Allen Wehner (Undergraduate Senate candidate)
- Candidate statement
We are all, first and foremost, students. We are unified by our love of learning, our passion for exploration, and our dedication to using our education to better our communities. Yet despite this dedication to learning, academic life so often takes a toll on our love of learning and ability to use our knowledge for good. With your help, I hope to turn the ASSU's attention to the university's academic procedures and make sure that the work of this educational institution is effective and efficient in educating us all.
I don't mean to suggest that school shouldn't be hard - to the contrary, our education must push us in order to be effective. But when the manifestation of "pushing us" so often results in discrimination ("weed-out courses," whether the university calls them that or not, discriminate significantly on the basis of race, gender, and ethnicity) or mental health challenges, it's time to examine those practices. Our university can still stand among the best universities in the world without bearing the dubious honor of being the most sleep-deprived.
The ASSU is meant to improve student life, and I think it's time we critically examine the student part of our lives. Together we can build coalitions between the student body, administration, wellness initiatives, academic departments, and on-campus leaders in education (both notable faculty and experts in education) and move to making a better academic life for all.
We are here because we have passions - passions in arts, humanities, science, engineering, service, and more. Allowing all of us to explore and grow our passions at Stanford is a critical part of the ASSU's job in supporting student organizations, and making sure that all students can explore their passions, particularly things that are outside of their academic studies.
Making sure the ASSU continues to support varied interests and encourages ventures that merge different passions - at the intersection of humanities and technology, of art and science, of performance and service. These intersections enrich our experience at Stanford and allow us to fully appreciate the power of a liberal arts experience - not just a disjointed set of distribution requirements, but an interconnected web of ideas and passions that make our world a better place. I will prioritize the diversity of student passions and perspectives to give everyone a place to call home and enrich all of our experiences.
Service is an integral element of the Stanford community, and we all have talents and abilities that we can use to make our communities better for all - from the Bay Area to our hometowns to communities across the globe. We have so much to learn from the world beyond the campus, and I will make that a focus of our community. Making sure that university practices are sensitive to the surrounding communities, while also pushing for expanded ethical service and learning in the area.
Moreover, service is a tremendous opportunity to channel frustrations towards the evolving state of the United States in a productive way. For every public school that loses resources, we can put volunteers in the classroom to ease the burden of growing class size. For every community profiled for language, culture, legal status, or race, we can offer support, voice, and assistance navigating legal processes. We can support, each in a small and meaningful way, a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusivity even while official channels push in the opposite direction.
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