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Campus Climate Survey 2017

Introduction:

During Spring 2017, Fordham conducted its second Title IX Campus Climate Survey. Climate surveys are useful tools because they can illustrate how effective we, the 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. The current survey was designed to capture students’ 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 Fordham’s processes, response and support services.

To create the survey, Fordham adapted questions from a survey created by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in their 2014 Not Alone publication. 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 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 fall 2017 as part of our communication, awareness and education plan. We are grateful to the 1933 students who volunteered their time during spring 2017 to complete the survey to help improve our efforts to combat sexual misconduct. We will learn from all you have told us, and hope to make our University better as a result. Thank you.

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

Background and Resource Information:

It goes without saying that we never want sexual violence to happen to our students, at Fordham or otherwise, and for all of our students to thrive in a welcoming, inclusive, and safe academic environment is central to our mission as a Jesuit University. That said, we work to ensure that if sexual violence incidents do happen, students feel comfortable bringing reports to our attention so we can provide them with the support and resources they need.

Over the past few years, in addition to conducting this climate survey, we annually review and update relevant University Title IX policies and procedures and have engaged in an open dialogue with students, faculty, and staff to discuss various strategies to combat sexual violence, and sexual misconduct in general, here at Fordham.

Survey Sample and Demographics:

Of the 14,955 student who received the survey, 1933 responded, for a 13.0% response rate. In response to questions, participating students identified and described themselves as:

  • Gender Identity: 68.33 % of respondents identified as female, 30.287% as male and just over 1.38 % as transgender or another specified gender identity.
  • Sexual Orientation / Identity: 79.19 % selected heterosexual with the remaining percent choosing bisexual, gay, lesbian, questioning or specifying another identity.
  • Academic Status: 66.86 % percent were undergraduate students, 32.02 % were graduate and professional students while 1.12 % listed themselves as other.
  • Residency Status: 41.72% % lived on campus or in university-operated off campus housing with the remaining being commuter students.

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 experienced 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.

Time Period based upon Student’s Enrollment

The survey questions related to students experiences while being a Fordham student. Therefore, the time-frame for responses is fluid and varies based upon the many different types of enrolled students at Fordham. For instance, while undergraduates are typically enrolled for four years, some graduate students are enrolled for only two years while other graduate students could be enrolled for six years.

Outline of Survey

The survey questions were designed to obtain a better understanding of participating students’ perceptions, knowledge and experiences surrounding sexual misconduct. The survey results were broken down into five categories:

1. Perception of the Campus Climate and Available Resources (to understand general perceptions and expectations); 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); 3. Prevalence of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, and 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 reasons why students did not report; and 5. Bystander Attitudes and Behavior.