Exec slate drops Review endorsement after controversial column

April 12, 2013, 11:30 p.m.

As voting in the 2013 ASSU elections nears an end, the Executive slate of Dan Ashton ’14 and Billy Gallagher ’14 have distanced themselves from an endorsement by The Stanford Review, after the publication of a controversial opinions piece critical of the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC).

The piece, which was written by Jason Lupatkin ’13 and entitled “Why You Cannot Vote for SOCC,” was published on Friday. The article was briefly removed from The Review’s website, before being restored with some changes in wording.

In the piece, Lupatkin accuses SOCC of exploiting ASSU funding for narrowly beneficial events and of pursuing “the funding and furthering of a radical political agenda” detached from broader student interests. He also criticized the group’s endorsement of Najla Gomez ’14 and Elizabeth Patino ’14 for Executive, describing them as “bland and unqualified candidates.”

As criticism of the piece circulated on University mailing lists, Ashton, a former SOCC-endorsed Senator, emphasized his slate’s dissent from the piece, noting that he had initially prevailed on The Review to remove the article. After The Review restored the article — without a disclaimer sought by Ashton and Gallagher distancing the slate from the piece — Ashton announced that the slate had dropped the endorsement.

“We sought the Review endorsement as the endorsement of a student newspaper,” he wrote in an email to the diaspora listserv. “We wanted to represent all of campus. We still do, which is why we’re dropping the endorsement.”

Whilst feedback on the mailing list to Ashton’s announcement was largely positive, members called for a more public distancing from The Review’s endorsement.

“Telling [the] Diaspora alone seems like trying to have your cake and eat it too,” wrote Kaz Adewuyi ’13 in an email to the list. “A full University email would look more convincing.”

Voting in the ASSU elections closes on Saturday at 12:09 a.m.

Marshall Watkins is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily, having previously worked as the paper's executive editor and as the managing editor of news. Marshall is a junior from London majoring in Economics, and can be reached at mtwatkins "at" stanford "dot" edu.

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