UGS seeks to increase academic accommodations for student-athletes

On Tuesday, the Undergraduate Senate (UGS) co-chair Diego Kagurabadza ‘25 introduced a resolution that would encourage the University to “reassess and update” academic accommodations for student athletes. 

According to Kagurabadza, after Stanford announced it joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in September, several student-athletes expressed concerns about how the move would affect their academic experience.

After consulting with various stakeholders affiliated with the athletics department, including student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) co-presidents Megan Olomu ‘24 and Hunter Hollenbeck ‘24, Kagurabadza wrote the resolution. 

During a conversation with The Daily in November, Hollenbeck and Olomu raised some mentioned in the resolution, including giving athletes priority enrollment and recording lectures. 

The resolution additionally calls for the University to provide further accommodations like providing alternative exam dates for those affected by illness or athletic travel, implementing an online platform to share accommodation information with instructors and making accommodations as uniform as possible across departments.

It also calls for the University to enhance the quality of food in campus dining halls to reduce the perception that student-athletes receive preferential treatment.

ASSU executive vice-president Kyle Haslett ‘25 said that student demands for more recorded lectures could become more easily realized if the resolution passes. He also said that demanding campus dining halls improve their ingredients and food quality could prove to be complicated.

The undergraduate senate is expected to vote on the resolution during the next UGS session. If two-thirds of the UGS and a majority of the Graduate Student Council pass the resolution, the Faculty Senate will be required to hold a discussion on it. 

There is no strict requirement that faculty comply with the specific accommodations outlined. But Kagurabadza hopes the resolution will incentivize faculty to provide the resources needed for student-athletes to succeed in the classroom.

Kagurbadza said some faculty do not value students’ athletic pursuits as highly as academics at Stanford. “But they’re certainly not the majority.”

“Stanford is unique because it offers the ability for students to be multifaceted, whether it’s in the classroom, laboratory or on the field,” Kagurbadza said. “To question that is to question what makes Stanford so different from other peer institutions.”