Vince Ricci

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Vince Ricci


Vince Ricci is a Director, Consulting at AGOS Japan. Lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Office takeover

For sophomore Vince Ricci, one of 55 students arrested a year ago yesterday in the takeover of University President Donald Kennedy's office, punishment has been less than punishing. Ricci and most of the other protesters were each fined a total of 115 hours of public service work by the University and Santa Clara County. Senior Nadeem Hussain is one of the few protesters completely finished with his work requirement — though he was not given a University sentence.

During the takeover, Hussain collapsed inside Kennedy's office and was rushed to Cowell Student Health Center before police arrived on the scene. Busy organizing the takeover with the ASSU Committee on Democracy in Education, Hussain said he neglected to eat or sleep for two days. "My parents did things like this in the '605," Hussain said. "I expected to take over the President's Office at least once in my college years. It was a good learning experience."

Current Senior Class Presidents member Michael Roark has also completed his work-fine hours. Roark tutored at the East Palo Alto Youth Development Center and still does. Graduate student Stacey Leyton still has about 15 hours left to complete her work-fine. She helped coordinate the You Can Make a Difference Conference, helped paint El Centro Chicano and worked at Julian Street. Leyton, a former Council of Presidents member, worked with CODE to devise the Agenda for Action, a list of demands the protesters sought to present to Kennedy.[1]

Countering LRS membership accusation

According to an article in the May 23 1990 Stanford Daily, six prominent campus activists were members of the League of Revolutionary Struggle.

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The group was defended, in a letter to the paper two days later by a group of eight other campus activist;

Richard Suh says, in the May 23 Daily, that League of Revolutionary Struggle members "are leading progressive politics on campus . . . because they are the best and the hardest workers." He and others "who asked not to be identified" then "charge" that Elsa Tsutaoka, Stacey Leyton, David Brown, Gina Hernandez, Steven Phillips and Ingrid Nava are members of this League (presumably because they are some of the best and hardest workers on campus). All six deny being members of such a group, which the author then uses to imply that they must in fact be members, since the organization is supposedly secretive. The absurdity of such reasoning is apparent, but what concerns us is that irresponsible charges that have serious and detrimental implications for individuals' lives are being published on the basis of rumor and innuendo. Those "accused" by this article deserve our respect and support because of their being the "best and hardest workers."
The "infiltration" of Stanford by these six hard workers has given us the leaders of Stanford's anti-Apartheid and pro-CIV movements, the coordinator of the 1987 You Can Make A Difference Conference, three student body presidents, a Phi Beta Kappa in history, fighters for the expansion of the Asian American Activities Center and El Centro Chicano, key volunteers and speakers on the 1987 and 1990 YCMAD Conferences, an RA, members of the varsity track and swim teams, a dancer in Ballet Folklorico and much much more. The Daily has come right out and said that Stanford students are too stupid to think for themselves. The League of Revolutionary Struggle has been running things all along, using students for its own ends. But we, those who should know, assert that Stanford students are not dupes and that progressive student politics on campus are decidedly democratic. When a particular plan of action is proposed by any student, others weigh their options and then agree on a path of action.
It is ironic that the six community members you name have themselves been some of the staunchest advocates of democratic processes. Just out of curiosity, what is wrong with being a Marxist-Leninist? Last time we checked, it was still legal in this country to hold any political beliefs or belong to any organization without alerting the media. Stanford should ask itself why radicals feel the need to avoid explicit mention of their politics. It is easy to get tagged as a radical at this university and have one's ideas and actions written off. To avoid censure you keep your head down and keep your criticism in the mainstream. The odd thing is that many of us are in agreement with Marxists and even that blacks, Latinos, women, homosexuals and many others are oppressed or at least suffer the effects of past oppression? We may disagree with the League's ultimate goals or projects, but is it impossible to work with them where we do agree? (If indeed we could really find them.) The need to avoid this kind of red-baiting will lead student groups to ask radical members to leave in order to avoid trouble. This process can only lead to the stifling of discussion and the weakening of student groups by throwing out "the best and hardest workers." How long before we start hearing that familiar old question before we can participate in student politics: Are you now or have you ever been ...

Recall!

The results are in, and "Four Our Future" C.O.P. has been recalled from office by a student vote of 1012 to 532. A new election will be held next fall to determine the 1990-91 ASSU Council of Presents. Elections Commissioner Steve Krauss was pleased with the voter turnout, but was disappointed that new elections will have to be run, at a cost to the Association of over $8,000.

"It's an outrage!" charged Vince Ricci, former Peoples Platform senator. "I can't believe the students went and did this. The question on the ballot must have been misleading." Louis Jackson, another former Peoples Platform senator, agreed. "There's no way the Senate will certify the results".

Members ofthe "Four Our Future" slate are understandably dismayed. "This just isn't fair," says Jay Tucker, one of the removed C.O.P. "Now I have got go and change my resume." Perhaps the most outspoken about the results was Ingrid Nava, former and ex-current C.O.P. member. "This is completely unfair -- we didn't even get a chance to serve. You would think I was caught embezzling funds or something." When asked if her alleged membership in the secret Marxist-Leninist League of Revolutionary Struggle may have contributed to tne C.O.P.'s defeat, Nava stated emphatically, "Absolutely not! Everyone knows the League is no big secret. Why should it be? Besides, I never even heard of it." Stacey Leyton, a former Peoples Platform C.O.P. member, senator, and Dean's Service Award recipient, was equally furious. "This is all the doing of that conservitive with a mohawk, Perry Friedman. I hope he's happy.'[2]

References

  1. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 197, Issue 58, 16 May 1990]
  2. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 197, Issue 71, 6 June 1990]