Support Chris Duffield sign now

January 19th, 2009

Ms. Chris Griffith
Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Stanford University
Tresidder Memorial Union, Suite 9
459 Lagunita Dr.
Stanford, CA 94305-3010


Dear Ms. Chris Griffith,

As members of the Stanford co-op community, we would like to express our concerns with the recent restrictions on Chris Duffield. Some of us have known Chris for years, while others have only recently been introduced, but we share the belief that Chris has had a positive impact on our lives and is a vital part of our community.

We are aware that some of our fellow students feel uncomfortable around Chris; in fact, some of us initially found it strange to have an older man eating and hanging around our house. As we have gotten to know Chris, we have realized that he is a friendly, gentle, and respectful person who has so much to offer the community. We haven't been told the specific nature of the charges against Chris, so we cannot say whether they are justified or not. If the allegations against Chris are caused by something more serious, Stanford should take steps to make sure its students are safe; however, we believe that Chris has a right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, unless there is substantial reason to believe that someone's personal safety may be at immediate risk in which case we should be notified.

We would like to share with you why Chris has had a positive impact on our community. Eating Associates are a really important part of co-op life: they make the co-ops more open, more diverse, and more alive. Over the past 10 years, Chris has been a stalwart member of the co-op community, and has been consistently willing to give of himself and share with the community. He's always happy to help and can be frequently found cleaning the kitchen. Through our interactions with him, weve found him to be nothing less than respectful, friendly and open. He has shared his vibrant personality and unique life experiences with us. Finally, Chris offers diversity and vitality to our community: as students, the majority of our daily interactions are with people of the same age. Chris provides a refreshing change, and we've learned a lot from his perspective and experience.

Chris has a unique outlook and lifestyle, and because of this he has had to face misunderstanding and even discrimination. However, those of us who have taken the time to get to know him admire his free spirit and strength. We've gained a lot from our relationships with Chris -- especially those of us who may initially have been uncomfortable around him, but learned to step out of our comfort zones and become his friend. With diversity of all kinds so strongly supported on campus, we hope that Chriss positive influences on campus life are taken into consideration. We believe that Gaieties simple, light-hearted parody had implications and consequences unforeseen by its creators which have severely damaged Chriss reputation, not to mention much of his life. We sign below to indicate just how much Chris means to us and our community, and to show that we want him back.

Thank you for your time and all you do for the Stanford Community.

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