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.