Stanford students are urging their university to help fight sexual violence, in a very tangible way. They say the policies in place now for reporting sexual crimes are confusing, and Stanford needs to simplify them.
Though the university can’t change the policies for reporting sexual crimes because they’re governed by federal law under Title Nine, students say faculty can help make the process a whole lot easier, and they’ve presented their ideas.
“Thirty-nine percent of undergraduate women who have been here for four years or more report experiencing some form of unwanted sexual contact,” said student Julia Paris.
Paris said the process for reporting such crimes is overwhelming and needs to be streamlined.
She says it starts with Stanford clarifying online, what policies are used in which situations.
“If I were a student who had been sexually harassed by a faculty member, it would take a lot of Googling and looking at three separate policies to figure out what would happen to me if I reported,” said Paris. “What we’re asking them to do is make it more user-friendly."
Paris also wants Stanford to extend legal services to all students who have reported sexual crimes or misconduct, including those made against faculty members.
“When students report other students for sexual violence, they automatically get nine hours of free legal service, but when students report faculty or staff, they don’t get that free legal service,” she said.
Student Krithika Iyer said victims need all the support they can get.
“There’s so much stigma around it that people don’t feel comfortable talking about and when you let these things fester in the darkness they’re not going to go away,” said Iyer.
The students also want faculty members to put on their syllabi, information about how victims can receive accommodations.
NBC Bay Area reached out to faculty senate for comment and have not received a response.