Rest in Peace, OSA

Posted by at 9:59AM

The Office of Student Activites (OSA), the oft-criticized (see this column by Darren Franich) administrative group responsible for student groups, parties, and everything in between, is no more.
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Now, it has become Student Activities and Leadership, boasting a snazzy new web site [sal.stanford.edu].
No word yet on whether or not the “SAL” will be better than the OSA, or is just a superficial rebranding. Recently, it seems like the office, under whichever name, has improved in its attempts to help student groups and make the processes involved with setting up and organizing activities easier. For this, the office deserves major kudos, and I am very happy to see the progress being made.
However, there has been word about increasing stringency on party policies, and there was even–no joke–a news reporting vehicle camped outside of Sigma Chi on Friday night. Why anyone would want to report on a Sigma Chi party is beyond me, but the general thought of an increased crackdown on parties, especially after last year’s Moonsplash debacle (in which the costs of hosting a party on campus became so extreme that Sigma Nu had to cancel their annual bash), is not a good sign for leniency on party regulations.
In light of the recent cancellation of Full Moon on the Quad, Franich’s fears–see the article link in the first sentence–that the OSA would do something as drastic as cancel the traditional event seem to have come to fruition, further pushing the line as to what the OSA/SAL will do to attempt to shut down the party scene. We all know that FMOTQ is, to put it nicely, a strange event, but at what point can the administration use its power to shut down any and/or every party?
Also note the OSA/SAL’s new ‘statement of purpose,’ which happens to be almost mind-boggling vague: We work to help students find and foster their passions while developing their life and leadership skills.
I’m interested in keeping tabs on the OSA/SAL and ensuring that they continue their efforts to help students and not shut down or impede campus activities. Send your OSA/SAL complaints, horror stories, or positive experiences to me at jbfreedman@stanford.edu or go ahead and blog about them on TUSB.

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