As was noted by an astute (or at least better informed) reader of my blog post from yesterday, one of the members of the Daily Editorial board who did not step down is a former SOCC senator and current SOCC partisan. This immediately raises the question, “if association with a major endorsing organization is not a disqualifying factor, then why did Chapa step down?” As I noted previously, Nath’s high school past with Wharton would disqualify him in any case, but Chapa is less obviously tied to the slate. We can imagine that he might be friendly with one or more of the candidates (he was rumored to have asked Wharton to be his vice president when he was looking to form a slate, something to which Wharton alluded in his interview), but it’s disappointing that the Daily Editorial Board did not simply automatically disqualify all persons involved in other major endorsements.
This didn’t just upset me: Thom and Stephanie, the slate of Thom Scher and Stephanie Werner, announced in an email sent to a broad swath of campus that they refused to participate in the Daily endorsement process because Ana Diaz-Hernandez, the aforementioned SOCC partisan, would not recuse herself. The full text of the email is as follows:
30 minutes ago, Thom and Stephanie walked into our endorsement interview with The Stanford Daily Editorial Board.
30 seconds later, we walked back out.
Two of five members of the editorial board had already recused themselves from the endorsement process because of a conflict of interests, something we respect immensely. But when a third member of the editorial board, one whose affiliation with another endorsing body, SOCC, was plain for all to see on her facebook, refused to step down, we realized that we had no other choice.
We believe in refocusing the ASSU on students–helping you do what you want to do. We believe in new people, with a new focus. And we believe in initiating change that matters.
We walked out on The Daily because we want this election to be about students, not about insiders. We walked out for you.
If this makes us the rebel slate, so be it. We’re the slate that is willing to do something as crazy as walk out on the biggest endorsement interview in order to prove our point. We actually want that change.
Do you believe in this kind of change? Then pass our message along.
Peace and love,
Thom and Stephanie
While it certainly was a political maneuver (this move must have been discussed in advance or a walk out would have been difficult to coordinate), it’s definitely interesting to see Thom and Stephanie make that leap. Arguably, it seems to be an indication of a certain level of desperation (a far cry from running uncontested earlier), but it’s still quite a gutsy move. We’ll see how it pays off next Thursday and Friday.