What is the Stanford Campus Climate Survey?
The Stanford Campus Climate Survey was a web-based questionnaire that asking students about:
- Perceptions of campus community, culture, and safety
- Experiences of sexual misconduct, including questions about sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence
- Knowledge of university policies and resources
- Perceptions of the university’s response to reports of sexual misconduct
Stanford issued the survey in the spring of 2015 and encouraged all undergraduate and graduate students to participate. The survey is now closed.
Below, as a resource, is background information that Stanford provided in spring 2015 to students participating in the survey.
Spring 2015 Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is Stanford conducting this survey?
- I have not been directly affected by these issues – why should I take this survey?
- What kinds of questions are asked in the survey?
- Why are there questions about personal and intimate topics on the survey?
- Who is being asked to complete the survey?
- What about confidentiality — will my name or ID number be associated with my responses?
- If I indicate on the survey that I have experienced sexual misconduct, will Stanford identify my response or follow up with me?
- Does this survey constitute a report of sexual misconduct to the university?
- Is taking this survey required?
- Are there any incentives for participating?
- Will the survey be administered online? Will it be accessible to students with visual and other disabilities?
- Who created this survey?
- What input did students have in the survey?
- How long does the survey take?
- What will the Stanford do with the results?
- Will the survey results be shared with students?
- Can I still provide feedback to Stanford if I do not want to participate in this survey?
1. Why is Stanford conducting this survey?
Stanford is conducting this survey to gather important input regarding students’ experiences and campus climate. The University has two main goals in asking students to complete this survey:
- Like other universities, we want to better understand the frequency and nature of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence and other sexual misconduct involving our students.
- Data from the survey will help the University meaningfully enhance our prevention, education and awareness programs, and resources for students. The findings will assist the University in fostering a safe environment free from sexual misconduct.
The University will share summary results from this survey with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the federal agency charged with enforcing Title IX. By sharing these results, we will contribute to a better national understanding of this problem and to the development of promising practices and standards.
2. I have not been directly affected by these issues – why should I take this survey?
In order for the survey data to be meaningful, we need responses from a representative cross-section of Stanford students. We need to hear from students from all parts of the university and at all degree levels in order to accurately estimate how prevalent sexual misconduct is at Stanford. Your response to the survey is important, even if you have not personally experienced sexual misconduct.
Sexual misconduct on our campus affects everyone in our community, including people who are fortunate to have never experienced or witnessed this behavior. Each of us plays an important role in ensuring that all members of the University community can study, work and live in an environment free of sexual harassment and violence. Your participation in this survey is essential to the University’s overall strategy for addressing these important issues.
3. What kinds of questions are asked in the survey?
The survey asks about your attitudes, knowledge, and experience with sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and relationship violence, and how you view aspects of University culture, policies, resources and responses. You can skip any question and can exit the survey at any time. Information about University support resources will be readily available throughout the survey.
4. Why are there questions about personal and intimate topics on the survey?
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. (See, for example, https://www.notalone.gov/assets/ovw-climate-survey.pdf). These questions use names of body parts and may seem graphic. We were guided by established research practices in the design of these questions.
The questionnaire asks if you have been physically intimate with or been in a romantic relationship with someone so that only students who have had those experiences are asked to respond to later questions about relationship experiences. As with all questions on the survey, your answers to these questions will not be linked to you or your educational record in any way.
5. Who is being asked to complete the survey?
All degree-seeking students over the age of 18 enrolled during Spring Quarter 2015 will be invited to take the survey. A random sample of all students will be selected for more intensive follow-up.
6. What about confidentiality — will my name or ID number be associated with my responses?
No, all survey responses will be anonymous.
- You will receive a unique key via e-mail that will provide individualized online access to the survey.
- The information that makes it possible to tell who has completed the survey will be held only by NORC, a research organization. At no time will Stanford have any access to this information. No one at Stanford will know whether you filled out the survey nor will they ever be able to link your answers to your identity.
- Once the survey is submitted, the data will be stored without individual student identifiers.
- Only summaries of aggregated data will be included in reports of survey results, so it will not be possible to identify a student’s individual response from these reports.
7. If I indicate on the survey that I have experienced sexual misconduct, will Stanford identify my response or follow up with me?
No. Your response is anonymous. The university cannot link your response to your identity.
8. Does this survey constitute a report of sexual misconduct to the university?
This is an anonymous survey and does NOT constitute notice to the University of Title IX prohibited conduct that would trigger a response from the University. Should you wish to report Title IX prohibited conduct, please contact the University’s Title IX Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Is taking this survey required?
Taking the survey is completely optional. Whether you choose to take the survey or decline to participate will in no way affect your standing at Stanford, and no one at Stanford will know whether you responded. Students may receive reminders after the initial invitation goes out to ensure a high response rate. Because achieving the highest possible response rate is the key to reliability of the results, those students selected for the random sample may receive additional requests to complete the survey. No student is under any obligation to participate. However, we strongly encourage participation, as the more students who participate, the more useful the survey results will be.
10. Are there any incentives for participating?
Most students who complete the survey will have the choice of receiving a $20 Amazon gift card or anonymously allocating $20 to one of four local and national non-profit organizations. Information about these organizations is provided at the end of this FAQ.
Some students will be randomly selected into a sample of students for more intensive follow-up and who will be offered a larger incentive: the choice of a $30 Amazon gift card or allocating $30 to one of the four non-profit organizations.
All students are being invited to take the survey because it is important to give every student, regardless of your experiences related to sexual misconduct, the chance to tell us about them. However, a second purpose of the survey is to learn how often such experiences occur. The random sample gives better estimates of the prevalence of sexual misconduct and related experiences in the student population as a whole.
All undergraduates will have an equal chance of being part of the random sample and thus eligible for the higher incentive, as will all graduate students.
11. Will the survey be administered online? Will it be accessible to students with visual and other disabilities?
This is an online survey. The survey platform is compatible with screen reader software. The appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the survey is accessible to all students. If you are concerned about your ability to take the survey, please contact email@example.com.
12. Who created this survey?
With permission, the core content comes from a survey created by MIT and models taken from notalone.gov and the academic literature. Modifications and campus-specific items have been added with input from Stanford faculty, staff and students. The final survey reflects collaboration with experts at The University of Chicago and Rice University, who are also administering parts of this survey to their students this spring.
13. What input did students have in the survey?
Stanford students, selected to be representative of the undergraduate and graduate population, provided assistance with the survey design during Winter quarter. These students provided useful comments and feedback that informed the content of the questionnaire, how best to administer it, and the communication strategy employed to maximize student participation. These students were recruited purposefully to ensure diverse representation from across the University. In addition, students at MIT, Chicago and Rice University also gave input.
14. How long does the survey take?
On average, the survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey will be open for three weeks after you receive your unique survey key via e-mail. You can complete the survey over multiple sessions; any responses entered in prior sessions will be saved. Also, if at any point while taking the survey you feel uncomfortable or don’t want to continue, you can exit. Only your responses to answered questions will be recorded.
15. What will the Stanford do with the results?
NORC, a survey research organization at the University of Chicago, will collect and analyze survey responses on behalf of the University. A summary report will be released to the University community as soon as results are available. These reports and the de-identified individual responses will allow the University to address a wide variety of issues in the months ahead.
16. Will the survey results be shared with students?
Yes, Stanford will release summary survey findings to our community via a report that will be publicly available on notalone.stanford.edu.
17. Can I still provide feedback to Stanford if I do not want to participate in this survey?
Yes; there are many ways students can share feedback on these important issues. A list of resources and University offices responsible for addressing sexual misconduct is provided at the end of this FAQ.
Questions or Concerns about the survey should be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
University Resources for Students
Stanford’s Not Alone site: notalone.stanford.edu
Stanford University Confidential Support Team, 650-736-6933 or 650-725-9955 (after hours)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), 650-723-3785
Stanford Title IX Coordinator, titleix.stanford.edu
Send Comments and Feedback About the Survey To:
Questions or Concerns about the survey should be addressed to: email@example.com
Non-profit Charitable Organizations Students May Donate Their Incentive To:
All students who complete the survey will be offered an incentive in the form of an Amazon gift card or the opportunity to donate the incentive value to one of four local and national non-profit organizations.
The organizations and their websites are:
1. American National Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/
“The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas: disaster relief, supporting America’s military families, Lifesaving Blood, Health and Safety Services, International Services.”
2. Ecumenical Hunger Program: http://www.ehpcares.org/
“EHP’s mission is to assist local families and individuals who are experiencing economic and personal hardship. EHP provides food, clothing, household essentials, support, and advocacy to our neighbors to sustain them through immediate crises and to help them regain stability and independence.
EHP serves working families, seniors, people with limited incomes and those who have both emergency and on-going needs in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and surrounding communities.”
3. Doctors without Borders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
“We help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care.”
4. The Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/
“The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. We address the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale.”