Posts Tagged ‘white plaza’

Fire and Brimstone Descend Upon White Plaza

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Stanford's latest expert in binary decision-making.

While White Plaza has a knack for attracting some colorful characters, a recent invasion by Bible-touting fanatics has now turned the space into an ideological battleground. With contradictory slogans like “You’re all going to Hell!” and “Jesus loves you!”, these fervent proselytizers have lately become a fixture amongst the 12 noon lunch crowd.

When I asked one of the demonstrators why he was presenting his particular message–“STUDY AND OBEY THE BIBLE JUDGMENT IS COMING”–he responded, “I want people to look at the words on this sign. Can you see this sign? It might not be big enough.” Aside from the missing periods, the letters did not appear to exhibit any size issues, at least to my untrained eye.

The demonstrators are by no means a uniform group, but they appear to be mainly white males in their late twenties and thirties. They are often quite muscular, and though they have not threatened any students, they have often shaken their fists at passing bikers in the midst of a jeremiad on the secular state of modern society. For instance, as I approached one of them, he bellowed, “You only die once. You don’t die twice. What does that mean?? You have little things in your ears…can you even hear me?!?”

A real American patriot.

For the moment, it appears that these screaming saviors have no intention of leaving. The administration has not made any moves to restrict their freedom of speech. Although they do bring back unflattering comparisons to the Westboro Baptist Church nutcases who visited campus two years ago, they at least have not succeeded in seriously offending anyone. However, for all of the non-believers, homosexuals, minorities, and supporters of tolerance who pass through White Plaza at mid-day, I would advise that you not only turn up the volume on your headphones, but also hold your nose. Some of these holy rollers could really use a shower.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Meanwhile, at Stanford...

Anyone know the scoop on Mr. Fire and Brimstone here? Freedom of speech debate aside, you have to give him credit for the sign…

Why Should We Occupy Stanford?

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Protesters are not only Occupying Wall Street, they’re occupying Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, Boston, and more college campuses than I can even list.  Citizens of the United States have finally reached a breaking point and are finally pouring out their frustrations with our financial industry on a steadily growing national stage. I think this is a brilliant moment for the 99%.

But I think it’s a hypocritical one for Stanford. Our students are currently in the works of creating Stanford’s own Occupy demonstration.

I think Teryn Norris and Eli Pollack stated the student body’s best way to support the movement when they said “Stop the Wall Street Recruitment.” If we are truly angry with our financial institutions, then we need to boycott their recruitment. We need to show that they are uninvited on our campus. But we’re smart people – we know that dismissing the financial sector entirely would be ridiculous. A good way to make change in these corporations is internally. Waving around signs isn’t going to do much unless we use leverage the ideals Stanford imbued in us to make a change in the way that these corporations are run.

Besides, I do think it’s a bit contrived to jump on a national bandwagon. If job security and the wealth disparitywere a large concern here, I think our outspoken students would have spoken up already. Why Occupy Stanford when we can bolster the more sustained protests happening right next door in Palo Alto? Why should we Occupy Stanford itself? I know that this is in support of of the other movements but we need to acknowledge basic facts about ourselves before we form a picket line.

(more…)

Roe v. Wade in White Plaza

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Every year, pro-life students gather on the anniversary of the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade and plant “memorial” flowers in White Plaza as an anti-abortion demonstration. Today, the pro-choice students took to the plaza as well, vocalizing their (opposing) position a friendly ten feet away. Just like the crazy bible guy who shouts in White Plaza sometimes, the flowers in White Plaza have become a staple of free speech at Stanford–and an annual reminder that social conservatives still exist on campus and are really into planting things.

And while it’s good to see free speech alive and well, Stanford still has free speech issues: namely, that White Plaza is a “free speech zone” and the rest of the University isn’t.

I'm not very good at math, which I why I try to avoid it at all costs.

Pro-choice churned out t-shirts on which you could choose what you wanted to write.