In the spotlight again, Stanford rebuts New York Times story on sexual assault

Article details alleged rape by current football player

A New York Times story describing Stanford University's "struggles and pitfalls" in adjudicating sexual-assault cases -- explored through the case of a former female student who said she was raped by a current member of the football team -- was quickly condemned by the university as an inaccurate assessment of its efforts to "aggressively to address the scourge of sexual assault."

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9 people like this
Posted by Stanford alum
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2017 at 9:15 am

Denies and rebuts are not the same thing. This really does not seem like the right headline to me.

33 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2017 at 9:40 am

The university has a huge conflict of interest in trying to protect its reputation at the same time it investigates these crimes. If crime victims really want justice, they should report their crimes to the real police, not just to the university.

3 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2017 at 10:43 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@resident - you should read the Stanford response, it addresses your concern directly.

"Why does Stanford investigate allegations of sexual assault? Shouldn’t this be left to the police?

We encourage all victims of sexual assault to report to the police, although some of them choose not to, for a variety of reasons. We are not – nor do we claim to be – a substitute for a criminal process."

Also note, even though the title of the NY Times article says "majority agreed" that is irrelevant, because the standard of guild was 4 out of 5. And in something this serious, it probably should have been 5 out of 5.

"The Stanford process applicable at the time of the case discussed in the Times story required an affirmative vote by at least four out of five panelists to hold a student responsible for a sexual assault. That requirement was quite similar to the requirement for civil liability in California’s court system where a significant supermajority of jurors (at least nine out of 12) must agree that a plaintiff has proven his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence before a defendant can be found liable."

15 people like this
Posted by Kaz
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm

"Imagine a senior, who has paid four years of Stanford tuition," Etchemendy told the Times. "Being expelled is really a life-changing punishment. I think we as an institution have a duty to take that very seriously."


Thank god Etchemendy is on his way out. His words imply that it isn't good business to investigate the paying customers. Er, I mean, the paying MALE customers. By implication, men at Stanford get a nod and a wink about sexual crimes. "Heeey buddy, you're paying a lot for our prestigious degree. We'll protect that investment for you." -- at a cost to female students, who pay the same tuition but are clearly being cheated: they don't get value-added protection from being held responsible for their behavior, and they don't get a discount for the very real risk of being raped. The psychological burden of that fear, and the extended trauma to those who are raped, makes college that much harder for women than men.

STANFORD IS RIPPING OFF ITS WOMEN STUDENTS by giving more value to males at the direct expense of females. Class action lawsuit, gals? Or perhaps individual suits for the tuition paid by victims of sexual assault while at Stanford.

Let's try turning that around:

"Imagine a senior, who has paid four years of Stanford tuition. Being RAPED is really a life-changing TRAUMA. I think we as an institution have a duty to take that very seriously."

Which attitude befits the president of Stanford best?

3 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2017 at 4:17 pm

[Post removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Stanford alum
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2017 at 6:12 pm

[Post removed.]

10 people like this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Based on anecdotal evidence it seems like most schools try to protect their image through drawn out hearings, alternative punishment (no jail), etc.

If either of my daughters were still in college I'd tell them if anything happens, the school is not your friend. Call the police and work with them through thick and thin to help them get a conviction.

4 people like this
Posted by someone
a resident of another community
on Jan 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Why does paloaltoonline deletes any Pro-Stanford comments while keeping all the inflammatory comments against Stanford? Is this what journalism teach you?

15 people like this
Posted by Just call the police
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 5, 2017 at 8:13 pm

Just call the police is a registered user.

Simple solution, schools stay out of criminal investigations. If a crime is committed it is reported to the police. Period.

6 people like this
Posted by Stewart
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm

Could it be that Stanford is applying significantly more effort, time, and money to kill the messenger of bad, but likely very real news, than it ever did investigating the numerous sexual assaults reported on its campus? It's reputation is it's source of revenue, and it's pretty clear where their priorities appear to be.

Why any victim of sexual assault on Stanford, or most any other college campus, trusts the University to do the right thing is sadly a mystery to me.

7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2017 at 9:55 pm

'Stanford quickly defended its handling of this and other cases, calling the article one-sided, inaccurate and "incomplete." '

Attacking the accuser does not exonerate the accused. Doesn't anybody over on The Farm study logic anymore?

11 people like this
Posted by I'll trust the NYT thanks
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 6, 2017 at 8:12 am

[Portion removed.]

"Expel" is a verb. It means "to force out : eject; to force to leave (as a place or organization) by official action : take away rights or privileges of membership <expelled from college>

You cannot "expel" yourself. [Portion removed.] One must "be expelled," one cannot forcibly remove one's self. One can "withdraw" or "leave." That is what has happened. [Portion removed.]

"Although ​the New York Times reported that ​Stanford ​​originally told the Times ​there had been no expulsions for sexual assault since the new Title IX process was rolled out (later correcting it to one), after the story was published the university said the total was actually four, since 2014. ​

In a statement to the Weekly, Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said the university has decided to categorize as expulsions cases where a student accused of sexual violence who voluntary withdraw​s from school​, as Brock Turner quickly did after being arrested for sexual assault in 2015, or leave the university through the non-hearing resolution process​, as Stanford said one student did last year."

5 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 6, 2017 at 11:10 am

Kaz, Remember the story in Rolling Stone, which turned out to be a hoax. Or the story of the Lacross team, which turned out to be a hoax. Universities must consider both sides of the story and have PROOF that the incidents occurred.
The best thing to do, as many comments have said, is to immediately contact the police and let them handle it. They will contact the University, as appropriate, to the investigation.

1 person likes this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 8, 2017 at 4:14 pm

The issue is "due process" and whether such is even achievable now. Any questions?

3 people like this
Posted by Making Stanford Great Again
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 10, 2017 at 12:14 am

Here I fixed it for you:

"Imagine a senior, who has paid four years of Stanford tuition WHO IS RAPED BY ANOTHER STUDENT," Etchemendy told the Times. "Being RAPED is really a life-changing EXPERIENCE. I think we as an institution have a duty to take that very seriously AND MAKE SURE THAT THE VICTIM CAN CONTINUE HER EDUCATION WITHOUT FEAR OF SEEING HER ATTACKER IN HER DORM OR DINING HALL, AT MINIMUM.

Sadly that is not what he said.

The plain fact is that Stanford admin quoted in the Times did not express one single syllable of concern for this poor victim who had to actually LEAVE STANFORD because SU refused to grant her a no-contact directive. That's it. That's the bottom line. No one can say that it's a "life changing consequence" to get a no-contact directive because it is not.

And as for the idea that Stanford is "evaluating" this program how much evaluation do you need? Your results are in. The wait is over. This victim is so pissed that she has left Stanford and is now haunting you on the front page of the New York Times. She hates you. Probably her friends hate you. Her family probably hates you. They probably tell everyone they meet how badly you treated her and what horrible human beings you are. I think even a Stanford genius could tell you that flunks the basics of good policy. If that's your policy, start over, you did it wrong.

2 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2017 at 2:25 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

Here is a better summary for those who didn't read the article, "the player had not been found responsible." Since the player was found not responsible, what justification would there be for punishing him?

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