Stanford seeks student input on campus climate, safety

Stanford is encouraging all students to participate in a survey on campus climate that will be launching next week.

The anonymous online survey asks students about their perceptions of campus culture and safety, including their experiences with sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and relationship violence. The university will use the results to better understand the prevalence of these incidents in the campus community and to inform improvements in programs.

A link to the survey will be emailed next week to all Stanford students over the age of 18 who are enrolled in degree-seeking programs – undergraduate, graduate and professional. The survey will be open until May 8.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring a safe campus community here at Stanford,” President John Hennessy wrote in an email to all students, encouraging them to participate in the survey. “Hearing the experiences and perspectives from all of you is critical to that effort.”

Answers to the survey questions will never be linked with individuals. Summary results of aggregated data will be provided to the Stanford community when they become available. Most students should be able to complete the survey in 10-15 minutes.

Hennessy encouraged all students to participate in the survey, even if they have never personally experienced or witnessed incidents of sexual misconduct.

“It is essential that all students participate in this survey, whether or not you feel these issues affect you personally,” Hennessy wrote. One objective of the survey is to determine the frequency of acts of sexual misconduct at Stanford, and a high response rate is critical to the reliability of the results.

Students who participate in the survey will have the option of receiving an Amazon gift card or anonymously allocating the value of the incentive to one of several non-profit organizations.

Some of the questions in the survey are personal in nature. Academic research has shown that the most accurate way to estimate the prevalence of sexual misconduct is to ask detailed questions about behaviors and experiences. Students will be able to opt out of any questions they do not wish to answer, and no answers will be tied to any individual student.

The survey is based on a model campus survey developed by MIT and also has been informed by best practices provided by the federal government and academic literature. Modifications and campus-specific items have been added with input from Stanford faculty and students. The final survey also reflects collaboration with experts at the University of Chicago and Rice University, which are administering parts of the survey to their students.

More information about the survey is available on the Office of the Provost website. Any member of the campus community seeking support or assistance for issues relating to sexual violence is encouraged to contact any of the campus resources listed on the university’s Not Alone website.