October 8, 2013
To: Stanford University
Re: Stanford Justice Project
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a current Stanford student who, because of an experience I felt to be unnecessarily stressful, is writing to hopefully help change a flawed process. During an examination earlier in 2013, I was accused of cheating when I was not. From the moment I was contacted by the Stanford Office of Community Standards (OCS), I felt as if I were being methodically manipulated into believing that I did not actually have the rights listed in the 1997 Student Judicial Charter.
I met with an “Advisor” who was supposed to be impartial. He walked me through the rights listed in the Student Judicial Charter. I was appalled by the manipulative diction used and the blatant lack of respect for the Student Judicial Charter. I felt that the University was trying to convince me they were preparing me for battle, while they were actually taking the ammunition out of my gun. At any chance my advisor could, he manipulated and changed the phrasing of the 1997 Student Judicial Charter to render it meaningless.
It was not until I subsequently received legal counsel that I finally felt that I actually might be treated as innocent until proven guilty and that the Student Judicial Charter actually meant something. While this was comforting, it also made me very angry with the University because I was strongly advised by OCS NOT to retain legal counsel. Until I was protected by my attorney, I felt as if the system utilized by OCS was designed to strip me of my rights, push me through a manipulative and biased process and then find me guilty, independent of the facts. I shared my experience with Dean of Student Life, Chris Griffith, in writing in May of 2013. I have not heard back from her.
Fortunately, because of a backlog at OCS, my case was referred to a Dean at the Law School. She had a legal background. The case was then handled professionally. No charges were filed.
Stanford Student N (Spring 2013 case)