Stanford Advises Students That They Can Seek Support from the DEI Dean Who Supported Their Denial of Free Speech

In what may constitute the most tone deaf response to an academic scandal in history, Stanford University is advising conservative students involved with the recently cancelled Federalist Society event that they can “reach out” to various resources, including DEI Dean Tirien Steinbach who helped shutdown the event. It is akin to the Oscars telling Chris Rock that Will Smith is available as an emotional support coach. You know what is emotionally therapeutic for those denied free speech? Free speech.

Federalist Society leaders received an email (that went to all students) from acting Dean of Students Jeanne Merino to stress that traumatized students could seek “safety and mental health” support resources from various individuals, including Dean Steinbach.

 As previously discussed, Steinbach shocked many by condemning Judge Kyle Duncan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit when he tried to speak at the event. Unable to speak, Duncan asked for an administrator to intervene and Steinbach stepped forward.

Steinbach promptly declared that “I had to write something down because I am so uncomfortable up here. And I don’t say that for sympathy, I just say that I am deeply, deeply uncomfortable.”

She then proceeded to denounce the exercise of free speech itself as stressful and painful for the Stanford community:

Steinbach: I’m also uncomfortable because it is my job to say: You are invited into this space. You are absolutely welcome in this space. In this space where people learn and, again, live. I really do, wholeheartedly welcome you. Because me and many people in this administration do absolutely believe in free speech. We believe that it is necessary. We believe that the way to address speech that feels abhorrent, that feels harmful, that literally denies the humanity of people, that one way to do that is with more speech and not less. And not to shut you down or censor you or censor the student group that invited you here. That is hard. That is uncomfortable. And that is a policy and a principle that I think is worthy of defending, even in this time. Even in this time. And again I still ask: Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Duncan: What does that mean? I don’t understand…

It may be even more difficult for conservative students to understand how Steinbach would help them after she denounced their effort to invite Judge Duncan to speak.

The email is also telling in its reflexive assumption that such conflicts are matters for emotional support. After Steinbach condemned Judge Duncan’s effort to speak as causing untold emotional harm to students, Stanford is now moving to deal with the emotional harm from Steinbach’s words . . . by directing them to Steinbach and others.

While the email is also meant to offer support for all students traumatized by the appearance of a conservative judge on campus, it is the inclusion of conservative students that was most jarring. Conservatives and libertarians generally have not claimed that opposing views are traumatic exposures requiring safe spaces or counseling. What they seek is free speech. However, it may be easier for Stanford to offer counseling than tolerance for a diversity of viewpoints.  It could start by holding accountable those who are responsible for “deplatforming” and shouting down speakers.  It would also involve adding true diversity of viewpoints on the faculty rather than an ideological echo chamber. Instead, the law school is treating conservatives like trauma victims and offering emotional support for an environment of its own creation.

It is also worth noting that Merino suggests that the best way to deal with this free speech controversy is to curtail free speech. The email suggests that “Student organizations should consider pausing their student organization social media accounts until this news cycle winds down, as the law school and university have done. Try your best not to engage on Twitter or any other social media platform, as issues tend to escalate and trolls are looking for a fight.”

I understand that shutting down social media discussions can protect students from public criticism. However, it would also tend to reduce criticism of the law school from within the community. Any controversy will draw wider commentary and criticism. Is it better to avoid that public debate as a member of this community to avoid the trauma of contradiction? This is an existential debate over an anti-free speech culture at the school. If there is a time to be heard as a student or a group (on either side of this debate), it is now.

One group that did not take the advice are the student leaders of Stanford’s chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. They reportedly commended “every single person” who helped cancel the Duncan event, calling them “Stanford Law School at its best.”

If so, the Merino letter is Stanford Law School at its best parody of itself.



98 thoughts on “Stanford Advises Students That They Can Seek Support from the DEI Dean Who Supported Their Denial of Free Speech”

  1. She should be fired merely for the plethora of grammatical mistakes littering her email, not the least of which is using “me” as a subject in her fourth sentence. What an embarrassment this should be for Stanford Law. This woman is not educated.

  2. Perhaps the market will take care of this by knocking Stanford down to a less prestigious place in the law school rankings. Judges will stop going to the campus unless they align politically and they will stop picking clerks who studied on that campus. The progressives always shoot themselves in the foot with their activism and this is no different. This is exactly the sort of behavior that should make Stanford a less prestigious school. Their students are overly emotional and unserious so let another school move up.

  3. You owned this for me! No doubt the reason two students black killed themselves the last two weeks at sehs….is because they had free speech! Or any modicum of freedom! Not. No they are ruled by a totalitarian facist. Formalizing doing the yonder companies bidding…not the legislatures…voters or if it’s loci parentis…parents bidding. Don’t matter. And two are dead…because they are so happy with facism! Now I gotta worry my own kids imitation which is stressful enough. But this zero tolerance policy came about to create disparate impacts by who? Will you do pro bono at send after nate and makela killed themselves? That waiting for the local school board to obey state law….is too long to wait. And using the school with the most minorities for the pilot program for disparate treatment is unethical…especially to use them to root out the lengths of their own immunity is perveted.justice! But here they are pushing the envelope…on their systemic school to prison pipe line! At the most minority school and the poorest they test their liability field….of all places why? .

  4. Silicon Valley is filled with Stanford graduates and dropouts steeped by the university in disdain for freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, and equal protection under the law. Their comeuppance cannot come soon enough.

  5. TO: Stanford University’s Federalist Society Conservative Students.

    I urge you to ‘Fight this Fire with Fire!’
    Your ‘intellectual liberty’ was lost by Liberal Opportunist.

    It is “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.” – John Milton

    Take this time to read ‘Paradise Lost’, and grow stronger (Fortify your Position & Advocacy).

    You won’t regret it.

    1. Excellent recommendation.

      Paradise Lost is a fantastic Poem and one of the most important peices of literature.

      But it is not alone. There is so much excellent work that people should read.
      Mark Twain, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Melville,
      so many many many others.

      Take a month away from Netflix, and read something classic and timeless.

  6. Stanford’s response is about as ridiculous as:

    A wife goes to a judge for a protection-from-abuse order, claiming that her husband physically abuses her. The judge’s response: wait, isn’t your husband a licensed therapist? You could use some therapy. Go see him get some therapy.

  7. Federalist Society leaders received an email (that went to all students) from acting Dean of Students Jeanne Merino to stress that traumatized students could seek “safety and mental health” support resources from various individuals, including Dean Steinbach.

    This has got to be a Babylon Bee inspired email response. If it wasn’t, it will be. I am 100% confident that Jeanne Merino (she/her), Acting Associate Dean of Students, reached deep within her available DEI form letters to craft this ESG-measured response.

    This country is being flushed down the toilet by truly stupid smart people.

  8. I still find it hard to believe this is occurring especially at one of the higher weighted Universities.
    I know it has been getting worse and worse and now it appears to be standard operating procedure.
    It should be an embarrassment for the USA, but I suspect most of the government views it as a great development.
    It should shame the teachers and administrators but certainly more than 90% applaud it nationwide.
    So we have already headed off the edge of the cliff and are in free fall.

  9. Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad,
    Quod erat demonstrandum.


    “Distrust diversifications, which usually turn out to be diworseifications.”

    – Peter Lynch, One Up Wall Street, 1989

  11. In the present: Oh DEI dean, I have been so traumatized for months by the thought of this Judge speaking on campus that my anorexia has become even worse and my bouts with agoraphobia are occurring more and more often. In the future: Oh Judge I have been so traumatized for months by the thought that opposing council has treated my arguments so badly that my anorexia has become even worse and my bouts with acrophobia are occurring more and more often. Could we (tearfully) have a recess now to give me time to gather myself. Ohhh the pain!! Ohhh the pain!?!

  12. Here is the emotional support these students need: When we all hear the words, “You’re fired” ….and watch DIE dean pack up her office and leave in disgrace, THEN we will simma down….a bit. But this ain’t over Stanford; it’s just beginning, buckle up. Now we go on offense and we stay there, pedal to the metal.

    1. What these students (and courageous faculty) must say is: hey Stanford, you don’t get to treat us like dogsh*t and expect us to simma down now. That ain’t how it works no mo’. We about to get loud. Very loud.

  13. “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    – William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    1. Stanford Commie/Fascist pcs of DogSh*t!

      Later read what that J6 judge said today the Govt’s cover up of the Govt’s Coup against us!

      They’ve been scheming for a long while.

    2. “Operation Mockingbird: The Role Of The CIA”

      “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” This statement was made by William Casey, the director of the CIA in 1981. It begs the question: how exactly did the CIA plan to accomplish it’s malicious agenda on such a massive scale? In 1975 Operation Mockingbird was revealed to the public as a result of investigations held by the Select Committee in regards to intelligence activities of the government. According to the Congress report published in 1976:

      “The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.”

      – Bartleby

  14. What a message. Simmer down and shush it, y’all. This too shall pass. Looky here, we got some emotional support for you all! We’ll have baskets of stuffed animals for you to take for free. This will help y’all simma down now.

  15. I’m at a loss. None of this is a secret or subversive anymore. The institutions and their bullsh*t exist; so what is wrong with the parents that continue to pay for their kids to go to these schools? A minefield, after mines have been laid, is just a minefield. If no one walks across it, it is just an inert field, that hopefully is dismantled.

    This problem is bigger than curriculum, and as the spouse of a woman that teaches kids every day – this is not magically manifesting out of thin air when they get to school. Modern kids’ brains are jelly, and you could just as easily spread them on toast as tell them Mao is awesome. That is 100% the fault of their original home environment. Sorry, it is. Whatever your political stripe. Until we own up to that, and address it, the destruction of the past 20+ years will sally forth.

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