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Overview of Stanford Policies

These university policies address sexual harassment, prohibited sexual conduct, Title IX, and consensual romantic or sexual relationships at Stanford. Collectively, the policies apply to all students, faculty, staff, and others who participate in Stanford’s programs and activities. One or more of these policies may apply to your concern.

Sexual Harassment Policy

(Admin Guide 1.7.1)

Where sexual harassment has occurred, the University will act to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and discipline or take other appropriate action against those responsible.

The Sexual Harassment Policy includes the following sections:

  • Definition of Sexual Harassment
  • What to Do about Sexual Harassment
  • Procedural Matters
  • Resources

This policy went into effect in 1993. It is subject to periodic review, and has been amended as needed to remain relevant and timely.

Read the policy

Prohibited Sexual Conduct

(Admin Guide 1.7.3)

Prohibited Sexual Conduct is a severe form of sexual harassment. This Guide Memo outlines Stanford's definitions and policies relating to Prohibited Sexual Conduct: sexual misconduct, sexual assault, stalking and relationship violence.

In addition to defining terms relating to Prohibited Sexual Conduct, sections of this Memo cover

  • Consent
  • Getting Help and Reporting
  • Confidentiality
  • Retaliation
  • Education and Prevention
  • University Response and Resources
  • Other relevant topics is a  comprehensive University web page dedicated to sexual violence awareness, prevention, response and support. The web page contains a list of resources and describes reporting options.

According to the Office for Civil Rights, sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will, or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Examples of acts of sexual violence include:

  • rape
  • sexual assault
  • sexual battery
  • sexual abuse
  • sexual coercion

In addition to University disciplinary actions, someone who engages in Prohibited Sexual Conduct may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation.

Read the policy

Consensual Sexual or Romantic Relationships in the Workplace and Educational Setting  

(Admin Guide 1.7.2)

This policy

  • highlights the risks in sexual or romantic relationships at Stanford between individuals in inherently unequal positions;
  • prohibits certain relationships between teachers and students;
  • in other relationships: requires notification and recusal from supervision and evaluation.

Specific sections of the policy cover in detail relationships with students, between students, and in other contexts.

Read a synopsis of the policy’s important points

Read the policy

Stanford Student Title IX Investigation & Hearing Process

This document addresses Stanford University’s responsibilities under the Title IX statute and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). Together, these prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender in federally-funded educational programs and activities, and require that universities have procedures in place to be able to respond when such discrimination occurs.   

Title IX offers protection for students who experience sexual assault and harassment severe enough to deprive them of equal access to the full range of opportunities available at the University. Under Title IX, sexual violence that affects students is considered to be a severe form of sexual harassment. 

This process addresses all instances in which a Stanford student is alleged to have engaged in prohibited sexual conduct. This term includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual misconduct, relationship (dating) violence, and stalking. The policy applies whether the alleged prohibited conduct occurred on or off campus.

Learn more about Stanford’s Student Title IX Process