SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Stanford University Provost Persis Drell on Tuesday expressed concern about persisting on-campus sexual harassment or violence that many students experienced during their study at the university.
In a letter to Stanford employees and students over a survey that revealed serious issues of sexual assault and misconduct at the university, Drell said she was "deeply troubled by many of the survey findings," which showed that nearly a quarter of Stanford undergraduate women experienced some form of non-consensual sexual contact or sexual harassment when they were attending Stanford for four or more years.
About 50 percent of all non-consensual sexual contact occurred in Stanford residence halls or dorms, and nearly 50 percent of women and 40 percent of men who experienced non-consensual sexual contact experienced adverse academic consequences as a result of such incidents, Drell said.
She also said that it is "distressing" to find that many Stanford students had little confidence in university resources to address sexual harassment or misconduct they had encountered.
Less than half or 44 percent of Stanford students and 29 percent of undergraduate female students believed they could obtain assistance from campus officials when a fair investigation is called for, said the provost.
"Incidents of sexual violence and harassment have considerable and long-lasting effects on individuals who have experienced them. One incident is too many," she said in the message.
Drell said the university will take immediate action to address the issues revealed in the survey conducted for the Association of American Universities, which released the findings Tuesday.
A Stanford community meeting will be held on Wednesday for all university employees and students, who will be briefed on the survey results by the staff from Stanford Institutional Research and Decision Support and Institutional Equity and Access, she noted.
Drell promised that the university will conduct further analysis of the survey data, including an external review by national experts, with a goal to improve on-campus environment and cut the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual violence.
"The prevalence of sexual violence on our campus is a problem that cannot be solved by one person, one group or one office," she said, calling for the help and more engagement from students and other community members to work together to end sexual violence on Stanford campus.