Special Fees Campaign in White Plaza

Stanford News Readership Program distributes New York Times t-shirts.
On their specific day to campaign in White Plaza, three Special Fee groups showed up to garner support for the passage of their fee.  Among those present were the Stanford News Readership Program. They distribute free copies of the New York Times and San Jose Mercury across campus for students’ reading pleasure. To promote awareness of their group’s fee need, they handed out New York times t-shirts and hats to passersby.

Also in White Plaza was Stanford Cardinal Broadcasting Network (SCBN), Stanford’s only student-run TV station. The group produces TV shows and provides students with free audio/video equipment rental and software. SCBN, relatively unknown to most Stanford students, seems to be trying to raise awareness about their presence on campus. To promote themselves they stood in White Plaza holding posters and yelling to students passing through. A student from both the Stanford National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Black Student Union (BSU) were also there.

The main campaign strategy for all of the groups present seemed to be electronic and through social media. But fliers from some groups can be seen in public areas on campus and select dorms.

Cotis Mitchell, a member of the 2010 ASSU Elections Commission, hasn’t heard of any groups

Stanford Cardinal Broadcasting Network holds posters.
that are planning big campus-wide events, but instead thinks they will rely upon a grass-roots campaign to raise support. He believes groups will have to use campaigning techniques to raise awareness about their fee requests, because many students don’t take the initiative to educate themselves about the groups.

On this year’s ballot there will be an asterisk and message next to Special Fee groups whose original fee request wasn’t passed by the ASSU Senate. Voters will now see this and will know that the Senate thought the group’s request was originally too high. Mitchell thinks that having this message on the ballot could help voters “make a better decision.” But he is unsure of just how much it will really affect the voters, as he thinks they will “make the decision fairly, based on their own judgement.”

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