We have now arrived at the crux of Stanford’s ASSU election season. Elections season is incredibly important because its immediate outcome will have consequences that will impact the Stanford student body not only next year, but for years into the future.
For this election cycle, *The Review *is proud to endorse an incredibly strong slate of ASSU candidates for the Executive and Senate. *The Review *endorsed Tenzin Seldon and Joe Vasquez for Executive. For the Senate, *The Review *endorsed Miles Seiver, Matthew Sach, Harsh Govil, Tara Trujillo, and Alon Elhanan.
For most members of the student body, elections endorsements are clear in the sense that they indicate an organization’s support for particular candidates. But for the most part, the endorsement is quite the enigma. Which organizations get to endorse candidates? Why? What were the processes for seeking endorsements? What is the relationship between the endorsing groups and their endorsees? What does each endorsement really say about the endorsed candidate and what does that mean for voters?
While I cannot speak for other endorsing organizations, I can say that through its endorsement process, *The Review *sought to identify those candidates who would best embrace their roles as responsible, thoughtful, effective leaders of this student body.
Specifically, we sought to identify those candidates who would allocate your money efficiently and under budget. We sought candidates whose minds were open to alternative assessments and proposed solutions to campus problems surrounding issues such as wellness, diversity, appropriations, and free speech. We sought candidates who would operate within the proper scopes of their roles and who would serve as bridges between the ASSU, students, and the University. We sought candidates who could confidently articulate their plans, especially when situations might call upon them to make tough decisions. In short, we sought the best leaders.
In this issue of The Review, you will be able to read what Miles, Matthew, Harsh, Tara, and Alon had to say for themselves in the applications they submitted**when seeking the publication’s endorsement. Additionally, the editorial endorsing Tenzin and Joe will provide more specific insights into why we chose to endorse them. For instance, their commitment to assessing the efficacy of ASSU initiatives, such as programs promoting wellness at Stanford, illustrated their commitment to not just providing solutions to real problems, but providing the *best *solutions to real problems.
And finally, I do want to note that in making its endorsements, *The Review’s *Editorial Board deliberately did not ask about candidates’ stances on ROTC’s return to campus and did not consider any external statements candidates made on the subject. Time and again, the Editorial Board has advocated for the return of ROTC to campus, but it felt that ROTC should not be a politicized campaign issue. For Senate candidates in particular, personal stances on ROTC should not determine whether a candidate is elected as the program’s reinstatement is beyond the proper scope of the ASSU Senate.
But the fact is that ROTC’s reinstatement on campus has become a politicized campaign issue. A referendum regarding its reinstatement will appear on the ballot. The Women’s Coalition made the promise to actively campaign against ROTC’s return a prerequisite to receiving its endorsement. Nationally and at Stanford, ROTC has been a political carrot for decades, and in this election cycle, that remains true. Therefore, we are providing coverage of the situation in the context of these elections. Elections have consequences, and regardless of whether ROTC is ultimately reintroduced to campus, it will likely be impacted by the outcome of this election.
So I implore you: please vote. But when you do so, do not simply vote. Think through your decisions. Before you cast your ballot, take some time to read this publication and others to refresh your knowledge of the issues. Attend Tuesday’s Executive Debate at the CoHo. Visit elections.stanford.edu to learn more about the election process. Visit elections.stanfordreview.org for candidate profiles and coverage of events throughout the week. Use your voice, but do not check your reason at the door. This is your campus, so be sure that you are active in determining the consequences.
Autumn Carter, Editor-in-Chief