Instead of teaching students not to rape — Stanford University bans hard liquor
Stanford University has undoubtedly endured a public relations disaster with convicted rapist Brock Turner drawing attention to lax college and university policies that shrug off rapists like “boys will be boys.”
Instead of buckling down with new sexual assault prevention policies, Stanford has apparently taken a different approach. As Marisa Kabas at Fusion points out, Stanford changed its alcohol policy and it’s making many wonder if this is their response to Turner.
Stanford made news this year when it was revealed that they allegedly tried to silence their students’ creepy stories about Turner. Women on the swim team reported that they were uncomfortable around Turner but the university pressured them against revealing it.
Turner was ultimately convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault for raping an unidentified 23-year-old student, but it was the six months sentence that the judge gave Turner that brought national attention. It has now been revealed that Judge Aaron Persky has a history of letting domestic abusers off as well. Judge Persky also gave a person convicted of child pornography just four days in prison. He was then forced to drop a case involving a sex offender in which he was expected to show leniency.
One juror in the case was so disgusted by Judge Persky’s light sentence that she wrote a letter to the editor attacking him.
“With the ridiculously lenient sentence that Brock Turner received, I am afraid that it makes a mockery of the whole trial and the ability of the justice system to protect victims of assault and rape,” she wrote.
To make matters worse, Turner penned a letter blaming the rape on “party culture” and alcohol, but not accepting responsibility for his actions. Witnesses shredded Turner’s statement that he was too drunk to know better, saying that he “didn’t seem drunk” and wasn’t slurring his words.
Stanford Law professor Michele Dauber, a friend of the rape victim, suggested the only actions Stanford has taken thus far is to agree with Turner that alcohol was to blame. Rather than holding mandatory meetings that teach men what consent is and that rape is wrong, instead of building safety alert devices on campus or even increasing campus security, this has been the only thing Stanford has done in response to the rape problem.
Stanford “still has yet to apologize to the victim, offer to pay for her therapy, or even install a light over the dumpster,” Dauber wrote on Twitter.
Kabas received a statement from Stanford that was emailed to all students saying in part “we must collectively work to address the root causes” of those students who don’t feel “a sense of belonging.” It’s unclear if “a sense of belonging” is being used in this case as a euphemism for safety.
“Among the concerns we hear are that some students drink alcohol as a means to overcome social anxiety and others feel alienated by their peers’ drinking, sometimes to the extent that they do not feel welcome in their own houses or organizations,” the email to students continued. “These dynamics are unacceptable to us, as are the range of problems that are too frequently associated with alcohol misuse.”
They clarified that high-risk drinking was not a problem that only Stanford faces, rather most colleges and universities do. “But we believe that the strategies we pursue to address the negative consequences of this behavior must be rooted in our particular campus culture and our respect for one another,” the email said. “We trust that you will rise to this challenge so that our campus continues to be a vibrant place of learning and inclusion for all its members.”
The email then went on to outline the rules banning hard liquor and other regulations. Dauber told Kabas that she hopes this isn’t the entirety of Stanford’s response to the Turner rape. Unfortunately, it’s the entirety of Stanford’s response as of today.
It is unclear if there might be other #NewStanfordRules that will include regulations on lower hemlines, chastity belts or tarps being required as a means to “protect” women from rapists.