Our Weekend Roundup is released on Sunday mornings during the school year and features an engaging rundown of the news from the previous week in the form of a briefing. It also includes editors’ picks from other sections. Subscribe here to receive emails like this.
At Thursday’s meeting, the senators voted 28-11, with six abstentions, against the resolution, which had already been passed by both the Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council. Faculty senators in opposition to the resolution noted, among other arguments, the close ties Stanford has with the fossil fuel industry, including the environmental and alternative energy research that fossil fuel companies fund on campus.
After the meeting, students from environmental groups expressed frustration with the vote and the proceedings, arguing that they were not given sufficient time to speak during the meeting and that the senators did not adequately consider environmental justice and the lived realities of people in marginalized communities.
Comparative literature professor David Palumbo-Liu, a member of the Faculty Senate and a vocal supporter of divestment, published a Daily op-ed criticizing senators who voted against the resolution: “The trustees are fiduciaries of the University. But we are all fiduciaries of the Earth,” he wrote. “It is not ours — we inherited it as a legacy. What legacy are we passing on to our successors?”
A final decision on divestment will be made by the Board of Trustees in June.
Michael McConnell — a former federal judge who currently serves as co-chair of Facebook’s Oversight Board — used the word in his “Creation of the Constitution Class” on Wednesday while quoting Patrick Henry at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, although some historians question the authenticity of the quote McConnell read.
Swift criticism followed after the Black Law Student Association sent an open letter to the SLS community, blasting McConnell’s reasoning that history shouldn’t be “stripped of its ugliness” and condemning his use of the N-word. Student groups responded with statements of support and solidarity, and over 50 instructors signed an open letter writing that they “recognize the pain the use of this term causes.”
McConnell is the third Stanford faculty member to be criticized for using the word during instruction this school year. A white Latinx assistant art history professor said the word while reading song lyrics from a slide during a guest lecture at the end of April, and wrote it again a week later in a Canvas post for a separate class taught by her. In November, a history professor drew criticism after repeatedly saying the word while quoting from advertisements in a guest lecture for a torts class at SLS.
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne warned that layoffs are “unavoidable” with the University predicted to experience up to a $267 million negative financial impact by the end of the 2020 fiscal year on Aug. 31, and similar or worse challenges in the next fiscal year.
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That’s all for this roundup. Though The Daily is suspending its print edition, we’ll continue to bring you updates on coronavirus, online spring and more through our email newsletters, social media platforms and our website, stanforddaily.com.