Campus Climate Survey - Fall 2017

Introduction

During fall 2017, Alfred University conducted its Title IX Campus Climate Survey. Climate surveys are useful tools because they can illustrate how effective we, Alfred University, have been in communicating with students on the topic of sexual violence, gauge which efforts are working and which can be improved, and identify new needs that have yet to be addressed. To create the survey, Alfred University adapted questions from the Campus Climate Survey Validation Study (CCSVS). Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) funded the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), within the U.S. Department of Justice, to develop and test a pilot to the CCSVS survey so it could be implemented by schools or researchers, and used to address key Task Force goals and issues related to the measurement of rape and sexual assault in self report surveys, to capture student's feedback and perspectives on subjects related to sexual misconduct, including their experiences of sexual assault and related misconduct, the likelihood of their engagement in bystander intervention, and their knowledge of Alfred University's processes, response, and support services.

We then supplemented the based survey with questions based on language in New York State's Education Law 129-b The survey was reviewed by the University's Institutional Review Board prior to being issued. The University encouraged all the enrolled students to participate, and the responses were anonymous and completely voluntary.

This report provides a summary of the survey's initial results. We plan to share the results more widely with our community in spring and fall of 2018 as part of our communication, awareness, and education plan. We are grateful to the 331 students who volunteered their time during fall 2017 to complete the survey to help improve our efforts to combat sexual misconduct.

This document addresses that topic of sexual violence and may be difficult reading for some people.



Number of survey Responses: N=331 – 18.09% response rate

Number those reported ever being sexually assaulted to campus officials: N=4

Number of sexually assaulted* from Aug/Sept. 2017 to Nov. 11, 2017: N=20

Number of sexually assaulted* from Aug/Sept. 2017 to Nov. 11, 2017:N=11

*Since the beginning of the current academic year in August/September,2017, has anyone had sexual contact with you by threatening to tell lies, end your relationship, or spread rumors about you; making promises you knew or discovered were untrue; or continually verbally pressuring you after you said you didn't want to? Sexual contact includes: touching of a sexual nature, oral sex, anal sex, sexual intercourse, sexual penetration with a finger or object.

Survey responses that reported unwanted sexual contact
When did the unwanted sexual contact occur? Responses
Prior to the start fall 2017 semester 6
August 3
September 7
October 8
November 2
Unsure 8

Of the 1837 students who received the survey, 331 responded, for an 18.09% response rate. In response to questions, participating students identified and described themselves as:

  • Gender Identity: 61.30% of respondents identified as female, 34.98% as male and just over 3.72% as transgender or another specified gender identity.
  • Academic Status: 80.86% were undergraduate students, while 19.1% listed themselves as graduate school or other. 

Some students answered every question while others were more selective in answering. The survey also used skip logic, meaning that the survey created a custom path through the questions based upon a student's responses. For instance, a student who reported experiencing a sexual assault would then be asked questions as to whether they reported that experience to anyone, the various responses and services received, and other questions. Conversely, a student who did not report being sexually assaulted was not asked questions that did not flow from that initial response.

Results:

  1. Participating students were asked to Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree about the following perceptions of the general campus climate. "Agree" as used below includes responses of Strongly Agree and Agree.
    • 88.94% agreed that they feel safe on campus
    • 94.26% agreed that the leadership and administrators treat students fairly
    • 81.92% agreed that Alfred administrators treat those accused of sexual assault fairly
    • 88.94% agreed that Alfred school is trying hard to make sure that all students are treated equally and fairly
  2. Education and Knowledge of Campus Leadership and University Policies and Procedures (including the definition of Affirmative Consent and the differences between the University Policy and the NY Penal Law). Participating students were asked to respond either “yes”, “no” or “don’t know/don’t remember” about our University’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures and for other related information which is listed below.
    • 52.26% of participating students remember receiving education related to campus policies and procedures regarding incidents of sexual assault (definitions, how to report and incident, confidential resources, procedures for handling complaints)
    • 57.21% were familiar with the definition of affirmative consent regarding sexual activity for the campus community
    • 58.08% were familiar with the University's Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures
    • 78.11% agreed or strongly agreed that Alfred University is doing a good job of education students about Sexual assault (e.g., what consent means, how to define sexual assault, how to look out for one another)
  3. Prevalence of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence (Dating and Domestic Violence)
  4. Knowledge of Reporting Procedures and Available Support Services and Resources, Prevalence of Reporting on Students' Experiences (identifying when students reported and the reasons why students did not report)

Sexual Assault

The vast majority (90%) of participating students reported having no experience with sexual assault since arriving at Alfred University.

94.27% reported not experiencing unwanted sexual contact by force or threat while 93.58% reported they had not had any attempt of this type of unwanted behavior.

Of the 6.42 % (N=19) of participating students who responded that this behavior happened to them, they were asked as to what types of unwanted contact occurred, participants could provide multiple responses, which were: forced touching of a sexual nature (89.29%), sexual intercourse (15%), sexual penetration with a finger or object (16%), oral sex (4%), anal sex (4.17%), and some did not know what happened (20%).

Intimate Partner Violence; Dating and Domestic Partner Violence

Alfred’s Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits not only sexual assault, but also prohibits dating and domestic violence, labeled together here as intimate partner violence. Students were asked to indicate whether any of the following types of behavior happened to them caused by a casual, steady, or serious dating or intimate partner while at Alfred.

97.76% of participating students did not experience any form of intimate partner violence.

Of the approximate 2% who reported experiencing dating or domestic violence since Aug/Sept 2017, below is a list of some of the highest responses (not all) as to what a participating student reported happened to them; students were permitted to select all that applied:

  • 6.88% were pushed, grabbed or shoved
  • 2.27% were slapped, hit, kicked, or beaten up

Alcohol and / or Drugs prior to an Incident

Alfred University has for decades had an alcohol amnesty or “good Samaritan” policy similar to the provision promulgated in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Education Law 129-b. Students are informed through publications, orientation, and other education and training that conduct charges will not be brought against them for reporting the use of alcohol or drugs when making a report of a violation of our sexual misconduct policies or when calling for assistance because of intoxication. The information collected below is so we have a better understanding of how incidents can happen and in no way means that because a person used alcohol or drugs they caused or are to be blamed for being sexually assaulted.

Of the approximate 10% of participating students who indicated that they experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact:

  • 58.33% reported drinking alcohol or drug use just prior to the unwanted behavior;

Who was the Other Person Involved

The students who indicated having experienced unwanted sexual behavior (approximately 5.73% of participating students) were asked who was involved. 52.94% indicated that the other person was a student at Alfred. The other person involved was described in many ways; below are descriptions listed the most in the responses and is not an all-inclusive list. Participants could select all that applied.

  • 47.06% were acquaintances
  • 29.41% were strangers
  • 5.88% were current partners and 11.76% were ex-romantic partners
  • 0% were professors or TA's
  • The other person involved was described as 88.24% male, 11.76% female.

Where did these Incidents Occur

42.31% happened on-campus with all others occurring off campus; some students were unsure where it happened. It should be noted that the University's policy jurisdiction covers off-campus incidents.

The University provides resources and support to students who encounter sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and stalking no matter where or when an incident occurs. We provide the same support and resources to any student even if the person who caused such harm is not someone within our community nor can be held responsible through our University's policies.

Overall, participating students indicated they knew where to go for help if they or a friend were sexually assaulted (76%) and were familiar with available resources both on and off-campus such as the health center or crisis line for those involved in a reported incident (81.38%).

When asked for similar information, 83.06% of participants indicated they were likely to report sexual misconduct (instances both on and off-campus), including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.

Who Did Students Tell of the Unwanted Sexual Misconduct

  • 79.17% told roommate, friends, or family members. It is not surprising that the great majority of victims report telling a friend or roommate, again confirming the importance of education for all students on resources and reporting at the University.
  • 16.67% told a member of the University community: counselor on-campus (4.35%)
  • 4.17% told an off-campus service provider or the police: counselor off-campus (8.70%), police (4.17%)

Reported using the University's Procedures and Satisfaction with Using the Process:

Of the participating students who had experienced sexual assault or other forms of sexual misconduct while at Alfred:

  • 3 out of 4 responded that they used the University's procedures to report an incident. 75% reported the process was helpful.

Conclusion and Resources

Through this report, we have attempted to summarize the wealth of data from the Fall 2017 Climate Survey. If you have any questions regarding the report, please contact Norm Pollard, Ed.D., the Dean of Students and the University's Deputy Title IX Coordinator, at pollard@alfred.edu.

The Division of Student Affairs, the Dean of Students office, the Wellness Center, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Public Safety, and the Title IX Coordinator plan to communicate and widely share this information as part of the University's communication, education, and awareness campaign during spring and fall 2018. The University remains committed to the personal care and attention of all students, particularly those affected by sexual misconduct.

The various areas related to the handling and prevention of sexual misconduct at Alfred University work as a highly integrated team, sharing information about incidents, climate, legal and regulatory departments, training resources, and best practices. They comprise a standing Task Force to address these issues on an ongoing basis and leverage the advantages that close coordination and information-sharing bring to this complicated but mission-critical area for our University.

If you or a friend experiences sexual assault or any form of sexual misconduct, we encourage you to tell someone about it and seek help. You have choices about where you disclose information and what services you want to access. The staff at the Alfred University Wellness Center can help you with these decisions and support you throughout the process.

The first step to recovery from sexual assault is to talk to someone about how to get help. To protect your health and well-being, you are encouraged to also seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe you have no injuries.

At Alfred University, we recognize that sexual assault can occur in all types of relationships and we will not discriminate when providing services for victims and survivors.

First Step: Go to a safe place with people who will be able to assist you

  • AU Public Safety, 607-871-2108
  • AU Health Service- Confidential (during office hours: 8:30-4:30 M-F), 607-871-2400
    • Provides emergency contraception (EC) up to 72 hours after the incident. Medication is most effective when taken as soon as possible after the incident.
    • Provides screening for sexually transmitted infections (STI's)
    • Provides confidential HIV testing and counseling
  • AU Counseling Service- Confidential, 607-871-2300
    • An emergency on-call counselor is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for afterhours or weekend help when the university is in session. If after hours, please call Public Safety at 607-871-2108 and ask for the on-call counselor to be contacted. A professional staff member from Counseling Services will meet with you right away when you request an emergency appointment. You can walk into our office on Park Street, in the brick Wellness Center during office hours. They can also meet you anywhere on campus
    • Counseling services will provide:
      • Free and confidential services for all Alfred University students at no cost
      • Crisis counseling and personal counseling throughout the process of Revere at no cost
      • Accompaniment and support if the victim chooses to file charges or make a statement
      • Accompaniment and support if the victim chooses to have a medical examination or an evidence collection process at a local hospital
      • Support and information about using the AU Conduct System to make a complain of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy
      • Assistance in accessing other services

Second Step: Medical Care Options

Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

  • An exam to address any injuries
  • Seeking medical attention allows you to have evidence collected. Having evidence collected within 72 hours preserves your right to decide at a later date whether you wish to go forward with the University's judicial process or with the criminal justice system.
  • Evidence collection is available to Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville
    • To preserve biological evidence, do not change clothes, bathe, shower, brush your hair or teeth, or apply medication or cosmetics prior to a medical exam
    • If you go to the hospital in the clothes you wore during the assault, bring other clothes to change into. Your clothes will be kept as evidence
    • If you have changed your clothes, take the ones worn during the assault to the hospital in a paper bag for evidence collection
    • You may want a friend to accompany you to the Emergency Department
    • A counselor from Cattaraugus Community Action's Victim Services (888-945-3970) is available to meet you at the Emergency Department to offer support
      • Emergency Contraception (EC) for pregnancy prevention. For information about EC and how it can be found: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/get-care/our-services/emergency-contraceptive
      • Emergency Contraception is available at the Wellness Center Health Services for a discounted student price
      • EC is also available at some pharmacies without a prescription for those 18 years or older. In Hornell, EC is available at Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, and Wegman's Pharmacy. The Alfred Pharmacy does not provide EC.

Third Step: Deciding about Making a Statement and Staying Safe

Choosing to report does not require that a criminal or judicial proceeding be completed. Anonymous reports allow us to be aware of offenses that may be occurring on campus. Contact Counseling Services at 607-871-2300 for help in submitting an anonymous report. 

At AU, the following offices can help:

AU Public Safety, 607-871-2108

  • Safety concerns: Call for help if you feel threatened or are being harassed
  • Support: Public Safety can contact the Counselor On-Call after hours for you
  • Provide Escorts: To accompany you on campus
  • Campus Keep-Away Sanctions: If the assailant is an AU student, Public Safety and the Dean of Students can utilize campus sanctions to keep persons apart
  • Campus Trespass: If the assailant is not a member of the AU community, notification to keep off campus can be given
  • Access to local law enforcement: For help with making a statement or seeking a protective order

AU Conduct System and the Dean of Students, 607-871-2132

You may decide to make a sexual misconduct report to the Dean of Students. If you do this, it does not mean that you must then make a criminal complaint to the police. Filing a sexual misconduct report with the Dean of Students merely documents that an incident occurred at AU or involved a student at AU.

You may choose to make a complaint of violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy at AU if you are interested in pressing a complaint against an AU student.

The Dean of Students' office is located in the 2nd floor of the Powell Campus Center

Off Campus Resources:

For Local Police and Emergency Services, call 911.

The Alfred Police Department is located at 7 West University Street in Alfred. The APD can be reached in non-emergency situations by dialing 607-587-8877.

Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, 607-324-1124, or visit their website for more information at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/ and fill the search field with the zip code 14802 and NY State

Cattaraugus Community Action Victim Services Division, 1-888-945-3970