Smart people, dumb decisions


Chris Guerrero

The average GPA for freshmen accepted to Stanford University is 4.18. With all of these smart students, why is Stanford University making such dumb decisions after the short sentencing on the controversial Brock Turner rape case?

The Brock Turner rape case was one of the most controversial sexual assault cases in the history of the United States. It was so controversial because it shed some light on how badly sexual assault cases are treated in the judicial system and at universities. Despite proof that a college student was raped, and obvious mental scarring, Brock Turner was released early from his 6 month sentence for “good behavior.”

Dumb decision number one: Posting an article on the school’s front page about why women should watch their drinking.

Okay, just typing that made me cringe. Whose idea was it to create a sexist article that is basically blaming the rape victim instead of the person who actually committed the crime? The article, which has since been deleted from the university’s website, says that “Alcohol makes it easier for some to meet and talk to new people and is seen as a positive by most people who drink alcohol. The downside is that, by some accounts, alcohol is involved in as many as 75% of sexual assaults on a college campus.” This quote is basically saying to all of Stanford’s students: Hey! Could you please not drink heavily? Because if you do, you run the risk of being sexually assaulted. What they really should be saying to students is: Hey! Could you please not rape people and ruin their life, even if you have been drinking tonight? How could Stanford imply that the rape was the victim’s fault? This post is simply blaming the victim and not Brock Turner, the real criminal in this case.

Dumb decision number two: Banning large containers of hard liquor at undergraduate parties.

The rule itself is actually pretty smart, but the timing was terrible. This rule was made after it was discovered that the victim was drunk when the incident happened. This is a problem because it gave Brock Turner a way to defend himself in court. He blamed the assault on alcohol. He said that the alcohol made him turn against his better judgement, and that he regretted it. If the university says that alcohol was the root of the problem, then Brock Turner can say that as well. “Regretting drinking is not the same as regretting sexual assault,” the victim said in a statement that she read to Brock Turner in court. The real problem here was not alcohol, it was a bad person committing a terrible act.

The Brock Turner case raised awareness of how inappropriately rape is handled in Stanford and even in courts. Instead of releasing a sexist article about female drinking and banning large amounts of hard liquor, Stanford should introduce new policies against rape.
One would think with so many intelligent professors and students that Stanford would have handled this very public case better. In a perfect world, we would count on smart people to make smart decisions. Sadly, Stanford’s decisions proves that our world is woefully imperfect.