Weekend Roundup email newsletter: May 31 edition

May 31, 2020, 5:13 p.m.

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.

Weekend Roundup email newsletter: May 31 edition

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The Faculty Senate rejected a non-binding resolution calling on Stanford to commit to divestment from oil and natural gas companies, leaving student groups and some faculty members angry with the outcome of the long-awaited vote.

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.
The front of Stanford Law School
A white Stanford Law School (SLS) professor faces criticism from numerous student groups and instructors after reading the N-word aloud in class while quoting from historical material.

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.

Graph showing the percent of tests positive as reported by Stanford Medicine and Santa Clara County
For the latest coronavirus updates, follow along with The Daily’s live blog, which includes a map of confirmed cases and a timeline of Stanford’s response to the outbreak.

  • 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.

  • Lecturers, left out of a University policy providing additional job security to tenure-track faculty, worry that they will lose their positions.

  • Second-term Senator Micheal Brown ’22 was elected chair of the Undergraduate Senate, promising to focus on issues of racial and sexual violence.

  • The Daily’s data team analyzed COVID-19 testing at Stanford Hospital. Our first finding: As of May 26, Stanford Medicine has tested more than 50,000 unique individuals, and around 3.5% of tests have come back positive.

  • The Daily’s data team also analyzed the growth of the international student population in the 2010s — and took a look at whether this trend will continue over the next few years.

    An eastern gray squirrel eats flowers of Acca sellowiana in front of Stern.
    In Opinions, The Stanford Daily Editorial Board suggests how the University can respond to new Title IX regulations, while a student acquitted of a Title IX violation — the very type of person the new regulations are purported to help — argues against the changes. In Sports, Inyoung Choi and Alejandro Salinas profile Olympic hopefuls reacting to the games’ postponement — and continuing to train anyway.

    In Arts & Life, Nadia Jo interviews six a cappella groups on how they are coping in a virtual spring, Betty He discusses Pablo Picasso’s portraits of his lover, and Mark York and Nitish Vaidyanathan review “Train to Busan,” “The Endless” and “The Social Network.” In The Grind, Jen Ehrlich shares her doctor’s advice that “you cannot compare suffering.” And in Satire, Ruslan AlJabari reports on The Occasionally’s top six summer housing alternatives.

    Off the page, The Daily’s Arts & Life staff experiments with Hilton DoubleTree’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, and Photo’s Michael Byun shares snapshots of spring flora and fauna on Stanford’s campus.

  • Pulitzer Prize- and Bancroft Prize-winning author Heather Ann Thompson will join the Stanford Community Hour on Sunday.

  • The president and the provost will provide an update on the University’s planning and answer questions in a virtual conversation on Monday.

  • Screenwriters Allison Schroeder, Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek — the writers behind “Hidden Figures” and the live-action “Mulan” — will speak as part of the Arts Alumni series on Monday.

  • Speculative fiction writer Ted Chiang will discuss magic and imaginary science in fiction on Thursday.

    Have an event you’d like featured in next week’s roundup? Let us know at [email protected].

    Weekend Roundup email newsletter: May 31 edition

    The Daily is considering adjustments to our print and online products, including changing the frequency of our print newspaper.

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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.
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