Stanford University’s participation in this year's Sun Bowl against University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a highly anticipated game.
However, many are zooming in on the disturbing controversy hidden beneath the excitement.
Stanford has been under scrutiny for their mishandling of sexual assault on their campus, particularly surrounding the highly publicized Brock Turner case.
The unnamed footballer invited a sophomore to his room after a party back in 2015. While he claims that consensual intercourse followed, the victim maintains he sexually assaulted her.
During the initial ruling on the case, university officials determined that the disciplinary board must come to a minimum four-to-one vote to find the athlete guilty. Unfortunately, only three of the five members agreed that he committed sexual assault.
Throughout the whole ordeal, the accused has remained enrolled at Stanford and a valued member of the football team. Meanwhile, the victim resorted to leaving the school just to be away from him.
Despite receiving backlash for their policies surrounding sexual assault, Stanford made their procedure to determine a student’s guilt even stricter by narrowing their board down to a panel of three who must come to a unanimous decision to deliver a guilty verdict.
“Everyone knows sexual assault on campus is a serious problem, and one that is very difficult to tackle,” said David Palumbo-Liu, a professor of comparative literature at Stanford. “Many of my colleagues are deeply concerned about it and want Stanford to be a leader in addressing this issue assertively.”
Unfortunately, this type of double standard occurs all too often on college campuses and society in general. Victims are urged to report their assaults, seek justice, and prevent their attackers from striking again. Yet when they do so, they are often victimized all over again by a system that seems to prefer sweeping these incidents under the rug.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Brian Cantoni