October 13, 2013
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a student at Stanford University. During the 2012-2013 school year the Office of Community Standards let me know that they would be holding a case against me.
My advisor was extremely unpleasant. They treated me in a disrespectful and judgmental manner. Every time I met with them I felt like I was being attacked and I never felt at ease when I was in their office. My advisor was also unhelpful. They constantly gave me bad advice, encouraged me to admit to things I didn’t do, and discouraged defensive strategies. My advisor had little regard for my rights. At no point did I ever feel like this person was my advocate or on my side. This made me feel alone and stressed throughout the whole process.
At a certain point I felt that my rights were negatively impacted by my reliance on my advisor’s counsel, so I sought professional legal counsel.
Initially, I was afraid to disclose that I had retained legal counsel because my advisor had strongly discouraged this and implied that professional legal counsel would not be helpful in my case. Once I got legal advice everything changed for me. It was a night and day difference. My advisor became more helpful and seemed to respect my rights more. My legal counsel also provided me with vital advice regarding the case that my advisor would have never shared with me, and helped me make sure that my rights were not being trampled.
For this reason, I support the Student Justice Project in its efforts to get students that go through the OCS process competent representation. I hope that in the future all students that go through OCS will get the representation and help that I was fortunate enough to have.