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Sexual assaults, attempted assault reported

Provost Persis Drell responds


Two sexual assaults and one incident of unwanted sexual conduct were reported to the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) on Saturday.

The assaults — both between a male suspect and female victim — occurred when the victim was unable to give affirmative consent. They took place on Friday on campus at an unspecified time and exact location, but were believed to have happened at the same time and place.

The unwanted sexual conduct, classified as an attempted assault by SUDPS, occurred between a female victim and a suspect of an unspecified gender. Both are Stanford students. The incident began late Friday evening and continued to after midnight on Saturday.

In both the assault cases and the attempted assault case, the incident was reported to SUDPS by a University official with reporting obligations pursuant to California law, rather than the victim herself. That is, because victims informed a Campus Security Authority (CSA), that person is required to report the incident to SUDPS’s Clery Compliance Coordinator for statistical purposes. A CSA, according to SUDPS’s 2018 Safety, Security and Fire Report, is anyone who has responsibility for campus security or has “significant responsibility for student and campus activities” — including residence staff and 5-SURE escorts.  

In the case of the assaults, the reporting party kept the victims anonymous, as per their request. Neither has reached out to SUDPS. The victim of the attempted assault wished not to be contacted by SUDPS and for her experience not to be investigated.

In a Notes from the Quad Blog Post from Provost Persis Drell that shortly followed an AlertSU notification of the incidents, Drell urged the victims to reach out.

“We are distressed to hear these reports, and we hope that the victims will come forward to allow both the university and the police to investigate,” she wrote.

Drell emphasized the University’s Confidential Support Team as a resource for students who have experienced sexual violence, but acknowledged the message reports send to the campus community.

“These reports, while not investigated at this point, are a reminder that we still have far to go in our efforts to eradicate sexual violence in our community,” Drell wrote. “They are a call for each of us to recommit ourselves to creating the environment of care, safety and respect that we all wish to see at Stanford.”


Contact Julia Ingram at jmingram ‘at’

Julia Ingram ’21 The Daily's Volume 256 editor-in-chief. She is a New York City native majoring in English literature and working toward a career in news reporting. Contact her at jmingram ‘at’