to reform sexual violence resources and policy at Stanford
  • Petitioning Stanford University

This petition will be delivered to:

Stanford University
President of Stanford University
John Hennessy
Provost at Stanford University
John Etchemendy
Vice Provost of Student Affairs at Stanford University
Greg Boardman

to reform sexual violence resources and policy at Stanford

    1. Petition by

      Caitlin Wraith

      Stanford, CA

Dear President Hennessy, Provost Etchemendy, and Vice Provost Boardman:

Five months ago, I was "sexually assaulted through use of force where I experienced fear and duress"* by another Stanford student. I reported the sexual assault at the beginning of Winter quarter and then I proceeded to go through the ARP (Alternate Review Process). Months later, the student who raped me was found by Stanford to be responsible for sexually assaulting me through use of force.

Stanford did not expel the man who raped me. They suspended him effective 2014 Summer quarter so that he could finish his classes and recieve his degree**. They also moved him out of Stanford housing, required that he complete community service, and required that he complete a sexual assault awareness program before receiving his degree or coming back to Stanford for grad school.

What this amounts to:

After his suspension (gap year) is complete, Stanford invites my rapist back to campus for grad school (where he has already been accepted) as long as he agrees to do community service and complete a sexual assault awareness course. Should he change his mind and decide to go to grad school elsewhere, he can choose to walk away from Stanford with no significant undergraduate consequences for forcibly sexually assaulting me.

We demand change of our administration and our community in the following ways:

  • Mandatory expulsion for individuals found responsible of sexual assault (following the example of Dartmouth, Amherst, and Duke)
  • Better enforcement of sanctions for assailants to comply with Title IX
  • Expanded mandatory education on definitions, consent and bystander intervention for all undergraduates
  • Increase SARA office capacity by hiring more staff
  • Better resources for survivors throughout their chosen process, including safety measures and academic support

Show your support for survivors.

Thanks for reading,

Leah Sharon Francis


*NOTE: This language is used to parallel the Stanford ARP's language. It does not necessarily reflect views about how sexual assault usually or necessarily happens.

**NOTE: An earlier copy of this letter included that the accused would be allowed to walk at this spring's commencement ceremonies, but Stanford has since decided he may not attend.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 7,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • s misra MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
      • about 1 month ago


    • Araik Gingnagel AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
      • about 1 month ago

      I'm from Amsterdam. My friends and I call Stanford 'probably the best' university in the world, for such an amazing college this is a shame. First, I didn't believe an article on the national dutch news website called '' This should change.

    • Yesenia Terriquez GOLETA, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      Sexual assault is a serious crime that leaves a victim not just physically but mentally scarred. I don't believe anyone should have to go through this, and a reform of resources at one school could lead to a nationwide reform of sexual assault policy in many more schools, and to the halt of this crime. Perpetrators of this crime should also not be allowed to walk free without any consequences They should be punished in accordance to the act they committed, and held accountable. It is not fair to the victim if they are let free, because they might do it again. I sign this petition in the hope that it will lead to justice for Caitlin, and for a change in policy for victims of sexual assault.

    • Mary Enright MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      This is important to me because I still have to explain to someone why this is important to me.

      • 2 months ago

      As the father of two college and college-bound daughters, I want accountability for violent behavior, especially in settings where safety is required and assumed.


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