GSC passes Student Survivor’s Bill of Rights

March 10, 2022, 12:42 a.m.

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) unanimously passed a resolution that calls on the University to promote greater awareness of student’s rights under Title IX during its Wednesday meeting.

The Resolution to Adopt and Endorse the Student Survivors Bill Of Rights, which was passed by the Undergraduate Senate on Feb. 10, will be added to the agenda of the Faculty Senate for discussion.  

Ari Gabriel ’23, a co-director of the Associated Students for Stanford University (ASSU) Sexual Violence and Relationship Abuse Prevention Committee, who has previously written for The Daily, explained to members of the GSC that Student Survivor’s Bill of Rights is a “reaffirmation” of rights already granted to students by the federal Title IX process

“Even though these rights are guaranteed they are not usually given,” Gabriel said.

According to Gabriel, a lack of student awareness about the specific rights guaranteed to students by Title IX is one of the fundamental issues with how the law’s procedures are explained. Gabriel specifically mentioned access to a pro-bono University-identified attorney, to which every student is entitled under the Title IX and SHARE processes, as one of the primary areas of misunderstanding for students.

Gabriel cited their personal experience of having to rely on peers to guide them through the process of gaining legal aid, for example, as opposed to being informed of the right to a lawyer by Stanford’s Title IX office.

The resolution hopes to close that knowledge gap. It calls on Stanford to “publicize information on how students may choose between the three procedures — Title IX investigation, SHARE hearing, and SHARE investigation — through accessible, easily readable resources and graphics.”

“The school’s overview of how the process works, it’s almost impossible to interpret,” Gabriel added. “So having a bill like this, that makes it easy to interpret, is helpful.”

Emily Schell, a co-director of diversity and advocacy for the GSC and a fourth-year Ph.D. student in education, expressed support for the bill’s specified timelines to clarify the Title IX process. 

“The knowledge of [these rights] existing, because they do exist, is critical because a lot of these things can get shifted around or not provided to students because students don’t know they have access to them,” Schell said. 

“This would have been huge in my own institution,” Schell said, recalling her time as an undergraduate. “There was no knowledge about what was an allowable timeline.”

Schell also raised concerns about some faculty’s response to recent tragedies on campus and around the world

She called for more accomodations and empathy from faculty who have not made efforts to acknowledge the impact that the events have had on the student community. 

“There’s just been no acknowledgement in some classes and to me that’s really unacceptable and a lack of support and care for the student as a whole person,” Schell said.

GSC co-chair and fifth-year Ph.D student in communication Sanna Ali echoed Schell’s sentiments, adding that “we think it’s important that faculty accommodate students when the whole campus is grieving.”

Kevi Johnson writes for The Daily's News section. Contact Kevi at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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