Op-Ed: The Students of Color Coalition

Opinion by and
April 6, 2010, 12:31 a.m.

Not everyone at Stanford follows ASSU politics religiously. Hence it is no surprise that many students are overwhelmed and skeptical of the numerous endorsing groups that appear every spring and then just as quickly fade from consciousness. What distinguishes SOCC from the collection of confusing acronyms mixed into every election cycle?

SOCC stands for the Students of Color Coalition. We are an endorsing group that believes a diverse student body provides for heightened personal development as well as social support and increased avenues for connecting with peers. SOCC fights for systematic changes that allow student groups to implement the programming and support that they uniquely provide in order to continually strengthen our already vibrant communities.

SOCC is comprised of student organizations that support students academically, professionally, and personally in order to empower them to grow as leaders, intellectuals, and responsible global citizens. As co-chairs of the Asian American Students’ Association (AASA), Black Student Union (BSU), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), Muslim Student Awareness Network (MSAN), and Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO), SOCC directly represent the interests of over 1400 diverse individuals across campus. As a coalition originally founded in 1987 to protect and promote the values of students of color on campus during a time when cultural and ethnic diversity seemed a low priority, we have since naturally expanded our mission to advocate for campus diversity of every nature – diversity of thought, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientation, political positionality, geographic origins and religious beliefs. SOCC represents the continuation of a long tradition of student leaders and their communities working tirelessly to uphold the values upon which this university was founded.

Students involved in SOCC and its umbrella groups are dedicated to using the skills and knowledge they acquire at Stanford to serve and uplift the Stanford community. SOCC strives to empower students in all we do because we believe that inspired leaders become the best public servants. As such, SOCC recognizes the potential of the ASSU and its elected student leaders as forces for positive social change. We believe that the ASSU is an important forum for students, administrators and students to collaborate in promoting diversity and tolerance on campus, thus creating students who will advocate for similar issues as they emerge as global leaders.

This election season SOCC is supporting 12 senate candidates and one executive slate. Each went through an open and transparent endorsement process, and was heavily vetted by representatives from each of the five communities that SOCC represents. We have selected students who reflect the diverse interests and backgrounds of the student body as well as demonstrate great commitment, knowledge and passion for serving our diverse Stanford community.

Every year, SOCC chooses to engage deeply with the ASSU election process because we believe it is an important step towards empowering students and ensuring that the uniquely diverse nature of our student body is maintained and protected. Therefore, we humbly ask that as you look toward the upcoming April 8th and 9th elections you recall SOCC’s commitments to service, leadership and student advocacy. A vote for SOCC is a vote for you.

Andrew Pipathsouk
Asian American Students’ Association Co-Chair

C. Lilian Thaoxaochay
Asian American Students’ Association Financial Officer

Stephanie Epps
Black Student Union Co-Chair

Michael Tubbs
ASSU Executive Cabinet Co-Chair of Diversity and Tolerance

Ada Ocampo
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, Co-Chair

Alex Salgado
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan Co-Chair

Mililani Trask-Batti
Stanford America Indian Organization Co-Chair

Rachel Lum Ho
Hui o Hawai`i Co-Chair

Mohammad Ali
Muslim Student Awareness Network President

Mai El-Sadany
Muslim Student Awareness Network

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