Three years ago, representatives of Chanel Miller accepted Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” award on her behalf. But at this year’s ceremony on Nov. 11, Miller claimed the award herself.
We, as representatives of our communities, insist that you explain in full why you find it acceptable to, in the name of our university, renege on Stanford’s promise to Chanel Miller and ignore three elected bodies plus 2,200 members of the Stanford community who have made a reasoned and informed request that you honor that agreement.
To breaking the silence that the world’s Emily Doe’s require, we must look to culture, not law. Authority figures at Stanford — residential advisors and deans, in particular — should serve students first, and the institution second — a distant second.
Thinking the way our administration does has dangerous consequences for our education. They clearly believe that a warning is insufficient, that the words must be omitted in the first place. These forms of learning should not be restricted; instead, a simple fix would be to introduce warnings without erasing the original words.
“The first way to take a stand against sexual assault is to be educated,” Lauryn Johnson ’22 said, explaining the motivation for the Chanel Miller book club she created.
Stanford said that she could use language from the Statement, but not the words she wanted. It proposed other words. What’s wrong with that? What is wrong is that the “uplifting” words Stanford prefers are wrenched out of their context in order to make them say something they do not say at all.
A petition to instate Chanel Miller’s memoir “Know My Name” as one of next year’s Three Books has accumulated 776 signatures from the Stanford community, as of Monday. Spearheaded by Professor David Palumbo-Liu, the campaign hopes to honor Miller’s voice and identity, while also bringing awareness of her story to incoming freshmen and the broader Stanford community.
We are asking that Miller’s book, Know My Name, be made one of the Three Books all incoming students read.