Students #StandWithLeah

Several hundred students attended a rally to reform Stanford’s sexual assault policies in White Plaza today in response to a email sent by Leah Francis ’14. Supporters have also been using the hashtag #StandWithLeah on social media sites. To learn about the story that sparked the rally, click here.

  • Mark Power

    Leah Francis had regret sex, NOT RAPE. She should be slut-shamed.

  • David Lam

    That is absolutely ridiculous. Rape isn’t something to be bandied around willy-nilly whenever someone has “regret sex.” Rape is a vicious crime and the response from people like you and others who seek to blame the victim and not the assailant is precisely why we have rallies like this. Rape victims are often too afraid to come out because of the backlash from people like you who seek to slut-shame her. I applaud Leah for being brave and for having the courage to speak out, even knowing that people like you are lining up to tear her down. Hopefully attitudes like this that are emblematic of a rape culture will eventually be fixed because it is downright despicable to act like you know what happened and seek to shame her because of your assumptions.

  • Mark Power

    Fact: 40% of all rape accusations are false. She didn’t even go to the police. Stupid PC progressive filth.

  • David Lam

    Proof of your “fact”? And if she didn’t go to the police, there’s probably a good reason why: police are notorious for berating rape victims and inflicting additional trauma on top of the initial rape (see http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2014/5/19/why-college-rapevictimsdonatgotothepolice.html). Instead of calling me “stupid PC progressive filth,” please realize that comments like yours only serve to make Stanford an unsafe environment where rape is not only allowed, but justified.

  • Concerned 2014

    While I completely agree that Mark has gone too far, I also believe that the school should only expel a student that has been condemned by the judicial system. The OCS is NOT able to judge cases like this, since there is a presumption of guilt when you start the process in the first place. I am sure that Leah has gone through a great ordeal and that she believes that she was raped and mistreated by the administrators of this school. However, that might not be the way a judge or a jury sees the situation. An administrative action is just that: an administrative action. It does not make the person a sexual offender in the view of the law and, thus, we should not call him a rapist. He is not a convicted felon, what happened is that from a biased panel of 5 people who act as both the jury and as a judge, 4 of them found him guilty. That is all… The standards for evidence are VERY low at Stanford and for the most part the panel will convict because they are opinionated people who have applied to be part of the panel.
    Thus, David before raising our pitchforks and saying that this student should be expelled, we should ask for either raising the standards for evidence at Stanford (which I don’t see happening anytime soon) or that this case is dealt with in a normal court. Moreover, this is a case that happened outside of Stanford, thus I am not entirely sure as to why it feels that it has the responsibility and right to act on it. Furthermore, from what I understand, was not taken further by the police. My honest opinion, is that Stanford should not have their students go through the OCS when the case is dropped/discontinued by the police and when it does not happen on campus.
    David, I completely understand that you have a strong view on this point, but as someone who has had a close relationship with OCS and the innocent people who have endured their actions, I refuse to believe that someone is guilty when only convicted through that system.
    Finally, there are people who lie, people who misinterpret the facts, people who see a situation from a victimized point of view. I do not personally know Leah and do not know if she was actually raped, and, probably neither do you… and I do not believe that one should be judging whether or not the responding party should be expelled without analyzing the entire file and the entire situation. And even when analyzing the entire case, one should ONLY call another a rapist when that person has been convicted of the crime by a court of law…
    Finally, my heart goes out to Leah and her family, I am sure that she has endured a lot dealing with the OCS, but if she does in fact believe that she was raped, she needs evidence to keep calling the other party a rapist (and by evidence I do not mean the word of 4 ridiculously biased people of the panel)

  • Wingman

    So….40% of all rape accusations are false, so this one must be too?

  • Disem Power

    Maybe you should site your ‘statistic.’ The figure on false rape accusations is closer to 2-8%, according to the FBI.

    Also, Leah did report to the police as well.

    But you know, go on with your misguided self.

  • Atlanta Man

    Pray that you are never in the accused situation and are forced to eat your words. This guy went home on break and had sex with his ex girlfriend , whom he had had sex with before, while she was drunk. She claims to not remember consenting, claims to have been blackout drunk, and proceeds to destroy his life. The police chose not to move forward so she is destroying his reputation at one of the top universities in the country his senior year when he should be preparing for a career. I have seen men and women get intoxicated have conversations and act in a sexually provocative manner seemingly aware of their surroundings , only to have no memory of it the following day. People should wonder why the police saw fit not to proceed, perhaps someone’s story was insufficient to move forward, perhaps the evidence did not match up.

  • David Lam

    And that’s why every freshman dorm that gets a SARA presentation learns that “you cannot give consent when you are drunk.” And just because he had sex with someone before does not give him the right to have sex with her again. While the only two people that will know what really happened are the accuser and the accused, just flat out victim-shaming is ridiculous. What about her life that has been ruined by this, if it were true?

  • ken

    If the guy is drunk and the woman is sober, does that mean she raped him?

  • David Lam

    Yes, if the guy decides to press charges. No consent was given by the guy. Rape goes both ways, believe it or not. (And if both were drunk? No consent was given both ways, so that would make for an even messier legal case…)

  • ken

    and the guy is responsible for getting a BAC on the woman before sex to make sure she is not legally drunk?
    The other question is that rape and sexual assault are felonies. Stanford really should have no role in prosecuting this.

  • oldstanford

    And isn’t the rush to judgment strange? Within HOURS hundreds of people knew enough to join a demonstration? scary.

  • katniss

    Mark Power. Get your “Facts” straight. You are quite wrong here. Figures on false claims vary: from the most frequently cited 2% – 8% (The FBI statistic). That is exactly the same % of false accusations for other forms of violent crime. No one claims 40%. It’s irresponsible to post inaccuracies. You should be fact-shamed.

  • Jonathan Poto

    Mark, do yourself a favor and educate yourself before making aggressive and hurtful statements. Start here and don’t stop until something hits you have a meaninful thought to share… http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/10/survivorprivilege-schools-george-will-on-the-reality-of-rape.html

  • Jonathan Poto

    There was an egregiousness mismatch of the punishment on the accused (no suspension before graduation and a mandatory gap year before starting masters program) vs. what the Alternative Review board determined (forceable sexual assault). This was immediately evident and demanded an immediate strong response.

    The issue at hand is that the Alternative Review board is equating forceable sexual assault to misconduct of a far less serious nature (such as cheating on piece of work, which has resulted in immediate suspensions). Whether or not you believe the judgement was correct does not change the fact that the judgement itself did not match the supposed crime.

    If the Review Board felt the evidence was weak then it should have changed the judgement rather than lighten the punishment. Instead the Review Board chooses to offer token recognition of sexual misconduct, cheaply trying to satisfy both the accuser and the accused desires (justice and minimal punishment), and minimizes the seriousness of the nature of misconduct that it is examining.

  • Pete McCutchen

    So if the man and the woman are both drunk, did they rape each other? Or are men responsible for the choices they make when drunk, but women aren’t?

  • Pete McCutchen

    Or we could just say that people are responsible for choices they make when voluntarily intoxicated. If I go out and drive a car when drunk “I was too drunk to be responsible” isn’t a defense.

    Reduced inhibitions are a known result of intoxication.

  • Pete McCutchen

    Or they could have said “what happens 2,000 miles away while school is not in session isn’t within our purview.”

  • brookstyle

    Actually, among felonies, false accusations are highest for rape. It’s not easy to falsely accuse someone of killing your friend who still happens to be breathing.

  • brookstyle

    yeah…Alaska is safer.

  • Pau La

    That is not a fact. In reality, rape accusations are not the problem that 4-chan and right-wing conservatives make them out to be. In reality, actual rapes are rarely reported. Far fewer arrests are made than reported and far fewer convictions are made than arrest. You can read that in any sociology textbook.

  • Pau La

    Stanford as an institution has the right to protect its students from psychological trauma. Even if the rapist was not convicted, that does not mean he is not at fault. That could mean he just got away for lack of evidence or certain formalities or, dare I say it, a culture that perpetuates rape and seeks responsibility in its victims. If he didn’t get convicted, he didn’t get convicted but that has little to do with Stanford’s obligation to keep him. Someone who may have raped someone else (and considering actual rape statistics this is very likely if it was reported) puts a negative light on the entire institution and the university may expel whomever they damn well please if it aids the perceived safety of the greater campus community.

  • Pau La

    “I was too drunk to be responsible” does theoretically not function as a defense IF YOU’RE THE PERPETRATOR. You drunk drive, you’re the perpetrator, you drunk rape, you’re the perpetrator, you’re drunk and you get raped, YOU’RE NOT THE PERPETRATOR. It’s fucking time, we stop trying to find a fault in the victim’s behavior and actually attend the fault in the perpetrator’s behavior, for once.