During Wacky Walk this Sunday, graduating seniors are planning a protest in the wake of the Brock Turner sentencing decision. Participants will sport signs and cap decorations supporting the victim in the Turner case and other victims of sexual assault, and students who are off-campus will be able to show their support via a social media campaign.
Brianne Huntsman ’16, the chief organizer of the demonstration, has been following the Turner case since news of Turner’s arrest emerged in January 2015. Huntsman, who was an organizer for the Stand with Leah protests in 2014, said she was motivated to organize the Wacky Walk demonstration after hearing the sentencing decision in the Turner case and observing reactions.
“I saw the same sort of verbage being used: ‘What was she wearing? What was she drinking? What about this, and what about that?'” she said.
According to Huntsman, the goals of the protest are threefold: to recognize the pain of survivors, to honor the survivor in the Turner case and to call for a new campus climate survey. At the time of publication, the Facebook group dedicated to planning the protest had 121 members.
The protest is intended to be educational in nature. Participants plan to address the crowd with questions about men’s role in combating rape culture and the interplay between race, privilege and sexual assault. Because many friends and family members of graduating students will be attending Commencement, Huntsman said she hoped the protest would be an opportunity to reach an audience beyond that of only Stanford’s student body.
The protest is not meant to disrupt Wacky Walk, traditionally a processional during which students don eccentric get-ups on the way to their seats. Huntsman and many of the other participants in the protest will still be wearing costumes as regular attendees of Wacky Walk.
“This is a place where we’re tackling big issues,” Huntsman said. “Yes, we’re having fun, but we’re also facing this broader issue affecting Stanford.”
Contact Victor Xu at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu.