Vinicius Garcia (Undergraduate Senate candidate)

Candidate statement

Hi, Friends! My name is Vinicius Garcia – also known as Vinnie – and I am a freshman, coming from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As many of you, I decided to come to Stanford because I saw in it an environment that combined academic excellence with deep care for its student community. Six months after moving to campus, I am more and more in love with our community and surprised with how it strives to leave its mark on this institution, by turning the university into what we believe to be a better and more welcoming place to all. Still, I believe that the process for the changes we want to see at Stanford follow the dynamics of the “outside world” and, thus, has no definite end. Therefore, I decided to run for Student Senate because I want to work for our community and to help to fortify the bridge between students and the administration so we can be better heard. I believe every single student deserves to feel like they belong to Stanford – because they really do! – and I will defend this belief as your Senator.

Below are some of the issues I want to address if I am elected as your senator. You can also reach me at to ask me questions about my platform or discuss topics you would like student senate to address.

1) Make the university’s administration more accessible to the student body. Many students have ideas on how to improve our university and student life or feel like some actions the administration take do not weigh all the effects in our community. I am committed to working for promoting a more open dialogue between Stanford’s administration and students (single students or community/groups)

2) Helping to foster equity of and equal access opportunities on campus, regardless of students’ backgrounds. Being at Stanford is a challenging experience. In this context, low-income and first-generation students experience the burdens of life at Stanford more intensively. I believe the way to address these students’ needs is by bringing students, faculty, and administration together and rethinking what are the most urgent issues that affect these students (such as financial and academic support for classes, support for maintenance at break, addressing the achievement gap, etc.)

3) Promote the discussion of health issues and support of students that face them. The discussion on health issues is frequently forgotten when we talk about the most urgent issues that affect college students. However, we need to address them because they affect our student experience and our life-after-college. I want to bring the discussion on health, especially mental health, as one of the priorities for ASSU, keeping in mind issues that affect specific student groups such as women, students of color and queer students for instance.

4) Address the experience of students of color at Stanford. I want to discuss effective ways of bringing more diversity to the education offered at Stanford, aiming mainly at our exclusionary school curriculum, provide a more substantial and careful support to students who feel or believe they suffered any kind of discrimination, especially on cases of institutional discrimination, and Connecting students of color to resources that may aid them to thrive academically and that are concerned with the particularities of their individualities.

5) Address women’s issues on campus. Sexual assault is an alarming issue on college campuses across the United States and many Stanford students feel that, despite the efforts put into this matter, the university still not address this issue with an absolute priority on the needs of survivors and students that are most susceptible to sexual assault. I want to be active on ASSU and in our student community by helping to make women’s voice louder to our administration and working together with on-campus organizations that focus on the matter. Moreover, I believe that other issues such as lack of female representation – on administrative and academic levels – and negligence towards health issues that affect mostly women during their time in college – especially mental health issues – must be carefully discussed by the Student Senate and I want to be a bridge between female students and ASSU/administration, always being mindful of what they believe to be the appropriate approach to their own issues. I believe we, as a society, must value more and more women’s intellectual contribution to the nation, and our part, as Stanford students, starts with the improvements on their college experience we strive to accomplish.

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