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We've gathered together our most frequently asked questions in one space for students to explore.
What Should I Do If?
- Someone threatened me, as a member of a protected class.
Report this to DPS and as a PIH incident.
- A student said something racist to me.
Report this as a PIH incident.
- I want to talk to someone confidentially before I fill out the form.
Reach out to the Office of the Ombuds.
- I want to submit a report anonymously.
Anonymous reporting is not an option.
- What if I want to report an incident that occurred in a class?
Report the matter to the dean of the school (or their designee) where the incident occurred.
- What happens when I submit a report?
A student affairs staff member will review it and respond.
- Is a Protected Identity Harm incident illegal or against policy?
- This is a complicated answer, but it depends on the nature and severity of the incident and this will vary from case to case. Some bias incidents, including hate crimes and unlawful discrimination or harassment are prohibited under law and/or University policy. While the University does not condone PIH incidents, some speech is protected unless it rises to the level of unlawful conduct. Not all PIH incidents are a crime or violate University policy, but they may contribute to creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the individuals and groups affected. You are encouraged to report all PIH incidents, discrimination and harassment so that the University can follow trends and, hopefully, help improve the campus climate. For incidents occurring during academic engagement (academic engagement includes any pedagogical, research and/or educational activities) the issue should be reported to the dean of school (or their designee) connected to the incident. The course of action taken by the PIH Reporting process is centered on healing and restoration. A matter involving conduct that rises to the level of a hate crime or unlawful discrimination or harassment may be referred to the Stanford University Department of Public Safety, Diversity and Access Office, or Title IX Office.
- Who oversees this process?
- Staff members from the Office of Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning, as well as the Office of the Dean of Students. They make decisions in consultation with the Office of the General Council, the Department of Public Safety, the Office of Institutional Access and Equity (which includes SHARE Title IX), the Office of Community Standards, and other offices as needed.
- How do I know the difference between a hate crime and a Protected Identity Harm incident?
- An incident can be both, but generally a hate crime is considered on the more severe side of the spectrum of PIH incidents. A hate crime is a criminal act such as assault, rape, vandalism or intimidation, committed in whole or in part because of actual or perceived characteristics of the target or targets. A hate crime is a violation of both California law and Stanford's Fundamental Standard.
- I experienced a PIH incident. What can I do?
First of all, we are truly sorry that this happened to you. If you feel comfortable or compelled, you should report this. We will respond to PIH incidents no matter the format in which they occur (online, in person, etc). If you would like to talk to a confidential resource before reporting, you can connect with the Office of the Ombuds.
- Is my reporting going to be anonymous/confidential?
- No, the form is not anonymous but it will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible.
- What should I do if I think a faculty or staff member instigated a PIH incident?
- For any academic engagement (academic engagement includes any pedagogical, research and/or educational activities), please contact the dean of the school (or their designee) for the connected school in which the incident occurred. For a staff issue, please contact University Human Resources - Employee and Labor Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- I do not know the identity of the offending party. Can I still report the incident?
- Absolutely. We will respond to PIH incidents regardless of whether it is known who may have instigated the incident as the process is focused on restoration for targeted parties.
- Can I submit a report on a student or student organization?
Yes, you can submit a report about anyone on or off-campus, though how we respond may vary depending on the details of the incident.
- How will the University respond to my report? Will action be taken against the offending party?
- The PIH Reporting process is not an investigatory or judicial process. There are two goals, the first of which is to ensure that the reporting party feels heard and can begin to heal from a potentially painful situation through a restoration process. The restoration process can also apply to an affected community. The second goal is to serve as a mechanism for data collection. Should the matter involve conduct that rises to the level of a hate crime or unlawful discrimination or harassment, we will report it to appropriate offices for review and response. Offending parties are not contacted.
- Why should I report Protected Identity Harm incidents?
- It is helpful to submit information because it allows the University to collect data and we can potentially address concerns that arise that affect different communities in order to encourage healing and restoration. Data from submitted reports may inform future educational and prevention efforts. It is also helpful if you want to partake in the restoration process, connecting with a staff member for solace and support.
- What happens after I submit a PIH report?
- If you solely submitted a report for data purposes, that information will be kept on file and used to inform the University about campus climate. If you choose to report something through the connection route, a Student Affairs staff member will contact you and walk you through next steps.
- What is the timeline for this process?
Once you fill out a report, a Student Affairs staff member will contact you within 48 hours. After that the timeline will depend on your response time, but the staff member will help manage the process so that responses are kept within a reasonable timeframe.
- If I file a report, will DPS automatically be notified?
DPS will not automatically be notified when an PIH report is submitted, but a Student Affairs staff member may share information with DPS if appropriate (e.g., if the incident reported may constitute a hate crime). If you believe the conduct at issue constitutes a crime, you can also report the incident to them directly.
- Will information be shared with the Office of Community Standards?
- PIH reports will not automatically be shared with OCS, but if the conduct at issue could constitute a violation of the Fundamental Standard, then it will be forwarded to that office.
- What if something happens online or off-campus?
- This can be reported as a PIH incident as long as it occurred in connection with a university sponsored event or program to Stanford a through a Stanford related activity (or affect the safety and security of the student community if they do not happen on campus or at a sponsored event). The goal of this process is to find a way to ensure that students feel listened to, heard, and are interested in restoration offered. To the best extent possible, we will work with the informing party to respond to the report.
- How does Stanford address offensive conduct which does not violate University policy?
- The University provides support and resources to affected individuals, and will consult the appropriate University officials, groups or organizations to address concerns in a manner consistent with University policies while upholding freedom of expression. Through the PIH Reporting process the University may host programs or meetings, offer awareness programs or training for the campus community, and support those who have been affected. These programs may be an opportunity to discuss the impact of these incidents and to communicate expectations for community interactions while protecting freedom of expression. We will also collect information from reports to better understand campus climate.
- What is the menu of choices of restoration that I can have?
- There are many choices. You can also work with staff to have some curated for you. See the restoration details.
- How do I ensure that I am contacted in response to my PIH incident report?
- Be sure to indicate that you want to be contacted and include your personal information in the form.
- Will I be contacted if I am named in a report?
- No. The only students we contact are those who submit a report.
- What if I want to find out if I have been named in a PIH Report?
- You can contact the Office of Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning (ICIL) at email@example.com. They will let you know if you have been named in a report. All records are maintained consistent with University recording keeping policies.