As the University drafted its 2035 campus development plans, a group of concerned students came together in 2016 to found the Stanford Coalition for Planning an Equitable 2035 (SCoPE 2035). These long-term development plans impact not only students and faculty, but also numerous service workers journeying to campus every day. Despite being nicknamed The Farm, Stanford is not an island: as a major employer with a daily population of 35,000, its choices influence the surrounding communities of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, and can even alter regional trends across the Bay Area.
Over the past three years, the students of SCoPE have stepped up to be Stanford’s social conscience, by independently engaging with the community, representing an alternative point of view at public hearings, and attempting to hold the University accountable for its planning choices. A final hearing on Stanford’s 2035 plan will take place at Palo Alto City Hall on Tuesday, October 22.
Hear the story of SCoPE and how the students got involved in the civic process, in their own words:
Stanford Coalition for Planning an Equitable 2035 (SCoPE 2035) is a student organization campaigning for sustainability, equity, and just treatment of service workers at Stanford. Our group was founded in Fall 2016 to hold Stanford accountable in the planning process of the university’s campus development plans through 2035. Our strategy is multifaceted: we conduct policy analysis and advocate for better county-level policy, write op-eds, collaborate with community stakeholders, and use direct action tactics such as staging protests and rallies. Several Asian American alumni have been involved with the group, including Mansi Jain ’19, Lina Khoeur ’18, Dan Sakaguchi ’16, and John Zhao ’18.
Stanford's next expansion will bring over 9,000 people into an area already suffering from gentrification and housing un-affordability. We won't let that happen without Stanford agreeing to take action to address these impacts. Stanford University should be responsible for providing more affordable housing and transit subsidies for its lowest-paid employees, some of whom currently commute 6 hours daily.
Now is the time to get involved—Santa Clara County’s board of supervisors will be voting in the next couple months on Stanford's land use permit, which will guide campus development until 2035. Instead of constructively finding solutions, Stanford has opposed the County's requirements for more affordable housing by spending lots of money on misleading online and newspaper ads to divert attention and change the story. However, as concerned Stanford stakeholders, we will demonstrate that the University cannot cheat the community out of necessary benefits (especially for campus workers) by playing PR games.
Please mark your calendars for the final Palo Alto hearing, on October 22 at City Hall. SCoPE will hold a rally at 4 PM, and then during the hearing itself, we will participate in the public comment period to assert our policy recommendations and call out Stanford's dishonest use of loopholes. Its actions shirk our responsibility to be a leader in the community, as the whole Bay Area seeks ways to develop our cities and towns, and to improve quality of life for all. This is the most important moment of our campaign—we hope to see you there! Join our Facebook group for updates: https://www.facebook.com/SCoPE2035
Attend the October 22 event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1004185773249073