Student (2012-2013 case) Letter

October 2013

 To Whom It May Concern:

I am a student who was found not guilty in an Honor Code case within the Office of Community Standards.

I feel it necessary to outline here the events surrounding my case, given the lack of due process I received.

Let me first state outright that my case was immediately dropped upon second investigation of the witness’s testimony. Through this additional round of questioning, the witness relayed information that pertained to other students involved in the allegation, but my innocence became clear. I did not go to a hearing. My case was dropped.

This happened over four months after the original complaint was filed. Had I been granted access to the witness immediately, my case would have been dropped in a matter of days. I was denied access to the complainant and to the accuser from the minute my case was filed. This created a system that held me guilty before proven innocent.

When I received the materials that wrongly accused me of an Honor Code violation, I was instructed not to discuss the paperwork under any circumstances with the other students involved. This, I felt, also assumed my guilt without sufficient evidence. It disabled me from building a proper defense.

The last point, which I feel needs to be addressed is the length of time it took to correspond with individuals in the Office of Community Standards. I would write letters approximately every other week to the individuals handling my case, Jamie Pontius Hogan and later in the process, Koren Bakkegard. These letters contained time-sensitive questions regarding steps that I needed to take to ensure I received due process. I asked for the name of my witness. I received no feedback for three weeks.

My case stands as an especially strong example of the loopholes that exist in the Stanford Judicial Process, given that I was found innocent. I have no doubt that other innocent students did not take the appropriate measures to ensure their due process, resulting in a wrongful conviction.

Stanford University should rethink its current Judicial Process and reconfigure its operations within the Office of Community Standards. Stanford students deserve better from their institution than that which currently exists as the norm within this office.



Case considered in 2012-2013

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