Farm Workers and the Grape Workers and Farmers Coalition, and
from experts from the California Environmental Protection Agency and the
Stanford Medical School. In order to understand the sentiments of the
Stanford community, the Grape Policy Committee also held a public
hearing, where everyone was welcome to present personal viewpoints to the
committee. The general feeling of this hearing was one of solidarity for the
workers, and many students told stories of their days in the grape fields and
the horrors of pesticide use.
On February 6,1995, the group finally felt it had heard enough
evidence to formulate a policy, and reported its findings to President Casper.
The report stated that while there was little scientific evidence directly
implicating pesticide-use with the physical condition of grape workers,
there was a consensus that the treatment of workers was unfair and that
residences and administrative units should be allowed to vote individually
whether or not to serve grapes in their dining halls.
Casper, however, disregarded this report and on April 12 released
his decision to preserve the same policy President Kennedy created in 1989
in the face of similar dissatisfaction. He would not support a Universitywide boycott, and would only give student residence halls the power to vote
on whether to serve grapes. Administrative units would not have that right.
Not only did Casper ignore the findings of the Grape Policy Com­
mittee, he also didn’t announce the policy until the day before the specialfee campaign began, when student activists were already working 24 hours
a day to get funding.
Students across campus were angered at the president’s decision,
but the hunger strike remains a symbol of students united in fighting
injustice. Keep this history in mind when the vote comes up in your resi­
dence this Fall.
For
more
information,
subsribe
14
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Women Defending Ourselves
You are studying with a friend who suddenly locks the door and
tries to assault you. You don’t like how close to you your chemistry TA
sits. You are walking alone on campus early in the morning, and a white
van slows beside you. You want to speak in Discussion Section, but
somehow never get the chance.
Self Defense for Women is a class that teaches women to defend
themselves in a variety of situations. Each class has physical, theoretical,
and assertiveness components. Once a week for ten weeks, participants
meet to learn how to use their bodies strengths against weak points to
debilitate attackers. They practice defending their opinions, space and
comfort, and learn ways to address social situations that are accepted but
not acceptable. They debunk myths about rape, incest, and child and
domestic partner abuse, and explore the role of gender, race and class in
creating these myths. They discuss the realities of and theories behind a
law system and society that refuse to punish, and in many ways support,
violence against and subordination of women.
The Women Defending Ourselves Collective (WDO) started
teaching the class as a SWOPSI in 1985. After SWOPSIs (see article page
47) were cut, students fought hard to get the class moved into the Feminist
Studies Department, along with a parallel class for men. After one year,
an anonymous complaint was filed with the National Office of Civil
Rights, claiming that the class broke Title DC. Title DC is a federal regula­
tion requiring, among other things, that all schools recieving federal
funding give equal opportunity to both sexes. It also contains what is
known as an Affirmative Action clause, allowing for classes to be segre­
gated if they are taught with compensatory purpose, ie classes that help
people address problems specific to their group. Stanford then quickly
removed the class from campus when WDO declined to make it co-ed,
without allowing the standard federal investigation to see whether or not
Title IX applies to the class.
While male safety is certainly a valid concern, the overwhelming
number of cases of assault outside prisons are against women. Title IX
assessments in the past have allowed women only Self-Defense classes
under the Affirmative Action clause, and WDO feels that the class is not in
violation of the reguation.
Women Defending Ourselves, the collective that teaches the
classes, refused to offer co-ed classes for many reasons. The class teaches
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physical techniques specifically tailored for a woman's physique, and the
readings and discussions focus on women and society's attitude towards
them. As women are socialized to be more passive than men, the
assertiveness training is more applicable to women. The class also breaks
away from normal gender-dynamics in order to study them from a distance,
and to experience alternatives. Furthermore, because most assailents are
men, many women, especially survivors, feel better talking about safety
issues without men.

Stanford ought to fight for women's
rights to learn how to protect and assert
themselves, rather than selling out half
its students in unsubstantiated panic.
WDO has been fighting hard to get the class back on campus. They
have organized petitions and protests, and presented Provost Rice and Legal
council Brest with a 50 page legal brief, expalaining why the class does not
conflict with Title IX. Stanford agreed to sign on to the brief with a few
modifications, and it was sent as a joint document to the Civil Rights Office.
The university finally agreed to sponsor the class again, if the CRO reviews
it positively.
The university does currently have self-defense options. Please use
them. The Physical Education Department offers a ju-jitsu self defense
course (PE 93), and a whole range of other wonderful martial arts classes that
focus on physical defense and mental preparation for attack. Most recently,
Cowell Health Promotion Services has set up a program of free 2 hour
workshops on self-defense. The Women’s Center and Cowell have informa­
tion on sexual assault and harassment, and a host of other personal safety
issues. Yet none of these options offers the depth and focus on the range of
violence committed against women that the WDO class does. The class is
currently offered off campus, which is less safe and less convenient. There is
no credit for taking it, and it is not legitimized by the University. The
collective has to rent space, provide its own equiptment, etc. Stanford ought
to fight for women’s rights to learn how to protect and assert themselves,
rather than selling out half its students in unsubstantiated panic.

For

more

information,
16
-

-

contact

A Call for Asian
American Studies
Chinks suck. Last Spring, these two words were scrawled more
than once in black permanent marker on the table displaying the KoreanAmerican journal Reflections in the Asian American Activities Center.
When I saw them last Spring, I wasn’t surprised to see blatent racist
remarks scrawled at an educational institution as esteemed as Stanford.
Although I wasn’t surprised, I am still saddened by the state of racism in
this country. Hate is as strong as ever.

You are passive. You are hardworking.
You are a math whiz, master violinist and
black belt. Your women are sexual con­
quests and your men are sexually inad­
equate. That is the model minority. The
perfect minority.
Asian Americans are still oppressed by stereotypes and messages in
this country. You are passive. You are hardworking. You are a math
whiz, master violinist and black belt. Your women are sexual conquests
and your men are sexually inadequate. You are weak and without voice
and, therefore, without power.
That is the model minority. The perfect minority. This is an idea
that exists in the minds of all Americans and Asian Americans. People of
color are often dealt a card, an expectation of what they are to become.
Categorization is a form of control stemming from fear in this country.
You fear what you don’t understand.
Chinks suck.
People often wonder why I am fighting for Asian-American Studies.
It is exactly because this hate and fear exists. Many students graduate,
-

17

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still unaware of the sweat and blood of Asians running deep in the
building of America. Shiploads of Asian bodies were sent home in the
1800s, killed while building our railroads. Many others sweat in planta­
tion fields and menial work, barely making enough to eat. Asians were
seen as expendable humans, as were many other people of color, made to
do the dirty work of making this country “great.”

Sentiments of wild-eyed "Japs" taking
over the world, "yellow monkeys, go
home," pretty China dolls and "strangers
from a different shore" must end. Our
voice must be expressed among others.
Asian Americans have a long and valuable story that has been
ignored and marginalized in our educational system. Lack of under­
standing of our story and culture has forced harmful stereotypes to exist
as they do. Sentiments of wild-eyed “Japs” taking over the world,
“yellow monkeys, go home,” pretty China dolls and “strangers from a
different shore” must end. Our voice must be expressed among others.
Asian-American Studies would not be necessary if we were considered
valuable and integral parts of the society at large. Hate and fear stem
from this ignorance and makes our struggle even more pertinent.
There is a poster in Muwekma-Tah-Ruk of the American flag.
Underneath the flag is a statement: “Make something of it.” The fight
for Asian-American Studies is an attempt to make something more of
this University, not an attack on it. It is important that we, as Asian
Americans, no longer allow ourselves to be taken for granted and ex­
ploited in government and judicial systems that do not believe racism
exists - or at least make the public believe that racism does not exist. We
can no longer think that we can achieve acceptance because we don’t
riot, don’t make waves, don’t protest, in order to be considered more
“American.” We don’t see that we’ve described ourselves as a race of
mute, blind, deaf - the perfect minority.
Let’s make something of it.
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18

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Asian American Studies
Maybe you've heard that this may be the first year that Stanford
offers a major and minor in Asian American studies. Maybe you've heard
that students, faculty and staff have been fighting for a program at
Stanford since 1970. You're probably wondering what this is all about.
Well, first ask yourself some questions. In high school did you learn that
Asians have been in the U.S. since the early 1800's? Did you read
books by and about Asian Americans? Did you discuss the affect of anti­
immigrant legislation on Asians and Pacific Islanders? Very few
people can answer 'yes' to those questions. In fact very few people can
answer 'yes' to those questions if you ask them about their time here at
Stanford. These gaps in our system of education are not oversights and
lead society to ignore, marginalize and appropriate the experiences of
Asian and Pacific Islanders in the US. These gaps attempt to hide the
racist, imperialistic and exploitive actions this country has taken
against Asian and Pacific Islanders. Thus Asian American Studies is
about the recognition of Asian and Pacific Islanders as human beings
with histories, literature, means of expression and unique perspectives.
Students have been struggling to establish Asian American studies at
Stanford since 1970. Every small step that has been made towards Asian
American Studies at Stanford has been a result of student protest and
action. Currently you still cannot major in Asian American Studies.
Stanford has only three professor who were hired to teach Asian Ameri­
can Studies. Gordon Chang and David Palumbo-Liu were hired only
after a group of students took over the President's office in 1989 and
Carolyn Wong was just hired last year following a series of student
protests concerning hiring procedure.
This fall quarter the Faculty Senate will vote on a proposal for the
Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Program (CSRE). If CSRE
passes students will be able to major and minor in Asian American
studies, Chicano/Latino studies, Native American studies or in Compara­
tive Studies. (Stanford already has a program in African and African
American Studies.) Thus this may be a historic year. A long battle fought

-

19

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by generations and generations of Stanford students may come to a
close. This may be the first frosh class presented with the option of
majoring and minoring in Asian American Studies. With the possibility
of the establishment of a program for the first time since 1970 we need
everyone to get involved. Every student on this campus should be at the
Faculty Senate Meeting when CSRE is voted on. If this opportunity is
lost without a fight, we will betray the last 25 years of student activism,
sacrifice and commitment.

For

more

infomation,

contact AA

We never asked to
be mysterious
Founded in 1989 to confront and dispel stereotypes of Asian
women, Stanford Asian Women (SAW) is an organization which strives
to increase awareness of Asian American women’s issues. In the past,
SAW has organized for garment workers’ rights, brought in a speaker
from AIWA (Asian Immigrant Women’s Advocates), and held a
roundtable discussion on feminism. Members of SAW have been in­
volved with issues such as Prop 187, Ethnic Studies, the Stanford Park
Hotel, and the Contract on America. Last year, as part of Herstory, SAW
held a lunchtime showing and discussion of “Yuri Kochiyama : A Passion
for Justice”. This documentary was about the life of an Asian American
woman activist who greatly influences different communities of color in
New York.
SAW’s main project is the Asian American Women’s Journal.
Published annually, the journal provides a forum for the creative expres­
sion of Asian American women. It includes literary and artistic works,
interviews, and essays.
M ost importantly, SAW respects the individuality of each
woman, and seeks to create a comfortable environment in which women
can explore their identities and decide for themselves what it means to be
an Asian American woman.

We never asked to be mysterious
inscrutable
Still untold stories, untold histories
Our dreams in bones and ashes?
Being presumptuous I speak for myself
Others who remain silent
own their own tongues
- Nellie Wong

-21

-

Stanford, Inc. Quiz
Abdi
1) The university with a major shopping mall on its premises:
a) Stanford, Inc. b) Berkeley c) Cañada d) Yale
2) The university that is host to a Superfund site, the toxic legacy of
a high-tech corporation:
a) Stanford, Inc. b) Oxford
c) American University in Cairo d) Chico State
3) The university whose provost is a former military advisor to
George Bush, receives thousands of dollars for serving on the
Board of Directors of Chevron and has an oil tanker named after
him/her:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) UPenn
c) University of Massachusetts
d) Rice
4) The university whose provost went lobbying this summer to
preserve federal military research funding at current levels:
a) Stanford, Inc. b) Amherst College
c) Notre Dame d) U Hawaii-Manoa
5) The university founded when a robber barron family invested its
entire fortune into an academic institution and rose to be a world
class institution as a result of its marriage to the emerging
industries and wealth of the Silicon Valley:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) San Jose State
c) Foothill College d) East Coast Aerotech
6) The university which provides capital to illegitimate military
dictatorships, advocates child sweatshop labor, and endorses
clearcutting in Canadian Rainforests:
a) Stanford, Inc. b) University of Wisconsin
c) Howard Community College d) Tufts

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22

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Bloody Money
,

Nick

I’m typing this article on a thousand-dollar computer in an
office funded entirely by this University. Yes, this is Stanford and we’re
damn rich. We have money oozing out of our eyeballs and dripping out
of our nostrils.
But where does the three to four billion dollar endowment come
from? It comes partly from you and partly from Burmese slaves you
will never know, partly from generous alumni, and partly from commu­
nities in Los Angeles covered in toxic waste and dying of cancer, partly
from the US government, and partly from the blood of murdered stu­
dents in Southeast Asia.
Stanford hasn’t cared what companies it has put its money into;
it has invested for optimum yield, period. We have 8 million dollars
invested in Texaco and 2 million dollars invested in Unocal. These
companies are the main contributors to SLORC, the brutal military
dictatorship suppressing the Burmese people. These same multi-nation­
als are using slave labor to build a pipeline across Burma.
According to the premier organization analyzing investment
priorities, Stanford has millions of dollars in five of the ten worst
corporations in this country.

If Stanford refused to make millions off
the sweat of the downtrodden and instead
made money off of lifting people up, the
whole world would notice.
This wealth, however, also lends us tremendous opportunity.
If Stanford stood up to slave labor and environmental destruction in
Burma, people would listen. If Stanford refused to make millions off the
sweat of the downtrodden and instead made money off of lifting people
up, the whole world would notice. We have a tremendous opportunity to
-

23

-

)

make a difference if we only put our money where our heart is. It is
time for us students to become heirs to the free South Africa campaign,
organized in the days of apartheid to donate money to Stanford, provided
they refused to invest in racist South Africa. This campaign influenced
Stanford to divest millions from companies in South Africa. It is time
that we ask that Stanford toss its giant weight against the grinding gears
of corporate destruction.
Students for Environmental Action at Stanford (SEAS), for
example, has come up with a plan to develop a second investment fund
that only invests money in community building organizations and
corporations. Alumni will be able to choose whether to donate their
money to this fund or to the Rape and Pillage Fund. It is likely that this
second fund will make less money but it will be money made off of
helping people up, not kicking them down. Naturally, the University,
fearing student power and input into important financial decisions has
shown some resistance. Stanford, however, has traditionally been a
leader in investment responsibility and, if we work hard enough, it will
become a leader once again.

For

information,

more
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24

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c

Casper: Deaf to
Student Voice
Editors’Note:
from
Stanford.
our
voices
heard
and
indifferent

Since
writing
this
artical
The
present
student
bo
because
the
administration
towards
our
concerns.

Today Gerhard Casper and Condoleeza Rice may seem like part
of the Stanford scenery. However, when Casper first assumed the
presidency in September of 1992, he initiated drastic changes, causing
many students to act to preserve some of the programs, staff and faculty
that meant the most to them. These efforts are responsible for the current
student voice in the University administration, small as that input may
be.
Casper was chosen as President to re-establish the credibility that
the Trustees felt Stanford had lost during Ex-President Donald
Kennedy’s 11-year term. I do not know what differences the outside
world saw, but what the students first noticed was that they could no
longer schedule times to meet with the new president, much less walk
right into his office and chat, as they could under Kennedy. Programs
that many students cared deeply for, such as the community centers and
their staff support, were considered for heavy budget cuts. In another
sharp change from the Kennedy days, the new administration formed
task forces without inviting students as members.
Matters came to a head in spring of 1993, with the announce­
ment that Sharon Parker, director of the Office of Multicultural Develop­
ment, was resigning. It turned out that the University had threatened to
fire her if she did not step down, because she had “leaked” a document to
a group of students worried about the community centers. The memo
hinted that ethnic centers were too separatist, and proposed combining
them into a single center with a shared staff and budget.
Quickly, many students began to organize, understanding the
value of providing places for students of a particular background to
maintain their own cultural traditions and for others to share and learn
-25-

from them. Ironically, Casper’s proposal to lump all community
groups into a single program brought students from all backgrounds
solidly together of their own free will. Meetings ran into the early hours
of the morning for a week straight as the group Concerned Students
discussed its frustrations with recent changes, and planned ways to raise
student influence on the new administration, to save the ethnic center
cuts, and to demand student participation on committees that affect their
lives and education, like the curriculum committee.
Because of rallies and a series of meetings with administrators,
the combined ethnic center proposal was dropped and ethnic center
budgets were not cut. Students gained places on the Committee on
Undergraduate Education (CUE), which spent the next year re-evaluating
the undergraduate curriculum. Although the organization Concerned
Students no longer exists, its legacy remains with us. There are increased
levels of communication between community groups, and at least a small
amount of student input into University policy. The group is worth
remembering, since it demonstrated that when our needs are ignored and
rights are infringed upon, we must resist being lulled into complacency,
and speak out.

"The university was accordingly designed for the
betterment of m ankind morally, spiritually, intel­
lectually, physically, and materially. The public at
large, and not alone the comparatively few stu­
dents who can attend the university, are the chief
and ultimate beneficiaries of the foundation."
- Jane Stanford, Oct. 3,1902

Is

Jane

Stanford

-

26

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turning

Stanford-Hoover Connections
The supporters of the Hoover Institution, which is housed in the
immediately recognizable Hoover Tower, would have you believe that its
association with Stanford is invaluable as a source of scholars, speakers,
research and archives for Stanford students and faculty in their intellectual
pursuits. In reality, however, the presence of this “think tank” threatens the
University’s reputation and legitimacy. Both the Institute's ideological bias
and its distinct connection to Stanford, which gives it unwarranted influence
on the University, render it an undesirable resource at best and a dangerous
presence at worst.
Originally founded in 1919 as a resource center to house library and
archival materials relating to World War I, the Hoover Institution was de­
clared “an independent institution within the frame of Stanford University” in
1959 and freed from potential faculty interference. At the same time Herbert
Hoover, in a declaration to the University Board of Trustees stated;
“The purpose of this institution must be, by its research and publica­
tions, to demonstrate the evils of the doctrine of Karl Marx - whether
communism, socialism, economic materialism or atheism - thus to protect
the American way of life from such ideologies, their conspiracies and to
reaffirm the validity of the American system.” from the Stanford Daily, May

12,1983

Current supporters defend the Institution by stating that today's Hoover
is different, an eclectic group of scholars with diverse view points, even if
such a bias was once the case. Widespread perceptions of Hoover and state­
ments by its own Fellows oppose this claim. For example, the New York
Times Magazine reported on July 23,1978 that,
Through its ties with the right wing of the Republican party, the
Hoover Institution is exerting considerable political influence...it is the
brightest star in a small constellation of conservative think tanks that serve
as workshops where out of office intellectuals can fabricate the underpin­
nings of domestic and foreign-policy positions for the Republicans”.

Ronald Reagan, himself an honorary Fellow, validated this percep­
tion in the 1982 Hoover annual report, in which he was quoted as saying:
“[Hoover] built the knowledge base that made the changes now taking place
in Washington possible.” More recently, John Raisian, director of the Hoover
institution, stated in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 24,1995 that
-

27

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“[Hoover] tends to be suspicious of bigger and more expensive
government....People who look to the government to try to solve problems
are not the type who will fit in well.” Finally, the Stanford Daily reported on
March 1, 1995 that Hoover was involved with working on the “Contract
With America” and a proposed flat income tax.
The question whether such an outside, conservative political bias
has any place on campus is further complicated by the Institution’s unique
relationship with the University. Hoover is allowed to craft its own identity,
while influencing Stanford’s identity and policies at the same time. Joint
appointments of Hoover Fellows with University departments are encour­
aged by both establishments, though Stanford has no control over the
majority of Hoover Fellow appointments. Hoover Director Raisian is a
member of the University Cabinet, the highest level of policy organization
at Stanford. Last year alone the University gave $4 million to Hoover for
library maintenance. And finally, the presence of such a well known and
well publicized conservative institution on campus effects Stanford’s
reputation as perceived by the national and international community. These
examples suggest that Hoover has an inappropriate influence over the
University given that Stanford has little authority over it and its political
agenda.
Concrete incidents show the use of such leverage. In the early
1980’s, for example, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the
foundation of a Ronald Reagan museum and library on campus as endorsed
by the Hoover institution. After campus and community protested such a
plan, spurred on by then director W. Glenn Campbell’s claim in the 1987
Hoover Annual Report that Stanford would soon “boast” of its Reagan
connection, the project was moved elsewhere. This situation indicates that
Hoover as an "independent” institution embroils Stanford in partisan
politics, a role it refuses to play in response to student initiated protests.
More recently, in 1992, a Hoover fellow recieved a joint appoint­
ment to the political science department. The appointment of this scholar,
who previously been denied a departmental position, appears to have been
in exchange for a similar offer to a political science professor by the Institu­
tion. Although Terry Moe, the professor offered the Hoover appointment in
the deal, denied that either appointment was inappropriate given the merit of
the candidates, critics such as Political Science Professor John Manley
believe that such a barter of teaching positions challenges the integrity of
academic appointments and therefore a Stanford education. In summary,
both the academic legitimacy and the political position of the University are
affected by the continuation of Hoover’s special relationship with the
University.

Stanford’s Shame
John

F.

Manley,

Prof

Among Stanford’s distinctions, one is unique: we have our own
migrant farm. Webb Ranch is located on Alpine Road, near the junction
with 280, up where the polo team practices. Mexican farm workers and
their families have lived and worked in poverty on Stanford land for
decades.
When the workers exposed the near-peonage conditions in which
they lived, the President of Stanford University was quoted as saying that
the University had no more responsibility for them than for Macy’s
employees who also work on Stanford land. Donald Kennedy’s succes­
sor, Gerhard Casper, rejected a call by the Stanford
to ensure
Stanford’s farm workers a decent standard of living, and chose to con­
tinue Kennedy’s laissez-faire policy.
Stanford has paid a price for amoral, official indifference. A few
years ago, the NewYork
Timesand other media reported our shame to the
world. What happened? Not much.
After the Webb workers joined the United Stanford Workers, the
University said their fate was now up to the union. The flaw in this
argument is that Webb workers ar
g farm worke
but are not treated the same as other USW workers. The Webb family
bargains with its workers in the context of notoriously low industry
averages. Webb workers are therefore paid far less than the lowest paid
Stanford workers; they have no health insurance or other standard
benefits; they are locked permanently in poverty.
The labor of the workers at Webb Ranch has kept generations of
Webbs in comfort and produced profits in the form of rent for Stanford
for years. What can be done about this?
Stanford students could rise up and tell the University President
you expect more from him. My preferred solution would be to invite the
Webbs and their in-laws to leave Stanford land, hire managers to help the
workers run the farm as a cooperative, integrate the farm in Stanford’s
educational mission by creating environmental and ecological study
projects in conjunction with the workers, put the profits that have been
going to the Webbs and the University into upgrading conditions for the
workers, and turn Webb Ranch into something of which we could be
proud.
-

29

-

Stanford is a huge corporation. If Stanford were a regular busi­
ness, it would place 320th on the Fortune 500 list. We enjoy AAA ratings
from Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. But Stanford is also a university.
James B. Conant, late President of Harvard, once said, “He who enters a
university walks on hallowed ground.” As long as the men, women and
children of Webb Ranch remain poor, can such a claim be made for
Stanford’s ground?

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-

30

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Hey, tkiddies!'

Test u
ot your knowledge of
Stanford with this home-made
pu zzle! See what the application bro­
chure and Orientation week fa iled to in­
form you of before you slapped down
your tuition money. Fun, fun,
for
hours on end! (If you're having a dif­
ficult time, here's a hint
rely
on upperclasspeople for the answers,
'cause they might not know themselves.
Find out
on your own!)

-31

-

ACROSS
“ Asian American Studies NOW! Not another
-six years!”
Has a monopoly on selling you textbooks
Oxy(moron)ic right-wing group: Winds o f____
Conservative phallic “think” tank
Not the friendly ghost
The
Liberation statue was once again vandalized spring 1994
Former Director of the OMD who resigned two years ago
Respected Chicana administrator whose position was eliminated
spring of '94.
9. Director of the BCSC who recently resigned
10. Right-wing campus publication (the most obvious one, that is)
11. “I’ve been
all my life,” says Rice.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

DOWN
1. Director of the Native American Cultural Center who has left
2. Liberal underground campus publication defunct since spring ’93 be
cause of lack of funding
3. Head of the committee that investigated a campus-wide ban on grapes.
Now an outspoken anti-209 professor.
4. Recommendations of the 1989
Report have been largely
ignored by the administration
5. Self-Defense for Women moved off-campus because of supposed
violation of Title____
6. Review staff members have filed a law suit whining about the____
Interpretation
7. Former enthusiastic facilitator of Crossing the Line
8. Casper has shirked university responsibility on the
Ranch issue
9. Father Junípero
’s religious and cultural persecution of Native
Americans has been commemorated with dorms, centers, and roads
named after him

-

32

-

Welcome to Polio’s!
David
Welcome to Stanford! Along with 1600 new freshmen on
campus, we are soon to have a new face at Tressider: Polio’s is moving in
as an alternative to dining hall food and the CoHo. But what you might
not hear about in the rush to partake of the yummy cheap Mexican food
is the convoluted sequence of events leading to the choice of Polio’s to
occupy the Tressider space.
Last year, plans were announced to finally open a popular
commercial eatery at Stanford. For years, students had been asking for a
Taco Bell in Tressider, and the administration was now not only prepared
to accept this idea but even squarely backed it.
But what would it have meant to grant Taco Bell the space now
to be occupied by Polio’s? What would it have meant to place a subsid­
iary of an enormously environmentally destructive and politically im­
moral multinational corporation, PepsiCo, in the the middle of the
Stanford campus, and to allow it to profit from the Stanford community?
PepsiCo has a record of international environmental and human
rights abuses a mile long. Most recently, Pepsi has been targetted and
boycotted by human rights groups because of Pepsi’s continued support
for the brutal military dictatorship in Burma. Signing a contract with
Taco Bell, then, would make a statement that Stanford gladly accepts the
existence of and even financially supports the practices of such corpora­
tions as PepsiCo.
The students of Stanford understood this, and forcefully rejected
the idea of having a Taco Bell. In one week, SEAS (Students for Envi­
ronmental Action) sponsored a petition to keep Taco Bell out and col­
lected over 2,000 signatures — fully one third of the undergraduate
population. Furthermore, the ASSU resolved to boycott all companies
involved in Burma. Now, it's just a matter of convincing the University
to divest from Pepsi-Co, and oil companies like Texaco and Unocal who
also support the Burmese dictators.
As a result of this uproar, University administrators decided
against Taco Bell and instead chose Polio’s—a responsible, local fastfood chain. And just a few weeks later, PepsiCo sold its bottling plant in
Burma, in an attempt to appease activists nationwide. Although this
“pull-out” is a sham, since PepsiCo maintains extensive economic ties
with the Burmese government, it is very clear that PepsiCo felt the heat
of student activism.
33
-

-

Given the assumptions of the administrators about the kind of restau­
rant they wanted, the choice of Polio’s over Taco Bell was an excellent one.
B ut
why
is it that
the
only
options
apparentl
established
outside orpatins?c Why is it that the vast majority of the
commercial space in the Tressider
StudentUnion
vendors rather than student-run businesses? Not long ago, students ran the
Coffee House: then, coffee cost half as much Java Supreme does now. Why
is it, indeed, that the administration approaches many aspects of student life,
from housing and dining to athletics and even Res Ed, with such a corporate
mindset? Why is it that Stanford involves itself so deeply in corporate
commercialism, to the point of owning a shopping center?
In the case of Taco Bell and Burma, Stanford administrators heard
us; PepsiCo heard us; and the world heard us through such publications as the
Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Students can and should wield
enormous power. We do not accept policies handed down from on high; we
do not accept the idea that corporate interests are the peoples’ interests; we do
not accept the status quo. You
canmake your voice h
about this university and this society; then act. It works.
For more information, contact SEAS at 723-3307.

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34

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*

Labor Fights Back!
Abig
Over the past two decades, the United States has experienced a
steady decline in conditions for working people. As more and more
secure industrial jobs have been shipped out to foreign factories, work­
ing people in the U.S. have found themselves in fierce competition for
employment that provides them with ever-decreasing wages and ben­
efits. Multinational corporations, already reaping profit from the slavelabor conditions at which they employ workers in other countries, have
taken the opportunity to strengthen their chokehold on the world
economy by pitting working people against each other and by making
attacks on workers' basic line of defense - the Labor, or Union, move­
ment.
Obviously, these attacks have made their most dramatic impact
on low-income earners. They have hit hard in communities of color and
recent immigrants, as well as women of all races and poor white work­
ing people. Historically, the Labor Movement has failed to make it a
priority to support all of these people, or to connect their issues. This
situation is changing, however, and students now have the opportunity to
work within a burgeoning movement to reform Labor, and to strengthen
unions as a real source of power and protection for all working people.
In the past two years, many Stanford students have worked with
unions and low wage workers organizing at Hewlett Packard, the
Stanford Park Hotel, and Bon Appétit, Inc. (owners of the Coffee House,
Graduate School of Business cafeteria, and Tressider Memorial Union).
Because each of these corporations is significantly tied to Stanford and
its students, campus organizers have sent the message to these anti­
worker, anti-immigrant businesses that they can not continue to ignore
the needs of those working for them. While there have been small
victories within each organizing campaign there is constant struggle for
workers attempting to protect their rights.
Hewlett Packard is one of Stanford's most generous and enthusi­
astic supporters, and Stanford is more than willing extend a warm
welcome to HP. HP donated $77 million to Stanford last year, funding
the new science quad and buying access to Stanford's many graduates in
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35

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computer related fields. The influence of HP is felt in all of Silicon
Valley where the computer business is at the top of the economic heap.
When janitorial workers at HP, subcontracted by Somers Build­
ing Maintenance, attempted to organize with the Justice for Janitors,
Local 1877, last fall to improve their working conditions and increase
their collective voice, their attempts were met with intense intimidation,
interrogation, and emotional and physical violence by Somers' manage­
ment. HP was complicit in the situation, claiming they were not respon­
sible for the welfare of the janitors because the janitors are subcontracted
by Somers. Still, the fact remains that the mostly Mexican, largely
immigrant workforce cleaning the buildings at Hewlett Packard are being
denied the self-determination of union membership and are virtually
powerless to the forces of Somers and HP.
The Stanford Park Hotel is located on El Camino across from the
Stanford Shopping Center and is part of a group of six four-star luxury
hotels in Northern California including the Monterey Plaza and Lafayette
Park Hotels. Stanford uses the hotel to house visiting scholars, confer­
ences, and faculty, and Stanford parents attending graduation and other
university events often opt for the Stanford Park Hotel.
Despite over a year and a half of intense efforts to unionize with
Oakland's Local 2850, hotel workers at the Monterey Plaza and the
Lafayette Park have been prevented from unionizing. At both hotels,
union organizers have been harassed and in many cases fired for their
pro-union activities. While the largely immigrant workforce at the hotels
struggle to establish better working conditions and improved dignity on
the job, the management has used blatantly racist and intimidating
tactics to squelch any unionization attempts. Many departments at
Stanford and many Stanford parents continue to patronize the Stanford
Park Hotel despite the boycott and the continued worker abuse.
Most recently, workers at Bon Appétit, the corporation operating
the Coffee House and the food services at Tressider Memorial Union and
the Graduate School of Business, began an organizing drive with a local
chapter of the Service Employees International Union. Workers sought
to increase their poverty level wages and to address the disrimination
they experience in the workplace. Although the management hired
professional union busters, the union was able to win enough votes to
give the full-time workers a union voice.
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36

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Union Yes!
In April of 1996, the full-time employees of Bon Apettit, the man­
agement company of the Cafe, CoPo, CoHo, and the GSB food services
began organizing to form a labor union to represent their collective
interest in improving their work conditions. Many employees work for
below campus minimum wage, benefits were not sufficient in providing
adequate health care for workers in their families, and workers were
given a mere 3 vacation days per year. Employees sought individually to
improve their own conditions, but management ignored their concerns.
However, they began to take notice when the Service Employees Interna­
tional Union (SEIU), who represents many Stanford service employees,
moved in to assist the workers. Acore organizing committee made up of
approximately 20 full-time workers and union representatives hale
weekly meetings to devise a list of grievances to be addressed by the
management. Discussions and hearings were held between both sides,
and it was decided that the issue must be put to a vote. They were given
approximately one month to persuade all the employees, including the
student employees, to support
their cause.
As most of the full-time workers were expected to support the
union, the students were management’s primary focus, who were more
likely to either abstain from voting or vote "no" so as not to pay union
dues. From the beginning, the campaign of the management was mis­
leading and often completely false. One letter, sent to all employees by a
manager's wife, claimed that she suffered exorbitant union dues,
unaffordable health care coverage, and tons of bureaucratic inefficiency
in calling off when she was required to join the SEIU at a local animal
shelter. Besides the facts that union dues are 1.2%, health care coverage
is negotiable by the employees, and the procès of calling off is unaffected
by the union, SEIU does not even represent any animal shelters!
It is true that she may have just misunderstood her situation. Or maybe
she just lied. Nevertheless, many of the workers became apprehensive
and distrustful of the union. A list of eligible voting employees, required
by law to be,given to the union organizers, contained names of ineligible
employees, omitted names of eligible employees, and provided other
false information.
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37

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All of these circumstances combined to make the organizers' jobs
very difficult and time consuming. However, help from student groups
such as MEChA, BSU, SAIO, and AASA, among other groups and
volunteers, aided the organizers in their quest. Organizations wrote
letters in support of the union to Bon Appétit, and student volunteers
visited with workers to explain the situation and the misleading informa­
tion sent by the management.
As time went on, the atmosphere became more intense, with those
opposing the union wearing "Vote No" pins to work and union supporters
sporting pins saying "Vote Yes" and "Si Se Puede." Many supporters
were sent home for violating a (nonexistent) dress code.
Finally, the day of the election arrived, as both sides urged their
supporters to make it to the election. The union was favored by a
margin of about 15 workers out of approximately 125 voters.
The real issue in this controversy is, why was management so
reluctant to have a union if they were in the process of improving
conditions already? The answer, of course, is that the management had
no intention of raising wages or benefits, and sought to exploit the
workers as much as possible. However, the methods they used to block
the union were horrendous. About 85% of Bon Appétit full-time workers
are Latino, and management persuaded the non-Latino workers that their
interests were somehow different, that the Latino workers were being
greedy and didn't understand how detrimental the union would be to their
livelihood on the job. In fact, at a staff meeting, one manager stated that
the reason the Latino workers did not receive better wages and benefits
was because their command of the English language was limited, even
though a literacy program was discontinued 3 years ago. This "divide
and conquer" strategy was somewhat successful, for the management
persuaded many workers to vote "no". This strategy worked so well in
some cases that an African-American worker physically threatened one of
the organizers prior to the election.
Today, negotiations are still being held to decide on which changes
will be made in Bon Appétit. In the meantime, leaders of the organizing
committee are having their hours cut, on-call workers who have worked
regularly for months are being told they are not needed, and various other
veiled threats are being communicated. This tactic is persuading previ­
ously active union supporters to back down to preserve their jobs. It
seems that the victory in the election will not be enough for the workers if
the management of Bon Appétit is successful in destroying their unity.
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more
information,
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38

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I am hopeful that there will be a time that the general public
will understand that it is wrong to submit a race of human beings to
the degrading position of mascot. In the same way that no one
would be so uncaring as to name “Negroes” or “Jews” or “Cauca­
sians” as mascots for their athletic teams, neither should “Indians,
Redskins, Braves, or Chiefs” be mascots. Yet the humiliation
continues.
Here at Stanford, a well-respected institute of higher learn­
ing, the humiliation continues as well. Although the Indian Mascot
was removed in the early 1970s, the 1995-96 academic year was full
of hateful incidents. Last year a campus newspaper continued to use
a shameful caricature to top an editorial column—and aslo accepted
paid advertising for the sale of Stanford Indian Mascot memorabilia.
Newly designed merchandise emblazoned with an Indian head was
offered for sale at an on-campus retail establishment. The editor of a
mainstream campus magazine dredged up the Stanford Indian
Mascot issue in their September/October 1996 issue.
Please become familiar with this issue and help us educate
the general public.
Denni Dianne Woodward
Assistant Director

9/30/96

IPIllllí

>$ 20.00
KH



RliPI

(excerpted from the Stanford Review, May 13,1996)
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39

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When the "Indian”
Was Mascot
Denni

Woo

Every year at the time of the Big Game you are very likely to
hear some of Stanford’s older alumni reminiscing about the bygone days
when the mascot was an “Indian.” They reminice about an Indian mascot
that they were forced to give up—the Stanford mascot they wish they
could have kept. Folks might even look at you expecting you to under­
stand the mascot’s history, maybe even feel guilty that it was taken from
them, and perhaps promise to change your mind and give it back. (On
one occasion a group of enthusiastic marketing types thought it might be
clever to provide Stanford football fans with foam rubber “axes” so they
could do they own version of the “tomahawk chop” !) So just what is the
story about the Indian mascot at Stanford anyway?
The “Indian” became the mascot for Stanford’s athletic teams in
1930 and continued as such through 1970, its most common representa­
tion 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 to the acting Dean of Students a petition objecting to
another incarnation of the Indian mascot, the live performances over 19
years at athletic events by Timm Williams, or Prince Lightfoot. The
students believed the performances to be a mockery of Indian religious
practices. In January 1971, the Native American students met with
University President Richard Lyman to discuss the end of the mascot
performances. The first collective action established the Stanford Ameri­
can Indian Organization.
In February of 1972, 55 Native American students and staff at
Stanford presented a petition to the University Ombudsperson who, in
turn, presented it to President Lyman. The 1972 petition urged that “the
use of the Indian symbol be permanently discontinued” — and further
urged that the University “fulfill its promise to the students of its Native
American Program by improving and supporting the program and
thereby making its promise to improve Native American education a
reality.” The petition further stated that the Stanford community was not
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sensitive to the humanity of Native Americans, that the use of a
race’s name on entertainment displayed a lack of understanding, and that
a race of humans cannot be entertainment. The mascot in all its manifes­
tations was, the Indian group maintained, stereotypical, offensive, and a
mockery of Indian cultures. The group suggested that the “University
would be renouncing a grotesque ignorance that it has previously con­
doned” by removing the Indian as Stanford’s symbol, and by “retracting
its misuse of the Indian symbol” Stanford would be displaying a “readily
progressive concern for the American Indians of the United States.”
When Ombudsperson Lois Amsterdam presented the petition to
President Lyman in February of 1972, she added her own understanding
of the issue. “Stanford’s continued use of the Indian symbol in the 1970s
brings up to visibility a painful lack of sensitivity and awareness on the
part of the University. All of us have in some way, by action or inaction,
accepted and supported the use of the Indian symbol on campus. We did
not do so with malice, or with intent to defile a racial group. Rather, it
was a reflection of our society’s retarded understanding, dulled perception
and clouded vision. Sensitivity and awareness do not come easily when
childish misrepresentations in games, history books, and motion pictures
make up a large part of our experience.”
President Lyman then made the official decision to remove
forever the Indian as Stanford’s mascot. Over the years there have been
unsuccessful campaigns to reinstate the Indian as mascot, or to replace
the big-nosed caricature with a more “noble” image of an Indian in 1975.
In a show of support for the decision made by the University administra­
tion, the ASSU voted in December of 1975 not to reinstate the first Indian
mascot, nor to replace it with another more noble Indian. Almost every
year, particularly around the time of the Big Game, folks will start up
again, campaigning to bring back into fashion their Indian sweaters,
headbands, and Halloween war paint, saying all the while that being
chosen as the symbol of a great university is an honor. The University
decided in 1972 that “any and all Stanford University use of the Indian
Symbol should be immediately disavowed and permanently stopped,”
and every year since then, the administration has reaffirmed its commit­
ment by saying, simply, the mascot issue is not up for a vote!

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Students Protest in
Solidarity against
Police Brutality
In one of the largest protests at Stanford of the 1990s, Stanford
students demonstrated their outrage over the acquittal of the four officers
involved in the brutal Rodney King beating. While Los Angeles was
experiencing a massive uprising by its angered and frustrated population,
Stanford students demonstrated their support for the protesters with a
demonstration of their own. On April 30,1992, 300 students were
involved in a candlelight vigil in front of the Palo Alto Police Station.
The march and vigil began at Ujamaa and increased in people power as
participants marched through campus to downtown Palo Alto. The
spontaneous rally was a show of force and of solidarity for the people of
Los Angeles. Within the next couple of days, students organized by
writing petitions, letters, and raising funds for the Red Cross of Los
Angeles.
Three years later, on May 4,1995, an estimated 1,500 students
rallied to protest the verdict in the Rodney King beating case. About 20
speakers addressed a crowd which had gathered in the grassy area
between the Law School and Meyer Library. The crowd sang, cheered,
and showed their anger over the issues surrounding the acquittal. The
demonstrators marched to the Palo Alto City Hall and, in a spontaneous
action of force and solidarity, began to gather and block University
Avenue. Stanford students had decided to show their anger in front of
Copeland’s Sports, which was the only store on University Avenue to
board up its windows, an act which most students found tremendously
offensive.
Through this act of civil disobedience, Stanford students were
able to demonstrate to the world that they would not tolerate iniquity and
hatred in the American justice system. They maintained their energy and
commitment, and for the next several weeks, students organized long­
term projects such as voter registration, letter-writing campaigns,
outreach to high school students, and teach-ins.
For
more
information,
contact
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42

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Homophobes Get Off Easy
Editors' Note:
vandalized
of the
past,
not.
This

The
"Gay
Liberation"
during
the
Spring
of 1
the
atmosphere
which
incident
should
not
be

Why would anyone pour black paint over a campus work of art, let alone
force a bench between two of its figures, doing approximately eight
thousand dollars of damage? It's hard to get an honest answer out of the
eight Stanford students, all varsity athletes associated with fraternities,
who on May 17,1994, vandalized the “Gay Liberation” statue located near
the Physics tank. Indeed, once caught, these men have repeatedly claimed,
as one told the Daily, that “[we] have nothing against homosexuals or
anything...it was just a foolish act.” However, a member of the Stanford
queer community has reason to believe otherwise:
“It was so obviously an act of disrespect...they knew what statue they
were attacking...people knew and understood and it scared a whole lot of
people. The Stanford campus is supposed to be an open wonderful
community that accepts all lifestyles, and when it violently attacks an
effigy of something you’re a part of it freaks you out and shakes your
perception of what Stanford is supposed to be.”
Even the state legislature has recognized the ignorant prejudice which
motivated the attack. Although these students could not be charged with
hate crimes under the laws in place at the time, the California State Senate
has since moved towards passing a bill to broaden the definition of hate
crime to protect the properties of institutions from bias-motivated
violence. This development, as the consultant for the Senate Subcommit­
tee on Hate Crime reported to the Daily, was a “direct result” of the
vandalism of the “Gay Liberation” statue, and will ensure that should future
attacks occur, hate-crime charges could be made.

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"It was so obviously an act of disrespect...
they knew what statue they were attack­
ing... people knew and understood and it
scared a whole lot of people. The
Stanford campus is supposed to be an
open wonderful community that accepts
all lifestyles, and when it violently attacks
an effigy of something you’re a part of it
freaks you out and shakes your perception
of what Stanford is supposed to be."

Under the law of the time the court-imposed punishments for most of the
students included a year of probation, while Stanford levied additional
monetary fines and community service. The treatment of the perpetrators of
this vandalism elicited mixed reactions from the queer community. Some
argued they all should have been kicked out of school or off their sports
teams. However, this incident raised gay consciousness on campus, and
motivated the University and the Athletic Department to donate money to
the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Community for a paid speaker’s bureau,
allowing the LGBCC to expand its programming substantially.
This incident was not the only time this first public monument to
gays and lesbians in the United States has been the outlet for hatred and
violence. Since its installment in 1980, Gay Liberation has been defaced
many times including being struck over 40 times with a hammer in 1984 and
being spray painted with the word “AIDS” in 1987.

For

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information,
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44

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contact

From the Mountains of
the Mexican Southeast
Editors' Note:
longstanding
freedom.
in solidarity

We

As
university
studen
tradition
o f activism for
must
join
with
our
to support
the
movemen

On January 1,1994, the day that the North American Free Trade
Agreement went into effect, indigenous people in the southern Mexican
state of Chiapas rebelled, capturing several towns and proclaiming to the
world that they would not let NAFTA be the final death-knell in their
centuries-long struggle against genocide. Although nearly 200 people
died in the fighting, many towns welcomed the revolutionaries as libera­
tors. Recent agricultural reform and forced industrialization had alienated
peasant farming communities from the business-backed Salinas adminis­
tration. While confident of local support, the armed rebels of the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) had to rely upon the
international attention that NAFTA had brought Mexico to protect them
from annihilation by the Mexican army. They have tirelessly sought to
bring their message of freedom, democracy, and rights to all of Mexico,
and their impassioned pleas for recognition and justice in the face of
international big business has brought widespread support among people
there, and the rest of the world over. According to EZLN sources, more
than a million Mexicans agree with their principal demands.

Here was the naked voice of the modern
state-capitalist system, where mass mur­
derers drive Mercedes to their academic
positions in places like Stanford.
In February 1995, the world learned what one of the largest
financial institutions thought about the Zapatistas in a rare leaked memo­
randum from the cold world of modem corporate capitalism. A promi­
nent academic economist writing for Chase Manhattan called for the
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murder of thousands in the company’s Emerging Markets Group
Memorandum of January 13, 1995:
While Chiapas, in our opinion, does not pose a fundamental threat to
Mexican political stability, it is perceived to be so by many in the investment
community. The government will need to eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate
their effective control of the national territory and of security policy.

Here was the naked voice of the modem state-capitalist system,
where mass murderers drive Mercedes to their academic positions in
places like Stanford.
In the wake of this leaked memo, groups worldwide rose to the
Zapatistas’ defense. Here at Stanford, a group formed and fought to
educate the community and raise money to support international observ­
ers whose presence has helped curb military action by the Mexican army
on behalf of the international corporations.
Now, nearing the end of 1996, the EZLN survives on the dissent
of citizens of the U.S. The U.S. government ships ever more weapons to
Mexico, weapons destined for use against the EZLN. Only our voices
prevent their use.
For
more
information,
contact

3&m
asrjbusincss

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46

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Lost Opportunities...
Marian
In the late 1960’s, Stanford student activists began fighting for
control of their education by forming the Student Center for Innovation
in Research and Education, which offered workshops on current political
and social problems. In 1970 these workshops evolved into classes
called SWOPSI - Stanford Workshops on Political and Social Issues that explored subjects left out of the standard curriculum. Students and
community members could create a lesson plan, reading list, and an
action project to share their SWOPSI experiences with the rest of
Stanford. With faculty sponsorship and approval from the SWOPSI
Board (composed of students, faculty, and one community representa­
tive) a proposed class could be recommended for approval to the Dean of
Undergraduate Education, who had the final say.
SWOPSI courses consistently provided the creative forum
where marginalized topics made their first appearance. Subject matter
ranged from AIDS to organic farming, multiculturalism to Self Defense
for Women, environmentalism to ethnic studies. The action-orientation
brought speakers, singers, community-service experiences to campus,
and resulted in publications ranging from underground newspapers to a
two-volume critical evaluation of Department of Defense research done
by Stanford professors. The program's legacy is still with us in very
concrete ways. Synergy, a cooperative house on campus, grew out of a
SWOPSI on communal living. The Stanford Recycling Center is also a
SWOPSI product. Many current classes started out as SWOPSI classes;
especially those on gender, ethnic studies, and the environment : CE
170, Introduction to Feminist Studies, The Meaning of Being Handi­
capped, and Indigenous People and Environmental Problems all began
under SWOPSI.

The 1992 disposal of SWOPSI brought
yet another narrowing of the definition of
a Stanford education.
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47

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f

'

SWOPSI:
x
Stanford Workshops on
Political and Social Issues ..

SWOPSI's relationship with the university was always rather
push and pull, and the program was often pressured to regularize. In
1974 and again in 1984, the program survived réévaluation and budget
cuts. In 1992 the Dean of H & S ended SWOPSI in the conservative
backlash following the Kennedy crisis by criticizing the $150,000/yr.
program as too expensive and lacking in academic rigor. Although
students drafted a proposal to run it on about $30,000/yr., the administra­
tion was not open to alternatives to retain the program. For this small
savings, the administration not only silenced student voice in curriculum
design and isolated itself even more from the surrounding community,
but it also devalued an entire form of learning. SWOPSI courses tended
to involve more current and applicable learning than institutionalized
classes. Experiences outside traditionally defined academia were vali­
dated through SWOPSI. Students had the opportunity to learn from, say,
grassroots organizers from East Palo Alto, who offered different insights
from, for example, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. SWOPSI was the
link between the theoretical and the practical, and with its quarter-byquarter scheduling, brought current social and political problems under
academic scrutiny. While similar programs still run in other respected
institutions, like Brown and UC Berkeley, the 1992 disposal of SWOPSI
brought yet another narrowing of the definition of Stanford education.

May our rage inform
our actions, and may
our actions transform
the world as they have
transformed us.
- Susan Stryker

CONTACT LIST:
Please

take

advantage

(more on outside back cover!)
The Progressive Student
Network at Stanford
Rudolph Delson
497-1182 brdelson@leland
Subscribe to: progress@lists

Masque (queer literary magazine)
Manoella Gonzalez
497-6431 manoella@leland
Stanford Film Society
Jonathan Levitt 497-6828
Debra Solomon 497-3964
Subscribe to: sfs@ lists

Body Image, Food, and Self Esteem
Angela Amarillas and Karen Felzer
Subscribe to: bifse@lists

Peer Health Education
at the Women's Center!
Jaime Waterman
723-0545 jwatermn@leland

Peer Health Education
Angela Amarillas 725-1386
Womenspeak
RulaRazek chia@leland
Emily Adams viva@leland

OUTLAW
Matthew Robison
497-6867 robisonm@leland

BSU (Black Student Union)
497-1461
talesha@leland
Subscribe to: BSU@list

Ye Olde Safer Sex Shoppe
Bari Mandelbaum 497-1674
Women's Leadership Conference
(Feb. 7-8, 1997)
Melissa Thelemaque
497-4672 melthel@leland

Familia-Latino Queer Support Group
Manny Ojeda 497-4136
Subscribe to: familia@list

Women's Health Promotion Unit
Jane Kim 497-6460 or 723-7114

SSPR
(Stanford Students for Prisoners’ Rights)
Subscribe to: SSPR@lists

Herstory
Kate Stinger 497-9888

Warning:

These
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of all
the

are
great

b

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO A LIST:
1) mail to: majordomo@lists
2) in body of message write: subscribe [name of list]

CONTACT LIST:
Please

take

advantage

(more on inside back cover!)
AASA (Asian-American Student Association)
Jane Kim 497-5958 oasisjk@leland
SHAC (Stanford Homeless Action Coalition)
Monty Black 723-0066
LGBCC (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Community Center)
49L-GBCC Subsrcibe to: qnet@list
RAGE (Resistance Action Grassroots-organizing and Education)
Subscribe to: rage@ lists
SEAS (Students for Environmental Action at Stanford)
723-3307 Subscribe to: seas@lists
SAIO (Stanford American Indian Organization)
723-4078 Subscribe to: saio@lists
MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan)
723-5397 Subscribe to mechistas@lists
Start the Dialogue/Save the Dream:
Coalition against Prop. 209
Subscribe to: std@lists
WDO (Women Defending Ourselves)
wdo@cs
SAW (Stanford Asian Women)
BiancaLing 497-6741 bquanita@leland

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