It’s that time of the quarter again…
Stanford students: click this link to opt-out of the ASSU Student Activities Fee. The deadline is Friday, January 21st, at 5pm PT/8 pm ET.
Each quarter, Stanford students are asked to pay an activities fee to the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), Stanford’s student government. This year, the fee is $174 per quarter. And each quarter, there is a precious window of time in which students can opt-out of paying the fee. The Review encourages Stanford students to exercise their right to opt-out and act to defund the ASSU.
Originally intended to be an organization focused on club funding, the ASSU has turned into an activist political machine that frequently operates beyond its constitutional mandate. ASSU leaders have also been known to paradoxically work against student interests. For example, the ASSU Senate recently voted to deny funding to a speaker event for Vice President Mike Pence. Hundreds of Stanford students would likely have attended this event, but once again, the ASSU prioritized politics over its electorate. And who can forget about the time when ASSU Executive Vianna Vo argued against allowing students to return to campus last spring? It is inexcusable that a ‘student advocate’ would oppose allowing students to enjoy an in-person experience--using the same logic that has placed us indefinitely online this quarter.
For their “service,” ASSU leaders reward themselves handsomely. ASSU salaries range in the thousands of dollars--last year, the ASSU Senate spent over $29,000 in salaries for Senators and paid out a further $4500 to student staffers assigned to each Senator. This is a clear example of bureaucratic excess and must be stopped.
To be clear, we support student groups (we are one!). They are a vital part of the Stanford experience. But the ASSU has more than enough money to allocate to annual grants (where the student activity fee goes towards) without having to tax us nearly $200 per quarter. By doing your part and opting out of the quarterly fee, Stanford students can send a clear message to ASSU leaders that our money needs to be better spent. We urge you to opt-out and spend the money you save on something that is actually worthwhile.
Stanford’s student body deserves a focused and disciplined student government, not a bloated collection of activists more interested in advancing their future political careers than improving campus life.