What are we up to?

Executives

Hey everyone! We, Jackson and Amanda, are so excited to announce our agenda for the coming year. As Exec, we work closely with our Cabinet to foster and support their initiatives, and create and pursue our own plans.

This year, we will:

  1. Propose a Diversity in the Major academic component;

  2. Support the renaming of campus sites named after Junipero Serra;

  3. Work with Nominations Commission to make student representation on University committees more stable and transparent; and

  4. Advocate for improved care for survivors of sexual violence on campus and work with administrators to revise our campus’ Title IX Policy.

We are excited to hear your input, questions, and suggestions! Feel free to reach out to us or to our Chief of Staff, Rachel Samuels, at rsamuels@stanford.edu.

Academics

Hi! Ngoc Bui and Sam Feineh here! We're collaborating with CSRE and other academic programs/departments to implement a reformed Engaging Diversity requirement on campus. We've presented our findings to C-USP, the Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policy, who has expressed support in our endeavors. Ultimately, we aim to create new academic policies that will foster meaningful and active engagement with issues about diversity as they relate to power dynamics. This process will take a long time, but we're making good progress and we're optimistic for the future. Yes we can.

Disability Community

"Ask Me About My Disability" Event
ASSU hosted an event in honor of disability awareness month: "Ask Me About My Disability" Event. The "Ask Me About My Disability" Event took place on November 4, from 12 PM to 2 PM, in White Plaza. The event was open to the general public and honored Disability Awareness Month.

The purpose of the "Ask Me About My Disability!" event was to increase awareness about disabilities by providing a space where Stanford students can share their experiences with interested community members. People that attended the event learned about visual impairment, hearing loss, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, chronic illness, mental health, assistive technology, and resources for individuals with disabilities at the Farm. The event featured Talisman.

Co-hosts:
Bridge Peer Counseling Center
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Kids with Dreams
Mr. David Jaffe, Lecturer for ENGR110/210 (Perspectives in Assistive Technology)
Office of Accessible Education (OAE)
Power to ACT: Abilities Coming Together
Stanford Mental Health Outreach
Students Supporting Body Positivity (SSBP)
Talisman
WHILL

Stanford Daily Article: http://www.stanforddaily.com/2016/11/07/assu-disability-awareness-event-hopes-to-send-messages-of-respect-and-identity/

Thank you to everyone who attended the event and who celebrated Disability Awareness Month with us.

Disability Campus Center Update
For many years, the disability community has been advocating for a disability campus center. We are delighted to announce that we are currently searching for physical space for the center. We are working on finding a temporary space to help establish a long-term solution.

The administration requested that we find out the most important factors for our community, including location and potential usage. Please fill out this short survey to determine the most accessible option for you: https://goo.gl/forms/hfpxVA0pKWMuJ3pU2

If you have any questions or are interested in being involved with this initiative, please contact Zina (zjawadi@stanford.edu) or Kartik (kartiks2@stanford.edu).

Stanford Daily Article: http://www.stanforddaily.com/2016/11/17/power2act-seeks-community-center-for-students-with-disabilities/

Skill-Building Update
One of our top goals for the year is skill-building. We are planning to host workshops related to this goal for the disability community. We would love to hear your feedback. It would be wonderful if you can please complete this short survey: https://goo.gl/forms/HowQaKGEb1TKlLzX2. The survey is anonymous.

Environmental Justice & Sustainability

This year, we aim to incorporate an environmental justice (EJ) framework into the forefront of campus’ sustainability narrative. Our goals include raising awareness about EJ on Stanford's campus so students know why it matters and how they relate to it, connecting students with off-campus EJ groups and campaigns, and supporting the ongoing work of on-campus social justice groups relating to environmental justice.

Our first main project is to organize an event similar to last year’s Stories of Sustainability (SOS), with an even more specific focus on environmental justice issues. We hope to partner with one or multiple bay-area environmental justice organizations to bring a diverse set of stories and perspectives to campus. Connecting students to the important work being done in our backyard will clarify that Stanford's sustainability is deeply tied to the environmental justice dilemmas of the bay area.

Historically, social justice organizations have led the charge on incorporating environmental justice into the work they do, but they have often been excluded from the "mainstream" environmental movement. To help bridge the gap between environmental groups and activist groups on campus, we will be hosting a mixer to celebrate the work being done on EJ at Stanford. It is our hope that this will foster further collaboration between people, projects, and groups.

In addition to the above, we will be working closely with administrative bodies working on campus sustainability to help incorporate an EJ framework into their work, evaluating Stanford students' current awareness/understanding of environmental justice, and facilitating communication between student groups and the administration to help push forward sustainability initiatives.

If you have any questions/comments/concerns about us or the work we’re doing this year, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Luke: lukedm@stanford.edu

Pablo: pdhaake@stanford.edu
Members of the 2016-2017 ASSU Executive Environmental Justice & Sustainability Committee: 
- Ada Statler-Throckmorton
- Cecilia Atkins
- Courtney Pal
- Emily Dial
- Katie Lan
- Luke Miller
- Mehr Kumar
- Mikaela Osler
- Pablo Haake

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Hey, it's Emma (she/her) and Hope (they/them), your Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet Leads! We care about the wellbeing of everyone at Stanford (seriously, we love you!) and also about dogs and good television. You can buy our love with cookies and guacamole--at the same time, of course. Understanding identities and individuals’ lived experiences is important to us, and we hope to incorporate a mindfulness of this in our work.

Working with our cabinet on the five issues areas we have laid out: an improved mental health website, an evaluation of Stanford's crisis management system, a suggestion list for CAPS wait times and intake procedures, a survey gauging mental health on campus, and identifying the resources available to students struggling. We are meeting with administrators on all these issues, working with student groups in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Coalition, and conducting early research to see how we can be most helpful in all these areas.

 

Sexual Violence Prevention and Title IX

The Sexual Violence Prevention & Title IX Issue Area exists to work with students, administration, and faculty to advocate for and improve sexual violence prevention at Stanford and to provide opportunities for students to engage with the topic. We have two co-leads, Lauren Schlansky, a junior, and Rachel Green, a first-year law student. 

This year, we have four primary focuses: 

  1. We are working to purchase and stock a vending machine with Plan B products available for all students. 
  2. We are working with various offices to better understand and improve the training provided to faculty and students on sexual violence prevention and consent, and the training provided to the panelists who determine Title IX cases of sexual violence.
  3. We are hoping to offer at least one event open to all students to engage with the topic of sexual violence prevention.
  4. In general, we are hoping to continue speaking with and working with administration and staff to address student concerns about the adjudication process, the Campus Climate Survey, and other aspects of sexual violence prevention and response at Stanford.

Social Inclusivity and Safety

Project #1: Comprehensive sober monitor program. Currently, organizations like fraternities and self-ops bear the weight of providing sober monitors for all-campus parties. Unfortunately, this means that a disproportionate number of sober monitors are men and are inherently incentivized to protect their community. A university-sponsored, paid sober monitor program could provide more formal training around violence prevention and offer students a more reliable support while at a party.

Project #2:  Another reliable weekly all-campus party. Communities like EBF have worked to create a weekly place where students can go to socialize and have fun. The regularity of the event makes it easier to organize and use as a testing ground for improving social life on this campus, as we saw with EBF's introduction of the consent sign. By working with other co-ops or self-ops, we hope to establish another weekly program that offers a healthy outlet and aims to pioneer for a more vibrant social scene.

Project #3: Expanding 5SURE services. The current 5SURE program works to provide transportation or companionship for students who are headed home late at night, oftentimes after becoming intoxicated. We aim to expand 5SURE's effectiveness by potentially partnering with new technology or with existing ride companies like Uber. The goal is for every student to always feel like they have a safe and worry-free way to get home.

Project #4: Cups for better measurement and understanding of affirmative consent. Though most all campus parties no longer serve alcohol, a lot of smaller social events burn through hundreds of plastic cups every year. OAPE recently developed a cup that has clear markings of how much of each alcoholic beverage constitutes a standard drink. The cups were a huge hit and we hope to bring them to more communities this year. In addition, we plan to attach the definitions of words related to creating a culture of affirmative consent to the cups, to serve as a constant reminder that we need to build our culture around consent