Darryl Thompson ’23 and Christian Sanchez ’24 elected as 2021-22 ASSU president, vice president

April 26, 2022, 12:40 a.m.

Darryl Thompson ’23 and Christian Sanchez ’24 were elected as president and vice president, respectively, of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), according to ASSU election results released on Monday by the ASSU Elections Commission. 

Three executive slates made it past this year’s petitioning stage and competed for the leadership title. Thompson and Sanchez defeated running mates Michaela Phan ’23 and Emily Nichols ’23, as well as Marion Santo ’23 and Emily Schell, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in developmental and psychological sciences, in a two-round process.

Thompson and Sanchez won by a 242-vote margin in the first round, garnering 1,009 votes, and by a 258-vote margin in the second round, with 1,199 votes.

Emotions ran high, with Thompson describing the win as a “crowning moment” that reflected their extensive campaigning efforts. Thompson recalled being at The Axe & Palm (TAP) on Thursday night after beginning their campaign trail from Ricker — “this was a lot of bike rides at night,” he said. “It was an experience, and that makes it even more special.”

Sanchez recounted his excitement as he found out about his slate’s success.

“I felt my phone vibrate, so I looked at it,” he said. “And, there was the picture that I was trying to read, and it said executives, and it had our name. And I was like, ‘Oh my god — let’s go!’ And I just kind of jumped up.”

In addition to winning the election, Thompson and Sanchez had the most support at the petition stage, with 362 signees. Thompson and Sanchez focused their platform on the larger student body, promising to highlight and bring out student voices, according to their petition. They hope to do so through spotlighting various communities to help enrich campus culture and resources, and by giving students the opportunity to voice their concerns and suggestions, according to their petition.

“We will work with administrators to construct useful dialogue and produce meaningful change that impacts current and future students,” their petition reads.

Phan and Nichols lost to Thompson and Sanchez by 258 votes in the second round. The two highlighted their personal experiences in their platform, citing in their petition the way in which they have been impacted by Stanford’s administration as people of color.

Their campaign focused on taking back power from the University and giving it to the student body. They referenced incidents of tragedy on campus and cited them as examples of weaknesses within the University. “Students’ needs have been disregarded, overlooked, and ignored, and we say no more,” they wrote in their petition.

Santo and Schell were eliminated during the first round by a slim, 40-vote margin. At 310 signees, Marion Santo ’23 and Emily Schell ’24 were a close second during the petitioning stage, hoping to better align the interests of the ASSU with those of campus decision-makers, help take action on results of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in a Learning Environment (IDEAL) survey and encourage critical thinking among students, according to their petition.

Santo and Schell highlighted their three-part mission on their campaign trail.

“We pledge to do our best to continue to usher in a new era of shared governance, foster an environment conducive to inclusivity and wellness, and enable an atmosphere for robust and respectful intellectual discourse,” the two wrote in their campaign document.

Sanchez and Thompson said they are excited to start their term and get to work. Thompson said that he is most excited about “the opportunity to do office hours and dining halls, because I think it creates a unique opportunity to connect with students, which hasn’t really existed in the past.” 

For Sanchez, the most exciting work on the horizon is initiating change within the University.

“I’m excited to start developing meaningful change for marginalized folks on campus and being able to speak with those who don’t necessarily know where to start engaging with the ASSU,” he said.

Vardhan Agrawal '25 is a writer for the Academics desk. Contact the News section at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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