Additional campus climate survey analyses issued; review of terminology begins
The university has completed and issued additional analyses of data from last year's campus climate survey of Stanford students. In addition, a working group has begun reviewing Stanford's nomenclature around prohibited sexual conduct.
Stanford has issued a set of additional analyses of the 2015 Stanford Campus Climate Survey, providing extensive further detail about the experiences of Stanford students with nonconsensual sexual contact, broken out by demographic and academic characteristics.
The climate survey, taken by both undergraduate and graduate students in the spring of 2015, was an effort to obtain students’ views of campus climate at Stanford as well as their experiences with prohibited sexual conduct since coming to the university. A report of the survey data collected was issued in October 2015.
That report noted that the university would pursue further analyses to better understand variations in student attitudes and experiences. The university also has conducted additional analyses in response to questions posed by faculty and students in recent months.
A resolution recently adopted by the Faculty Senate also recommended the release of additional analyses from the climate survey.
“The detail in these additional analyses should help everyone in the campus community, including those who work with students, better understand the dimensions of the challenge we face and the ways in which it may affect particular groups of students,” said Stanford President John Hennessy.
“The data continue to demonstrate that we have a serious problem with nonconsensual sexual conduct at Stanford. Our expanding efforts at education, prevention, support and adjudication must continue, and they must have our serious attention.
“In addition, we will be looking at these analyses to help us do a better job of recognizing and addressing the experiences and concerns of particular groups of students within our community.”
The additional analyses consist of 43 pages of tables supplementing those in the original survey report. They provide the campus community with more granular detail about issues including:
- Student experiences with different nonconsensual sexual acts and different tactics used to commit those acts
- Prevalence rates of prohibited sexual contact by ethnic group, sexual orientation, disability status, class year and extracurricular activities of respondents
- Experiences of fourth-year undergraduate women with prohibited sexual contact during their entire time at Stanford
- The relationship of aggressors to survey respondents and to Stanford
- Factors that students take into account when they consider sharing or officially reporting an act of prohibited sexual contact
- Perceptions of campus climate and campus safety by ethnic group, gender, sexual orientation and degree program
- Student perceptions of how much faculty care about them, how strong a sense of community they feel at Stanford and other measures by demographic group
Unlike the original survey report, the additional analyses are being released without accompanying narrative. Members of the campus community are encouraged to spend time reviewing the analyses to understand these complex issues.
Two-thirds of undergraduates and 53 percent of graduate students participated in the spring 2015 survey, for an overall response rate of 59 percent. Administrators of the schools within Stanford have been briefed on the results of the survey for their schools.
The university intends to survey the student body once every three years in order to gain longitudinal data about student experiences and the university’s progress in preventing and responding effectively to sexual violence and relationship violence.
Nomenclature review also begins
In addition to issuing the additional analyses, consistent with the recent resolution adopted by the Faculty Senate, the provost has asked an advisory group to review and make recommendations on the nomenclature Stanford uses in its policies to describe different kinds of prohibited sexual conduct, and in particular the use of the terms “sexual assault” and “sexual misconduct.”
The group, chaired by Stanford Law School Dean M. Elizabeth Magill, already had been convened to follow and assess the success of the university’s pilot Student Title IX Process. In addition, the group will now review the nomenclature Stanford uses to describe prohibited sexual conduct and will make a recommendation to the provost on the matter.
Stanford’s current policies on prohibited sexual conduct, including the terms and their definitions, are contained in Administrative Guide 1.7.3.