PALO ALTO -- Amid growing concerns and student demonstrations about its sexual assault prevention and disciplinary policies, Stanford University has announced a new student and faculty committee will review its policies and recommend changes.
Stanford also will require new students to undergo online training on sexual assault and harassment before they arrive on campus, provide additional training at orientation and survey students about the climate on campus, among other steps, according to a news release Stanford issued Thursday.
The new committee, led by Stanford Law Dean M. Elizabeth Magill and student government President Elizabeth Woodson, will begin working this summer to advise the university on its educational programs as well as changes in its disciplinary proceedings and sanctions, Provost John Etchemendy told the Faculty Senate Thursday.
"We all have to take responsibility for the climate on campus," the provost stated in the release.
A case involving two Stanford students has mobilized students to demand changes -- including making expulsion the default penalty for those found responsible by the university of sexual assault, which the university says it is considering.
Earlier this spring, the student government formed a task force on sexual assault and relationship abuse and expects to issue a proposal on policy changes this summer.
Some students rallied outside the Faculty Senate meeting, the last one of the academic year, to register their concerns.
Although a judiciary panel found that a male student sexually assaulted senior Leah Francis in January when the two were off campus during winter break, he was permitted to finish his studies at Stanford and will be allowed to return for graduate school in 2016.
Francis, who has become the public face of the student campaign, has agreed to the publication of her name; the identity of the man found responsible for assaulting her has not been disclosed.
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