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Rethinking gender and sexual assault policy: My story

While Stanford has a concrete definition of sexual assault, the SARA Office affirmed that before even consulting legal definitions, it is first up to the survivor to define what happened based on how they feel. I personally do not want to press charges; we both strayed blindly into grey areas that night. Luckily, I came out the other side without any traumatic emotional scarring or depression. However, not everyone may be so lucky if put in this situation. Never once have I called this woman my “attacker” or “assailant” because I didn’t emotionally respond as though it were an attack or an assault. To me, she’s just a student that made a mistake. However, she does deserve to know that what she did is defined as sexual assault. What she does not deserve is expulsion. We need to understand that we can’t solve these grey issues with black and white statements and punishments.

At Stanford, weak sanctions for sexual assault leave survivors as victims

The Student Judicial Charter states: “All members of the Stanford community are invited to propose suggestions about modification of judicial procedures to the Board.” As a member of this community I ask that Stanford strengthen current policies and give out sanctions that reflect the magnitude of the violations committed by students found responsible for sexual assault. Students at Columbia, Harvard and Brown have all encouraged seniors to wear strips of red tape on their graduation caps to acknowledge that there is a serious issue on their campuses and demand their respective administrations amend insufficient policies. I invite all members of the senior class to join me in wearing red tape on our caps at commencement to support survivors of sexual assault and to encourage Stanford to do the same.

Responding to rape at Stanford

We are offended by Evan Spiegel’s language against women and the culture it promotes, but we are more incensed by the very real violence perpetrated by and against Stanford students and our collective insufficient response to it. Too many of our peers are violated by their classmates every year. A 2012 Vaden student survey revealed that four percent of Stanford students report that they have been raped, seven percent penetrated sexually against their will and 15 percent have engaged in intercourse under pressure. This must change. Here are three meaningful steps we can take right now.