Student-athlete resolution draws mixed responses

Student-athlete resolution draws mixed responses

The Undergraduate Senate (UGS) and Graduate Student Council (GSC) passed a joint resolution in January to encourage additional academic accommodations for student-athletes. While several Stanford students expressed support for the spirit of the resolution, others expressed concerns about how proposed accommodations would be implemented. 

The resolution hopes to provide student-athletes with priority enrollment relative to their class year, an online platform in which students can share accommodation information with instructors and calls for improvements to regular dining halls (relative to athlete dining) among others provisions. The bill was proposed after Stanford announced that it would be departing the Pac-12 and moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), potentially increasing travel times for student-athletes. 

Omar Ramos Escoto ’23 M.S ’24 supported more academic accommodations with Stanford’s move to the ACC, but disagreed with the proposal to provide priority enrollment times.

“Before they enroll classes, I don’t see a significant enough difference in their challenges to give them priority enrollment,” Ramos Escoto said.

However, Sina Mollaei ’25 said the intense practice schedule and additional travel leaves student-athletes with fewer available classes during the day. For this reason, Mollaei said student-athletes should receive priority for registering for classes.

All the students who spoke with The Daily agreed that during the quarter, student-athletes should be given additional accommodations, like recorded classes.

“A lot of the athletes I know usually refer back to recordings,” said Emily Sidharta ’26. Popular classes should be recorded for everyone, “because a lot of people can’t go to classes due to sickness or family emergencies,” Sidharta said.

Another contentious element to the UGS resolution was proposals around dining hall quality. It is often the perception by many students that student-athletes receive a better dining experience. For this reason, UGS co-chair Diego Kagurbadza ’25 included a statement in the resolution advocating for enhancements across University dining.

“The food at the athlete-dining hall is so much better,” Sidharta said. “It’s weird because the regular dining halls and athlete-dining are supplied from the same place, so why not just buy the same quality food for everyone else too?”

While none of the students that spoke with The Daily are opposed to improving the general quality of the dining halls, some said student-athletes face extra considerations compared to students.

Joshua Melmon ’24 said he supported athlete dining halls since they were focused on specific nutritional needs, and supporting students in high-intensity athletic programs.

As the bill was passed as a joint resolution, it will now move to the Faculty Senate for consideration. 

“I know that there will not be any idea or perfect system that will satisfy everybody,” Kagurabadza said in January. “But I think these are very meaningful steps to accommodate what I think is a very often underrepresented group in our student body.”

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