Letter to Administrators sign now

Dear President Hennessy, Provost Etchemendy, Head Budget Officer Warner, and University Budget Committee,

We are writing to share with you the student perspective on the budget cuts. We all understand that this is a hard time for the University, and a hard time for you too as administrators. We are not writing out of any sense of anger or entitlement to get our way -- but rather out of a desire to collaborate with you in this budget cut process. You clearly have a far superior grasp of many issues related to the University, but we believe that the student perspective provides us with a unique understanding of some key aspects as well. Thus, we seek to make your job easier by highlighting services, programs, and elements of our campus community that we as students find particularly important.

The following four priorities are the result of several emails to the student body seeking input, a joint session of the Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council, a Town Hall attended by over 130 students, and input gathered by our campus organizers.

The Four Priorities

Academics
The student body agrees with the administration that academics should come first. While this includes preserving a high caliber of faculty, it also means maintaining programs like grants and fellowships, introductory seminars, and sophomore college.


Wellness
The health of Stanford students is of the utmost importance. We are a research institution, but also a community, and one that has suffered the consequences of insufficient attention to wellness -- including high rates of mental health problems, eating disorders, and stress. Physical and mental health care are basic necessities that every Stanford student needs to thrive and succeed. Vaden Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Health Promotion Services, the Office of Accessible Education (OAE), and campus recreation facilities are high priorities to the students.

Community Centers
Stanford is a world-class institution not only because of its outstanding academic and research programs but also because of the tremendous diversity that runs through the core of the campus. Community centers such as The Asian American Activities Center, The Black Community Services Center, El Centro Chicano, The Haas Center for Public Service, The LGBT Community Resources Center, The Native American Cultural Center, The Women's Community Center, and the International Center are crucial in attracting the best and brightest students from all over the world, ensuring they are met with strong and supportive communities, and guaranteeing that our whole campus learns and benefits from everyone's unique background.

Front-line Staff
Staff that interact directly with students spend years building relationships and learning campus culture. An extraordinary student-life administrator that works directly with students can be orders of magnitude better than a good student-life administrator. We have few of these cherished student-facing employees and do not want to lose them in this hard time. These employees have more than a skill that can be replaced by hiring a substitute in the future; they have established terrific relationships with the student body and learned the ways and mores of Stanford, which can only happen over time.

Once again, we are not writing to rally against you, but rather in hopes of collaborating with you in this process by sharing our perspective on the best and most valuable aspects of the Stanford experience. Please take these comments seriously; we hope that this will mark the beginning of a sincere and productive dialogue between the student body and University administrators as we work together during this difficult time. These principles are broad, but backed up by numerous specific suggestions. We can and would like to get down to details, but first we need to make a plan on how best to move forward together. We look forward to speaking with you.


Sincerely,
Jonny Dorsey, Fagan Harris, and the following signees

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Lea CohenBy:
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Stanford Administrators

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