PALO ALTO, Calif. — It could have been mistaken for any other late afternoon in the expectant days before graduation. Seniors shuttled four years of possessions from the Kappa Alpha fraternity into waiting U-Hauls that would carry them away from Stanford for the last time.

But the students weren’t talking just about commencement, or summer, or jobs ahead. Their conversations this week, like so many on this elite campus these days, kept turning to sexual assault.

It was inescapable on their phones and laptops, what happened just a few hundred feet away and its lingering impact: A woman left one of their parties drunk, passed out behind a dumpster and was attacked by a Stanford swimmer.

“We’re horrified that this happened here,” said Dominick Francks, 22, a Kappa Alpha brother. “Everyone is pretty blown away.”

As the nation was riveted this week by the victim’s account of the January 2015 assault and its effects on her, this community has continued to cope with – and learn from – what has become a prime example of the problem of college sexual violence. Here, at Stanford, it overshadowed everything else.

Within an hour of the victim’s letter being posted online, Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers’ phones lit up: “You need to read this.”

Fraternity members said they were deeply shaken by the letter, describing it as eloquent, eye-opening and brave. One said he hoped it would become required reading.

The case resonated nationally because it encapsulated the problem of sexual assault on campus, with all its complexities and jarring headlines, from the Baylor football team’s assaults that led to the ouster of the coach and president to high-profile cases at Vanderbilt, Florida State and so many others.

A statement from Brock Turner’s father – arguing against jail time because “That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life” – went viral.

“Everyone on campus is talking about it,” said Dulcie Davies, a graduating sorority member.

It was just outside the Kappa Alpha house last year that a freshman left the party drunk and sexually assaulted an unconscious woman. Turner, a swimmer and Olympic hopeful, withdrew from the school, was banned from campus and was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault.

When the 20-year-old from Ohio was sentenced last week – to six months in jail, three years of probation and a life as a registered sex offender – many people were shocked. The prosecutor had asked for six years in prison.

When the letter the victim read in court, 12 pages of eloquent agony, was published on Buzzfeed, more than a million people signed online petitions demanding that Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky be removed from the bench, and a formal recall effort was launched. Persky got death threats.

The events prompted difficult questions within the Greek system. Although Turner was never a member of Kappa Alpha, he met the victim at one of their parties and assaulted her nearby.

Fraternities had been on notice since July 2014, when sexist jokes at a toga party at Sigma Alpha Epsilon led to harassment complaints. The students later lost their house.

News of the Turner assault made women on campus feel less safe, students said. But the victim’s letter, and the campus discussions in recent months, also had some positive effects, she said.

“It just brought to light the smaller situations that happen,” Davies said. “Now people are coming to terms with saying things like sexist comments are not OK. In the past, it would have been played off.”