It’s officially a race! Tenzin Seldon ’12 and Joe Vasquez ’11 (co-term) are entering the race for ASSU Executive, presenting the first credible challenge to the existing Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis slate. The twosome has selected the following issues as their core:
- Promoting Mental Health and Well-being: Engage students in dialogue with resources such as Vaden, CAPS, and The Bridge about how to improve wellness on campus. Leverage our visibility as ASSU Execs to create more classes on campus addressing issues of mental health. Incorporate workshops in dorms and support for increased salary for Peer Health Educator (PHE). Advocating for support, safety, and wellness in the Greek community.
- Diversity and Tolerance: We deeply care and are committed to issues and promotion of diversity, equality, and tolerance on campus. We will provide the necessary support and space for community centers to raise awareness on specific issues by supporting Diversity Advisory Board. We will initiate campaigns to raise awareness of the Acts of Intolerance Protocol and will engage with administration and promote greater dialogue with Stanford police and the larger community.
- Advising and Student Life: Increase the opportunities for mentorship and interaction between the graduate and undergraduate student population by working closely with the Graduate Student Council. Reform advising and make the transition to Stanford more accessible and personal for everyone, including first-generation, low-income students. Provide more career support and guidance through the Cardinal Careers and Career Development Center.
- Transparency and Accessibility: We envision an ASSU that works alongside the general Stanford community, one that actively reaches out to those it aims to serve. We promise to initiate and launch agendas that are important to the larger Stanford population and create avenues to hear public opinion during Executive and Senate meetings.
What does all of this mean?
Well, for one thing, some excitement in the race. Having two serious slates in the race will hopefully mean that the winner represents the strongest possible candidates, capturing the true pulse of the campus. Seldon and Vasquez also represent a fairly distinct profile as compared to Cruz and Macgregor-Dennis. Neither has held an elected ASSU position – Seldon is the current ASSU diversity chair and Vasquez has been extensively involved with SSE.
The other interesting immediate twist that this represents relates to one of the biggest endorsements on campus: Students of Color Coalition (SOCC). Michael Cruz has been twice SOCC-endorsed and would have seemed like a shoo-in for the SOCC endorsement. However, Tenzin Seldon is the incumbent diversity chair and Seldon and Vasquez each represent a broad cross-section of the diversity on campus. Lest we forget, Seldon was heavily involved in bringing the Dalai Lama to campus and has been cyber-assaulted by the Chinese government for her pro-Tibetan activities. SOCC will have to make a serious choice about which slate to endorse or whether it should endorse both (or neither).
As of 1:11 AM, the slate has 37 petitions. As it approaches the 200 petition barrier, we’ll see the race officially heat up (it’ll take 300 signatures, including 100 grads to get public financing).