Open Your Eyes...Open Your Ears...Open Your Mind...Open Your Heart: disOrientation guide 1999 $tanford university

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Open Your Eyes...Open Your Ears...Open Your Mind...Open Your Heart: disOrientation guide 1999 $tanford university

Date

1999

Place

Stanford, California

extracted text

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disO rientation
guide 1999
Stanforduniversity

DÜS-Or IEMT
Stanford University: home to fanning palm trees and red tile
roofs, world-renowned professors and incredible research opportunities
—and a place that fires workers for attempting to organize, that abides
inadequate living conditions on property it owns, that invests millions of
dollars in corporations infamous for abusing people and nature. As mem­
bers of this community, it is time to rouse ourselves from complacency
and acknowledge a troubling backdrop to our pretty public image.
No matter what impression our mile-long driveway was built to
create, we do not exist in isolation. From the railroad money that funded
its construction to the workers who still serve our meals; from the struggle
for ethnic theme houses to our lucrative contract with Nike, Stanford’s
history is one of amazing wealth and opportunity created at incredible
expense through inexcusable exploitation.
In the classroom, we are taught about the importance of critical
thinking and the power of analytical tools. But as students, we are dis­
couraged from applying these tools to our own environment, to the real­
ity that our university helps create. This separation between our aca­
demic studies and the conditions within which it exists is unacceptably
stifling. It contributes to the silent acceptance of the systems of wealth
and privilege that created this oasis of intellectualism. It adds to the
isolation felt by those who, despite opposition, persist in fighting the
power structure.
It is these students, devoted to social change, who have written
these articles for all of us to see and understand the breadth of what we
are dealing with so we can build a mutual understanding for unifica­
tion. This disorientation guide is, at present, one of the few documents
that tells another side of the story. It is only a prelude to a larger and
more complex conversation. But it is a good start, with histories and
resources; questions and currents of thought that bind us together and
can lead us toward change. If we can bring its ideas to life - through
discussion and argument, confrontation and cooperation, persistence and
action - there is great power in these pages.
Whether you’ve been here for a few years and remember the
fights against Props 187,209 and 227; or if you’ve just arrived and are

YOURSELF NOW!

still learning to navigate these 8,000-odd acres, you can use this guide as
a tool to challenge the “orientation” you were given on arrival, and the
on-going socialization that accompanies being a student here. Approach
these pages with an open mind, and we can provide a
cutting through the glossy advertisements that may have brought you
here - and begin a process of
rintanitiating
e-O
R
i
a new pers
tive on the history of this institution, its current structure, and your role
in it.
People created the systems and traditions of this University
that foster certain notions of access, wealth, and elitism; people can
tear them down. They are larger than any individual, but they can be
confronted. Confronted by an articulate and committed student body,
they can be defeated.
Read this guide with that in mind. Read it as it was written: with
an ear to the past, a heart bent towards truth, a mind open to the future,
and eyes intent on change for what you believe to be right. Then, look
again at where you are and ask yourself:


What

will

it

take

for

TABLE OF
.........................
Introduction
Think About It.__________________
Chinks, Spies, Seans, and Niggers........
Not Just Myself
........................
Why Asian American Studies Matters,
Super Model Minority».........................
The Heterosexual Questionnaire......................................... g,
294 Students Arrested.................................................... 9
Surviving Stanford.............................................................
Chicano Students
Go On Hunger Strike!.11
Affirmative Action: Don't End It - Pefend It!_______ ___ 13
Who Is Our Faculty (and students)?................................... 14
Search for My Tongue.........................................................
$4,500,000,000.00_________________
^
Queers of Color..............................................................
Where your Academic
Freedom Lies
"No
Grapes",Sut What About S traw berry? _________ 21
Sefore The Tree
.................................................. 2 2
A fte r Thirty Years: CSRE
..... ............. .................. 23
SUCC: The Stanford Univeristy Co-op Council_________ 24
G et Out the
V
te
o
If I Had A Million Dollars... (I s till couldn't buy you a house).
26
Professors to Meet......................................................... 27
Lessons From the Fight fo r a Full-Time Director.______ 2 0
Stanford's Shame: The Hoover Institution........................29
United Stanford Workers....................................................
Support Commuity Organizations and Earn Money!........... 32

s

CONTEXTS
Education
not In
tio
re
ca
______ 33
Grapes
yct_________ ______________ 34
o
B
Takeover '69_________________
35
Being Poor.
.......................................................
39
Action For The Workers_________________________ .40
You Know Enough to A ct____________
.41
Stanford Anti-War Movement: 1966-1969........
.43
Homeless In Palo Alto___________________________ 44
Where is Queerland?_____________________
.45
Slaves to Fashion_________________________
.46
Community Farm_______________________________.46
The T
o
wStanfords____________________________ .49
Stanford Inc. Quiz_______________________________50
SUCCESS! The Women's Center is Funded___________ 51
Making Familia From Scratch------------------------------------- 52
Pld You Scream? The "Rape" of Mr. Smith--------------------53
Tenure: Academic Freedom fo r White Men___________ 55
Taco Pell and Corporate Responsibility.............................. 57
Unpacking the Knapsack of White Privilege........................50
POWWOW____________________________________ 64
College Apparel: Sweating the Petalls— .......................... 65
The Hierarchy of the University........................................67
Places to S ta rt_______________________________ 69
Visit http://di5o.5tanford.edu for an online version of the current and
previous guides as well as the full and expanded te x t of some of
these articles.

Guide

is

printed

o

n

~

2

0

%

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r

Think A bout I t . . .

How often do you visit your friends in their dorm rooms? How many
- o f your friends live upstairs in dorms or houses w ithout elevators?

ireyou
ever missed a class due to not being able to fin
bm because the room numbers weren't in Braille?
j Do y °u have professors who spend the whole class talking and w r it in g
Ion *he hoard at the same time? Does it drive you nuts that you can’t see
their mouths to read their lips?

>you usually get a syllabus on the first day o f class? When do
,J start the reading? Do you have to wait a week to receive
i books on tape you need because o f your learning disability?
I Do y°u like to hang out with people in your dorm after a day o f classes?
I Does it bug you that no one in your dorm knows sign language?

>.you like to have a cup o f coffee in the morning? How far ,
pad o f time do you need to plan to go to the bathroom?
Has a parent ever pulled a child away from you or scolded the child i
to look at you or ask you a question?

• people ever assume you can't hold a job because you have
i developmental disability?
Have you ever heard a waiter ask, “W hat will she have,” as if you’re
I not there?

Think

ab
Talk

abo
Ask
i

abo

Think About It continued
Having a disability isn’t always hard in and of itself; the hard
part often comes from dealing with how the world is set up and how
people act. In the past few decades, people with disabilities have begun
to form groups and have established a vigorous political movement
People with different kinds of disabilities have come together in a
disabled community to take pride in our differences and fight collectively
or our rights. Laws have been passed to improve accessibility and to
protect people’s rights to live freely in society.

I dont mind the extra time it might take me to
in my
wheelchair to the quad. What I do mind is taking hours of
time to convince someone th a t my needs are genuine.
But it is often up to individuals and small groups to make sure
the laws are enforced and people are included. Look around at the next
meeting of a campus group. Ask yourself, “Who’s not here? Who in our
community is missing?”
I am happy to be a disabled person. My disability has become a
part of who I am, just like my eternal lateness or my brown hair or my
joking nature. At Stanford, I don’t mind the extra time it might take me
to go in my wheelchair from my dorm to the quad. What I do mind is
taking hours of time —that could be spent writing that paper or meeting
someone new — to convince someone that my needs are genuine or to
get a group meeting moved to an accessible location or to fight to have
an elevator installed so that I can be included in campus life. It makes a
uge difference when disabled and nondisabled students work together
or improved access. It matters when you say that you want Stanford
money spent on installing Braille and building ramps, so that you can get
to know everyone in your community. It changes people’s lives when
you ensure that an event is accessible to everyone.
Maybe you’re not sure where to start. Maybe you’re curious
about disability but don’t know how to find out. Ask. Do you wonder
how a blind person crosses the street? Ask. Don’t expect everyone to
want to talk about their disabilities; respect people’s preferences and ask
someone else. Start educating yourself. Think about people’s needs.
People with disabilities need sensitivity and support but not pity. We
need you as an ally in the struggle for equal access and equal civil rights.

If you’d
like
disability-related

more

ideas
events
2

on

what
you
a t Stanford,

Chinks, Spies, Seans /
,
À and Niggers ________
Tim Ly
'

V

In 1996, the Asian American Activities Center (A3C) at Stanford
University experienced three separate acts of racial violence directed
against the Asian American community. During winter quarter, someone
wrote “Chinks Suck” repeatedly on a desk used by the Korean American
literary journal. Later during the year, a red felt maker defaced a com­
puter monitor in the A3C computer cluster with the word “Chinks”
scribbled abhorrently. Four days later, “Fuck you Chinks,” written with
yellow mustard, tarnished the inside of the A3C refrigerator.
At the time, University administrators reacted to the acts of
vandalism and hate saying, “We take this very seriously. The incident
really attacks what Stanford stands for... we want to work together with
the community in order to ensure that this never happens again.” Three
years later— 1999—a white board was placed at White Plaza, the center
of the campus posing the question, “How should ethnicity be addressed
at Stanford?”1 But many have forgotten what happened three years past.
Students write: “It seems like ethnicity isn’t really an issue at a place like
Stanford.” “Maybe it’s just because I am an ignorant white frosh, but I
don’t see any ethnicity-related problems here.” “Racism has all but
disappeared, at least blatant racism.” On the same board, others have
written: “White people rock.” “Scotland Rules.” “Have the hunger
strikers [demanding support for Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley] starved
to death yet?” During Saturday morning of Memorial Day Weekend, a
large portion of the Stanford community awoke to an e-mail deploring
the “spic-and-nigger loving administration ... [for] accepting more and
more of these motherfucking black jelly beans ... [who] get preferential
treatment just because of the color of their skin.”2 Again, University
officials assure the community that they will do everything they can to
stop the next tide of racism but warn against “generalizing from an
incident like this.”3 But past episodes demonstrate that an “incident like
this” is no isolated event—not in America, not even at Stanford.
1 The white board was a project of Leadership 2000, a committee formed with members of the four
ethnic community centers. It was an initiative to promote a race dialogue on campus.
ieone who had access to Stanford
this oaper, reached thousands of

i

1 as forwards.
“Unsdicfted^ífa t ^ M

*S resP°nse ^dressed to the “Stanford Community” regarding

3

Will

Copeland'9 9

Excerpts from

"N o

1999

Ways
Speech

Tired—
at Bla

I hope y’all can forgive me tonight. I ’m just not myself today
Maybe I should say that I’m not just myself today. Today is a little bit...
no, a good deal too important for me to just be myself. I definitely
haven t been conscious of it this whole time, but there really haven’t
been too many times this four-year period in which I’ve just been myself
Thank God.
As I stand before you I look towards Brother W. E. B. DuBois
Alain Locke, Hemy Arthur Callis, Franz Fanon as rolemodels in
philosophy and social criticism. I am continuing the journey of El Hajj
Malik El Shabazz, Kwame Nkrumah, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Brother Thurgood Marshall, Angela Davis, Sylvia Wynter, and Cornel
West are a part of me so I hope you can forgive me for not being myself
tonight.
Actually, when I look at the situation we’re in, it’s too important
for me to just be myself tonight. When there are more Black men
entering the penal system than the university system, it’s just too
important. When the government builds more prisons than schools
because they’re more profitable endeavors, and in the city of Oakland,
Stanford University has relocated a hazardous dioxin medical waste
disposal plant, it has become too important to act alone.
These problems will not be solved or avoided by the simple fact
that we have graduated from this prestigious Ivy League of the West. We
are still in danger of being pulled over for driving nice cars because our
skin is a shade too dark, even WITH the Stanford diploma stashed in our
glove box. Our brothers and sisters are still in danger of biased
educational tracking.
With you as a captive audience, it is too important for me to just
be myself. There are hundreds, no, millions who want to communicate
with you, to advise you on how to use this power you will get, this
strength you already have. They want to know that we are doing alright;
that we will do the right thing; that their struggles are not in vain.

for

the

complete

speech,

see

'

Why Asian American
Studies M atters
Jane Kim

To my mind, it is clear, that the settlement among us of an
inferior race is to be discouraged, by every legitimate
means. Asia with her numberless millions, sends to our
shores the dregs of her population.... There can be no

repel desirable immigration. It will afford me great

his Inaugural address as Governor of California
Welcome to Stanford. It is ironic how much things have changed.
Today Asian Pacific Islander Americans make up 23% of the student population,
have an Asian American Activities Center, a theme house (Okada), and over
thirty student organizations.
You sort of wonder if Leland is rolling over in his grave.
So much has changed, and yet so much has remained the same. Racism
is not over. Hate is not over. "Chinks suck." During my freshman year, these
two words were scrawled more than once in black permanent marker on the
Reflections table and a computer screen in the Asian American Activities Center
(A3C). Later in the year, someone wrote "Fuck yo chinks" in mustard inside the
A3C refrigerator. I wasn't surprised to see blatant racist remarks scrawled at an
educational institution as esteemed as Stanford, but I am still saddened.
Asian Americans are still oppressed by stereotypes and messages in this
country. You are passive and accepting. You are hardworking. You are a math
whiz-master violinist-black belt. Your women are sexual conquests, and your
men are sexually inadequate. You are weak, 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.
I have fought for Asian American Studies exactly because this hate and
fear exists. Many students graduate unaware of the sweat and blood of Asians
running deep in the building of America and even Stanford University.
5

Asian American Studies continued
Shiploads of Asian bodies were sent home in the 1800's, killed while
building our railroads. Many others sweated over plantation fields, your dirty
clothes, 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." Asian Americans have a long and valuable
story that has been ignored and marginalized in our educational system. Lack of
understanding 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.
Asian American Studies would not be necessary if we were considered a
valuable and integral part of the society at large. Among others, our voice must
be expressed.

super model minority
By Junichi P. Semitsu
ladies and gentlemen
the republican congressmen contracted me here
ronald reagan and george bush pushed me to attend
then i got the word from wilson
to fill some gaps in today's racial dialogue
with a harmless non-invective
from the perspective of a people
who made it

hide your fists
your race
y0Ur signs
and apologize
for reverse discriminating all these years
here's the 411:
as you personal savior
i say mold your behavior mellow
like us yellow orientals
then you'll go
from rags to riches

as your designated racial model
i oughta let you know
they paid me
half of the university president s pimpmobile pension
to denounce government intervention
you bell curved bitches and savages:
divert your racial tension
stop these ravages of complaining
and defend these conservatives' good intentions
and start refraining
from this ruckus and riot
so now i need every other minority's god Hamn
act quiet
attention
so you can gain and obtain like me
to convince you
th efeeling-the-glass-ceiling authority
jet blacks
and you super model minority
wet backs
and redskin maniacs
now thanks to the u.c. regents' decision
to calm your angry reaction
the institute of justice envisions
that except fo the brown men in prison
you can live
we can lie in melting pot assimilation
a humanitarian habitation
a life of satisfaction
where the evil vultutres are those
if you mute this jesse jackson
who pride in their own cultures
and salute your anglo-saxon brothers and sisters

6

Super Model Minority continued
and ward connerly keeps callin' me to plead
that i do this deed and concede
you wouldn't need affirmative action
if you spent a fraction of your time
trying to climb this ladder of success
- and i stress through merit.
now even though most rich people's wealth they inherit
hush
grin and bear it
listen to me
if you want in this university
raise your s.a.t. scores
find the fees for that kaplan prep course
and see if you can force up that g.p.a.
pray your school has honors
so your B's count as much as A's
cuz even though children of alumni get priority
you can get in like me
your super model minority
as i close my appearance
take it from clarence and me
your asian uncle tom
democracy through meritocracy is the bomb yo!
and even though you might end up the academic vanishers
the school could always use a few more maids
and part-time janitors
end your rage
your pickets
and your massive demonstrations
a passive subjugation
leads to this nation's american dream
have high self-esteem
despite your racial inferiority
and in this hazy shade of lazy
if you stand accused
hope you ain't used
by the majority
like me
your super model minority

7

The Heterosexual
Questionnaire
TAKE IT TODAY!
1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
2. When and how did you decide that you were a heterosexual?
3. To whom have you disclosed your heterosexuality?
How did they react?
4. Could it be that your heterosexuality is just a phase?
5. Is it possible your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of
others of your same gender?
6. If you have never slept with some one of your same gender, then
how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it? Isn’t it likely that you
just haven’t met the right same-sex partner yet?
7. Heterosexuals have a history of failures in gay relationships.
Do you think you may have turned heterosexual out of fear
of rejection?
8. Why do you flaunt your lifestyle with wedding rings, photos at
work and talk of your heterosexual escapades?
9. Your heterosexuality doesn’t offend me as long as you leave me
alone, but why do so many heterosexuals try to seduce others
into their orientation?
10. Are cancer, earthquakes and floods God’s way of punishing
heterosexuals?
11. Considering the battering, abuse and divorce rate associated
with heterosexual coupling, why would you want to enter into
that kind of relationship?
12. If you should choose to have childem, would you want them to
be heterosexual, knowing the problems they would face?
13. How can you ever hope to become a whole person if you limit
yourself to a compulsive, exclusively heterosexual lifestyle and
remain unwilling to explore and develop your normal, healthy,
God-given homosexual potential?
14. And anyway, why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis
on sex?


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W

A

294 Students
Arrested Randy Schutt

V

On Monday, May 9, 1987, over nine hundred Stanford Univer­
sity students rallied in White Plaza and then occupied the Old Union
administration building. They were protesting Stanford’s support of
corporations with operations in apartheid South Africa. When the build­
ing closed for the day, 294 students refused to leave and were arrested,
while several hundred more outside waited in vigil through the night.
This nonviolent demonstration garnered international media coverage
and widespread support. It inspired similar demonstrations at universities
all across California, the United States, and the world. These demonstra­
tions launched the divestment movement, which was crucial in under­
mining outside support of the racist South African regime. Without this
support, the white-controlled regime could not continue and was eventu­
ally replaced by the current democratic government.
Based on research done by a Stanford Workshops on Political
and Social Issues (SWOPSI) class, the Stanford Committee for a Re­
sponsible Investment Policy (SCRIP) launched a major education effort.
They prepared three leaflets that described apartheid, the role of multi­
national corporations in supporting the South African regime, and
Stanford’s support of these corporations through its investments. These
leaflets called on Stanford to develop a more responsible investment
policy. Specifically, they urged Stanford to vote in favor of churchsponsored shareholder resolutions, and then, if those resolutions failed, to
sell its stock in these companies. This would focus attention on and
pressure those corporations to withdraw from South Africa, which
would, in turn, put pressure on the South African government to end
apartheid.
On the day of the sit-in, several students traveled to the Trustees'
meeting in San Francisco. One student, suffering from a week-long fast,
was allowed to address the Trustees. The Trustees agreed to form a
committee to study the issue, but refused to vote in favor of the share­
holder resolutions. This, of course, greatly angered the students who had
occupied the Old Union. After a great deal of discussion, weighing the
value of arrest versus leaving, 294 students decided to stay.

Forfull

text of this
9

excellent article,

Angel Fabian, '9 0



There were many circumstances which led to my stopping out
five years ago. With the recent passing away of Lora Romero (Resident
fellow at Casa Zapata for two years, from 1995-1997 and Assistant Profes­
sor in the English Department), I am reminded of the deep effects Stanford
- academia and its expectations - has on an individual. One begins

Audre Lordil
to doubt one’s own academic abilities and this frustration is complexée
more by the notion of having failed someone along the way. This has a
direct impact on how you survive emotionally.
Lora chose to take her life - like a lot of us while at Stanford at­
tempted to but were not successful. This article is a plea to the reader to
take a moment, step back, and appreciate life, and if that means stopping
out and taking care of you, that should be your priority: taking care of you.
It is very easy to finish this university and get that diploma and at
the same time be fucked up inside. Be aware that the expectations put on
you by so many people have a toll on you. Do not be afraid of getting in
touch with these feelings. In a sense, it’s all about survival.
Why did I choose to be back? It’s because it was time to come
back, get a little of this trauma called Stanford and move on. I am lucky
because when I go home at night, I go home. My soul and my spirit does
not remain here. It would die here. Please do not be afraid to talk to
someone, go seek counseling, hold on to something or someone, when
you re at that breaking point. Lora should be a prime example of what
could and what did go wrong with this place we call The Farm.
Editor's
note:
Angel
grad
The
Truth is
that
I tire,
I tire o f yelling,
I
tire o f writing,
I
tire o f painting,
But
know
nothing
exceptJose Antonio Burciaga,
To yell,
write,
and
paint.

A

Chicano Students
On Hunger Strike!
Maribel Ledezma

The 1993-94 school year was especially difficult for Stanford’s
communities of color. During winter quarter, students feared that their
ethnic and community centers would be closed because of budget cuts.
Rumors circulated that one possibility for saving them would be by
merging all the centers into one. As those fears subsided, a worse
scenario unraveled itself for the Chicano community. Budget cuts were
said to be behind the April firing of high-ranking administrator and
community leader Cecilia Burciaga. She and her husband, José Antonio
Burciaga, had also served Stanford’s Chicano community as Casa
Zapata’s Resident Fellows. News of the firing reached students when
they returned from Spring Break. For over a month students protested
the firing, demanding to know how someone who had dedicated her life
to Stanford could be dismissed so easily. Then on May 1st at Sunday
night Flicks, a second incident escalated the frustration and disrespect
being felt by Chicano students. As a short film, MEChA asked that "No
Grapes" be shown to inform Stanford students about the use of pesticides
on table grapes. Students in the audience began to shout "Beaners go
home!" and other racial epithets. That night students met to plan a
response to the attacks they were experiencing.
On Wednesday May 4, Chicano students camped out in the

center of Main Quad at daybreak and began a hunger strike protesting the
administrators lack of compliance with their demands, which included: a
formal apology to Cecilia Burciaga for the way she was treated in her
firing, the formation of a Chicano
Studies major, the building of a
community center for East Palo
Alto, and a university-wide ban
on grapes in solidarity with the
United Farm Workers. Later that
day, sixteen Chicano faculty
members sent letters of support
for the protesters’ demands. On
the third day of the strike, profes­
sors volunteered to be part of
Aztlan University teach-ins.
While this was going on, a team
of negotiators met with the
administration to come to a
resolution on demands being
made by the strikers. At 11:30
that night, an agreement was
finally reached and the fast ended.|
On Saturday the agreement was i________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
signed by President Gerhard Casper and Provost Condoleezza Rice.
What was gained by the hunger strike? There was no formal
apology for Cecilia Burciaga. The President and Provost only agreed to
recognize her contributions to Stanford. They agreed to establish a
committee to investigate the issue of grapes on campus and make recom­
mendations for the University’s policy at that time. After months of
meetings yielded committee recommendations, the policy remained the
same - each dorm would vote whether to serve grapes or not in their
dining hall. The President and Provost both promised to consider
fundraising efforts and other support for a comprehensive service pro­
gram in East Palo Alto. To this day, there is no such program which
resulted from the strike. Finally, the lasting effect of the strike was the
creation of Chicana/o Studies at Stanford. After many committees and
multiple membership changes, Chicano students were finally able to join
the ranks of other universities with programs in Chicano Studies. Last
year's graduating class of 1999 was the first to benefit from the sacrifices
of the 1994 hunger strikers.
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12

W Affirmative Action:
aV
' Pon't End It - Pefend It! Jk
The evidence is in and it couldn’t be clearer. Bans on affirmative
action in education are returning universities to the segregated schools of
the 1960s and 70s.
After the 1995 vote by the University of California Regents to
prohibit consideration of race in admissions, at University of California
(UC)-Berkeley law school, the number of black students admitted
dropped from 75 in 1996 to 14 (out of 792 applicants) in 1997; none
enrolled. In 1998, undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley of African
Americans, Latinos and Native Americans combined fell from already
meager levels by over 50%.
The disaster has also hit medical schools. At UC San Diego,
none of the 196 African American applicants or 27 Native Americans
were accepted in 1997; just 12 Latinos were admitted, compared with 42

in 1996, and only five enrolled. The defeat of affirmative action in the
University of California system also led to a decrease in Pilipino, Pacific
Islander, Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani enrollment at UC Berkeley
graduate programs this year.
Those trying to kill affirmative action claim they want a “color­
blind” society. Thirty-four years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act became
U.S. law, no one can honestly assert that discrimination and inequality
are things of the past. Countless privileges and preferences have ensured
that while white men constitute 33% of U.S. society, they represent 97%
of the executives in Forbes 1000 companies, 88% of tenured professors,
and 90% of U.S. senators. And we are supposed to believe that banning
affirmative action will “level the playing field”?!
3ased
Coalition

on material
to
Pefend

from
day
Affirmative A

13

c

Area
t i o

Rad
n 3

Who Is Our Faculty
a.k.a Wow, look a t all those white men!
Of

Stanford’s

1
,
5
9
5

1 ,3 7 1
a re
w h ite
302 are women (19%)----------- ----- --------- -----------

a

f

n

d

are Black (3%)
/ l n ”Í996, full professors had an average salaryoî
131 are Asian (8%)
k
$104,000 if they were men
3 are Native American (< 1% )" ^ ^ ^ $ 9 6 :400 if they were women.
46 are Hispanic (3%)
^
In 1996, 13.2% of tenured professors were women
44

How can you find
any satisfaction

in the success
you achieve...

- i f it was due to
your race orgender-

‘ZfíCiímif

.and not your
qualifications or ability?

Why don*t
you tell me

And (he studeAt/:
O f Stanford’s
6,59
• 50% are women
• 532 are African-American/Black (8%)
• 82 are American Indian or Alaska Nati ve ( 1%)
• 1,535 are Asian-American or Pacific Islander (23%)
• 727 are Hispanic/Latino (11%)
• 3,402 are Caucasian (52%)
These
ethnic
and
racial
categoriz

Note:
Sources:www. stanford. edu/deot/news/htmUreference
14

à

'Search fo r My Tongue1
Sujata Bhatt

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Saheli

contact Ash

f/

$4,500,000,000.00
Lauren 0'3rien

'

k

Stanford students have been working on issues of investment
responsibility for decades. Their most prominent success was Stanford’s
divestment from apartheid South Africa and the subsequent formation of
the Special Committee on Investment Responsibility (SCIR, a sub­
committee of the Board of Trustees), as well as the Advisory Panel on
Investment Responsibility. (APIR makes recommendations to the SCIR.)
Stanford has an endowment of $4.5 billion and it’s therefore
invested in a large number of companies, which means that it will take
forever to attempt change on a company-by-company, or even issue-byissue basis. So, during the 1996-97 school year, a group of students
created a proposal for a Socially Responsible Endowment Fund (SREF).
The SREF campaign aimed to get a portion of Stanford’s money in­
vested responsibly, to set a precedent for investing all of it responsibly
later, and to give endowment-donors the option of having their gift
invested responsibly.
Months after the proposal was submitted, the SCIR responded —
they rejected it out of hand. A week of frantic activity ensued. We
collected almost 2000 signatures in support of the SREF and established
an “SREF’ of our own, to which several hundred people made donations
showing their support, and generally made the issue highly visible on
campus. At the end of the week, we cancelled our alternative fund for
the opportunity to submit a revised proposal. Submitted in May 1997,
this second proposal, which consisted of seven separate recommenda­
tions, was not addressed by APIR until late 1998. Six of the seven
elements of the proposal were rejected; as of yet, the seventh (the hiring
of a student intern) has not yet been acted upon.
Students have transformed the idea and begun working to
establish endowment-wide responsible policy guidelines. They need
your help!

The outcome of today’s struggles does not matter. It does not
m atter in the final count th a t one or two movements were tempo­
rarily defeated because what is definite is the decision to struggle
which matures every day, the consciousness of the need for revolu­
tionary change, and the certainty th a t it is possible.
—Erne/to “ C he” Guevara
for
more
info
contact Aarthi,

Queers of Color
Chester Pay
Since my freshman year, I have been an active member of both the
queer and Asian-American communities. Like many other people of color,
I feel comfortable identifying myself as both “queer” and “Asian-American” here at Stanford. However,
my Stanford experience has taught
Ule view raci/m a n d ho­ me that the racism and homopho­
m o p h o b ia a / d i f f e r e n t bia in American society at large
still operate on our campus to make
/ i d e / of t h e / a m e many queer people of color
/ t r u g g l e . . . Ule refu/e to uncomfortable with their sexuality
choo/e our ea u /e. a c c e p t or racial identity.
These perceptions of exclusion
our l a b e l , c o m p ro m i/e and marginalization are not shared
our value/, rank our priori- by all queer people of color. In
tie/. or quantify our mul­ fact, many people in Q&A
(Queer&Asian) experience the
tiple identitie/.
queer community as welcoming,
and are more concerned about the
homophobia of our ethnic community. However, that fact does not erase
the need to address the reality of racism and homophobia as overlapping
systems of discrimination. That process begins with our dis-orientation.
Dis-orientation is a common experience for queer people of color
here at Stanford. When ethnic groups “orient” us, we often feel like the
only non-heterosexual in the community. At their conferences, dinners, and
parties, compulsory heterosexuality erases our identities and ignores our
issues. When queer groups “orient” us, we often feel like the only non­
white person in the community. At their workshops, socials, and dances,
whiteness marks us as “Other”, renders us invisible, and commodifies us as
exotic. Two communities claim us and reject us simultaneously because of
racism and homophobia. The gay community and the ethnic communities
welcome you on paper, but exclude you in person - that is the ultimate dis­
orientation.
The silence of the closet and the history of racial oppression both
bear heavily on the shoulders of queer people of color. Our very existence
forces the dominant culture to reconsider how community is defined. These
unspoken definitions reserve queemess for the “white middle-class” and
17

Queers o f Color continued
equate ethnicity with “heterosexual Christian men.” Orientation reinforces
divisions within the Stanford community and reinscribes new students into
systems of oppression and marginalization. Stanford University assigns its
students a label, an identity, and an occupation, but dominant discourses
lack the vocabulary to discuss queer people of color. Unlike straight people
of color and white queers, we do not have the “privilege” of making
opposition to racism or homophobia the center of our political, social, and
cultural identities. We view racism and homophobia as different sides of the
^same struggle, our lifelong struggle to recognize and end all forms
^
of discrimination.
We refuse to choose our cause, accept our label,
compromise our values, rank our priorities, or
quantify our multiple identities. Marginalization
is a qualitative experience, one that cannot
<!r. O
be measured, homogenized, diluted,
packaged, or explained. We inhabit
hostile borderlands at the
intersection of race,
sexuality, class, gender,
disability, and
nationality. We
demand a space
that crosses bound
aries, that defies categori­
zation, destroys stereotypes,
and celebrates diversity.
Diversity at Stanford is not
about dividing the Stanford community
any further. Instead, the goal of diversity is to
make all students comfortable with themselves
and welcome in any community with which they
choose to identify. As queer people of color we are not
helpless victims - we have agency and bear some responsibility
for
the state of our marginalization. Actively crossing boundaries and forcing
the LGBCC and ethnic community centers to accept us in their midst is part
of our ongoing struggle to make Stanford safe for queer people of color.

c
vv*
%

«o

vV V N >

Queers o f Color Coalition - Subscribe queercolor@lists
Black & Queer at Stanford - Subscribe blaqs4ist@lists
La Familia - Subscribe familia@list
Q&A - Subscribe q-a-news@lists
Queer Native Americans
18

Á

A

Where Your Academic
Freedom Lies

/f

Anat Caspi

How often does the issue of personal academic choice within the
classroom concern you? Most of us justifiably pay little attention to it.
For years we've been studying under a stringent pedagogical style: the
person deemed teacher chooses the academic path the class should take
and has the last say in effecting change in the material leamt. A learning
environment does not have to constitute of such a dynamic. How much
better could you leam if, with guidance, you could forge your own
academic path within a particular field or subject? Though learning styles
differ greatly, most people leam best when they bring their own interests
to the fore.

*/<

A P g M g g R h S y gR ■SotKeTHiÑ ñ ty ’
At one time, Stanford had a framework within which this kind of
learning took place. Between 1969 and 1991, the Stanford Workshops on
Political and Social Issues (SWOPSI) provided the funding and infra­
structure to support academic initiative on the part of students and
faculty to share in the experience of learning, while deviating from the
19

Academic
Freedom
continued
predominant classroom model. Since the foci of most workshops were
contemporary political and social issues, many (but not all) of the
workshops had a service-learning component: an opportunity for students
to practice what they learned in the academic setting. These professor
and student led seminars met on a weekly basis, but the majority of the
work and curriculum-building was done by individual student research,
fieldwork and interviews.
The original program
was established by Robert Jaffe
and Joel Primack, graduate
students at Stanford Linear
Accelerator Center, and Joyce
Kobayashi, a member of the
ASSU Council of Presidents. Groups such as Stanford Taiko, The
Bridge, and Women Defending Ourselves (which has since been pushed
off-campus) sprung from SWOPSI courses.
The program saw its demise in 1991 due to a presumed "financial"
concern on the part of the university. Though later funds were resur­
rected, the university administration refused to reward credits for such
classes again, implying that the original concern was in fact academic
rigor, and not financial at all. Despite several attempts since 1991, the
recently instituted Public Service Scholars Program, offered through the
Haas Center for Public Service, has been the most successful attempt to
resurrect the SWOPSI. The program, though a wonderful opportunity in
service-learning, does not adopt (nor did it assume to adopt) the same
notion of academic choice and shift in learning paradigm as the original
SWOPSI did.

20

'No Grapes",
What
About Strawberries?
Lauren O'Brien
Well, the problem is not so much with strawberries as it is with the
agri-business in general, but the strawberry industry is particularly bad.
Why? The conditions in the field are unsafe and labor abuses are rampant.
And, the strawberry workers are not unionized so they do not have an
effective way to negotiate with the growers for improvements.
Numerous pesticides are used to grow strawberries. The primary
pesticide is methyl bro­
mide, which the EPA has
classified as a level 1
toxic (the worst) and an
ozone depleter. More me­
thyl bromide is used to
produce strawberries than
any other crop — and
80% of the world’s straw­
berries are grown in and
around Watsonville, CA.
Growers were successful in blocking a proposed nationwide methyl bro­
mide ban in 1996; hopefully they will not be when it comes up again in
2000.
Further, most strawberry workers do not have access to clean drink­
ing water or bathrooms in the fields. The workers are severely underpaid
for full days of stoop labor, and children often work in the fields alongside
their parents. Grower use of intimidation is widespread — sexual, physi­
cal, economic, and INS-related. The growers get away with these abuses
in part because the majority of the workers are immigrants from Mexico.
This is not "just" a Chicano/a issue. Two years ago, MEChA and
SEAS formed the Coalition for Labor, Dignity, and Justice to work with
the United Farm Workers on their Strawberry Workers Campaign, and spe­
cifically on their campaign to get the support of Whole Foods for the straw­
berry workers in their struggles. (Whole Foods remains anti-union.) The
Coalition will continue its actions in support of the UFW.

Interested?
Also,
check

Subscribe
out
the

mecha@lists
Webb
ranch

1

before The Tree
Denni Wodward

k

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

22

/

Á

YAfter Thirty Years: CSRE

V

i

April 1968 - Four days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., 70
members of the Black Student Union walked onto the stage of Memorial
Auditorium, interrupting an address by University Provost Richard Lyman
called “Stanford’s Response to White Racism.” The students took over
the podium and issued a set of ten demands challenging Stanford to prove
its commitment to fighting racism. After issuing the final demand the
BSU students walked out to a standing ovation. Within two days, the
university agreed “in substance” to nine of the ten demands.
1969 - Stanford established program in African and Afro-American Studies.
For the next twenty years, students argued passionately and compellingly
for Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, and Native Ameri­
can Studies, but the university contained student momentum in an end­
less cycle of proposals, petitions, committees and meetings.
May 1987 - After a backlash against the student-led movement to replace the
freshman “Western Culture” requirement with "Cultures, Ideas, and Val­
ues,” several student organizations formed The Rainbow Agenda, which
issued seven demands requiring the university to meet commitments to
ethnic minority life at Stanford.” and launched a major demonstration
at the university’s Centennial ceremony. In March 1988, the Faculty
Senate voted in favor of the new CIV program.
May 1989 - Takeover ’89 (see pg. 33) Demands included professorships for
Asian American Studies and Native American Studies.
1994 - Asian Pacific Islander students disrupted a faculty senate meeting de­
manding Asian American Studies, and in May, Chicano/Latino students
went on a hunger strike for, among other demands, Chicano/Latino Stud­
ies (see pg. 9).
Nov. 1996 - After three decades of student struggle, resistance, and action,
the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to approve a new program in Com­
parative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
1997 - Stanford students could finally declare a major in Asian American
Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, or Native American Studies.
1998 - Stanford Center for Chicana/o Research is discontinued due to funding
cuts
Sources:

Justice

and

23

Hope

by

Steven

Ph

SUCC: The Stanford
University Co-op Council
Samar Mehta
The co-ops here at Stanford are a unique collection of houses that
provide efêfetihing from weekly happy hours to fresh bread to walls painted
with

stly from house to toiuse but share the common

goal of creatmgllf|y|p m m u n itie s tha^bdjggQ itaking responsibility for
their upkeep. While they are not fe r^^w m ie , there are many long-time
residents, eating associates, a n ^ íS tó rfo r whom these unique houses have
been a vital part of theme&raas’ht Stanford.
Howevet^lfejji^rouses have a high turnover. This often prevents
them

further enrich, or to just hold onto, the framework

that create^Jmch a unique eitftfRlnment. Efforts to retain murals on the
walls, graduate students in thgT ^i^fct> Q Qj._and a large degree of selfgovernment often fall victim to a ttritio n ^M iO y M i^n tin u ity . In a Uni­
versity where the co-ops are one of few exceptions^Gfjpe standardized
student msidences, it is important for these houses to develop a network
that remMbers what to push for.
(^ ^ re s id e n ts create^jd|ptfy l

u

t w^ e a r &g o in

forming theXTÿfep Council. Ifij/id e a was to continue in the tradition of
taking responsibUitMor our houses and open up communication with the
University so that we can particrfctevwhen decisions are being made that
affect us. Many of the articles im m jm id e tire al^jut organizing action to
make our world and community a place tnáR s¿ 2^yjve in. The Co-op
Council was the first attempt to make a few residences^comni
residences^collfnilfe tojbe such
places as well. Now defunct, the Co-op Council's purpose ofpremding
that twenty years from
now, we wm be able to stand in the shade o
ofour
old houses and see places
1
that still provide happy hours, bread and murals to those who want them.
Contact
g
rs @
d
n
ta

Geoff

À

9

j Get

Out the Vote

F

Lindsay Imai

Are you registered to vote in California? If not, be you an "out of stater" or a
self-proclaimed pessimist, give me a
75% of th e chance to convince you why you 75% of the
e l e c t o r a t e should vote here. California is one electorate, but
do not have of the few states where citizens and o n ^ 60% of
ch ild ren in legislatures alike may introduce ini- the population,
school
is w hite
tiatives that the general public votes
on directly to make into law. At first glance, this system of governing seems
like an awesome example of direct democracy. When examined more closely,
one will see that the initiative process really favors those citizens with the
time, money and resources to vote and write and sponsor initiatives.

There is an increasing correlation between those who vote and those
who already hold the majority of economic and political power in the state.
A s o f 1 9 9 3 , o f th e 3 0 million r e sid e n ts in California, only
7 million (23%) w e r e r eg iste r ed to v o te .
What we are seeing is a polarization between those who work, pay
taxes and receive services and those that run for office, create policy and
vote. This polarization may be responsible for recent legislation that has
destroyed services and programs created to combat the racial, economical
and social inequalities that exist in the state.
These racist and elitist laws were protested on campuses across the
state, but ultimately passed by small margins of votes. You h ave th e
pow er to organize against these sorts of initiatives: to educate voters, regis­
ter people to vote and even to write your own legislation. An easier, but
possibly just as significant contribution to California's future, is

25

^

If I Had A Million P o l l a r s . . .

1 ^ ( 1 s till c o u ld n 't buy y o u a h o u s e )

\

Chris Wheat

In May 1998, the Graduate Student Council and the ASSU Task Force
on Graduate Housing released the findings of an extensive online survey
about graduate housing and quality of life. (30.1 % of graduate students
responded.) This 126-page report reflected the housing crunch felt by gradu­
ate students throughout the university.
Due to the boom in Silicon Valley, the cost of offcampus housing has increased 35% in the past 3 years.
Graduate stipends have only increased by 11%, forcing
some students to accumulate debt. 883 grad students were
left unassigned in the 1998 housing lottery.
The GSC and the ASSU Task Force, frustrated with
the University’s inaction, announced a housing rally in the
main quad. This rally drew more than 1,000 protestors,
major newspapers, TV stations, and, eventually, concerned
university officials. Many protestors camped out in tentsa demonstration of affordable housing.
Provost Condoleezza Rice greeted them in the
morning. She listened to the students’ concerns and ex­
plained other constraints facing the University. In the fol­
lowing Faculty Senate meeting, graduate stipends were in­
creased by 8% instead of the proposed 6.5%, and the Uni­
versity decided to build 4-500 new housing units by the
year 2000, rather than the previously scheduled 200 units.
Survey results indicated that at least 1000 new
housing spaces are needed. Other remaining issues in­
clude: better quality of life AND more housing units, a
community center in Escondido Village, more flexibility
from the Housing Office, and a graduate student Co-op.
Members of the GSC and ASSU voiced concerns
through University committees which were not addressed. Peaceful pro­
test ensued. Although it did not solve all the problems that prompted it, it
did demonstrate unified concern of the graduate community, and achieved
progress towards their goal.

Updates

at

www.stanford.edu/group/assu/grad.
26

' Profo55ors to Moot ^

f

Although it is hardly comprehensive, here is a list of profes­
sors who take seriously the idea that education is a process
of teaching students to question and think.

AH
goes
through
three
stages.
Jirs
ridiculed.
Then
violeu tig
opposed.
finally,
it is
accepted
as

la

evideu

-Schopenhauer

27

V

\

Lessons From the Fight
for a Full-Time Plrector
Josh Kramer

The LGBCC (the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community
Center) has needed a full-time director for more than ten years ,
and finally, Dr. Benjamin Davidson, our new director has
arrived.
Stanford administration has a long history of opposing
change and refusing to accommodate students when they express
their needs. It took twenty years of student struggle to win CSRE,
and the queer community experienced the same thing.
We now share the benefits of more than a decade of stu­
dent a c tiv is m u ^ ^ ^ I h m ^ L ^ ra g d ^ i^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ :
1. You don’t need to play by their rules. If the administration
stalls you with committee meetings, proposals, and reports,
don't believe for a second that these are the only ways to raise
your voice. There are other ways to raise your voice. Try to
work within the system, but don’t be too polite if it means
you won’t get anywhere.
2. There *is* enough money. If the university won’t budge, it’s
because its priorities are bankrupt, not its coffers.
3. Never let the administration set one student group or interest
against another. It can be highly destructive.
4. Stay fierce. Treat the administration like a wound: apply

subscribe
28

q

W
/V

Stanford's Shame:
Thfi Hoover Institution

V

John F. Manley

If liberal donors offered Stanford millions of dollars for a
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Institution on Social Justice that would push
liberal causes, would the University take the money?
Before you say “No” - the University’s professed values of
nonpartisan, nonpolitical, and objective research are incompatible with
policy advocacy - consider the Hoover Institution. The institution’s
political role gained notoriety with the well-documented claim that it was
Ronald Reagan’s favorite think tank. W. Glenn Campbell said to the
New York Times: “The average donor to a university is conservative:
that’s why Stanford would be foolish to sever its relations with us.” The
problem is that not that it is widely regarded as a conservative think tank,
but that it has any bias.

Hoover’s own mission statement declares its commitment to the
“private enterprise” system: “Ours is a system where the Federal Govern­
ment should undertake no governmental, social or economic action,
except where the local government, or the people, cannot undertake it for
themselves...” The statement goes on to say that the Institution is not, and
must not be, a mere library.” Small wonder that John Raisan, Hoover
Director, claimed a large share of the credit for Newt Gingrich’s Contract
with America, heralded the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress,
admitted that only generally conservative scholars “fit well” at Hoover
and recently appointed Gingrich a Distinguished Visiting Fellow.
Basic policy research is not the only activity at Hoover. Policy
advocacy-political propaganda-is an integral part of the Institution. In
1998, Hoover’s op-ed program placed nearly 600 pieces and columns in
29

pers, news magazines, business news publications, and public affairs jour­
nals. The Hoover Digest, edited by Hoover Fellow Peter Robinson, pub­
lishes Hoover material in an accessible, reader-friendly format. (A January
1999 press release from Hoover offered Peter Robinson’s services as a com­
mentator on President Clinton’s State of the Union Address, noting
Robinson’s credentials as a former Reagan speechwriter.) Hoover’s televi­
sion show, “Uncommon Knowledge,” is broadcast by some 80 stations
covering 57 television markets in 29 states. A Media Fellows Program cul­
tivates good relations with journalists by bringing selected reporters to
Hoover for stays up
to three months. The
Hoover Institution
Press rounds out
H oover’s “educa­
tional” efforts.
Not
only
does Hoover do all
this aided by the good
name of the Univer­
sity, the University
connection means
Hoover enjoys taxexempt station as a
Section 501 (c)(3)
“public charity.”
Gerhard Casper and
the Board of Trastees
have made their backing of the Hoover
clear. For people who
do not believe that
such an institution
should be connected
with a university-and
enjoy tax deductible
contributions as a re­
sult —this may be a
fruitful source of
change.
30

W United Stanford a7
'
Workers
/A
Welcome to Stanford! Among the members of your new
community are the thousands of workers who keep Stanford
functioning. They are all members of the union SEIU Local 715.

In November of 1998, the service and patient care workers at
Stanford University Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospi­
tal voted to join the Union. These are the people who care for you
when you are sick or injured, as well as for patients throughout the
Bay Area. They have met strong resistance from your president,
Gerhard Casper, in getting a first contract. The things they want
are not only fair but necessary (to keeping the hospital running
well).
They are:
1- A fair raise that they can count on every year
2- Respect for their years of service
3- Security for their union
4- The right for other workers at the hospital to organize
without interference from management

31

Direct Service
Education
Advocacy
Direct Action
All are necessary But alone, each is insufficient.
Most of these are demands that President Casper has already
agreed to with other workers at the university. However, now he is
stalling. Thus now the fate of the hospital and the workers who
make it run has become an issue that the community-students like
yourself-have to address. There are ways that you can help the
workers, and they are excited at the prospects of working with you
and having your support. Disorient yourself to a part of Stanford
in which you can make a difference.
Call

3-3680

or

email

32

United

Stanford

'Education not
i

f

Tanca Chambliss J = *
The prison-industrial complex is not a conspiracy, guiding the
nation's criminal-justice policy behind closed doors. It is a confluence of
special interests that has given prison construction in the United States a
seemingly unstoppable momentum. It is composed of politicians, both
liberal and conservative, who have used the fear of crime to gain votes;
impoverished rural areas where prisons have become a cornerstone of
economic development; private companies that regard the roughly $35
billion spent each year on corrections not as a burden on American
taxpayers, but as a lucrative market; and government officials whose
fiefdoms have expanded along with the inmate population.

To learn more about the prison-industrial complex visit
www.prisonactivist.org
33

Grapes boycott
Last year, I was shocked by other students’ insensitivity towards the
campaign to boycott non-UFW (United Farm Workers) California grapes. The
students I saw acted as though the vote for or against a ban on grapes in their
dining halls was a burden. Groaning, ridiculing, and protesting accompanied
both misinformed and uninformed comments. I heard, “Just because some
people are against grapes doesn’t mean they should spoil meals for other
people!” and “If we buy grapes, aren’t we contributing to the salaries of the
underpaid workers anyway?”
I wonder if those students could imagine being a worker who, due to
social, political, economic, and language barriers, sees no other option than to
continue picking grapes for $5.75 an hour during peak season and even less
during the five off-peak months, all the while being exposed to deadly pesticides
proven to cause cancer and birth defects. In 1996, the state inspected only 0.3%
of California’s 77,669 farms for field sanitation violations. 48% of those farms
inspected were found to be out of compliance. The World Resources Institute
estimates that each year 300,000 farm workers across the nation are poisoned.
The United Farm Workers (www.ufw.org), started by the late, great
Cesar Chavez, has made tremendous
strides for farm workers and human
justice. Their main demands include a
ban on the cancer- and birth defectcausing pesticides used in growing
grapes, and negotiating, after workers
vote for the union, a good faith contract
to protect the workers’ labor rights. It
was the grape workers of the UFW who
called for the boycott, risking their jobs
as a last resort to bring about justice in
the fields. That is why we vote on
grapes and not other fruits: no other
workers have called on us to boycott.
This is not just a “Mexican”
issue or a “labor” issue or an “environmental” issue. This is a human issue. If
you can read this then I believe you fall into that category. Do you believe the
freedom to eat grapes supersedes the freedom to dignity and life itself? Use your
precious right to vote and stop the growing trend towards apathy and blindness.
Your voice stands out; use it with the awareness of your power.

34

eover

Tak

V

rfrom Justice and Hopr.
Takeover ’89 was the result of months and years of frustration
and anger at the slow pace of change and the low priority given to the
concerns of students of color. On May 15, 1989, that anger exploded.
At 7:40 a.m., more than sixty Black, Chicano, Asian-American,
Native American, and white students took over President Kennedy’s
office to demand action on a long-standing list of demands relating to
multi-cultural life at Stanford. After holding the office all day, fifty-four
students, including several members of the BSU, were arrested. Local
journalists and campus administrators commented that the protest was
unlike anything they had seen at Stanford since the 1971 Hospital sit-in.
The takeover created an extremely volatile and tense situation
that presented both great dangers and tremendous opportunities for
change. Its impact will be felt for years to come.

Background
The roots of the takeover stretch far back into the history of
students of color at Stanford. For all of the participants, the decision to
take the building stemmed from extreme frustration at University intran­
sigence and inaction on very key and important issues. Asian American
students had been working to create an Asian American Studies Program
at Stanford since 1972. They spent the entire 1988-89 school year
circulating petitions, writing letters, meeting with administrators and
committees, and trying to affect the University bureaucracy. One month
shy of the end of the school year, all they had received for their efforts
were detailed explanations of budget restrictions and comments such as
Asian Americans haven’t been in America long enough to merit an
academic discipline.”
Chicano students had been struggling since 1987 to have demo­
cratic decision-making and control over their center, El Centro Chicano.
What was supposed to be a center for the Chicano community where
students could come and hang out with their brothers and sisters in a
comfortable and reinforcing environment had become just another
University building where white sorority meetings sometimes displaced

Justice
Union
from

and
Hope
is a comprehensive
and
the
events
that
led
up
the
Black
Community
Services
35

^

Takeover '09

Chicano students. The University had promised to provide a full-time
assistant dean for the community, but had made no progress on the issue
after an entire year. MEChA determined that another year could not end
without a breakthrough in their efforts to give control of the center back
to the community.
Native American students had struggled for years as an “invis­
ible minority.” Only with the demonstrations during the Rainbow
Agenda did they achieve significant progress on staffing issues, but they
still lacked Native American Studies or even a Native American history
professor. The alienation of those students was compounded by the
annual indignation caused by the attempts of alumni to resurrect the
degrading American Indian mascot. For American Indians, the issue was
basic respect.
The Black students who participated in the protest had simply
had enough. As Fannie Lou Hamer used to say, they were “sick and tired
of being sick and tired.” Many were freshmen who had watched as racist
incidents occur and go unpunished while the University proclaimed its
commitment to protecting racist speech under the banner of the First
Amendment. The administration had taken no action on the Mandate for
Change. No Black faculty had been hired, valued Black faculty and staff
members were leaving, and Kennell Jackson, Chair of Afro-American

36

V Takeover'<39(continued)^
Studies, announced that he was stepping down because he could not get
adequate University support. The right of Black students to obtain an
education free from racist harassment seemed to have become a secondary
concern, and the Black protesters were determined to put the struggle
against racism at the top of Stanford’s agenda.
Dozens of white students also risked their academic careers to
support the goals of democracy and multiculturalism. Supporting the
issues of the students of color, they also fought for more financial aid,
increased funding for teaching assistants, greater democracy in decision­
making, and more relevant classes.
By mid-May, the patience of Stanford’s students of color had run
out. A coalition, the Agenda for
Action Coalition, was created,
The values of any new gen­
and shortly thereafter, business
eration do not spring full
as usual came to a halt at
blown from their heads, they
Stanford. The takeover was
are
already there, inherent if
tumultuous, chaotic, and very,
not clearly articulated in the
very powerful. Like any risky
older generation.
venture, it was full of both
danger and opportunity.
Erik Erikson
The action was danger­
ous because the potential
consequences - arrests and expulsion - were great. The University re­
sponse to Takeover '89 was swift and severe. From the early hours of the
occupation, the administration asked no questions about the demands and
refused to negotiate. Instead, they threatened the protesters with felony
charges and expulsion from the University, and called out the Santa Clara
County riot police who proceeded to arrest dozens of Stanford students
later that day.
After the protest, the hard line response continued into the early
stages of the disciplinary process. Administrators from the Office of VicePresident and General Council openly talked about how the expected
penalties to result from the process, and protesters were warned at a dorm
program that any comments made could be used against them. After
murky and questionable disciplinary proceedings, eight students were
singled out for “especially egregious” charges even though the“egregious”
offeqses were never specified. In the ultimate irony, all four of the students
from Ujamaa who were arrested in the protest were charged with the
“especially egregious” violations in their action to
37

Takeover

39

protest racism while the perpetrators of racist acts in Ujamaa in October
had not been charged under the same University code of conduct (the
“especially egregious” charges were eventually dropped and all the
students were treated equally in Stanford’s internal disciplinary process
receiving seventy-five hours of community service).
Stanford’s history has shown that the greatest strides toward
change have come about as a result of protests led by students of color.
From the BSU taking the mike in 1968 to the Rainbow Agenda sit-in to
the CIV victory, Stanford has moved forward only at the insistent urging
of students of color. The takeover provided another such opportunity.
Since the nature of the action was on a scale not witnessed in almost two
decades, there was excellent potential for making breakthroughs.
Traditionally, momentum for change dissipates in the bureau­
cracy of endless committees and a process that even President Kennedy
admitted works at a glacial speed. The attempts to go through “normal
channels” had only delayed change and inhibited the most progressive
sectors of the campus from participating in the decision-making process.
By taking a bold and dramatic action and creating a new climate through
the use of what Martin Luther King, Jr called “creative tension,” the
inadequacy of the old rules became apparent, and the doors were opened
to a new process and a new way of doing business.

1 palm tree on Palm Drive is
worth:

5 a Ce.

&

PPetit u
w,orh

n

'Grs

1year of full tuition
38

Poor

v

Karen Bush
I came to Stanford with the assumption that everyone would be
rich and that I would then be the "other." Although this assumption was
inevitably false, I did find that an upper middle class mentality is
reinforced by the social structure of the University, making any student
who cannot live up to such expectations often feel alienated. Being poor
at Stanford is not easy to ignore, but at the same time it is not easy to talk
about. It is much easier to just try to hide within the system than to
attempt to address the complicated issues of being less than middle class
here, as any steps in this direction can make you feel even more alone.
However, by allowing ourselves and the University to ignore the fact that
the student body comes from a variety of income levels we are ignoring a
very important part of diversity at Stanford.
By operating under the assumption that all students are on a
financially level playing field, the University structure often fails to see
and address the problems that students from a lower income level face
every day. Although they seem like small problems, not being able to
attend exam review sessions and guest lectures because we must have
part time jobs to buy our books, and having to ask professors at the
beginning of each quarter to put expensive course materials on reserve,
as well as trying to explain why going abroad may not be an option for
reasons other than the application process can begin to get old, especially
when faced alone. The desire to fit in to avoid such problems, and the
fact that such problems are not openly addressed not only alienates poor
students from the system, but also from one another. The frustration
comes from not being able to enjoy the Stanford experience because you
are too busy trying to pay for it.

r

JBe patient. It may take thirty years, but
I sooner or later they’ll listen to you, and
Jin the meantime, keep kicking ass.
I - Florence Kennedy
39

1

Action For the Workers
Eli Naduris-Weissman

Small patches of students across the country are making a difference:
they're forcing their universities to answer to their own unethical labor practices
The Stanford Labor Action Coalition (SLAC), together with other student-labor
groups, hopes to use our universities as the fighting grounds (and our weapons)
for preserving human dignity in our corporate world. But the university is no
easy battle.
Stanford is a two-faced
institution. The public
relations face touts an open
community and service to
society, while the corporate
face keeps silent as the
university cuts comers in
the name of the bottom line.
Last year, when workers at
Stanford-UCSF Health Care attempted to elect United Stanford Workes (SEIU
Local 715) to represent them in collective bargaining contracts, Stanford
mounted a large-scale union-busting campaign with the help of the Burke
Group, an outside consulting group that helps companies deflate unions by
intimidating workers through mandatory "captive audience" anti-union meetings
and denying union organizers access to workers. Nevertheless, the union won
the election by a large margin (780-480), but has still not been able to negotiate
its first contract. As the UCSF-Stanford Healthcare merger unravels, Stanford
has contracted the Hunter Group to clean up the mess, which means laying off
workers, cutting care, and keeping unions quiet.
Student involvement makes a difference, especially when students
embarass the sensitive moral face of the university by exposing and condemning
actual labor practices. Last spring, MEChA and SLAC students leafletted daily,
collected hundreds of signatures, wrote letters to the Daily and held a rally in
support of the foodservice workers at Tressider, who were negotiating a contract
with their subcontracted employer, Bon Appétit. These workers can hardly
support their families with their starting wages between $6 and $7 an hour and
exorbitantly priced healthcare options. Nevertheless, Bon Appétit would not
budge over a nominal 20 cent raise. When students got involved, Bon Appétit
felt the pressure, and a contract was signed in two weeks (the first contract took
over a year), which included a yearly scaled wage increase, starting at 35 cents.

Those who put out the
people’s eyes reproach
them for their blindness.
— John Milton

Subscribe to labor-slac@ lists.

40

A
A

You Know Enough
ilia Dube
to ACT
E isenstein
Oendr
Sarah

v

V

Last
spring
Stanford
students
j
community members
from
around
hunger
strikers
who
were
protesting
severely
cut
its ethnic
studies
de
agreed
to studen
After getting arrested for peacefully protesting the cuts in UCBerkeley’s Ethnic Studies department, we returned to campus eager to
bolster Stanford students’ involvement in the protests. While many
joined us, many more responded with skepticism. They wanted to know
precise budgetary outlays for both Ethnic Studies and other departments
^ _________
at UC-

You don't know everything,

i
I Stanford, and
L _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ j other univer­
sities. They
wanted ratios, percentages, costs, enrollment figures, names of classes
being dropped, and names of retiring professors. While they approved of
our decision to support the Berkeley students, nothing short of a
PowerPoint presentation would have convinced them to go to the demon­
stration themselves.
We students learn this skepticism through the academic environ­
ment. We leam that taking a strong stance on an issue means we are
missing important information. For example, in the fall, a presentation
urged Stanford to divest from an American mining company that is
repressing indigenous dissent in Indonesia through torture and mass
executions. Audience members wanted to know details about Indonesian
environmental law. The search for total information can become a way
for people to discredit the expertise of the activist, rather than simply
make an informed decision.
Moreover, academia posits a clear distinction between “reason”
and “passion.” It privileges reason, which is associated with the endless
search for perfect knowledge, over passion, which is associated with
action. In this context, many students see any action as extreme because
action goes beyond the bounds of reason alone Action requires the faith
that you know enough about an issue and the faith that your actions can
41

You
Know
Enought
to ACT
continued
create a better world.
We assume that we can stay neutral until we reach the perfect
decision, but that night at Berkeley illustrated to me how impossible it is
to avoid taking a side. The police clearly did not want to arrest students.
They kept saying, “We don’t know anything about Ethnic Studies; we’re
neutral.” This neutrality seemed odd as they dragged peaceful protestors
away in pain-holds and handcuffs. Yet their response reminds us of what
we often hear Stanford students saying when asked to sign petitions or go
to a rally: “We don’t know anything about your cause; we don’t have
anything against your cause; we’re neutral.”
An individual’s compliance with an unjust system can be op­
posed to his or her individual, human responses. Officer Torres cut off
our handcuffs after he saw that our hands were swollen and discolored.
People on the other side are not the enemy, but hiding behind the com­
plexities of a situation does not grant a magical shield of neutrality.
Instead,
r mm mm mm mm mm
^ m

neutrality

¡^ U t Y ^ U W

m

m

m

6I10U Jh t O J C t.j

are an
excuse and a way of avoiding truly learning about the issue.
We are not arguing that people should act without thinking, but
rather, realize that not acting is a form of activism that perpetuates the
existing imbalance of power. This realization is empowering, but it is
also demanding. It requires us to grapple with the information that we do
have. This demand is one of the reasons we believe so strongly in Ethnic
Studies. So we hope that when someone asks you to commit to a cause
you will evaluate the available evidence and make an engaged and
conscious decision - and that you will then continue to leam.

IF w e ALL WORVS T O G E T H E R .
we: c a n

TOTALLY P I S R t / P T THE SYSTEM.
42

W Stanford Anti-War Movement /f

Á

/A

V 1966-1969
Dave Pugh 7 0

Many of the first activists in the Stanford anti-war movement had taken part in
the civil rights struggle and the 1964 Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley.
As the Vietnam War rapidly escalated, Stanford students educated themselves—
and took action. They laid the foundation for a rapid expansion of the movement
when the anti-war and Black liberation struggles reached a “high tide” all over
the country—including Stanford.
Spring-Fall 1965: First Teach-Ins on campus after President Johnson sends
Marine combat battalions to south Vietnam. Committee for Medical Aid to
Vietnam solicits blood donations and money for medical supplies for victims of
U.S. bombings; speakers at White Plaza rally are pelted with garbage by
students from ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) classes.
May 8,1968: 250 students occupy the Old Union for 3 days to protest the
suspension of students who had disrupted CIA recruitment on campus. Faculty
votes to lift suspensions!
October-November 1968: Stanford Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
issues demands that Stanford and its wholly-owned Stanford Research Institute
(SRI) end all military and Southeast Asia-related research. SDS begins dorm
education/discussion program. Trustees refuse to discuss demands.
April 3-9,1969: 14 liberal and radical groups meet, pass demands for an end to
military and counter-insurgency research at Stanford/SRI, and for closer control
of SRI by the Stanford community. This becomes the April 3rd Movement
(A3M). After the Trustees refuse to act, 900 students meet at Dinkelspiel. A
strong majority vote to seize the Applied Electronics Laboratory (AEL).
April 9-18,1969, AEL Building Occupation: Hundreds of students are in­
volved in small working committees—dorm organizing, political education,
research, security. Up to 1000 attend general meetings, broadcast live over
KZSU. Bobby Seale, Chairman of the Black Panther Party, speaks at AEL. After
the Judicial Council threatens discipline, 1400 students sign a Solidarity
Statement that they, too, are part of the occupation!
April 18-22,1969: A3M votes to leave AEL after the faculty promises to end
classified research —the culmination of 3 years of anti-war organizing.
May 16,1969, 7am: 500 students, organized in affinity groups, blockade Page
Mill Rd. and Hanover Street. The SRI office is surrounded and shut down.
These are selected excerpts: for a more complete chronology visit the Pis-0
website, httpJ/diso.stanford.edu.
43

Homeless in Palo Alto
Tom Wasow
Amidst the booming affluence around Stanford there are hundreds of people
who are homeless or at risk of losing their housing. For the past fifteen years, the
primary provider of services to the unhoused has been the Urban Ministry of Palo
Alto (UMPA), which gets most of its support from local churches. UMPA’s services
include a drop-in center, a food closet, a clothes closet, a meals program, and a very
limited number of emergency beds.
Palo Alto’s city government does far less for its neediest citizens. In recent
years, the City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting sitting or lying on University
Avenue (a prime gathering place for local homeless people), increased police patrols
downtown, and cut the already small amount of city administered federal funds
allocated to UMPA’s programs. Stanford students, staff, and faculty have been among
the leaders in protesting these actions.
IT AFPeAfc? t h a t t h e
Early in 1998, a group of
AKISR1CAV PEOPLE AVS.
■plVJTEP ©H THE ISSUE’S,
local citizens organized the Com­
munity Working Group on Home­
FEED
less Services (CWG), with the goal
of creating an Opportunity Center
that would house most of UMPA’s
services, along with such additional
resources as showers, laundry facili­
ties, phones, computer access, job
counseling, substance abuse
counseling, and referrals for health
care. CWG is co-chaired by two
Stanford people, Don Barr
(barr@leland) and Jim Burklo (burklo2@leland).
Recently, CWG has acquired land right across El Camino from Stanford, on
which the Opportunity Center (as well as some transitional housing, we hope) will be
built. This will be an arduous process, requiring a great deal of planning and
fundraising.
Interested in learning more or volunteering to help out?
Jim Burklo (burklo2@leland) leads the REALITY CHECK TOUR once a week. It is
a chance for students to take a van tour through Palo Alto and East Palo Alto .
Angela Kang (angela.kang@ Stanford) is leading a group of students doing night visits
with homeless people downtown, in cooperation with UMPA.
If you want to volunteer at UMPA directly, call them:
Drop-in center (7:30-11:30 weekdays) — 853-8697
Food closet — 325-FOOD
Meals program — 324-5359

44

Where is Queerl and?
You won’t find “Queerland” listed as an officially registered student
group. And you won’t find
it at the Firetruck house.
Queerland is not a group,
but an abstract idea-and this
is what gives it strength.
Sometimes, in the battle for
the right for LGBTQ
And 9 did
(Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/
Transgender/Queer) people
to be who they are, under­
ground, guerilla tactics are
necessary. Queerland is a
banner under which stu­
dents can claim anonymity
and ideological stridency
when they commit them­
selves to radical queer
activism. Queerland is a
place for “in your face ." In the past, Queerland has promoted queer
visibility through
fliers, protests and “be-ins” at the
CoHo. In 1996, Queerland claimed responsibility for a radical display
against heterosexism set up in White Plaza. Such student activists over
the years has made Stanford a better place for battle is far from being
over. Last year, however, the campus did not hear from Queerland...
Where is Queerland? Queerland is where YOU decide it is needed.
Anywhere, at any time.
,

Yook outi The PetVs are coming!
Pete Numb ■' one: Pete Knight, sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Initiative
which would ban sam e sex marriages from being recognized in California^
Pete Number Two: Pete Wilson, one of the main backers of the Juvenile Crime
Initiative, which would take millions of dollars to expand Three Strikes, incarcer­
ate juvenile offenders in the sam e spaces as adult prisoners, and make a variety
of other changes detrimental to youth in California.
Both these initiatives coming to your local ballot box in March 2 0 0 0

45

Did you ever stop to ask whose hands labored over your clothes
before you ever saw them in the store? In March 1999, a team of Colum­
bia University graduate students conducted a study of wages at a Liz
Claiborne factory in El Salvador. They found that the base wage of 60
cents an hour met less than one third of the cost of basic survival for one
person. Workers were given dirty water to drink, denied the health care
that they pay for through a wage deduction, forced to work in 100 degree
heat with heavy dust in the air, and physically searched on the way in and
out of the factory. Attempts to unionize are illegally squelched. In
addition, women are forced to take pregnancy tests (which cost two days’
wages), and are fired or forced to have abortions if they are found
pregnant. The workers who talked to the Columbia students were fired a
few days later - no one in these factories is allowed to complain about
working conditions. Numerous other studies confirm that this factory is
representative of the garment industry. In Juarez, Mexico alone, 187
workers have been killed since 1995, yet no one is seriously prosecuting
their killers.

So what do we do? We could collect cans of food for the starv­
ing workers who make our clothes, then pat ourselves on the back for
“saving the poor.” But that would be, excuse me,
There's no
way we're going to “help” garment workers. It's not about some college
kids telling factory workers (many of whom are our friends and relatives)
what "liberation" means. With the freedom to organize, workers can
demand better working conditions and wages for themselves.
We must realize that the sweatshop industry is also our oppres­
sor. Young women who don’t work in sweatshops starve ourselves in
order to fit an image that the fashion industry deems “ideal.” Yet we
often forget that the clothes we strive to fit into are made by other
starving young women in sweatshops.
46

80% of the world’s garment workers are women, many as young
as 13 years old, and many of them single mothers. Factory managers see
women as a “docile” labor force - a group that must accept abuse without
rebelling because they are so afraid of losing their jobs and not being
able to feed their children. Sewing is also traditional “women’s work” and therefore undervalued and underpaid. It is no coincidence that 70%
ot the world’s poor are female.
When a woman is cheated out of her legal minimum wage, it is
no different from a female professor being paid less than her male
counterparts, or an African American student having to “prove” her
intelligence in class. Everyone is stereotyped, put into neat little pack­
ages by the advertising industry - and it leads us to believe that there is
no way to change the way the world works. Here we are, college stu­
dents, in the middle of a country which itself is home to 11,000 sweat­
shops. And what can we do? We can start by realizing that we do have
the power to break the mold.
Last year students around the country led sit-ins, protests and
talks with their administrators, and finally got their universities to
recognize that clothing with the college label on it should not be pro­
duced in shops where workers are denied freedom of association. We
can raise our voices, send massive amounts of email and snail mail and
phone calls and faxes to the CEOs of the apparel industry, and to our own
administration. We can let them know that we are not happy buying
clothes made by slave labor. You are a consumer, and therefore have a
huge voice in the fashion industry. Use it, loud and clear.

Subscribe

labor-slac@lists.stanford.edu

47

Mirr¡elees Synergy Paloma
The only undergraduate
residences
with
Now think about liv in g in a
wheelchair..

Community Farm
I got dirt on my shoes
Put I ain’t singin’ the blues
‘Cuz I found a peace of earth
Which brings me great mirth.
We got plenty of bugs
Who offer plenty of hugs
We got compost and trees
(We used to ha^e bees).

Everything
is Political!

Just down Searsvhlle Road
Our organic produce is growed
Learn to grow your own food
Pude.
Seek

and ye

manders @leland

48

à

S

The Two

It took me about six months at Stanford to realize that there is much
more to the University than meets the eye in a casual stroll around
campus or a perusal of its slick brochures. Although University

: *SZ■■ administrators will vociferously deny it, there are in fact, not one but
■ CT3 ■ two Stanfords.

i
The first - the public Stanford - is the “do good, feel good” institu■ Ift ,
i tion dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, rational discourse, and
, service to society. It is Nobel laureates, youthful scholars, stimulating
■ o i cultural events, and the hoopla surrounding football games.
■ o , The second - largely hidden - can be called “Stanford Inc.” It is a
■ I
i state of mind and mode of operation single-mindedly devoted to
, increasing the wealth, prestige and “greatness” of Leland Stanford
O iJunior Uni versity. Stanford Inc. operates on two basic assumptions: 1)
■15
■ O , tor the University to thrive it must constantly expand physically and
■ -c
2) to support this expansion, it must maximize profits. The Stanford

■ o Management Company, whose CEO commands a salary higher than
■ -p
the University’s president, epitomizes Stanford Inc.
■ in
The corporate mentality of Stanford Inc. dominates University
■ S . I
decision-making to an ever-greater extent. In fact, Stanford has
become a giant corporation masquerading as an academic institution.
!o 'Its
focus on profits led it to build a large research park and a massive
■ ^ shopping center on University land. Revenues from these enterprises’
• iñr ■ leases fill Stanford’s coffers even as the traffic and pollution generated

■ O b by them damage the environment and degrade the quality of life in the
■ ^ ■ region. Not surprisingly, the University’s continued expansion and
*
F ■u development, which threatens to exacerbate these problems, has
■ ->r
stimulated growing hostility and grassroots activism in local commu■ ^3 , nities.
■ <o
■ sz I Further, I have no doubts that Stanford’s profit-maximizing mode of
■ £ , operation negatively impacts the quality of students’ education - in the

:t:

■ C\5
■ "T3

icourses offered or not offered, the faculty’s emphasis on research
rather than teaching, and the type of research the faculty conducts.
Because Stanford’s operations adversely affect us all - those both
inside and outside the University - it is imperative that we work to
:-§
: cx make it the socially-responsible institution its leaders purport it to be.
. o
Michael
Closson
lives
in Palo Alto
■ ■

Undergraduate
See for yourself !
49

Visit

a
Studies
http://cor

1) The University with a major shopping mall on its premises:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) Berkeley
c) Cañada
d) Yale
2) The University which leases land to a farm with a history of labor abuses:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) Harvard
c) Chico State
d) Deep Springs College
3) The University that pays its CEO over twice as much as its President:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) University of Wisconsin
c) Rice
d) UC Davis
'E xtra C redit: How much does CEO Lawrence Hoagland make?
$900,000 (1997-98 Fiscal Year)

jjjj

4) The University that sold all of its student-athletes to Nike, a corporation
with a long history or labor and human rights abuses:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) Fresno State
c) Brown
d) Foothill Community College
5) The University which has provided capital to illegitimate military dicta­
torships, endorsed child sweatshop labor, and condoned clearcutting in
Canadian rainforests:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) Mills College
c) Howard Community College d) Tufts
6) The University with a trustee who also sits on the Board for the Gap, Inc,
a beneficiary of sweatshop labor denounced by the US Department of the
Intrerior and currently a defendant in a class action suit brought by garment
workers:
a) Stanford, Inc.
b) Columbia
c) College of the Sequoias
d) Oxford
7) The University founded when a robber-baron 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.
c) UC San Francisco

b) de Anza College
d) San Jose State

SUCCESS! The Women's
Center is Funded

v

A

In the spring of 1996, the Women's Collective (now the Women's
Coalition), MEChA, SAIO, and other groups lost their primary source of
funding for the following year: Special Fee elections. Despite the fact that over
60% of those voting voted "Yes" for each of these groups, less than 15% of the
student population voted on these particular groups, meaning an automatic loss
of special fee funding.
While all three of these groups won the campaign for Special Fee funding
in the spring of 1997, the loss in 1996 meant a year of low spending for each of
these groups. For the Women's Collective, it also meant no money for phones
and supplies in the Women's Center. Given the large population of women on
campus (53% of
Women constitute half of the world's undergraduates, 33% of
population, perform nearly twograduate students), it seemed
thirds of its work hours, receive one- ludicrous that the Women's
tenth of the world's income and own Center be funded primarily
less than one-hundredth of the v through the Special Fee process
world's property.
for student groups.
-United Nations Report, 1980
Realizing this, the
Women's Center community
came together after the Special Fee election to campaign for a University funded
Women's Center. The tactic: thousands of flyers with basic statistics about
women at Stanford taped to the ground in converging paths to the Women's
Center. Some paths began at President Casper's office, others at Escondido
Road, Mayfield and the Oval.
Although the fliers were all gone the next morning (the facilities people
removed our fliers, but they left those advertising a fraternity party), Casper
asked us to write a proposal for funding that afternoon. Six months later, the
Womenis Center was thriving with a half-time graduate coordinator, 5 paid
student interns, and enough programming and administrative money to keep the
Center alive and well, leaving the Women's Collective to spend its time and
money on other projects.
Now, three and a half years after the Women’s Center community
rallied for funding and partly as a result of the LGBCC's long campaign for a
full time director, the Women's Center finally has a permanent, non-student full
time director this year. University funding has institutionalized the Center, but it
also lçnds credibility to the Center and those who worked to build it over 25
years.

Subscribe womens-coalition ©lists.
51

Making Familia
From Scratch
Celina

R am írez

The two original Familia members probably never could have imagined
that only five years later their membership would increase ten times and their
organization would be recognized by the Dean of Students as one of the most
outstanding student organizations on campus. By having the courage to orga­
nize, Familia's founding members not only created a safe, supportive space for
queer Latinas/os, they forever changed the face of queer and Latina/o politics on
campus.
When Familia first started holding meetings as La Vida Loca Colectiva,
the LGBCC, El Centro Chicano, and Casa Zapata were not considered friendly
environments for queer Latinos. As a “double minority,” queer Latinas/os on
campus faced racism and homophobia without having an organized community
through which to gain support and informa­
tion. Meetings were held in secluded dorm
in 1993: 2
rooms and members concentrated on
providing each other with a safe space in
in 1998-99: 20+
which to socialize and exchange ideas.
In 1995, the group changed its name to Familia and started meeting at
Casa Zapata. Since that time, the organization’s membership, presence, and
political involvement in Latina/o and queer communities has grown. Familia
members had a large presence in El Centro Chicano as staff members and at
community events.
This year, Familia plans to continue the queer Latina/o youth confer­
ence, the winter quarter speakers series, and Noche de Carnival. If it had not
been for the courage and vision of Familia's founding members, none of these
events would have been possible.

Familia members:

important to

Contact

Celina

at cramirez@lelan
52

a

À
A

Did You Scream?
The "Rape" of Mr. Smith

The
law
discriminates
victims
in a manner
be tolerated
by
vict
crime.
In the following
holdup
vicitm
is as
similar
to those
usu
survivor
of
rape.
“Mr. Smith, were you held up at
gunpoint on the comer of Mayfield
and Campus?”
“Yes.”

“Did you struggle with the
robber?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“He was armed.”
“Then you made a conscious
decision to comply with his
demands rather than to resist?”
“Yes/’
“Did you scream? Cry out?”

V

V

“No. I was afraid.”
“I see. Have you ever been held up
before?”
“No.”
“Have you ever given money
away?”
“Yes, of course— ”
“And did you do so willingly?”
“What are you getting at?”
“Well, let’s put it like this, Mr.
Smith. You’ve given money away
in the past— in fact, you have

quite a reputation of philanthropy.
How can we be sure that you
weren't contriving to have the
money taken from you by force?”
“Listen, if I wanted— ”
“Never mind. What time did this
holdup take place, Mr Smith?”
“About 11pm.”
“You were out on the streets at
11pm? Doing what?”
53

Women Pefending Ourselves collective began teaching physical
self defense and assertiveness training to women a t Stanford
in 1985. Though a disputed Title IX complaint
them offcampus in 1993, WPO still offers classes in th e area. (Title IX
is a regulation passed in 1972 prohibiting sex segregation in
schools th a t receive federal funding.) Take a class!
email: wdo@wdo.org
“Just walking.”
“Just walking? You know that it’s
dangerous being out on the streets
that late at night. Weren’t you
aware that you could have been
held up?”
“I hadn’t thought about it.”
“What were you wearing at the
time, Mr. Smith?”
“Let’s see. A suit. Yes, a suit.”
“An expensive suit?”
“Well— yes.”
“In other words, Mr. Smith, you

were walking around the streets
late at night in a suit that practi­
cally advertised the fact that you
might be a good target for some
easy money, is that so? I mean, if
we didn’t know better, we might
think that you were asking for this
to happened, mightn’t we?”
“Look, can’t we talk about the past
history of the guy that did this to
me?”
“I’m afraid not, Mr. Smith, you
wouldn’t want to violate his rights,
now, would you?”
Want to get involved? Contact CASA (Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
casevw@leland or kmlarsen@leland

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54

W l enure: Academic Freedom /
' for White Men
y

At Stanford, professors on the tenure track work for seven years;
at the end of that time, their departments and the deans evaluate their
work. If candidates are determined likely to be at the top of their fields,
they get tenure, which means a guaranteed job for the rest of their lives.

rNumtors'ôfteFuS- " ^ ! ;f anasaocia,epro!fsT iskdeniei

I minority faculty were not
i even available, but as of
spring of Í999,*the total
faculty was only: :
8% Asian-Amertcan.
I .<1% Nativa American,
I

j

3%Hispan'c1and

¡
he- or usuall>'she- has t0 leave
i an 0IL'
, . . ,
Te”ure s °"8,"al P f ose was t0

I ensure academic freedom for

professors, but clearly the hiring and
M a rc procesas at Stanford are
' Icreating an elite cohort of white males

'

academic freedom and job

i_ ^ .^ ^ c ^ n - A m e r i c a n ._____|security. In the past three years,
Anthropology Professor Akhil Gupta and History Professor Karen
Sawislak’s tenure cases have illustrated the injustice of the current tenure
process and sparked a movement determined to fight for tenure reform.
Professor Gupta eventually won redress; Professor Sawislak did not. She
was repeatedly denied tenure r ” ~ r r r ” '
! S ----------;— ; n
despite a nearly nnanintons
|
-------recommendation from her
L_
department, a positive recommendation from the
Appointments and Promotions Committee, glowing reviews from
students and advisees, and the prediction of the President of the
Organization of American Historians that she would be at the top of her
field in the next five years.
We, the students in the movement for tenure reform, believe that
there are several ways the tenure process discriminates. First, conscious
and subconscious biases lead primarily white male faculty and deans to
see people of color and women as inappropriate candidates. Second,

Tenure continued

'omen
women and nonwhite professors are more likely to do innovative,
nontraditional research that seeks to expand the western canon. Finally,
mentoring, teaching, and service are barely valued in the tenure process,
and because women and minority faculty are inundated with requests for
advising, the quality of their own research suffers.
The current system is creating a shockingly unjust racial and
sexual division of labor. The tenure system’s conservative tendency also
harms Stanford and its students by serving as a disincentive for
innovative research and creating a climate where talented women and
people of color are beginning to look elsewhere for employment. It is
time to reform the tenure process. Justice and the quality of our
education depend on it.
Editor's note: Prof. Sawislak's tenure case was re-opened, and in January
1999 she won a two year tenure track extension. However, she declined
to return to Stanford and undergo the tenure process again, saying she
did not believe the University would give her a fair hearing. She is
currently studying labor and employment law at Berkeley's Boalt Hall.

T R O U g L E iNJ PARApiSH ^

m'Temre: Academic Freedom^V
Á ' for White Men£ Sarah Eisenstein /'A
At Stanford, professors on the tenure track work for seven years;
at the end of that time, their departments and the deans evaluate their
work. If candidates are determined likely to be at the top of their fields,
they get tenure, which means a guaranteed job for the rest of their lives.

Anthropology Professor Akhil Gupta and History Professor Karen
Sawislak’s tenure cases have illustrated the injustice of the current tenure
process and sparked a movement determined to fight for tenure reform.
Professor Gupta eventually won redress; Professor Sawislak did not. She

recommendation from her
, p ‘
'
■ ■■
->• '.'.ty. (
department, a positive recommendation from the
Appointments and Promotions Committee, glowing reviews from
students and advisees, and the prediction of the President of the
Organization of American Historians that she would be at the top of her
field in the next five years.
We, the students in the movement for tenure reform, believe that
there are several ways the tenure process discriminates. First, conscious
and subconscious biases lead primarily white male faculty and deans to
see people of color and women as inappropriate candidates. Second,

55

Tenure continued
'G M o f 2 1 major research

tmouth, and Princeton, in a

women and nonwhite professors are more likely to do innovative,
nontraditional research that seeks to expand the western canon. Finally,
mentoring, teaching, and service are barely valued in the tenure process,
and because women and minority faculty are inundated with requests for
advising, the quality of their own research suffers.
The current system is creating a shockingly unjust racial and
sexual division of labor. The tenure system’s conservative tendency also
harms Stanford and its students by serving as a disincentive for
innovative research and creating a climate where talented women and
people of color are beginning to look elsewhere for employment. It is
time to reform the tenure process. Justice and the quality of our
education depend on it.
Editor's note: Prof. Sawislak's tenure case was re-openedy and in January
1999 she won a two year tenure track extension. However, she declined
to return to Stanford and undergo the tenure process again , saying she
did not believe the University would give her a fa ir hearing. She is
currently studying labor and employment law at Berkeley's Boalt Hall.

T R O U E t-E IN P A R A p iS E * ^ -

Taco dell and Corporate

à

/

V

Responsibility

y Shubha Chakravarty
In response to the Daily article on October 6, 1998, in which Pro­
vost Rice encourages students to take up their political issues in local
government rather than on campus, I offer our campus Polio Rey’s as an
example of the essential role of student activism at Stanford. Polio’s
current spot in Tressider was nearly sold to Taco Bell in 1996, and the
University’s choice of Polio’s was very much a result of student pressure.
At the time, Taco Bell was a subsidiary of an environmentally
destructive and politically immoral multinational corporation, PepsiCo.
Students opposed allowing it to locate in
the middle of the Stanford campus and to
profit from the Stanford community. At
the time of the uproar against Taco Bell,
mm
PepsiCo was primarily being targeted and
boycotted by human rights groups because of its continued support for
the brutal military dictatorship in Burma. Signing a contract with Taco
Bell would have demonstrated that Stanford accepted and financially
supported the practices of such corporations as PepsiCo.
Stanford students understood this issue. In one week, SEAS
(Students for Environmental Action at Stanford) collected over 2000
signatures to oppose Taco Bell. Furthermore, the ASSU resolved to
boycott all companies involved in Burma.
Barring the Taco Bell on campus was a success for campus activ­
ism, yet there is much work still to do. Stanford’s corporate connections
run extrem ely I » ■ '
deep. Everywhere around us, from
athletics p ro ­
grams to funding for academic research to purchasing policies, Stanford embodies the
“financial gains at
any cost” mentality. Our university
uses its investments to support corporate offenders
with documented abuses of labor rights and public health. How can we
pretend that pouring millions of dollars into these corporations is an
“apolitical” action and that these corporate connections do not interfere
with our education? How many times a day are you accosted on this
campus by corporate sponsorships, advertisements and consumerism?
Think critically about Stanford’s role in supporting
corporate irresponsibility- then act. It works.
57

Unpacking the Knapsack
White Privilege
Peggy McIntosh

k

Through work to bring materials from Women's Studies into the rest of the
curriculum, I have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are over­
privileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They
may say they will work to improve women's status, in the society, the university,
or the curriculum, but they can't or won't
Whites
are
ta u
support the idea of lessening men's.
of
th
eir
lives
Denials which amount to taboos sur­
neutral,
norma
round the subject of advantages which
average,
and
men gain from women's disadvantages.
th a t
when
These denials protect male privilege
from being fully acknowledged, less­
as
work
which
ened or ended.
"them"
to
be
m
Thinking through unacknowl­
edged male privilege as a phenomenon,
I realized that since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most
likely a phenomenon of white privilege which was similarly denied and pro­
tected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something
which puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its
corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage. I think whites
are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to
recognize male privilege.
So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white
privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned
assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant'
to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of
special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools and blank
checks. Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in
Women's Studies work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of
their power, so one who writes about having white privilege must ask, "Having
described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?"
After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowlPeggy McIntosh is Associate Director o f the Wellesley College Center for
Research on Women. This essay is excerpted from her working paper, "White Privilege
and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through
Work in Women's Studies, " copyright © 1988 by Peggy McIntosh. Available for $4.00
from address below. The paper includes a longer list o f privileges. Permission to
excerpt or reprint must be obtained from Peggy McIntosh, W ellesley College Center
for Research on Women, Wellesley, MA 02181; (617)283-2520, FAX (617) 283-2504

58

Unpacking

the

Knapsack,

continued

edged privilege, I understood that much of their oppressiveness was uncon­
scious. Then I remembered the frequent charges from women of color that white
women whom they encounter are oppressive. I began to understand why we are
justly seen as oppressive, even when we don't see ourselves that way. I began to
count the ways in which I enjoy unearned skin privilege and have been condi­
tioned into oblivion about its existence.
My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an
unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was
taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her
individual moral will. My schooling followed the pattern my colleague Eliza­
beth Minnich has pointed out: Whites are taught to think of their lives as
morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to
benefit others, this is seen as work which will allow "them" to be more like "us."
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily
effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions which I
think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class,
religion, ethnic status, or geographical location, though of course all these other
factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can see, my African American co­
workers, friends and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent
contact in this particular time, place, and line of work cannot count on most of
these conditions.
1 .1 can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the
time.
2. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing
in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
3 .1 can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or
pleasant to me.
4 . 1 can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be
followed or harassed.
5 .1 can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see
people of my race widely represented.
6. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am
shown that people of my color made it what it is.
7 . 1 can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to
the existence of their race.
8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white
privilege.
9 . 1 can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race repre­
sented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural
traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
10. Whether I use checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on my skin color not
to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
11.1 can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might
not like them.

59

Unpacking the Knapsack, continued
12.1 can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without
having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or. the
illiteracy of my race.
13.1 can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on
trial.
14 I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my
race.
15.1 am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
16.1 can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who
constitute the world’s majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for
such oblivion.
17.1 can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies
and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
18.1 can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to "the person in charge,” I will be
facing a person of my race.
19. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the 1RS audits my tax return, I can be sure
I haven't been singled out because of my race.
2 0 .1 can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys,
and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
2 1 .1 can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling
somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out of place, outnumbered, unheard,
held at a distance, or feared.
2 2 .1 can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having
coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.
2 3 .1 can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race
cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
2 4 .1 can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work
against me.
25. If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative
episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.
2 6 .1 can choose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more
or less match my skin.
I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it
down. For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive
subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth
of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one's life
is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues
of their own.
In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege; I have listed
conditions of daily experience which I once took for granted. Nor did I think of
any of these perquisites as bad for the holder. I now think that we need a more
finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some of these varieties are only
what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give licence to be
ignorant, oblivious, arrogant and destructive.

60

Unpacking the Knapsack, continued
I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a pattern of
assumptions which were passed on to me as a white person. There was one main
piece of cultural turf; it was my own turf, and I was among those who could
control the turf. My skin color was an asset for any move I was educated to want
to make. I could think of myself as belonging in major ways, and of making
social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be
oblivious to anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the main
culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.
In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable,
and oblivious, other groups were likely being made inconfident, uncomfortable,
and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds
I want to
of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being
distinguish
subtly trained to visit in turn upon people of color.
betw e en
For this reason, the word "privilege" now seems to
earned
me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a
strength and favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or
unearned
luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here
power
work to systematically overempower groups. Such
conferred
privilege simply confers dominance because of one's race
systemically. or sex.
Power from
I want, then, to distinguish between earned strength
unearned
and unearned power conferred systemically. Power from
privilege can unearned privilege can look like strength when it is in
look like
fact permission to escape or to dominate. But not all of
strength when the privileges on my list are inevitably damaging. Some,
it is in fac t like the Expectation that neighbors will be decent to you,
permission to or that your race will not count against you in court,
e s c a p e or to should be the norm in a just society. Others, like the
dominate.
privilege to ignore less powerful people, distort the
humanity of the holders as well as the ignored groups.
We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages
which we can work to spread, and negative types of advantages which unless
rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies. For example, the feeling
that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say, should not
be seen as privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At present,
since only a few have it, it is an unearned advantage for them. This paper results
from a process of coming to see that some of the power which I originally saw
as attendant on being a human being in the U.S. consisted in unearned advan­
tage and conferred dominance.
I have met very few men who are truly distressed about systemic, un­
earned male advantage and conferred dominance. And so one question for me
and others like me is whether we will get truly distressed, even outraged, about
unearned race advantage and conferred dominance and if so, what we will do to
lessen them. In any case, we need to do more work in identifying how they
actually affect our daily lives. Many, perhaps most, of our white students in the
61

Unpacking

the

life ¡5 of consequence
to you?"

Knaps

to me. How is my life of consequenc
Erica Huggins, Elack Panther Party

U.S. think that racism doesn’t affect them because they are
not people of color; they do not see "whiteness” as a racial
identity. In addition, since race and sex are not the only
advantaging systems at work, we need similarly to examine
the daily experience of having age advantage, or ethnic
advantage, or physical ability, or advantage related to
nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.
Difficulties and dangers surrounding the task of
finding parallels are many. Since racism, sexism, and
heterosexism are not the same, the advantaging associated
with them should not be seen as the same. In addition, it is
hard to disentangle aspects of unearned advantage which
rest more on social class, economic class, race, religion, sex
and ethnic identity than on other factors. Still, all of the
oppressions are interlocking, as the Combahee River
Collective statement of 1977 continues to remind us
eloquently.
One factor seems clear about all of the interlocking
oppressions. They take both active forms which we can see
and embedded forms which as a member of the dominant
group one is taught not to see. In my class and place, I did
not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize
racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of
my group, never in invisible systems conferring onslaught
racial dominance on my group from birth.
Disapproving of the systems won't be enough to
change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if
white individuals changed their attitudes. But a "white”
skin in the United States opens many doors for whites
whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been
conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate, but cannot
end, these problems.
To redesign social systems we need first to acknowl­
edge their colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and
denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool
here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity
incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred
dominance by making these taboo subjects. Most talk by

Unpacking the Knapsack, continued
whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity
to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of domi­
nance exist.
It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like oblivious­
ness about male advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so
as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is
equally available to all. Keeping people unaware that freedom of confident
action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power, and
serves to keep power in the hands
of the same groups that have most
of it already.
Though systemic change
takes many decades, there are
pressing questions for me and I
imagine for some others like me if
we raise our daily consciousness
on the perquisites of being light­
skinned. What will we do with
such knowledge? As we know
from watching men, it is an open
question whether we will choose
to use unearned advantage to
weaken hidden systems of advantage, and whether we will use any of our
arbitrarily-awarded power to try to reconstruct power systems on a broader base.
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POWWOW
Jason Packineau

k

Every Mothers' Day weekend, for the past twenty years, the
Stanford Powwow has been a chance for the Native American community
to share its culture with Stanford. But what is a Powwow? For most Na­
tive Americans, a Powwow means a social event in its grandest form. Prob­
ably the most notable feature of a Powwow is the stylized singing and
dancing.
Once there, you won't be able to miss the array of songs and drum­
ming along with the various designs of the dancers' clothing. All of these
elements come together in the Powwow circle, a.k.a. the dance floor. In
addition to the competitive dancing, there are also social dances for all to
participate in and enjoy.
But a Powwow is not just about dancing; food is also an essential
part of the festivities. Dozens of food booths offer an unique and broad
range of Native American cuisine. Frybread with honey is a must. And, if
you need a break, there are over 100 arts and crafts booths set up for dem­
onstration and for sale. Add to the madness a 5K Fun Run, hand games,
and a variety of other activities each year.
Basically a Powwow is an inclusive event, which has included such
past performances as Aztec Dancing and Native Hawaiian singing. It would
be impossible to list all a Powwow has to offer. At Stanford, the Native
American community works very hard to put on the Powwow not only for
themselves, but for others as well. So next Mothers' Day Weekend when
you see 15,000 bodies on our campus, don’t say you never knew, and don't
say you never had the chance to come the Stanford Powwow. Because the
best part of it all is it's FREE! See you in May!
Contact pclewis@leland or poquin@leland.
See http://www.stanford.edu/group/saio

S

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64

Apparel:
Sweating the Peta ¡Is
College

7

V

Fred Luminoso

Student activism against overseas sweatshop labor in the
production of college apparel has expanded into what the
Timeshails as "the biggest wave of campus activism since the anti­
apartheid movement in the early 1980s," in which students demanded
that colleges refuse to invest in companies doing business in South
Africa. The conditions the students now protest include are indeed
brutal: at one Nike factory in El Salvador shifts are between 9 and 11
hours long (plus forced overtime before vacations or Christmas break),
the temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and strip-searches are
conducted upon entering and leaving the factory—all so that the
workers can make under $2000 per year.
As early as February, students at Duke and Georgetown
Universities staged sit-ins and successfully demanded that their
respective colleges require full disclosure of factory locations and
occupational health and safety standards before signing the Collegiate
Licensing Company’s anti-sweatshop Code of Conduct. Since then,
some 150 campuses
I m w SEQurrua • wim
nationwide, including a
host of Ivy Leagues,
have joined the struggle
against overseas sweat­
shops. Highlighted by
the student takeover of
the office of the president at the University of Michigan, a 350-strong rally at Harvard, and
mock fashion shows at Holy Cross and UC-Berkeley, the anti-sweat­
shop movement gained momentum throughout the year. At the Univer­
sity of Arizona students waged a record-breaking, 216-hour sit-in and
emerged victorious. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
in spite of 1998 apparel sales on the order of $2.7 million, succumbed
to demands of independent monitoring of factories and full public
disclosure of their locations, as well as a "living wage” for the work­
ers. But even in the wake of successful campaigns elsewhere, campus
65

activism never spread to Stanford.
Activism may not be the best policy, particularly for Stanford.
As one Princeton student told the
New"these workers
make above average wages for the area. And arbitrarily raising wages
could cause layoffs." Nike, an employer of sweatshop labor in the
past, points to the fact that its wages in foreign countries are higher
than the minimum wage. (Then again, some foreign countries report­
edly keep the minimum wage low to attract American companies.)
Moreover, Stanford's athletic department, while it relies heavily on the
much-maligned Nike, has no department-wide contract. Several
individual sports have contracts independent of each othei; and most
of these do not expire until 2001. The Collegiate Licensing Company,
which students at Duke and Georgetown used as leverage in their
protests, oversees the licensing contracts of over 160 universities, but
Stanford is not among them. Finally, the Student Labor Action Coali­
tion, the student organization most likely to address overseas sweat­
shop labor, has planned to focus on local rather than national issues.
At present the debate within active universities is whether to
join the Fair Labor Association, which some argue gives too much
control to corporations. Stanford remains indifferent. "You know how
Stanford deals with these issues," economics doctoral student and
SLAC member Ethan Kaplan told
"It doesn't.'

Stanford ex-Provost Condoleezza Rice was
quoted in the Daily (Oct. 2,1998) as saying, "The
University is neither a governmental body nor
an individual actor, and it has to stay very far
away from political issues when they do not af­
fect what the University is trying to do." This begs
two questions: What is it "the University is try­
ing to do"? And, is it possible for the University,
which is engaged in the oppressions that exist
within the status quo, to be apolitical?
In June
George

1999,
Provost Rice
W. Bush's
presidential
66

resigned.
campa

CEO,

Stanford
Managem
Laurance Hoagland
Director
o f University
Alan Acosta
General
Counsel
Michael Roster
Director
o f Hoover
In
John Raisian
Director
o f Government
Community
Relations
Larry Horton
Vice
President
fo r
Busi
Chief Financial
Officer
Mariann Byerwalter
Vice
President fo r
Deve
John Ford

I Board of Trustees'

President
Gerhard Casper

Provost
John Hennessy

Deans
o f Earth
SciencesFranklin Orr
o f Education
Richard Shavelson
(resigning end of '99-'00)
School
o f Engineering James Plummer
Graduate
School
o f BusinessRobertJoss
School
o f Law
Kathleen Sullivan
School
o f Medicine
Eugene Bauer
School
of Humanities
andS MalcolmBeasley
SLAC
Jonathan Dorfan
Religious
Life
Kelly Denton-Borhaug
_________
Patricia Karlin-Neumann
School
School

University
Librarian
Michael Keller
Academic
Secretary
Susan Schofield
Director
o f CampusRelationsSally Dickson
Director
o f Athletics
Ted Leland
Director
o f StanfordUniversityNorris Pope
Direct or o f Stanford News Service
Eileen Walsh

The Hierarchy of th e University
Wanna change something? Target the right person.
Some of these folks are great allies, others won't budge
L
you break down their door--but theyVe all got power.

if

V ic e P ro v o sts
Research and Graduate Policy.................... Charles Kruger
Budget & Auxiliary Management..........Timothy Warner
Undergraduate Education
John Bravman
♦Faculty Recruitment and Development..Robert Weisberg
Faculty Development....................................Anne Fernald
Insitutional Planning & Operations.............Geoffrey Cox
Student Affairs............................................ James Montoya

Student Affairs
Human Resources Director:
Teófila Kloak
Director of Administration: Margaret Ann Fidler
Registration & Academic Support: Roger Printup
Admissions and Financial Aid: Robert Kinnally
Cowell Student Health Services:
Ira Friedman
Haas Center for Public Service:
Nadinne Cruz
Residential Education:
Jane Camarillo
Housing and Dining Services:
Keith Guy
Dean of Students:
Marc Wais
ASSU
President
Mike
Levin
Faculty Senate
Mark Zoback,
Chair

D ean o f St udent s
Judicial Affairs
Ethnic and Community Centers
Bechtel International Center
Student Organizations
Tressider Memorial Union
Disability Resource Center
New Student Orientation
68

à-

IS S S SSS ^

Places to 5tart
Lindsay Imai and Laura Jean Torgereon/iS S r

This is just a short list of some of the many organizations ar
places to get involved here at Stanford...

Campus Centers - Drop in for a visit!
Asian American Activities Center (A3C)
Disabled Community Cultural Center (DC3)
Black Community Services Center (BCSC)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Community Center (LGBCC)
Native American Cultural Center
El Centro Chicano
Women’s Center
Haas Center for Public Service
Bechtel International Center

Umbrella Student Groups:
A AS A (Asian American Students Association)
aasa@ lists
BSU (Black Student Union)
email hf.bcs@forsythe to join the BCSC list
Disabled Students of Stanford
dss@ lists
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community
qnet@ lists
M EChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan)
mecha@lists
SAIO (Stanford American Indian Organization)
contact Patrick,pclewis@leland to join the list
Women's Coalition
> womens-coalition @lists
SEAS (Students for Environmental Action at Stanford)
seas-members @lists
69

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