The campaign: Stranger times in ASSU history

April 9, 2012, 3:01 a.m.
The campaign: Stranger times in ASSU history
From right: Larry Diamond ’73 M.A. ‘78 Ph.D. ‘80, Ann Kimball ‘72, Diane Fields ‘72 J.D. ‘75, Doug McHenry ‘73. The four-person ASSU presidential slate won in 1971 with aims to support “the general quest for self-determination among minority students.” (The Stanford Daily Archives)

In the spirit of the upcoming ASSU elections on April 12 and 13, The Daily took a look back on some of the more humorous ASSU Executive slates–and one ASSU Senate proposal–of the past. Although the Stanford Chaparral has traditionally run a “joke” slate in elections, we assure you that these slates–except for one–were no joke.

ASSU presidential slate for school year 1971-1972

On April 13, 1971, The Daily reported on a slate that proposed to eliminate the ASSU entirely.

“The ticket of Chris Hocker ’73 and Robin Friedman ’73 have campaigned on a platform of dismantling the ASSU and ending its influence on student organizations. They support a program fee of $0,” The Daily reported.

“This is an unusually important election. It has come to rest on whether the ASSU should continue to exist. [A fee of $0 will] emasculate or destroy a lot of important campus organizations,” said Larry Diamond ’73 M.A. ’78 Ph.D. ’80, current director of the Center for Democracy, Development and The Rule of Law (CDDRL), then a Stanford sophomore and member of the competing slate.  Diamond’s slate won the election.

ASSU presidential slate for school year 1985-1986 

On April 10, 1985, The Daily’s ASSU Elections handbook, where platforms and budget requests were published before the Internet, published presidential slate Hammer and Coffin’s official statement. H & C, made up of Andrew Frisch ’87, Michael Collins ’86, Leslie Leland ’86 M.S. ’86 and Tim Quirk ’86, was the Chaparral “joke” slate that year.

“Fuck the Associated Students of Stanford University. Something is wrong when we really mean that. The time has come to change, even to replace, this government that once at least pretended to serve the student interest. No longer. Even that pretense is a thing of the past,” the statement read.

The slate went on to call for the elimination of the ASSU Senate.

“We say that we would like to disband the student senate and it’s true. It’s the least we could do. Disband the ASSU. Now. Before every student organization on campus is destroyed or disenfranchised.”

The Daily Editorial Board endorsed the slate one day later, deciding to take H & C seriously. The slate won, and on April 19, stated plans to “individually meet with all the senators, and try to find out exactly what kind of beer they like.”

ASSU Executive slate for school year 2002-2003

On April 11, 2002, The Daily covered the slate of Kellea Miller ’04 and Malavika Monahan ’04 who ran an unconventional campaign by refusing to distribute flyers or express a concrete message.

“Monahan and Miller and the rest of the group said they merely wish to get students to examine themselves and their world instead of the campus during the time of the ASSU elections,” The Daily reported.

“Someone asked me when the election was, and I was like, ‘Uh…’” Monahan said, laughing.

“To elect people based on how much paper they can spend is a little disheartening to me,” Miller said, adding that she had approached candidates about using recycled paper for the traditional White Plaza-flyering mayhem.

“Tradition to kill trees!” she said.

The slate, although sincere, did not win.

An absurd Senate proposal

On April 6, 1994, The Daily reported on a proposed bill–Constitutional Amendment: Senate Bill XXIV-A&R-20–to require ASSU senators to don uniforms on the days of Senate meetings.

“ASSU senators could be walking around campus clad in official ‘uniforms’ next year if students approve an amendment placed on the spring general election ballot last night by the ASSU Senate,” The Daily reported.

“The official Senate uniform will consist of ‘an oatmeal-colored’ sweatshirt that reads on the front, ‘What is an ASSU senator?’ and on the back, ‘I’m an ASSU senator, silly!’ The sweatshirt will also display the time and location of meetings as set by the Senate at the beginning of the year.”

The Daily Editorial Board supported the amendment as a means of improving “the accountability and visibility of ASSU senators.” The amendment passed.


-Natasha Weaser

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