Posts Tagged ‘stanford’

Finals week… Miley Cyrus style

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

A Stanford adaptation of Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop.”  This post brought to you by sleep deprivation, excess caffeine, and the letter S.  It’s way more fun if you sing along using Bastille’s British accent version.

http://thatssostanford.tumblr.com/post/19613206572/photo-michael-white-12-samraadeni-damn

Goin’ hard at Green. Photo credit: Michael White, ’12.

It’s our finals we can eat what we want
It’s our finals we can sleep when we want
It’s our Dead Week we can scream when we want
We can cram what we want
We can sing what we want

Flashcards and study buddies everywhere
Wearin’ sweats to class like we don’t care
‘Cause we came to get some work done now
Turn up the beast mode, suppress all the fun now

If you’re not ready to go home
Can I get a “Hell, no!”? (Hell no)
‘Cause we’re gonna cram all night
‘Til we see the sunlight, alright

So la da di da di
We like to study
Holing up in Green
Coding ‘til we see the sun
This is our life
This is our school

And we can’t stop
Cause we can’t drop [any classes since we’re past the add/drop deadline]
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Runnin’ practice problems ‘til we get ‘em right?

It's our finals, we can sleep when we want.

It’s our finals, we can sleep when we want.

And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
We Honor Code ‘cause we classy
Don’t steal answers from nobody
Yeah, yeah

It’s our finals we can eat what we want
It’s our finals we can sleep when we want
It’s our Dead Week we can scream when we want
We can cram what we want
We can sing what we want

To my home girls here with the big books
Tryna get good jobs and the big bucks
Never let the slackers judge ya
Forget the haters ’cause you’ll get an A-plus

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Fall-ing in Love: The 2013 Autumn Course Guide

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 9.03.03 PM

Explore Courses was down more than four hours before Axess even opened for enrollment. Most claim that it was due to overzealous frosh (hint: you can’t sign up for classes until orientation. Please stop bogging down the server), overzealous-er upperclassmen (please don’t judge us for indulging our need to obsessively research and meticulously plan the remaining time in our academic careers),  the fact that the Stanford computing just has a general tendency to suck (Exhibit A: Old Axess. Exhibit B: New Axess) or some combination thereof. But I know the real reason. The real reason you all crashed Explore Courses is because you knew. You all knew how each and every department at Stanford completely blew their course offerings out of the water this quarter.

I’ve written this course guide for over a year now (except for last Spring  – sorry for any of you who looked for it, I kind of dropped the ball. My bad.) and I have to say that each and every quarter of carefully combing through the Bulletin* leaves me freshly dumbstruck with the sheer number of delightful offerings this school continues to pump out. Seriously. Writing this thing is actually pretty excruciating. I want ten more years here. I want to major in about seventeen different things and minor in eight more. I want to take ALL THE CLASSES. But alas. I can’t. So I write this guide and hope that I can live vicariously through all you wonderful people who can collectively take them all for me. With that, I wish you a fantastic quarter full of vigorous and enlightening academic pursuits and the stress, anxiety, sleep-deprivation, loss of morale, and overall decline in physical and mental health that will inevitably accompany them. Cheers.

*The physical book that used to house the year’s course offerings back when the Marguerite was just a horse and an Apple was just a piece of fruit.

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New platform to showcase Stanford student innovation… FoSho

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

An incredible new product is ready to launch here on campus and change the way that Stanford innovators are able to promote their work. Stanford Founder’s Showcase, or Stanford FoSho for short, is a platform designed to help Stanford developers gain recognition for their creations, let the rest of us to see the cool stuff that our fellow students are building every day, and provide dynamic, relevant content for life on the Farm. The platform will host student-built mobile apps, websites, and video, and will be available for download in the app store by the end of July.

0174_Stanford App_Fo Sho Tile_R4

Got an app? FoSho is opening its first round of submissions.

As developers know, the app store has become a sea of over 700,000 apps, each competing to get on the “featured” page to drive downloads. Without serious help in the right places, even the best apps can fail to get recognition, slowing their growth and limiting the hype they deserve. With this in mind, we envisioned a platform that was the first stop for any Stanford innovator when trying to get their creations airborne, providing valuable recognition from the Stanford community and useful feedback from the world’s techiest campus. The win-win here is tremendous: developers get to hit the ground running with their innovations and Stanford students get a sneak peek at the next generation of the world’s best apps.

The platform is designed with a built-in feedback tool for users to rate their experience, giving the developers analytics and data which provide much deeper insights than the App Store. Even cooler – users don’t have to update the app to receive and access new content, meaning new stuff goes straight into users’ hands. Once we receive and approve an app, we plug it into the platform and it appears on the user’s device in real-time.

The first two pages of the app will be split into “Around Campus” and “Developer’s Club”. All the apps and mobile sites pertaining directly to campus life will go on “Around Campus”, while other Stanford-built apps and cool stuff will go on the Developer’s Club page. We’re still working on a third page which will change all the time depending on the time of year. Fall quarter will likely include resources for frosh, football, and other autumn-y things for life at Stanford, for example.

But we need to start from somewhere. Step 1 is to scour the area for apps being built right now and launch version one of Stanford FoSho, so we are hereby opening our first round of submissions for the platform. Calling all Stanford developers: we want your apps! You can be a current student, recent grad, or anyone working on an app meant to serve the Stanford student body. Below are instructions on how to submit:

Step 1: Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StanfordFoSho

Step 2: Fill out this form: http://dashboard.metaneer.com/admins/sign_up?institution=14

Step 3: Wait to hear back! You will be hearing from a member of our team in the following days after completing steps 1 and 2.

If you have any other questions, want to network with us, or want to join our team, we’d love to talk. Contact us and learn more via the links below:

Email our team at: foshoteam@lists.stanford.edu

Learn more about us: https://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/fosho

Interested in joining our team? Contact the co-founders:

James Mwaura: james.mwaura88@gmail.com

Andrew Bellay: andrewbellay@gmail.com

 

Shame on you, Nicholas Thompson.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

This article is a response to an article on the New Yorker website.  The ideas expressed here are the opinions of the author alone, not an official opinion of the University or this publication.

Dear Mr. Thompson,

This morning you published an article entitled, “The End of Stanford?”  It is one of the most sensationalist and unsubstantiated pieces of journalism I have ever read.

“Anyone can create, edit or contribute to any page.”

You are misinformed about the Stanford of today, but you didn’t make an effort to learn more about it.  Of your 14 hyperlinks, 9 of them referenced articles from your own website.  The only reference to the stanford.edu domain was that of Synergy’s website, which publicly displays the password for its own wiki page.  See the screenshot from Synergy’s webpage at right.

You may not have done your research, but I have, and I would like to clarify some of your points.

We are no mere tech incubator.  Stanford University is ranked #1 in the world for its arts and humanities programs.  85% of our undergraduates as of the last academic year are in non-engineering majors.  Our political science, psychology, economics, English, history, and sociology graduate schools all rank in the top 5 in the nation.  Our business school is #1.  Our law school is #2.  Education is #5.

“It is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m no zealot for the start-up culture myself, but it must be contextualized to be understood.  At a school with 6,999 undergraduates and  8,871 graduate students, 12 students dropping out to form a company is hardly statistically significant.  While you may not approve of Stanford’s start-up culture, I dare you to deny its efficacy:  companies formed by Stanford alumni create $2.7 trillion in revenue annually and have created 5.4 million jobs.  We have the world’s 10th largest economy.

In your article, you ask, “Shouldn’t [a great university] be a place to drift, to think, to read, to meet new people, and to work at whatever inspires you?”  We wholeheartedly agree, and this is exactly what our curriculum seeks to do.  This is why our new, introductory course sequence (mandatory for all students) is called Thinking Matters.

I’m mostly puzzled by your article because I don’t understand your motivation.  You’re a Stanford graduate.  Why are you taking such inaccurate hits at your alma mater?  To take us down a notch?  It seems like your deliberately controversial article is just a ploy for page-views.

I invite you to visit Stanford as it is today.  Heck, I’ll give you a tour.  Join me in seeing Stanford not as we appear to the uninformed eye, but to those who engage in its true academic culture.

I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Kristi Bohl, Stanford ’13

When Fools Rush In

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

You’ve spent an hour blowing your hair out. You’re tugging at your shirt, making sure it isn’t bunching in any weird ways. You’re trying to convince yourself that your cutest pair of flats aren’t pinching your toes, your throat isn’t sore from talking, and your cheeks don’t hurt from persistent smiling. You’re making PG-rated chitchat with the girls next you in line, notably those with last names of the same letter as your own. Suddenly you hear it. The clapping. The scream-singing. The doors burst open and you hear the incessantly catchy lyrics of yet another anthem as you’re quickly ushered in. This is rush, and you’re effing exhausted.

            I could write a pretty hefty article full of tips and advice that echo the sentiments of Stanford’s Inter-Sorority Council, many of the girls you’ll talk to during rush, and possibly your RA or friends that have gone through the process before. I’m going to try really hard not to do that. If you’re planning on going through girls’ rush, you’re going to hear a LOT about how “you should really pick the place that’s best for YOU”, and how you should just focus on “being yourself”. No offense to all of that, but it’s a little trite, and you’ve undoubtedly heard it all before. This is an article for those of you thinking about going through rush, maybe on the fence about sororities in general, maybe unsure of what exactly to expect from the whole process. I want to give you some concrete advice, hopefully some of which that you haven’t  already heard before, that might actually help you figure out if Stanford’s sorority scene is right for you.

A little background: I am a member of one of Stanford’s housed sororities. For the sake of this article, I don’t think it’s really important to say which, as the things I want to talk about will focus on Stanford’s sororities as a whole.

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Rachel Maddow talks about Ethics, Stanford, and Her New Book

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Yesterday, Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” spoke to the Stanford community about her time as an undergraduate and about her new book “Drift.” Memorial Auditorium was packed, filled with students drawn by the chance to see one

Rob Reich and Rachel Maddow, answering questions during the Q&A.
Photo credit: Charles Russo

of Stanford’s most famous alumna.

You could almost miss the fact that the talked was sponsored in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Program in Ethics in Society. But Maddow and the people that introduced her, Professor Rob Reich and senior Jessica Asperger,  gave us reminders that the focus of the talk was about ethics, about how the choices we make have consequences.

Maddow first introduced us to this subject by talking about her time at Stanford. Although she didn’t have any prior plans to complete a Public Policy major or honors thesis, they became steps towards completing her personal goals. After coming out and deciding to become an active member of a gay community she believed was being terminated by AIDS, Maddow said,”At age 17, I came out and thought my role was to fight.” She didn’t know what exactly she was going to do or how she was going to accomplish it but the program was one of her first steps down the long road that has allowed her to become one of America’s most thoughtful political commentators. (more…)

NEW PHOTO CONTEST: Winter at Stanford

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Mmmmocha!

EDIT:  updated (bigger!) prizes – see below!

Winter at Stanford evokes myriad images in our day to day lives.  From the sidewalk scrawlings of “regarde le ciel” (look at the sky), to the Barista art in the foam of your mocha, it’s often the little things that add spice and color to your day.

For this photo contest, we’re asking YOU to submit your favorite photos from this winter, be they artsy, fartsy, or just plain cool.  Whatever “winter” means to you, in this place, in this time, on however much caffeine you’ve been drinking, email it to stanfordblogging@gmail.com.

The stakes:  $30 $50 gift card to the overall winner: choice of Ike’s, Starbucks or Amazon!  $15 $25 gift cards to the three honorable mentions (same choice).  And if you’re awesome enough, we’ll just add more prizes.  Because we can.  The contest ends on 3/22.

Thank you to Safemart for helping to make the Winter at Stanford contest on The Unofficial Stanford Blog possible. Whether it’s sipping hot chocolate at the CoHo in the Winter, playing Ultimate Frisbee at the Oval in the Spring, crunching leaves underfoot as you take a Fall stroll to Cantor or running around Lake Lag during the Summer, Stanford has a million things to offer. But at some point, most of us venture out of the Stanford bubble (at least for a few years).  Are you graduating this year and planning on sharing a house in Palo Alto with your draw mates while you work for the latest hot start-up?  Or perhaps you’ve got that investment banking job or Teach for America position that you’ve always wanted and will be moving to the Big Apple.  Wherever you end up post-graduation, Safemart has the home security solutions you’ll need to keep your new apartment or house secure.  Check out state-of-the-art Safemart alarm systems and related home security products today!

Party With Fees: A Lighthearted Rant

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Would you like $250 $140? Right now? Free and clear? How about every quarter? Yeah, so would I. However, unlike most random hypothetical questions, I can actually deliver on this one. $250 $140 of your tuition per quarter automatically goes to special fees. However, saying as you don’t ever actively consent to this distribution of funds to various student groups, the ASSU would be in something of a legal snafu if they didn’t give you the option of taking the money back at some point. So they do. For the first two weeks of every quarter, you have the option of waiving the money you paid for special fees. It’s really that simple. You can get a refund for $250 $140 worth of special fees every quarter. The solitary attached string? The leadership of groups that get special fees are allowed to request a list of students who waived their fees and may bar those students from using their services. But that’s seriously it. Now some food for thought: what could I buy with the $750 $420 a year that I currently spend on special fees? Here’s my short list:

 – A boatload of Philz coffee

Seven Four trips skydiving

– One of those giant stuffed trees from the bookstore

– A romantic weekend in Tahoe

– My weight in marshmallows

– *Part of* The mens water polo team

– Parking for my entire Stanford career ~two years

– A flight to somewhere very far away

30 17 cases of Two Buck Chuck

– Half an Ochem textbook

– An iPhone 17

3 2+ Dance Marathon pledges

– The worlds most hipster bike

Someone to slap me when I procrastinate (could definitely use one of those right about now…)

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Bloomberg to be 2013 Commencement Speaker!

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Stanford may not be getting its campus in NYC, but we may have just gotten the next best thing: Mayor Michael Bloomberg for our 2013 Commencement Speaker.

For the second year in a row, Stanford’s senior class has pulled in a mayor from the Northeast with a national presence. In Bloomberg’s case, that presence is also global. Bloomberg has been mayor of New York City since 2001, presiding over a city that reeled from the wounds of 9/11, benefitted from a boom in financial services, and then reeled again from a financial crisis that set off the greatest recession in generations. He has been a passionate advocate for action on the defining issues of our day, including gun control, immigration reform, education reform, poverty, public health, and climate change. Furthermore, in an era of heightened partisanship, he has stood out as a cost-cutting moderate with a liberal streak.

Most of our readers likely know that Bloomberg went from a middle-class upbringing to becoming one of America’s richest men, an unabashed hero of capitalism at a time of increasing inequality and decreasing social mobility. However, he is also a noteworthy philanthropist, having pledged to give away his entire fortune to charity. He graduated with a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1964 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966. Over his wide-ranging career, he founded the technology and media company Bloomberg LP, which today has over 310,000 subscribers and 15,000 employees.

Bloomberg’s term in office ends this year. Thus, as this class of seniors leaps into the great abyss of the future, it will get a send-off from a self-made man who is also about to embark on his next great journey. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say, and to end my time at Stanford with a little of my native Northeast!

The People I Would Date from Stanford Confessions

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

It’s not Valentine’s day without Ryan Gosling.

In a gargantuan procrastination effort, I have scrolled through every single Stanford confession and constructed the following list of proposals:

#125: I get so angry when people are always hating on the richer people on campus. We’re in college, and as college students we’re put in an environment where money no longer defines your social status as much; we’re all students. It’s great whenever an individual has aspirations to make it big because of his/her background, but I just feel like money is something that is discussed about too much at this school. People should realize what’s really important and stop obsessing about money.

I feel you. Money is not what’s important, it’s all the other stuff that matters. Like, you know, your heart and soul and personality and face. There’s so much passion in this post; clearly you’ve thought a lot about this. Are you frustrated because you’re rich and you’re tired of getting crap about it? I love me a rich boy with heart. Holla.

#129: I am Mehran Sahami’s son. He doesn’t know.

I just want Mehran as my father-in-law, is that so bad?

#139: I hate when people criticize my major. I will major in whatever the f**k I want to. Get off my case.

A few weeks ago I told someone I’m considering majoring in Science, Technology and Society and they straight up said, “But, c’mon, you know that’s the cop-out major.” Then I punched him in the face. Try telling me what to major in now, b***h. Just kidding, I laughed awkwardly and said nothing. I should have though. Anyways. You and me? We should get coffee. Just kidding, I hate coffee. We can get hot chocolate though and talk about how ballin’ we’ll be in the future despite–no, because of–our unconventional majors.

And actually, #127: I want to be a high school teacher but people at Stanford have pressured me into thinking I have to do something “better,”, you should join us. In fact, we don’t even have to date. Let’s just sit around and talk about how the world does not actually revolve around engineers. Please. (more…)

Stanford Love?

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

It might be the romantic in me talking, but I think it was fate that I learned about this gem the day before Valentine’s Day: StanfordUSeshes. Stanford may not have the greatest track record when it comes to dating but I never expected to see a Twitter account fully dedicated to kisses and the casual hook ups around campus.

Although the Twitter account has some cute captures like this:

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Alors on danse….

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

“Don’t be fancy, just get dancey.” (P!nk)
Or do both, at this year’s Viennese Ball!

I’m not sure what it is about February that makes campus so antsy.  The weather is a mercurial mix of rainy and beautiful, the absence of football season gives us no justifiable reason to scream loudly once a weekend, and the looming, candy-coated spectre of Valentine’s Day reminds us all too well of our romantic frustrations.  My normal approach is useless here.

But whether it’s midterms, project classes ramping up, or The Man that’s gettin’ you down, there’s no reason too small not to shake it out.  As the Daily editors remind you of the importance of free speech on campus, I implore you to heed the words of V from V for Vendetta that

a revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having”

It’s times like these that make a student body want to shake its collective groove thang.  Good thing the slew of upcoming events on campus is perfectly suited to fulfill that need.

Lunar New Year Festival – Saturday, February 9, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., White Plaza

  • The Stanford Vietnamese Student Association is pulling together your favorite student performance groups to celebrate the New Year in style.  Watch, dance, and chow down while appreciating our talented fellow students.

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

Stanford Dance Marathon – Saturday, February 9 – Sunday, February 10

  • The infamous annual event unites students from across campus in the common goal of fighting AIDS.  And occasionally in the conga line.
  • Whether you’re stickin’ it out for all 24 hours, boosting the energy as a moraler, or swinging by for some much-needed stress detox, enjoyment abounds in the form of glowsticks, pillowfights, sunrise yoga, and guest performances and dance lessons from dance groups on campus.   The best all-nighter you’ve ever spent.

Austria Fortnight – various events, February 9 – 20

  • The annual Viennese Ball is preceded by two weeks of free dance lessons throughout campus.  Whether you’re starting from square one, brushing off your polished moves, or unabashedly seeking a last-minute valentine, these low-key practice sessions are a great way to meet new friends and get the wiggles out.
  • No, not those Wiggles.  We like them.

Viennese Ball – Friday, February 22, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m., Palace Hotel SF

  • Perhaps Stanford’s classiest affair of the year, Viennese Ball has brought classical dance and live music to Stanford students since 1978.  In its current form, Viennese features a choreographed waltz opening, tasty hor d’oeuvres, a fun photo booth, and swing and waltz rooms with live bands into the wee hours of the morning.
  • Whether you’re a social dance pro or just learning, it’s a great way to meet new people, have fun with a partner, and enjoy live music in a luxurious setting.  Ticket sales open next week.

Whether you’re stressed, chill, or looking for a few hours to kill, consider joining Stanford’s rich culture of dance this winter quarter. Heck, even former Stanford football coach Jim Harbaugh is gettin’ his groove on.

Alors on danse.

TUSGraph: Career Fair Reality Check

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Between my past experience at career fairs as an underclassman and my more recent research into upcoming job fairs, I’ve been barraged by listings for computer scientists from companies of varying shapes, sizes and fields.  For all you humanities/social science majors, I have one piece of advice:  be prepared when a clothing retailer asks you if you have experience coding, and think of other ways to let your skills and value shine through.

*Please note, that this graph does not say that companies are only looking for computer scientists; it simply states that most companies come to Stanford to look for programmers in addition to other roles.

Starbucks by the Numbers

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

“Starbucks: It’s NOT Meyer”

I have a love-hate relationship with Starbucks. On the one hand, I downright refuse to use the term “Tall” to order the establishment’s smallest serving of coffee. Ditto “Grande” (meaning “large” in Italian, according to my friend Google Translate) to order a medium-ish size. Ditto “Venti” for an all-nighter-inducing sized cup. Ok, admittedly the last one does make a smidge more sense than the other two – apparently a “Venti” is, in fact, twenty ounces of fluid. But seriously, for a company that has 20,400 almost identical stores, you’d think they’d adopt a similar level of consistency (if not common sense) when it comes to their sizing practices.

On the other hand, however, they do brew a pretty decent cup of coffee. I also like their little cheese and fruit boxes. And, most importantly, I have learned to love the establishment for their work environment. And by that I mean the environment in which I do MY work. This year’s fall course guide spent about a week and a half gestating in a Starbucks across the street from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and ever since I have had a certain fondness for the institution’s mass-produced ambiance. I can’t tell if its the “handcrafted” wooden tables, good lighting, endless outlets, or simply the fact that it’s not Meyer, but I’ve found that I’m surprisingly productive working in a place with heavy foot-traffic and lots of people hyped-up on mocha frappucinos. As such, I’ve spent a great deal of time in Tressider’s latest installment, enjoying both the salted carmel lattes and the sublime people watching that comes with them. So, without further ado, I present to you Starbucks by the my numbers*: (more…)

Gangnam Style, Global Citizenship, and the (Secretary) General

Friday, January 18th, 2013

As Stanford students, we have been charged – by the Stanfords themselves in the Founding Grant – with the responsibility of “promot[ing] the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.”  The words that Leland and Jane wrote down over 120 years ago in honor of their late son still ring true today, for fuzzies and techies alike.  Whether you are applying for a visa to study abroad or someday praying for favorable trade relations so that you can expose your product to a new market, international relations matter.  So if you’re curious about IR or just wondering why there were police dogs outside of Dink yesterday, read on.

Today, the UN has 193 member nations.

Crash Course: Meet the U.N.

Founded in 1945, the United Nations was born out of the need to address global hostility post-World War II and the League of Nations’ failed attempt at creating an international body that could effectively address international issues.  Despite starting afresh, the formation of an international regulating body still did not sit well with some countries, and after the Soviet Union turned about-face on first Secretary General Trygve Lie due to the UN’s role in the Korean War, the UN was almost doomed to the same fate as the League of Nations.

Like a boss.

Fortunately, Lie’s fellow-Scandinavian successor, Dag Hammarskjöld, strove to prevent the UN from disappearing altogether.  However, the UN has had its share of drama, from the Soviet Union’s desire to create a troika to replace the Secretary General to the Annan family’s Oil-for-Food scandal.

Despite the issues that have arisen, the United Nations remains the predominant world body persistently working to maintain peace between nations and provide aid to those who are hungry, oppressed, illiterate, and ill, deploying approximately 120,000 peacekeepers from over 110 countries and feeding over 90 million people a day.  In the words of current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “we [- the UN -] deliver more humanitarian aid than anyone.”

BMOC: Ban himself

The man with a plan

This Thursday afternoon, Ban Ki-moon came to address the Stanford community and discuss the role of the UN in our rapidly transitioning world.  Expressing his excitement at being able to speak on campus, Ki-moon joked that “Stanford has subtly made its mark on the world…… and that is just your football team.”  But beyond voicing his appreciation for California and joking that after a trip to America as a teen, he “was the 1950s equivalent of PSY” because he was so popular when he got home, Ban Ki-moon emphasized a need for American citizens to help address the profound global change that our world is facing today.  To make his point clear, Ki-moon elucidated three primary ways to navigate our changing world – his points are as follows.

1) Sustainable Development

First, Ki-moon urged individuals to be more conscious of their consumption of Earth’s resources, as “there can be no plan B… because there is no planet B.”  Asserting that “we cannot drill or mine our way to prosperity,” Ki-moon explained his goal for 2030: that everyone in the world will have electricity, solving a current dearth of energy for 1.4 million individuals.  His environmental stance reflects current initiatives at Stanford that you can get involved in, from the Stanford Solar Car project to the Green Living Council.  As Ki-moon said himself, “I know you understand – after all, Stanford’s mascot is a tree.”

2) “Dignity and Democracy”

Focusing on civil unrest in Syria and Mali, the Secretary General illuminated the main concerns for addressing international conflict, including funds, access, and political divisions.  He wants to provide certainty to young people who have uncertain futures, and uphold the human rights of those who can’t defend themselves.

3) Women and Young People

Similarly, Ki-moon argued that women and young people are the “most under-utilized resource” in today’s world.  He called for “more women in the Cabinet, more women in the Parliament, and more women in the boardrooms,” and is proud that South Korea has its first female president(-elect).  Because “half the world is under 25 years of age,” Ki-moon has appointed a special envoy on youth, who will hopefully be a proponent for children and young adults around the world.

“We Are the World”

In sum, Ban Ki-moon discussed a variety of pressing issues that he and his peers in the UN need our help to address.  It is in this vein that Ki-moon wrapped up his talk; rather than talking about how the youth are the future, he argues that it is time to recognize that young people “have already taken their leadership role today.”

So, Stanford students, let’s take Ki-moon’s advice.  Now, more than ever, it is our responsibility to recognize the importance of international cooperation and impartiality.  It is time to be global citizens.