This story contains references to sexual assault and harassment.
The Undergraduate Senate (UGS) unanimously passed a resolution on October 13 to address sexual violence on campus as part of broader efforts to advocate for survivors. The resolution called for improved blue light and transit systems, condemned the increased security presence on campus, and called for a revision of Title IX procedures.
UGS co-chair Amira Dehmani ’24 said the university’s failure to adequately respond to cases of sexual violence prompted the Senate to draft the resolution.
Sexual Violence Free Stanford (SVFree), which recently fights sexual violence on campus organized a protest, urging the University to expel all students who committed sexual assaults and to fire all faculty and staff who violated Title IX. “As the Senate, we have decided that a statement is necessary to support the community and the efforts of SVFree,” Dehmani said.
UGS Vice President and former Daily staffer Ritwik Tati ’25 said the resolution was prompted by recent security alerts about sexual violence and the University’s decision to increase attendance policewoman. There was 2 alerts in the last 3 months.
“The Senate wanted to state its case that increasing these measures was not going to further protect these victims,” Tati said.
At a meeting of the Faculty Senate on Oct. 20, Patrick Dunkley, vice provost for institutional equity, access, and community, said the increased patrols are a temporary response to concerns of the community.
According to Provost Persis Drell, the University is exploring other measures to address sexual assault on campus, including assessing the need for increased outdoor lighting and appointing a committee to explore the development of an app. security that would allow the Stanford community to receive security alerts on their phones or smartwatches.
250 cameras will be installed per year over the next four years as part of a $2.5 million plan, Dunkley said.
Drell said the University is working to expand resources for those affected by sexual assault, including potentially expanding the confidential support team.
According to Drell, the SHARE Education team is also working on programming and training materials. “[They] working full time to develop additional programs and continue to improve the programs we have,” Drell said. “Sexual harassment training is required for all faculty and staff every two years.”
Advocates at the protest earlier this month also called for identity-focused counselors and trauma-informed training.
Echoing defenders, Tati said the Title IX process is “deeply flawed, especially for professors” who face allegations of harassment or sexual assault.
According to Tati, “We have seen in the past that the Title IX process for faculty is really on a case-by-case basis. So there is no real official policy for this.
The University declined to comment on calls for the firing of faculty members who have allegations of sexual or domestic violence against them, as well as criticism of increased security presence on campus. A university spokesperson pointed to Stanford News’ cover of the Faculty Senate meeting.
The SKU has already spent a Bill of Survivor Rights in February 2022 and a resolution in 2019, both of which called for more resources for survivors, among others. The resolution was signed by every fraternity and sorority during the 2019-2020 school year.
The lack of improvement since led the Senate to draft the new resolution, Tati said.
Tati said the UGS executive committee, which includes the presidents and vice presidents of the Senate, will meet quarterly with Title IX coordinator Stephen Chen to advise on improvements in the university’s response and the Title IX sexual abuse office.
The senators are collaborate on a joint resolution with the Graduate Student Council, which they hope to send to the Faculty Senate next month. “Our goal is to get this forwarded to the Faculty Senate where they can vote on it, and they can move on to administration where it’s finally resolved,” Tati said.