Sophomore Malika Purser declared as a CS major last week and along with a warm welcome into the CS community, she received another piece of good news — an official invitation to join The Society of First Generation African- and  Native-American Women With One Jewish Grandmother in Computer Science at Stanford. SFGAANAWWOJGICS is one of many minority interest groups at Stanford, among the Jewish Student Association and Women in CS, a testament to the diverse community Stanford has created.

“I was thrilled to hear from SFGAANAWWOJGICS,” exclaimed Malika. “I love it here at Stanford, but I was missing a place to celebrate both my African-American and my Native-American heritage, and where I can also share stories about my Nana, a strong Jewish woman named Esther Levine, who has always been an inspiration to me. It’s hard to find find others like me, who can relate to my experiences eating kugel on Rosh Hashanah on the reservation with my family, in my CS classes. They’re great people, but without that shared experience, I don’t feel a connection.”

But Malika’s initiation into SFGAANAWWOJGICS hit a road bump during a routine background check when it was discovered that her great-grandfather had attended a small college in rural West Virginia. Since Malika does not fit the “first generation” requirement to join SFGAANAWWOJGICS, the club was forced to bar her entry. While there are no actual current members of SFGAANAWWOJGICS, Stanford representatives explained that if any students join in the future, they may feel uncomfortable sharing their stories as first generation college students with Malika there. Luckily, Malika has found a supportive community at SAANAWWOJGICSWWRBSFGAANAWWOJGICS, The Society of African- and Native-American Women With One Jewish Grandmother In Computer Science Who Were Rejected By the Society of First Generation African- And Native-American Women With One Jewish Grandmother In Computer Science.

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