Minutes from last week approved,
Grad announce due tomorrow by noon
Gabby Grad Formal announcement
-Meet with Joe, got tentative approach, charged tickets, open ball, elegance, wine cocktail; Joe – “We’ll see”, Gabby and Maria meet with Nancy at SAL to get approval so that we can confirm the booking with the Alumni Center; Alumni Center hasn’t dropped us and we should be on for May 13; next step details meeting with the caters; security and floorplan finalized at next spring meetings; so we should have the space; May 13th
-Destressing day; work is continuing on that; February 27th
Black Graduate Students Association:
Requesting $188 in funds to cosponsor event with Black Graduate Engineer Society
Discussion with Dr. Clayborn Carson; discussing MLK’s legacy
Event is this Friday, in Shiriam, expecting 30 grad students
Recommendation $188 for food
-Isa comments on clarifying what Dr. Carson will be speaking; maybe clarify Dr. Clayborn Carson
Votes: 1 abstention, passes
Environmental Humanities Project:
Iberia-Spanish Association at Stanford:
Joint event between Greek and Spanish Student Associations
$400 for alcohol and $900 for food
Greek Student Association already approved for funding
Event is the March 4th
Expecting 200 graduate students
Rec $400 alcohol, $900 for food
Isa asks what the event is celebrating; answer is Easter celebration
Votes: 1 abstention, rest approve
Winter quarter mixer. $15 event services, $60 food, $180 alcohol. This Friday at 7pm at Studio 1 patio. Recommendation is $15 event services, $60 food, $180 alcohol. Voting, passes unanimously.
Prof Michele Dauber here to talk about Sexual Assault
Haven given this same presentation to faculty and student groups, as well as fraternities and sororities. About Stanford’s Campus Climate survey. In October, the 1.9% number was announced by the University, as the sexual assault rate on campus. This number struck many people as too low and as off by a factor of 10, because we usually hear “1 in 5″ or 20%. This number was promoted by the University and added to a sense of confusion in the University. Many news stories used this 1.9% number. This is 1 in 50, while the typical number is 1 in 5, so why so low? Agenda for the talk: explain findings, contrast Stanford findings with peer schools, methodological issues that may explain counterintuitive findings, and “Gender gap in trust”. It’s important to say up front that no piece of research is perfect, there’s always some flaws and problems. The question is: how do you address these issues, and whether, on the whole, the finds are persuasive given the limitations facing the researcher. Prior is that there are benefits for transparency as well as harnessing values from data if we are using uniform instrument with other schools, to allow for easy comparisons across peer institutions. Trigger warning slide is shown.
Key Stanford findings: 1.9% students experience sexual assault at Stanford; 4.7% of undergrad females experience SA; 14.2% of all students experience sexual misconduct; 32.9% undergrad females misconduct; Stanford called this number “unexpectedly high”, from the Provost message from the website; 87% believe that Stanford will take sexual assault reports seriously; 2.7% of students report assault or misconduct. Why is this number so low (1.9%)? 3 reasons: Narrow definition, excludes sexual touching due to force and incapacitation (typically called “Sexual battery”); Averaging of women and men together (from research, women have rates of assault about 5 times higher than men. It’s roughly 50-50 split between men and women, but slightly more men); Methodological issues and choices may well play a role, result was a number far lower than that reported by peer schools. One of the first things that’s important to know is that, the way that Stanford chose to present its data, makes it difficult to be 100% certain of the data. Unlike our peer schools which provided many tables and details, Stanford did not provide any. She had to excavate the data from the document, appendices, and footnotes. IN many places, Stanford provides no number at all. One of the contrasts between Stanford’s survey and the AAU survey that the ASSU wants is the degree of transparency in the data.
Stanford’s definition: beginning in Oct 2014, and since Mar 2015, it has been as follows: Vaginal or anal penetration or oral copulation, accomplished by force, violence duress, or menace, or inducement of incapacitation or knowingly taking advantage of an incapacitated person (as defined in Stanford policy). Prior definition (prior to Oct 2014): sexual assault is the actual, attempted, or threatened unwanted sexual act (not just vaginal, anal, or oral). Left out of this is touching. The most common definition in schools is “any unconsensual acts.” Even in 2014, Stanford’s definition was already narrow, because it requires incapacitation. In 2015, the University changed admin guide to eliminate sexual touching through force or incapacitation. In California this act is sexual battery and is a felony.
Why? It seems that it was to narrow the criteria for which a student could be expelled. Want the expected sanction for sexual assault to be expulsion. We’ve had 10 suspensions, 1 expulsion, and 1 instance of holding a degree. There are no other cases in the past. Because of our definition, all of the single cases could have qualified as a felony in California law. In reaction to this, there was a very visible traction toward increasing the standard sanction. A task force was convened, but before they convened, they redefined sexual battery as misconduct. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a community values discussion of how we should define and punish what we define as the “most severe act”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this discussion, but it led to a discussion of the Campus Climate survey because they had no frame to discuss what we discuss as “sexual assault.” Trevor asks, what percentage of all cases have resulted in any kind of punishment at Stanford? Stanford never used to have a charge for sexual assault until 1996, when a charge was created. Between then and 2010 there were 107 rapes reported under the Creary act, 4 hearings, and 2 findings of responsibility. Both of those things are problems. In the 2010 reform, they wanted to look at why this was the case, try to understand why students didn’t want to participate in the process. Participation immediately went up. This led to the Alternative Review Process, which led immediately to a rise to students using the process. In the 3 years following the ARP, they had 54 reports under Cleary, 12 hearings, 8 finds of responsibility. All of a sudden they had people who were found responsible, but the sanctions did not reflect the offense. This created the controversy with what to do with these people who were found responsible. That’s why there was a movement toward changing the standard sanctions code. She has seen dramatically different sanctions that have been meted out for very similar conducts. It seems entirely random, so they wanted to see a sanctioning code. This resulted in pressure in expulsion for the most serious offense, which caused a transformation in what is defined as the “most serious offense”. This also created a problem for many survivors of sexual battery, who felt that this minimized their trauma by calling it a “misconduct”.
Not included in the definition: sexual touching through force or incapacitation; photograph the abuse of someone; being forced to masturbate a male or multiple males; simulated rape and masturbation onto a victim through force or incapacitation. All these would be a crime and often a felony under CA law. Cal Penal code. 243.4. The federal gvt just issued a big report called the Campus Climate Report validation study. One thing that is notable is that a sexual assault is defined by the Department of Justice to include sexual battery.
Why did Stanford do its own survey instead of doing the AAU survey? The initial reason is that they wanted a high response rate, because many of these other surveys have low participation rates. So the university administration wanted to offer a gift card. The AAU survey would only allow $25 gift cards for participation. Stanford wanted to offer more than the AAU would allow. However, Harvard and Yale got response rates that were similar to Stanford’s. Even Dartmouth or Brown were found to be relevant response rates. Every school that was an AAU member was offered the opportunity to do the survey, but Stanford rejected it. What is missing from this survey? Sexual touching through force or incapacitation. For senior female undergrads, since entering college, our peer schools (Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown) have released results showing from 22-26%. Stanford has not released this number, but they do have the number. We asked a bad question about incapacitation in the survey, so it cannot be compared to peer schools. We are going to have to redo a Climate Survey regardless, we’ll need to do one every 2 years, the question is which one we will do. The office of civil rights is investigating Stanford for this.
The specific definition at schools can change, but you should be measuring the behavior instead of the definitions. The definition of “sexual assault” is probably going to have to change back. We don’t want to have to keep on changing our results because of changes in our definition of sexual assault. One of the problem in sanctioning is that, every time you change the definition, that makes precedents irrelevant. That’s why she thinks we need a sanctioning code that’s dependent on behavior and not from the definitions. She thinks the right thing to do would be to look across our peer schools, and have a community conversation about what we think “assault” is. We should not be changing definitions in order to make sanctions match a certain behavior.
Averaging of men/women together. There are different statistics between men/women/non-cisgendered populations.
Group / N / rate
UG Female / 2152 / 4.7%
UG Male / 2351 / 0.6%
UG Gender diverse / / 6.6%
We also don’t know anything about Latinos, Asians, etc. The tables from the AAU surveys clearly show the granularity in terms of sexual orientations/ethnicities/race/disability vs. female/male/undergrad/graduates. Trevor asks why this data is not anonymized and made available online. She says that the AAU surveys that were done by the consultants have significant human subject concerns, especially when we look at the groups with a small number of people.
Methodological issues that might have played a role. When we look at an apples to apples comparison, even when we compare only similar categories, Stanford reports a much lower number (2-3 times lower than peer schools). Why is that? Possible reasons: Stanford has less sexual assault than other schools (null hypothesis); differences in questions on intoxication and incapacitation compared with peer school surveys; exclusion of “don’t know / remember” compared with peer school surveys. What is the right way to measure SA? Undergrad seniors can report their total experiences with unwanted sexual conduct since arriving at college. Figures that average together freshman,sophomores, juniors, seniors can provide a “snapshot” of all students on campus. But this doesn’t account for the likelihood of being sexually assaulted on campus, because some students have not been there long enough yet. Maria mentions that if we only look at seniors, then that eliminates people who dropped out. If we looked at the “snapshot” picture, Stanford reports 4.7% sexual assault for senior undergrad females (while other schools report 10-13%), while 6.5% for seniors only (other schools show 13-20%). Prof Dauber shows pie charts that show all the sexual violence on campus (sex without consent). Our total sexual violence looks very similar to our peer schools. The only thing that’s different is that we have less “penetration” acts, but equal amounts of total number of sexual violence acts. The way we ask the question on the survey matters.
How “Force” is defined in AAU: “holding you down with his or her body weight, pinning your arms, hitting or kicking you, or using or threatening to use a weapon against you.” Stanford: “holding you down with their body weight, pinning your arms, or having a weapon.” Notice hitting or kicking did not make it.
“Incapacitation” definition. AAU: did conduct occur as a result of your being “unable to consent or stop what was happening because you were passed out, asleep, or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol.” Stanford: “did conduct occur as result of someone “taking advantage of you when you were asleep or unconscious?” Does not mention alcohol or drugs. Looking at Stanford’s climate survey item, there are 2 different options, it may have caused someone to not click all that options that matched.
How big is the range of error? The potential range is very large, because only 165 total students were counted as having experienced sexual assault, but another 173 reported nonconsensual penetration or oral sex due to intoxication. From this 173, many people could have actually fallen into the sexual assault category. There’s no way to know. There’s also 56 students (28 UG women) who do not have any recollection of the events. Stanford did not include these, while the AAU survey / Dept of Justice survey counted them (“even if you are not sure what happened”). There were many decision points during the formation of this survey when Stanford would have had to make a decision to go with the larger or smaller number in the outcome. Stanford seems like it went with the lower number route at each turn.
Duress is also a definition problem here. In Stanford, that only counted threats of physical harm, and not other types of coercion.
The survey also underestimates the prevalence of misconduct. Stanford only counts one incident, and other surveys counts multiple incidents. Ex. if you were assaulted as a freshman and then again as a junior/senior, it didn’t count for Stanford’s one. But having a prior experience of being assaulted is one of the biggest prior predictor for being assaulted.
Overall, the number of “assault and misconduct including lack of affirmative consent for senior females since entering college” is 43.3% at Stanford, which is comparable to our peer schools (39.8% to 46.5%). When we call something “misconduct” instead of “assault”, are we undermining our educations in sexual violence prevention? Sam asks whether Yale (or our other peer schools) have expelled anyone due to anything that’s not defined as “sexual assault” by Stanford? She says she doesn’t know but she will find out and let us know. However, she thinks that they probably have. So the final number is 43.3% of all undergraduate females will experience sexual violence at Stanford, which is a very high number.
Gender gap in trust. Stanford reported that 87% of all students believe that the school will take reports seriously. But they combined “very likely” and “moderately likely” into the same number, which are not the same numbers. Only 2.7% of students have reported their sexual assaults. For undergrads, 46% of women vs. 62% of men think the university will take their reports very seriously. Only 28% women and 45% of men think that the University will hold accountable someone found responsible for sexual assault. Our peer schools also found this same problem, and wrote about it. But Stanford didn’t even write about it.
Schools seem like they are starting to publish details about their sanctions relating to sexual violence. Yale publishes a small blurb about the cases and the sanctions that were meted out.
Resolution on Previous Notice
Relating to building names that are offensive to students. Serra was responsible for construction 9 of the missions in California, responsible for genocide of 90% of the native americans in the area. Sam has some comments. This is on previous notice.
Terence gives another shoutout to Cassie.