Stanford University has canceled plans to put a plaque on the campus site where a former athlete sexually assaulted a woman after the university and woman could not agree on a quote to use on it, a university spokesperson said.
Stanford is deferring to the victim nicknamed “Emily Doe,” who removed herself from the project after the school rejected two quotes from her statement made during the sentencing of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner in 2016, university spokesperson EJ Miranda said Wednesday.
Miranda said the university agreed to turn the assault site into a garden and contemplative space where members of the community could seek solace, but said the victim’s two proposed quotes were inappropriate for the purpose of the site.
“Sexual assault counselors who work with survivors advised the university that one of the quotes proposed by Emily Doe’s lawyer, that the university was seriously considering, could actually be triggering to survivors of sexual violence,” Miranda said.
Miranda also said that the university offered three quotes from the same impact statement to the victim as a replacement, which were “all eloquent and consistent with the purpose of the garden,” but she denied them.
These quotes included, “I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here,” “You are beautiful, you are 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.”
Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor and a family friend of the victim, originally suggested the plaque. She said in a statement that the university’s “poor handling of the situation” hurried the plaque that was intended to have a deeper meaning of acknowledging the sexual assault.
“Emily Doe’s impact statement inspired millions around the world,” Dauber said. “It would have been a real benefit to the Stanford community to have a quote from this important piece of writing selected by the author for that location.”