Letter to the Editor: Call to Action


Dear Editor,

This letter is a call to action to the Stanford student body. An important review of Stanford’s Judicial Charter is under way, and it is crucial that the voices of our fellow students be heard.

The Office of Judicial Affairs (OJA) is currently undergoing its first major review since 1997, when Stanford’s Judicial Charter was created. Fourteen years have passed since then, and we are investigating what is working, what is not working and what needs to work differently — and we want your input in answering those questions.

As a result of the review, many important facets of student conduct adjudication on campus may change significantly, including but not limited to the following issues:

1) Standard sanction for violations of the Honor Code (one quarter suspension and 40 hours of community service);

2) Specification and use of the Fundamental Standard;

3) Appeals process;

4) Standard of proof for all types of cases brought to OJA (“beyond a reasonable doubt,” “clear and convincing” or “preponderance of the evidence”).

We, the students on the committee conducting the review, would like to stress the importance of student awareness and input to the process and to urge students to contribute their thoughts, be it by a letter to the review committee or by attending one of our many events below.

The committee is comprised of representatives from the Stanford community, including faculty, staff and students who were nominated by Vice Provost Boardman and President Hennessy. The committee has solicited student input through a few channels. Most prominently, the ASSU coordinated a Student Input Forum where each subcommittee heard from students about the specific issues they are investigating. Additionally, four students serve on the committee — two undergraduates and two graduates — with one on each subcommittee who continuously represents the student body. The subcommittees have also spoken with students who serve as judicial panelists, as well as students who have reported and responded to Honor Code or Fundamental Standard violations.

Although students have already contributed much to the review, more student participation is vital for the results of this process to have the most positive impact on the conduct process and campus culture. We are providing a myriad of ways to give input on these issues, because we realize the sensitivity and need for confidentiality in many cases.

Facebook: You can stay updated about the process on the OJA Facebook page.

Anonymous Online Survey: Share your thoughts anonymously on the online survey form.

Email: Send your input to [email protected].

Input Forums: Members of each subcommittee will be available to discuss the review and receive your input on Tuesday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 21 at 12 p.m., location TBD.

Tabling in White Plaza: Members will be available to discuss the review and receive your input in White Plaza Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7 12-1 p.m.

These are important opportunities to learn about the review and to share your thoughts in a process that will change Stanford in a significant way. We sincerely hope you, the student body, will take full advantage of them, and let your voice be heard.


Angelina Cardona ’11, Keya Pandia, Ph.D. ’11, Brittany Riner, M.A. ’11, Ted Westling ’12, Kelsei Wharton ‘12

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