Letter from the Editors: Stanford, the institution

Opinion by Anne Li and Jacqueline Munis
Feb. 2, 2024, 1:13 a.m.

In early conversations about what we wanted an equity special issue to focus on, we kept coming back to the power structures that form the lifeblood of the University: the admissions process, the hierarchies of academia, the social capital, the various ways we learn to navigate this place. We chose to focus broadly on institutional equity. With this theme in mind, we challenged our writers to examine how Stanford, as an institution, shapes the lives of students, faculty and staff.

The Daily has routinely overlooked issues and communities on campus that fall outside of the mainstream. We signed on to edit the Equity Project with the hope of filling those gaps in our coverage. The Equity Project’s existence has in the past depended on the availability of interested editors. As we wrap up our tenure with this special issue release, we hope this kind of work continues at The Daily in a way that is fairly compensated and that digs deeper into the stories of those who often go unheard on campus, especially those left unexplored this volume.

This special issue includes the voices of the custodial workers who, in a fraught workplace environment, do much of the labor that keeps the University running. It explores the flow of fossil fuel money into sustainability research at Stanford. It highlights the stories of students who are finding their political voice while keeping each other safe in the face of threats like doxxing.

We reviewed Frank Sotomayor’s M.A. ’67 book “Dawning of Diversity: How Chicanos Helped Change Stanford University,” which reexamines the University’s racist history of anti-Mexican American admissions. We spoke to student-athletes about balancing the possibility of a lucrative NIL deal and the promise of a Stanford education. We shared the shock of dating as an international, queer student of color on campus. We continued to listen to student survivors of sexual assault, who bravely shared their stories with us. 

We hope these stories introduce you to new dimensions of what we collectively understand as the “Stanford experience.” We hope they inspire you to reflect on how Stanford, the institution, has shaped your time here.

Anne Li ’24 and Jacqueline Munis ’25
Vol. 264 Equity Project Editors

Anne Li '24 was a vol. 264 Equity Project editor. Contact her at anneli ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.Jacqueline Munis is the investigations and enterprise editor at The Daily. She previously served as an Equity Project editor. Contact her at jmunis 'at' stanforddaily.com

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