Stanford surveys students on sexual misconduct and awareness

Content warning: This article contains references to sexual violence.

The Higher Education Sexual Misconduct and Awareness (HESMA) survey launches on April 30, wrote University Provost Jenny Martinez in a Monday announcement to students.

The purpose of the survey, which is filled out by students across ten participating universities, is to “assess the prevalence of sexual assault” at Stanford and “understand student perceptions of Stanford’s climate around these issues,” Martinez wrote. Only enrolled or recently enrolled Stanford students above the age of 18 can complete the survey.

This is the first survey of its kind since Stanford administered the AAU (Association of American Universities) Survey on Sexual Assault and Harassment in 2019, which revealed that 14.2% of respondents reported experiencing at least one incident of nonconsensual sexual contact since entering Stanford.

All survey results are completely privacy-protected, and Stanford administration and affiliates will not have access to identifiable survey responses.

Westat, a third-party independent research firm, will ensure that individual respondents cannot be re-identified by their survey responses before delivering the data to Stanford. Westat was issued a Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC) that protects investigators from pressure to disclose information about participants, even under subpoena.

All students who complete the survey will receive a $25 gift card, which they have the option to keep or donate to one of three nonprofit organizations.

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