Stanford approves Chanel Miller plaque following years of protests

ByKris Reyes via KGO logo
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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Stanford University has finally given approval to a plaque bearing the words of Chanel Miller, the woman sexually assaulted by Brock Turner in 2015.

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Stanford University has finally given approval to a plaque bearing the words of Chanel Miller.

The plaque will be placed in the contemplative garden built on the site of Miller's sexual assault in 2015.

READ: Victim writes letter in Stanford sexual assault case

Stanford student Brock Turner was convicted of the crime in 2016.

The garden, meant as a healing and reflection space for survivors of sexual assault, was supposed to get the plaque three years ago. But, Miller backed out of the agreement when the university rejected her chosen quote, words from her victim impact statement: "You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today."

At the time, administrators called the words not supportive of a healing space.

TIMELINE: How case against Brock Turner ignited debate on sexual assault

"You walk past that contemplative garden and it's a beautiful place and what it's doing is masking the reality of the pain and hurt that took place there," said Shanta Katimapula, one of the many Stanford students who protested in support of Miller and the plaque.

"Stanford should have put that plaque on the ground three years ago. So, every day that goes by is another day that they are failing to show the kind of integrity that students and faculty have the right to expect them to show," said Michele Dauber, law professor at Stanford University. Dauber successfully spearheaded the campaign to recall Judge Aaron Persky, who presided over the Turner trial.

According to a lengthy explanation online on Tuesday, Stanford's provost Persis Drell said a recent campus survey changed her mind about the plaque and its words. The results showed students felt that sexual offences were happening too frequently in their community. Drell said the survey results provide a clear message: we need to confront sexual violence openly and aggressively at Stanford.

RELATED: Show of solidarity at Stanford for Chanel Miller's memoir

Miller has not made any public comments on the university's decision but her supporters say it shouldn't have taken years of protests and petitions to get the approval.

"We had to run every play in the book essentially to get to this point," said Katimapula.

"I think it's long past time to install the plaque and what I see right now is more promises but still no plaque," said Dauber.

There is still no timeline for when the plaque will be installed.

Take a look at full coverage of the Brock Turner sexual assault case.