Stanford Students Created a Petition to Protect Others From Sex Offenders

June 17th 2016

Taylor Bell

In the wake of controversy stirred by former Stanford student Brock Turner being sentenced to just 6 months in county jail despite being convicted on three felony counts of sexual assault, activists are trying to create transparency for rape survivors on campus.

A Change.org petition with more than 27,0000 signatures is demanding that the prestigious university release the names on its list of known sex offenders at their school.

The petition was created by "a group of sexual assault survivors and their allies" called the Stanford Survivor Solidarity Network, and currently has more than 30,000 supporters, according to USA Today.

Stanford Change.org petition

The organization claims that despite the high number of sexual assault cases at Stanford, the university purposely keeps the name of the perpetrators hidden from students.

"Stanford has a list of names of students who are responsible for sexual assault and misconduct under Title IX," the petition states. "Cases in which a perpetrator is found responsible usually require multiple victims coming forward about the same offender. Despite the high barrier of proof used in these investigations, despite the university’s certain knowledge that these people are threats, Stanford keeps this knowledge a secret."

Stanford released the following statement to USA Today regarding the petition.

“Student safety and security is our top priority. Stanford’s policies are designed to encourage reporting so that concerns can be addressed. If a student poses a threat they will face discipline including expulsion. As with other universities, Stanford’s process for all student discipline matters provides for confidentiality of student identities and outcomes.” — University Spokeswoman Lisa Lapin.

Sexual assault at Stanford.

As ATTN: previously reported, Stanford currently has the highest number of outstanding sexual assault cases under review. In addition, the Daily Beast reported that, on average, there was a rape reported every two weeks in 2012, 2013 and 2014 before Turner infamously sexually assaulted an unconscious woman outside of a fraternity in January of 2015.

This month, a judge sentenced Turner to six months in county jail, a move that sparked national outrage. People condemned the sentence for being too lenient, and argued it was another example of the rape culture on college campuses.

"The truth is, we don’t know who is dangerous, whose innocent-seeming invitation to hang out may turn into a nonconsensual nightmare," the petition states. "But Stanford knows. At the moment, this information can only be circulated in whispers among survivors. And, though legally allowed by FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] to release the names of people found responsible for sexual assault and misconduct by Title IX, Stanford knowingly hides this information."

In an attempt to show solidarity with sexual assault victims and to acknowledge the pervasiveness of sexual assault at Stanford, organizers cited the hashtag #Stanfordknows.

The hashtag has gained a lot of traction on social media.