Posts Tagged ‘bureaucracy’

Let the students be heard: Dining Society protest and the ResEd machine

Monday, February 25th, 2013

ResEd Associate Dean Nate Boswell speaks to the demonstrators.


Bureaucracy is a tool that can empower the collective to accomplish what uncoordinated individuals cannot. In a functional system, the bureaucrats serve their constituents as their rightful duty. Mistakes are inevitable in the pursue of this ultimate goal, for those in office are humans as flawed as you and me. A healthy bureaucracy is one that can justify itself to others when challenged and avoid the messy self-destructive inefficiencies that comes with cover-ups, hypocrisy, and cognitive dissonance. If we think of the relationship between the bureaucracy and the people as symbiotic, then actions that prioritize the interest of the bureaucrats ahead of the people produce short-term gains at the cost of the long-term vibrancy, and perhaps even viability, of the entire community.

Stanford University is a bureaucracy and that is not necessarily a bad thing. By most measures, it is an extremely successful one that has done an excellent job of providing a conducive environment for talented individuals to share their ideas and do great things. However, like all bureaucracy, it is not perfect.

This afternoon, a crowd of Stanford students gathered at the White Plaza to protest the university’s decision not to renew the contract of the student-run Dining Societies that have served the residents of Governor’s Corner for the past 30 years, with a record that by all accounts is (at the very least) above average for an organization of its nature. The details of this on-going dispute are covered in great details in Miles Unterreiner’s multi-part Daily article. Students who live in the suites are overwhelming opposed to the loss of this unique part of their house identity and many are upset that the decision by Residential Education was only communicated after the fact, leaving no room for students to voice their clear opposition to the change.


Respect Santa Clara County’s Authoritah!

Friday, August 27th, 2010

I took the photo above about an hour ago, while passing through Roble. Apparently, Eric Cartman Gary Flagg, Santa Clara County building inspector, noticed, a month ago, that Stanford is turning Roble Gym into a theatre.* Gary wants to put a stop to it. Naughty, naughty Stanford!

Too bad that Roble has been a theatre for years, huh? And too bad that Gary is evidently on crack. Maybe he proposes to make Stanford turn it back into a gym?

People, particularly people who have never had to deal with bureaucracies for a living or been constantly harassed by idiot cops, sometimes wonder why I have a problem with authority. And my answer is this: authority is composed of a bunch of driveling mouth-breathers to whom some fool has given power. Sometimes they even have guns. (It’s a miracle more of the idiots don’t shoot themselves in the foot.)

Although… maybe this is a good thing. This may be the way to get rid of businesses that piss you off. Like, that one yuppie bike store on University Avenue was really snotty to me when I went in looking for a rain-proof bike light. (Apparently, a waterproof headlight costs $200. If, that is, you’re a gullible .commer with too much money to burn.) Perhaps I should give Gary a call and report them for existing, then he’ll come in and order them to stop.

* And a theatre with a stage, no less!