In a first-of-its-kind report, Stanford University revealed nearly 200 reports of sexual harassment, sexual violence and other unwanted sexual contact involving faculty, staff and students during the 2016-17 academic year, including 29 reports of sexual assault.
“The report we are issuing today shows that prohibited sexual conduct happens throughout our community at Stanford,” Provost Persis Drell acknowledged in a letter accompanying the release of the report. “I believe the actual numbers of incidents of wrongful sexual conduct are probably larger than are being reported to us.”
Nearly 60 of the incidents involved allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace or academic setting, mostly involving academic staff.
“We are encouraged to see Stanford releasing a report this like,” Jennifer Reisch, legal director at Equal Rights Advocates, a San Francisco-based civil rights organization that focuses on sexual harassment, said in an email. “However, the numbers of reported incidents, especially of sexual harassment and sexual assault, are alarmingly high for one school year.”
Of the 30 formal investigations of sexual harassment in the academic setting, 20 were found to involve a policy violation, with five male staff members, one female staff member, and one male faculty member being removed from the university.
There were 33 reports of sexual harassment involving students, led to two formal investigations, with one male undergraduate being told to stay away from the person who made the complaint and one male graduate student banned from campus for three years after graduation.
The 29 reports of sexual assault, mostly involving students, led to 11 formal investigations, with one male undergraduate student being suspended for three academic quarters, which amounts to one school year. He was also ordered to stay away from the victim and to undergo counseling on alcohol use and respecting personal boundaries. Another male undergraduate received a similar punishment, and one visiting researcher was permanently banned from campus. The school did not immediately respond to a question about whether any of the cases were also prosecuted in court.
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