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Remember... it is okay to not be okay.

"Walking the Farm", an annual 23.5-mile trek of the perimter of Stanford lands. Credit Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service


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We've gathered together our most frequently asked questions in one space for our communities to explore. 

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What Should I Do If?

  • Someone threatened me, as a member of a protected class.
    Report this to DPS and as a PIH incident.
  • Someone 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 form anonymously.
    You have this choice (the form is actually defaulted this way).

Featured FAQs

  • Who can I make a report about?
    Any individual or group, in an incident either on- or off-campus.
  • What happens when I submit a report?
    A student affairs staff member will review it and respond.

Detailed FAQs

  • 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 take appropriate action to help improve the campus climate. 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?
  • How do I know the difference between a hate crime and a Protected Identity Harm incident?
    • Generally a hate crime is considered more severe. A PIH incident is conduct that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group on the basis of one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics: race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. 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 occur 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?
    • The form is defaulted to be anonymous. If you would like to report this via the "Data Route," this is the way to do so. If you choose to do this, the University’s ability to respond or address the concern may be limited, in the way that we cannot gather additional information or move towards individual resolution. However, it is helpful because as the name states, it allows the university to have data. If you would like to report this via the "Connection Route,"  you will need to include your name so that we can follow up with you. Any personal information you disclose will be kept confidential to the extent possible depending on the details of the incident. 
  • What should I do if I think a faculty or staff (whether student staff or professional staff) member instigated a PIH incident?
    • If you feel comfortable or compelled you should report this. We will respond to PIH incidents regardless of the role of the offending party, though there might be limits on how we respond, depending on details. It also may be appropriate for the University to report the matter to the individual’s supervisor or Human Resources. 
  • 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.
  • Can I submit a report on a student or student organization?
    • Yes, you can submit a report about anyone on or off-campus, though our response may very depending 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 our resolution process. The resolution process can also apply to an affected community. The second 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. 
  • 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 resolution process, connecting with a staff member for some restorative practices.
  • What happens after I submit a PIH report?
    • If you solely submitted a report for data purposes, that infomormation will be kept on file and used to inform future decision making. If you chose 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 yourself
  • 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 happens to me if I’m “named” as an offending party by someone else? (for students only)
    • This process is not judicial or punitive (unless something rises to the level of hate crime, unlawful discrimination, or harassment).  If there is a desire from the informing party, someone from the Division of Student Affairs may contact you to see if you will be willing to participate in a resolution process. Doing so is voluntary and optional. It will only be offered if both the informing and the responding party ("you") are interested. 
  • What if something happens online or off-campus?
    • This can be reported as a PIH incident. The goal of this process is to find a way to ensure that students feel listened to, heard, and are interested in resolutions offered. So 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 respecting 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 resolution that I can have?
  • 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.