AAU sexual assault campus climate survey data released online

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 9/21/15 5:03am

The data from the College's first ever sexual assault campus climate survey, conducted by the American Association of Universities, were released online today, College President Phil Hanlon announced in a campus-wide email.

Economics professor Bruce Sacerdote will chair a data-analysis committee composed of students, faculty and staff who will"synthesize and compare" the data with the results of othersurveys conducted by the College on the topic of sexual assault and misconduct, Hanlon announced in his email. In October, the College will also launch its own survey — the Community Study — to look at sexual assault and the broader campus climate regarding academics and residential life.

A total of 2,796 students took the survey, with 1,994 undergraduate students responding and 802 graduate or professional students. This placed the College among one of the institutions with the top five highest response rates, with a rate of 42 percent. Across the 27 participating universities, the average response rate was 19 percent.

Of the respondents, 1,406 were women, 1,346 were men, 29 identified as transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, questioning or an unlisted gender and 15 declined to state.

To account for non-respondents, the survey data is adjusted using a weighting system, according to AAU executive summary online.

At the College, 13 percent of students reported having experienced attempted or completed nonconsensual sexual contact by incapacitation or physical force since entering the institution. Therate across the 27 participating institutions was 12 percent.

The executive summary noted that female undergraduates were the most likelygroup to report having experienced attempted or completed nonsexual contact since entering the College. At the College, female students were more likelyto report this experience than male students, and undergraduates were more likelyto report than graduate or professional students.

For female undergraduates in their senior year, this rate rose to 34 percent. Across the 27 participating institutions, the rate was 27 percent.

Of Dartmouth students, 56 percent reported having been the victims of sexual harassment. The AAU aggregate rate across the 27 participating institutions was 48 percent. Female and transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gender unlisted or questioning students reported higher rates than male students, with 95 percent of respondents who experienced sexual harassment reporting that the perpetrator was a fellow student.

Graduate and professional students reported higher rates of sexual harassment committed by a faculty member, with 21 percent of female students and 10 percent of male students identifying a faculty member as the perpetrator of sexual harassment.

Fifty-seven percent of Dartmouth students indicated that they believe it is very or extremely likely that a victim of sexual misconduct or assault would be supported by fellow students, a rate that is roughly in line with the AAU aggregate of 55 percent. At the College, 68 percent of students indicated that it is very or extremely likely that a report of sexual assault would be taken seriously by campus officials, and 60 percent said it is very or extremely likely that the reporting student's safety would be protected. These responses were five and three percentage points higher than the AAU aggregate rate, respectively.

When asked if they believe that campus officials would conduct a fair investigation into a report of sexual misconduct or assault, 43 percent of Dartmouth students indicated that it is very or extremely likely that this would occur. The rate across the 27 participating institutions is 49 percent.

Overall, female andtransgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gender unlisted or questioning students were less optimistic in their responses.

Of the 29 percent who reported that they suspected a friend may have been sexually assaulted, 72 percent reported taking some type of action.

Of the 61 percent who had witnessed drunken students heading to engage in some kind of sexual encounter, 31 percent reported taking some type of action. The corresponding rates in the AAU aggregate data were 44 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Dartmouth undergraduates reported a higher rate of knowledge about sexual misconduct procedures and available resources than the AAU aggregate rates, with 33 percent of students reporting feeling very or extremely knowledgeable about how the College defines sexual assault and misconduct and 44 percent reporting knowing where to find help if they or a friend experience sexual assault or misconduct. The corresponding AAU aggregate rates were 24 percent and 30 percent, respectively.