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Executive summary of campus climate survey on sexual assault released

February 08, 2016

Last year members of Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS)—of which Lewis & Clark is a part—were invited to administer a sexual assault climate survey. Lewis & Clark accepted the invitation, along with 56 other schools. Of the 57 institutions surveyed, 54 were small schools with undergraduate enrollments less than 3,500. All are private institutions.

The HEDS survey was administered electronically near the end of the Spring 2015 semester. A total of 2,650 students across our three schools were surveyed. Participation in the survey was strictly voluntary and respondents were informed as such in the invitation email. At Lewis & Clark, 673 students responded, yielding a 25.4% response rate. This response rate is 6.4% higher than the other participating institutions.

Further analysis of the survey data will take place over the spring semester. The results of the summary and in-depth analysis will be used to inform future programming and education for the prevention of sexual assault, as well as for our responses and support for survivors. The data will also be used as a baseline for subsequent surveys in order to assess our efforts in improving prevention and our response to sexual assault at Lewis & Clark.

An executive summary of the data follows below. The actual questions asked on the survey are provided, and responses from other small schools that participated in the survey are provided for comparison.

The survey summary is divided into four sections:

1. Respondent demographics
2. Assessment of campus climate
3. Assessing unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault
4. Context and disclosure

1. Respondent demographics

What is your college classification for the 2014–2015 Academic Year?

 

Lewis & Clark

Other Small Schools

Freshman/First Year

173

25.7%

5234

24.3%

Sophomore

115

17.1%

4986

23.2%

Junior

81

12.1%

5023

23.3%

Senior

131

19.5%

5221

24.3%

Graduate Student

113

16.8%

857

4.0%

Other: (fill in)

59

8.8%

197

0.9%

Total

672

100.0%

21518

100.0%

What is your gender?

Woman

450

67.0%

14297

66.4%

Man

211

31.4%

6919

32.1%

Fill in:

11

1.6%

308

1.4%

Total

672

100.0%

21524

100.0%

 

Which term best describes your sexual orientation?

Asexual

11

1.6%

1274

6.0%

Bisexual

66

9.9%

1303

6.1%

Gay

15

2.2%

422

2.0%

Heterosexual

477

71.4%

16362

76.7%

Lesbian

9

1.3%

263

1.2%

Pansexual

21

3.1%

422

2.0%

Queer

34

5.1%

400

1.9%

Questioning

20

3.0%

425

2.0%

Fill in:

15

2.2%

467

2.2%

Total

668

100.0%

21338

100.0%

2. Assessment of campus climate

In general, responses to the questions regarding campus climate were positive. However, though only about 10% of respondents indicated disagreement with the statements below, the percentage of “neither agree nor disagree” responses is cause for concern.

Below are statements about your views on sexual assault at Lewis & Clark. Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each:

   

Lewis & Clark College

Small Institutions

I believe that students at Lewis & Clark would intervene if they witnessed a sexual assault.

Strongly agree

140

20.9%

4803

22.3%

Agree

288

42.9%

8486

39.5%

Neither agree nor disagree

170

25.3%

5412

25.2%

Disagree

60

8.9%

2282

10.6%

Strongly disagree

13

1.9%

517

2.4%

Total

671

100.0%

21500

100.0%

 

Below are statements about your views on sexual assault at Lewis & Clark. Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each:

   

Lewis & Clark College

Small Institutions

Campus officials would conduct a careful investigation in order to determine what happened.

Strongly agree

134

20.1%

5668

26.4%

Agree

278

41.6%

8549

39.8%

Neither agree nor disagree

190

28.4%

4584

21.4%

Disagree

52

7.8%

1924

9.0%

Strongly disagree

14

2.1%

745

3.5%

Total

668

100.0%

21470

100.0%

Campus officials would take action against the offender(s).

Strongly agree

130

19.5%

5397

25.1%

Agree

248

37.1%

7547

35.2%

Neither agree nor disagree

212

31.7%

5155

24.0%

Disagree

59

8.8%

2304

10.7%

Strongly disagree

19

2.8%

1059

4.9%

Total

668

100.0%

21462

100.0%

Though Lewis & Clark has made efforts to improve education around sexual assault and policies for reporting incidents, the data suggests a large percentage of students are still unaware of how to report an incident or resources available to them. Of those respondents who indicated they had received information, about 60% of them indicated they remembered most or all of the information.

 

Have you received information or education from Lewis & Clark about:

   

Lewis & Clark College

Small Institutions

How to report an incident of sexual assault?

Yes

313

47.1%

13664

64.1%

No

239

36.0%

4525

21.2%

Unsure

112

16.9%

3126

14.7%

Total

664

100.0%

21315

100.0%

Lewis & Clark’s confidential resources for sexual assault and how to locate them on campus?

Yes

353

53.2%

13408

63.0%

No

198

29.9%

4606

21.6%

Unsure

112

16.9%

3277

15.4%

Total

663

100.0%

21291

100.0%

The procedures for investigating a sexual assault?

Yes

158

23.8%

8187

38.4%

No

374

56.3%

8865

41.6%

Unsure

132

19.9%

4244

19.9%

Total

664

100.0%

21296

100.0%

 

Overall, how much do you remember about the information or education from Lewis & Clark about sexual assault?*

Almost all, or all, of it

 

94

17.9%

3451

18.3%

Most of it

 

222

42.2%

8404

44.5%

Some of it

 

160

30.4%

5623

29.8%

Very little, or none, of it

 

50

9.5%

1412

7.5%

Total

 

526

100.0%

18890

100.0%

 

Overall, how helpful did you think the information or education from Lewis & Clark about sexual assault was?*

Very helpful

 

77

14.6%

2970

15.7%

Helpful

 

256

48.7%

9331

49.4%

Slightly helpful

 

163

31.0%

5655

30.0%

Not at all helpful

 

30

5.7%

920

4.9%

Total

 

526

100.0%

18876

100.0%

*Only students who responded yes to one or more of the questions “Have you received information or education from Lewis & Clark about:” was asked this question.

This data suggests that while the college is providing information to students, there is more that should be done, especially in the area of reporting and procedures. Our rates are lower than the aggregate data from the other institutions that completed this survey.

 

3. Assessing unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault

We hope that students at Lewis & Clark never experience a sexual assault. Based on responses regarding assault, 90% of our students indicated that they had not experienced an assault.

Since starting at Lewis & Clark, has anyone attempted, but not succeeded in, sexually assaulting you while you were on campus or while you were off campus during an event or program sponsored by Lewis & Clark

   

Lewis & Clark

Other Small Schools

Yes

 

30

4.5%

1613

7.5%

No

 

610

91.0%

18717

87.2%

I suspect that someone attempted to sexually assault me, but I am not certain.

 

30

4.5%

1124

5.2%

Total

 

670

100.0%

21454

100.0%

 

Since starting at Lewis & Clark, have you been sexually assaulted while you were on campus or while you were off campus during an event or program sponsored by Lewis & Clark?

   

Lewis & Clark

Other Small Schools

Yes

 

49

7.3%

1593

7.4%

No

 

601

89.6%

19219

89.4%

I suspect that someone attempted to sexually assault me, but I am not certain.

 

21

3.1%

678

3.2%

Total

 

671

100.0%

21490

100.0%

 

4. Context and disclosure

Below are statements about your views on what might happen if someone were to report a sexual assault to an official at Lewis & Clark. Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each:

   

Lewis & Clark

Other Small Schools

Campus officials would take the report seriously.

Strongly agree

205

30.6%

7924

37.2%

Agree

336

50.2%

9337

43.8%

Neither agree nor disagree

89

13.3%

2598

12.2%

Disagree

30

4.5%

1092

5.1%

Strongly disagree

9

1.3%

363

1.7%

Total

669

100.0%

21314

100.0%

Campus officials would support and protect the person making the report.

Strongly agree

177

26.5%

6732

31.6%

Agree

313

46.9%

8928

41.9%

Neither agree nor disagree

124

18.6%

3642

17.1%

Disagree

41

6.1%

1486

7.0%

Strongly disagree

13

1.9%

509

2.4%

Total

668

100.0%

21297

100.0%

Campus officials would conduct a careful investigation in order to determine what happened.

Strongly agree

134

20.1%

5571

26.2%

Agree

278

41.6%

8491

39.9%

Neither agree nor disagree

190

28.4%

4581

21.5%

Disagree

52

7.8%

1905

8.9%

Strongly disagree

14

2.1%

739

3.5%

Total

668

100.0%

21287

100.0%

Campus officials would take action against the offender(s).

Strongly agree

130

19.5%

5305

24.9%

Agree

248

37.1%

7466

35.1%

Neither agree nor disagree

212

31.7%

5150

24.2%

Disagree

59

8.8%

2299

10.8%

Strongly disagree

19

2.8%

1058

5.0%

Total

668

100.0%

21278

100.0%

Students would support the person making the report.

Strongly agree

221

33.0%

5895

27.7%

Agree

275

41.0%

8477

39.9%

Neither agree nor disagree

141

21.0%

4952

23.3%

Disagree

26

3.9%

1450

6.8%

Strongly disagree

7

1.0%

497

2.3%

Total

670

100.0%

21271

100.0%

This data suggests that students believe the college would take appropriate action once a report of a sexual assault was made. However, there is an opportunity here for further outreach and education to the community on how the Lewis & Clark handles complaints and an opportunity to invite people who have concerns to talk with staff members who oversee the process. 

Link to resources for Sexual Violence Prevention and Response
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