Stanford releases annual crime data and discusses results

While there were few year-to-year changes in most categories of campus crime between 2015 and 2016, Stanford’s 2017 Safety, Security and Fire Report showed a decrease in the number of alcohol arrests and an increase in the number of sexual offenses.

According to the report, 45 sexual offenses were reported to university officials in 2016, including 33 rapes and 12 fondling incidents. In 2015, a total of 39 sexual offenses were reported, including 25 rapes and 11 fondling incidents. The vast majority of these incidents were reported to the university’s Title IX Office, and those reports led to investigations and adjudications under the Student Title IX Process, a pilot process now undergoing review.

The Title IX Office encourages anyone who has experienced sexual assault to consult with on-campus resources, such as Stanford’s Confidential Support Team, or off-campus resources, such as advocates at the YWCA, to understand their reporting options, and to give serious thought to filing a police report as soon as possible after the incident.

Lauren Schoenthaler, senior vice provost for institutional equity and access, attributed the rise in the number of sexual assault reports to increasing awareness of students regarding what conduct constitutes an assault, and a decreasing stigma around bringing forward a report.

“Over the past year, Stanford investigated more student cases than we had in the prior year, and we are hopeful that is a reflection that more of our students are willing to engage with the Title IX Office to resolve and redress their concerns,” Schoenthaler said.

In recent years, Stanford has undertaken many steps to work toward its goal of a campus culture free of sexual and relationship violence. On the website Sexual Respect at Stanford, the university provides continuing updates on existing and new initiatives.

Schoenthaler said Stanford has invested in innovative student training for all incoming undergraduates – Beyond Sex Ed – that focuses on good sexual citizenship. In addition, the university’s Office of Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse Education & Response is bringing new programs to campus this year in partnership with the School of Medicine’s Prevention Research Center and other partners.

“Each year when we review our data, it is a reminder of all of the work we need to continue to do to end sexual violence on our campus, in our community and in our culture,” Schoenthaler said. “We will never be satisfied until these numbers go to zero.”

Other campus crimes

In 2016, alcohol arrests declined to 62, compared with 70 in 2015. Drug arrests declined to 19 last year, compared with 20 in 2015.

In 2016, the university received four reports of aggravated assault, compared with zero in 2015. Deputies made five weapons arrests in 2016, compared with four in 2015. The number of reported burglaries dropped to 56 in 2016, compared with 57 in 2015. Thieves stole 35 motor vehicles in 2016 – mostly golf carts – compared with 36 the previous year.

Last year, the university received reports of six hate crimes: three incidents of vandalism related to religion and national origin; one incident of vandalism related to race; one battery related to race; and one threat related to sexual orientation. In 2015, there were two reports of hate crimes, including one incident of vandalism related to religion and one attempted assault related to sexual orientation.

As she has stated in past years, Laura Wilson, director of the Stanford Department of Public Safety, emphasized that everyone in the Stanford community plays an important role in ensuring campus safety.

With the current national discussion about race and fears about what could happen if one is undocumented, Wilson said it was important that community members not be reluctant to involve law enforcement and emergency medical personnel.

“If someone needs medical attention or if you think they pose a threat to themselves or to others, please use the resources which are available, including the police and emergency medical personnel,” she said. “Failing to call 911 could result in a tragic outcome and that would be antithetical to the value we place on the safety and well-being of our community.”

Getting copies of the 2017 Safety, Security & Fire Report
An electronic version of the report is available on the Stanford DPS website. Print copies may be requested by phone, (650) 723-9633; by email,; or by U.S. Mail, Attn: Crime Statistics, Stanford Department of Public Safety, 711 Serra St., Stanford, CA 94305-7240.

See the entire article on the Safety, Security and Fire Report in Stanford Report.