Provost condemns hate speech in remarks to GSC

Nov. 9, 2023, 1:51 a.m.

Provost Jenny Martinez condemned hate speech and said that Stanford is “investigating threats connected to international events” at the Graduate Student Council’s (GSC) Tuesday meeting. 

Martinez highlighted several campus support resources, including mental health counseling, for Jewish and Muslim communities amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. She said the University “is also spending money for additional community-building activities,” as well as for legal counsel because some students had expressed concerns about immigration issues.

When asked about the concrete steps that the University expects to take to combat hate speech and doxxing, Martinez explained University procedures when responding to Protected Identity Harm reports: the affected student is contacted within 24 hours and offered support and resources before the report is investigated further. If the speech is protected by the First Amendment, Stanford cannot punish the speaker and so will close the case by offering resources to the student, Martinez said. 

Stanford Law School will run “a pilot on doxxing in spring quarter,” Martinez said. 

Following Martinez’s remarks, Laurette Beeson from the Graduate Life Office (GLO) echoed Martinez’s sentiments. “There is no place for hate on this campus,” she said, adding that the GLO is doing its best to provide resources and serve as a liaison between administration and students.

“Our student body, our peers, the campus is experiencing an undue level of pain and discomfort from witnessing … what is happening geopolitically,” said Kristen Jackson, fourth-year PhD student, acknowledging the diversity of students facing hardship at this time. “It’s difficult for the ASSU to make a statement that doesn’t somehow exclude someone,” she said.

“We want to iterate a couple of points that we think collectively across the ASSU bodies are important,” Jackson added. “We know that students are hurting … hate has no place and should have no place on our campus or any campus,” they said.

The GSC also approved several funding requests and discussed its income and spending during its meeting. 

Stanford Hindu Students Council (SHSC) requested $1,500 for Diwali celebrations to be held later this week at White Plaza, in addition to the $12,719 they have already allocated for the event, because they underestimated the total cost of food when applying for the annual grant last year. The event is being planned jointly with the Stanford India Association.

The lack of supporting documentation from both organizations to substantiate the need for the extra funds raised concerns among council members about transparency and financial accountability. However, the council approved the request for funding on the condition that SHSC provides documentation for the extra funds within the 48 hours following the meeting. 

Rains community associates (CAs) requested $1,450 for the Rains Art and Music Festival taking place this week. Kavya Sreedhar, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, raised concerns that the event “is the same day as EVGR Fall Fest, and it’s short notice,” therefore giving the GSC no time to review the budget. 

Third-year law student Jacob Benford and Sreedhar agreed that it could set a dangerous precedent for students to purchase food and drinks and ask the GSC to reimburse them, because some students might front a large amount of money without being reimbursed. The vote for funding the event was not passed.

This article has been updated to include additional comment from Jackson for context. 

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Jackson’s class year. The Daily regrets this error.

Shreya Komar '26 is an editor for News and enjoys writing about neuroscience and mental health. If she's not writing or daydreaming, she's probably trying to adopt another plant. Contact her at [email protected]

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