Widgets Magazine


Letter to the Editor: Due process and the ARP

To the Editor:

I write in response to Neil Chaudhary’s opinion piece of Nov. 20, 2014, in which he comments on the current judicial process at Stanford, and particularly about elements of the Alternate Review Process (“ARP”). I agree with Mr. Chaudhary that the issue of how to handle cases of sexual assault on campus is one that Stanford must carefully consider. My colleagues and I are focused on ensuring that our processes for adjudication of infractions of Stanford’s Fundamental Standard and Honor Code are transparent, fair, and responsive to feedback from the Stanford community.

I do think it’s important to clarify a few of the points Mr. Chaudhary has raised. First, the ARP does allow students the opportunity to challenge reviewers. Students are provided with the names of their case reviewers in advance of their hearing. If a student objects to the presence of particular reviewers on his or her panel, and can demonstrate good cause for removing those reviewers, substitutions will be made. Second, due process requires that a student charged with a violation of the Fundamental Standard or any other Stanford policy receive notice of the nature of the charge against him or her, and the opportunity to respond to the charge. The ARP includes both of these elements of due process. Additionally, it’s important to note that the ARP provides both parties with the right to appeal the outcome of their case.

As the Stanford community is aware, the Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault is currently engaged in a review of the ARP. I urge anyone in the community who has input about how the ARP should work to bring their thoughts to the Task Force for consideration.

Susan Fleischmann

Susan Fleischmann is an Associate Dean of Student Life and the Director of the Office of Community Standards. She can be contacted at susan14 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

  • Stanford Male

    “Second, due process requires that a student charged with a violation of the Fundamental Standard or any other Stanford policy receive notice of the nature of the charge against him or her, and the opportunity to respond to the charge.”

    Susan, with all due respect, that is just one element of due process–I think you’ll find that the ARP falls quite short of what actually is considered a fair process in the united states.

    At Stanford, any man that is accused of sexual assault / misconduct / harassment is at the mercy of his accuser–whether he is innocent or guilty. If I were a women, I could get any guy I wanted on this campus suspended (soon expelled) using your process. You might tell yourself that women don’t make this type of stuff up (and I do believe most reports are at least well-intentioned), but that doesn’t change the fact that the ARP is a far cry from due process.

  • P.A.R. Caldwell, ’66

    Rape is a moral issue and will not be eradicated with legal procedures. The Stanford community as a culture must decide that it will not tolerate rape. Once a community is no longer in denial about the reality of sexual abuse, it can begin to protect its members.
    Did you realize that children used to be blamed for being sexually assaulted? (They were too provocative and the poor abusers could not help themselves.) The young victims were also accused of lying and destroying reputations of their adult abusers. The abuse of children was not stopped until the teachers and councilors were mandated to report it (if they suspected any abuse). Even with that mandate, as anyone familiar with the Sandusky case knows, it is difficult to break through the denial. No one wants to admit the horror of what is happening.
    The non-victims and non-perpetrators are the ones who must wake up to the reality of rape (it happens) and the damage it does to an individual (the depression and anxiety lasts for years).
    If everyone in a dorm or fraternity reported suspicious behavior, rape would stop. isn’t that what the Honor Code asks you to do? Isn’t their supposed to be zero tolerance for cheating? How about zero tolerance for rape before it happens to you or someone you love?

  • skeptic

    That’s just a bunch of lies. Rape is not currently tolerated. Due process has to remain in place though. Look up the teachers child molester hysteria. You’ll see what happened with child molestation was similar: media and society built lots of hype over the idea that there might be a conspiracy of religious purpose where teachers abuse children for their cult.
    It was discovered later this was just mass hysteria and senationalist media. If you want to do the same with rape on college campuses, go ahead, but don’t complain if people call you crazy.
    For those who don’t understand, look into this and compare with what’s going on now: