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 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.