Endorsement of Kimiko Hirota and Bryce Tuttle

April 1, 2019, 1:00 a.m.

When I think about who is poised to lead Stanford next year, Kimiko Hirota and Bryce Tuttle are the first individuals to come to mind. Bringing together years of activism and ASSU experience, they have crafted a platform holding Stanford accountable to a more equitable campus environment. I am proud to support their candidacy for ASSU Exec.

Kimiko, a trailblazer in navigating both activism and government, shows passion and dedication to social justice. She fights for change in student-led activist organizations, such as Stanford Asian-American Activism Committee (SAAAC) and Students for the Liberation of All People (SLAP). She also founded the Community Center Coalition, successfully increasing resources for our eight community centers. Serving on the 19th Undergraduate Senate, she authored and passed a bill to support sexual assault survivors by reconstituting the ASSU Title IX and Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition, of which she is still an active member. Now, as co-director of Community Centers and Diversity, she and co-director Marisol Zarate continue to advocate for better community center collaboration and address issues of diversity and microaggression in the classroom.

Bryce, who has taken various ASSU roles since his freshman year, has revolutionized the push for disability activism on campus. Two years as disability co-lead on the ASSU Executive Cabinet, former president of Power2ACT (a student group focused on disability advocacy) and part of the team that co-launched the Abilities Hub, an attempt at creating a disability community center has laid the foundation for Bryce and co-director Frank Mondelli’s current efforts on Disability Equity Now. This initiative, which gained over 1200 student signatures, aims to bring a permanent disability community center to campus. In addition, the pair has hosted disability movie screenings, social events, and will be hosting a conference this year to further disability rights awareness.

For their efforts, Kimiko and Bryce each secured a top-10 spot in Stanford Politics’ list of Most Influential Undergrads last year. Their accomplishments and commitments prove that they are extremely qualified candidates, having laid the groundwork for their campaign their entire Stanford careers. Their ASSU presidency would be continuing the crucial work they already engage in; such continuity allows for lasting change beyond our years.

Kimiko and Bryce are also front-facing, transparent leaders supporting a student-driven platform. From graduate student leaders to undergraduate activists groups, they have sought out and listened to the insight of others to develop their policy priorities. Both remain an active voice in Stanford politics, Kimiko authoring responses to MTL’s note on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and both denouncing the Dinesh D’ Souza event. As Director of Environmental Justice and Sustainability, I trust Kimiko and Bryce to be allies to further education and initiatives in this area while addressing key issues of affordability that overlap.

As a member of this year’s Executive Cabinet, I witnessed firsthand the thoughtfulness and drive in each candidate. As someone without prior ASSU experience, I frequently asked Bryce for advice in navigating complicated bureaucracy. His reassurance and honesty towards me and other Cabinet members shows his desire to build camaraderie among fellow leaders and community members. When I met Kimiko at the start of winter quarter, I could instantly feel her warmth and attentiveness. Her insights regarding Cabinet-wide issues showed me how invested she was in furthering numerous advocacy issues, both within and outside of her Cabinet role. Their compassion and accessibility make their leadership special and necessary when it comes to student government.

Stanford deserves empathetic, responsive and visionary leaders. Kimiko and Bryce embody these qualities and more. I am excited to see how they make meaningful progress in regards to issues of mental health, sexual violence prevention, ableism education, racism and bigotry and affordability issues for graduate students and workers. Come election week, I am sure to cast my vote for this powerhouse of a slate.

Contact Shikha Srinivas at shikha22 ‘at’ stanford.edu

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