The Editorial Board seems to believe that allegations equal guilt. In the United States, one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The Editorial Board questions, “Why would Stanford faculty, regardless of knowledge of investigation details, choose to honor without reservation a member … ?” This entire sentiment is accusatory and unjust.
The Stanford Daily article referenced in this editorial has nothing more than student accusations of misconduct. The article states that, in those cases, the accusers did not press formal charges. A University investigation was conducted, which resulted in a two-year suspension. It is not evident that any additional evidence was discovered by that investigation. But if any evidence was discovered, that evidence was not made public, so it cannot be judged as worthy by the public (including The Daily’s editors). It should be noted that a University investigation falls far short of a criminal investigation; the burden of proof is not nearly the same.
This idea that one should be judged based on accusations without evidence places an immense amount of power on any accuser. The Daily’s editors are suggesting that, without evidence, an accuser should keep an accused from prominence. I wonder if the Editorial Board members would agree with the sentiment voiced in their editorial if they were accused of misconduct themselves without any evidence.
– Nicholas Dwork, Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering
Contact Nicholas Dwork at ndwork ‘at’ stanford.edu.