Posts Tagged ‘stanford’

Praise for the New Dean for Sexual Assault

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Last month, Stanford hired a dean for sexual assault and relationship abuse. Stanford, not necessarily the poster child for sexual assault, took the time and money to hire Angela Exson, who has a background in dealing with violence in relationships, and the only place where it was mentioned was The Stanford Daily. There were no outcries over the way the campus’s money was spent, yet other than a few Facebook posts, no cheer either.  Although this is coming a bit late, I still want to say thank you, Stanford.

Honestly, my first thought was why? I have no doubt that our school’s students suffer from relationship issues as much as students at other colleges but  I had never heard of someone going as far as getting a dean for this problem. So of course I looked it up – I skimmed through website after website where sexual assault  had been relegated to subdivision of student affairs. And my question changed to why not? Why hasn’t any other college done this? (If you do know other examples feel free to share.) It’s not the same as health and wellness guidelines or campus safety rules – when these cases happen they deserve expert handling, they deserve guidance from someone who understands.

As I said before, our school might not be the poster child for sexual assault but maybe it can be the poster child for handling it with the respect these situations warrant. So welcome, Dean Exson. I hope for a student body more accountable not only for their actions, but their response to things that happen to their peers. I don’t expect change overnight, but with this new position, and Stanford’s other new policy concerning rape, it’s nice to know that our school wants to do more to raise awareness among our student body.

When Did Stanford Join the Ivy League?

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

It’s that time of year again – internship time. It is filled with hours of technical training and semi-menial labor for temporary bosses. It is (possibly) the first time one is introduced to the full-time 40 hour work week, and the 9 to 5 job. And it is also a time for a bunch of strangers to get a chance to judge you based on where you go to school.

Even if the lines are blurring between Stanford and the official Ivy League schools, its nice to know that Stanford will always look better. Palm trees will always trump winter.

I’m not saying that the judgment involves any censure, but people always get a specific impression of you from where you go to school. And for some reason, the impression our school has been adding to my general persona is “Ivy League.” I say Stanford, and because people consider it prestigious and align it with the Ivy League, they automatically think that Stanford is a member of the group. I have gotten this reception from students and adults this summer. I correct it only half  the time – I’ve seen the interest feign in people’s eyes if I say it isn’t Ivy League without the long saga on what membership entails. I don’t know this for certain, but I think that when I denounce the claim, they think I’m referring to a different Stanford. Some people can’t seem to separate our school from its Ivy League peers. Students at our own fine institution admonish the title. Even though these schools are a country away, we still crack jokes about them at Gaieties. We still feel that being a part of the East Coast through more than a satellite station is somehow bad for our school (I don’t actually agree with that sentiment, maybe because I am from the East Coast and see more of its potential, but that’s for a different blog post). The  Ivy League is foreign to our West Coast mentality and ways. Yet from the outside (and maybe even a little from the inside) I don’t think things are quite as different anymore.


Verizon (and kind of Stanford) presents: Third Eye Blind

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

On May 26th, for the first time in my undergraduate career, I think Stanford finally hosted a legitimate alternative rock band! Unfortunately, it wasn’t really Stanford’s gig – this time the student body owes thanks to Verizon. As part of their Coffee Shop Series, Verizon Wireless invites local bands to have free events for the coffee shop cultures around the West Coast. For some reason that I haven’t quite picked up on, they chose the CoHo!

And unfortunately for the CoHo (and fortunately for the rest of the student body) the event was moved to Memorial Auditorium. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins explained on stage that the fire marshal had a few problems with Third Eye Blind playing in such a small coffee shop. I’m glad he did, especially since the student population came out in droves. MemAud was packed with students who stood swaying to the music who eventually crowded the aisles to be closer to one of their favorite bands. Fans sang along to songs from the band’s new album Ursa Major, and to old favorites including Jumper.

Third Eye Blind performs at the Stanford Memorial Auditorium as part of Verizon Wireless’ Coffee Shop Series. PHOTO CREDIT: Colson Griffith for Verizon Wireless

But the night started out a little bit earlier for the some of Verizon’s VIP winners. These lucky students arrived around 6:00 pm to meet and take a picture with the band. Students excitedly waited in line to have their picture taken, which they received when the show was over. I got a few minutes with the band as well. Jenkins and drummer Brad Hargreaves were kind enough to answer a few questions for me before the show:


Why the Quarter System?

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

So, like many other students here, my Facebook wall is plaguing me with statuses from friends suffering through finals and anticipating summer. In a week. My own mother called me last week and asked if I was taking my finals soon – the joke was not appreciated. The majority of universities across the country have the semester system. I can’t help but wonder why, in this one case, Stanford is different.

The general spiel I get can be found on Stanford’s website:

Stanford’s unique quarter-system calendar allows students to take advantage of dozens of additional courses not possible under a more traditional semester calendar.

But after thinking about it for 2 seconds, there are more disadvantages than advantages. Just today, a professor of mine was upset because he couldn’t cover all the material he had planned because of the limited amount of weeks we have. Both students and professors alike are being rushed through material that should be explored for longer amounts of time. Or worse, professors believe that the difference between 10 and 15 weeks is infinitesimal and hand out assignments as if it really were a semester system. I have no doubt that this mentality is part of the reason why the Duck Syndrome exists.


Why College?

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Have you thought carefully about why you’re in college? Can you articulate what you want to get out of these four years? Now is an especially good time to ask these questions, because William Deresiewicz, author of a popular article on The Disadvantages of an Elite Education, will be speaking at Stanford this Tuesday, April 12th. While his thought-provoking article has a fuzzie slant, most students will see some truth in Deresiewicz’s critique of universities like Stanford.

In the meantime, if you feel like you sometimes struggle to reach your potential as a student, take a look at Cal Newport’s blog Study Hacks. Newport advocates the radical notion of a college experience centered around simplicity, and is also the author of two student advice books. In stark contrast to the mindset that academic success = more units + less sleep, he suggests taking fewer classes, performing outstandingly in them, taking on original projects that set you apart, and many other ideas. Some of the blog’s suggestions are probably best ignored, but overall it offers a ton of helpful and unique advice about college. (more…)

The Ponderings of an Optimist

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Remember free time?

Yeah those were the days.

The days before I went to bed at 1 am and woke up at 7:30 to finish homework.  The days before I spent about an hour and a half just walking around campus to all the places I went.  The days before I had three midterms within a week and a half of each other and I skipped meals just to study or finish homework.  The days before I gained stress-weight all the time.

I spent a lot of time today remembering those days.  They were good to me.  I can almost remember the way it felt to sit in one spot for so long that my butt actually hurt.  The way it felt to spend more than 15 minutes a day with any of my friends.

Weather Win.

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

To quote Forrest Gump:  “and that’s all I have to say about that.”

The Ultimate College Calendar

Saturday, November 13th, 2010


Thursday, November 4th, 2010
2011 Rose Bowl

(Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

In the spirit of a new month and an updated Power Rankings that received a lot of positive reader feedback, today we’re reconsidering another all-time Reader Favorite, “The Rose Bowl Dilemma”. With the Card’s shutout victory in Seattle last Saturday and a big game coming up this weekend against #13 Arizona, Stanford fans are once again dreaming big about what might become of the 2010 Cardinal football campaign. And when PAC-10 fans (and Big Ten fans, for that matter) dream big about football, the Rose Bowl is almost always involved.

Stanford has a shot to play in Pasadena, but that shot seems to be decreasing in probability. Understand premise 1: Stanford must win out. The Cardinal would have almost no opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl if they don’t win every remaining game. (more…)

Daily Axe Preview: Stanford-Washington

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Jake Locker's health is a key to Saturday's game. (Image by avinashkunnath via Flickr)

Washington comes into this weekend’s game at 3-4 and a pedestrian 2-2 in the PAC-10. The Huskies have suffered embarrassing losses to Nebraska (56-21), Arizona (44-14), and a BYU team that we now know is terrible. But Washington’s 2010 campaign has also included close wins at USC and against Oregon State in double overtime two weeks ago. The Huskies have a great home field advantage at Husky Stadium in Seattle–they’re averaging nearly 67,000 fans per game— but are just 2-2 at home so far. And their win-loss history is not a predictable product of their opponents: the Huskies should have beaten BYU and lost to Oregon State. So what’s up with UW?

Jake Locker. The performance of the Huskies’s star senior quarterback is an incredibly reliable predictor of success. When Locker throws for more than 270 yards, the Huskies win. When he doesn’t, they lose. Locker’s passer rating also flawlessly indicates whether UW wins or loses: when his rating tops 124, Washington wins. Locker’s completion percentage is only slightly less telling of how successful the entire team will be on a given Saturday. With the exception of the loss to Arizona State on October 9, the Huskies have won every game in which Locker has completed at least 60% of his passes. (more…)

It Must Have Been the Hair

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Butch couldn't get it done on Saturday. (Image via Flickr)

Let’s face it: the final score of today’s Stanford-Washington State football game was just a tad (read: sarcasm) surprising. Stanford was a 34-point favorite, it’s Homecoming Weekend, and Washington State hasn’t defeated an FBS opponent this season. So casual fans who look up the final result and see 38-28 Cardinal will most likely be taken aback. But what happened?

I offer two theories:

Theory 1: Sekope Kaufusi

Who’s Sekope Kaufusi, you ask? Good question. He’s a 6′ 3″, 236-pound, Redwood City-raised linebacker for the Cougars. He didn’t make enough tackles to even appear on the Stanford Press Relations stat sheet. He’s a member of a defense that let Stanford accumulate 28 first downs, 439 yards, and 38 points. But Sekope Kaufusi just might explain the unexpected closeness of this afternoon’s game.

In the often strange world of collegiate athletics, little things can often make the pregame underdog the postgame victor. Remember the 2006 George Mason run to the Final Four, which started when a nut punch galvanized the Patriots and inspired them to keep outplaying themselves? Remember when the 2007 Appalachian State Mountaineers beat #5 Michigan in Ann Arbor for absolutely no reason? What I–and I think nearly everyone else–love about college sports is their unpredictability and amateur athletes’ susceptibility to be influenced by the most seemingly trivial factors.

And that’s exactly why Sekope Kaufusi may have given his team the boost they needed to finish within 10 points of the heavily favored and clearly superior Stanford Cardinal. (more…)

Daily Axe Preview: Stanford-Washington State

Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Butch T. Cougar, mascot of Washington State Un...

I WANT YOU to beat the Cougars. (Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

It’s Homecoming Weekend on the Farm, Stanford is coming off a bye week, and the PAC-10’s second-best team is hosting the worst football team in the conference. All signs point to a complete and total obliteration. Nonetheless, Saturday’s game deserves a thorough preview, and there are some wild cards to consider. Washington State, for instance, has been improving in recent games. Sure, the Cougars are still 1-6 (their only win was a 1-point victory over FCS team Montana State) but they kept Arizona to 24 points last week and lost to Oregon by a smaller margin than Stanford did.

The weather forecast for Saturday also predicts rain, which presumably would hurt Stanford more than it would hurt Washington State. Even though the Card rely on a smash-mouth style of play, it’s hard to deny that rain would slow down the Stanford offense. But can Washington State keep up either way? (more…)

Where the Air is Fresh and Sweet

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Sunset from the Chi Theta Chi roof.

One of the best ways to see Stanford is from above. Whether to tan, scope out the passers-by, or escape from the hubbub of classes and responsibility, Stanford rooftops are the ultimate vantage points for relaxation and reflection. The world is simpler on terra-cotta and tile, and the clarity we attain there lends a little value to the things we do below. If you haven’t been able to explore the upper reaches of our campus, get to it while the sunsets are still after six.

Top Five Rooftops:

5. The Quad, especially the Psych and Bio buildings.

4. Stern Hall. Most of the stairwell doors are unlocked from the outside, so a wire hanger usually does the trick.

3. Phi Psi. Best vistas of the lower row.

2. Chi Theta Chi (XOX). The experience only begins with the view.

1. No way, man. Gotta find your own.

The Daily Axe’s Rose Bowl Dilemma

Saturday, October 16th, 2010
Rose Bowl

The Cardinal still have a realistic opportunity to make the Rose Bowl. (Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

Every PAC-10 and Big Ten football team begins each season with the goal of reaching the Rose Bowl. In today’s college football culture, such a goal has nearly become quaint: teams willingly aim for the traditional standard of regional excellence rather than the moneyed-up, political maneuverings associated with the BCS National Championship Game. But now that the season if half completed, some teams are out of the hunt completely (we’re looking at you, Washington State), others hold only the faintest chances (UCLA, Arizona State), one team is the clear-cut favorite (Oregon) and the others have impossibly complicated scenarios with which to gain a ticket to Pasadena. So to give you an idea of Stanford’s Road to Pasadena and weed out some erroneous rumors, here is what would need to occur for the Cardinal to play in the Rose Bowl.

  1. Stanford has to win out. Sure, this isn’t mathematically necessary, but Oregon would have to lose at least 3 times in its last 6 games in order for Stanford to lose 1 more and make the Rose Bowl. Anyone who has watched the Ducks this season should know that they will not go .500 the rest of the way, especially with an upcoming 4 consecutive weeks of games against unranked opponents on the schedule. Even if Oregon did lose 3 games, another team–most likely Arizona–could step into the Rose Bowl slot if Stanford falters. (more…)

Daily Axe Preview: Stanford-USC

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
Quarterback Matt Barkley during a visit to a U...

QB Matt Barkley and USC run the bro style offense. (Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

For the first time in years, Stanford is the favorite to beat USC. Sure, the Cardinal overcame the greatest odds in football history to beat USC in the Coliseum in 2007, and Stanford thumped the Trojans in Los Angeles last year. But USC hasn’t been double-digit underdogs–the lines move, but it looks like the spread will be about 10 points at game time–since before the turn of the millennium. That spread came in September 1998, before Pete Carroll took over in Heritage Hall, when USC was set to play at Florida State. All this is to preface the following: USC finds itself in an unfamiliar, and probably uncomfortable, position.

The Trojans are also coming off their first loss of the season, a 32-31 defeat in the Coliseum to the hands of Jake Locker’s Washington Huskies. But the 2010 Trojans are not the USC of old, which would occasionally drop a game or two and still look dominant most of the time. Lane Kiffin’s USC v. 1.0 hasn’t played good defense and looks susceptible to giving up tons of points to the offensive juggernauts of the PAC-10 (i.e. Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona). Against Washington, the USC defense allowed 536 yards of total offense, a 50% 3rd down conversion rate, and forced only one turnover. And although Washington isn’t one of the conference’s weaker offenses, it isn’t as productive as Stanford’s. Washington’s average of 28 points scored per game pales in comparison to the Card’s nearly 45 points per contest, so USC’s defense will have its hands full. (more…)