The composition of Stanford’s student body has dramatically changed since I first set foot on the campus on September 4, 1971. The student body, both undergraduate and graduate, was largely white. Campus activism arose from opposition to the Vietnam War and the draft.
During the next 30 years the complexion of Stanford steadily changed, reflecting increased enrollment of female and minority students and gradual hiring of female and minority faculty. During this period, faculty and California resident students overwhelmingly registered as Democrats, routinely voting four-to-one for Democrats in national elections. Students actively organized during national elections and brought candidates to campus.
All is quiet on the Western front this year. Walking around the campus yields little evidence that this is an election year. Moreover, drab blue jeans have given way to skirts and floral dresses among the student body. Students from Asia and of Asian descent constitute two-fifths of the student body, who tend to be more conservative and less active in politics. While the faculty still largely supports liberal progressive policies and causes, the student body shows less and less interest in the message. The recent Stanford Daily editorial board rant against Victor Davis Hanson, and by implication the Hoover Institution, brought forth hundreds of responses, almost all critical of the editorial board.
Did Bob Dylan make a secret visit to Stanford? The Times They Are A-Changin’