Last night, Jason Lupatkin’s article entitled “Why You Cannot Vote for SOCC,” sparked an on-campus controversy so extensive that the now newly elected ASSU Executive, Ashton-Gallagher, felt compelled to publicly renounce *The Stanford Review’*s endorsement of their slate. The article criticizes the monopoly on ASSU elections that the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC), which Mr. Lupatkin argues is heavily influenced by members of the radical left, has come to maintain.
Indeed, Mr. Lupatkin’s opinion is highly unsavory to many individuals on campus. And indeed his opinion of SOCC reflects neither the views of the Editorial Board nor its individual members. Nevertheless, I strongly reaffirm Mr. Lupatkin’s right to express his opinion publicly and I defend *The Stanford Review’*s right to publish opinions that may run contrary to the views of many students, including those who have sought—and received—its endorsement for election.
As a woman born to Filipino immigrants and the first child in my family to go to college in the United States, I can credibly attest to the high value which The Stanford Review places on ethnic diversity. Yet along with ethnic diversity, the* Review* also seeks to promote diversity of thought on campus, beginning with views which remain largely underrepresented among the various student publications. This is why I joined The Stanford Review. And this is why I remain a proud leader of the publication, despite the events of the last 24 hours.
But to end on a forward-looking note, these moments of controversy are teaching moments, which pave the way for dialogue and university-wide improvement. It is a lesson for me, as a journalist and the leader of a Stanford publication, that opinions which strongly oppose others’ ideological principles will garner greater-than-expected controversy. It is a lesson for The Stanford Review, which, despite a potentially hostile political climate, must unapologetically defend the rights to journalistic freedom and the promotion of diversity, not just of race or ethnicity, but of thought. It is a lesson for SOCC, who must at least recognize that there are students on campus who are troubled by their influence over ASSU elections. It is a lesson for the university at large, that the issue of race is all but settled, remaining a topic demanding greater dialogue and attention.
When I assumed the position as Editor-in-Chief of the *Review *last quarter, I wrote that my vision for the newspaper would be to bring to light the most important campus-related issues, identifying both what is well done and what remains to be improved. I reaffirm this vision and remain optimistic that The Stanford Review will continue to play an important role in the discussions of even the most controversial issues.
Judy Romea ‘14