There's Now A Petition For Stanford To Apologize For Brock Turner's Assault
These are the words of Stephanie Pham, one of the Stanford undergraduates who drafted a petition entitled "Letter to Stanford University in Support of Survivor of Brock Turner case."
The petition already has over 60,000 supporters and hopes to reach a goal of 75,000 (which it no doubt will).
Unless you have been living in a nuclear fallout bunker for the past week, you know of the tragic and infuriating case of Brock Turner, a Stanford freshman who was found raping an unconscious unidentified victim behind a dumpster on Jan 17, 2015.
He was found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault and, although facing a maximum sentence of 14 years, was given an extremely light sentence of only six months by a lenient judge.
The school also expelled Brock Turner and implemented a permanent ban from him setting foot on campus. This, as the school reminds us in its statement, is the harshest form of disciplinary action it can take.
But, Stanford has a bad reputation for being light on perpetrators of sexual assault. In 2014 (only one year before Brock's attack), for example, a student who had sexually assaulted senior Leah Francis was simply asked to take a "gap year," and only after she had already graduated.
This time around, however, it appears the school basically did the right thing (of course, this case was also easier for the university, as it could hand it off to the police).
The petition does not blame Stanford for the attack, but demands an apology since it happened on campus, as well as that it implement certain counseling and preventative measures regarding sexual assault and misconduct on campus.
Here are the petition's exact demands:
Now, if you have no idea what this “uniform climate survey” developed by AAU is (because I definitely didn't), it's essentially a multi-university survey performed by the Association of American Universities, whose goal is, as it put it, this:
The data gathered by these surveys of students would then be used to provide institutions with the information they need to “inform policies to prevent and respond to sexual assault and misconduct.”
The findings of the AAU uniform climate survey are extremely unsettling, exposing just how pervasive sexual assault is on campus and how badly our institutions of higher learning are reckoning with them.
Here are a few of AAU's key findings, as listed on its website:
Basically, what this petition and the AAU survey are asking for is exceedingly simple: schools to take sexual assault seriously. Because it is an epidemic.
Listen, if 23 percent of undergraduate male students reported that they had been smashed in the face with a bat swung full force at some point during their time at school, you can bet your ass that colleges all over the country would be doing absolutely fucking everything they could to stop male students getting attacked with bats all the time, as well as helping those who had been hit in the face with bats deal with their injuries.
They would not be just brushing the bat attacks under the rug, they would not be refusing to take the bat victims seriously, and they would not simply be giving out the occasional gap year suspension to the bat wielder after their permanently injured victim had gone ahead and graduated.
Citations: Letter to Stanford University in Support of Survivor of Brock Turner case. (Change.org), Stanford Has A Trust Problem When It Comes To Sexual Assault (Huffington Post), Stanford Punishes Rapist With Forced 'Gap Year,' As Students Demand Tougher Sanctions (Huffington Post), AAU CAMPUS SURVEY ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT (AAU)