I never was really pressed for grades in high school, but kind of pulled it together my last year, and I was genuinely surprised when I was successfully admitted to Stanford.
Stanford academically is one of America’s top universities and also has a beautiful campus, great facilities and top teams in most sports: football, basketball, swimming and more. And I met some of the most important people in my life there.
Later, as I decided I wanted more of a business background, I transferred to Northwestern University where I eventually graduated.
But I have always considered myself a “Stanford man” and followed the teams, the Nobel Prizes, the achievements, etc.
And now a spoiled brat of a kid on the swimming team has made me feel queasy when I think of this school I loved so much.
He raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, was apprehended and caught by two passersby (heroes!) who testified against him; was judged guilty, but his father got expensive lawyers who humiliated the woman (read her letter; she is the ultimate hero). But the jurors still found him guilty; the prosecutor asked for the maximum 14 years, but the judge (good old boys working here?), gave him just six months in a really offensive ruling. (The kid’s father’s letter: “should he really get such an extreme punishment for just 20 minutes of action”)
Now a Stanford Law Professor has asked Santa Clara County Superior Court to suspend the judge, and it happens as this is written that the judge is up for re-election (unopposed), and I and 75 thousand have petitioned the county to remove him.
I guess the most unimportant thing here is my discomfort about Stanford’s reputation; I keep thinking of the continuing horror, nightmares, and more this 23-year old woman will experience for the rest of her life. Maybe the lesson is that we should all feel shame for all evil acts, no matter who commits them, and try to make certain that there is justice.