News

Brock Turner survivor withdraws from plaque proposal

Student advocacy group circulating petition seeking the university to issue public apology to victim

Wooden benches and a bubbling fountain have been installed at a site on Stanford University where former student Brock Turner was found sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

The words of the young woman who was sexually assaulted by former Stanford University student Brock Turner made waves around the world, inspiring legislation and activism, but will not be featured on a plaque on campus.

The anonymous woman, referred to by the pseudonym Emily Doe, has pulled out of conversations with the university to place a plaque on campus featuring words from her now-famous victim impact statement. The plaque was to be installed at the site where Turner sexually assaulted her — behind a dumpster, outside the Kappa Alpha fraternity house — an area Stanford transformed last fall by installing benches, landscaping and a fountain.

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, a family friend of Doe's, said Wednesday that Stanford rejected two separate quotes Doe proposed for the plaque, both from her victim impact statement, which she read in court during Turner's sentencing in 2016. Dauber said the decision to reject the quotes was approved by Provost Persis Drell.

Dauber said that Stanford offered alternative quotes, including "I'm okay, everything's okay," which is what Doe recounted telling her sister when she picked Doe up from the hospital after the assault.

"Given this situation, Emily felt the best course was to decline to participate in the memorial plaque," Dauber said.

Stanford spokesman Ernest Miranda said that that the university "could not accept" the quotes she proposed "as they were not consistent with a contemplative space and the intention of a place where members of our community could seek solace."

Sexual assault counselors advised the university that one of the quotes could be "triggering" for victims of sexual violence, Miranda said.

Dauber declined to provide this quote, but said that it was "purposefully selected" because it was the most frequently quoted selection in media coverage.

Miranda said Stanford proposed three alternative quotes, including "I'm right here, I’m okay, everything's okay, I'm right here."

The university also proposed using: "You are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you." and "On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought every day for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you."

Dauber described the university's response as "insensitive" and said that "a great university does not fear its students engaging with challenging texts -- it embraces that opportunity."

The Stanford Association of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention, a student advocacy group, has circulated a petition calling on the university to publicly apologize to Doe and immediately install the plaque with the quote she originally chose.

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Comments

18 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 31, 2018 at 10:17 am

What were the rejected quotes that the university thought were inappropriate?
I agree that "everything's OK" and "you are beautiful" are really poor choices.


21 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2018 at 10:43 am

Constant reminder of what happened that night in a "nice" round about way. Thanks but no thanks!


39 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 31, 2018 at 11:05 am

Perhaps I’m missing something.
A commemorative plaque? Commemorating what?
I can’t for any reason consider that anyone would want to be reminded of what happened that night.
Perhaps this is more about something else?


12 people like this
Posted by fake news
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 31, 2018 at 11:10 am

This is simply untrue -- Stanford never suggested the quote "I'm okay, everything's okay," and the people who are stating this as fact know that is not accurate.


39 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 31, 2018 at 11:23 am

This is a great example of a terrible idea. Dauber wants a platform?


17 people like this
Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 31, 2018 at 11:37 am

Aletheia is a registered user.

Stanford is the epitome of too many dollars and not enough sense. [Portion removed.]


32 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2018 at 11:39 am

What happened that night was clearly wrong, but a bubbling fountain and a proposed plaque? Commemorating what exactly? What will they do for the young female Google engineer whose half naked body was found on Dec 7th in a drainage canal along the San Francisco Bay Trail near Moffett Field? Because it did not happen on Stanford campus it does not matter? Where is the outrage for this deceased young woman who is clearly a victim of foul play, and is now dead, unable to write an essay about it. Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by PM
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2018 at 12:37 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Get Right
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 31, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Get Right is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2018 at 1:19 pm

The whole idea is Stanford working on their image . As someone else said, other victims don't have dedications.


7 people like this
Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 31, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Aletheia is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2018 at 2:39 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Billy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2018 at 3:09 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


11 people like this
Posted by Hinrich
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 31, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Hinrich is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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