Welcome to Week 7. Here are some highlights from The Daily’s coverage over the past week, as well as a look ahead.
Fossil Free calls for divestment
Stanford’s endowment took center stage this week. The
student-led organization Fossil Free Stanford hosted a “week of action” calling on the University’s Board of Trustees to divest all endowment funds from oil and gas companies — a process that would entail both the removal of investment from such companies and a pledge not to invest in the future should the companies become profitable. In response, the board said it will make a decision on divestment by the end of the academic year.
Meanwhile, the University’s endowment is under siege from a different direction: Due to a provision in the Trump administration’s 2017 tax bill, Stanford is facing a $43 million tax on its investment returns. The University says that the hefty sum, which follows a slow growth year for the endowment’s $27.7 billion Merged Pool, could hamper financial aid. A spokesperson told The Daily that Stanford is “actively working on efforts to repeal or limit the tax.”
Greek orgs vie for housing
“Game of Homes” has begun. On Monday, Stanford announced that two row houses are open to applications from Greek organizations seeking housing for the 2020-21 school year: 1047 Campus Drive, now occupied by Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sigma Psi Zeta; and 664 Lomita Drive, the previous residence of Kappa Alpha. The fate of a third house remains undetermined; 550 Lasuen Mall, formerly home to Sigma Chi, is currently the subject of ongoing litigation.
Both dramas are playing out against broader questions over the future of Greek life on campus. As spring rush draws closer, an op-ed by a former Pi Beta Phi diversity chair argues that the Greek system contributes to “racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and rape culture.” On Thursday, the Inter-Sorority Council president agreed that Greek life has problems, but she argued that it should evolve, not end.
Women’s swim and dive routs Cal
Women’s swimming and diving
captured its 37th straight dual meet win with a rout of No. 2 Cal on Senior Day, one of the few high points in a rough week for Cardinal athletics as a whole.
On the court, women’s basketball scored 97 points against Utah on Friday night, its most in a conference game since 2011. But men’s basketball failed to come back against Arizona State. Women’s lacrosse dropped a 13-12 heartbreaker to No. 8 Virginia, and in its season opener, baseball dropped two games to Cal State Fullerton. Men’s volleyball was swept at home by top-ranked Hawaii.
Coming up this week, men’s basketball heads north to play the Washington schools, while squash travels to the CSA National Championships, and women’s water polo returns to action for the Kalbus Invitational in Irvine.
Here’s what else is happening:
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Harry Elam will leave Stanford at the end of the school year to become the 16th president of Occidental College.
Graduate students are protesting the rising costs of Stanford’s dependent healthcare plan, which has increased in price by around 80% since the 2013-14 school year.
Two people behind The New York Times’ 1619 Project — an initiative that examines the legacy of slavery in America — called for predominantly white institutions like Stanford to diversify at the McClatchy Symposium on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to begin considering amendments to the conditions of Stanford’s land use, including extending the Academic Growth Boundary and looking into affordability issues facing graduate students.
If you have six minutes this weekend, check out one of our editors’ picks:
The Daily’s Data Team
mapped five years of major bike accidents on campus. In the Opinions section, Armelle Grondin and Ana Carolina Queiroz asked the University to provide more data for their investigation of why there are so few Black and Latinx students in their economics classes. In Satire, Lana Tleimat offered a counterpoint to your academic advising director’s advice not to take over 20 units: She took 30 and attained nirvana. And, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Carissa Lee put together an explainer on ethically sourced chocolate for Arts & Life, while The Grind’s Eleni Aneziris turned to Tinder — as well as TikTok, UberCopter and sabered champagne — to find a date.
Finally, here’s what to put on your calendar this week:
Legal Momentum, the nation’s first legal defense and education fund for women, is holding a panel on the state of the #MeToo movement at Stanford Law School on Monday.
Stanford in Government is holding a “Party at the Post Office” on Tuesday — complete with free In-N-Out — to help students have their absentee ballots notarized and mailed.
The Stanford Undergraduate Research Association is holding a panel with female and minority graduate students in STEM on Tuesday to discuss applying to and studying at graduate school as a woman or minority STEM student.
Celebrated poet Louise Glück is giving a colloquium at Margaret Jacks Hall on Wednesday.
The Institute for Diversity in the Arts is holding a storytelling workshop with Native American fiction writer Sterling HolyWhiteMountain on Friday.
Women’s basketball will host Oregon State on Friday.
Dance Marathon, a 12-hour dance-a-thon to benefit Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, starts at noon on Saturday in the Old Union Courtyard.
That’s all for this roundup. For more from The Daily, you can visit our website, subscribe to our daily email digest or pick up our print edition — the original daily digest! — at newsstands around campus.
The Weekend Roundup newsletter is a new initiative from The Daily. If you liked it — or if you have suggestions for how we can do better — let us know at eic ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.