The new Stanford ASSU executives talk about unprecedented challenges

ASSU execs
ASSU execs Vianna Vo and Munira Alimire

Sophomore MUNIRA ALIMIRE is the new president of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) and junior VIANNA VO is its vice president for the 2020-21 academic year.

Their election comes amid historic global challenges that affect day-to-day life for Stanford students.

“In the past few weeks, it has become clear, now more than ever, that strong student advocacy is needed to pull together our community,” Vo said. “We have witnessed firsthand the tremors that run through our community when acts of injustice are committed, on campus or at large.”

Alimire and Vo take office as the nation continues to reel in response to the death of George Floyd. The widespread demonstrations come after almost three months of shelter-in-place orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has completely transformed life for Stanford students.

Vo said that as she and Alimire took the oath of office, the gravity of their responsibility to support students in the face of these and other challenges set in.

“I intend to open my ears and heart to the demands of the community and to work tirelessly until their wishes are heard,” she said. “This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I hope that throughout our term, we are able to hold our reasons for running close to heart.”

Among Alimire and Vo’s top priorities will be advocating for the immediate needs of students adjusting to remote learning and new personal challenges. With the Stanford community so dispersed, Vo said it’s crucial that Stanford’s lines of communication remain strong, particularly between students and university administrators.

With students no longer able to meet in person, all ASSU meetings, including those hosted by the Senate, Executive Cabinet and Graduate Student Council, will be conducted virtually for the foreseeable future.

Alimire is from Minnesota and spent part of her childhood in Kenya. At Stanford, she is majoring in urban studies and anthropology. This past year, she served as the ASSU’s Undergraduate Senate Chair.

Vo was born and raised in San Jose to Vietnamese refugees. At Stanford, she is majoring in human biology and double minoring in human rights and sociology. In addition to student government, she is involved in Stanford Taiko and the Weiland Health Initiative.

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