New to the Farm? Must-See Student Groups

With over 600 student groups registered with the University, Stanford boasts a variety of activities that let you engage an interest while meeting your peers. In fact, if you have an idea for a student group, it probably already exists.

It can be a daunting task to sort through so many opportunities and find your place. As a result, The Stanford Review is continuing its tradition of involvement in the campus political discussion by offering profiles on the following groups and activities on campus. This doesn’t mean that the Review has any formal affiliation with or endorses any of these groups—the staff just finds them interesting. If you’re looking for ways to get involved in campus dialogue, they could be a good place to start.

Keep reading for contact information and meeting times and places, and to find out more, check them out (and The Review!) at the Activities Fair in White Plaza on September 25.

The Stanford Conservative Society

The Stanford Conservative Society (SCS) is the home for conservative students at Stanford. And though this “home” is not being refinanced or given any money from a $787 billion package, it is still a pretty decent outfit for anyone looking to have fun and to get to know other conservatives on campus. We host multiple events throughout the quarter that offer free food, free market capitalism, and… free-dom loving people. OK, so the last one didn’t fit in as nicely, but it’s still true!

Our first kick-off event will be Tuesday, September 29, at The Treehouse. We’ll have free pizza and drinks, and—anyone is welcome! Well, sort of. Communists and hippies probably won’t fit in. But White Plaza hosts plenty of protests for you if you fit into those categories, so don’t worry.

Watch out for more social activities this quarter like our annual Christmas Cards for Soldiers, In-n-Out Burger with Conservatives, and Girls’ Night. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and we look forward to meeting you.

— Tommy Schultz, President, [email protected]

To Join: E-mail Tommy or visit SCS at the Treehouse on September 29.

Objectivists of Stanford

Objectivists of Stanford meets weekly to discuss Ayn Rand’s philosophy, objectivism, which she portrayed in her bestselling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. She also wrote a vast array of nonfiction works including Philosophy: Who Needs It, The New Intellectual, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtue of Selfishness, and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. We use these essential works as the basis for our discussions along with educational video and audio lectures.

In addition to our discussion meetings, we host quarterly speakers from the Ayn Rand Institute to discuss issues such as the connection between religion and morality (October 6, 2009), the nature of rational selfishness (winter), and the morality of capitalism (spring). We will have a booth at the activities fair with copies of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged to distribute to interested students. If you want to know more about a philosophy for living here and now in reality by using reason to pursue your own self-interest then come to a meeting of the Objectivists of Stanford to learn about Ayn Rand’s unique philosophy!

— Dakin Sloss, Founder, [email protected]

To Join: E-mail Dakin for meeting information.

Stanford in Government

Stanford in Government (SIG) is a nonpartisan student organization dedicated to increasing political awareness at Stanford and connecting students with opportunities in public service. The fellowships arm of SIG develops and manages over 30 fully-funded summer fellowships with governmental and non-governmental groups at the local, national, and international level. The programming arm of SIG sponsors lunches, debates, and speeches with prominent Stanford faculty and other leaders on current policy issues. In addition, SIG works with local schools and community centers to foster greater political awareness and participation within our surrounding communities. Finally, each year, SIG works with the ASSUSpeaker’s Bureau to bring a major national or international figure to campus as part of the annual Big Speaker event. Previous Big Speakers have included former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards.

— Otis Reid, Director of Communications, [email protected]

To Join: Apply to join by mid- to late September at http://sig.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/ or sign up for the SIG e-mail list at http://www.stanford.edu/group/SIG/cgi-bin/index.php/join/mailing-list-signup.

The Stanford Political Union

The Stanford Political Union (SPU) is a nonpartisan organization that arranges student-led debates and discussions about issues relevant to our campus, national, and international community. It seeks to take advantage of the broad spectrum of ideological positions held by Stanford students to create substantive and passionate debate. For each debate, SPUinvites speakers from groups all over campus who have particular knowledge and expertise in the chosen topic. Past events have included debates on how qualified Sarah Palin is to be vice president, Propositions 4 (parental notification of abortions) and 8 (gay marriage), the recent elections in India, and the value of campus newspapers at Stanford.

Past speakers have included leaders of the Stanford Democrats; the Stanford College Republicans; editors and staffers of the Stanford Daily, the Stanford Review, and the Flipside; and undergraduate senators; among many other notable campus organizations. SPUis looking for eager and politically-minded individuals who have creative and intellectual ideas for debates.

— Bryce Kam, President, [email protected]

To Join: Go to http://spu.stanford.edu to download an application.

ASSU Speakers’ Bureau

The Speakers’ Bureau is a small student group affiliated with the Associated Student of Stanford University (ASSU) responsible for inviting prominent speakers to campus. In the past, we’ve hosted national and international figures like Salman Rushdie, BJ Novak, Wesley Clark, and Sarah Silverman. The Bureau also collaborates with other groups in bringing speakers like Pervez Musharraf, John Edwards, and Elie Wiesel. Lastly, we use a percentage of our funding to support other student groups in their speaker ventures.

— Peter Tu, Director, [email protected]

To Join: E-mail Peter for regular meeting time and location.

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