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Report: Stanford Responded To Nearly 300 Sexual Harassment Incidents In 2018-19

STANFORD (CBS SF) -- Stanford University responded to 279 reported incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence and gender discrimination on campus in the 2018-19 academic year, according to a university report.

The university's third annual Title IX/Sexual Harassment Report was released Monday. The report outlines the ways in which Stanford responded to the reported incidents on campus and in university-associated programs with data from Sep. 1, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019.

The 279 incidents in 2018-19 is a significant increase from the 211 incidents in the year prior. Stanford attributed the increase partly to the inclusion of gender discrimination as a category for data collection.

The number of formally completed investigations decreased by 5 from the previous year, going from 57 to 52, while the number of interventions increased greatly, from 49 to 102.

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The university says interventions take place when allegations that are true may not rise to the level of a policy violation, but the conduct is "nonetheless objectionable."

"Interventions also occur when a complainant does not want the university to conduct a full investigation and the university considers it an appropriate way to address the concerns," the report explains.

Stanford Provost Persis Drell made a statement on the Title IX report. "Publishing the annual Title IX report is one of the ways we can hold ourselves accountable as a community. Creating a campus culture free of sexual violence and all other unwanted sexual behavior is our goal and reaching that goal will require the involvement of every member of the campus community," Drell said.

The report was was prepared by Stanford's Office of Institutional Equity and Access and included data collected by Stanford's Title IX Office, the Sexual Harassment Policy Office and Human Resources/Employee Labor and Relations during the 2018–19 academic year.

Provost Drell was concerned about underreporting of sexual misconduct incidents as a result of the data, assuming that the actual numbers may be "much greater."

"I hope that the annual publication of the Title IX report encourages anyone experiencing unwanted sexual conduct to come forward so that the issue can be addressed."

In November, two Stanford University students reported being possible victims of the date rape drug, part of a string of reports from students who believed they had become victims of drugging. In recent weeks, there have been six such cases. In the first incident reported, a female student tested positive for the date rape drug.

A Stanford Ph.D student who didn't want to give out his name told KPIX that he worked for a student service that gave safe rides to peers on campus for four years as an undergraduate in 2015.

He said by law, they would have to report crimes, but many times it could take weeks or months before students learned about an incident.

He said that has changed, however, and that Stanford University now pushes the alerts immediately after an incident is reported.

Earlier in the year, Stanford released two other reports shedding light on the prevalence of sexual violence and harassment on campus: the AAU Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct and the Annual Safety, Security and Fire Report.

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